On Saturday, March 7, 2015, Music at the Institute presented a concert Romantic at Heart. Works by Brahms, Dvorak and Myska performed by violinists Scott St. John and Solomiya Ivakhiv, violists Douglas McNabney and Sharon Wei, and cellist Thomas Wiebe.
Violinist SCOTT ST. JOHN, a native of London, Ontario, was a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet for the past seven years. He recently moved back to London with his wife, violist Sharon Wei, and daughter Julia. Mr. St. John made his Carnegie debut in 1988 after winning first prize in the Alexander Schneider Competition. Winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award, he has since played numerous concerts across North America, including solo appearances with orchestras, recitals, and chamber music. From 1999 to 2006, Mr. St. John was associate professor of violin at the University of Toronto, and founded the Felix Galimir Chamber Music Award for U of T students. From 2006 to 2013, he maintained an intense touring schedule with the St. Lawrence Quartet, and enjoyed the quartet’s unique residency at Stanford University in California. Mr. St. John has a long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, including both summers in Vermont and national tours with Musicians From Marlboro. His solo recordings include an all-Dvořák CD and two volumes of Paganini works for violin and guitar. A recent recording of Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante with his sister Lara St. John won a Juno Award for best recording: solo with orchestra.
Violinist SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV, noted by critics for performing with “a distinctive charm and subtle profundity” (Daily Freeman, New York) and a “crystal clear and noble sound” (Culture and Life, Kyiv), 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), The Banff Centre and Ottawa ChamberFest (Canada), Modern Music “Contrasts” and the Kyiv International Music Fest (Ukraine), Music Festival (Netherlands), and Verbier Festival (Switzerland). Ms Ivakhiv has appeared as soloist with orchestras across the U.S., the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China, and extensively in her native Ukraine with the Lviv Philharmonic, Virtuozy Lvova, and the Ukrainian National Symphony. Highly sought after as a chamber musician, she regularly collaborates with such renowned artists as Joseph Silverstein, Gary Graffman, Roberto Diaz, and Philip Setzer. A champion of contemporary classical music, this summer Solomiya Ivakhiv will record her first solo album with pianist Angelina Gadeliya: Journey to Freedom: 100 Years of Ukrainian Classical Music (1914-2014).
Violist DOUGLAS McNABNEY, a native of Toronto, is one of Canada’s distinguished chamber musicians. An international performing career has taken him to concert halls throughout Europe, Mexico, and the Far East, in addition to his appearances throughout Canada and the U.S. He has recorded for, among others, BRT (Brussels), Radio Bremen, RTE (Dublin), Finnish Broadcasting, Sudwestdeutscher Rundfunk, Norwegian Radio, Radio Sweden, NPR, and the CBC. His recording on the Oxingale label of the Mozart Divertimento with Jonathan Crow and Matt Haimovitz was nominated for a Juno in 2007, and his Dorian recording of Mahler with the Smithsonian Chamber Players was nominated for a Grammy in 2008. As one of Canada’s most active chamber musicians, he has appeared as guest artist with the leading chamber music groups and societies across Canada. His chamber music partners have included Canadians Marc-André Hamelin, Louis Lortie, André Laplante, Anton Kuerti, James Ehnes and renowned soloists Menahem Pressler, Steven Isserlis, Jamie Buswell, William Preucil, Miriam Fried, among many others. Mr. McNabney is currently Professor of Chamber Music at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.
Violist SHARON WEI has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Stratford Civic Orchestra, Orchestra of Southern Utah, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, and Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. She has been guest principal violist of the Cincinnati Symphony and the Canadian Opera Company. She is guest principal violist of Ensemble Matheus in Paris under Jean Christophe Spinosi, and is the co-founder of the award-winning Ensemble Made in Canada. As a recitalist, she has performed throughout North America and Europe, and at the Ravinia, Banff, Sarasota, Prussia Cove, Toronto Summer Music, Tuckamore, Agassiz, Summer Solstice, Festival of the Sound, Ottawa’s Chamberfest, and Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She twice toured France with violinist Joseph Silverstein and pianist Claude Frank. An avid fan of chamber music, she has performed with James Levine, Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Lawrence Lesser, Peter Frankl, Lara St John, Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, Joel Quarrington, James Campbell, James Sommerville and the St Lawrence String Quartet. Ms. Wei has served on the faculties of Yale and Stanford Universities and is currently assistant professor of viola at Western Ontario in Canada.
Cellist THOMAS WIEBE is well-known as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed on numerous occasions as a guest artist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra London Canada. He has also been heard as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center in New York, and with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded for the CBC, Centrediscs, Doremi and Bowl labels. Thomas Wiebe is also cellist with the Duke Trio, along with violinist Mark Fewer and pianist Peter Longworth. Besides his performances with the Duke Trio, he plays regularly with Toronto’s Art of Time Ensemble, and with other leading chamber musicians. Mr. Wiebe studied cello in his native Winnipeg with the late Julie Banton. He also studied at the Eastman School of Music with Robert Sylvester, and with Aldo Parisot at Yale and Juilliard. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Yale. Thomas Wiebe is Associate Professor of Violoncello at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. He is also on the faculty of the Domaine Forget Summer Music Academy in Quebec.
GLENN STANLEY, Professor of Music at the University of Connecticut, specializes in the music of the classic and romantic periods in Germany and Austria. He received his Ph.D. at Columbia University and taught at Columbia University and McGill University before coming to the University of Connecticut. He has published extensively in American, British, and German journals and books, with special emphasis on Beethoven, and has written extensively on Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Wagner. He also writes on questions of aesthetics, methodology, and music criticism and contributed three articles to the revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians in these areas. Dr. Stanley edited volumes 3 and 7 of Beethoven Forum and edited and contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven. He was the book-review editor for 19th-Century Music and a member of the editorial boards of Beethoven Forum and the Journal of the American Musicological Society. From 2008 until 2013 he was editor of the College Music Symposium. Recent publications include studies of the Fifth Symphony and Fidelio reception and performance history for the Beethovenhandbuch.