Stulberg International String Competition

courtesy of the artist

At 10:30 am on Saturday, Nov 21, the Kalamazoo-based Stulberg International String Competition will conclude a series of three online concerts this month. This week, the featured artist is violinist Charlotte Marckx, the 2018 gold medalist.

At 10:30 am on Saturday, Nov 14, the Kalamazoo-based Stulberg International String Competition will continue a series of three online concerts this month. This week, the featured artist is violist Haesue Lee, the 2015 bronze medalist and first-prize winner of the 2018 Primrose International Viola Competition.

Lee is currently living in Seoul, Korea. These are her emailed responses to questions posed by WMUK's Cara Lieurance.

What did you do when Covid 19 closed venues and schools?

At the beginning of the pandemic, I mostly stayed at home, in Philadelphia. I just had my graduation recital, so I was so eager to rest and learn new repertoire. Now I am in Korea, and lately I've been teaching students and enjoying hobbies that I haven't been able to do so when I was busier.

What is your program for Saturdays With The Stulberg concert on Nov 14?

The performances are from before the pandemic and the pieces are, Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 Aria by Villa-Lobos, and None but the Lonely Heart by Tchaikovsky.

Who will be playing with you on the concert?

The Schubert is with Elena Jivaeva, wonderful staff pianist at Curtis. The next two pieces are with Chang-Yong Shin who is a good friend and alumn of the Curtis Institute of Music. 

What are some of your favorite things about the pieces on the program?

All of the pieces in the program are my favorite. Especially, the Villa-Lobos and the Thaikovsky were originally written for voice, so I love how they are very lyrical. Also, if you follow the original text of the Tchaikovsky, it is even more beautiful!

Applications are now open for the 2021 Stulberg Competition. What is your advice to aspiring string players who go to the Stulberg?

I'd say that everyone should enjoy their time on the stage! Have fun and be inspired by other colleagues!

courtesy of the artist/

At 10:30 am on Saturday, Nov 7, the Kalamazoo-based Stulberg International String Competition will begin a series of three online concerts to be held over the next three weeks. This Saturday, the featured artist is cellist Oliver Herbert, the 2015 silver medalist.

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Herbert says he will appear in two previously recorded performances that are meaningful to him. One is his performance of a Haydn Divertimento, arranged by the legendary Gregor Piatigorsky, and the second is the Sonata No. 5 for cello and piano by Ludwig Van Beethoven.  Xiaohui Yang, with whom he has recently recorded an album, will be his accompanist. 

Herbert says he is enjoying post-school life as a professional cellist. Before the COVID-19 shutdown, he'd realized a dream to perform the Dvorak Cello Concerto with orchestra in New Haven, CT, and made debuts in Canada, performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Courtesy of The Stulberg Competition

189 musicians from around the world applied to the Stulberg International String Competition by the deadline in February. Then the new executive director, Megan Yankee,  had to think fast when the coronavirus pandemic hit. This Saturday, May 16, the semifinalists won’t be waiting in the wings of the Dalton Center Recital Hall to hear the winners announced. They’ll be at home, watching online like everyone else. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Yankee explained that she consulted with the Stulberg board, the adjudicators, and the semifinalists to see if they would agree to putting the competition online. 

The 12 semi-finalists will be judged on videos they already submitted when they applied for the competition. Each will also create a video of music by Bach. The videos will stream online beginning at noon Saturday, and the final results should be announced sometime after 3:30 pm.

The Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra will continue its season at 4 pm on Sunday, Feb 9 at Chenery Auditorium  with a program called "Defining Romanticism." It brings together music of three great composers of the 19th century: Richard Wagner, Camille St.-Saëns, and Robert Schumann. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, conductor Andrew Koehler explains some of the ways each composer defined Romanticism, and they listen to excerpts of Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger, St.-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3, and Schumann's Symphony No. 3, "Rhenish." 

Violinist Sory Park, the bronze medalist of the 2019 Stulberg International String Competition, will return as soloist. She is a student of Soovin Kim at the New English Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.