Signature Series

Signature Series

Bringing the finest musicians
to the Stocker Arts Center
Studio Theatre

Jeffrey Mumford, Curator


2014-2015 Signature Concert Series


Coming Next: 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 7:30pm

duo parnas

The Eva Hornyak Memorial Concert

duo parnas is the stunning collaboration of supremely musical sisters, violinist Madalyn Parnas and cellist Cicely Parnas. Their profound artistry speaks of their life-long partnership and performance career. Officially recognized in Carnegie Hall with a 1st prize win at the 2008 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, the duo soon earned rave reviews in The New York Times for their exciting and technically flawless performances. “… the duo parnas gave a stunning account of Martinu’s lively, sometimes prickly Duo for Violin and Cello. The intricate give-and-take between the cello and violin lines was perfectly balanced and suffused with … electricity and drama ...” Another review stated, “The duo parnas gave … an electrifying reading, couching it in a lush tone and executing its complex interplay with pinpoint precision." The release of two internationally acclaimed recordings further catalyzed the worldwide performance success of the duo, a success that serves as a testament to their undeniable sibling synergy on stage.

The duo parnas has toured as guest soloists with the French Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire under John Axelrod, performing a trilogy of Saint-Saëns’ works. In a six-concert tour of the Loire Valley, Madalyn performed the Violin Concerto No. 3, Cicely his Cello Concerto in A Minor, and together the beautiful duo concerto,La Muse et Le Poète. They performed numerous times as artists-in-residence at the 2013 El Paso Pro-Musica Festival, including performances as soloists with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and in many chamber music concerts. Previous appearances as duo soloists with orchestra include the New York String Alumni Orchestra under the baton of Jaime Laredo, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic conducted by Randall Fleisher, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra led by David Alan Miller.

In addition to performing chamber music in concerts and festivals across the globe as theduo parnas, Madalyn and Cicely have had the honor of collaborating with the great artist Peter Serkin. The Parnas/Serkin Trio concertized at The New School, People’s Symphony Concerts, Brattleboro Music Center, and twice at the Music Mountain Festival, including other venues. Theduo parnas has collaborated in chamber music performance with world-renowned artists Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson. Additionally, Madalyn and Cicely have had the distinct honor of working with the illustrious and award-winning composers Lera Auerbach, William Bolcom, Paul Moravec, and Charles Wuorinen on their string duo works. Pulitzer Prize recipient, Mr. Moravec has written a duo for them entitledParnas Duo.

Recording for Sheffield Lab, the duo parnas has released two CDs with a third available in July 2014. Parnas Double (2008) includes music by Handel-Halvorsen, Kodaly, Ravel, and Tcherepnin; Gare du Nord (2010) concentrates on music inspired by Parisian culture, featuring works by Martinu, Milhaud, Glière, Fennelly, and Honegger; and most recently, duo parnas NOW presents duos written by living composers Auerbach, Bolcom, Moravec, and Wuorinen, among others. Additionally, the duo performs onThe Other Side of Time (Albany Records, 2012). This collection of works by Brian Fennelly includes his duo concerto, Fantasia Concertante, written for and performed live by the duo parnas with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble directed by David Dzubay. Fantasia Concertante was also recorded with the Fauxharmonic Orchestra, an orchestra of digital instruments conducted by Paul Henry Smith.

Madalyn, 22, and Cicely, 20, hold Artist Diplomas from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where they studied with Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson. Madalyn also holds an undergraduate degree in Music Industry and French, and a Masters from London’s Royal Academy of Music, where she studied as a 2012 Marshall Scholar. Madalyn performs on a 1715 Allessandro Gagliano violin, and Cicely on a 1712 Giovanni Grancino cello. They are the granddaughters of the legendary cellist Leslie Parnas.

Studio Theatre - Free

Monday, March 2, 2015 at 7:30pm

Nicholas Underhill, Piano

Pianist/Composer Nicholas Underhill holds a Masters Degree in Piano from the New England Conservatory of Music.  His teachers include Konrad Wolff, Katja Andy, Edmund Battersby and Russell Sherman.

Well  known in Boston, New York City and Cleveland as a champion of new music for the piano, he has performed solo recitals  in Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.  He is currently the pianist for the Cleveland Chamber Collective and the No Exit Ensemble, which will begin an annual residency this year in Prague, Czeckoslavakia.  He has performed concertos with The Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Lakesdie Symphony and the San Jose Symphony Orchestra.

Underhill has received critical acclaim from Donald Rosenberg for his solo piano albumn, "Light and Sirius", as well as from Bernard Holland, for his Piano Trio #1.  His second Piano Trio was premiered in NY in June of 2008 by the Gramercy Trio on the Bargemusic series in Brooklyn, NY.  He currently teaches composition and other music courses at Cleveland State University.

Nicholas Underhill studied composition at Hampshire College, Amherst College, and  the New England Conservatory of Music.  His composition teachers include Pulitzer Prize winner Lewis Spratlan, William Thomas McKinley,  Donald Wheelock and James McElwaine, as well as consultations with Donald Erb, Margaret Brouwer, and Dennis Eberhard. He has been commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra,  the Gramercy Trio, the Ohio Music Teachers Association, The Fortnightly Musical Club, The Cleveland Flute Society, Cleveland Orchestra players Mary Kay Fink, Takako Masame, Lisa Boyko and Richard King, as well as harpist Jocelyn Chang, saxophonist Greg Banaszak, Soprano Elizabeth Stuart, and the Gramercy Trio and No Exit ensemble.

Studio Theatre - FREE

Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 7:30pm

Shelly Du, Harp

Shelly Du is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she is a student of internationally renowned artist Yolanda Kondonassis. Ms. Du has been a winner of the CIM Concerto Competition, the American Harp Society Anne Adams Awards National Competition, the Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competition, and was also a finalist of the American Music Teachers Association National Solo Competition. She has performed live on NPR’s From the Top, and was a recipient of the program’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Du currently serves as principal harpist of the Firelands Symphony, and has recently performed as guest principal harpist with CityMusic Cleveland, the Erie Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. Her summer festival credits include the Texas Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and National Repertory Orchestra, where she was also featured as a concerto soloist.

A native of China, Shelly Du grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she started harp lessons at the age of ten. She continued her studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating as co-Valedictorian with a Young Artist Award. Ms. Du holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Studio Theatre - Free

Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 7:30pm

Deborah Norin Kuehn, Soprano

Margarita Denenburg, piano

Since her 1994 New York debut, soprano Deborah Norin-Kuehn has dedicated her performance career to presenting contemporary vocal repertoire, premiering and interpreting works of our time, without neglecting the traditional fare. Regarding Norin-Kuehn’s UK premiere of Milton Babbitt’s Du, Phyllis Bryn Julson said, “She puts a little Schubert in her Babbitt, and vice versa.”

Norin-Kuehn has performed under the batons of Peter Bay, David Hayes, Aaron Jay Kernis, Oliver Knussen, and been featured throughout the US, Canada, England, France, Germany, and Italy with orchestras, ensembles and select artists including Ensemble 21, Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Singers, pianists Jeffrey Jacob, Margaret Kampmeier, Marilyn Nonken, and Thomas Rosenkranz, and her duo Vox Electroacoustica. She has performed the roles of Pamina, Musetta, Mrs. Gobineau, and Anna Gomez on the opera stage, has thrice been guest artist at the Eastman School of Music and at such venues and festivals as Composers, Inc., June in Buffalo, and the BGSU New Music Festival. Her discography features recordings on the Living Artists and SEAMUS labels.

A student of the late Todd Duncan - Gershwin’s original Porgy - at the Curtis Institute of Music (Artist Diploma), Norin-Kuehn holds vocal performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A., M.M.) and has studied and performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the Britten-Pears School, the Chautauqua Institute, and the Lake Placid Institute. Currently on the voice faculty of Heidelberg University, she resides in Sylvania, Ohio with her husband and their two children.

Studio Theatre - FREE

Monday, April 27, 2015 at 7:30pm

Brandon George, Flute

Brandon Patrick George has appeared as a solo flutist and chamber artist throughout France, Italy, North and South America. As a concerto soloist, recent appearances include the flute concerti of Mozart with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Institute, Jacques Ibert with conductor Brandon Keith Brown, among others. He has also transcribed and performed the violin concerti of Le Chevalier de Saint-George.

Brandon has performed as a recitalist at the Kennedy Center (DC), Cité de la Musique (Paris), Bargemusic (NYC), and has appeared at Carnegie Hall. As a chamber collaborator, Brandon has performed with the members of Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris, Eighth Blackbird, the New York Philharmonic, and has performed with the Jasper String Quartet. He has performed as guest flutist in the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and can be heard on the orchestra's recent recording of works by Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky. Known for the breadth and depth of his programming, Brandon has curated and hosted programs for WQXR, the classical music station of New York City, and WNYC. He can be heard on recordings on the Delos and Albany labels.

Brandon entered the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of Michel Debost, and later studied with Kathleen Chastain, earning the Bachelor of Music degree.  A Bonnie Lake Flute Scholar at Oberlin, and recipient of the Dean's Award, he studied abroad at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. He also holds the Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he was winner of the Concerto Competition.

Studio Theatre - Free


Sorry you missed this great event:

Monday, October 13, 2014 at 7:30pm - Jake & Sarah Sax Duo


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