• Print


Directions to La Sierra University

Weekend Visit-Please use the La Sierra University main entrance on Riverwalk Parkway and stop at the kiosk for parking information for the concert. For further information please call:



Department of Music | La Sierra University

Hole Memorial Auditorium

4500 Riverwalk Parkway

Riverside, CA 92515



91 Eastbound-Take the Pierce Street/Riverwalk Parkway exit and turn left onto Riverwalk Parkway.

91 Westbound-Take the Magnolia Avenue exit, then turn right onto Pierce Street (which becomes Riverwalk Parkway).


February 9, 2013 | 7:00 PM

An Evening with Brahms

Join us for an amazing evening with Brahms featuring the following artists:

John Novacek, piano
Searmi Park, violin
Jason Uyeyama, violin
Juan Miguel Hernandez, viola
Eric Byers, cello
Uriel Vanchestein, clarinet
Iris Malkin, mezzo soprano


Two Songs for Alto, Viola, and Piano Op. 91

Clarinet Quintet in B Minor Op. 115

Piano Quintet in F Minor Op. 34

General Admission is $10. Any questions related to this event or other events from the Department of Music of La Sierra University please email music@lasierra.edu or call 951-785-2036.



Biography 2012-2013 Season

Pianist JOHN NOVACEK regularly tours the Americas, Europe and Asia as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity he has presented over thirty concerti with dozens of orchestras.

John Novacek’s major American performances have been heard in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, 92nd Street Y, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Merkin Concert Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Symphony Space, Washington’s The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center and Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall, while international venues include Paris’ Theatre des Champs-Elysées, Salle Gaveau and Musée du Louvre, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, as well as most of the major concert halls of Japan. He is also a frequent guest artist at festivals, here and abroad, including New York City’s Mostly Mozart Festival and those of Aspen, Cape Cod, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Colorado College, Mimir, Ravinia, Seattle, SummerFest La Jolla, Wolf Trap, BBC Proms (England), Braunschweig (Germany), Lucerne, Menuhin and Berbier (Switzerland), Majorca (Spain), Sorrento (Italy), Stavanger (Norway), Toulouse (France) and Sapporo (Japan).

Often heard on radio broadcasts worldwide, John Novacek has appeared on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and, as both featured guest composer/performer, on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was also seen and heard on television, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Entertainment Tonight and CNN International.

John Novacek is a much sought-after collaborative artist and has performed with Joshua Bell, Matt Haimovitz, Leila Josefowicz, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mork, Elmar Oliveira and Emmanuel Pahud, and, as well as the Colorado, Harrington, Jupiter, New Hollywood, St. Lawrence, SuperNova and Ying string quartets. He also tours widely as a member of Intersection, a piano trio that includes violinist Kaura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Coooper. Mr. Novacek has also given numerous world premieres and worked closely with composers John Adams, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, George Rochberg, John Williams and John Zorn.

John Novacek took top prizes at both the Leschetizky and Joanna Hodges international piano competitions, among many others. He studied piano with Peter Serkin, Bruce Sutherland and Jakob Gimpel and chamber music with Jamie Laredo and Felix Galimir, and occasionally coached with Gary Graffman and Isaac Stern.

John Novacek’s own compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Pacific Symphony, The 5 Browns, Concertante, Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo, Harrington String Quartet, Ying Quartet, Millennium, Quattro Mani and The Three Tenors. He has recorded over 30 CDs, encompassing solo and chamber music by most major composers from Bach to Bartók, as well as many contemporary and original scores. Mr. Novacek records for Philips, Nonesuch, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, Koch International, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Arkay, Azica, EMI Classics, Four Winds, Pony Canyon and Virtuoso. CD titles include Road Movies (2004 GRAMMY nomination as “Best Chamber Music Performance”), Great Mozart Piano Works, Spanish Rhapsody, Novarags (original ragtime compositions), Classic Romance, Hungarian Sketches, Intersection, Romances et Meditations and, with Leila Josefowicz, Americana (GRAMOPHONE: “Editor’s Choice”), For the End of Time, Shostakovich and Recital (BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE: 5 stars/June 2005's chamber choice).



Searmi Park was born and raised in Los Angeles.

She began studying violin at age six and graduated from the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, California. She went on to study at UCLA under violinist Mark Kaplan, receiving her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees.

Searmi spent summers studying chamber music in Taos, New Mexico with the Takacs and Chicago string quartets. She also studied with pianist Robert McDonald and at the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival. She served as first violin of the Alma String Quartet. The ensemble won a prize in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition and was featured in theUCLA Performing Arts Series at Royce Hall.

Searmi, who joined the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 2001, also regularly plays with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera Orchestra and Pacific Symphony. She has played runs as concertmaster and assistant concertmaster of the New West Symphony and the American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet and Kodak Theatre orchestras. Searmi has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras, performing concertos by Brahms, Sibelius, Beethoven, Prokofiev and Mozart.

She resides in Glendale, California with her husband and two children, Benjamin and Matilda.


Violinist Jason Uyeyama is Associate Professor of Music and Director of String Studies at La Sierra University where he teaches violin and chamber music.  He continues to lead an active career as recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist.  He has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Highlights for the 2011-12 season include performances at Festival Mozaic, Classical Kaleidoscope, and Festicamara in Medellin, Colombia.  Mr. Uyeyama received is Master's degree from Juilliard and his primary teachers include Itzhak Perlman, Masao Kawasaki, and Yao-Ji Lin.


An artist defined by the critics as "…tender, lyrical, loaded with personality" (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pierre Ruhe), violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez is also recognized for drawing "...the sweetest, most sonorous tone..." (washington Post, Charles T. Downey). In September 2009, Juan-Miguel won the first Prize at the 16th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria, adding to other top prizes won at the National Canadian Music Competition, and the 9th National Sphinx Competition in 2006, presented by JPMorgan Chase.  As a featured guest soloist, Juan-Miguel has appeared with the Atlanta, Seattle, Colorado Symphonies, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Performances in recent seasons have brought Juan-Miguel on tour throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Canada and the United States. In 2010 he was honored with the medal of the National Assembly of Quebec.

Juan Miguel has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Orion Weiss, Robert Spano, Misha Dichter, the Weilerstein trio, Chick Corea, Gary Burton Stanley Clark and Paquito D’Rivera to name a few. Recent festival and program appearances as teacher and performer include the Salzburg Festival, the Brevard summer institute, the Mozaic Festival, Festicamara (Colombia), Montreal Jazz, Panama Jazz Festivals and Musica Mundi International Festival working alongside Maxim Vengerov and Ivry Gitlis.

Juan Miguel Hernandez was born in Montreal, Canada in 1985. He began studying the violin at age seven and switched to viola at age twelve. He received his Bachelor degree from the Colburn Conservatory studying with Paul Coletti and Graduate Diploma in the Professional String Quartet program with Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory, working privately with Kim Kashkashian and Dimitri Murrath. He has performed in master classes before Pinchas Zukerman, Roberto Diaz, Paul Neubauer, karen Tuttle, Steven Dann, James Dunham, Barbara Westphal and Robert Vernon. He has also taken vocal lessons with Robert White. Juan Miguel Hernandez plays on a 2008 Miralles instrument on loan from the Maestro Foundation and generously sponsored by Ron and Pat Lebel.


Called “ideally eloquent” by the Los Angeles Times, cellist Eric Byers is active as a chamber musician, soloist, and composer. Recognized with top prizes at the Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition, USC Concerto Competition, Pasadena Showcase Instrumental Competition, and National American String Teachers Association Competition, he has concertized in North, Central and South America, Europe, and Australia. At 18, Byers made his solo debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as winner of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra Competition. After studies with Alan Harris and Richard Aaron, he worked with cellist Ron Leonard at USC Thornton School of Music, where he earned his Bachelor of Music. He continued his studies at the Colburn Conservatory and received an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.

As part of the Calder Quartet since its beginning in 1998, he has commissioned new works from David Lang, Peter Eötvös, Christopher Rouse and other preeminent composers. Winners of the 2009 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award for their innovation in music programming, the Calders have also appeared alongside Vampire Weekend, Andrew WK, The National, and Airborne Toxic Event and performed on the Late Night Show with David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brien. As a chamber musician, Eric has performed with violinists Joshua Bell, Robert McDuffie, and Mark O’Connor; bassist Edgar Meyer; pianists Joseph Kalichstein, Claude Frank, Anne-Marie McDermott, and Gloria Cheng; and guitarist Sharon Isben. As a composer he has written ensemble works with electronic live sampling and string arrangements for bands like Lord Huron, and completed a composer residency in the home of composer Lou Harrison in Joshua Tree.

His teaching has included masterclasses and coachings at Juilliard, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Southern California, University of South Carolina, Aspen Music Festival, and University of California, Los Angeles and a prior teaching residency at the
Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles.

Byers performs on a cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, made in Paris ca.1855.  When not playing his cello, he enjoys reading, photography, and rock climbing.

“cellist, Eric Byers, gave an ideally eloquent reading of the intense, Bartókian Sonata for Solo Cello, showing that the fierce beauty is a quality of many shades.” Mark Swed, LA Times

“I admired cellist Eric Byers’ adroit phrasing and sensitivity to ensemble balance as he essayed his numerous solos with bravura authority. The baritonal eloquence of his sound resonated warmly in the welcoming acoustic of Prebys Hall.” Kenneth Herman, SanDiego.com

IRIS MALKIN, mezzo soprano

Israeli born Mezzo-Soprano Iris Malkin graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music with Master’s Degrees in Vocal Performance and Piano and was awarded the America Israel Cultural Foundation Study Scholarships. She has performed with renowned Israeli musicians and performing organizations including Ensemble Kaprizma for Contemporary Music, and she has had substantial works written specifically for her.  She has worked with such distinguished artists as Teresa Berganza and Miguel Zanetti at the Festival of Interpretation of Spanish Song in Granada, and performed under the baton of Pierre Boulez during the 2006 Lucerne Festival Academy, including collaboration with Boulez’ celebrated Ensemble Intercontemporain. Iris has distinguished herself in the world of art song. She has performed widely in concerts and festivals in Israel, Europe, and the United States, and her performances have been broadcast worldwide. As a winner of the Beverly Hills Auditions in 2008, Iris was invited to perform art song recitals at the Previews Concert Series in Manhattan Beach, Music in the Mansion in Beverly Hills, and Second Sundays at Two in Rolling Hills Estates in California. She was also featured as a guest artist on the Colburn School’s Faculty Recital Series and on the American Guitar Society’s Recital Series.  In 2011 she made her debut performance with the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, performing works by Mahler and De Falla. In January 2012 she released her CD Cadencia, with songs from England, Spain, and Puerto Rico with guitarist Edward Trybek. Iris was the recipient of the Marc and Eva Stern fellowship at SongFest at Pepperdine for 2011.


Laureate of the Geneva International Music Competition and the AudiMozart International Competition, clarinettist Uriel Vanchestein was recently invited to perform recitals and give master classes at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, at the Xian International Clarinet Festival in China, and at the Caracas International Clarinet Festival in Venezuela. Mr. Vanchestein has been a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra from 2008 to 2010, has performed a recital for Soroptimist International in Japan and appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the Haydn Orchestra, the Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra and I Musici chamber orchestra of Montreal.

Mr. Vanchestein is also an active composer and conductor. Newly commissioned by the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival for a String Quartet performed by the Harlem String Quartet and by the New York Classical Players for a Double Concerto for Flute, Clarinet and String Orchestra, several of his works have already been performed on four continents, such as his Clarinet Duet, Duo for Violin and Viola, Cello Suite, Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, Duo for Clarinet and Cello, and Requiem for Choir and Viola, which he conducted.

In 2009, Mr. Vanchestein conducted a performance of Wagner’s Siegfried-Idyll at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and in 2010, a performance at the Conservatoire National Superieur in Lyon.

Currently a pupil of Maestro Derrick Inouye from The Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Vanchestein received a Bachelor and a Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Charles Neidich. He also graduated from the École de Musique Vincent-d’Indy of Montréal with Marek Sowinski and studied two years in Boston with Jonathan Cohler.

2014-2015 Concert Season

FEBRUARY 28, 2015




MARCH 01, 2015




MARCH 03, 2015


Marek Szpiewicz, cello | Jiayi Shi, piano


$15 General | $10 Seniors | $5 Students


MARCH 03, 2015




MARCH 05, 2015


HOLE MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM | 7P | $15 General | $10 Seniors | $5 Students


MARCH 06, 2015

MASTERCLASS SERIES: Catherine Kautsky, piano



MARCH 07, 2015


HOLE MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM | 7P | $15 General | $10 Seniors | $5 Students


MARCH 08, 2015


HOLE MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM | 3P | $15 General | $10 Seniors | $5 Students


MARCH 09, 2015




MARCH 11, 2015