The January 22, 2023 Waverly Chamber Music Series, concert features Pianist Mei-Hsuan Huang and Violinist Borivoj Martinic-Jercic.
Pianist Mei-Hsuan Huang received her bachelor's from The National Taiwan Normal University, her master’s at the Cleveland Institute and her Doctor of Musical Arts at The Ohio State University under full scholarship. Huang is the recipient of the 2019 Steinway Top Teacher Award and 2021 Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame. She is an Associate Professor of Piano at Iowa State University and a member of the Amara Piano Quartet. She has participated in and won many piano competitions, including the USASU International Piano Competition in Tempe, Arizona. Huang regularly performs more than fifty solo and chamber recitals each year all around the globe.
Huang has a rich history in Iowa. In 2013, Huang performed with the Central Iowa Symphony, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Iowa State University Orchestra, and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with the Des Moines Symphony. She was invited to perform Beethoven's Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" with the Central Iowa Symphony and Iowa State University Orchestra. Huang has a studio in Ames, IA where she loves to teach high school and university students.
Violinist Borivoj Martinic-Jercic grew up around music and began violin lessons at the young age of five. He was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1960. He graduated from Blagoje Bersa Conservatory of Music in 1978 where he received a full tuition scholarship to the University of Michigan. He earned his bachelor's degree in Violin Performance and in 1984 earned his master's degree in Violin Performance.
Martinic-Jercic joined The Phoenix Symphony in 1986; he was named its concertmaster in 1991. In 2005, in Croatia, he was the Artistic Director and Concertmaster of the chamber orchestra “I Solisti di Zagreb”. During his tenure with I Solisti di Zagreb, he performed more than three hundred concerts worldwide and released several CDs.
In 2012, Martinic-Jercic joined the String Department at Iowa State University as Assistant Professor of Violin. Every summer he performs as concertmaster of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. Martinic-Jercic regularly appears throughout North America as violinist with the Amara Piano Quartet, the piano quartet in residence at Iowa State University.
The Murasaki Duo will perform on Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, hosted by the Waverly Chamber Music Series. Founded in 1996, the Murasaki Duo consists of cellist Eric Kutz and pianist Miko Kominami.
Eric Kutz is an active chamber and orchestral cellist that has made an impact both nationally and internationally. With degrees from both the Juilliard School and Rice University, Kutz has had an extensive professional career, including performances in Moscow at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, New York City, and around the Midwest.
Kutz currently holds the Barbara Steppel Memorial Cello Fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Music, where he currently teaches. He is a member of the Left Bank Quartet and the Grant Park Orchestra, along with making solo appearances in local orchestras like the Des Moines Community Symphony and the Luther College Symphony.
Miko Kominami holds both Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City, as well as the Piano Performance Certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She currently serves at Luther College as an Instructor of Music in piano, along with being the Principal Keyboard of Orchestra Iowa.
After her recital debut in Carnegie Hall in New York City and winning the 1996 Artists International Award, Kominami has performed extensively throughout North America. She also performs locally in the Luther College Symphony and has appeared solo in Orchestra Iowa three times.
The Murasaki Duo has performed all over North America, Europe and Asia, including performances in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto and London. Additionally, the duo shares their talents at annual festivals and have been featured on radio stations all across the country.
Musicians of the Midwest Chamber Players will perform for the first concert of the 2022-2023 season. The ensemble features Sean Botkin, piano; Julia Bullard, viola; and Eric Wachmann, clarinet.
Eric Wachmann is a Professor of Music at Wartburg College and principal clarinet with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina. He is highly regarded in our community as an educator for many aspiring musicians.
Wachmann has many respected chamber performances around the world, including being the first North American musician invited to perform at the renowned Sophia Concert Hall in Polatsk, Belarus. He also shares two critically acclaimed CDs with pianist Ted Reuter.
Julia Bullard is a Professor at Kennesaw State University and Interim Director of the Bailey School of Music. However, for 10 years, she served in the Cedar Valley as the Associate Director for Graduate Studies of the UNI School of Music. Bullard received her DMA degree from the University of Georgia, and since then has performed and educated internationally and domestically.
Bullard is the violist of Trio 826, who has several albums and recognitions, and has performed within many other ensembles such as Bogotá Chamber Orchestra, Aspen String Trio, the Maia Quartet, and the Arianna Quartet. Additionally, Bullard has attended and taught at countless chamber music festivals.
Sean Botkin began performing professionally at the staggering age of nine years old with the Honolulu Symphony. Botkin has a variety of degrees from prestigious institutions such as Stanford University, the Juilliard School, and Indiana University at South Bend.
Botkin earned awards in several international piano competitions and has performed with a number of highly recognized performers in the industry. He has performed all around the world from Alice Tully Hall in New York to Asia and South America. Botkin now also utilizes his talents to also serve the musical youth as Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Northern Iowa.
Marian Lee made her New York City debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as winner of the Artists International Award and has appeared as soloist and with orchestras internationally in Austria, Belgium, Italy, France, Norway, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Poland, Brazil, Byelorussia, Estonia, Hong Kong, and Thailand, as well as in Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage, Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff Hall, and the Hermitage Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. In liaison with the U.S. State Department, Dr. Lee also received numerous grants in support of performances of American contemporary music abroad and is a former Fulbright and International Research and Exchange (IREX) scholar.
Notable professional activities include violin and piano duos with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim, Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster Frank Almond, and Naha Greenholz, concertmaster of Madison and Quad City Symphony Orchestras. Marian has also held master classes in Hong Kong, Delaware, Louisiana, Alabama, Illinois and Iowa. Most recently, Dr. Lee performed a Bach and Mozart concerto with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and was the first female soloist to perform on the Steinway Café series on Iowa Public Radio.
Marian made her concert debut in high school performing with the Ann Arbor Symphony and Flint Symphony Orchestras in Michigan. She entered The Juilliard School as a scholarship student receiving both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in piano performance. She was subsequently awarded the coveted Fulbright Grant to study at the Moscow Conservatory in what was then the Soviet Union. During her three-year stay, Dr. Lee witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union and toured extensively within the former USSR. Upon her return to the United States, Dr. Lee completed her doctoral degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at The Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Lee previously taught at the University of Iowa and the University of Delaware before moving to Davenport, Iowa where she is currently an associate professor in piano and serves as head of the keyboard area at St. Ambrose University.
Hannah Holman, cellist, joined the New York City Ballet Orchestra at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season. Her career has encompassed orchestral and chamber music, solo performances, and teaching. In a review of the second CD she recorded with pianist Réne Lecuona, Fanfare magazine declares "her tone and technique are the stuff that cello legends are made of "... Holman's cello sings with a lustrous tone that's hard to resist."
In addition to her work with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, Ms. Holman is the principal cellist of the Quad City Symphony, a position she has held since 2008 and is super delighted to be named the new one year adjunct Cello Instructor at the University of Northern Iowa and Biola Univeristy for 2020-2021. She began her professional career in England playing with the English String Orchestra under Yehudi Menuhin and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle. Her previous orchestral work also includes serving as assistant principal cello with the Michigan Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony; and the American Sinfonietta.
Hannah is fortunate to have a diverse career allowing much time for solo work. In 2019, Hannah performed the Korngold Cello Concerto with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer Higdon's Soliquoy also with the QCSO, and with the Solomon Chamber Orchestra. She is in the middle of a video project highlighting the lives of women cellists from the past, and performed six pieces with the Iowa City Community Chamber Orchestra, each piece focusing on a different cellist. She performed the 4th Cello Suite of J.S. Bach in Carnegie Hall on March 3, 2020 as part of the Bach Cello Suite Festival, celebrating 300 years of the cello suites.
An active chamber musician, Ms Holman helped found Trio 826, with her dear friends Susanna Klein, violin, and Julia Bullard, viola. She was a founding member of the Beaumont Piano Trio, which performed around the United States and England, and was also a founding member of Quadrivinium, a music ensemble in residence at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. From 2002-2011, she was a member of the Maia Quartet, the University of Iowa's quartet in residence, which toured China, Japan, and throughout the United States, including teaching residencies at Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Great Wall International Music Academy in China, and the Austin Chamber Music Center. She regularly performs in chamber ensembles with musicians from throughout the United States.
A dedicated private teacher who finds great fulfillment in helping students of all ages grow musically, Ms. Holman was on the University of Iowa music faculty from 2002-2012, and has served on the faculties of the Worcester College (UK), Michigan State University Community School, and Virginia Union University. She has participated in numerous festivals, and has been on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival since 2001 and currently serves on the faculty of the International Cello Institute, the Five Seasons Music Festival, and Taconic Music.
Ms. Holman studied at the Eastman School of Music and Michigan State University, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree. She obtained her Master of Music Degree with Fritz Magg at the New England Conservatory. Hannah was fortunate enough to have several lessons with William Pleeth in London as postgraduate study. Her musical education began at age 5 with her grandmother, whose 1925 Becker cello she plays today. She is eternally grateful for the fine teaching of a transformative teacher, Louis Potter, during her junior high and high school years.
Ms. Holman - whose hobbies include food, wine, and finding killer deals on shoes - divides her time between NYC and Iowa City, Iowa, where she lives with her son, Matisse, and their cat, Ripley. Please visit her at her website: hannahholmacello.com
By Hannah Dutcher
Dr. Eric Wachmann is a Professor of Music at Wartburg College and principal clarinet with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. Along with being a vital musician to the local community, he has performed extensively with professional orchestral, chamber and jazz ensembles in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Wachmann holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Throughout his career, he has performed with various ensembles: Yo Yo Ma, Nadia Solerno-Sonnenberg, Midori, Peter Schickele as well as with Orchestra Iowa, the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Windsor Symphony, and Toledo Symphony. In addition, he has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Ozone Jazz Festival, and the North Sea Jazz Festival.
His chamber performances include being the first North American musician invited to perform at the renowned Sophia Concert Hall in Polatsk, Belarus.
In 2013, Dr. Wachmann toured China and Japan with the Wartburg Wind Ensemble where he gave numerous performances of Scott McAllister’s “Black Dog.” Recent performances have included performances on the Castle Chamber Series in Waverly and the deBlasiis Chamber Series in Glens Falls, NY.
Among his other achievements, Dr. Wachmann has recorded two critically acclaimed CD’s with pianist Ted Reuter. The first was released in 2002 and the second was released in 2006, both featuring clarinet music from world-renowned composers.
Besides his work on clarinet, Dr. Wachmann is also an accomplished shakuhachi performer and is a member of the Ki-Sui-An shakuhachi dojo. He has given numerous shakuhachi performances regionally as both a soloist and as part of a mixed-media performance group. Wachmann is currently working toward his Jun-Shihan level on the shakuhachi.
Eric Wachmann’s mastery of the clarinet will be featured alongside pianist Sean Botkin during a virtual event hosted by Waverly Chamber Music Series on April 11.
By Kayla Boeke
Percussionist Matt Andreini is a native Iowan and currently teaches at the University of Northern Iowa. Andreini also continues to maintain an active performance career. Holding performances regularly with a wide variety of ensembles throughout Iowa.
In addition to his regular performing schedule, he is often a featured soloist with numerous ensembles and has performed multiple international tours throughout Europe, Central, and South America.
As a chamber musician, Matthew has recently shared the
stage with groups such as the Boston Brass and the Enso
String Quartet. As an avid enthusiast of new music,
Andreini co-directs a collaborative new music organization
known as the “Iowa/Hungary Project” with Hungarian percussionist, Gabor Palotas.
This unique duo specializes in the performance of contemporary percussion works by Iowan and Hungarian composers. Since the project’s inception, members of the duo have jointly commissioned and premiered more than 50 works, creating a unique opportunity for cultural exchange throughout the community.
Matthew has previously held teaching positions at Southwestern Community College (Creston, Iowa), and Joyful Noise Drums and Percussion (West Des Moines, IA) and currently teaches at the University of Northern Iowa. As a teacher, Matthew’s students have had continued success in competitions and have gone on to lead successful careers in music.
By Kayla Boeke
“When I had nothing else, I had my mother and the piano. And you know what? They were all I needed.” -Alicia Keys
Pianist Sean Botkin began studying the piano with his mother as early as age five. The start of his extensive career began at his first orchestra appearance (four years later) with the Honolulu Symphony.
Botkin went on to continue his study privately with Neal O’Doan at the University of Washington. Under the direction of O’Doan, Botkin performed with the Seattle Symphony, Spokane Symphony, and Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra throughout his early career.
Sean has accumulated a multitude of prizes in an impressive list of international piano competitions that include: William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Busoni International Piano Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition, World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Dong-A International Music Competition of Korea, International Music Competition of Japan and the Washington D.C. International Competition.
As a graduate of Stanford University, the Juilliard School, and Indiana University at South Bend, Sean has studied with renowned artists such as; Adolph Baller, Martin Canin, and Alexander Toradze. Botkin is currently an Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Northern Iowa.
Sean has also had many opportunities to travel through his acclaimed performances. The range is substantial, and includes; The United States, Europe, Central and South America, Asia, and Russia.
Botkin’s concerto and recital performances include; Kazan and St. Petersburg, Russia; Tbilisi and Kutaisi, Georgia; Salzburg Festival, Ravenna Festival, Stresa Festival, Ruhr Klavier Festival, Gilmore Festival, London, Cagliari, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Palermo, Lisbon, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogotá and San Josá (Costa Rica).
Sean made his initial debut in New York at Alice Tully Hall in 1993, by performing Bartók’s Concerto No. 2 with the Juilliard Symphony, conducted by Carl St. Clair. In 2009, he made a CD recording of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor and performed a series of concerts in Europe sponsored by Alexander Rachmaninoff and the Rachmaninoff Foundation.
In 2012, Sean was also sponsored by the Rachmaninoff Foundation, when he performed Rachmaninoff’s 4th Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. In 2013, Sean continued this with the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and guest conductor, Alexander Sladkovsky. In May 2015, Sean performed in Tbilisi, Georgia as part of the Easter to Ascension Festival.
Equally active in chamber music, reactions to Sean’s performances typically are expressed with phrases such as “multidimensional talents”, “superb musicianship”, and “beautiful and rare musical experience”.
Sean Botkin will be performing alongside percussionist Matt Andreini on March 21 for a virtual performance hosted by the Waverly Chamber Music Series.
The Artaria String Quartet first established in Boston Massachusetts and currently resides in Minnesota. The quarter was formed by Ray Shows, Nancy Oliveros, Annalee Wolf, and Patricia Ryan. The group currently has a residence at Sundin Music Hall on the campus of Hamline University and previously held a residence at Viterbo University and Boston College.
Artaria Quartet has been described as an exceptional ensemble with impressive confidence in its interpretations as well as Minnesota’s foremost teaching and performing string quartet. Recently the ensemble has celebrated 30 years of chamber music performances. With that comes numerous opportunities to travel and awards earned. The group has traveled to Europe, most notably France, Canada, and all over the United States. Their playing has awarded them with the National Endowment for the Arts award as well as the Minnesota State Arts Board for excellence in performance and educational outreach.
Artaria won the Minnesota State Arts Board for excellence through their music school called the Artaria Chamber Music School or ACMS for short. The school is a premier weekly string chamber music program based in Saint Paul that features the Artaria String Quartet and renowned guest artists. Every April, the school competes in the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, which showcases the nation’s top high school-age string quartets. Artaria believes in the power of music and the importance of music education so it has dedicated the school to provide students with a musical mentor that allows them to share, create community, make friends, and make something happen all through the power of music.
Violinist, Ray Shows is passionate about 20th-century music and has recorded music of today’s leading composers, including Gunther Schuller, Augusta Read Thomas, Marjorie Merryman, and Thomas Oboe Lee. In 2010, Ray was named MNSOTA Studio Teacher of the year. His students are concerto soloists, scholarship recipients at renowned American music schools, are prizewinners at national competitions, and have appeared on National Public Radio From the Top. Shows also received the coveted Director’s Award and graduated with distinction from Boston University and Florida State University in Violin Performance.
Nancy Oliveros is also a violin player. Nancy was a fellowship student at Aspen, Kneisel Hall, and the Florida Festival and was a graduate teaching assistant at The Florida State University and Boston University studying violin and chamber music. Nancy is a founding member of the ASQ and a 2004 McKnight Fellow.
Annalee Wolf is the viola player for ASQ and she has received her undergraduate degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Wolf has earned a Premier Prix in viola performance from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and subsequently studied chamber music and the humanities at eh European Mozart Academy. Her talents have allowed her to play in places in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. as both a guest solo artist and as part of an ensemble.
Patricia Ryan is the cello player for ASQ. Patricia has completed her second Masters of Music at Rice University Shepherd School of music on a full-tuition scholarship. Patricia has participated and received the top prize in the Plowman, Coleman, and Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions and has [performed internationally in Portugal and China as part of the Viana de Castello International Music Festival and the San Francisco-Shanghai International Chamber Music Festival.
As a group, ASQ has stated that Artaria is a conversation among equals, each voice is heard and respected and the remarkable music we are privileged to study and perform guides us through the greatest thoughts and emotions humanity can express.
“Our greatest joy as curators of the great medium of string playing has been to see students in our coaching programs grow into the awareness that they are part of something greater than themselves.”
“Our next challenge is presenting the cycle of string quartets of Beethoven. We feel honored to have this opportunity and are delighted to share our love of chamber music with the people of Minnesota and beyond.”
The Artaria String Quartet will perform on March 15 at 2 p.m. in the Narthex of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School in Waverly, IA.
In the third century, a Greek engineer named Ctesibius of Alexandria created what we now call the organ. The instrument was originally called the hydraulis as the instrument made noise through water pressure flowing through a set of pipes allowing the instrument to produce different notes based on the size of the pipe and how much pressure was put through the pipe. The hydraulis would mainly be played in arenas of the Roman Empire to get the crowd excited, similarly how the organ is used today at ballparks to play Take Me Out To The Ball Game.
Today the organ still uses different sized pipes to create sound, but makers have since replaced the pressurized water system with pressurized air. The organ is composed of two or more manuals (keyboards) played by the hands and a pedalboard which is played by the feet. Each set of keyboard controls a new group of stops. Stops are groups of pipes that can replicate different sounds that can be played on the organ.
The average number of stops that an organ can have is 32 stops, meaning there are 32 different sized pipes inside the organ. Many large organs will have 64 stops, and the largest organ in the world has 78 stops. Stops are used to reference different pipes inside of the organ because each pipe only plays one note. In order to have 88 different notes represented as well as four different types of sounds, many organs will have an average of 785 pipes inside of them, with the largest organ in the world, located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has 33,114 pipes.
There are four different groups in the organ called the organ families. These families are in charge of making different sounds on the organ based on what stops are pulled before playing. The first family is called the principals.
The principals are the main stops of the organ and sound like the gloomy almost scary sound of the organ that gets featured most in Dracula movies.
The second family is the flutes. This family is what it sounds like, when the flute stops are pulled, the organ an imitate various instruments of the flute family such as the recorder, orchestral flute, and piccolo.
Third in the family are the strings. The string stop can make the organ sound like string instruments such as violin, viola, cello, or double bass.
Finally in the organ family are the reeds. The reeds are a special family are unlike their organ siblings, the pipes are made differently in order to get the sounds for the reed stops. All of the pipes in the reed family have a brass plate called the tongue which lines the small opening of the pipe in order to have a different vibration of air travel through the pipe. Reeds can then be broken down into two different groups, solo reeds, and chorus reeds. However, all reed stops imitate various kinds of wind instruments like oboe, clarinets, french horn, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, and tuba.
Typically only one stop would be played at a time during the duration of a piece, but their can be multiple stop changes throughout a piece. There are some rare occasions where multiple stops are played at once, but most composers avoid this as to not make the piece sound crunchy or filled with too much noise at once.
Many people argue that the organ is the instrument of all instruments because it can replicate four different families of instruments, and it can also be compared to the voice. In order to sing, the larynx has three operating systems, the actuator (respiratory mechanism), the vibrator (phonatory mechanism), and the resonator. All three of these components can be found within the organ. The actuator or the respiration comes from the air pressure that is constantly circulating throughout the instrument in order to have sound come from each of the pipes. The vibration or phonation comes from the pipes itself, as each pipe is a different size and can be lined, sealed or created from different materials such as wood or metal that creates different vibrations of sound. Finally, the resonation comes from the stops and the manuals as the organ player is the one that is in charge of creating the dynamic level of each pipe when a note is played. The pipes can also fit in the category of resonation as each pipe comes in different sizes that will enhance the tone quality when played.
Overall, the organ is a very large and complicated instrument, not only to build but to play as well. One must have fine-tuned coordination to play the organ as they have to use their feet, and hands, to play while simultaneously changing stops and turning pages of music. The number of people that know how to play the organ has slowly been on the decline, but many schools are trying to reverse that by offering students organ lessons for free.
No matter how invested one gets into learning how the organ works, or even how to play it, I think one thing can remain true. No wedding, church service, or baseball game would ever be the same if we didn’t have the organ.