Over the last ten years, cellist Cullen O'Neil and pianist Rebecca Luppe have bonded over music, Girl Scouts, school, and games they made up themselves. Now eighteen and nineteen years old, they've established themselves as two of the finest in the current crop of classical musicians from west Michigan.
Cullen and Rebecca each took several years of private lessons, most recently with Western Michigan University professor of cello Bruce Uchimura and WMU resident pianist Susan Uchimura, respectively. Another huge influence on their development was playing in the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra, led by Andrew Koehler.
The two friends talk about their experiences and training, and play Robert Schumann's Five Pieces in Folk-Style in the Takeda performance studio at WMUK. We also hear Cullen play two solo movements from Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 3 in C major.
This fall, Cullen will be attending the University of Michigan to study with Richard Aaron. Rebecca has just completed her first year at Vanderbilt University, where she studies with Amy Dorfman.