Music Academy of the West Announces 2020 Keston MAX Fellows to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle
Marilyn Horne Song Competition winners will be presented in recital at LSO St. Luke’s
Santa Barbara, CA — Twelve outstanding Music Academy of the West musicians have been selected by audition to travel to London this April for ten days of intensive training with the London Symphony Orchestra [LSO] and its Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, as part of the second year of the Linda and Michael Keston Music Academy of the West Exchange (Keston MAX) with the LSO.
The lead sponsors of the London Symphony Orchestra partnership are Linda and Michael Keston and Mary Lynn and Warren Staley. Additional support has been provided in remembrance of Léni Fé Bland.
A highlight for me last year was the week when the LSO worked with the extraordinarily talented young players from Music Academy of the West. Particularly heart-warming was to witness their commitment and openness, and how the LSO responded so positively. Having them join us, sitting side-by-side with their LSO colleagues during a concert added an special dynamic to the evening, and a fitting conclusion to the mentoring relationship between the players. This is exactly the kind of international collaboration that we were hoping for, a truly shared experience. I look forward to this year’s visit.
— Sir Simon Rattle
About the 2020 Keston MAX
The second annual Keston MAX Fellows were selected by audition from 2019 Music Academy Instrumental fellows, all full-scholarship participants. They are: Shenae Anderson, violin; Njioma Chinyere Grevious, violin; Ha eun Song, cello; Jonathan Yeoh, double bass; Christine Comer, timpani/percussion; Maddi Shake, timpani/percussion; James Dion Blanchard, flute; Victoria Chung oboe; Sara Han, clarinet; Bianca Marian Chambul, bassoon; Gabrielle Pho, horn; and Alex Mayon, trumpet. Marilyn Horne Song Competition winners Sun-Ly Pierce and Chien-Lin Lu will also take part in Keston MAX.
Keston MAX fellows perform with the LSO under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle in two programs at Barbican Hall and two performances at LSO St. Luke’s:
London Symphony Orchestra Concert – Half Six Fix, Barbican Hall
Wed, Apr 22, 6:30 pm
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra
Thu, Apr 23, 7:30 pm
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra
BARTÓK Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with Music Academy of the West alumna Rinat Shaham mezzo-soprano (’95, ’96, ’97) and Gábor Bretz bass
LSO Discovery Day – Sounds of South America
Sun, Apr 26, 2:30 pm
Discover music by composers from South America, including Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla, at this Discovery Day chamber music recital at LSO St. Luke’s.
Fri, Apr 24, 1 pm
Sun-Ly Pierce mezzo-soprano
Chien-Lin Lu piano
CANTELOUBE Chants d’Auvergne (Series No. 1)
WOLF Selections from Spanisches Liederbuch
WONJU LEE- 이화우 (Yihwawoo Songbook)
JENNIFER HIGDON Wise Moon (World Premiere, Music Academy of the West Commission)
- Under the Harvest Moon
- The Moonlight
- A Hymn to the Moon
- The Night is Still
- The Half Moon Shows a Face of Plaintive Sweetness
BRITTEN Funeral Blues
ISABELLE ABOULKER Lettre d’amour
WILLIAM BOLCOM Amor
The Music Academy of the West International Marilyn Horne Song Competition Recital Tour is generously supported by Linda Seltzer Yawitz. Wise Moon was commissioned by Music Academy of the West with the generous support of Stephen Schaible and Daron Builta.
Keston MAX will also include a private luncheon with Sir Simon Rattle, lessons with LSO musicians, mock auditions, a recording studio workshop, and concert attendance.
For updates on 2019 Keston MAX participants, please visit musicacademy.org/max-exchange.
About the Winners
Violin fellow Shenae Anderson (’19), 21, born in Draper, Utah, was accepted to The Juilliard School at age 16, where she earned her bachelor’s degree, and is currently a master’s student at Yale School of Music. Ms. Anderson made her debut with the Utah Symphony at age ten in Abravanel Hall and has returned three times. Recently, Ms. Anderson attended the Verbier Festival, working under Valery Gergiev and Sir Simon Rattle.
Violin fellow Njioma Chinyere Grevious (’19), 20, born in Newton, Massachusetts, is an undergraduate student at The Juilliard School, studying with Ronald Copes. Ms. Grevious has performed for President and Mrs. Obama at the White House and won first prizes in the Prix Ravel Chamber Music Competition in France. Ms. Grevious performs regularly with The Montclair Orchestra.
Cello fellow Ha eun Song (’19), 24, born in Seoul, South Korea, is pursuing her master’s degree at Yale University, studying with Paul Watkins. Ms. Song has attended the Eumyeon International Music Festival and Atlantic Music Festival and participated in masterclasses given by Gary Hoffman, Troles Svane, Maria Tchaikovskaya, and Kyung-hwa Chung.
Double bass fellow Jonathan Yeoh (’19), 25, born in Calgary, Alberta, is a graduate student at Boston University studying with Edwin Barker. Mr. Yeoh is Assistant Principal Double Bass of National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and has performed with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Canadian Opera Company, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Percussion fellow Christine Comer (’19), 24, born in Suffolk, Virginia, received her master’s degree at Northwestern University and bachelor’s degree from Belmont University. Ms. Comer has performed as an extra/substitute percussionist with the Nashville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Huntsville Symphony, and as guest principal timpanist in the Billings Symphony. As a chamber musician, she enjoys collaborating with brass players and Nashville-based percussionists.
Returning percussion fellow Maddi Shake (’18, ’19), 23, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, is earning her master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, studying with Chris Lamb, Duncan Patton, Kyle Zerna, and She-e Wu, and holds her bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. Ms. Shake was an Associate Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for their 2017-2018 season.
Flute fellow James Dion Blanchard (’19), 26, born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, earned his master’s degree at The Juilliard School studying with Robert Langevin. Mr. Blanchard is now acting principal with the Des Moines Symphony, and has appeared with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Silicon Valley Symphony, and New York Philharmonic. Mr. Blanchard founded the quintet Tangent Winds which won the bronze medal at the 2018 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
Oboe fellow Victoria Chung (’19), 24, born in Englewood, New Jersey, is pursuing her master’s degree at The Juilliard School, studying with Nathan Hughes. As an active chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Chung has performed with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, International Sejong Soloists, and Richmond Symphony.
Clarinet fellow Sara Han (’19), 21, born in Seoul, South Korea, is an undergraduate at Curtis Institute of Music. The winner of the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition and member of both Symphony in C and Curtis Symphony Orchestra has also performed with New World Symphony, New York String Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, and National Youth Orchestra of the USA.
Bassoon fellow Bianca Marian Chambul (’19), 26, born in Toronto, Canada, was appointed principal bassoonist of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in October 2019. As a freelance musician, Ms. Chambul has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and Toronto’s Tapestry Opera. As a soloist, she performed for John Weinzweig’s Centenary Celebration and with the University of Toronto Contemporary Ensemble.
Horn fellow Gabrielle Pho (’19), 19, born in Falls Church, Virginia, is an undergraduate at The Juilliard School where she is a student of Julie Landsman and a recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Ms. Pho participated in the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship Program studying with James Nickel. In 2018, Ms. Pho performed with the National Youth Orchestra of the USA.
Trumpet fellow Alex Mayon (19), 28, born in Morgan City, Louisiana, received his master’s degree from Eastman School of Music. As a freelance musician, he performs often with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Mayon has been a finalist for positions with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Columbus Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, and Charleston Symphony.
Mezzo-soprano Sun-Ly Pierce (’19), 25, born in Clinton, New York, recently won first place in Houston Grand Opera’s 2020 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers Concert of Arias. Ms. Pierce is a graduate of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College Conservatory, and she has appeared with Albany Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Now, and Broad Street Orchestra. Roles performed include Nada in Ana Sokolović’s Svadba-Wedding, Olivia in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, and Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.
Pianist Chien-Lin Lu (’14, ’15, ’19), 32, born in Taipei, Taiwan, is a doctoral student at the University of Texas Butler School of Music who earned his master’s degree at San Francisco Conservatory. Mr. Lu was the winner of the 60th Corpus Christi International Music Competition and has collaborated with artists such as Donnie Ray Albert, Josef Špaček, DaXun Zhang, Julia Lichten, Patricia McCarty, Gerardo Ribeiro, Kikuei Ikeda, Sandy Yamamoto, and Bion Tsang.
About the London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra was established in 1904 and has a unique ethos. As a musical collective, it is built on artistic ownership and partnership. With an inimitable signature sound, the LSO’s mission is to bring the greatest music to the greatest number of people. The LSO has been the only Resident Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in the City of London since it opened in 1982, giving 70 symphonic concerts there every year. The orchestra works with a family of artists that includes some of the world’s greatest conductors – Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth, and Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate. It is a pioneer of music education, offering musical experiences through LSO Discovery to 60,000 people every year at its music education center LSO St Luke’s on Old Street, across East London, and further afield. The orchestra collaborates with London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where it jointly runs the Orchestral Artistry masters course. It also offers side-by-side performance opportunities for Guildhall School musicians and provides a platform for them at free early evening recitals before LSO Barbican concerts. With the formation of its own record label LSO Live in 1999, the LSO pioneered a revolution in recording live orchestral music. The LSO strives to embrace new digital technologies – having successfully moved into digital film, Blu-Ray Audio, downloads, streaming and virtual reality – and it continues to innovate with platforms such as LSO Play, a web-based video player that allows people to observe the orchestra from different angles. The LSO is a highly successful creative enterprise, with 80% of all funding self-generated. For more information, visit lso.co.uk
About Music Academy of the West
Music Academy of the West advances the development of 21st century classically trained musicians and cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences. Founded in 1947, the Academy operates on a 10-acre, ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, California. Music Academy of the West’s world-renowned eight-week Summer Festival offers nearly 200 public events. Programs comprise voice, vocal piano, collaborative piano, instrumental, and solo piano. The Academy began a four-year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2018 focused on education and performance on both continents. An Innovation Institute supports alumni entrepreneurship with the Alumni Enterprise Awards and an annual residential. In the local community 200 young people participate in the Academy’s expanding choral program, Sing!. For more information, visit musicacademy.org.
Released: Feb 13, 2020
Photos by Phil Channing
Director of Marketing and Communications
Music Academy of the West