Aaron Janse, Violin / Viola - A member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1997, Aaron Janse has performed as soloist, chamber musician and orchestra member around the globe at such venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, the Concert Hall of Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He has performed chamber music at many Orchestra concerts, and in February 2012 he played two works on the Chamber Music at MacPhail series: Ravel’s String Quartet and Mozart’s Quartet for Oboe and Strings. His other recent solo performances include Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 at the Las Vegas Music Festival.
Janse, also active as a violist, has performed, toured and recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic under Bernard Haitink, Daniel Barenboim and Sir Simon Rattle. He has performed frequently as a violist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at both Symphony Center and the Ravinia Festival.
Janse has collaborated in numerous chamber music performances with such artists as Gil Shaham, Joseph Silverstein, Charles Castleman, Hilary Hahn, Stephen Hough and the late Alicia de Larrocha. In addition to Sommerfest, he has appeared at festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Cincinnati’s Linton Series, the Las Vegas Music Festival and the Alpenglow Festival in Colorado. Janse is a member of the Musical Offering, a long-standing Twin Cities chamber ensemble.
A recipient of the Fritz Kreisler Scholarship, Janse earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Joel Smirnoff of the Juilliard String Quartet. His chamber music studies included extensive work with Felix Galimir, Zoltán Székely and Joseph Fuchs, as well as the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets. At Juilliard, he served as a teaching fellow for Dorothy DeLay and as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. He is a member of the violin and viola faculties at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis and St. Joseph’s School of Music in St. Paul.
Rudolph Kremer, Violin / Viola - Rudolph Kremer began playing with the San Francisco Symphony in 1995 and performs frequently with the Chicago Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. He holds a master’s degree from Western Illinois University, where he studied with Almita and Roland Vamos. He was first violinist of the Fidelio String Quartet in Lisbon, Portugal while teaching at that city’s National Superior Academy of Music, and he served as assistant concertmaster and principal second violin of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra of Lisbon. He has also played with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, The International Orchestra of Italy, and the Malaysian Philharmonic. Mr. Kremer often gets the chance to perform with his brother and sister-in-law in Tokyo, Japan as a guest in their duo. He is also an expert in cooking spicy chicken wings.
Lee-Sang Mee, Violin / Viola - MM, The Juilliard School; BM, The Juilliard School; student of Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Masao Kawasaki, Felix Galimir, Joseph Gingold, Roland and Almita Vamos, Victor Aitay, Betty Haag; master classes with Salvatore Accardo, David Cerone, Sidney Harth, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert Lipsett, Ruggiero Ricci, Pinchas Zukerman; additional studies at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, the Encore School for Strings, and Meadowmount School for Strings; recitals throughout the country and solo appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and others; top prizes in the Tibor Varga and Leopold Mozart International Competitions for Violin, the Irving M. Klein Competition, Seventeen Magazine/General Motors Concerto Competition, Julius Stulberg Auditions, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; co-founder of the Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble of Boston; recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including Honorary Member of the Delta Omicron Fraternity.
Shi-Hwa Wang, Violin / Viola - Violinist Shi-Hwa Wang’s reputation as a performer has earned him the post of concertmaster for several professional orchestras including the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, the Ballet West and Utah Chamber Orchestra in Salt Lake City, and the Classical Music Festival Orchestra in Eisenstadt, Austria. An avid chamber musician, he is the founding member of the Formosan Violin-Piano Duo, the Wasatch Piano Trio, Browning String Quartet, and the Kismarton String Quartet.
As an educator Dr. Wang is the Professor of Violin at Weber State University. He has a keen sense of teaching which allows his students to achieve their very best. His pupils have constantly been prize-winners of state and national competitions. Many have gone on to graduate programs of the top music universities in the country or become accomplished teachers after graduation from WSU.
Dr. Wang has served as a clinician, adjudicator, and master class teacher, both nationally and internationally. He has taught violin in the summer programs at the University of Michigan, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Illinois, the International Workshops in Europe, Classical Music Festival in Austria, and the Banff International Youth Orchestra Festival in Canada. He taught violin at the Haydn Conservatory of Music in Austria as a visiting professor and toured many European countries as a solo recitalist. He frequently adjudicates and conducts master classes in Music Teachers National Association or American String Teachers Association’s state and national competitions and the Kiwanis Festival in Calgary, Canada. He was on the planning committee in the first American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference in 2003. He is the director of the annual WSU ASTA Stringfest for string players of all ages and the executive director of the Sid & Mary Foulger International Summer Music Festival. He served as the state president of ASTA and was its Utah Educator of the Year recipient.
A graduate of Soochow University, Dr. Wang studied violin with Cheu-Sen Chen in Taiwan. He holds Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) where his teachers include Yuri Mazurkevich, Catherine Tate, and Peter Schaffer. He also studied with Paul Kantor in Michigan, Camilla Wicks in California, and the late Raphael Bronstein in New York. Other pedagogues he has worked with include Gerald Fischbach, Igor Ozim, Ivan Strauss, Jaap Schroeder, and Arianna Brone. A performer in great demand, Wang has appeared frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and guest concertmaster in the US, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, and Europe.
Almita Vamos, Violin - Almita Vamos is the winner of numerous honors and awards. She is a six-time recipient of the Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award and winner of the Distinguished Service Award, bestowed by the American String Teachers Association, as well as the Chautauqua and Concert Artists Guild Awards. She has also been named a Distinguished Teacher by National Endowment for the Arts. Formerly on the faculties of Western Illinois University, University of Minnesota, and Oberlin Conservatory. Vamos is currently a faculty member of the Music Institute of Chicago and a cofounder of the Weathersfield Summer Music Festival. Her students have won top prizes in numerous international competitions. She studied with Mischa Mischakoff and Louis Persinger at the Juilliard School.
(From Music Institute of Chicago) Almita Vamos is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she studied with Mischa Mischakoff and Louis Persinger. She has won the Presidental Award for Excellence in Teaching six times, the ASTA Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award and been featured on"Sunday Morning" CBS and in the New York Times best-seller, Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. Vamos has served on the violin faculty of the Western Illinois Univeristy, University of Minnesota and the Oberlin Conservatory. She is a professor of violin at Northwestern University and the Music Institute of Chicago and in the summer, she is on faculty at the Chautauqua Summer Music Institute.
She currently teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago where she is co- recipient of the Rachel Barton Pine Violin Chair, and is a Distinguished Professor at Northwestern University.
Roland Vamos, Violin / Viola - Roland Vamos is a former member of the Houston and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and Contemporary String Quartet with recordings on the Rizzoli and Atlantic labels. The cofounder of the Weathersfield Summer Music Festival, he is the winner of the Distinguished Teacher in the Arts Award, granted by the American String Teachers Association, and also serves as an adjudicator at national and international competitions. He has served on the faculties of Western Illinois University and University of Minnesota, and currently teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago. His students have won top prizes in numerous international competitions. Vamos studied with Oscar Shumsky and William Lincer.
(From Music Institute of Chicago) ???Roland Vamos has been a violin/viola faculty member at the Music Institute of Chicago for over 25 years, and Director of the Academy Chamber Orchestra since its inception in 2006. Nationally recognized for his excellence in teaching, he has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Teacher in the Arts Award and Distinguished Service Award granted by the American String Teachers Association; six Presidential Excellence in Teaching Awards; Distinguished Teacher by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served on the faculties of Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Minnesota and currently serves on the Northwestern University faculty. In the summer, he teaches at the Chautauqua Music Institute. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School where he earned his Bachelor, Masters and Doctoratal degrees. He studied violin with Oscar Shumsky and viola with William Lincer and has enjoyed a long performing career. Dr. Vamos is a former member of the Houston and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and Contemporary String Quartet with recordings on the Rizzoli and Atlantic labels. As a conductor and soloist he has appeared in Europe, Australia, Iceland, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. He and his wife, distinguished violinist and faculty member Almita Vamos, commissioned and recently recorded three violin and viola duos by living Chicago composers.