Sejong Cultural Society
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2008 Sejong Music Competition

2007 Sejong Music Competition

Winners |Judges | Winners' Concert

Piano:  Aglika Angelova | Elyse Mach | Andrea Swan
Nathan Cole | Gerardo Ribeiro | Akiko Tarumoto
Cello: Loren Brown | Paula Kosower | Gary Stucka

Aglika Angelova | piano

Aglika Angelova
As at home in chamber music as in the solo piano repertoire, Aglika Angelova brings a world-class technique, a deeply-embedded musicality, and infectious enthusiasm to her playing and teaching. A Steinway artist, she has been praised for her “sure and powerful touch”, “exultant, energetic intelligence”, “undoubted brilliance”, “rich tone and formidable abilities”.

Born in Bulgaria and educated in Germany, where she studied with the eminent pianist and pedagogue Volker Banfield, Aglika Angelova came to the United States in 1997 and joined the piano faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. There she co-founded the Jupiter Trio with violinist Robert Waters and cellist Julian Hersh. The group has attracted significant international attention after winning a Gold Medal and First Prize at the 4th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and releasing its first CD with trios by Hummel, Mozart and Dvorak. In 2004 the Jupiter Trio released its second CD on the Bridge Records label. After garnering much critical acclaim the recording was awarded the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award by the Classical Recording Foundation.

Aglika Angelova is a recipient of numerous awards and has served as Artist-in-Residence at the Limassol Festival, the Banff Center for the Arts, the Moab Music Festival, and the Olympic Music Festival, among others. She has appeared in countless solo recitals, orchestra and chamber music concerts in her native Bulgaria as well as in Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Lithuania, the United States, Canada, Japan and throughout the Pacific Rim.

Aglika Angelova is a devoted teacher and coach. She has given numerous master classes throughout the United States. In addition to her activities at DePaul University School of Music, she serves as Faculty-in-Residence at the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra in CA as well as at the annual Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar at the San Francisco State University.



Elyse Mach | piano

Elyse Mach
Elyse Mach, professor, music, and coordinator, piano pedagogy programs, is the first recipient of the Board of Governors Universities Distinguished Professor Award, an honor that earned her a proclamation from the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Illinois.

Mach is the author of nine books, among which “Contemporary Class Piano” remains one of the leading class piano books in the country. Mach also authored “Great Contemporary Pianists Speak for Themselves,” which is available in Japanese and Korean translations. Her latest book, “Learning Piano: Piece by Piece,” was recently published by Oxford University Press.

Additionally, Mach has been a contributing music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and has conducted over 100 interviews with internationally-known classical and jazz virtuosos, literary figures and film celebrities. She frequently contributes feature articles for Clavier Magazine, where she serves as consulting editor. Mach also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Liszt Society.

Mach has given guest lectures at prestigious universities including St. Catherine College of Oxford University, The Julliard School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and Yale and Northwestern Universities. Her most recent invitations to appear as a guest lecturer include the Amalfi Music Festival in Vietri, Italy and at the Kongju Arts Communication College in Gongju, South Korea.

Mach’s performance career took her throughout Europe and the United States, where she appeared as a piano soloist with orchestras such as the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlandische Philarmonic Broadcasting Orchestra.



Andrea Swan | piano

Andrea Swan
Andrea Swan comes from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where she studied with Nelson Whitaker at Carnegie Mellon and was the recipient of prizes and honors, including performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony when she was 13. She went on to study at Oberlin College with Jack Radunsky, where she was awarded a Bezazium scholarship and received the Faustina Hulbert prize as the outstanding musician of her class. Her graduate work was at Indiana University with Gygory Sebok and Menahem Pressler, where she received a M.M. with highest distinction and was awarded the Performer’s Certificate by the music school faculty.

Since coming to Chicago, she has made a career as a soloist, accompanist, orchestral pianist, chamber player and teacher. She is the keyboard player in the Grant Park Symphony (now at Millennium Park), the Lyric Opera Orchestra, and Chicago Philharmonic. For over 20 years, she was the pianist of the Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago, collaborating with Ralph Shapey and premiering many solo and chamber works. Her commitment to contemporary music also led to guest appearances with the Chamber Musicians of Chicago (Pierre Boulez conducting) and to a seven year stint as pianist of Fulcrum Point. As a chamber musician, she is a founder and pianist of the Evanston Chamber Ensemble (now in its 29th year) and the Pressenda Trio.

She appears frequently on the CSO Chamber series, as well as a guest performer with many chamber groups, including the Vermeer Quartet and the Rembrandt Chamber Ensemble, and has collaborated in recital with, among others, Lynn Harrell, Gil Shaham, Spiro Malas, Lawrence Foster, Jennifer Koh, Miriam Fried, Alex Klein, Peter Winograd, Benny Kim, Martin Beaver and Simon Rowland-Jones.




Nathan Cole | violin

Nathan Cole
Nathan Cole is a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's first violin section. Audiences at home in Symphony Center and worldwide enjoy his playing in the solo, orchestral and chamber repertoire. In the summer of 2004, Nathan was a top prizewinner at the International Violin Competition of Sion-Valais, and in addition captured the special prize for best performance of the commissioned work. As a result, he performed in Sion and Geneva with the Prague Philharmonia and Maestro Shlomo Mintz. He has appeared in recent seasons as guest concertmaster with the symphonies of Oregon and Seattle, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and as soloist with the Lexington Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. This season he makes a repeat appearance as guest concertmaster in Ottawa under Maestro Pinchas Zukerman. In addition to more than 100 concerts a year with the Symphony, Chicago audiences see Nathan through Ars Viva, Classical Performers, the CSO’s chamber music series, Dame Myra Hess, the Lake Shore Symphony, Music@399, and on WFMT’s “Live from Studio One”. His debut recording, an unaccompanied disc featuring the works of Bach and Bartók, along with world premier recordings of Augusta Read Thomas, will be released later this season through Bacchanale Records.

Prior to his CSO appointment in 2002, he served for two seasons as principal second violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, his solo debut came at the age of ten with the Louisville Orchestra. He received a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Pamela Frank, Felix Galimir, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo. Nathan’s love for chamber music flourished at Curtis, and in 1998 he became the founding first violinist of the Grancino String Quartet, which won the 2000 Barnett Competition in Chicago and participated in the 2000 Isaac Stern Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem. The Quartet made its New York debut in Carnegie's Weill Hall in 2002. Nathan’s chamber music activities also include three summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, along with national tours as part of Music From Marlboro. For the last four summers, he has performed and taught at the Mimir Festival in Fort Worth, Texas.

Nathan joins the violin faculty this year at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. In addition, he is a regular coach for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Chicago Youth Symphony. His writing, on subjects from practice techniques to chamber music coaching, has appeared in Chamber Music, Strings and Symphony magazines. A portion of Nathan’s teaching is online: his website contains stories and pictures from his life in music, as well as articles on violin study.

Visit him at


"The level [of the students] was very high and I was impressed with all the contestants' preparation and poise."

- Nathan Cole


Gerardo Ribeiro | violin

Gerardo Ribeiro
Long hailed as Portugal’s premier violinist, Gerardo Ribeiro is recognized on four continents as one of the truly important violinists of his generation. With acclaimed recitals at New York City’s most prestigious concert venues - Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Metropolitan Museum - Mr. Ribeiro has also appeared at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and is well known in major European, South American and Far Eastern concert halls.

As a concerto soloist, Mr. Ribeiro has appeared with the Philadelphia and Gulbenkian Orchestras, the Montreal, Dallas, Lucerne, Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and Cali Symphony Orchestras, the Zagreb, Antwerp and Lisbon Philharmonics, the Taiwan, Beijing, Belgian and Portuguese National Orchestras, the Radio Orchestras of Paris (O.R.T.F.), Lisbon, Berlin, Hilversum (Holland) and North Germany (Hannover) and other leading ensembles. Also active in chamber music, he has served as artistic director of the International Chamber Music Institute in Munich and has performed at the Marlboro and Lucerne International Music Festivals.

Beginning violin studies at an early age, Ribeiro went on to earn Soloist Diplomas, with honors, at both the Porto and Lucerne Conservatories, later attending the Juilliard School, where he studied with Ivan Galamian, Paul Makanowitzky and Felix Galimir. Numerous awards in distinguished international competitions such as the Montreal and Paganini followed. First Prizes were received at the Vianna de Motta contest in Lisbon and the Maria Canals competition in Barcelona. After serving on the violin faculty of the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Ribeiro joined Northwestern University as professor of violin. He is a member of the Meadowmount Trio, ensemble-in-residence at the Meadowmount School of Music. Ribeiro has been awarded the Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award from the White House’s Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Gerardo Ribeiro’s recordings are available on the EMI and RCA labels. He has recorded the complete violin sonatas of both Brahms and Beethoven, along with violin concerti by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Schumann and others.

Mr. Ribeiro has been decorated by the President of Portugal as Commander of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator.



Akiko Tarumoto | violin

Sun Yung Shin
Akiko Tarumoto began her violin studies when she was five and later attended the Juilliard School Pre-College division as a student of Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. She hails from New York, where she has been heard in a number of concert venues including Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Walter Reade Theater, and at the Museum of Modern Art. She has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2004, and was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 2000 to 2004. Ms. Tarumoto received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in English and American Literature from Harvard University in 1998 and her Master of Music from the Juilliard School in 2000, where she was a student of Glenn Dicterow. Ms. Tarumoto has been a featured performer on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, and has also participated in the Aspen, Taos and Spoleto festivals. While in Los Angeles, she was on faculty at Pepperdine University.




Loren Brown | cello

Loren Brown
Loren Brown has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1985, before which he was principal cellist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for ten years. While in Milwaukee, Mr. Brown was also principal cello of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and performed in Pro Musica Nova, a new music ensemble, in addition to giving numerous recitals and concerto and chamber music performances.

Since joining the Chicago Symphony, Loren has performed extensively with such ensembles as Chicago Pro Musica, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and the Chicago Symphony Chamber Players. With these and other ensembles, he has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia, and has participated in several chamber music tours in Japan. Also in Japan, Loren served on the faculty of the Affinis Arts Foundation summer festival.

Loren was a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in David Ott’s ‘Concerto for Two Cellos’, and also performed in the Chicago and New York premieres of Arvo Part’s ‘Passio’ with the Hilliard Ensemble of London. He has been a regular performer on the CSO’s chamber music series, and live on WFMT.

Loren’s early career began in Washington, D.C., where he spent four years as a member of the U.S. Navy String Quartet performing for dignitaries at the White House and the Department of State. He played on numerous occasions at the Philips and National Galleries and the Corcoran Art Gallery. Also while in Washington, he was principal cellist of the National Gallery Orchestra and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra.



Paula Kosower | cello

Paula Kosower
Paula Kosower is an active performer and teacher currently living in the Chicago area. She has performed recitals for Rising Stars at Ravinia, Mostly Music in Chicago, Bagels and Bach at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Sunday Afternoon Live for Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, and the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago. Recent seasons have included performances with the Sheridan Chamber Players, with Fulcrum Point, with MusicNOW from Symphony Center, with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and with Music For A While at the Music Institute of Chicago. Some of her other solo and chamber music performances abroad include concerts in Belgium, Italy, China and North Korea.

Ms. Kosower is an enthusiast of contemporary music and has performed for the June in Buffalo festival, the Midwest Composers’ Symposium, University of Chicago contemporary music series, MusicNOW at Symphony Center, and the contemporary Chicago-based groups CUBE and ICE. She also enjoys serving as a regular substitute cellist for both the Chicago and the Milwaukee Symphony orchestras.

Ms. Kosower teaches a course in cello pedagogy at Northwestern University, private lessons at the Northwestern University String Academy and chamber music at the Merit School of Music where she is also a member of the faculty piano trio. She received her B.M. and M.M. performance degrees at Indiana University where she was a scholarship student of Janos Starker. She also served as Mr. Starker’s graduate teaching assistant. She recently completed her doctoral degree, D.M., at Northwestern University.



Gary Stucka | cello

Gary Stucka
Gary Stucka began playing the cello at the age of eight. He took his first lessons at the Park View School in Morton Grove and subsequently studied with Margaret Simpson, Harry Sturm, and Leonard Chausow. During his high school and early college years, he was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and he remembers the enlightening cello sectionals led by former principal cello Frank Miller. In his last year with the Civic, Gary received the Louis Sudler Foundation for the Musical Arts Award.

Gary continued his studies as a full scholarship student of Karl Fruh at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in cello performance. He was assistant principal cello of the Grant Park Symphony and he served as principal of the Winnipeg Symphony from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, he joined the Cleveland Orchestra, where he remained until coming to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1986.

He is principal cello of the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and of the Ars Viva Chamber Orchestra. Since 1989, he has performed with the Orchestra's assistant concertmaster David Taylor and pianist Andrea Swan in the critically acclaimed Pressenda Trio. He also has performed with the Chicago Symphony String Quartet. He continues to give recitals and often appears as soloist with numerous orchestras.

Gary has many outside interests including photography, bicycling, theater, film, and ethnic dining. His specialty of collecting historic recordings has recently gone "international," as he has begun engineering disc-to-digital tape transfers of recordings from his collection for Biddulph Records in England. He has always enjoyed international travel and is especially fond of tours with the CSO.



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