Artistic Director, Daniel Suk
Nicolas Brownlee, Bass baritone
The first prize winner of the 2016 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, the Zarzuela prize at Operalia 2016, and 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee enters his final season as a Domingo-Coblurn-Stein Young Artist at Los Angeles Opera.
In the 2016 – 2017 season, Nicholas Brownlee will make his Metropolitan Opera debut as the First Soldier in Salome conducted by Johannes Debus and returns to Los Angeles Opera for productions of Tosca and Salome. He will debut at Teatro de São Carlos in Lisbon as Escamillo in . . . Calixto Bieto’s production of Carmen. He sings Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Recent role debuts at Los Angeles Opera include Sprecher in Die Zauberöte, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Captain Gardiner in Moby-Dick, all conducted by James Conlon in the 2015-2016 season. He also sang Colline in La bohème conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at LA Opera, as well as debuted at Atlanta Opera in the same role. With the LA Philharmonic, he was seen as the Doctor in Pelléas et Melisande with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting.
Recently, Mr. Brownlee made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut under Gustavo Dudamel in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and returned for performances of a new multimedia staging by Netia Jones of Chin’s Alice in Wonderland under Susanna Mälkki, which traveled to the Barbican in London with the BBC Symphony. As part of the LA Opera Young Artist Program, he covered Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro under James Conlon and Bluebeard in Barrie Kosky’s production of Bluebeard’s Castle. In the summer of 2015, he returned to Santa Fe Opera to sing the 1st Soldier in Salome, as well as cover Monterone in Rigoletto, Sulpice in La fille du régiment, and Stobrod/Blind in the world premiere of Cold Mountain. Mr. Brownlee spent the summer of 2014 as an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera, where he made his debut as Don Fernando in a new Stephen Wadsworth production of Fidelio under the baton of Harry Bicket.
Mr. Brownlee received his Master of Music degree from Rice University where he studied with Dr. Stephen King. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of South Alabama. His operatic roles include Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro and the King in Ariodante at Rice University, Doctor Grenvil in La traviata with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the title role in Gianni Schicchi with South Alabama Opera Theater, and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. He was part of the inaugural Young Artist Vocal Academy with Houston Grand Opera; in addition he spent a summer in Beijing with I Sing Beijing. In 2011, he was a national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the 2014 winner of the Palm Springs Vocal Competition, as well as the 2016 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Sara Tucker Study Grant.
Angel Blue, Soprano
Recognised for her beautiful timbre, soprano Angel Blue's voice has been hailed for its shining, agile upper register and "smoky" middle register. A nominee in the 2015 Opera Awards, Angel is quickly establishing herself as one of the best singers in her generation, having performed in over 30 countries in the last 5 years.
Highlights of Angel's 2014-15 season include a role debut as Tosca with Opera San Jose, as well as engagements with the Leipzig Gewandausorchester, the English National Opera, the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, performances throughout the season with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and a performance at the 2015 AIDS Gala in Berlin with the Deutsche Oper and Donald Runnicles. In addition to these Angel will also make numerous appearances as the special guest of Placido Domingo, and has performed with Alfie Boe for a Last Night of the Proms concert to coincide with Armed Forces Day. Angel also made her Royal Albert Hall debut this season as a featured guest at the "Classic FM Live" concert in April 2015. Television appearances this season include "BBC Songs of Praise" and BBC Breakfast. In 2014 she was the subject of Melvyn Bragg's "South Bank Show: Angel Blue", and in addition, was a guest judge for the "Choir of the Year Competition". She also released her first solo album "Joy Alone" with Opus Arte which reached the highest ever chart position for any Opus Arte release to date.
Successes of previous seasons have included performances as Musetta in La Boheme with the English National Opera, American Lulu (Lulu) at the Bregenz and Edinburgh Festivals and the Young Vic, London with the Opera Group and Scottish Opera, the Rape of Lucretia and Tales of Hoffman at the Theatre an der Wien, a recital with the Rosenblatt Recital Series at Wigmore Hall, performing with the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle and the Verdi Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony under the baton of the late Raphael Frübeck de Burgos.
Ms Blue was a finalist in Operalia 2009, receiving 1st place in the Zarzuela competition, and 2nd place in the Opera competition. Angel was then honoured to be a part of the 17th Annual Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland in July 2010. Angel received a Masters of Music degree in Opera Performance from UCLA, a Bachelors of Music from the University of Redlands, and is alumni to the prestigious Los Angeles County High school for the Arts. She is also a graduate of the Palau de les Arts Young Artist Program in Valencia, Spain and the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, University of Montreal in Montreal, Canada.
Her talent and versatility as an artist has allowed her to not only perform in opera, but also in the contemporary world and she has shared the stage with artists such as Brian McKnight, the late Donna Summer, Ruben Studdard, Charice, Chaka Khan, Jewel, and Grammy Award winning "Hit-man" David Foster.
XIKA YUANG, Violinist
Recognized for her virtuosic technique and superb artistry, violinist Xika Huang has performed on four continents in major concert venues. She currently serves on the violin faculty at Azusa Pacific and is the concertmaster for the APU Symphony Orchestra.
Since her solo debut at age seven, Huang has performed with members of the New York Philharmonic under the leadership of Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. She has performed as the soloist with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Fujian Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, OCSA Orchestra, L.A. Dream Orchestra, The Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, and more. Additionally, Huang has served as concertmaster of the USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra, the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, the Shanghai Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, and the L.A. Dream Orchestra. In her 10 years of teaching, she has held more than 10 master classes at universities in China and the United States. Huang’s goal is to share the beautiful musical fabric that she creates with audiences throughout the world.
IN MO YANG, Violinist
Korean violinist In Mo Yang, First Prize Winner of the 2014 Concert Artists Guild Competition, has been hailed by the Boston Globe for his “…seamless technique and a tender warmth of tone,” combined with “…an ability to project an engaging sense of inner sincerity through his playing.” In March 2015, he won the 54th International Violin Competition “Premio Paganini” in Genoa, Italy, marking the first time since 2006 that the Paganini Competition jury has awarded the First Prize. He also garnered the following special prizes: Youngest finalist; Best performance of the contemporary original piece; and Performance most appreciated by the audience, confirming The Violin Channel’s praise of In Mo as “one of the new generation’s most talented young string virtuosi.”
These impressive First Prize honors have resulted in numerous performance prizes for In Mo with prestigious orchestras and at renowned recital venues worldwide, including his recent Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall, a concerto engagement with the Danish National Symphony conducted by Fabio Luisi, and a special recital in Genoa using Paganini’s own Guarneri Del Gesu violin, among many others.
Concerto highlights of his 2016-17 concert season include European engagements with Philharmonia Zurich and the Baden Baden Philharmionic (Germany), and in the US with the Fairfax Symphony, Gulf Coast (MS) Symphony and the DuPage (IL) Symphony. Back home in Boston, In Mo opens the season for The Bach, Beethoven & Brahms Society (formerly the Boston Classical Orchestra) and he also makes his Symphony Hall debut with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Benjamin Zander,
Featured North American recitals in 2016-17 include New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Ravinia’s Gordon Hall series near Chicago, Toronto’s Mooredale Concerts and Florida’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. In Europe, he performs at the Dresden Music Festival and the Yehudi Menuhin Gstaad Festival, following other recent international recitals throughout Italy, as well as in China and Korea. As a chamber musician, In Mo will play at Caramoor in fall 2016 as part of their Rising Stars series, and he tours again in spring 2017 with ‘Chamber Music from Ravinia’ and Artistic Director Miriam Fried.
In Mo has performed as concerto soloist with the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Russian Symphony Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Boston Classical Orchestra, Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Central Aichi Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra and the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Festival appearances include Ravinia, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, Ishikawa Music Academy, Great Mountains International Music Festival, Japan-Korea Concert for Young Musicians, and Public Concert Academie de Music in Sion. Among his many earlier competition awards are Second Prize in the 2014 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition, and top honors at the 2013 Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition and the 2012 Joachim International Violin Competition.
Born in Asia to a Korean family in 1995, In Mo Yang gave his debut recital at age 11 on the Ewon Prodigy Series in Seoul, followed by his concerto debut at age 15 with the KBS Symphony Orchestra. He graduated from the Korean National Institute for the Gifted in Arts in February 2011 and was then admitted into the Korean National University of Arts as a prodigy in music. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at New England Conservatory, where he studies with Miriam Fried as a recipient of the Laurence Lesser Presidential Scholarship.
In Mo plays on an Antonio Stradivari violin (composite c.1705/1718), courtesy of an anonymous donor, with a loan generously arranged by Reuning & Sons, Boston.
RAY USHIKUBO, Pianist and Violinist
Exhibiting an innate musicality well beyond his years, fifteen-year-old Japanese-American pianist Ray Ushikubo has already performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, and on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Since his solo orchestral debut at age 10 with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra at Los Angeles’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ray has appeared with world-renowned pianist Lang Lang at Orange County’s Segerstrom Concert Hall, and with pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. A recipient of the prestigious Davidson Fellow Laureate Award in 2014, Ray won the 2016 Piano Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
During the 2016–2017 season, Ray makes his debut with the Pasadena Symphony and the Modesto Symphony Orchestra performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with conductor David Lockington. He also performs the Grieg Piano Concerto with The Dream Orchestra at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Additionally, this season Ray will be featured as a Performance Today Young Artist in Residence, with national radio broadcasts airing in spring 2017.
Recent engagements include performances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles-based ensemble MUSE/IQUE, the Asia America Youth Symphony; with conductors Jeffrey Kahane, Laura Jackson, David Benoit and Rachel Worby. At age 13, he performed and conducted from the keyboard Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052, with the Academy Virtuosi at the Colburn School. More recently, Ray has given solo recitals at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and at the Colburn School. He has also been a featured guest artist on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes It Great? series at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, on San Diego’s Mainly Mozart’s series Mozart & the Mind, and at the Griffith Observatory as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Immortal Beloved celebration, where he performed Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
Also an accomplished violinist, Ray loves to perform for people and has done so in a variety of settings. In August 2015 he made a special appearance as piano and violin soloist in a concert presented by Grand Performances in Los Angeles. The program featured Ray performing traditional classical works alongside jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez and electronic musician Daedalus, who “remixed’” improvised versions of the classical works, crossing the genres of classical, electronic music, and jazz. Ray also joined both artists in an improvisatory encore. He has performed as violin soloist at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2014 Gala celebration, “StradFest,” and with the New West Symphony as part of their Symphonic Adventures Program. Ray performed as piano soloist at the Los Angeles Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) for a peace ceremony honoring Hiroshima atomic bomb victims.
A 2014 Davidson Fellow Laureate, Ray was awarded $50,000 by the Davidson Institute for his music project “Circle of Life in Music.” Other awards include first prize at the first Steinway Concerto Competition at the 2015 Colburn Music Academy Piano Festival, the Young Artists Piano Prize at the 2013 Mondavi Young Artists Competition, the 2012 Steinway Prize for the best performance of a Beethoven Sonata, and first prize at the 2010 International Russian Music Piano Competition. Ray was a Gold Prize winner in the 2009 AADGT International Music Competition for piano and violin, leading to his Carnegie Hall debut.
Ray has been featured several times on the nationally syndicated radio program From the Top, and was named one of their Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists. Ray has also been a featured speaker at TEDx Redmond.RAY USHIKUBO, Violinist
“From his first entrance onward, Yang was an arresting performer: now sweet, now excitable, now chaste, now florid, and always, everywhere, in command.”
-The Boston Globe
“In Mo Yang gave a thrilling performance…”
Ye-Eun Choi, Violinist
Defined by a very unique sound, rich with vibrant timbres, composed of both highly sensitive nuance-shaping as well as dynamic enthusiasm – a combination that is not easily found – Ye-Eun Choi is distinctive both as a soloist as well as a chamber musician. Her colourful, very expressive playing, her lyricism and impressive virtuosity has often been acclaimed by the international press.
Anne-Sophie Mutter raised attention to the exceptional talent and maturity of the South Korean violinist by making her a member of her foundation at the age of only 16 in 2005. In an interview Mutter said “She is a musician who looks to express herself in her own individual way; who has a distinguished, recognizable sound and commands an excellent, instinctive feel for the music. This is precisely what is naturally required from a soloist: someone who does not just perform a piece, but makes it her own. She ranks among the most talented of violinists”.
Highlights of the season 2016-17 include tours with the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover to South Korea under Andrew Manze and with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in the Netherlands and Italy with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as well as her debuts with the Bamberg Symphony under Christoph Eschenbach and with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Trier in Germany. Ye-Eun Choi is invited to perform at the anniversary concert of the Verbier Festival at Schloss Elmau. She will repeatedly go on tour with Mutter’s Virtuosi, and continue to work closely with Anne-Sophie Mutter.Read more
In the season 2015-16 Ye-Eun Choi played Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major K. 219 with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo under Manfred Honeck, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61 with the Munich Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kevin John Edusei, and toured with Anne-Sophie Mutter and other scholarship recipients of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation throughout North America, UK, and Europe performing in cities such as Luxembourg, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Madrid, Paris, Munich, Wiesbaden among others. Furthermore, she had several recitals in Germany and North America.
In 2009 she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert, and in March 2015 a highly successful debut with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. Other highlights of the last seasons include her debut with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSB) at the Philharmonie in Berlin, her debut with the Hamburg Philharmonic and with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, as well as her recital debut at the Kennedy Center with Christoph Eschenbach on the piano. She also performed with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Fedoseyev at Tonhalle Zurich.
Ye-Eun Choi collaborated with orchestras such as Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.
She regularly works together with renowned conductors such as André Previn, Alan Gilbert, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Charles Dutoit, Michael Francis, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Yuri Bashmet, Christian Vasquez among others.
Furthermore Ye-Eun Choi frequently appears at a myriad of important festivals, such as Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Verbier Festival, Recontres Musicales d’Évian, La Folle Journée, etc.
In 2007 she was selected as ‘Rising Star’ by the League of American Orchestras. In 2013, she was recipient of the ‘Young Artist’ European Cultural Award. Last year Ye-Eun Choi was featured in the German TV show ‘Stars von Morgen’ (Stars of Tomorrow), which is moderated and initiated by Rolando Villazón.
In 2013 Ye-Eun Choi’s debut CD was released by Deutsche Grammophon with sonatas by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Prokofiev.
ALEXANDRA CONUNOVA, Violinist
Alexandra Conunova attracted public and critical acclaim when she won First Prize at the Joseph Joachim Violin Competition in Hanover in the autumn 2012. She was praised by the jury for her vivid tone and her highly virtuoso dramatic art and Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that she "shows with what radiance of tone she is able to endow her music-making. Her interpretations of Bach’s baroque dances are sometimes austere and yet wonderfully cantabile, at other times truly dance-like or – as in the Bourrée – with a high degree of virtuosity".
Alexandra’s current season include concerts at the Collonge-Bellerive Festival, Festival International de Colmar, Festival de Pâques, La folle journée, Rencontres Muiscales d'Evian,Elba Isola Musicale d'Europa, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Schloss Elmau, Stars on Baikal and others. She will perform with Camerata Bern, the China Philharmonic orchestra, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra,the Irkutsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mariinski Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Russia, the Orchestre National du Capitole, the Orchestra I pomeriggi musicali, the Rundfunk Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Soloists. Alexandra will do her U.S. concert debut in January 2017 and a Japan tour is planed in July with the National Philharmonic of Russia under the baton of Yuri Simonov
Alexandra has won major prizes at competitions such as the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, the 2015 Singapore International Violin Competition, the 2011 George Enescu International Violin Competition as well as at Tibor Varga (2010), Ion Voicu (2009)and Henri Marteau (2008). Alexandra was awarded the Julius Bär Prize for the most accomplished artist of the Verbier Festival Academy 2013. In 2015 Alexandra received the honorific title "Master of Arts" of the Republic of Moldova. Alexandra got awarded the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship 2016
She has established herself as a soloist of a high level. She has performed with orchestras such as the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Berne, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Hungarian State Opera, Hermitage Orchestra St-Petersburg, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Soloists, Musikkollegium Winterthur, National Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Radio Philharmonic, Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, Saarbrücken Symphony Orchestra, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Wuhan Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with conductors including Christian Badea, Yury Bashmet, Teodor Currentzis, Misha Damev, Valery Gergiev, Hannu Lintu, Hubert Soudant, Andrew Matze, Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Simonov and Gabor Takacs-Nagy.
Alexandra is also a devoted chamber musician. She regularly collaborates with artists such as Nicolas Altstaedt, Lera Auerbach, Boris Brovtsyn, Gérard Caussé, Renaud Capuçon, Finghin Collins, Blythe Teh Engstroem, Ilya Gringlots, David Kadouch, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Yura Lee, Michail Lifits, Alexander Melnikov, Paul Meyer, Edgar Moreau, Gordan Nikolic, Andreas Ottensamer, Anne Queffélec, Julien Quentin, Alexei Stadler,Christian Tetzlaff, Kirill Troussov, Istvan Vardai, Pretty Yende, Tabea Zimmermann and others.
Alexandra was born in 1988 in the Republic of Moldova and took up the violin at the age of six. She studied with Professor Petru Munteanu at the University of Music in Rostock, with Professor Krzysztof Wegrzyn at the University of Music in Hannover and with Professor Renaud Capuçon at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne. She has received taken additional classes with Ivry Gitlis , Igor Oistrakh, Igor Ozim and others. She currently plays the Santo-Seraphin Violin, dated 1735, Venezia, kindly loaned by the "Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben".