RECORDED LIVE IN CONCERT AT THE NORTHBROOK PUBLIC LIBRARY, Northbrook, Illinois
FINE ARTS FALL SERIES
Recording Engineer: David Schoenberg
Piano: August Forster, 7 foot model.
December 16, 2012, 2 pm
Works by Rachmaninoff, Schumann and Grieg
Genre: Piano Duet and VIolin-Piano Sonatas
David Yonan, Violinist and Artistic Director of FAMS Festival:
David Yonan, is an internationally award-winning concert violinist, recording artist and educator. Since his solo debut at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra at age 12, David has won 1st prizes at the Ruggiero Ricci International Violin Competition in Germany, the Vina del Mar International Violin Competition in Chile, the International Kloster Schoental Violin Competition, Germany, the Carl Flesch Academy Baden-Baden, and most recently the 2012 Alexander and Buono International String Competition in New York. He has toured as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Asia and published numerous CD’s and DVD’s. In 2000 the celebrated violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay invited him to give his debut at the inaugural international Starling-DeLay Violin Symposium at the Juilliard School New York, and at the Aspen Music Festival, where he performed with Itzhak Perlman. David has previously been Head of Strings at Columbia College Chicago and North Park University Chicago. He has been invited to give guest lectures and master classes at San Francisco State University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the "Franz Liszt" Music Academy Weimar, Germany. His teachers and mentors include Roland & Almita Vamos, Werner Scholz, Ruggiero Ricci, Dorothy DeLay and Abraham Jaffe. In 2002 he founded the Fine Arts Music Society in the historic Fine Arts Building Chicago, which has since produced over 300 concerts, master classes and four international music festivals in Chicago and the Midwest. He graduated with a B.M., M.M. and Soloist Diploma from the Berlin “Hanns Eisler” Music Academy in 2000 and is an alumnus of Northwestern University and the Music Institute of Chicago.
Susan Merdinger, Pianist:
Performances by internationally acclaimed pianist and Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger, have been hailed as “Exhilarating” by the Glasgow Herald and “Breathtaking” and by the prestigious Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Fanfare Magazine declared that her performances were “both joyous and reflective at the same time”, likening her playing to that of legendary pianists Leonard Bernstein, Annie Fischer and Nadia Reisenberg. Among her many honors, Merdinger is a First Prize Winner of the 2012 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, the 2013 International Music Competition of France. Merdinger is also a Winner of the Artists International Young Musicians Competition and the Artists International Alumni Winners Prize, the Dewar’s Young Artists Award in Music, the IBLA Grand Prize Competition “Special Liszt Award”, the Masterplayers International Music Competition as well as a Laureate of the Harveys-Leeds International Piano Competition, Montreal International Concours de Musique, and William Kappell International Piano Competition. Merdinger performs as a soloist, recitalist, duo pianist, and as a collaborative pianist with principal members of the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In June 2013, she made her Chicago Orchestral Debut at Harris Theater with The Chicago Philharmonic under the direction of Sony Classical Conductor Mattia Rondelli performing works by Gershwin and Gottschalk. She has been a frequent performer on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series with Principal Violist Charlie Pikler and the Tononi Ensemble and was a featured solo recitalist for the Chicago Latino Music Festival. Merdinger has appeared live on WQXR, WFMT, WDAV Classical Public Radio, CKWR Canadian Public Radio, Connecticut Public Radio, Belgian National Radio, BBC Television. Making her solo recital debut in Carnegie Recital Hall at the age of twenty-five, Merdinger has graced the stages of some of the world’s best concert halls including Merkin Concert Hall, Diligentia Hall in the Hague, Henry Wood Concert Hall in Scotland’s National Orchestra Center, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Chicago Orchestra Symphony Center. No stranger to contemporary music, Merdinger has premiered and championed the works by Morton Gould, Augusta Read Thomas, Ilya Levinson, Elbio Barilari, Fernando Vasquez, Armando Susmano, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Aaron Jay Kernis. Merdinger has toured as a piano trio with the renowned Elaris Duo, comprised of cellist Steven Elisha, Cello and violinist Larisa Elisha and she performs frequently with her entire family of musicians, known as “The Five Greenes”, and as a duo partner with violinist David Yonan, and pianist Irina Feoktistova. Merdinger received her formal education and training at Yale University, the Yale School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the Westchester Conservatory of Music, the Ecole Normale de Musique in Fontainebleau, France and the Chautauqua Music Festival. Her teachers have included such luminaries as Constance Keene, Claude Frank, Ward Davenny, Ozan Marsh, Seymour Lipkin, Elizabeth Parisot and Gaby Casadesus. Ms. Merdinger is currently on the faculties of the Summit Music Festival in New York, Burgos International Music Festival in Spain, and the Fine Arts Music Society Festival in Indiana, and is the Artistic Director and Founder of Sheridan Music Studio.
Steven Greene, Pianist:
Steven Greene is a graduate of Amherst College, where he majored in Music and Economics, garnering the Sylvia and Irving Lerner Prize and the Lincoln Lowell Russell Prize. He toured the world with the Amherst Glee Club as their Accompanist and Assistant Musical Director, and also served as the Concertmaster of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra. Briefly considering a career in choral conducting and opera, Mr. Greene instead chose to continue his studies at the Yale School of Music, earning his M.M. in Piano Performance. It was there that he met Susan Merdinger, and formed the Merdinger– Greene Piano Duo. Dubbed “The Dynamic Duo”, the prize-winning Merdinger-Greene Piano Duo, they won First Prize in the Westchester Conservatory Chamber Music Competition and were Semi-Finalists in the Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition. They have been featured soloists in the Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos with several orchestras, and regularly perform in concert together around the Chicago area. Their first Duo Piano CD entitled “ The Dynamic Duo” has recently been released on CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon, and features works by Saint-Saens, Stravinsky and Milhaud. In addition to performing as a duo-pianist with Susan, both in recital and with orchestra, Steven Greene was also the Organist and Assistant Music Director for the Alpine Community Church in New Jersey for ten years, working with the venerable Merrill Staton. He has performed solo organ and piano recitals in prestigious churches and venues such as Grace Church in New York City, and performs with the choral group Mastersingers USA, and as a violinist with the Highland Park Strings. Mr. Greene is a sought-after accompanist on the North Shore and is particularly well-known for his ability to sight-read virtually any piece of music. Mr. Greene's principal piano teachers were Noel Tipton, Robert Miller and Donald Currier. Mr. Greene also received certificates and additional degrees from Northwestern University and Indiana University.