Concerts @ First Presents
Chamber Music Celebration
Chamber Music Celebration August 9 , 2020 2:00 P.M. Piano Quintet No. 1 C Minor I. Allegro
Ernst von Dohnanyi (1877-1960) Helen Hwaya Kim, violin Kenn Wagner, violin Yinzi Kong, viola Charae Krueger, cello
Julie Coucheron, piano Adagio and Allegro Brillliante
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Elizabeth Pridgen, piano Julie Coucheron, Piano
Suite for Two Cellos and Piano III. Arioso
Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007) Christopher Rex, cello Charae Krueger, cello Julie Coucheron- piano
Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor I. Allegro Morderato
Anton Arensky (1861-1906) Helen Hwaya Kim, violin Charae Krueger, cello Elizabeth Pridgen, piano
Symphony No. 40 arranged for piano 4 hands I. Molto Allegro
W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Julie Coucheron, piano William Ransom, piano Piano Trio in B Major IV. Finale: Allegro
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Helen Hwaya Kim, violin Christopher Rex, Cello Julie Coucheron, piano
Rasch Op. 113 Romance in A Op. 94
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) William Ransom, piano Yinzi Kong, viola
Suite for Organ Trio and Strings IV. Finale
Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901) Helen Hwaya Kim, violin Christopher Rex, cello Jens Korndorfer, organ
Symphony No. 7 arranged for piano four hands IV. Allegro con brio
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Julie Coucheron, piano William Ransom, piano Piano Quintet in A major Op. 81 IV. Finale: Allegro
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) Helen Hwaya Kim, violin Kenn Wagner, violin Yinzi Kong, viola Charae Krueger, cello William Ransom, piano Elizabeth Pridgen, piano Julie Coucheron, piano
To help these musicians continue performances, like this one today, please contribute to the Concerts @ First fund via: firstpresatl.org/GIVE Join us for a post-concert video chat with the musicians: Click here
About the Artists Born in Oslo, Norway, Julie Coucheron began playing the piano at age four. She earned her Bachelor and Master’s Degree with honors from the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the age of 32, Ms. Coucheron has established an international career, winning major awards in Italy, Germany, UK and in the United States. Ms. Coucheron has worked with musicians such as Emanuel Ax, Chee-Yun Kim, Christopher O’Riley, Yo-Yo Ma, and Elton John, and has toured Europe, America, South America and Asia, performing in halls like Verizon Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Ms. Coucheron has performed with the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic; Jena Symphony Orchestra, and the Ukrainian Symphony Orchestra in Kiev.
Ms. Coucheron regularly performs at festivals such as the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Bergen International Music Festival and at La Jolla Summer Fest. She is Artistic Director of the Fjord Cadenza festival in Norway and for the Kon Tiki Chamber Music Festival in Oslo, Norway. Ms. Coucheron enjoys a close collaboration with her brother, the Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony, David Coucheron, and together they have released two recordings, ‘Debut’ and ‘David and Julie’ on the Naxos label. In addition to her busy concert schedule, Ms. Coucheron is a sought after teacher and pedagogue. In August 2014, she was appointed Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. Ms. Coucheron has given masterclasses and taught at schools such as the New England Conservatory, Emory University and Mercer University. Ms. Coucheron enjoys a various and wide range of styles and repertoire emerging from her highly trained classical background to the more contemporary and popular music. Recent collaborations include performances with the Steve Miller Band and Elton John.
Helen Hwaya Kim made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of six. She has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops at Boston's Symphony Hall, as well as with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Kim earned her Bachelor and Master's Degree from the Juilliard School, where her teachers included Hyo, Kang, Cho-Liang Lin and Dorothy DeLay. While at Juilliard, she served as Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and was the winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition at both the pre–college and college levels. She is the recipient of more than one hundred national and international awards. She won the prestigious Artists International Competition in New York and, as a result, gave debut recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall and the Aspen Summer Music Festival.
About the Artists A native of Canada, Ms. Kim has been engaged as soloist by many of Canada's leading orchestras, including the National Arts Center Orchestra, Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, McGill Chamber Orchestra, and the Windsor, Regina, Victoria and Prince George Symphonies. She has also appeared as soloist with the DeKalb, New Orleans, Aspen and Banff Festival Orchestras, and with orchestras in the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland. Ms. Kim has toured extensively throughout Canada and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall and the Santa Fe, La Jolla, Highlands-Cashiers, Amelia Island, El Paso Pro Musica,Zenith and Sitka International Chamber Music Festivals. She recently made her debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at the 2019 St Miguel de Allende International Chamber music festival. Ms. Kim currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served as Assistant and Associate Concertmaster for the Atlanta Symphony for three seasons. She is currently the Assistant Concertmaster of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and serves as Professor of Violin and Chair of the String Department at Kennesaw State University.
Violist Yinzi Kong, born and raised in Shanghai China, is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Vega String Quartet. Miss Kong started her musical training at age five and gave her first public performances at seven. After moving to the United States in 1995, Miss Kong received a bachelorâ€™s degree from the Harid Conservatory in Florida and a masterâ€™s degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
Since winning several top prizes at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France, the Carmel String Quartet Competition and the Coleman Competition in the US with the Vega, Miss Kong has enjoyed a versatile career in both solo and chamber music performance and teaching. Ms Kong has performed in major concert halls all over the world including the stages of Carnegie Hall, and her live performances have been heard on NPR's Performance Today (USA), the National Radio of China, Shanghai TV, Radio France, France Musiques, and the National Radio of the Czech Republic. Miss Kong has also collaborated with some finest musicians of our time including Elliot Fisk, William Preucil, David Shifrin, Richard Stoltzman, Charles Wadsworth and Sarah Chang among others. Miss Kong currently resides in Atlanta, where the Vega Quartet are full-time Artistsin-Residence at Emory University .
About the Artists In the last two decades, German organist Dr. Jens Korndorfer has established himself internationally as performer, educator and church musician. Praised as “a virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition” who creates “performances that are deeply musically satisfying as well as exciting” (The American Organist), Jens has performed to critical acclaim at prestigious venues such as Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Merrill Auditorium in Portland (ME), Duke University Chapel, the Montreal Bach Festival, the Cathedrals in Washington, Berlin, Paris, Salzburg, Oslo, and Moscow, Westminster Abbey in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Kyoto Concert Hall, and the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong.
Jens’ repertoire reaches from the Renaissance to the 21st century, including transcriptions, commissions and world premieres. He frequently collaborates with other musicians, has performed with orchestras, and recorded four CDs. He has given master classes and presentations at conventions, universities, and concert halls around the world, and his research has been published in dedicated music journals. Passionate about forming the next generation of organists, Jens taught at Agnes Scott College (2014-19) and, since 2017, has been directing the successful rebuild of the organ program at Georgia State University. In combination with graduate assistantships at major churches in the Atlanta area, the comprehensive program is designed to prepare students for a successful career in church and concert.
As Director of Worship and the Arts, and Organist at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, GA, Jens oversees a thriving music and arts ministry. Under his leadership, the sanctuary organ was completely rebuilt, enlarged, and re-voiced by organ builders Klais (Bonn, Germany) and Schlueter (Lithonia, GA), and a new Steinway Concert Grand Piano was purchased. Thanks to collaborations with major cultural players (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, HIGH Museum of Art, Atlanta Opera), the introduction of programs that raise awareness for minorities in the classical arts, and presentations and lecture series on inter-disciplinary topics, Jens significantly increased the reach of the church’s music and arts ministry. A top-honor graduate from the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Musikhochschule in Bayreuth and McGill University in Montreal, Jens’ teachers include Olivier Latry, Michel Bouvard, James David Christie, and Ludger Lohmann. During Jens’ tenure as organist in residence at the Concert Hall Kitara in Sapporo, Japan, in the 2005/06 season, he was particularly inspired by the imaginative marketing and highly creative— and successful—outreach efforts of the hall’s administration. Ever since, in his positions he has striven to make the arts and especially the organ as successful as they were in Sapporo. www.jenskorndoerfer.com
About the Artists Charae Krueger received her training in cello studies at the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied with Laurence Lesser and Colin Carr and received a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. Ms. Krueger received her chamber music training with Eugene Lehner of the Kolisch Quartet, as well as with Robert Mann and Samuel Rhodes of the Juilliard String Quartet. She has also coached with such artists as Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio, Louis Krasner, Felix Galimir and Leon Kirchner. She has played in masterclasses with Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi at the Banff School for the Arts. Since moving to Atlanta five years ago, Ms. Krueger has been appointed principal cellist of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. She also performs frequently with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Tennessee, where she will be featured as soloist this season. She enjoys playing chamber music with various ensembles throughout the city, performing with the Amadeus String Ensemble, the Musica Da Camera, the Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and the Lyra String Quartet. Ms. Krueger was recently appointed cello professor at Kennesaw State University and is a member of the faculty string quartet in residence there as well. While living in Boston, Ms. Krueger was principal cellist for ten years with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and also performed with the Vermont Symphony, Nashua NH Symphony and the New England Chamber Orchestra. She was a founding member of the Arden String Quartet, a nationally managed group who, in 1996, succeeded the Borromeo and Ying Quartets by receiving the Arthur W. Foote Emerging Artist award. The Quartet was formed under the sponsorship of the Longy School of Music, where they were in residence from 1993-1996. As a member of the Arden Quartet, Ms. Krueger performed up and down the eastern U.S., playing in such venues as Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Rockefeller University, Brown University, the Seaside Institute, MIT, Harvard Musical Association, Tufts University and NEC's Jordan Hall. She has given U.S. premieres of works by Elliot Carter, Gunther Schuller, Herschel Garfein, Victor Ullman and Alexander Mnatsekanyan. She has also enjoyed playing chamber music in such groups as the Boccherini Ensemble, Trillium (a flute-oboe-cello trio) and the Speakeasy String Quartet (a jazz string quartet).
Ms. Krueger plays on a cello made by Abraham Prescott in Concord, N.H. in 1830
About the Artists Pianist Elizabeth Pridgen has distinguished herself as a soloist and chamber musician. Named Artistic Director of the Atlanta Chamber Players in 2014, she has led the group in performances of both new and standard chamber works to critical acclaim. Ms. Pridgen recently made her major orchestral debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Spano and released three albums including the Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet with Andres Cardenes and the Vega String Quartet and albums with violinists Robert McDuffie and Anne Akiko Meyers. An advocate of new music, Ms. Pridgen has participated in the commissioning of works by noted composers such as Adam Schoenberg and Michael Gandolfi and supports underserved composers through her leadership of the Rapido Composition Competition. Ms. Pridgen has toured extensively throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe and performs regularly at festivals including the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Rome, Italy, the Aspen Music Festival, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, the Madison Chamber Music Festival and the Kon-Tiki Chamber Music Festival in Oslo, Norway. An avid chamber performer, she is a member of the Cortona Trio and Georgian Chamber Players. Schein. Ms. Pridgen is currently a Distinguished Artist and Piano Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings and holds the G. Leslie Fabian Piano Chair at the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University. She received her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School where she studied with Joseph Kalichstein and earned her bachelor's degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Ann Schein.
Pianist, Artistic Director, master teacher, editor and judge for international competitions, William Ransom appears around the world as soloist with orchestras, recitalist and chamber musician. His performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio and Television in the US, Argentina, Poland and Japan. He regularly collaborates with musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Stoltzman, William Preucil, Stephen Isserlis, Robert McDuffie, and members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, Juilliard, American, St. Petersburg, Borromeo, Parker, Ariel and Lark String Quartets; the Empire Brass Quintet, Eroica Trio, and the percussion group Nexus among others. As a master teacher, he also performs and gives master classes at numerous schools of music and universities around the world. He has recorded for ACA Digital and Rising Star Records. Ransom is the Mary Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory University in Atlanta where he is Director of Piano Studies and founder and Artistic Director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. A graduate of The Juilliard School and the University of Michigan, in the summers, Ransom is Artistic Director of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and for a decade was an artist-faculty member at the Kamisaibara Pianists Camp in Japan. In 2016 he was named Artistic Director of the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival and also one of Musical America Worldwide’s “30 Musical Innovators”.
About the Artists Christopher Rex joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Principal in 1979, the same year in which he became the first cellist ever to win the string prize in the biennial Young Artists Competition of the National Federation of Music Clubs. Since then he has appeared as a recitalist and chamber musician across the nation. Following his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Orlando Cole and at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose, he was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy for seven seasons. He has taught at Gettysburg College, the New School of Music in Philadelphia, Georgia State University, and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. He shared Acting Principal duties for the New York Philharmonic's European tour in 1988. Mr. Rex's solo performances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra include works by Brahms, Beethoven, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Bloch, Elgar, Schumann, Dvorak, Saint-Saens, Haydn, Herbert, Hindemith, Prokofiev, Barber, Golijov, and Stephen Paulus. Mr. Rex directs the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, which he founded, and the Madison Chamber Music Festival in Georgia. A regular performer at the Highlands Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina, he has been principal cellist of the orchestras at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming. He has performed as a soloist at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Brevard and Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and the Chautauqua Festival in New York. He served on the board of directors of Chamber Music America for six years, is head of the Cello Department of Georgia State University School of Music, and is on the chamber music faculty of the of the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon.
Kenn Wagner has been a first violinist and a one year acting assistant concertmaster with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1994 leaving his first position with the New Jersey symphony of three years. He has also appeared abroad as guest soloist with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in China, and Christ Church Symphony string section, in New Zealand. Other solo appearances include New Orleans Symphony, Arlington symphony and the Wintergreen Music Festival Orchestra, the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra, the Dekalb Symphony, Clark/Spellman Symphony, Atlanta Philharmonic and the Atlanta Musicians' Orchestra. Chamber music appearances include Leaptrott trio, Riverside Chamber Players, Atlanta Chamber Players, National Chamber Players and Kenneth Slowik of the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Orlando Chamber Soloists at Piccolo Spoleto and also with members of the Grammy Award winning quartet Cuerteto Latino Americano in Puebla Mexico. Kenn has also performed chamber music with faculty members of IU, KSU,GSU,UGA and the Curtis Institute. He also currently serves as associate concertmaster of the Bellingham music festival. He is a graduate of Indiana University where he trained with Joseph Gingold. Kenn is honored to serve on the faculty at Kennesaw State University and Morehouse College.
Concerts @ First presents 2020-2021 Dedication Concerts of First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta’s PEYTON CATER ROBINSON MEMORIAL STEINWAY CONCERT GRAND PIANO Friday, September 18, 2020 12:00 P.M. Bach’s Lunch Co-presented with the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta Beethoven 2020 - Violin and Cello Sonatas #1 Charae Krueger, cello - Helen Kim & Margeaux Maloney, violin Julie Coucheron & William Ransom, piano
Friday, October 23, 2020 8:00 P.M. Atlanta Chamber Players 45th Season Opener World Premiere– David Garner’s Crow and Melt
Friday, October 30, 2020 12:00 P.M. Bach’s Lunch Co-presented with the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta Beethoven 2020 - Violin and Cello Sonatas #2 Christopher Rex, cello - Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin - William Ransom, piano
Friday, November 13, 2020 8:00 P.M. Gala Concert with Charles Richard-Hamelin Second Prize & Krystian Zimerman Prize, XVII International Chopin Piano Competition, Warsaw, 2015 Works by Beethoven & Chopin
Friday, January 22, 2021 12:00 P.M. Bach’s Lunch Co-presented with the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta Vega String Quartet
Friday, February 19, 2021 8:00 P.M. Piano & Organ Concert Beethoven – Emperor Concerto; David Briggs - Poème Rhapsodique (World Premiere) Julie Coucheron, piano - Jens Korndörfer, organ
Friday, March 26, 2021 12:00 P.M. Bach’s Lunch Co-presented with the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta David Coucheron, violin; William Ransom, piano
Sunday, May 16, 2021 3:00 P.M. Atlanta Chamber Players Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue