13 concerts of Latin American chamber music across Southern California.
13 concerts of Latin American chamber music across Southern California.
American cellist Lars Hoefs, professor of cello and music history at Sao Paulo State University in Campinas, Brazil, performs and teaches in South America, the United States, and Europe. 2017 included concerts and courses in Chile, France, Poland (Paderewski Cultural Exchange Program), Germany (Neuburger Sommerakademie) and Spain (Scandinavian Cello School Camp), as well as solo appearances with Brazilian orchestras. He recently published a feature article in The Strad magazine about the history of the cello ensemble.
Lars has established himself as a leading expert on the cello repertoire of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and was the first cellist to perform together in one program the complete works for cello and orchestra by Villa-Lobos. Lars is artistic director of the annual Villa-Lobos International Chamber Music Festival in Southern California, the only festival dedicated to Latin American chamber music in the United States. Lars also actively promotes contemporary Brazilian music, premiering and recording works by composers Liduino Pitombeira, Joao Guilherme Ripper, Paulo Costa Lima, and Paulo C. Chagas among others.
As soloist in Brazil, in recent years Lars has performed concerti by Haydn, Schumann, Saint-Saens, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Villa-Lobos with orchestras throughout the country, including the Amazonas Filarmonica in Manaus and the youth orchestra NEOJIBA in Salvador. Notably Lars gave the South American premiere of Korngold’s Cello Concerto as well as performing the title role in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote with the Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal of Campinas. Lars is a frequent guest at the Rio International Cello Encounters and the Festival Virtuosi in Recife, and in 2009, Lars spent the year as co-principal cellist of the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro under conductor Roberto Minczuk.
Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, Lars earned his high school diploma at the North Carolina School of the Arts, a Bachelors from Northwestern University studying with Hans Jorgen Jensen, and both Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he studied with former Los Angeles Philharmonic principal cellist Ronald Leonard. At Sao Paulo State University in Campinas, Lars founded and leads the Unicamp Cello Ensemble, a conductorless cello orchestra consisting of his current and former cello students. The Unicamp Cello Ensemble has performed at Brazil’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls including the Campos do Jordao Winter Music Festival, the Rio International Cello Encounters, and the Sao Paulo Cultural Center to name a few. In 2016 they recorded a CD of world premiere recordings, featuring Lalo Schifrin’s Divertimento, and toured throughout the state of Sao Paulo. In 2017, Lars began music director of the Oficina de Cordas, a string orchestra in Campinas, and led the group on a tour to Germany culminating in a performance at the Gasteig in Munich.
Hailed by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” Filipino-American pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey and the USA, as a recitalist and concerto soloist. He played his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra, and his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999. In addition, he has worked with conductors including Sergio Esmilla, Enrique Batiz, Mei Ann Chen, Zeev Dorman, Arthur Weisberg, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, Leon Fleisher, Michael Stern, Jordan Tang, and Bobby McFerrin.
A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, James Dunham, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, Giora Schmidt, the Dover, Emerson, Serafin, Sao Paulo, and Vega String Quartets. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival, and the Garth Newel Summer Music Festival. He was also the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons. Festival appearances include the Amelia Island, Highland-Cashiers, Music in the Vineyards, and Santa Fe.
His recordings include the complete Sonatas of L. van Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, Sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff with cellist Joseph Johnson, the Rachmaninoff Sonata with the cellist Evan Drachman, and the Chopin and Grieg Sonatas, also with cellist Evan Drachman. He is featured in the award winning recording “Songs My Father Taught Me” with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and WFMT-Chicago. Mr. Asuncion is the Founder, and Artistic and Board Director of FilAm Music Foundation, a non-profit foundation that is dedicated to promoting Filipino classical musicians through scholarship, and performance.
He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 2007 from the University of Maryland at College Park under the tutelage of Rita Sloan. Victor Santiago Asuncion is a Steinway artist.
Bridget Dolkas, Principal Second Violin of the Pacific Symphony, enjoys life as an innovative musician of the 21st century. 2013 saw her first endeavor as co-writer and director of a ground-breaking and “frighteningly funny” mash-up music video, “Frite of Spring” (check it out on youtube!). Bridget performs with the newly formed chamber ensemble, Renga, which recently performed at the 2014 Ojai Festival. Also in 2014, Bridget performed in the inaugural season of the Villa-Lobos International Chamber Music Festival. As first violinist and founding member of the California Quartet, she co-founded the critically acclaimed Connections Chamber Music Series, of which Tim Mangan of the Orange County Register wrote, “a worthy series”. Bridget rocks out in the jazz-classical fusion band, the Peter Sprague Consort, an intriguing ensemble combining string quartet and jazz trio- and always a favorite at the Idyllwild Jazz Festival. Since the year 2000, Ms. Dolkas has performed with the California Quartet in Europe and the United States to great acclaim, and has performed world-wide since the age of ten. In recent years, she has performed as soloist with the Pacific Symphony, South Coast Chamber Orchestra, and Poway Symphony. As a chamber musician, she performs regularly on Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series, Café Ludwig, and has shared the stage with such greats as Mark O’Connor, Orli Shaham, Peter Sprague, and Paul Katz. Ms. Dolkas performed for eight years in the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera Orchestra. Studying chamber music under such masters as Joseph Silverstein, Kim Kashkashian, Fred Sherry, Toby Appel, as well as the Juilliard, Alexander, and Miro Quartets, has made a tremendous musical impact on Ms. Dolkas. As a student of Alice Schoenfeld, she earned her BM degree at the University of Southern California, where she was awarded Chamber Musician of the Year. Continuing her studies with Isaac Malkin, she completed an MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She neared completion of a DMA degree from UCLA, where she studied with Mark Kaplan. Ms. Dolkas performs on a cherished 1798 Lupot violin.
Dana Zimbric has been Artistic Director and conductor of the California Chamber Orchestra since 2010. She brings a fresh, creative approach to programming and bonds with audiences of all ages through her warm, friendly stage presence.
An accomplished clarinetist, Dana holds a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin. In addition to her work with the California Chamber Orchestra, she is also Music Director of San Diego’s Classics Philharmonic Orchestra, where she leads an ensemble of professional musicians performing educational programs for San Diego area students.
Dana’s past conducting experience includes positions with the San Diego Youth Symphony, Avanti Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Nova San Diego, and the University of Wisconsin Chamber and Symphony Orchestras.
Dana, her husband Mike, and daughters Elsa and Ivy make their home in San Diego.
Rose was the pianist of the highly accomplished piano trio, the Blue Rose Trio. The trio had captured top prizes in the Coleman, MTNA, and Peninsula chamber music competitions and concertized in Canada, Austria, Brazil, France, Israel, Hong Kong, and China. Within the United States Rose also maintains a steadfast performing and teaching career in Alaska, Texas, and throughout California.
In addition to her lifelong interest in Western classical music, Rose’s eclectic taste in music encompasses a variety of styles and genres, including jazz, folk, pop, and the music of Latin America. Rose’s recent projects include composing and recording music for a short film called Tasting Wednesday; the world premiere of Suite Adeline for solo piano by techno pioneer Bruce Haack (1931-1988); an album dedicated entirely to the piano-cello works by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos; and the premiere of her own arrangements of several Taiwanese folk/pop songs for piano, melodica, and choir.
Rose is currently a music faculty at Cypress College and Hyperium Conservatory. She is also the music director at the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester, Los Angeles. An advocate for Taiwanese contemporary music, Rose was appointed director and conductor of the Los Angeles Taiwan Chorus in 2010.
Karl Pasch is principal clarinetist with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, and is active as a chamber musician, conductor, and composer. He has performed concert tours with the Blue Rose Trio in California and Alaska, and was a featured guest artist at the Virtuosi Festival in Recife, Brazil.
After winning a Rasmussen Artist Grant, he toured in Brazil and released a live CD of South American chamber music.
Karl has conducted with the Anchorage Civic Orchestra, the Anchorage Ballet, the Anchorage Concert Chorus, and Anchorage Theatre Orchestra. He also performs with the Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet, and the gypsy jazz group the Hot Club of Nunaka.
Beth Ross Buckley, flute, is the Executive Director of Camarada. Ms. Ross-Buckley is an advocate of chamber music and dedicated to her craft. An original founder of Camarada, for 22 years Beth has been the driving force behind this ensemble and has added many new venues, compositions and musicians to its celebrated history.
Ms. Ross-Buckley received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from St. Olaf College and her Masters of Music from the University of Minnesota. Her teachers include Kay Sahlin, Julia Bogorad, Elaine Eagle, Damian Bursill-Hall, Frances Blaisdell and Timothy Day. Ms. Ross-Buckley has been a featured artist at the National Flute Association Convention and Music Teacher’s Association of California. She also performed as Principal flute of the former San Diego Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Nova for 25 years. Beth enjoys performing in local Broadway musical theater productions – including Wicked, Evita and Cinderella. Along with being the executive and artistic director for Camarada, Ms. Ross-Buckley also has a portrait photography business, Beth Ross Buckley Photography. Her other passions include family, friends, reading, and traveling.
Dana Burnett, piano, has been featured with the Eastern Philharmonic, North Carolina, Virginia and Nashville Symphony Orchestras. A former faculty member of UNC Chapel-Hill, Vanderbilt University and the University of Wisconsin, Ms. Burnett was awarded the Alban Berg Fellowship at the Schubert Institute-Austria, and received an Artist Diploma and accompanying prize. She earned her Masters of Music in Performance and Pedagogy from Vanderbilt University and did postgraduate work at Indiana University. For 13 seasons she was an artist teacher at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. Ms. Burnett has performed at Carnegie Hall; the Frick Collection, Pittsburgh, Dame Myra Hess Series, Chicago and Academy of Music, Philadelphia. She is currently a member of the MTAC State convention collaborative artist staff, and on the faculties of the Northern California flute camp and Cal State San Marcos. She has recorded for the Naxos and Arabesque labels and been featured on WHYY, Philadelphia “Fresh Air” and NPR.
David Buckley, violin, is an experienced chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player. He is currently Co-Concertmaster of the La Jolla Symphony with whom he has also been a featured soloist. He has also performed locally with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Buckley has been featured in all Camarada seasons and has special expertise in flute/violin repertoire. In addition to music, Dr. Buckley is president of Radiology Medical Group and has served as chief of radiology at Scripps Mercy Hospital. Dr. Buckley is a summa cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His MD is from the University of Minnesota where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. In San Diego he has been honored twice as a top doctor by the members of the San Diego County Medical Society. Dr. Buckley enjoys travel, golf and relaxing by the lake in his home state of Minnesota.
Peter Sprague was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised in Colorado until 1963, when his family moved to Del Mar, California. Inspired by his father's love of jazz, he took up the guitar when he was twelve. By the age of fifteen he was devoting all his time and energy to learning music.
Following a year's study at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Sprague studied privately and performed around the San Diego area until 1976. That year found him moving to Boston to study with many notable musicians including Pat Metheny, Madame Chaloff and Albin Czak (who taught Peter classical guitar). Peter returned to San Diego in 1978 and formed his ground breaking jazz group The Dance of the Universe Orchestra.
At the age of 20 Peter started recording his own albums on the Concord Jazz and Xanadu record labels. He has been a guest artist on many other records and performed and toured with Chick Corea, Hubert Laws, Dianne Reeves, David Benoit, Sergio Mendes and many others. On his debut with the Chick Corea band for a series of concerts at Disneyland noted Los Angeles Times jazz critic wrote in a review the following day "Peter Sprague is one of the emergent great guitarists." Peter also worked with Chick on the film score to the movie The Cat Chasers, starring actress Kelly McGillis.
From 1990 to 1993 Sprague taught music at both California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. He continues to teach every summer at the annual UCSD Jazz Camp in La Jolla, CA.
Peter was involved with the legendary record label GRP Records on a number of projects. He arranged Chick Corea's song "Spain" for the GRP All-Star Big Band record and video. This performance featured Randy Brecker, Lee Ritenour, Dave Weckl, Ernie Watts among many other jazz legends. Peter was featured on David Benoit's GRP releases Letter To Evan and Shaken, Not Stirred. Also on GRP Records, Sprague played on Eric Marienthal’s recording One Touch featuring Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Alex Acuna, and Ivan Lins.
Peter has been the recipient of many awards: His CD Blurring the Edges won the Best Contemporary Jazz Recording of 1994 from the San Diego Music Awards (SDMA); Best Jazz Musician of the Year in 2000 by the SDMA; The San Diego Reader voted Peter the Best Jazz Group for the 2002 Best Of issue; 2004 Best Jazz Artist of the year by the SDMA; In 2006 Peter was the Honored Musician at the Museum of Making Music’s Evening of Note; 2007 Best Jazz Artist of the year by the SDMA; In 2000 his CD Nikki's Rose was nominated for the Best Jazz CD by the SDMA; In 2003 his CD Pass The Drum was nominated for CD of the Year by the SDMA.
Peter has been the recipient of many grants and commissions, (San Diego Symphony, Chamber Music America etc.) and has published eleven music books (The Sprague Technique, Brazil Jazz Songbook, etc.)
Peter is also the chief organizer and transcriber for Chick Corea's music books published with Hal Leonard Publishing. Peter records at his own studio in Encinitas, Spragueland.