Ian Swensen, Violin
A native of New York, violinist Ian Swensen comes from a musically gifted family of Norwegian and Japanese-Hawaiian descent. He has lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years, teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Sacramento State University. He is a passionate pedagogue and his students have gone on to major positions in orchestras, teaching institutions and chamber groups around the world. Swensen also maintains an active schedule as soloist and chamber musician, appearing at Music@Menlo, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society and others. Recent projects include a series of recitals with pianist Jeffrey LaDeur, Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with members of the San Francisco Symphony and a series of Haydn trios with Kenneth Slowik on fortepiano. Over the years other engagements have included Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, Music from Marlboro, residencies at Tanglewood, Banff, Morningside Music Bridge in Calgary and travels to Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to teach and perform. He has performed with members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Emerson, Takács, Concord and Tokyo quartets, as well as Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Mark O'Connor and Yo-Yo Ma. Swensen studied at The Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay and the Eastman School of Music with Donald Weilerstein and members of the Cleveland Quartet. In addition, Mark Sokol of the Concord Quartet has had a profound impact on his musical growth. He is one of the few musicians to have been awarded the Walter W. Naumburg International Competition’s top prize for both solo violin and chamber music (as first violinist of the Meliora String Quartet). His recordings can be found on the Telarc and Deutsche Grammophon labels.
Petteri Iivonen, Violin
Hailed by Il Gazzettino as an artist with “flawless technique along with expressive interpretation,” Finnish violinist Petteri Iivonen has been praised for his “control and emotional sensitivity” and “colorful details and thoughtful phrasing” (Helsingin Sanomat).
Silver Medalist and Special Prize winner at the 10th International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in 2010, Mr. Iivonen holds the honor of becoming only the second Finnish violinist to win a medal in the history of the competition. He also remains the youngest winner of the quinquennial Kuopio National Violin Competition.
Highlights of Mr. Iivonen’s career include his appearances as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia in Belgium, New European Ensemble in Netherlands, as well as the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, performances in Hungary with the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra, in Italy with the Orchestra Sinfonica del Friuli Venezia Giulia, in Kazakhstan with the Zhambyl State Philharmonic, and with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. In addition, he performed with all of the major orchestras in Finland including the Helsinki and Turku Philharmonic Orchestras, Lahti and Oulu Symphony Orchestras, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Chamber Orchestra, and the Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Mr. Iivonen has also been heard in concerts at the Museé du Louvre in Paris, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Helsinki Music Centre, Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria in Spain, the Sibelius Hall in Finland, and the Kodaly Center in Hungary. He has worked with esteemed conductors such as Leif Segerstam, Sakari Oramo, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, John Storgards, Hannu Lintu, Giancarlo Guerrero and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, among others. In 2010, Mr. Iivonen performed the monumental Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto under the baton of Zubin Mehta at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Israel.
As a devoted chamber musician, Mr. Iivonen is a regular guest artist at several music festivals inclunding the Naantali and Turku Music Festivals. He has collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Nobuko Imai, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Michel Lethiec, Clive Greensmith, Atar Arad, Frans Helmerson, Michaela Martin, Regis Pasquier, Paul Neubauer, Martin Beaver, Ralf Gothoni, Ara Gregorian, along with the Michelangelo and Tokyo String Quartets. He is a founding member of the Sibelius Piano Trio.
Mr. Iivonen makes frequent appearances worldwide on NDR in Germany and RTBF in Belgium, Israeli Radio, YLE in Finland, as well as Classical 96.3 in Toronto and all across the United States including KUSC in California and WQXR in New York. Yarlung Records released his debut recordings in co-operation with Linn Records in 2009, featuring works by Bach, Brahms, Debussy, Franck, Ysaÿe and David Lefkowitz’s “Eli Eli” (2008) dedicated to Mr. Iivonen.
Born in Helsinki, Mr. Iivonen received his first violin studies at the age of four. At the age of 9, he entered the Sibelius Academy as the last student of Tuomas Haapanen. With additional guidance from Shlomo Mintz, Mr. Iivonen continued his studies with his friend and mentor, Hagai Shaham at the USC Thornton School of Music, the Tel Aviv University and Stony Brook University.
Mr. Iivonen plays a 1755 G. B. Guadagnini through the generosity of the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Hejin Kim, Violin
A native of Korea, Hejin Kim began violin studies at the age of four with her father Jong-Kun Kim. At age thirteen, she made her first public debut with the Seoul Royal Symphony which has been broadcasted by MBC. She was a full scholarship student in the Seattle Conservatory of Music during her high school years. Miss Kim served as a concertmistress of the Seattle Young Virtuosi Orchestra, assistant concertmistress of Texas Music Festival Orchestra and the Principal second in the Manhattan Philharmonia Orchestra. Hejin Kim has performed concerti with the Seattle Young Virtuosi Orchestra at Benaroya recital hall in Seattle and the Queens College Orchestra at Lefrak Hall in New York. She has featured on the Seattle’s Radio King FM ‘Live by George’.
As a soloist and chamber musician, she participated in various music festivals including Indiana String Festival, Texas Music Festival, Suzuki Music Festival in Japan, Courchevel Music Festival and Vienna Winter Music Festival in Austria. Hejin Kim has won numerous prizes and awards at competitions such as Korean Music Association Competitions, Seattle Young Artist Music Festival and Simon-Fiset Competition. She studied with Lucie Robert at the Manhattan School of Music, where she earned both bachelor and master of music degrees. Currently, Miss Kim is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Mujan Hosseinzadeh, Viola
Based in New York City, violist Mujan Hosseinzadeh is an active chamber musician, orchestra performer and soloist. She is the winner of various competitions in Italy and has performed throughout United States, Europe and Asia. Her expansive musical interests range from early music to contemporary compositions. She has worked closely with composers like: Richard Danielpour, Mark Applebaum, Cindy Cox, Daniel Weymouth and Andrea Portera, premiering dozens of works.
As an orchestra, chamber music and solo performer, she has appeared in major concert halls in New York City, such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Symphony Space, W.M.P Concert Hall and Roulette. She has collaborated and toured with many Italian and American orchestras in Asia and Europe which brought her to the international venues such as Teatro alla Scala, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Arena di Verona, Teatro Verdi, Maggio Musical Fiorentino, Teatro Antico di Taormina, Galleria dell'Accademia, Colosseo, Teatro Romano di Fiesole as well as in Japan in some of the major halls such as ACROS Fukuoka, Sapporo Concert Hall, Orchard Hall and Biwako Hall.
Mujan has performed as a soloist with New York Symphonic Ensemble at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and with Orchestra da Camera di Genova in Laeiszhall (Germany) and has served as a principal viola with Orchestra dell'Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra and many other Italian orchestras. The greatest conductors and musician she has collaborated with include: Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti, David Gilbert, George Manahan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Boris Belkin, Leonidas Kavakos, members of the Emerson String Quartet and Trio di Trieste.
She has appeared in international festivals such as Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Accademia Musicale di Portogruaro, Virginia Arts festival and with Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, to name a few.
Mujan attended the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory where she received her BA and MA under Augusto Vismara. Further studies were undertaken with Danilo Rossi at Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland. Mujan has appeared in Master classes for eminent violists including Yuri Bashmet, Bruno Giuranna and Ettore Causa. She moved to New York City in 2011 to continue her studies at Manhattan School of Music and currently she is a Doctoral Candidate at Stony Brook University.
Passionately committed to music education, Mujan maintains a teaching studio in New York City and currently is a faculty at the Dwight Conservatory of Music and a teaching assistant at the Stony Brook University.
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On You Lee, Viola
Violist On You Lee has collaborated with world-renowned artist such as Menahem Pressler, Ana Chumachenco, Ani Kavafian, Ronald Leonard, Antonio Lysy, Ettore Causa, Jonathan Spitz, Alan Stepansky and Paul Coletti. Lee has started her music studies on the violin in Seoul Korea at the age of six. As a violinist On You Lee has graduated from Seoul National University where she completed her Bachelor’s in violin performance. Lee was a laureate in numerous competitions in Korea which lead to solo recitals and appearances with many orchestras in Seoul. Lee switched to Viola and started her studies with Hung Wei Huang, principal violist of Seoul Philharmonic, in 2008.
She studied with Paul Coletti at The Colburn School where she completed her Artist Diploma in 2010 and she has graduated from Yale School of Music for her Master of Music degree under the guidance of Ettore Causa in 2012. As an orchestral musician, Lee has participated in the Orchestra Academy at the Toho School in Japan and was a former member of the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Substitute of Philadelphia Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, Principal of Colbun School Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia and Rutgers Symphony Orchestra.
She has participated in festivals such as Sarasota Music Festival, Music @ Menlo, Rencontres Musicales Camerara Lysy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Lee is currently pursuing her Doctor of music arts at Rutgers University under the guidance of Choong-Jin Chang , principal violist of Philadelphia orchestra, from fall of 2012.
So Sugiyama, Cello
Cellist So Sugiyama began his musical studies at the age of three and enrolled at the Colburn School shortly thereafter. In 2012, So graduated from Columbia University as a John Jay National Scholar with a B.A. in philosophy, while concurrently studying cello with George Neikrug in Boston.
As a member of the Emanio Quartet, So held a quartet residency at the Banff Centre in the summer of 2016 as a Finch Fellow, and was invited by the Yale School of Music to perform at the opening concert of the 2015 Symposium on Music in Schools. The Emanio Quartet was also selected for Philip Setzer's inaugural String Quartet Intensive and a quartet residency at the New Music for Strings Festival in Aarhus, Denmark.
Other recent engagements have included the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he was awarded the TSAI Orchestral String Mentor-Fellowship serving as Principal Cellist of the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra while studying under Richard Aaron and Brinton Smith. So was also invited to the Britten-Pears Orchestra in Aldeburgh, England under the baton of Semyon Bychkov, where he participated in Maestro Bychkov's Tchaikovsky Project.
So completed his M.M. at Stony Brook University as a student of Colin Carr, and he is currently continuing as a full-scholarship doctoral candidate. So studies chamber music with the Emerson String Quartet and has served as their teaching assistant for the past two years.
So plays on a contemporary cello made by Joseph Grubaugh and Sigrun Seifert and a German bow by H.R. Pfretzschner, both generously loaned by the Virtu Foundation.