2017 FACULTY ARTISTS
David Halen, Artistic Director
University of Michigan, School of Music, Theater and Dance
Concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony for twenty three years, and the Aspen Music Festival for the past thirteen, David Halen is a frequent soloist around the world. In 2012, he added the appointment of professor of violin at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in addition to being Visiting Artist at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in Georgia. At 19, he became the youngest recipient ever of a Fulbright Scholarship for study in Germany. Prior to Saint Louis he served as assistant concertmaster of the Houston Symphony. Mr. Halen is the founding artistic director of the Innsbrook Institute and also artistic director of Boonville Missouri River Festival of the Arts.
Southern Methodist University in Dallas
Winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the recipient of the 1990 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chee-Yun has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and the Toronto, Houston, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and National symphony orchestras, and with such distinguished conductors as Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Marek Janowski, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jaap van Zweden, and Manfred Honeck. Her orchestral highlights include a benefit for UNESCO with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, her tours of the United States with the San Francisco Symphony and Japan with the NHK Symphony. Recent orchestral engagements include her return to the Dallas, Toronto, and the Detroit symphony. A gifted recitalist, Chee-Yun appeared at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress and the Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. Her eight discs on the Denon and Naxos labels have received exceptional acclaim. Chee-Yun is an Artist-in-Residence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The Colburn School
Robert Lipsett holds the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, California where he has been on faculty for 26 years. He has taught at the University of Southern California, and California State University. Lipsett received his B.A. in Music from California State University- Northridge. He serves on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival, and the Innsbrook Institute and has given master classes at major schools around the world.
He is the recipient of the Distinguished Teachers Award from the White House Commission for Presidential Scholars. In addition, Lipsett has been an active solo artist, chamber music performer, orchestral musician and freelance commercial musician in motion pictures, television and the recording industry.
Kurt Sassmannhaus – Violin / Viola
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)
Considered one of today’s preeminent violin pedagogues, violinist KURT SASSMANNSHAUS holds the distinguished Dorothy Richard Starling Chair for Classical Violin at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). His students include prizewinners of major international competitions, prominent soloists and chamber musicians, and orchestra leaders around the world. Many of them hold important faculty positions in European, Asian, and American Conservatories.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Cologne, where he studied with Igor Ozim, Sassmannshaus received a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay. Sassmannshaus has taught master classes in Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, China, and Australia and is a frequent judge in international violin competitions.
University of Michigan, School of Music, Theater and Dance
Stephen B. Shipps pursued violin studies with Josef Gingold at Indiana University, receiving a BM, MM and Performer’s Certificate. He also studied with Ivan Galamian and Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School and with Franco Gulli at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He began his career as an orchestral performer, serving as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Dallas Opera and Omaha Symphony Orchestras. As a chamber performer, Mr. Shipps was a member of the Amadeus and Meadowmount Piano Trios. His recording career spanned all recorded genres and his solo and chamber recordings are available on Albany, American Gramaphone, Equilibrium, Melodiya/Russian Disc and Naxos. His solo work on the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas series has yielded over two-dozen gold and platinum records representing over 20 million copies sold. His print editions are available from Encore Press in Detroit, E.C. Schirmer in Boston, Editio Amos in Prague and Lauren Keiser Publishing in New York. Shipps has taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Banff Centre in Canada and the Prague Academy of Music. He is invited regularly for teaching residencies at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe and the Hochschule für Musik Dresden.
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)
Ilya Finkelshteyn, principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony, has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and principal cellist of the Baltimore and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras. Highly acclaimed for his performances, Finkelshteyn was recently praised in the Washington Post as a “complete master of his instrument.”
Finkelshteyn has been featured as soloist with numerous orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Civic Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Bardy Symphony Orchestra (England) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
An active chamber musician, Finkelshteyn has collaborated in chamber music with such artists as András Schiff, Hilary Hahn, David Soyer, Richard Goode, Joseph Silverstein, Steven Ansell, Harold Robinson, Vadim Repin, Isidore Cohen and Lydia Artymiw.
Haerim Elizabeth Lee
Assistant to the Artistic Director
Originally from Deajeon, South Korea, Haerim Elizabeth Lee moved to America when she was eight years old, and made her solo debut with orchestra at the age of ten. Lee has most recently been awarded the bronze medal at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition of 2014 as a member of the Evita Quartet.
Lee has a passion for exploring new works and has premiered new compositions and worked closely with composers. She has worked with Thomas Adès and will be performing the Canadian premier of Bright Sheng’s piano quintet this summer at Banff Centre. She also has a deep-rooted love for collaboration among different art forms, including collaborations with the Boston Architecture School and with dancers from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Her upcoming projects include collaborations with Korean traditional music and instruments.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree at the New England Conservatory studying with James Buswell, Masters in Music from Rice University Shepherd School of Music studying with Cho-liang Lin as a Dorthy Starling Scholar. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Music Degree at the University of Michigan with David Halen.
Christine Harada Li
Christine graduated summa cum laude from University of Michigan School of Music and completed her Master of Music degree at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, Germany. Her principal teachers here were Yehonatan Berick, Elisabeth Kufferath, Anne Röhrig (baroque), and Arthur Greene (piano). Currently Christine is pursuing a Specialist in Music degree studying with David Halen. Christine has performed in the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, and Israel, and is a member of the Koinonia Trio.
Christine is Co-Artistic Director and founding member of the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival in Alaska and Vice President of the Anchorage Fine Arts Society, a non-profit organization that advocates learning, teaching, and preserving the arts. She is also Co-Education Director at Innsbrook Institute.
Xiaoxiao Qiang has been a top prizewinner in many national and international competitions, including Second Prize in the 2011 Schmidbauer International Young Artist Competition, First Prize in the 2011 Ruth Burr String Competition, the Violin Performance Award in the 2009 Corpus Christi International String Competition, and the Third Prize of the Tuesday Musical Club String Competition in San Antonio. In 2008 she was the Grand Prize winner of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition in Singapore, and in 2010 was one of only 40 violinists invited to compete in the Eighth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
Qiang has performed extensively as a chamber musician and soloist. She is the founding violinist of the Eon Trio, and with them toured throughout Asia. She represented the string quartet of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, which performed at the state banquet hosted in honor of H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in April 2007 and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in March 2006. She has collaborated as a chamber musician with renowned artists such as the Tokyo String Quartet, Cho-Liang Lin, Kyoko Takezawa, Robert McDuffie, Augustin Hadelich, and Jian Wang. As a soloist, she recorded “La Rosée Fond” by Kawai Shui, which was released on Ablaze Records in 2008.
Fei Tian Academy of the Arts
Praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his “glowing refinement,” violist Luke Fleming’s performances have been described by The Strad as “confident and expressive…playing with uncanny precision,” and lauded by Gramophone for their “superlative technical and artistic execution.” Festival appearances include the Marlboro Music School and Festival, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Perlman Music Program, among others, as well as concerts and residencies across North and South America, Europe, and Asia. From 2009 – 2015, Mr. Fleming was violist of the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet, with whom he served as Quartet-in-Residence for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School. He was also awarded First Prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and top prizes at numerous international competitions. Mr. Fleming currently serves as Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the Fei Tian Academy of the Arts.
The recipient of a prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, American violist Matthew Lipman has been hailed by the New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing” and by the Chicago Tribune for his “splendid technique and musical sensitivity.” As one of the most promising young advocates of his instrument, his debut recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Sir Neville Marriner was released last year on the Avie label and reached No. 2 on the Billboard classical charts. Next season, Mr. Lipman will debut as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra and Illinois Philharmonic, and he has performed concertos with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber, Juilliard, Ars Viva Symphony, and Montgomery Symphony orchestras and recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. Mr. Lipman has performed with the Chamber Music Society at Alice Tully Hall, Wigmore Hall, and at the Kissinger Sommer Festival in Germany as a member of CMS Two and was a top prizewinner of the Tertis, Primrose, Washington, and Stulberg International competitions and is a NFMC Young Artist. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees as an inaugural Kovner fellow from The Juilliard School, where he continues to serve as teaching assistant to Heidi Castleman, and he has also studied with Misha Amory, Steven Tenenbom and Roland Vamos. A native of Chicago, Mr. Lipman performs on a fine 1700 Matteo Goffriller viola loaned through the generous efforts of the RBP Foundation.
Korean Canadian cellist, Caroline Kim, is a recent graduate of the Accelerated BM/MM program at the Juilliard School where she was the recipient of the Irene Land Scholarship, the Genevieve Kniese Cahudhuri Cello Scholarship, and the Betty & Daniel Bloomfield Fund Scholarship.
Caroline has given performances across the United States and Canada in many acknowledged venues such as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. She has given recitals in Calgary, Alberta, New York City, and Aspen. As a student at the Juilliard School, she has been selected as a member of the pool of principal cellists since 2012. During the summers, she attended Music Academy of the West in 2012, and attended the Aspen Music Festival in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts has presented grants for Caroline for her music and studies since 2008.
Caroline will continue her studies with Richard Aaron as a doctorate student at the University of Michigan this coming fall.
Nathaniel Pierce, cellist and tenor, is a highly active and versatile musician. He is a founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Anchorage Chamber Music festival, and Co-Education Director at the Innsbrook Institute. Mr. Pierce is a founding member of the Koinonia Piano Trio which has toured in Europe and in the States. He performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has also been a featured soloist with the Toledo, Dexter, Dearborn, Albany, Ann Arbor and Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphonies, as well as the University of Michigan and Indiana University symphonies.
Hye-Jin Cho was born in South Korea and began learning the piano at the age of three, studying later at the Yewon Arts School for music prodigies and at Seoul Arts High School. Studying with a full scholarship at Ewha Women’s University, she received her Bachelor of Music in the Department of Arts as valedictorian of her class. Having earned her Master of Music and Artist Diploma in piano at Indiana University where she studied with Menahem Pressler, she is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor under the guidance of Christopher Harding.
Hye-Jin Cho has received top prizes in competitions, including Ewha Women’s University competition, the latter competition giving her the opportunity to play the Chopin F-minor Concerto with the University orchestra. She has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in concerts with the Chuncheon Youth Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Northern Illinois, in the Rising Artist Series at ECC Samsung Hall, and at Indiana University. In the summer of 2015, she played the Mozart G-major Concerto K. 453 on three concerts with the Northern Illinois Chamber Orchestra. She has all Mozart Concerti project with this orchestra.
Hye-Jin Cho is a founding member of Koinonia Trio. Last summer, the trio toured Europe and will tour Asia this coming summer. She is also doing a ‘Schumann piano concert series’ in Freeport, Illinois to support the community.
Quickly becoming recognized as today’s most sought after collaborative pianist, Hsin-I has been praised on concert stages in Germany, Russia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In the US, Hsin-I has played in esteemed venues such as Disney Hall and Zipper Hall. She has collaborated with many artists such as Margaret Batjer, Andrew Shulman, Sheryl Staples, Chee Yun, Simone Porter, Jacob Braun, LA Philharmonic principal horn Andrew Bain, associate principal violist Dale Hikawa Silverman and cellist, Tao Ni. Passionate about constantly growing as an artist and helping others grow, she regularly collaborates with students in master classes of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School of Music.
Hsin-I has made guest appearances at such venues as LA Philharmonic Chamber Music, NPR’s Performance Today, Sundays Live at LACMA, South Bay Chamber Music Society, and Innsbrook Institute.
Hsin-I is also an accomplished cellist, winning many National competitions in Taiwan before completely focusing on collaborative piano.
Christopher Janwong McKiggan
Hailed as a pianist with “astounding technique… startling poise and control” (Kansas City Star) and “astonishing virtuosity and piano coloration” (The Citizen), Christopher Janwong McKiggan won a top prize as a laureate and finalist at the prestigious 12th UNISA International Piano Competition (WFIMC) 2012. He has won numerous other awards including the Gold medal in the Seattle International Piano Competition, second prize in the solo division and third prize in the senior concerto division at the Kingsville International Music Competition, first prize in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, Finalist in the World International Piano Competition, among many others.
Born in Christchurch, England, Christopher began his piano studies at age six with his father. He moved to Thailand at age seven, residing with his British father and mother, a Thai citizen of Chinese heritage. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a Bachelor of Music studying under Dr. Robert Weirich, a Master’s Degree from Rice University is currently there as a Doctoral of Musical Arts Piano Performance under Prof. Jon Kimura Parker.