2015 – 2016 Season

2015 – 2016 Concert Season

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

Download our season schedule here.

Lincoln Trio, September 20, 2015

Fifth House Ensemble, November 8, 2015

Musicians from Midwest Young Artists, March 13, 2016

The Newberry Consort, April 17, 2016


Artist Biographies

Lincoln Trio

September 20, 2015

LincolnTrioIn 2012 FANFARE Magazine hailed the celebrated Chicago-based Lincoln Trio—made up of Desirée Ruhstrat, violin, David Cunliffe, cello, and Marta Aznavoorian, piano—as “one of the hottest young trios in the business.”

Formed in 2003, the Lincoln Trio takes its name from their home, the heartland of the United States, the land of Lincoln. The trio has been praised for its polished presentations of well-known chamber works and its ability to forge new paths with contemporary repertoire. The group’s reputation as a first-rate ensemble draws an eclectic audience of sophisticated music lovers, young admirers of contemporary programs and students discovering chamber music for the first time.

Bringing together performing experience spanning the globe, each member is an artist of international renown. ViolinistDesirée Ruhstrat has performed throughout the US and Europe, appearing at the White House and performing on live radio broadcast heard around the world with the Berlin Radio Orchestra; cellist David Cunliffe has performed with the BBC and Royal Scottish orchestras as well as touring as a member of the Balanescu Quartet; pianist Marta Aznavoorian has appeared with the Chicago Symphony and has performed at the Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House.

The trio has performed throughout the United States, including appearances at Carnegie’s Weil Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Bryant Park Festival, Ravinia Festival, Poisson Rouge, the Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Chamber Music Series, Lane Concert Series, University of Chicago, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Music in the Loft, and in Springfield, Illinois, where the trio was chosen to celebrate the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial celebration with President Barack Obama.

Internationally the trio has performed in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and South America.

Champions of new music, the Lincoln Trio has performed numerous compositions written especially for them, including premieres of seven works by members of the Chicago Composers Consortium, Stacy Garrop, Mischa Zupko, Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Ravinia commissioned works for the Lincoln Bicentennial by James Crowley, Eric Sawyer and Lawrence Dillon and an award winning work dedicated to the trio by young ASCAP winner Conrad Tao. 2014 saw the premiere of a Chamber Music America Award commission with composer Laura Elise Schwendinger and a trio by renowned Chicago based composer Stacy Garrop.

Valuing the importance of cultural diversity in music, the trio are strong supporters of the Chinese Fine Arts Society and the Korean Sejong Cultural Society which has commissioned three works based on Korean themes to be premiered at the University of Chicago and recorded by the Lincoln Trio in 2013.

The Trios extensive discography includes “Notable Women” released on the Cedille Label which featured Grammy and Pulitzer prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon, Joan Tower, Lera Auerbach, Stacy Garrop, Augusta Read Thomas and Laura Schwendinger. The CD has received numerous accolades including NAXOS CD of the Month, Baker and Taylor CD Hotlist, Byzantion Recording of the month, TPR Classical Spotlighted album, WQXR/Q2 Music Album of the week, UK Observer Hidden Gems of 2011 and was listed on Alex Ross of the New Yorker Magazine “Nightafternight playlist for summer’s end.” Other releases on the Cedille label include “Composers In the Loft”, “In Eleanors Words: Music of Stacy Garrop” and “The Billy Collins Suite”.

2013 saw the critically acclaimed and GRAMMY nominated release on the NAXOS label of “Annelies” based on the Diary of Anne Frank with Westminster Williamson Voices, Clarinetist Bharat Chandra and soprano Arianna Zukerman. The Midwest premiere was given at the Ravinia Festival in February 2013 with the Chicago Children’s Choir and was the featured concluding event of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 20th Anniversary Tour of the United States in Chicago at the Harris Theatre. In October of 2014 the Trio released their latest CD with which includes the entire works of Joaquin Turina for piano and strings on the Cedille Label.

Winners of the 2008 Master Players International Competition in Venice, Italy and recipients of the 2011 prestigious Young Performers Career Advancement Award, the 2014-15 season will see the trio performing throughout the US and travels to Germany and Colombia, South America where they will record and premiere a trio written for them by renowned Colombian composer Juan Antonio.

Staunch proponents of music education, the Lincoln Trio has had residencies at the Music Institute of Chicago as well as San Francisco State University, University of Wisconsin Madison, and SUNY Fredonia.

Fifth House Ensemble

November 8, 2015

Melissa SnozaA passionate advocate for chamber music, Melissa Snoza (flute) is a founding member of Fifth House Ensemble. A dynamic educator and coach, Melissa currently teaches a music entrepreneurship course at DePaul University, and has served as professor of flute at Carthage College. As 5HE’s Executive Director, Melissa drives the organization’s entrepreneurship programs, having created workshops for New England Conservatory, the Colburn School, Indiana University, the Eastman School of Music, TEDx Michigan Ave, and the fresh inc festival on arts entrepreneurship and creative programming. Her writing has been featured on the Entrepreneur the Arts blog and Huffington Post.

Having held positions with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Peninsula Music Festival, Melissa’s performance activities have spanned South America, Europe, Russia and Japan. Previous award credits include First Prize at the National Flute Association’s Orchestral Audition Competition.  Melissa is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, with principal teachers including Bonita Boyd and Walfrid Kujala. Melissa is not only a well-known flutist and educator – she also makes a mean spread of Brazilian food and a mouth-watering chocolate pecan bourbon pie.

HERINE COETZEE KOSCHAKCellist Herine Coetzee (cello), 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.

Katherine Petersen (piano) [Bio TBA]

Fifth House EnsembleThe 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.

 Musicians from Midwest Young Artists

March 13, 2016, 7:30 PM

The history of Midwest Young Artists (MYA) is a story of a compelling mission, dedication and hard work. The organization was established in 1993 by parents who wanted Dr. Allan Dennis to create an orchestra for their children. Fifty five students showed up for the first rehearsal and were divided into a Junior and Senior Orchestra. A number of the older, more advanced students played in the Senior Orchestras and mentored in the Junior Orchestra, thereby establishing a tradition of cultivating leadership that continues as a core MYA principle today. Initially renting space at the Lake Forest Country Day School, MYA is now housed in the beautifully transformed Old Stockade Building at Fort Sheridan and has grown into the premier music ensemble program in the nation. MYA graduates are accepted into the most selective conservatories, universities and colleges in the country.

MYA reaches over 1,000 students from more than 74 cities in the metropolitan Chicago area, with students ranging in age from 2nd through 12th grades. Featuring 9 youth orchestras, more than 60 chamber music ensembles, 4 choral ensembles, 4 jazz big bands, numerous jazz combos, music history, theory and composition classes, MYA strives to provide the highest quality music experience for young musicians nationwide. In 2011, Early Childhood Development classes were added to introduce toddlers and their families to the joys of music and movement. The focus on family is another of MYA’s core principles.

However, at MYA it’s more than just the music. MYA makes a difference in the lives of its students, their families and their communities by encouraging camaraderie, respect and hard work as well as dedication to the pursuit of excellence. MYA is a place where students are able to grow, using music, in a socially supportive, educationally nurturing, socially responsible and organizationally secure environment.

For more details about Midwest Young Artists, please visit their website.

The Newberry Consort

April 17, 2016

Beguiling and intelligent, provocative and classic, ravishingly beautiful and deliciously edgy-The Newberry Consort has been delighting audiences for nearly three decades. Directed by David Douglass, Newberry Musician-in- Residence, and early music diva Ellen Hargis, the ensemble plumbs the Newberry Library’s vast music collection and assembles a star-studded roster of local and international artists to bring world-class performances of music from the 13th to the 18th centuries to its audiences in Chicago and on tour around the world. Affiliated with the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, the Consort also serves as an ensemble-in-residence at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. In addition to an annual concert series in Chicago, the Consort has an active touring schedule.

DavidDouglassDavid Douglass is a founding member of The Newberry Consort, and took  the position of Musician-in-Residence at the Newberry Library and director of The Newberry Consort in 2007. A performer on Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque bowed-string instruments, his playing has been praised by The New York Times for its “eloquence” and “expressive virtuosity”.  Through his groundbreaking work in the field of the early violin he was the first to developed a historical technique which produces “a distinctively ‘Renaissance’ sound and style for the violin” (Fanfare).  This particular exploration culminated in his founding of the ensemble, The King’s Noyse, a Renaissance violin band.  As director of The King’s Noyse, and through his recreation of the improvisational repertory of the early violin band, he has received praise for his “enterprise and imagination” (Stereophile). He is also in demand as a freelance performer, record producer, writer, and lecturer on historical performance practice.

Ellen HargisNewberry Consort co-director and soprano Ellen Hargis is one of America’s premier early music singers, specializing in repertoire ranging from ballads to opera and oratorio. She has worked with many of the foremost period music conductors and ensembles, appearing at many of the world’s leading festivals. Her discography embraces repertoire from medieval to contemporary music, and includes two nominations for Grammy Awards for Best Opera. As a specialist in historical staging, Ms. Hargis has served as Assistant Director to Gilbert Blin at the Boston Early Music Festival since 2007, and for three seasons, was Stage Director in Residence for Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company.   Ms. Hargis co-directs the renowned Newberry Consort in Chicago, and directs Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque Vocal Programme.  She teaches voice at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, is a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music, and is Artist-in-Residence with the Newberry Consort at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

MetzCharles Metz studied piano at Penn State University, beginning his harpsichord studies through private lessons with the legendary Igor Kipnis. In the process of earning a Ph.D. in Historical Performance Practice at Washington University in Saint Louis, he studied with Trevor Pinnock. More recently, he has worked with Webb Wiggins and Lisa Crawford at the Oberlin Conservatory. A regular with the St. Louis Chamber Music Society, in 2013 Charles Metz was the featured keyboard soloist in Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto under conductor Nicholas McGegan. He has performed across the Chicago area in past seasons with Ars Antigua Chicago and appeared this season with that ensemble in several performances of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. In 2014, he appeared with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Newberry Consort in the Música Barroca Mexicana program. Mr. Metz’s list of performance credits includes international appearances in the Netherlands, Germany, and Costa Rica. In addition to his performing activity, he serves on the Board of Directors of Early Music America.