2015 J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition Winners’ Bios
Blue Hill String Quartet
With an unrelenting passion to explore and share chamber music, the Blue Hill String Quartet has begun establishing itself in venues from living rooms to Lincoln Center. A New York City based ensemble, the BHSQ has made appearances at Alice Tully Hall in the Wednesdays at One concert series, in beer halls and community spaces in Brooklyn, and recitals throughout the New York region. In March 2015, the quartet was internationally broadcast from Lincoln Center as part of Chamber Music Society’s Masterclass Series, playing for Paul Watkins. With a strong commitment to contemporary repertoire, the BHSQ has undertaken projects which champion contemporary composers. This past January, they were invited to participate in Juilliard’s Focus Festival with a performance of Four TEEN by Ushio Torikai. The BHSQ also maintains a strong relationship with Groupmuse, an organization that strives to bring people together through chamber music house parties. Comprised of Wyatt Underhill, Katherine Liccardo, Marta Lambert, and Seth Biagini, the Blue Hill String Quartet was established in the summer of 2014 and derives its name from the seed of the quartet’s existence, Kneisel Hall, which resides in Blue Hill, Maine. The BHSQ works under the primary instruction of Ronald Copes and Laurie Smukler with additional coachings from Mark Steinberg, Ida Kavafian and Curtis Macomber. They will be participating in the Juilliard String Quartet’s Quartet seminar in May and hold a 2015 summer fellowship at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. The BHSQ will be competing in the Fischoff Competition this May.
Wyatt Underhill, violin
Violinist Wyatt Underhill is active in many spheres of the music world today. He has won top prizes in several competitions, including the Klein Competition in San Francisco, and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Oberlin Orchestra and the Concord Chamber Orchestra. Interested in both contemporary and early music, Wyatt has premiered works by Arvo Pärt, Philip Cashian and Kip Winger, and has performed with Apollo’s Fire, Juilliard 415 and at the Boston Early Music Festival. He has served as concertmaster of the Oberlin and Juilliard Orchestras, including for several tours and recording projects. His principal teachers include Catherine Cho, Laurie Smukler, and Gregory Fulkerson.
Katherine Liccardo, violin
Violinist Katherine Liccardo, a native New Yorker, began her violin and piano studies at age 3. At the age of 18, she made her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium solo debut as the winner of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. Katherine received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Mannes College The New School for Music and is currently pursuing her Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Laurie Smukler. She has served as concertmaster at both of these prestigious institutions. A passionate pedagogue, Katherine is a certified Suzuki teacher and holds teaching positions at the Center for Preparatory Studies in Music at Queens College and The Saint David’s School.
Marta Hortobágyi Lambert, viola
Growing up as an only child in Greenville, North Carolina, Marta Hortobágyi Lambert has always been surrounded by music. While there are countless aspects of music for one to relish, Marta particularly enjoys chamber music, and aspires to become a professional chamber musician. Marta most recently attended Kneisel Hall this past summer, and was fortunate to have met and performed with Wyatt Underhill, Seth Biagini and Katherine Liccardo, who all now comprise a string quartet that regularly plays together in New York. In previous years, Marta also attended Greenwood Summer Music Festival, the Young Artists Program at Yellow Barn, Astona International, Heifetz Institute, and Beethoven Institute. In 2011, Marta won first prize in the ASTA Junior Division Competition and received a shared second prize in the 2014 Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Youth Concerto Competition in collaboration with the NC Symphony. Marta studied with Melissa Reardon and Ara Gregorian at East Carolina University from 2011 to 2014, and transferred to The Juilliard School where she currently studies with Hsin-Yun Huang and Misha Amory as a recipient of the Richard R. Levien Scholarship, the E. & W. Naumburg Scholarship and the Juilliard Scholarship Fund.
Seth Biagini, cello
Seth Biagini’s musical encounters have taken him to venues as obscure as the top of Aspen Mountain, an isolated East Coast island accessed only by boat, and a beer hall in Austria, as well as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Disney Hall. A native of Los Angeles, competition accolades include performances with the Palisades Symphony, Culver City Orchestra, and the Pasadena Community Orchestra. He is currently a senior at The Juilliard School and plans on continuing his education through graduate studies. Being an active chamber musician, Seth’s summers have been spent at Kneisel Hall, Taos Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.
Since its establishment in New York City in 2014, the Light Duo has been dedicated to interpreting piano and violin sonata repertoire with high artistic standard, under the tutelage of Dr. Heasook Rhee and Nicholas Mann.
Chonghang Li, piano
Born in 1989 and savoring the beauty of learning piano since childhood, Chonghang Li was enrolled in the Precollege of Shenyang Conservatory of Music. With full dedication to the beloved piano, Chonghang was received into the Central Conservatory of Music in 2006, which is highly regarded as the most prestigious conservatory in China. She received her Bachelors degree in piano performance in 2010, mentored by the Professors Chun Pan and Xiaotang Tan. She was awarded a Masters degree in piano performance in 2013, as the only piano student with full scholarship, under Dr.Taihang Du.She got the Professional Study Certificate in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music under Dr. Joanne Polk in 2014. Now she is studying for her second Masters Degree in instrumental accompanying and chamber music at MSM, studying with Dr.Heasook Rhee.
2005- awarded with YAMAHA musical performance scholarship and had first recital in Liao Ning Grand Theater.
2010- got into ALLEGRO VIVO musical festival as a pianist, and performed in the 70th birthday celebration concert in CCOM, Beijing, China.
2011-invited by Germany YOUNG MASTER international piano festival, performed the Saint-Saens Concerto in G Minor,Op.22 with the Dornbirn Youth Symphony Orchestra.
2012-performed the Bach Brandenburg Concertos with China Ballet Orchestra in China National Center for Performing Arts.
2014-won the FUCHS Chamber Music Competition at Manhattan school of Music.
Ziqing Guo, violin
Ziqing Guo was born in 1996. At the age of Five he started studying violin with Mr. Da Su. At the Age of Eight he started performing publicly. In 2004 he won The Macao String Competition. Mr. Guo has had the great fortunate of the studying with a plethora of great Teachers such as: Mr. Yang Song, Mrs. Mengda Lu and Miss. Qing Zheng of The Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2009 was awarded a full scholarship to attend The Morningside Music Bridge in Poland. In 2011, he was awarded the Silver Medal at The National Chamber Competition in Shanghai, which led him to perform in Germany. In 2012 he took part in the Menuhin International Violin Competition in Beijing. The following year he participated in the Summit Music Festival under the tutelage of Mr. Aaron Rosand. Which led him to win second place in The Concerto Competition. The same year Mr. Guo received a full scholarship to attend The Hotchkiss Summer Portal in United States. In 2014, he won FUCHS Chamber Music Competition. Mr. Guo is currently studying at the Manhattan School of Music with a full Scholarship under the tutelage of Mr. Nicholas Mann.
A vibrant and innovative duo, Adamo is passionate about bringing flute and piano music to life. Performing new music and arrangements, these young musicians shed new light on their instruments and give ‘flute and piano duo’ a whole new meaning through their vivid and captivating performances. Adamo strives to present the flute piano repertoire with dazzling color and virtuosity. Composed of two accomplished artists from South Korea, the duo performs a diverse range of repertoire in concerts in NY. In the past seasons they have appeared in concert at the Engelman recital hall,baruch performing arts center. Most recently, they were awarded the 2nd prize at the Arthur Balsam Duo Competition at the Manhattan School of Music.
Adamo was founded in the fall of 2013 at the Manhattan School of Music where they are both Doctoral candidates. Their name is derived from their mission: to fall in love with music and then to communicate this love for music through the complete beauty of music with the audiences.
While the Duo Adamo is newly established, its members have had an abundance of chamber music training and experience. Together they have received instruction from the renowned Linda Chesis, Michael Parloff and Heasook Rhee, and individually with Sylvia Rosenberg, Philippe Entremont, Jonathan Feldman, Kenneth Cooper, Alan Kay and Hyeri Yoon.
Dedicated in bringing music into the community, Adamo is especially passionate about reaching out to people who have been disabled or hospitalized and trying to enrich their lives by presenting a classical music concert. Closely working with nonprofit organization EnoB, they have given concerts at venues such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer center, Dewitt Rehabilitation and Nursing center in NYC.
Eunji Oh, flute
Eun Ji Oh, a native of Korea, is a recipient of President Award and Ruth Chatfield String Instrument Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music pursuing DMA degree under the tutelage of Linda Chesis. After undergraduate studies at Seoul National University (BM in 2008), she attended the Manhattan School of Music for her Master degree. Former teachers included Hyeri Yoon, Dongsoo Kim, and Misook Kim. Awards and honors include being selected as one of the 50 prodigies of Korea by Ministry of Education in Korea in 2003, being a scholarship student at Seoul National University, and being a principal flute in the Seoul Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, and the Asian Youth Orchestra (2001, 2002, and 2006).
She was the winner of several competitions including the New York Flute Club Competition, JungAng Concours, Korea Flute Association Competition, and Ehwa-Kyunghyang Competition. She had solo recitals as a winner of the audition of Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation. Active in chamber music, she has been a member of Kumho Chamber Music Society and performed with the Korean Flutists Ensemble in NFA in Nashville and in Japan International Flute Convention in Tokyo.
Minyoung Kang, piano
Minyoung Kang, an active chamber musician and a collaborative pianist, has performed in concerts throughout in the United States, France and Korea, in venues including Weill Hall at Carnegie, Merkin Hall, Château de Fontainebleau in France, Sejong M Theater in Korea. Korea.The second prize winner of the Artur Balsam Duo Competition, Minyoung has also received awards and scholarships including Prix special du Directeur and Prix de Musique de chambre from Ecoles D’Art Americaines de Fontainbleau, Renee and Richard Hawley scholarship and MSM President Award Scholarship. Ms. Kang has also appeared in concerts at Young Musician Forum, Huntington Library Concert Series, Eastman at Washington Square Concert Series in NY.Ms. Kang has served as a staff collaborative pianist at Ecoles D’Art Americaines de Fontainbleau, Great Mountain International Music Festival, and Manhattan Summer Voice Festival, and Sejong International Music Festival. She was also a collaborative piano fellow at the prestigious Music Academy of the West and Songfest. Currently a doctoral candidate in accompanying with Heasook Rhee at Manhattan School of Music, and a staff pianist at Mannes School of Music, Ms. Kang balances collaborating with both instrumentalists and vocalists.