15 concerts of Latin American chamber music across Southern California.
15 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. Lars has established himself as a leading expert on the cello repertoire of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and 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, already in its sixth year. Lars also actively promotes contemporary Brazilian music, premiering many works for cello and chamber ensemble by composers Liduino Pitombeira, Joao Guilherme Ripper, 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. Notably Lars gave the South American premiere of Korngold’s Cello Concerto 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. Lars is also active as a researcher, publishing papers on the cello repertoire of Villa-Lobos including a feature article in The Strad magazine about the history of the cello ensemble.
Pianist Aline Alves earned a doctorate in musicology from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP), a masters in piano performance from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) and a bachelors in piano from the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU), where she served as pianist for the UFU Percussion Ensemble from 2007-09. Her piano mentors and professors have included Araceli Chacon, Mônica Hassan e Maurícy Martin. Recent performances included online concerts for the Villa-Lobos Museum, the Brazilian National Association of Music Research (ANPPOM), the Brazilian Association of Musical Performance (ABRAPEM), and the Villa-Lobos Symposium at Sao Paulo University. In addition to performing, she maintains intense activity as piano professor for her private studio as well as the Centro Suzuki de Campinas. She recently served as substitute professor of piano for 3 semesters at the Universidade Estadual Paulista. These concerts mark Ms. Alves’ North American debut.
Rose’s music journey began at the age of 6 when she started playing the piano and picked up the oboe as her secondary instrument 3 years later. After winning numerous solo piano awards as a teenager and making her solo debut at the National Concert Hall in her native Taiwan, Rose came to the United States in 1997. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and Masters Degree at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2010 she completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts with full-scholarship at the prestigious USC Thornton School of Music. She was awarded the Outstanding Graduate in the USC doctoral program.
Rose has performed as a soloist and chamber player in Canada, Austria, Brazil, France, Israel, Hong Kong, and China. Within the United States Rose was an artist-faculty at several music festivals held in Alaska, Texas, and California. In addition to her lifelong interest in western classical music, Rose’s eclectic taste in music encompasses a variety of styles and genres. Her recent projects include composing and recording music for a short film called Tasting Wednesday, the world premier of Suite Adeline for solo piano by techno pioneer Bruce Haack (1931-1988), recording an album (with cellist Dr. Lars Hoefs) dedicated entirely to the piano-cello works by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, producing annual concerts honoring Black History Month, and numerous choral arrangements of Taiwanese popular/folk songs.
Rose is currently a music theory and piano faculty at Cypress College in Orange County and the pianist/music director at the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. Rose also enjoys singing and directs several choirs in San Gabriel area.
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.
Soprano Monica Pedrosa and guitarist Fernando Araújo, both natives of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, have been performing as a duo for over three decades and have built over that time a wide repertoire that ranges from Renaissance songs to contemporary music. Their Brazilian roots, nonetheless, has led them to concentrate their efforts as artists and researchers on the investigation and promotion of Brazilian classical music—a repertoire they consider fascinating for its sheer musical quality and inventiveness, apart from its wide range of styles, forms, and emotional content.
An important product of these interests is “Songs of the Land, Songs of the Sea”, a project that comprised the recording of a CD and publication of a music score book with a collection of 20 songs written by some of Brazil’s foremost composers, including the first publication of original songs and Fernando’s own transcriptions of pieces by, among others, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Marlos Nobre and César Guerra-Peixe.
Their latest album was released in April 2020 by the Sesc Label from São Paulo and is available on all major music streaming services. Entitled “Francisco Mignone: The Buenos Aires Manuscripts and Songs for Voice and Guitar”, it features works by one of Brazil’s most important composers of the 20th century, including a collection of guitar duets that had been lost for almost 50 years and was recently found in a library in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Performed by Fernando with guitarist Celso Faria).
Mônica and Fernando’s music education took part in Brazil and in the United States, where they received their Masters Degrees from Manhattan School of Music, New York. Ms. Pedrosa also studied singing in Italy and has a Doctorate in Comparative Literature from the College of Letters of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. Mr. Araújo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the School of Music of the same university.
Mônica Pedrosa and Fernando Araújo are professors at the School of Music of UFMG and are currently on a six-month sabbatical at UCR, where they are collaborating with Professor Paulo C. Chagas on a song cycle based on poems of Brazilian poet Adélia Prado.
Hailed as “a phenomenal, expressive oboist”, Taiwanese American, Dr. Rong-Huey Liu is one of Southern California’s most active oboists. She holds principal positions in the Long Beach Symphony, Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, and Riverside Philharmonic.
Dr. Liu is in high demand as a multi-faceted soloist. She was invited to present a solo recital at the First International Double Reed Society Virtual Conference. She has performed the oboe concertos of Bach, Corigliano, Daugherty, Ferrer Ferran, Handel, Kalliwoda, Lebrun, Marcello, Mozart, Walter Saul, and Óscar Navarro. Her performance on Saul’s "Kiev 2014: Rhapsody for Oboe and Orchestra" has garnered critical acclaim for "sublime playing and crisp performance, technically adept but filled with quiet perseverance and passion." In a last- minute step-in concerto appearance with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Dr. Liu was praised by critics for her “captivating performance". Her Lebrun Oboe Concerto performance with Long Beach Symphony earned review of “radiant tone easily filled the cavernous Terrace Theater, and she played with consummate grace and musicality. She put on an awesome technical display…"
A versatile chamber/recital artist, Dr. Liu has been invited to perform at Sundays’ Live, Grand Performance, Ojai Summer Music Festival, Bruman Chamber Music Summer Festival, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, Southwest Music Festival/International New Music Festival, Chamber Music Unbound Festival, and Classics at The Merc; and as faculty/performance artist at Cactus Pear Music Festival, Fresno Opera and Orchestra Summer Academy, International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, and Northeastern Pennsylvania Chamber Music Society. San Antonio critics wrote her performance of Mozart Quartet in the Cactus Pear Music Festival with "sweetness shaped by a sense of crisp articulation" and Daugherty’s “Firecracker” with "razzle dazzle piece...the audience was thrilled".
As a Hollywood recording studio musician, Dr. Liu has collaborated with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Josh Groban, Chris Botti, David Benoit, Ron Isley, Seth MacFarlane, Andrea Bocelli, Spinal Tap, The Who, and Weird Al. Her cinema credits include “Star War VIII”, “Lady Bird”, “Ferdinand”, “The Orville”, to name a few.
Dr. Liu has won first place in the Taiwan National Oboe Competition, and the Harvard Musical Association, as well as performance awards from the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwanese College Music Competition, Boston Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts, and Spotlight Awards from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.
Dr. Rong-Huey Liu holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California (with an award from Phi Beta Kappa and a membership in Pi Kappa Lambda). She is the oboe professor at California State University Fullerton School of Music, La Sierra University and Riverside City College.
Beth is the Executive Director of Camarada. Ms. Ross-Buckley is an advocate of chamber music and has produced groundbreaking chamber music events throughout San Diego combining great music, cuisine and art. An original founder of Camarada, for 27 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. Beth was Principal flute of the former San Diego Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Nova for 25 years and performed with many Musical Theatre productions in Southern California. Ms. Ross-Buckley also has a portrait photography business, Beth Ross Buckley Photography.
Ms. Menezes works as a violist in the recording industry for TV and Film, as well as live performances. She has recorded for various music, television and film projects including The Lego Movie 2, Cheaper by the Dozen, Queens, League of Legends, Crazy Rich Asians, Bumblebee, Mulan, Largo, Creed, Just Mercy, Luminarias, Rent Live on Fox and many more. Artist collaborations include: Adele, Elton John, Eminem, Shawn Mendes, The Eagles, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Celeste, The Weeknd and many more. Her work has been featured on the Academy Awards, The Video Game Awards, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Ellen Show.
As a multidisciplinary performing musician and arts advocate Ms. Menezes work experiences involve collaborating with local and international organizations and initiatives to drive social change through the arts. As a creative change maker, she works in development to drive innovative strategies for engagement and connection, as well as consultation for teaching practices that impact the community through music. She is currently part of the El Camino College and Pierce College Adjunct Faculty, as well as the YOLA (Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles) program.
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.