“An Evening with Brahms” to showcase star talent

Jan. 29, 2013
By Darla Martin Tucker

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - (www.lasierra.edu) Seven classical musicians who have graced the world's concert stages will showcase their talent at La Sierra University on Feb. 9 in a program that celebrates one of music's best-loved composers.

“An Evening with Brahms” will feature the eminent John Novacek on piano, violinists Searmi Park and Jason Uyeyama, Juan Miguel Hernandez on viola, Eric Byers, cello, Uriel Vanchestein, clarinet, and mezzo soprano Iris Malkin.

The concert, one of La Sierra's chamber series events, will begin at 7 p.m. in Hole Memorial Auditorium. General admission is $10. La Sierra University is located at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside. For information call 951-785-2036 or email music@lasierra.edu.

The program will feature the works of renowned 19th century German composer Johannes Brahms with performances of “Two Songs for Alto, Viola and Piano, Op. 91,” Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115,” and “Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34.”

Novacek, a veteran performer of major concert halls around the globe, has appeared at New York City's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, at Boston's Symphony Hall, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Chicago's Symphony Center and Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts among many others. Overseas he has played most of the major halls in Japan, the Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, London's Wigmore Hall and other international venues.

His broadcast appearances include performances on National Public Radio, “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor,” “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “CNN International.”

Novacek has collaborated with many of classical music's luminaries including Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma and has worked closely with acclaimed composers John Williams, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon and others. He has recorded more than 30 compact discs of solo and chamber music on a roster of top labels including Philips, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG and EMI Classics. His own compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Pacific Symphony, The 5 Browns, The Three Tenors and other top groups.

Violinist Park, a Los Angeles native, served as first violin of the Alma String Quartet which won a prize in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition and was featured in the UCLA Performing Arts Series at Royce Hall.

She joined the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 2001. Park also regularly plays with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and Pacific Symphony and has served as concertmaster and assistant concertmaster of the New West Symphony and the American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet and Kodak Theatre orchestras. She has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras.

Uyeyama, who joins Park on violin, is associate professor of music and director of string studies at La Sierra University where he teaches violin and chamber music. He leads an active career as recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist. Uyeyama has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Highlights from the past season include performances at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, Classical Kaleidoscope, and Festicamara in Medellin, Colombia. 

Hernandez, a new adjunct faculty member with La Sierra University's music department, is an award-winning violist who has performed as a featured guest soloist with the Atlanta, Seattle, and Colorado symphonies as well as with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta. He has toured throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Canada and the United States. His awards include first prize for viola during the 16th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria in 2009.

He is a founding member of the Harlem Quartet with whom he performed from 2006 until 2012 in various venues including Carnegie Hall, New York City's famed Blue Note Jazz Club and Apollo Theater, the Library of Congress, and at the White House for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Hernandez's high-profile appearances include those on nationally syndicated shows including ABC's “Good Morning America,” NBC's “The Today Show,” and the Telemundo Network.

Hernandez's professional collaborations include work with many famous names across musical genres including Stanley Clarke, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Itzhak Perlman, Orion Weiss, and Paquito D'Rivera to name a few. He is a native of Montreal, Canada and plays a 2008 Miralles instrument on loan from the Maestro Foundation and sponsored by Ron and Pat Lebel.

Cellist Byers is an active chamber musician, soloist, and composer and has been a member of the Calder Quartet since its beginning in 1998 at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. The Calders' numerous accomplishments and appearances include winning the 2009 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award for their innovation in music programming. Their high-profile venues include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and appearances on “The Late Night Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien” and other broadcasts.

At age 18, Byers made his solo debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as winner of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra Competition. He has played in North, Central and South America, Europe, and Australia. As a chamber musician has performed with violinist Joshua Bell, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, guitarist Sharon Isben and other top acts.

Byers performs on a cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, made in Paris circa 1855.

Vanchestein, clarinetist, a laureate of the Geneva International Music Competition and the AudiMozart International Competition, has performed 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. He was a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra from 2008-2010 and was recently invited to perform and teach 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.

Vanchestein is also an active composer and conductor. He was commissioned by the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival for a string quartet composition performed by the Harlem String Quartet and by the New York Classical Players for a flute, clarinet and string composition. Several of his works have been performed on four continents. In 2009 Vanchestein conducted a performance of Richard Wagner's “Siegfried Idyll” at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and in 2010, a performance at the Conservatoire National Superieur in Lyon.

Malkin, a native of Israel, graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and was awarded the coveted America Israel Cultural Foundation Study Scholarships. She has performed with renowned Israeli musicians and in concerts and festivals in Israel, Europe, and the United States. Her performances have also been broadcast worldwide on television and radio.

She is a featured soloist on the sound track of the film “Kill Zone,” which was nominated for Best Original Score at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in 2009. She has collaborated with such composers as Assaf Rinde, Inon Zur and Andrea Morricone on films, video games and movie trailers.

Malkin has worked with such distinguished artists as Teresa Berganza and Miguel Zanetti at the Festival of Interpretation of Spanish Song in Granada.

As a winner of the Beverly Hills Auditions in 2008, Malkin was invited to perform art song recitals for concert series in Manhattan Beach, Beverly Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. Last season she made her debut performance with the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay and in January 2012 she released her recording “Cadencia,” with guitarist Edward Trybek featuring songs from England, Spain, and Puerto Rico. Malkin was the 2011 recipient of the Marc and Eva Stern fellowship at SongFest at Pepperdine University.

  • Last update on  February 01, 2013