2013 – 2014 Season

2013 – 2014 Concert Season

All programs will take place at the Family Piano Co.
114 South Genesee Street, Sunday Evenings.

Chicago Brass Quintet, September 8, 2013, 7:30 PM
Merling Trio, November 17, 2013, 7:30 PM
Fifth House Ensemble, March 9, 2014, 7:30 PM
Metropolis Oboe Quartet, April 27, 2014, 7:30 PM


Artist Biographies

Chicago Brass Quintet

September 8, 2013, 7:30 PM

Chicago Brass QuartetThe Chicago Brass Quintet has been recognized as one of the world’s preeminent brass ensembles. They currently tour internationally performing throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.

Ross Beacraft, trumpet, performs as Principal Trumpet with the Chicago Opera Theater and the Elgin Symphony. In addition he has performed often with the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Concertante Di Chicago, Chicago’s ballet and theater orchestras and in many radio and television commercials. Former appointments include principal trumpet with the Norwegian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Oslo and third assistant first trumpet with the North Carolina Symphony. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Beacraft is Director of Admissions for the DePaul University School of Music.

Matthew Lee, trumpet, performs as Principal Trumpet with the Illinois Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta and the Millar Brass Ensemble. A finalist in the Maurice Andre Solo Trumpet Competition, Mr. Lee also performs frequently with the Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of Western Illinois and Northwestern University, he is currently on the faculties of DePaul University and Elmhurst College.

Gregory Flint, French Horn is professor of horn at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and performs often with Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, the Grant Park and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, Chicago’s Contemporary Chamber Players. His has toured with both Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin and continues to enjoy performing a wide variety of music. A graduate of Northwestern University Mr. Flint has also taught at the DePaul University School of Music and Northwestern University.

James Mattern, trombone and founder of the Chicago Bass Quintet, has a distinguished career as a performer composer and arranger. He has performed often with the Lyric Opera, Grant Park Symphony, Chicago’s Contemporary Chamber Players and Chicago’s ballet and theater orchestras. A graduate of Lawrence and Northwestern Universities he has taught at Northern Illinois University and the DePaul University School of Music. His brass compositions and arrangements are performed worldwide

Daniel Anderson, Tuba, has performed as Principal Tuba with the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra and The Lancaster Festival Orchestra, in many of Chicago’s Theater Orchestras and as an extra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A highly respected jazz bassist he performs often with many of Chicago’s finest jazz artists, The Chicago Jazz Ensemble and his own ensemble Basso Neauveux. A Graduate of the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, Mr. Anderson teaches at Columbia College.

Merling Trio

November 17, 2013, 7:30 PM

merlingTrioThe Merling Trio is recognized as one of today’s premier ensembles. A truly international trio, it brings together musicians from Polish, Japanese, and Dutch backgrounds. The Merling Trio has been hailed as a brilliantly distinguished group endowed with remarkable gifts of communication, magnificent precision, and an impeccable blend of sound. The trio made its New York debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1993, and was named a finalist for the Naumburg Foundation Chamber Music Award in 1994.

The Merling Trio has given numerous recitals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Members of the Trio have performed with orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, and the South Carolina Philharmonic, under the baton of such notable conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle, and Christoph Eschenbach. Recent trio performances include concerts for the Lagerstrom Concerts Series at Caltech, the Texas Friends of Chamber Music Series, the Jewel Box Series in Chicago, the Charleston Chamber Music Society, Merkin Hall, and the Antioch College Professional Piano Series. The 2011-12 season will include tours of Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. Performances by the Merling Trio have been broadcast widely on television and radio, including WNYC, WFMT 98.7 in Chicago, Interlochen Public Radio, and Peachstate Public Radio.

Several contemporary composers have written works for the Merling Trio, and in 1993, they commissioned and premiered C. Curtis-Smith’s Second Piano Trio. In February 1998, the trio returned to Carnegie Hall for a sold-out performance of a new work by Terry Winter-Owens, commissioned by the Merling Trio with a Commissioning Grant from the American Composers Forum. In 2003, the trio premiered Frank Proto’s Quartet for Piano and Strings with bassist Tom Knificat St. John’s Smith Square in London, England. The trio performed the complete piano trios of C. Curtis-Smith for a gala concert at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in 2010. The 2013 season will see a premiere of the trio’s newest commission, Piano Trio No. 2, from San Francisco composer Peter Lewis.

In residence at the School of Music at Western Michigan University, members of the trio have also been faculty members at the Schlern International Music Festival and the ENCORE School for Strings. Renowned educators, their students hold positions in major orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the world. Festival appearances include the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Pensacola Summer Music Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, the Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival, and the Fontana Festival of Art and Music. Recent educational outreach activities include performances and master classes for the California Music Teachers Association, the Music Teachers National Association, the Hawaii International Arts and Humanities Conference, and the American String Teachers Association National Conference.

The Merling Trio has released a number of critically-acclaimed recordings. Their first CD, a collaboration with conductor Dennis Russell Davies, featured works of C. Curtis-Smith and was released by Albany Records in 1995. About the CD, Fanfare wrote, “The composer could not ask for better interpreters.” Piano Trio Classics included works by Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Schumann, and Liszt and was released by Pamplin Records in 2001. About Centaur Records’ 2006 release of the trio’s recording of works by Piazzolla and Proto, the American Record Guide said, “The Merlings play with a properly stylistic balance between abandon and control. This is an unusual and beautifully played program.” Their most recent recording, “postcards in e”, features works of Shostakovich and Dvorak, and was issued on the MSR Classics label in 2009 to rave reviews.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer said, “The players shaped a grand interpretation, fluent in rhythm and rich in romantic feeling.” The Grand Rapids Press has said, “The trio…delivered a standard of playing that is on par with some of the best known violin-cello-piano teams, captivating the audience through the immediacy and extraordinary sensitivity of its playing.” The London Musical Opinion declared that the Merling Trio “made a powerful impression, with unabashed romanticism and finesse.”

The Merling Trio takes its name from the Danish violin maker, Paul Merling. Currently, Mr. Uchimura performs on an Enrico Marchetti cello, made in Turin, Italy, in 1899. Ms. Knific’s violin, fashioned by Vincenzo Postiglione in Naples, Italy, dates from 1898.

Fifth House Ensemble

March 9, 2014, 7:30 PM

Herine Coetzee Koschak, cello

Herine Coetzee KoschakCellist Herine Coetzee, originally from South Africa, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Indiana University School of Music, where she was a student of Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Ms. Coetzee has appeared as a features soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Nittany Valley Symphony and the
National Repertory Orchestra, as well as in recital as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. Her master class performances include those for Yo-Yo Ma, Anner Byslma, Truls Mork and Orlando Cole. In 2002 she was a prizewinner fin the Indiana University Cello Concerto Competition, playing Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo-Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. Herine has held titled positions in such groups as the National Repertory Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. As a teacher, she serves on the faculty of the Merit School of Music. She resides in Evanston and enjoys taking on the Viking Breakfast at Svea’s in Andersonville.

Clark Carruth, viola

Clark CarruthA graduate of the University of Georgia (BM) and Northwestern University (MM), Clark Carruth currently performs with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, the New Philharmonic and the DuPage Opera Theatre. A former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and South Bend Symphony, previous performance credits also include appearances on WFMT, the International Harp Festival in Viroqua, WI, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Between racquetball games and mountain biking adventures, Clark also finds time to educate young musicians as a sectional coach for the Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Eric Snoza, double bass, photographer

Eric SnozaEric Snoza has been a double bass performer before he could even properly reach the fingerboard. He received his bachelor’s and continuing master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. At Eastman, Eric studied solo performance with one of the world’s leading double bass performers, James VanDemark, he has performed with many leading new music ensembles including OSSIA, Musica Nova and Ensemble X. Eric’s solo accomplishments include the Rochester debut of the Eduard Tubin Double Bass Concerto and his own world premier transcription of the Elgar Cello Concerto for Double Bass led by Rochester Philharmonic Pops Conductor, Jeff Tyzik. Also a fourth degree black belt, Eric is a visiting instructor with the American School of Karate and Judo.

Andrew Williams, violin

Andrew WilliamsViolinist Andrew Williams has established himself as a dedicated chamber musician, soloist, and teacher throughout America. As a member of the critically acclaimed Fifth House Ensemble, he has performed at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre on their Composer Portrait series, on Rush Hour’s yearly summer music series, and participated in many master classes at institutions such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison and New Music on the Point. As a soloist, he specializes in performing great contemporary solo violin pieces. At Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall (summer of 2012) he performed David Rakowski’s When the Bow Breaks, a sonata for solo violin, for which the composer praised ‘Now I like the whole pieces, for the very first time!’ In November of 2011 he performed Kevin Puts’ epic solo piece, Arches, on a Rush Hour Encore which was broadcast live on Chicago’s WFMT. Of Andrew’s playing of the piece, Mr. Puts commented, ‘Sounds wonderful!! Thanks so much for your hard work and for memorizing it!’ As a teacher, Andrew teaches at the nationally renowned Merit School of Music, where he has been on faculty for 5 years. He has over 20 private students, ranging in age from 3 to 17. Mr. Williams is a dedicated Suzuki teacher and takes the time to receive Suzuki teacher training in the summers. He supplements the Suzuki repertoire with modern pieces as he believes in exposing and training students in contemporary styles.

Outside of music, Andrew has many interests. He has completed the Chicago Marathon 3 times and also enjoys swimming and doing yoga. For his wedding dance, he successfully danced a tango with his beautiful wife Karmen without stepping on her toes once! He and his wife also love to travel and have been to many awesome places such as Mozambique, Kolkata, and Iceland.

Fifth House Ensemble Bio:

The Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is a versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music with its signature series Black Violet, The Weaver’s Tales, and In Transit, and Caught, 5HE is defined by its limitless imagination and energy, and an insatiable desire to bring chamber music to audiences of all types.

A regular on the Chicago chamber music scene, having performed on some of the city’s most well-regarded series and venues including the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Ravinia, Chicago Cultural Center, WFMT, and Rush Hour Concerts at St. James. Recent performances on tour include visits to the Eastman School of Music, Yale, the Colburn School, the Miller Theatre (NYC), University of Minnesota, Detroit Symphony, and New England Conservatory.

Fifth House Ensemble is supported in part by grants from The Arts Work Fund, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, a CityArts I program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Target, Northern Trust, and by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Metropolis Oboe Quartet

April 27, 2014, 7:30 PM

The Metropolis Oboe QuartetThe Metropolis Oboe Quartet invites you to join them on an exciting journey through the greatest chamber music of all eras. Aficionados and newcomers alike will experience music as never before in this memorable display of high-caliber music complemented by the ensemble’s energy and love for what they do.

For nearly a decade, this talented group of musicians (Deb Stevenson, oboe and English horn; Thomas Yang, violin; Doyle Armbrust, viola; and Steven Houser, cello) has been treating Chicagoland to stellar renditions of both famous masterpieces and lesser-known gems. No Metropolis Oboe Quartet experience is the same, with the close-knit group of musicians eager to share their extensive musical knowledge with audience members via playful conversations interspersed throughout the program. Classical music takes on new life and meaning through these high energy performances filled with memorable melodies and lush harmonies that redefine chamber music for a new age.