Featured Artist

Pianist Ralph Votapek’s early triumphs – as winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award and gold Medalist in the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition – were an auspicious prelude to an even more remarkable career.  Votapek’s compelling keyboard style embodies all that is best in twentieth-century piano traditions, combining the fire, poetry and tonal warmth   <read more>



Reknown Artists from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera Orchestra


Cellist William Cernota has been a member of Lyric Opera orchestra since 1982 and chairs the Lyric Opera Orchestra Members Committee. A dedicated musician, he is also a biological engineer, with a Masters degree from University of Illinois at Chicago. He has performed in the CSO under Solti, and has soloed  <read more>


Youming Chen, ViolaViolist Youming Chen is an active recitalist, as well as a chamber and orchestral musician. He has performed in concert halls here and abroad, namely Carnegie, Alice Tully, Royal Albert, Avery Fisher, Lucern, Konzerthaus-Berlin, De Montfort, and National Taiwan Concert Hall. He was featured on WQXR (New York City)  <read more>




DavidGriffin, Horn

David Griffin is in the horn section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduating from Northwestern University in 1987, he began his career with the Rochester Philharmonic and followed with positions in the orchestras of Montreal and Houston before joining the Chicago Symphony in 1995. <read more>


Matthew Hagel, Piano

Described by The New York Times as “a sensitive player”, pianist Matthew Hagle is dedicated to exploring the boundaries of the piano repertoire, integrating newer repertoire and lesser-known older works with the traditional canon. He and violinist Rachel Barton Pine, have released two CDs on the Cedille label, and given  <read more>



Alexander Hanna, Bass_1

Alexander Hanna was appointed principal bass of the Chicago Symphony by Riccardo Muti in  2012. Prior to this, he served as principal bass of the Detroit Symphony.

A Curtis graduate, he has performed internationally as soloist, chamber musician, lecturer, and orchestral musician.  His passion  <read more> 


Sylcia Kilcullen, Violin_1

A member of the Chicago Symphony since 2012, violinist Silvia Kilcullen has excelled in national and international competitions. She was Gold Medalist at the 2003 Henryk Szeryng International Violin Competition and special jury prize-winner at the 2001 Sarasate International Violin Competition. She studied <read more>


Dennis Michel, Bassoon_1Dennis Michel is a bassoonist with the Chicago Symphony and a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He also serves as head of woodwinds at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. Since 1988, he has spent his summers teaching and performing at the Music Academy of the West in  <read more>


Jeffrey Panko, Pianist

Pianist Jeffrey Panko is a musician with repertoire from Bach to the present. After receiving performance degrees from Oberlin and DePaul (studying with Dmitry Paperno), he has had scholarships to Tanglewood and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.  He has also earned top prizes in competitions including the Society of American <read more> 


Jeffrey Ray, Baritone

Baritone Jeffrey Ray, an alumnus of Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center, has performed in halls throughout the United States and Europe.  Highlights have included numerous performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago and Berlin’s Deutche Oper.  He has been heard frequently in the roles of Don Giovanni, Figaro in <read more>


christine-steyer-sopranoSoprano Christine Steyer has distinguished herself as an artist of great versatility. In addition to receiving six national performance awards including the Johnny Mercer Award and the American Prize in Art Song, she has received acclaim for her operatic portrayals of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, the title role in Madama Butterfly <read more> 



Peter Storms, pianist, is resident keyboard musician at Unity Temple. Also a composer, arranger, transcriber, conductor, music director, and sound designer, he has toured with Michael Londra, conducting the PBS special “Beyond Celtic”. He has been very active in the Chicago theater scene, earning a Joseph Jefferson Award for outstanding sound design for Silk Road Theatre <read more>


Cellist Brant Taylor has been a CSO member since his appointment by Daniel Barenboim in 1998.  He has also pursued a career of chamber music, solo appearances with orchestra, and forays into the popular genre with Pink Martini.  He has been a member of the award winning Everest Quartet. In Chicago, Mr. Taylor’s recital <read more>



So Young Bae, Violin_1A native of Busan, South Korea, violinist So-Young Bae is an active soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player both in the United States and South Korea. She was appointed by Riccardo Muti to the Chicago Symphony in 2012.

Having received numerous competition awards including first prize in the Busan Music Association Competition and gold medal <read more>


Pianist Albertine Baumgartner Votapek from Kansas City met her husband Ralph Votapek at the Juilliard School of Music in New York where both were studying with the famous pianist-teacher Rosina Lhevinne.

While studying at Juilliard, Miss Baumgartner gave her New York Town Hall debut to critical acclaim as a result of winning the Concert Artist Guild Award.  Shortly thereafter, she began a year’s study with Carlo Zecchi in Rome under a Fulbright scholarship.  <read more>


SusanWarner, ClarinetDescribed as “star quality” by the Boston Globe, Susan Warner is a clarinetist in the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra. During the summer she performs in the Madeline Island Music Festival and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony where she was recently featured as soloist in Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs. She has played <read more> 

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