THE ALMAVA TRIO
Miki-Sophia Cloud, violin
Jia Kim, cello
Sookkyung Cho, piano
New York-based violinist, MIKI-SOPHIA CLOUD, enjoys a rich musical life as a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestra-leader, and innovative artistic director. As a soloist and recitalist, she has appeared at Boston Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center, on NPR, and on ORF, Austrian National Radio. Since 2009, Cloud has been a core member of the self-conducted chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, where her leadership as Concertmaster and soloist have been acclaimed by the New York Times and Boston Globe. Behind the scenes, she directs the ensemble’s community partnerships and educational programs. An active orchestra-leader, Cloud is also co-concertmaster of the Mozart Orchestra of New York. Passionate about chamber music, Cloud is a member of the Solera Quartet, New York Chamber Soloists, and first violinist and artistic director of the White Mountains Music festival, a six-week chamber music festival in Northern New Hampshire.
An acclaimed artistic director and creator of adventurous and insightful programming, Ms. Cloud's concerts have been hailed as "ingenious" by the Boston Globe. Dreams and Prayers, the first album she developed for A Far Cry was nominated for a 2015 Grammy award in Chamber Music, and the second, Law of Mosaics, was hailed by Alex Ross as one of the top ten albums of 2014 in The New Yorker. A graduate of Harvard College, and Yale School of Music, Ms. Cloud is currently a doctoral candidate at New England Conservatory.
Cellist JIA KIM began her cello studies at the age of ten in Korea, where she has won first place in the Korean Music Association Competition, the National Symphony Orchestra Competition of Korea and the Young Musician Foundation's National Debut Concerto Competition. Since then Ms.Kim has taken the stage in cities across the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia, appearing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Avery Fischer Hall, and Chicago Symphony Center's Orchestra Hall.
Ms. Kim is a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including the Jack Smith Memorial Award, Most Promising Young Talent at the 2005 Pasadena Showcase House, the Performing Arts Scholarship from the Cerritos Center of Arts Education, and a full scholarship to the Crossroads School in Santa Monica and the Colburn School of Performing Arts. A passionate chamber musician and educator, Ms.Kim was invited to do a Visiting Artist Residency at the University of Hawaii and the College of William and Mary. Currently she serves as faculty at the Brearley School and New York Youth Symphony's Chamber Music Program as well being a dedicated teacher to her private students in NYC. Recently Ms.Kim was appointed the new Artistic Director of the International Music Sessions which exists provide students from different backgrounds with platforms to accept, collaborate, and to develop life skills through music.
In 2003, her life changed forever at the Perlman Music Program and is evermore grateful to her mentors and teachers Ronald Leonard, Itzhak&Toby Perlman, and to Joel Krosnick, whom she studied with at the Juilliard School for a Bachelor and Master Degree in Music.
Noted for her “sensitive and imaginative” (New York Concert Review) playing, Korean-born pianist SOOKKYUNG CHO has been captivating worldwide audiences with her personal, thoughtful expressionist style. Recently accepting a position as Assistant Professor of Piano-Artist Performer at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, she is also a founding member of the New York-based Almava Trio. She has appeared in venues such as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Sarasota Opera House, Baltimore Museum of Art, Beaux concerts de la releve in Quebec, Château de Fontainebleau in France, and Zijingang Theater at Zhejiang University in China, among others, and was recently heard on Chicago’s WFMT.
As a sought-after pedagogue, Ms. Cho has been invited to adjudicate competitions and conduct masterclasses, most recently at New England Conservatory Preparatory School for its Concerto Competition Finals and Walnut Hill School for the Arts for its Honors Chamber Music Auditions. She has also taught as a piano instructor for the LINKS Signature Arts Program at The Juilliard School in New York and as piano and chamber music faculty at NEC Preparatory. An emerging performer-scholar, she was selected to present a lecture-recital at College Music Society for its biennial International Conference in Korea and has also taught music theory at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She holds a Master of Music degree from Peabody and Bachelor of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Juilliard, where she was honored with John Erskine Graduation Prize.
For more information, visit www.sookkyungcho.com
HENRY DUITMAN joined the faculty of Grand Valley State University in the Fall of 2008. For more than 20 years Duitman was the Music Director and Conductor of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra as well as Professor of Music on the faculty of Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, during which time he built an orchestra program with national exposure.
Henry Duitman received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University and Master of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Music Education from the Ohio State University.
Dr. Duitman's focus at GVSU has been exposing the orchestra program to the wider West Michigan community and to high schools throughout Michigan. He has instituted a yearly Side-by-Side Concert with top high school orchestras. In addition, his passion to develop an honors orchestra which would focus on the development of leadership skills in high school musicians has led to the highly successful GVSU String Leadership Day, which brings more than 100 of the finest high school string players to campus each year.
A sought-after guest conductor, recently he has led community and professional orchestras in Michigan,Iowa, South Dakota and London, England. He has conducted numerous honors orchestras including the Iowa All-State Orchestra and the Michigan Youth Arts Coalition Honors Orchestra.
CAMP DIRECTOR & CONDUCTOR
GVSU Visiting Professor of Violin, MEGAN REITER-CRAWFORD, gave her first public recital, at the age of six, in Detroit. Her concerto debut, at the age of 12, was in her hometown of Dearborn as part of a concert series in Henry Ford’s Fairlane Estate. She has since concertized throughout the United States, appearing with orchestras in Ann Arbor, Aspen, Basalt, Dearborn, Detroit, Ft. Collins, and New York. She has performed extensively in recitals with Ann Arbor pianist Michele Cooker, and since marrying Grand Rapids Symphony Concertmaster James Crawford, the family duo has appeared on the scene here in West Michigan.
In addition to her recital appearances, Megan has been an active chamber musician and performed recitals with a Manhattan-based trio, Quest, when coaching with Isidore Cohen at the Manhattan School of Music. Most notably, Megan appeared with Vienna Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Peter Schmidl in the trio version of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale while touring Japan with the Pacific Music Festival.
Ms. Crawford has been the recipient of numerous awards including a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival, which she attended for five summers; the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Bradlin Award; an Upton Foundation Grant for the Meadowmount School of Music; the Francis B. Furlong Scholarship for the University of Michigan; and a Governor’s Award nominee in the Emerging Artist category. Ms. Crawford won the concerto competitions at both the University of Michigan and the Manhattan School of Music, has been a prizewinner in the Florida ASTA Competition, the Ft. Collins Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Corpus Christi International Young Artist Competition, and has participated in the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition in New York City. She has been a featured artist on Detroit’s classical music station, WQRS, and many of her orchestral performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio.
MICHAEL HOVNANIAN has been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 2007 and is also the Associate Principal Bass of the West Michigan Symphony and Principal Bass of the Baroque on Beaver Island Festival. Michael has performed with numerous orchestras throughout Michigan, including the Detroit Symphony, and has held positions with the Kalamazoo, Midland, and Lansing symphonies. Dr. Hovnanian is also an active chamber and solo musician, and is a member of noted chamber group Ensemble Montage.
Born and raised in the metro Detroit area, Michael received his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees under the instruction of Jack Budrow at Michigan State University and received Bachelor degrees in both Music and Music Education from Central Michigan University. He has also studied with Stephen Molina and Larry Hutchinson of the Detroit Symphony, Robert Goodlett of the Indianapolis Symphony, and Lawrence Angell, formerly of the Cleveland Orchestra. Michael Hovnanian is an active double bass teacher, instructing a large private studio as well as being on faculty at Calvin College in addition to teaching at Grand Valley State University.
Pianist ANDREW LENHART has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Severance Hall and on the Music in the Loft Concert Series in Chicago, among other venues. Some of the musicians he has performed with are violinists Stephen Clapp and Areta Zhulla; and singers Susanna Phillips, Paul Appleby, and Michelle Areyzaga.
In addition to performing as a sought-after collaborative pianist, Andrew has also worked in a variety of other musical fields. He was the music director for the Milwaukee Opera Theater’s production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and the vocal coach for the opera scenes program at the MasterWorks Festival. He has taught solo and collaborative piano in the school of music at both Wheaton and Nyack Colleges. Additionally, he has served as a Minister of Music at a number of churches in New York and Michigan where he has directed choirs, worship bands, and musicals. Currently he is the Director of Worship at Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Grandville, MI and free-lances as a collaborative pianist in the Grand Rapids area.
He has a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School, a Master of Music Degree in Accompanying and Chamber Music from The University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music. Principal teachers include Margo Garrett, Martin Katz, Anne Epperson and Olga Radosavljevich.
Cellist PABLO MAHAVE-VEGLIA resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he is Professor of Cello at Grand Valley State University. Mr. Mahave-Veglia is a cellist and teacher of broad interests whose repertoire ranges from the early baroque, performed on period instruments, to his ongoing interest in researching, performing and recording the work of contemporary Latin-American composers. He counts among his musical influences his mother, the noted piano pedagogue Mercedes Veglia, as well as such artists/teachers as Arnaldo Fuentes, Steven Doane, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Janos Starker and Uri Vardi.
Highlights of the current season include several performances of the complete Sonatas for cello and continuo by Vivaldi, featuring a collaboration with harpsichordist Gregory Crowell. Performances will take place at GVSU and Calvin College in Michigan, as well as Cookeville and Knoxville in Tennessee. Last year Dr. Mahave-Veglia toured widely his Not So Alone program, a recital that focuses on the idea of creating polyphony (visual or musical) in works for cello with electronic and/or video counterpoint. With the collaboration of electronics assistant Nate Bliton, this program of works by Andrés Alcalde, Bill Ryan, Steve Reich, Edgardo Cantón and Robert Muczynski was presented at St. Cloud State University, the Z Studio in Minneapolis and Concordia College (Minnesota), Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, the University of Iowa, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania and James Madison University in Virginia.
A concerto tour of Chile last year included performances of the Haydn D Major Concerto with the Orquesta Clásica de Santiago, the Dvorák with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Antofagasta and the Boccherini with the Chamber Orchestra of Coyhaique. Previous projects include the performance of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for cello and pianoforte utilizing period instruments and historical performance practices.
More information may be found at: pmvcello.com
PAUL SWANTEK, viola, retired from the Air Force in 2006 after 20 years of service and recently accepted a position with The Grand Rapids Symphony as violist and as Affiliate Professor at Grand Valley State University.
As Principal Violist with the USAF Strings and Orchestra he has performed for every U.S. President since George H. W. Bush, and for such dignitaries as Margret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Queen Elizabeth, Boris Yeltsin, Nelson Mandela, Gerhard Schröder and Mikhail Gorbachev as well as the heads of state for almost every sovereign nation in the world.
A very active free-lance musician in the DC/Baltimore area, Mr. Swantek has performed regularly with the National Symphony Orchestra under both Mstislav Rostropovich and Leonard Slatkin and as principal violist with the Orchestra of the National Gallery of Art and violist with the Post Classical Chamber Ensemble. He can often be heard on the WGMS public radio broadcasts of the National Gallery concerts as well as on the recent release of "The Plow that Broke the Plains" DVD as violist with the Post Classical Ensemble.
Currently Swantek divides his time between Grand Rapids where he performs with the symphony and teaches at Grand Valley State University and Washington, D.C., where he continues his performance as a free-lance musician and principal violist with the National Gallery Orchestra.