June 16, 2022
Mellon Festival hosts accomplished lineup

Cellist Eunghee Cho’s Mellon Music Festival is back, with chamber music concerts in Davis from June 24 to 26.

Cho, who recently joined the music faculty at the University of Houston, was born in Davis and was a cello student locally with Julie Hochman. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at the Thornton School of Music (part of the University of Southern California, followed by a master’s degree and a doctorate in cello performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Joining Cho at the Mellon Music Festival this year will be two musicians who have played with the festival before:

* Cellist Joy Yanai, who also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cello performance at the New England Conservatory, and now plays with an orchestra in Florida (the Naples Philharmonic, which typically performs at upwards of 100 concerts a year).

* Violinist Kate Arndt, who is a full-time student at the Yale School of Music, where she is pursuing a master’s degree, studying with Ani Kavafian, who is a longtime artist-member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Several other musicians will be appearing at the Mellon Music Festival for the first time:

* Violinist MuChen Hsieh, born in Taiwan, and studied at the New England Conservatory, has been the principal second violin with the Houston Symphony since 2017.

* Violist Lisa Sung, currently pursing a graduate diploma at the New England Conservatory studying under Kim Kashkashian, also earned bachelor’s and master’s degree at the Julliard School in New York.

* Cellist Brady Anderson, who hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, earned a bachelor’s degree (including recognition for outstanding musical achievement) at UC Berkeley, followed by a master’s degree in cello performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (where he received a Janos Starker Scholarship).

* Cellist Hana Cohon, originally from Seattle, earned a bachelor’s degree in cello performance at Northwestern University in Chicago, and is now pursuing a master’s degree at the New England Conservatory.

This year’s Mellon Music Festival will have three performances, all starting at 7:30 p.m.:

* Friday, June 24, at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 2nd St, Davis. Cellists Eunghee Cho and Joy Yanai will be joined by violinists Kate Arndt and MuChen Hsieh, plus violist Lisa Sung, in a performance of a chamber music adaptation of the Cello Concerto by French composer Édouard Lalo (1823-1892), with Joy Yanai as the soloist; plus three newer works that were written by living composers.

* Saturday, June 25, at Sudwerk Brewing Company, 2001 Second St., Davis. Four cellists will perform a wide-ranging program of music by composers as diverse as England’s Henry Purcell, Germany’s Richard Wagner, American Leonard Bernstein, Argentina’s Astor Piazzolla, Japan’s Joe Hisaishi (known for his film scores, featured in Japanese anime films by director Hayao Miyazaki), the Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky, and others. This program will also feature beer-and-food pairings in addition to the music.

* Sunday, June 26 at Odd Fellows Hall, 415 2nd St., Davis. Cellists Eunghee Cho and Joy Yanai will be joined by violinists Kate Arndt and MuChen Hsieh, plus violist Lisa Sung, in a program featuring the renowed String Quintet in C Major by Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1928), along with chamber works by Polish composer Krzystof Penderecki (1933-2020), Latvian composer P─ôrteris Vasks (b. 1946), and American composer and violinist Mark O’Connor (b. 1961).

Ticket options include a “Full Festival Pass” covering all three concerts for $50. Individual tickets to a single concert are $20 general. Admission is free for students and kids, but these free tickets still require online reservations. Tickets and information online at MellonMusicFestival.org.

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