On Saturday, April 5, 2014, Music at the Institute presented a concert “A Look Back at the 20th Century.” Works by Stravinsky, Ysaye and Prokofiev performed by violinists Juliette Kang and Solomiya Ivakhiv, and pianist Melvin Chen.
A native of Edmonton, Canada, violinist JULIETTE KANG is First Associate Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She came to Philadelphia from the Boston Symphony, where she served as assistant concertmaster from 2003 to 2005. Ms Kang’s solo engagements have included the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, l’Orchestre National de France conducted by Sir Yehudi Menuhin, the Baltimore Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Omaha Symphony, the Syracuse Symphony, and every major orchestra in Canada. Overseas she has soloed with the Czech Philharmonic, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the KBS Symphony in Seoul. She has given recitals in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Tokyo at Suntory Hall, in Boston at the Gardner Museum, and in New York at the 92nd Street Y and the Frick Museum. As gold medalist of the 1994 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, she was presented at Carnegie Hall in a recital that was recorded live and released on the Samsung/Nices label. Ms Kang has been actively involved with chamber music since her studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. Her festival credits include Bravo! Vail Valley, Kingston Chamber Music, Marlboro, Moab (Utah), and Spoleto USA. In New York she has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at the Mostly Mozart Festival with her husband, cellist Thomas Kraines, and at the Bard Music Festival. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from Curtis as a student of Jascha Brodsky, she earned a Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Dorothy Delay and Robert Mann. She was a winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists Auditions, and she subsequently received first prize at the Menuhin Violin Competition of Paris in 1992. In 1994 she was the gold medal winner of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
Violinist SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV, noted by critics for performing with “a distinctive charm and 994subtle profundity” (Daily Freeman), enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, North America, and China. Her numerous festival credits include Tanglewood and the Embassy Series (U.S.), Musique de Chambre à Giverny (France), Prussia Cove (England), Banff Centre and Ottawa ChamberFest (Canada), Modern Music “Contrasts” and the Kyiv International Music Fest (Ukraine), and Verbier Festival (Switzerland). Ms Ivakhiv, who made her debut with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of twelve, has appeared as soloist with the International Symphony, Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, Henderson Symphony, Londontowne Symphony, Orchestra of Southern Utah, Civic Orchestra of New Haven, and the Charleston Symphony in the U.S., and extensively in her native Ukraine with the Lviv Philharmonic, Virtuozy Lvova, and the Ukrainian National Symphony. In China, she has appeared with the Hunan Symphony Orchestra. Many of her concerts have been broadcast on National Public Radio, Voice of America Radio, Ukrainian National Radio and Television, and China’s Hunan Television. Ms Ivakhiv is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and holds a Doctorate of Music Arts degree from Stony Brook University. Her principal teachers have been Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, the late Rafael Druian, and Philip Setzer. She is Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Ohio University and the Artistic Director of the “Music at the Institute” Concert Series.
Pianist MELVIN CHEN is one of the few musicians who can claim to be a virtuoso performer on more than one instrument: he holds master’s degrees from the Juilliard School of Music in both piano and violin performance. He also has bachelor’s degrees in both chemistry and physics from Yale University and a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard. At Yale, he studied piano with Boris Berman and violin with Paul Kantor and Ida Kavafian; at Juilliard he took instruction on piano from Seymour Lipkin and on violin from Glenn Dicterow. While Mr. Chen has centered most of his concert activity in the United States with appearances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Frick Collection, Kennedy Center, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Chautauqua and Bard Music Festivals, and numerous other major venues, he has also regularly concertized throughout Europe and Asia. An enthusiastic chamber musician, Mr. Chen appears often in concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has collaborated with such artists as Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, Pamela Frank, Peter Wiley, Steven Isserlis, and with the Shanghai, Tokyo, Miami, Penderecki, and Miro quartets. He has performed at numerous music festivals, including Bravo! Vail Valley, Norfolk Music Festival, Bard Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, among others. He has performed on Korean radio and television (KSB), NHK television in Japan, and NPR in the United States. His highly praised 2006 recording of the Beethoven Diabelli Variations on Bridge helped usher in what would become a flood of critical acclaim. Among his recordings in 2007 was a CD of Shostakovich sonatas and piano works, also on the Bridge label. His recordings are also available from Naxos, New World Records, and Ghostlight. Mr. Chen teaches piano at Bard College Conservatory of Music and previously taught piano at Yale School of Music.
Music at the Institute is sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America.