RELEASE: Symphony Joslyn Series continues at the Strauss Performing Arts Center at UNO
Three familiar faces from the Omaha Symphony grace center stage in a triple concerto led by Music Director Ankush Kumar Bahl
The Omaha Symphony performs Entr’acte by Caroline Shaw, the youngest composer to receive the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Music.
OMAHA, Neb., September 21, 2022 – The Symphony Joslyn Series opens at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Jan and John Christensen Concert Hall at the Strauss Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The concert will commence with Entr’acte by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw, Beethoven’s sparkling Triple Concerto highlighting Associate Concertmaster Ahra Cho, Principal Cello Paul Ledwon, and Principal Keyboard Christi Zuniga, and will close with Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, a piece written in only four days.
“I’m looking forward to performing in the beautiful Strauss Performing Arts Center at UNO which will allow us to reach new audiences as well as welcome my orchestra colleagues to join me center stage,” says Maestro Ankush Kumar Bahl. The move of the Symphony Joslyn Series to the Strauss Performing Arts Center at UNO comes as the Joslyn Art Museum continues construction on their extraordinary new addition and provides an exciting opportunity to form a partnership with the campus community. To supplement the performance, Jack Becker, Ph.D. and Joslyn's Executive Director and CEO, sets the stage for Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte, by exploring the mysterious world of Kay Sage’s (American, 1898-1963) Men Working. This surrealist painting pairs well, as Shaw notes that the music that inspired her own piece takes the listener to “the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, technicolor transition.”
Performances will be presented on October 2 at 2 p.m. at the Strauss Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Tickets are on sale now at omahasymphony.org.
Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m.
Jan and John Christensen Concert Hall at the Strauss Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Ankush Kumar Bahl, conductor
Ahra Cho, Associate Concertmaster, violin
Paul Ledwon, Principal Cello
Christi Zuniga, Principal Keyboard
CAROLINE SHAW: Entr’acte
BEETHOVEN: Triple Concerto
MOZART: Symphony No. 36, “Linz”
About Ahra Cho
Violinist Ahra Cho recently joined the Omaha Symphony as associate concertmaster in January 2022. She previously served as substitute musician for the New York Philharmonic, as well as concertmaster of the Manhattan Chamber Sinfonia, Manhattan Soloists Ensemble in New York, Texas Music Festival Orchestra, Duxbury Orchestra, and Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra. In more recent months, she was appointed as a first section violinist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
A versatile and enthusiastic musician, Ms. Cho has continued to enjoy her musical career of solo, chamber music, teaching artist, and orchestra musician appearances throughout North America and Asia. A native of Seoul, South Korea, Ms. Cho started playing violin when she was just four years old. As a soloist, she has earned numerous invaluable experiences performing with renowned orchestras including the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra as her debut at age eleven, as well as the Jeonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Sejong soloists Concert, Seoul National Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan Soloists Ensemble, and the Duxbury Festival Orchestra.
In 2015, she won the Mozart Classical String Competition in New York City and was able to use that steppingstone to make her debut in the United States with the Manhattan school of music string chamber orchestra, by performing Mozart Violin Concerto D Major. She has won top acclaimed prizes from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition, the Duxbury Music Festival Concerto Competition, and The Chamber Music Competition. Moreover, Ms. Cho has performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts at the Seoul Arts Center and Kumho Arts Hall in South Korea, and in various venues throughout the United States and abroad, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Kaufman Music Center. As a chamber musician, she has performed in festivals such as the San Francisco Music Festival, Vianden Music Festival, Musetica Festival in Zaragoza Spain, the Texas Music Festival, and the Duxbury Music Festival. Additionally, she actively participated in a Masterclass with the Calidore String Quartet at the Lincoln Center Chamber Society. Through her strong abilities to work well with her peers, she was able to take part in a Masterclass from concertmasters including Glenn Dicterow, Sheryl Staples, Emanuel Book, Jorja Fleezanis, Alexander Barantschik, Rainer Küchl, and Vesko Eschkenazy. As an orchestra musician, Ms. Cho has earned her place to play under the baton of renowned conductors including Herbert Blomstedt, George Manahan, Leonard Slatkin, Japan van Zweden, Daniel Harding, Gustavo Dudamel, Marin Alsop, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
At the age of ten, Ms. Cho began her intensive studies at the Korean National University of Arts Pre-college Division and went on to receive her bachelor's degree at Seoul National University as an honor student, under the tutelage of Ju-Young Baek. After this accomplishment, she focused her ambitions on a new challenge and moved to the United States to pursue her Master of Music degree and professional studies certificate, at the Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Lucie Robert, with a full scholarship. In 2019, Ms. Cho earned an Artist Diploma in Orchestra Performance with full scholarships while studying with the former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic Glenn Dicterow and Associate Principal, second violin group Lisa Kim of the New York Philharmonic. It should be noted that she was the first student ever to earn an Artist Diploma of Orchestral Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music in its one-hundred-year history. Furthermore, since 2015, as a teaching artist, she was one of the founding members at Garden State
s School of Music in New Jersey, where she has taught, led directions, and coached, with her goal to help form younger generations of students.
About Paul Ledwon
Paul Ledwon is currently principal cellist of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1999. His frequent solo appearances with the orchestra have included works by Haydn, Schumann, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.
Ledwon began his musical training at the age of four on the piano and violin, discovering the cello a few years later. He studied with Hans Jorgen Jensen at Northwestern University, earning his Bachelor of Music with Distinction and his Master of Music with Program Honors. While a student at NU, he performed recitals annually in Evanston and in Detroit, for the Detroit Institute of Arts' subscription concert series. He was also a frequent soloist with Chicago area orchestras including the Northwestern and North Shore Chamber Orchestras, and performed at the master classes of such cellists as Anner Bylsma, Harvey Shapiro, John Sharp, Paul Katz, Lynn Harrell, and Mstislav Rostropovich. At this time, Ledwon was principal cellist of both the NU Symphony and the Chicago Symphony Civic Orchestras, as well as a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His summers included performing as principal
with the Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) and Pacific Music Festival (Japan) orchestras.
As a recipient of the prestigious Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) fellowship, Ledwon continued his studies with Martin Ostertag at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Karlsruhe, Germany. During his three years there, Ledwon performed as a soloist with and
principal of the Hochschule Orchestra and subbed frequently with the Suedwestfunk (SWF) Orchestra in Baden-Baden and the Suedwestdeutsches Kammerorchester in Pforzheim. As a chamber musician, he performed regularly in Karlsruhe, and attended summer sessions at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. An avid performer of contemporary music, he performed with the Karlsruhe contemporary music ensemble, touring Brazil and South Korea and participating in recording the works of Wolfgang Rihm with renowned conductor Peter Eotvos. Ledwon received his Artists Diploma from the Hochschule with the highest possible marks, an achievement of which he is extremely proud.
Since returning to the U.S., Ledwon has also been a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal cellist for the South Bend Symphony, Elgin Symphony, and Chicago Opera Theater Orchestras. Since 1997 he has spent summers in Door County, Wisconsin, as principal cellist of the Peninsula Music Festival.
About Christi Zuniga
Christi Zuniga has been Principal Keyboardist with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra since 2000. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Clayton State College in Georgia and received a Master of Music degree in Chamber Music and Accompanying from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
In addition to her full-time position with the Omaha Symphony, Ms. Zuniga teaches piano privately and accompanies musicians in and around Omaha for various concerts and competitions. She has collaborated with many visiting artists, including Joseph Alessi, Thomas Bacon, and Peter Verhoyen.
Christi Zuniga resides in Ralston, Nebraska, with her husband and their little Chihuahuas.
About Ankush Kumar Bahl
Ankush Kumar Bahl is currently the 13th Music Director in the Omaha Symphony's 101-year history. He is recognized today by orchestras and audiences alike for his impressive conducting technique, thoughtful interpretations, and engaging podium presence. In concert, he has left The Washington Post “wanting to hear more” and has been praised by The New York Times for his “clear authority and enthusiasm” and ability to “inspire.” His recent guest conducting highlights include performances with the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orchestre National de France, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, the Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.). Summer festival engagements include the Copenhagen Philharmonic at Tivoli, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, and at Wolf Trap with the NSO.
A protégé of former New York Philharmonic Music Director Kurt Masur, Bahl served as his assistant conductor at the Orchestre National de France from 2008-2011. From 2011-2015, he served as the assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In addition to Maestro Masur, Bahl is fortunate to count Jaap van Zweden, Zdenek Macal, Christoph Eschenbach, David Zinman and Gianandrea Noseda among his mentors.
Tickets for Beethoven Triple start at $20. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.omahasymphony.org, through the Ticket Omaha app, or by calling Ticket Omaha at 402.345.0606. Student rush tickets are $10 and can be purchased one hour before the performance. Performance dates are subject to change. In the event of performance changes or cancellations, the Omaha Symphony will email ticket holders to inform them of new dates and ticketing options. Patrons with questions may email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Omaha Symphony also regularly posts performance updates at omahasymphony.org, along with the Omaha Symphony’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. Patrons can sign up for the latest updates at omahasymphony.org.
The Omaha Symphony is a non-profit organization that presents more than 100 live orchestral performances from September through June. In addition to Masterworks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movies, Symphony Joslyn, and Family series concerts, the Omaha Symphony’s nationally recognized education and community engagement programs touch the lives of more than 40,000 people each year. For tickets or information regarding the Omaha Symphony, call 402.345.0606 or visit omahasymphony.org. Programs, artists, dates, times, prices, and availability are subject to change.