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World-renowned musicians to perform at the 2012 Festival of the Lakes

(Contributed photo)

The Lakes Chamber Music Society of Alexandria has announced the 20th annual Festival of the Lakes chamber music series. Returning favorites include Tamas Strasser on viola, Sarah Lewis and Richard Bock on cello, Peter McGuire and Jill Olson on violin and more.

The Festival of the Lakes is funded in part by a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council through a Minnesota legislative appropriation. For more information, visit the Festival of the Lakes website at or call (320) 762-5666.

The Performers

Ellen Dinwiddie Smith

Currently a horn player with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Serves as a chamber music series creator, guest soloist, chamber music performer and private instructor in the Twin Cities, as well as an artistic director of the Colonial Chamber Series, which she developed and launched in 2006.

Was a guest soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra.

Collaborated with the Dale Warland Singers on their CD Britten, Bernstein, et al., as a soloist in Ahron Harlap's Bat Yiftach (Jephthah's Daughter).

Attended the Julliard School and the University of Texas before graduating in 1987 from the Curtis Institute of Music.

Named third horn of the Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony Orchestra while a student at Curtis and joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as co-principal horn.

Dina Michelson Namer

Studied at the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music and received a master's degree in piano performance.

Native of New York City, now a Canada resident, performing a wide repertoire from Baroque harpsichord works to contemporary piano works.

Association with the musicians of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada (NAC) in Ottawa.

Currently teaches piano, harpsichord and chamber music performance at Queen's University, as well as runs a private studio in Ottawa.

Formerly a member of the Aulos Ensemble, the Ottawa Baroque Ensemble, the Kingston Baroque Soloists, and the Sh'ma Ensemble.

Collaborated with violist Lisa Moody in a CD release of Canadian works entitled Magdalene Wood.

Heard frequently on Minnesota Public Radio, the CBC, and "Radio Canada."

Emily Lodine

Performed with conductors such as James Levine, Hugh Wolff, Paul Hillier, Nicholas McGegan, Leonard Slatkin, Jane Glover, and Bernard Labadie.

Appeared with the symphonies of Jacksonville, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, South Dakota, Phoenix, Rochester, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Philip Glass Ensemble.

Received acclaim for work in the world premiere and recording of Jon Polifrone's Requiem, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Made Carnegie Hall debut in Messiah under the baton of John Rutter.

Created the role of Verena Marsh in the world premiere of Stephen Paulus' Summer with Berkshire Opera, where she also sang in Handel's Semele and Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Graduated magna cum laude from Indiana University and received a Pi Kappa Lambda scholarship among other awards.

Ensemble 61

Members featured by internationally recognized presenters such as the American Academy in Rome, Sonic Fusion Festival in Edinburgh, Bang on a Can in Massachusetts and more.

Artists received prestigious awards from the Fulbright Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, Aaron Copland Fund, the Ditson Fund, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the American Composers Forum.

Featured by National Public Radio's Performance Today, the American Music Center's NewMusicBox broadcast and publication, Tutti magazine and Voice.

Founded by composer Kirsten Broberg and percussionist Erik Barsness.

Named after Highway 61 as a tribute to Bob Dylan, the rich cultural history of the road and the organization's mission to present its music to communities along the highway.

Jennifer Gerth

Principal clarinet of Duluth-Superior Symphony and active member of Twin Cities musical community.

Frequently performs with Minnesota Orchestra, VocalEssence and the Minnesota Dance Theatre.

On faculty at Augsburg College, University of St. Thomas and teaches and performs at Birch Creek Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin.

Jill Olson

Performs as orchestral and chamber musician in Twin Cities.

Regular substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra.

Founding member of Bel Canto Quartet.

Served as concertmaster of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony and the Fargo-Moorhead Opera Orchestra.

Member of Britt Festival and Wintergreen Performing Arts Orchestras in Oregon and Virginia, respectively, as well as the Heidelberg Schlossfestspiele in Germany.

Native of Lincoln, Nebraska; graduate of Eastman School of Music in New York.

Studied with members of the American String Quartet and Cleveland Quartet.

Has active Suzuki violin studio; is founder of Jill Olson Music of the Imagination for early childhood music education.

Peter McGuire

Joined Minnesota Orchestra in February 2003 as member of first violin section.

Native of Mankato, began studying violin with Patti Tryhus at Mankato Suzuki School at age 4.

Studied with Charles Gray at St. Olaf College in Northfield and Sylvia Rosenberg at Manhattan School of Music in New York.

Served as associate concertmaster of Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra, as first violinist of Pioneer String Quartet of the Des Moines Symphony and guest principal second violin of Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Currently a visiting professor of music at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Richard Brock

Principal cellist with The Phoenix Symphony for 24 seasons.

Began cello studies at age 12 with Harvey Shapiro at the Julliard School.

At age 18, chosen principal cellist of American Symphony Orchestra - youngest principal player in orchestra's history.

Principal cellist of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra in Florence; joined Musicus Concentus Chamber players as solo cellist, touring Italy and Germany.

Featured soloist with Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra, first string orchestra to tour Soviet Union under auspices of State Department.

Joined Soviet Emigre Orchestra and toured north and South America.

Selected principal cellist of Buffalo Philharmonic in 1981.

Founded Westminster Chamber Orchestra.

In 1994-95, artist in residence at School of Fine Arts at University of Arizona; held similar position at Arizona State University's School of Music in 1995-96.

Recordings include Mosaic, a collection of Yiddish songs and music of the royal courts of Europe; Rozsa Simphonia Concertante with the New Zealand Symphony; The Paul Winter Consort on A&M Records and Three Intermezzi for Cello on CRI Records.

Sarah Lewis

In 14th season with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

St. Paul native, started piano lessons at MacPhail Center for the Arts at age 3. At age 6, family relocated to Delaware, where she continued music lessons and eventually focused on cello. Now lives in Edina.

Holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and Julliard School; studied with Lev Aronson and Channing Robbins.

Member of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (1994-1996); performed as substitute musician with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Appeared as soloist with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) in C.P.E. Bach's Cello Concerto A, and gave U.S. premiere of Malcolm Forsyth's Eclectic Suite for cello and piano with Lydia Artymiw on the SPCO's Ensemble Series.

Performed solo and chamber recitals in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Twin Cities.

Toured and recorded as featured cellist with pop pianist Lorie Line, toured Japan with Percy Faith Orchestra in 1998, and performed on Peter Ostroushko's recording of "Heart of the Heartland."

Performed in the Napa Valley Chamber Music Festival in the summer of 2008.

Sonja Thompson

Active as a performer, educator and vocal coach.

Graduate of the Julliard School; has appeared locally and nationally in a wide variety of performance settings with both singers and instrumentalists.

Serves as an assistant professor of music at Augsburg College and assistant music director at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.

Tamas Strasser

Violist with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1975.

Member of Kansas City Philharmonic, U.S. Army Strings, New Art String Quartet and Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia.

Performed with The Vienna Trio and the Muir, Moscow and Bakken string quartets.

Soloist with Santa Fe Opera, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony, among other orchestras.

Served as artist-in-residence for North Carolina School of the Arts summer program and on faculties of Madeline Island Music Camp and Macalester College.

Taught master classes at the University of Minnesota and Kansas City Conservatory, among others.

Received bachelor's degree from Kansas City Conservatory and master's degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Serves on faculty at University of St. Thomas teaching violin and viola and leading the string orchestra.

Performed as principal violist with the Wintergreen Festival in Virginia, Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and Aspen Chamber Symphony.

Currently principal viola for Music in the Mountains Festival in California.

Timothy Lovelace

Active as ensemble pianist, soloist and conductor.

Most often concertizing as a collaborative pianist, has appeared with distinguished artists Miriam Fried, Emma Johnson, Pekka Kuusisto, Joe Lovano, Robert Mann, Charles Neidich, the Pacifica String Quartet and Paquito D'Rivera.

For 13 years was a staff pianist at the Ravinia Festival's Steans Institute.

Performed under the supervision of composers Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Leon Kirchner, Lowell Liebermann and Thea Musgrave.

Presented the world premiere of Osvaldo Gilijov's Third World.

Recorded for Albany, Blue Griffin, Boston Records and MSR labels.

Currently heads the Collaborative Piano program at the University of Minnesota

William Eddins

Music director of Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and a guest conductor of major orchestras throughout the world.

Performed at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Ravinia Festival Orchestra.

Conducted orchestras of Chautauqua Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Hollywood Bowl, Boston University Tanglewood Institute and Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Received the Seaver/NEA Conducting Award in 2000, a triennial grant of $50,000 awarded to exceptionally gifted young American conductors.

Conductor and host of a video entitled On the Day You Were Born with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Attended Eastman School of Music, studying with David Effron and graduating at age 18, making him the youngest graduate in the history of the institution.

Previous positions - associate conductor of Minnesota Orchestra and assistant to Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera. Studied conducting with Daniel Lewis at University of Southern California; founding member of the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.

Concert Program

Friday, August 3

7:30 p.m.

United Methodist Church

Wolfgang Amade Mozart: Duo #1 in G Major, K. 423

Ralph Vaughan Williams: The House of Life, song cycle

Johannes Brahms: Zwei Gesaenge, Op. 91

Cesar Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major

Emily Lodine, mezzo-soprano

Peter McGuire, violin

Tamas Strasser, viola

Sonja Thompson, piano

Timothy Lovelace, piano

Saturday, August 4

7:30 p.m.

United Methodist Church

Ensemble 61, program to include George Crumb's Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale)

Pre-concert discussion beginning at 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday, August 8

7:30 p.m.

United Methodist Church

Claude Debussy: from Ariettes Oubliees

C'est l'estase

Il pleure dans mon coeur

Paysages belges: Chevaux debois

Aquarelles 1: Green

Romance: L'ame evaporee

Samuel Barber: Dover Beach, Op. 3

Gustav Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C Major, D. 956

Emily Lodine, mezzo-soprano

Peter McGuire, violin

Jill Olson, violin

Tamas Strasser, viola

Richard Bock, cello

Sarah Lewis, cello

Sonja Thompson, piano

Friday, August 10

7:30 p.m.

United Methodist Church

Libby Larsen: Slang

Franz Strauss: Nocturno, Op. 7

Ludwig Spohr: Sechs deutsche lieder, Op. 103

Johannes Brahms: Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 40

Emily Lodine, mezzo-soprano

Jennifer Gerth, clarinet

Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, horn

Peter McGuire, violin

William Eddins, piano

Sonja Thompson, piano

Sunday, August 12

7 p.m.

United Methodist Church

Serge Prokofiev: Sonata for 2 Violins, Op. 56

Bohuslav Martinu: Variations on a Theme of Rossini, H. 290

Rebecca Clarke: Sonata for Viola and Piano

Antonin Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81

Peter McGuire, violin

Jill Olson, violin

Tamas Strasser, viola

Richard Bock, cello

Dina Michelson Namer, piano

Ticket Information

Adult tickets are $10. Students are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door or at Cherry Street Books, 5th and Broadway in Alexandria, or call (320) 763-9400.