posted October 18, 2010

Illinois Chamber Music Festival Players to Perform on Oct. 28

The Illinois Chamber Music Festival Players will present a Schumann Commemorative Concert at Hope College on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The ensemble is comprised of violinist Mihai Craioveanu, violist Lisa Nelson, cellist Nina Gordon and pianist Mark Clinton. The concert will begin with the "Arabesque for Piano," followed by the "Intermezzo" from the "F.A.E. Sonata for Violin and Piano." Next will be the "Trio in D minor," Op 63, No. 1. Concluding the concert will be the "Quartet in E Flat Major," Op. 47.

° Mihai Craioveanu is a professor of violin and chair of the strings area in the department of music at Hope.  Hailed by the prestigious magazine "The Strad," as "stunning...brilliant," he has concertized to great acclaim throughout the world. Critics described his Carnegie Hall debut concert as "fresh and distinguished with a keen appreciation of proper style." Craioveanu has performed sold-out concerts in legendary concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona and Atheneum Hall in Bucharest.  He has also performed on the nationally televised "Hour of Power" program at the Crystal Cathedral in California and the prestigious television program "Joy of Music" hosted by the famed organist Diane Bish. His China concert debut at Shanghai International Festival in 2007 was also broadcast on Chinese national television as well as worldwide on broadband. The "Washington Post" described his playing as "...dramatic, nuanced and playful. His violin became his voice. Craioveanu ensured that it was the music, and not the musician, that came first."  Craioveanu appeared at renowned international music festivals such as Edinburgh (Scotland), Banff (Canada) and Bodensee (Germany).

° Nina Gordon, cello, is associate professor of cello and chamber music at Illinois Wesleyan University.  She is the founder and artistic director of the annual Illinois Chamber Music Festival, the IWU Summer Music Program and IWU Cello Camp.  Her education includes the Moscow Conservatory in Russia, the University of Tel-Aviv in Israel and the University of Kansas-Lawrence, where she received her DMA.  An experienced and active performer, Gordon was principal cellist of the Kansas City Symphony and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and performed in the renowned Israel Philharmonic. She performs and teaches regularly at summer music festivals in Europe and the United States.

° Lisa Nelson, viola, is on the faculty of Illinois Wesleyan University, where she coordinates the IWU String Preparatory Department, and is executive director of the Illinois Chamber Music Festival.  She is completing work on her DMA at the University of Illinois, where she holds her Master of Music degree; she earned a double-degree (Bachelor of Music in violin performance and Bachelor of Arts in mathematics) from St. Olaf College, where she graduated summa cum laude with distinction in music. She is a member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and has been principal violist with the Enesco Ensemble.  She regularly appears in recitals in Canada, Czech Republic, Italy and Bulgaria.

° Mark Clinton, piano, is currently associate professor of piano and co-chair of the piano area at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is a Steinway artist.  He has garnered prizes at such prestigious international competitions as the 1987 William Kapell International Piano Competition and the 1991 Joanna Hodges Piano Competition.  He has been featured frequently on national radio and television broadcasts, including "Monitor Radio" and American Public Media's "Performance Today."  Critics have noted his "powerful performance [combined with] sublime lyricism" ("Salisbury Daily Times"), the "...drive and security of his pianism" ("Baltimore Sun") and his "luminous, concentrated playing" ("Washington Post").  He has appeared throughout the United States as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony and the United States Air Force Symphony. Highlights of his recent calendar include enthusiastically received recitals at the American Cathedral in Paris, Seattle's Benaroya Hall (as featured guest artist at the 2008 Seattle International Piano Festival and Competition), and the historic rotunda of Steinway Hall in New York City.  Clinton has shared his musical insights with students from around the world while serving on the faculties of Salisbury University, the Aspen Institute, Missouri Southern State University, the Illinois Chamber Music Festival and the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.