Peninsula Music Festival’s Chamber Music Series, February Fest, returns to Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay. There will be a reception following each concert to meet the guest musicians.
The first concert will be on February 8 with Eric Olson (oboe), Ellen Caruso Olson (viola), and Sara Bong (piano). The second concert will be on February 15 with Susanna Self (flute) and Susan Wenckus (piano). The third and final concert will be on February 22 with the Stellio Trio consisting of Yoorhi Choi (violin), Andrew Byun (cello), and Hyejin Joo (piano).
General admission tickets are $25 each, or purchase of series subscription for $60. Students and children are $10. For reservations, please call 920-854-4060, visit the PMF office located in North Ephraim at the Shops of Green Gables, or www.musicfestival.com.
February Fest is sponsored by Rob Davis, Mike & Connie Glowacki, Gary & Andrea Nielsen, Chick & Sue Peterson, Door County Medical Center, and the PMF Sustaining Committee.
Eric Olson has held the position of principal oboe with the Jacksonville Symphony since 1986. Originally from Pennington, New Jersey, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with Ray Still. Other teachers include Louis Rosenblatt, Richard Killmer, and Grover Schiltz. Eric has served as guest principal oboe with the Baltimore Symphony, and has served as principal oboe with both the Colorado Music Festival and the Eastern Music Festival. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Colorado Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival, and many times with the Jacksonville Symphony, most recently performing the Vaughan Williams oboe concerto. He has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood, and Aspen Music Festivals. Since 2007 Eric has been principal oboe with the Peninsula Music Festival. Mr. Olson also enjoys teaching, and since 2012 has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Jacksonville University. In 2008 Eric and his wife, Jacksonville Symphony violist Ellen Caruso Olson, formed the San Marco Chamber Music Society (SMCMS), which performs five different chamber music programs free to the public in Northeast Florida, including an annual benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) which raised over $25,000. In June 2016 the SMCMS performed a series of concerts of all-American music including four performances on a tour of Oxford, England. One of the pieces featured on the tour was Bill Douglas’ Songs and Dances for oboe and string quartet, which he recorded in 2018 on Albany records. In June of 2019, he will play six concerts in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, with the San Marco Chamber Music Society.
Violist Ellen Olson is now in her 35th year with the Jacksonville Symphony. Originally from Long Island, New York, Ellen studied music at Hofstra University and Orchestral studies with the National Orchestral Association in New York City. Besides orchestral playing, Ellen runs and performs in the San Marco Chamber Music Society (SMCMS) with her husband, Eric Olson. SMCMS presents free chamber music concerts to the Jacksonville public, and recently performed in England and Germany, in addition to their series in Florida. Ellen is a frequent participant in the Peninsula Music Festival, where she enjoys the fresh climate and wonderful people in Door County.
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.
Susanna Self is an active chamber musician and orchestral flutist. She is Principal Flutist with the Peninsula Music Festival, and has had full-time positions 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 performed on the Pulitzer Contemporary Music Series in Saint Louis, the Glyndon Chamber Players in Baltimore, Chamber Music Amarillo, and was recently featured in FUMC’s Vespers Series. She has taught at Eastern New Mexico University and Maryville University, has been a guest instructor at West Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University, and performed recitals and masterclasses 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, a nonprofit chamber group that performs at senior centers, hospitals, libraries and children’s centers throughout the Lubbock area. She lives in Lubbock, Texas with her two dogs and her husband.
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 a 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. Before returning to Wisconsin, Susan was on the faculty at the State University of Music and Performing Arts-Stuttgart. She currently works as a freelance pianist in the Fox Valley area, and for students and faculty at Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI.
Recognized for her virtuosity, and distinctive musicality, Ms. Choi moved to the United States when she was invited to study with Dorothy Delay at The Juilliard School at the age of fifteen. She is an active soloist and chamber musician in the United States, 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 205, 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.