On Saturday, April 2, 2016, Music at the Institute presented a concert “Preludes, Serenades, and More” University of Connecticut Chamber Orchestra conducted by Harvey Felder. Works by Stamitz, Vivaldi, Karabyts, Suk and Mendelssohn performed by cellist Rebecca Patterson, violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv and pianist Melvin Chen.

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Conductor HARVEY FELDER is known for his deeply moving performances of the great “Classical” repertoire as well as his entertaining performances on “Pops” stages across the country. He has been characterized as having an affable and magnetic podium demeanor which helps audiences feel immediately welcome, comfortable, and connected to his performances. Felder is Conductor Laureate of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, a position he accepted after having served as its music director for twenty years. He is also Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Connecticut. Felder is the founder and music director of the St. George Sinfonia, an orchestra committed to presenting diverse music to diverse audiences. Additionally, he has appeared as guest conductor with the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Delaware, Grant Park, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Kansas City, National, New Jersey, North Carolina, Saint Louis, San Antonio, Spokane Symphonies, Dayton, Rochester, Orange County Philharmonics, as well as the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Chicago Sinfonietta. Internationally, he has appeared with Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Costa Rica, the New Japan Philharmonic, Mikkeli City Orchestra of Finland, and the Osaka Telemann Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Felder studied conducting with Max Rudolf, Gustav Meier, Gunther Schuller, Elizabeth Green, Zdenek Macal, David Zinman, Gennady Rozdestvensky, Kurt Mazur, and Seiji Ozawa. He attended the Festival at Sandpoint, the Conductor’s Guild Summer Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Felder holds degrees in music from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and The University of Michigan.


Violinist SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV has quickly earned a reputation for performing with “distinctive charm and subtle profundity” (Daily Freeman, New York) and a “crystal clear and noble sound” (Culture and Life, Ukraine). She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, CBC Glenn Gould Studio, and the Tchaikovsky Hall in Kyiv, in addition to making solo appearances with the Charleston Symphony, Henderson Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China. She has premiered numerous new works for violin by composers Eli Marshall, David Ludwig, John B. Hedges, Bohdan Kryvopust, Yevhen Stankovych, and Oleksandr Shchetynsky. Ms. Ivakhiv has been featured at many prestigious chamber music festivals, including Tanglewood, Embassy Series, Ottawa Chamberfest, Newport Music Festival, and Prussia Cove. A dedicated educator, she has conducted master classes and chamber music coachings at Yale and Columbia Universities, Boston Conservatory, Curtis SummerFest, Guangzhou and Hunan Conservatories in China, and regularly collaborates with high schools in outreach programs throughout the United States. Her latest album, Ukraine–Journey To Freedom with pianist Angelina Gadeliya, released on Labor Records with NAXOS of America, has been featured among the top 6 new classical albums on iTunes. Ms. Ivakhiv has been the Artistic Director of the “Music at the Institute” (MATI) Concert Series in New York City for five years, where she also regularly appears as a performer. She is currently Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola and Head of Strings at the University of Connecticut.


The New York Times described cellist REBECCA PATTERSON as having an “uncommonly warm and rounded tone,” and the Washington Post praised her for “a stunning account of the movement ‘Praise to the Eternity of Jesus’ from Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.” A founding member of the award-winning Antares ensemble, she has dedicated over fifteen years to chamber music, contemporary music, commissioning new works, and teaching. Ms. Patterson co-founded Antares while a student at Yale, and took top prizes the following year in the Fischoff, Coleman, Yellow Springs, and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions. In 2002, Antares was awarded the top prize in the prestigious Concert Artists Guild competition in New York City. Their last CD release in 2011 revisited two significant yet previously unrecorded works from 1978: Shadowed Narrative by Roger Reynolds and Tashi by Peter Lieberson. This CD was featured as “Choice of the Month” in the January 2012 issue of BBC Music Magazine. Other recordings with Antares include Eclipse with Innova Recordings and Red River by Mason Bates with MSR Classics label. Ms. Patterson received her B.M. from the Eastman School of Music and her M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Paul Katz and Aldo Parisot, respectively. While at Eastman, she was winner of the Gibbs Chamber Orchestra Concerto competition, as well as the recipient of the full-merit Lois Smith Rogers Scholarship. At Yale she was a recipient of the Ender Scholarship, which goes to a cellist with excellent promise. She currently lives in New Haven, CT, and will begin her fourth season as principal cello with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.


Pianist MELVIN CHEN is recognized as an important artist, acclaimed for performances throughout the world. Mr. Chen has performed at major venues in the United States and abroad, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, and Boston’s Jordan Hall. His recordings include the sonatas of Shostakovich, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and a recording of Joan Tower’s piano music. He is an alumnus of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Chamber Music Society Two, and a regular performers at major American music festivals. He has collaborated with such artists as Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, David Shifrin, and Peter Wiley, and with the Shanghai, Tokyo, Miami, and Miro quartets. Mr. Chen earned a B.S. degree in chemistry and physics from Yale University, a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University, and holds a double master’s degree from The Juilliard School in piano and violin. He is associate professor of piano at the Yale School of Music, where he is also Deputy Dean.

The University of Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra are made up of student musicians led and conducted by Director of Orchestral Studies Harvey Felder. Repertoire includes works from the standard classical, romantic, and contemporary orchestral literature. The Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra also collaborate with other ensembles in the department, including the Festival Chorus and the Opera Program.

First Violins: Myles Mocarski, Peter Nowak, Brian Roach, Tiana Piscitelli, Hannah Traver.

Second Violins: Victoria Hervieux, Priscilla Back, Sydney Smith-Romanski, AmirAli Farokhniaee, Zoë Haley-Johnson, Joseph Fong.

Violas: Bobby Luan, Michael White, Spencer Morgan.

Cellos: Matthew Rescsanszky, James Chapman, John Yao.

Bass: Seth Lisle.

Music at the Institute is sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America.