18 concerts of Latin American chamber music across Southern California.
18 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.
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.
Joon Sung Jun is an internationally acclaimed cellist, widely known for his musical integrity and world class artistry, who has given hundreds of concerts, with solo appearances in concertos by Bach, Beethoven, Bloch, Boccherini, Brahms, Dvořák, Elgar, Goltermann, Haydn, Prokoﬁev, Saint-Saëns, and Tchaikovsky. He has performed with various orchestras, including the Kazakhstan National Philharmonic, Uol San Symphony, Ma San Symphony, Pusan Symphony, Korean Philharmonic, InCheon Philharmonic, Catholic Boys Town, Symphonieta, and the Korean American Symphony, where he made his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut in 2007, and where he also performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto in July 2012, Brahms Double Concerto in July 2016.
He has collaborated in concertos, chamber music and orchestral symphonies with Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis, Joseph Silverstein and under the baton of luminaries Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Simon Rattle, Nan Sae Gum, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has given recitals and performed in chamber concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia; including collaborating with institutes like the Paris Conservatory, Mozarteum, the Kazakhstan National Music Conservatory as well as many others. He started his international competition winning career in 1996, with acclaimed performances at the Dong A International Competition, and the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, which brought immediate invitations to prestigious performing art centers along with recital and concerto concert tours. His live concerts have been broadcasted on television and radio stations, such as PBS, KCET, KBS, MBC, 91.5 FM KUSC, and his recordings have included collaborations with Barbra Streisand, Michael Buble, Neil Young, Korean singer Eun Mi Lee, as well as being featured in South Korean movies and television drama series.
As a professor, he has given master classes in the United States, Europe and Asia and has taught and lectured in chamber music ensemble and literature at such institutes like California State University of Los Angeles, California Institute of the Arts, Pusan University, Dong-I University, Kyung Sung University, Kook Min University and the Kazakhstan National Music Conservatory.
Jun’s cello students have won first prize in competitions such as, Edith Knox Young Artists’ Showcase competition, Marina Del Rey-Westchester Symphony Young Artist Competition, Brentwood Westwood Symphony Young Artist Competition, Torrance Symphony Concerto Competition, PSYO Concerto Competition, Music Teacher’s National Association Solo Competition, American String Teachers Association Solo Competition, Los Angeles Violoncello Society Competition, Kollaboration Classical Competition, South Coast Symphony Concerto Competitions, as well as numerous orchestra auditions. His students have been accepted to prestigious colleges as scholarship and full scholarship award recipients, such as The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, UCLA, USC, Yale University, and more.
In his homeland of South Korea, Jun has a contract to be a soloist and give master classes with the Prestige Youth Orchestras as their principal professor throughout the country, each year. He also teaches and performs in major festivals in Italy, France, Kazakhstan, New York, Beverly Hills, and Montecito where Jun was on the faculty with Ivry Gitlis, Aaron Rosen, Ida Haendel, Joseph Silverstein and Janos Starker. He is also a member of trio FUGU, which has received an invitation for a residency at the Vietnam National Music Conservatory to participate in the Chamber Music Side by Side project set for the spring of 2013 and 2014.
2018 summer, Jun has become the founder of Amici International music festival which was placed in UCSB in July and the festival is scheduled to be held every summer.
Jun has completed all of his studies and received his degrees at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Eleonore Schoenfeld, and has continued studying with Gerhard Mantel, Ronald Leonard, David Soyer, Lynn Harrell, as well as many other distinguished musicians.
Jun is the founder of Amici Concert Artists: a non-profit organization, a board member of Peninsula Symphony, recently got appointed as a board member of Los Angeles Violoncello Society, plays with Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and records movie sound tracks for Warner Brothers Motion Pictures, 20 Century Fox, Disney, Sony Pictures. He has been a faculty member of California State University of Long Beach since 2007.
Anita Protich is a soprano whose unique and agile voice has been heard in operatic, concert and recital appearances throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She is winner of the Los Angeles Phi Beta Theta Award, a Pasadena Opera Guild Winner and is a Metropolitan Opera Audition Regional Winner and National Finalist. Her list of masterclass teachers and mentors included Jess Thomas, Sir Richard Bonynge, Joan Dornemann, Mignon Dunn, Gundula Janowitz, Evelyn Lear, Sherrill Milnes, Martial Singher and Nico Castel.
Ms. Protich’s beautiful spinto voice has been heard in the heroine roles of operas such as Il Trovatore, Aida, Ballo in Maschera, Attila, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Die Walküre, and Tristan und Isolde. She was particularly honored to sing with Dame Joan Sutherland in Dame Joan’s final appearances as Bellini’s Norma with Opera Pacific and Michigan Opera Theatre. She also was privileged to sing the role of Sister Prejean in the American opera Dead Man Walking, a special performance led by the composer Jake Heggie at the keyboard. European and Asian audiences have been thrilled by her performances during her concert/operatic tours of Germany, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Ukraine, Croatia and Thailand.
Miss Protich has been featured with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, and as featured soloist with the Claremont, Mountainside, Pacific, Saddleback, and Orange Chorales. Her most recent performances of note were recitals for the Pacific Standard Time Project’s Émigrés and Experimentalists: Music in Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s presented by the J. Paul Getty Museum and LA Opera.
Residing in Los Angeles, Anita extends her range of vocalism to using her voice for film, and television. Her credits include the Warner Bros. film “Kangaroo Jack” and independent films “Distance” and “Dogs.” She has sung for commercials for Teac, Honda and Mazda and her voice can be heard in the animation series "Veggie Tales: Larry Boy The Cartoon Adventures" and for "Kid Notorious."
The Trio Sabiá is made up of three young Brazilian musicians: pianist Arthur Kaufmann, violinist Marina Gama, and cellist Amadeus Alcantara. The trio formed at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) in the chamber music class of Professor Lars Hoefs. Marina is active performing in orchestras in the Campinas area, Arthur recently graduated from UNICAMP and will pursue a degree in music composition at the Krakow Academy of Music in Poland, and Amadeus continues at UNICAMP as a PhD student in the mechanical engineering department.
The Unicamp Cello Quartet is an outgrowth of the Unicamp Cello Ensemble, which consists of Sao Paulo State University cello professor Lars Hoefs and his current and recently graduated cello students. Formed in 2013, the conductorless orchestra of cellos is led by Lars and specializes in the music of Villa-Lobos and Latin American composers. In just a few years they have established themselves as the most active and in-demand cello ensemble in Brazil, performing at the Rio International Cello Encounters, the International Winter Festival in Campos do Jordao, and the Sao Paulo Cultural Center, to name a few. They were featured in The Strad magazine (UK), and on Sao Paulo’s classical radio station, Cultura FM. In 2016, they recorded the album “Cellos Without Borders,” a CD of world premiere recordings including Lalo Schifrin’s Divertimento. Recent highlights include an appearance at the Festival de Musica Contemporanea Brasileira in Campinas, as well as performing the original version of Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5 at Sao Paulo University’s Simposio Villa-Lobos.
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.
David Chew was born in England and studied with William and Tony Pleeth at the Guildhall School of Music. He followed this with a postgraduate degree at the University of Hull where he specialised in Brazilian music. A member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for three years, he worked under some distinguished conductors including Pierre Boulez. He later spent a number of years with the BBC and the London Mozart Players in London before accepting the position of principal cello with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra in 1981.
Since his arrival in Brazil, David Chew has been one of the most active cellists in the country. A founding member of the Fluminense Federal University String Quartet, Duo Rio Strings and the Santa Ursula University Trio, he also founded the Brazil Consort and the Rio Strings Chamber Orchestra, and the Rio Cello Ensemble, which have toured and recorded extensively over the past few years. In 1995 David founded the Rio International cello Encounter and has been their director ever since. This annual event has gathered together a great number of international musicians to perform more than 50 concertos of chamber music and teach less well-off students.
He has won many international awards for his interpretation of Brazilian music, including being indicated for a GRAMMY and been made an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro for his work with the poor communities and contributions to culture.
In 2008 David Chew was appointed associate Professor of cello at the University of Northern Colorado. In 2010 he was awarded an OBE, received from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll at Buckingham Palace, for services to music in Brazil. In 2012 he was invited as a jury member of the Mravinsky competition in St Petersburg. In 2012 David was awarded Doctor Hon. Clausa by the University of Hull. In 2014 he was awarded the Carlos Gomez medal of merit for services to culture.
David Chew inaugurated a Post Graduate course in Chamber Music at The Brazilian Conservatoire of Music and continues to give lectures and masterclasses in South America, USA, Canada and Europe. As President of the GNO OMUSIC David continues working with local communities and hospitals in the State of Rio de Janeiro, bringing
Travis Maril is Studio Artist Teacher of Viola at San Diego State University, where he coordinates the String Division and serves as Co-Director of the SDSU String Academy for Pre-College Students. In the summers he teaches at the San Diego Summer Music Institute and has also taught at the Interharmony Music Festival (Italy).
A passionate chamber musician, Mr. Maril won a top prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and had performances broadcast on "Performance Today" with the Hyperion Quartet. He has performed with the Miró Quartet, concertmasters of the Cleveland Orchestra, LA Philharmonic and Rochester Philharmonic, principal players in the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Diego Symphonies, and members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Festival appearances include Ojai, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, and repeat appearances with the Mainly Mozart Festival and La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest.
Locally he appears often with Art of Elan, Camarada, the Danny Green Trio, and as a substitute with the San Diego Symphony. For several years he performed and recorded with local band The Tree Ring, whose debut album won a San Diego Music Award. In addition he has been an active performer of musical theatre at the Old Globe and Civic Theaters, performing on the original productions of "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder" and Steve Martin’s "Bright Star".
In the pop realm he has shared the stage with Christina Aguilera, Belle & Sebastian, and Idina Menzel. He has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the composer and songwriter Joel P. West and performed as solo violinist and violist for many of his scores, including the critically-acclaimed "Short Term 12," "I Am Not a Hipster," "Grandma," and episodes of "Chef’s Table" on Netflix.
As a soloist he has been a winner of the La Jolla Young Artist Competition and Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition, the latter win resulting in a performance of Walter Piston’s Viola Concerto with the Aspen Academy of Conducting Orchestra. He has toured Europe with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra and been awarded fellowships to the Aspen and Bowdoin Music Festivals, the Emerson String Quartet Workshop, the Banff Institute, New York String Seminar and Music Academy of the West.
Mr. Maril earned his B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Southern California’s Thorton School of Music, where he was a Trustee Scholar and selected as an Outstanding Graduate. He earned his M.M. from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. His principal viola teachers included Jeffrey Irvine, Ralph Fielding, Karen Ritscher, Brian Chen and Donald McInnes. His chamber music mentors include James Dunham, Norman Fischer and Peter Marsh with additional coachings and masterclasses with members of the Guarneri, Orion, Takacs, Ysaye and Juilliard Quartets.