The World Chess Hall of Fame is pleased to host a special series of musical performances in collaboration with some of Saint Louis’ most celebrated music establishments.
Since its opening, WCHOF has been a destination for lovers of the visual arts and history; now, over several months, it will serve as a spectacular venue for some of the city’s most talented jazz, classical, and operatic musicians.
The series begins September 18, 2013 with A Musicale Featuring Artists From Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis. This will be followed on September 25th with Live Music With Musicians From The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The third concert in the series, featuring acoustic instrumental quartet The 442’s, takes place February 26, 2014.
September 18, 2013
Join us for a musicale featuring favorite arias and songs performed by Opera Theatre’s acclaimed Gerdine Young Artists — and for a special sneak preview of music from renowned composer Ricky Ian Gordon’s Twenty-Seven, which will have its world premiere during Opera Theatre’s 2014 spring festival season. The evening will offer a rare opportunity to meet Mr. Gordon and hear him discuss his new work.
Ricky Ian Gordon
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon is a celebrated writer of vocal music that spans opera, art song and musical theater. His recent opera The Grapes of Wrath was hailed by Opera News magazine as one of the “Masterpieces of the 21st Century.” The New York Times proclaimed of its Carnegie Hall premiere, “The hall was packed and the ovation tumultuous.” His vocal music has been recorded by such renowned artists as Renée Fleming, Nathan Gunn, Dawn Upshaw, Audra MacDonald, and Kristen Chenoweth.
Soprano Leela Subramaniam is a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and recently received her Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She joined Opera Theatre’s Gerdine Young Artists program in the 2013 festival season.
Mezzo soprano Johanna Nordhorn is a Metropolitan Opera National Council award winner and has appeared as a Gerdine Young Artist for two seasons. She has a Master’s degree in music from Indiana University and is an active voice teacher, offering private instruction and master classes as a member of Webster University’s voice faculty.
Baritone Tobias Greenhalgh recently won 1st place in the Liederkranz Opera Competition and an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Song Competition. He has a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School and appeared as a Gerdine Young Artist in 2013.
Pianist Gail Hintz is on the music faculty at Washington University, serves as a rehearsal pianist for the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, and accompanies the St. Louis District Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
September 25, 2013
Violinist Kristin Ahlstrom is the Associate Principal Second Violin, Virginia V. Weldon, M.D. Chair. She joined the St. Louis Symphony in 1996 and was appointed to the Associate Principal Second Violin chair in 2001. Formerly she had been a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra after completing both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance at Indiana University-Bloomington. An avid chamber musician, Ahlstrom performs regularly in the St. Louis Symphony’s Community Partnership Program. She is a member of the Ilex Piano Trio along with her husband, pianist Peter Henderson, and St. Louis Symphony cellist Anne Fagerburg; and she is also a member of a string trio featuring St. Louis Symphony musicians Shannon Williams and Bjorn Ranheim. Ahlstrom has played chamber music recitals as well as orchestral concerts as a member of the Sun Valley (Idaho) Summer Symphony since 2001, and has been a guest artist in Indiana University’s Summer Music series each year since 2006. She performed as a soloist with the STL Symphony in 2005 and 2008.
Violinist Eva Kozma was born in 1978 in Targu Mures, Romania, began violin lessons at the age of seven. Ms. Kozma won second prize in 1993 and third prize in 1994 in the Romanian National Competition. Ms. Kozma studied at Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, and later at McGill University under Ani Kavafian and Denise Lupien. She served as Concertmaster of the McGill University Orchestra from 2001 to 2003 and won first place in the university concerto competition in 2003. Ms. Kozma has performed with the Targu Mures Philharmonic, and with the Societe Philharmonique de Montreal, under conductor Takacs Miklos. Additionally, she received a Fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center and performed with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach during the 2003-04 season. Eva Kozma began her tenure as the Assistant Principal Second Violin with the St. Louis Symphony in September 2004.
Shannon Farrell Williams
A native of Wisconsin, Shannon Farrell Williams began playing the violin at the age of five. Later she began playing viola in the Dubinsky Quartet, which was awarded several prizes during its existence, including the Junior Division of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and the Coleman Competition in California. Williams won First Place in Indiana University’s annual viola competition in 2000, shortly after switching her major from violin to viola performance. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana in 2001, and completed her Master’s Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music, in Boston, in 2003. Williams performed with the viola section of the Louisville Symphony Orchestra during the 2004-05 season and began with the St. Louis Symphony in September 2005. Since 2008, she has been the Principal Viola for the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder.
Cellist Bjorn Ranheim was appointed to the St. Louis Symphony in 2005. He also holds the Principal Chair of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra in Boulder, CO, and is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. Prior to these appointments he served as Associate Principal Cellist with the Ft. Worth Symphony and has performed and toured with the orchestras of Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Atlanta. He has appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, New World Symphony, Columbia Civic Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra.
Active as a chamber musician, Ranheim has appeared in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Gardner Museum, El Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. He is a member of the Eliot Piano Trio, Strio String Trio and is a founding member of The 442’s, an acoustic ensemble exploring the boundaries of classical, folk and jazz music which is made up of two members of the St. Louis Symphony and two members of The Erin Bode Group. A committed advocate of new music, Ranheim has given world premier performances of works by Stephen Paulus, Paul Schoenfeld, Stefan Freund, Steve Heitzig and William Beckstrand. Ranheim received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Stephen Geber, retired principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra.
February 26, 2014
What happens when you combine two outstanding members of the world-class St. Louis Symphony with two of the city’s finest jazz musicians from the Erin Bode Group? You get The 442’s, an exciting new acoustic instrumental quartet named for the modern standard tuning of 442 Hz! Brought together by the innovative and inspired compositions of Adam Maness, who also plays guitar, accordion, melodica and glockenspiel in the group, The 442’s features Shawn Weil on violin, Bjorn Ranheim on cello and Sydney Rodway on bass. This unique collaboration, formed in the spring of 2012 by a tight-knit group whose love of good food and fine beer makes rehearsals feel like dinner parties, combines outstanding musicianship, group singing, inventive improvisation, whistle solos and special guest appearances by famed jazz vocalist, Erin Bode. Exploring the boundaries of jazz, classical, folk and rock music, their music can move you to the edge of your seat or comfort you like a lullaby, all within the same set.
Originally inspired by the Grammy Award Winning album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions - a collaborative album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile - The 442’s were born of a common musical inquisitiveness and a search for new and exciting musical possibilities. Their search already has taken them to venues as varied as Powell Symphony Hall, Cyrano’s Cafe, and the Tavern of Fine Arts. Coming months will find them gaining even more visibility at other venues throughout the St. Louis area.
Adam Maness began playing piano as a ten-year old and by age 16 was playing professionally with some of St. Louis’s most well known jazz musicians - Willie Akins, Freddie Washington and Rob Block. After high school he moved to New York City and studied piano performance at the Jazz and Contemporary Music program at the New School University. In 2004 he began collaborating with internationally renowned vocalist Erin Bode, playing piano and guitar, writing songs and arranging pieces for strings. Adam has shared the stage with such great musicians as George Garzone, Derrek Phillips, Seamus Blake, John Elis, Mark Colenburg, David Halen, Peter Schlamb, Brian Owens and Debbie Boone. His performances, compositions, songs and arrangements have been featured on numerous recordings and on national and international television and radio broadcasts. Adam lives in Saint Louis with his wife, Heather, and children, Nico and Ivan.
Sydney Rodway took a rather unusual path to the double bass. He spent the majority of his professional career as a jazz saxophone player. Trained at the University of Kansas, he spent over 15 years playing and touring with a variety of national artists. In 2004, at the age of 34, he decided to purchase and learn to play the upright bass in hopes of accompanying his wife, vocalist Erin Bode. It was a good match, and within a couple of weeks he was playing gigs with her trio. Since then they have traveled extensively, performing in some of the best jazz clubs and concert halls in North America, Europe and Japan, and have recorded five studio albums. Primarily self-taught, Sydney has seized numerous performance opportunities in the jazz and classical worlds and is a full-time member of the Metropolitan Orchestra of St Louis. Influenced mainly by the likes of Edgar Meyer and Larry Grenadier, he is very excited to continue this journey toward bass excellence.
A native of Chicago, Shawn Weil was appointed to the St. Louis Symphony in April 2005. Prior to his appointment, he played as a contracted member of the orchestra for two seasons. Mr. Weil is a violinist with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and, for four seasons, was Co-concertmaster of the New World Symphony. During his tenure at the New World Symphony, he was invited to represent the institution in chamber music performances domestically in Manhattan and the Hamptons, and internationally in Prague, Rome, and Monte Carlo. He has collaborated with Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson, Alasdair Neale, and the Miami String Quartet. An active educator and mentor, Mr. Weil is on the violin faculty of Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. He is frequently involved with the Education and Community Partnership Program of the St. Louis Symphony. From 2002-03, Mr. Weil served on the faculty of the acclaimed Opus 118: Harlem Center for Strings in Manhattan. Shawn Weil received his Bachelor of Music degree and the Performance Diploma from Indiana University.
Cellist Bjorn Ranheim was appointed to the Saint Louis Symphony in September of 2005, holds the principal chair of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, CO and is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. Prior to these appointments, Mr. Ranheim served as associate principal cellist of the Fort Worth Symphony. He has performed and toured with the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland and Detroit; collaborating with Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson, Robert Spano and Bernard Labadie. Mr. Ranheim has held principal and assistant principal cello positions with the New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra and, at the invitation of the music director, Quebec City’s critically acclaimed Le Violons du Roy. Bjorn Ranheim made his concerto debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1996 as winner of the Young Peoples Symphony Concert Association Competition and has since appeared as soloist on multiple occasions with the Colorado Music Festival, New World Symphony, Columbia Civic Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra. A committed advocate of contemporary solo and chamber music, Ranheim has premiered works by Stephen Paulus, Paul Schoenfield, Steven Heitzig, Peter Martin, Stefan Freund and William Beckstrand. Bjorn Ranheim studied at The Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Stephen Geber, retired principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Bios and images courtesy of the442s.com