Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay will again play host to Peninsula Music Festival’s Chamber Music Series “FEB FEST 2020” on February 8,15 and 22, 2020. Performances begin at 2:00 pm, run 60 to 70 minutes, and will be followed by a brief reception. Kicking off the Chamber Music Series on February 8th will be two esteemed members of the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, featuring Principal Oboe Eric Olson, and Violist Ellen Caruso Olson, both of whom will be joined by pianist Sara Bong in a stellar program featuring works by Watkins, Bach, White, Gershwin, Morris and Mozart.
Eric Olson has held the position of Principal Oboe with the Jacksonville Symphony since 1986, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University where he studied with Ray Still. He has served as Guest Principal Oboe with the Baltimore Symphony, Principal Oboe of the Colorado and Eastern Music Festivals, and made several appearances of note at the Marlboro, Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals. 2020 marks Mr. Olson’s 13th season as Principal Oboe of the Festival Orchestra at PMF.
Ellen Caruso Olson has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony’s viola section for 35 years. She studied music at Hofstra University and Orchestral Studies at the National Orchestral Association in New York City. In addition to her symphonic engagements in Jacksonville and Door County, she runs and performs in the San Marco Chamber Music Society (SMCMS) with her husband, oboist Eric Olson. SMCMS has performed throughout Florida, England and Germany.
Sara Bong has appeared as piano soloist, accompanist, and collaborative musician throughout the United States and overseas. She made her Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 16, performing by invitation alongside famed pianist Eugene List in a concert sponsored by Steinway. During her 29-year tenure in New York City, Sara gave multiple solo and chamber music performances that highlighted diverse compositions and artists, many of which included New York and world premieres.
The February 15 concert welcomes back the Festival Orchestra’s Principal Flutist Susanna Self, in a solo recital performed alongside pianist and collaborator Susan Wenckus. Repertoire to be featured includes works by Bach, Schumann, Griffes and Mozart. Susanna Self is an active orchestral and chamber musician who has held full-time posts as Principal Flute with the Charlotte Symphony, Acting Assistant Principal Flute and Second Flute with the Baltimore Symphony, and Acting Assistant Principal Flute with the Saint Louis Symphony. As a chamber musician, she has appeared on the Pulitzer Contemporary Music Series in Saint Louis, with the Glyndon Chamber Players in Baltimore, and with Chamber Music Amarillo in Texas. She has taught on Faculty at Eastern New Mexico University, Maryville University, was a guest instructor at West Texas A&M University, Texas Tech, and has performed recitals and master classes at New World Symphony, Drury University, University of Nevada-Reno, the Governor’s School of Tennessee and Hong Kong Baptist University. Together with her husband, cellist Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes, she founded and was Executive and Artistic Director of the chamber group Caerus Ensemble.
Susan Wenckus graduated from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, whereupon she moved to Stuttgart, Germany to pursue graduate studies in accompanying. During this period, she was an official accompanist for the renowned ARD Voice and Instrument Competition in Munich, and played for numerous master classes including those of Hermann Voss (Melos Quartet), and Flutist Aurele Nicolet. Innumerable recitals, Festival appearances and radio recordings have taken Susan throughout Europe, China and Japan. As pianist for the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, she has worked under major conductors including Sir George Solti, Pierre Boulez, Sir Neville Mariner, Andre Previn and Gustavo Dudamel.
The final concert of the three-week-long Series on February 22 will feature the Stellio Trio, with violinist Dr. Yoorhi Choi, a four-year member of the Festival Orchestra’s 1st Violin section); Cellist Andrew Byun, an undergraduate virtuoso who is pursuing degrees in Music and Philosophy at Northwestern University; and pianist Hyejin Joo, who opened PMF’s 2019
Symphony Series with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor. Dr. Yoorhi Choi, moved to the United States when she was invited to study with Dorothy Delay at The Juilliard School at the age of 15. She is an active soloist and chamber musician in the United States and South Korea and has taken top prizes at numerous competitions including the Kingsville International Competition, Korean Times Competition, and the Artists International Competition. The recipient of a full scholarship, Dr. Choi holds degrees from The Juilliard School, Yale University, and most recently received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Northwestern University. She has appeared in many of today’s most prestigious concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Center, Pick-Staiger, and the Seoul Arts Center.
Andrew Byun is a Canadian cellist studying with Hans Jorgen Jensen at Northwestern University. Byun has appeared in master classes with Jian Wang, Frans Helmerson, Laurence Lesser, Jerome Pernoo and Ida Kavafian, and has worked with members of the Borodin, Brentano, Shanghai, Borromeo, Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard, and Orion Quartets. He was the recipient of the Grand Prize at the Seoul Arts Concours in 2014, and in 2015 won First Prize at the Boston Trio Competition and the Gershwin International Music Competition. In 2018, Andrew was named a semi-finalist at the prestigious Stulberg International String Competition, and has performed around the world at venues including the Mozarteum Foundation’s Wiener Saal, Jordan Hall, and Weill Recital Hall. He has appeared at several music festivals including the Taos School of Music, the Mozarteum Summer Academy, the National Arts Centre’s Young Artist Program, and the Heifetz International Music Institute, where he appeared in concert with violinist Hagai Shaham.
Pianist Hyejin Joo came to the United States in 2011 to pursue her education, and was immediately granted the position of Associate Instructor upon entering Indiana University. She received her Performer’s Diploma and Master of Music degree with full scholarship under the tutelage of Arnaldo Cohen, and has appeared in concert at the Banff Centre in Canada, Palais Altenstein and Schloss Hallenburg in Germany, Chautauqua’s Fletcher Hall, and in recital at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Hyejin has been the recipient of many awards and honors from the Wideman International Competition, Chautauqua International Competition, Thaviu-Isaak Competition, and the Kumho Art Foundation Competition. She was selected to perform in a master class at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, was a prizewinner at the Plowman Chamber
Music Competition and a Semi-Finalist at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Most recently she performed at Benaroya Hall as a finalist in the Seattle International Piano Competition, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.
Make reservations by calling 920-854-4060. Seating is General Admission and names will be on a guest list at the door. The cost is $60 for the full three-concert Series; $25 per concert; and $10 per concert for Students and Children.