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Guest Artist Recital: Liba Shacht, violin; John Sharp, cello; and Esther Wang, piano
April 25, 2019 @ 8:15 pm - 9:15 pmFree
Violinist, Liba Shacht, was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, where she began her musical studies at age five. Shortly thereafter, her family emigrated to Israel. The recipient of an Artist Diploma with distinction from Tel Aviv University, Ms. Shacht appeared as soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony, the Israeli Sinfonietta, and in chamber orchestras and recitals throughout Israel. She represented Israel at the Jeunesses Musicales World Congress in Korea, Japan, and England, where she performed chamber music at the Royal Albert Hall.
Upon the recommendation of Isaac Stern, Ms. Shacht was awarded a special Fellowship by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation to study with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York. She earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from Juilliard. Her New York recital debut at Town Hall was marked by a glowing review from The New York Times : “Miss Shacht plays with Russian intensity, yet her performances are tempered with abundant humor. She delights in her nimble technique, and virtuosic displays present few obstacles. Prokofiev Sonata in D was played with explosive energy, and Schumann’s Sonata in a minor was enriched with a dark, songful melancholy.”
Ms. Shacht is the winner of several competitions, among them the Artist International Distinguished Artists Award, which led to her first appearance at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. As the winner of the Affiliated Artists national auditions, she has toured the United States extensively, performing with critical acclaim in recitals, playing with orchestras, and conducting master classes. She later performed as soloist in the rarely-played Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Shacht is an avid performer of chamber music. She has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and the Marlboro Music Festival, where she performed with Rudolf Serkin and members of the Guarneri Quartet, as well as the chamber music series at the 92nd Street “Y” in New York. She is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as principal second violin of the Grant Park Symphony. Ms. Shacht frequently performs with her husband, cellist John Sharp.
At age 27, John Sharp became one of the youngest principal players in the history of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A top prizewinner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in performances of the Britten Symphony for Cello and Orchestra with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting, the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim, and in concertos conducted by Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit and Michael Tilson Thomas. Most recently, he was featured as soloist with the Chicago Symphony in the Elgar Cello Concerto conducted by Riccardo Muti.
Sharp performed in the Chicago premiers of Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso for Three Cellos and Boulez’ Messagesquisse, and is the featured soloist on a Chicago Symphony recording of Strauss’ Don Quixote with Daniel Barenboim conducting. An active chamber musician, John Sharp has participated at the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Vail, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has recorded Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence” with the Vermeer Quartet, and has performed in chamber music concerts with Mitsuko Uchida, Pinchas
Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax and Christoph Eschenbach. Born in Texas, John Sharp studied the cello with Lev Aronson and later with Lynn Harrell at the Juilliard School where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and later served as principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony. He has given master classes throughout the United States and in Europe and has coached at the New World Symphony, the National Orchestral Association, the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. He is currently a professor of cello at Roosevelt University. John Sharp plays a rare cello made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1694.
Esther Wang is an active soloist and collaborator, performing in North America, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. The San Jose Mercury News has calledWang “a forceful, take-charge kind of artist with personality…spirited and vital,” and the Double Reed journal called her a “magnificent accompanist.”
Wang is a devoted chamber musician and has collaborated with members of the New York Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as with colleagues from around the country.
Wang received the Bachelor of Music at Baylor University, where she studied with Roger Keyes. She continued studies with Frank Weinstock at the University of Cincinnati, earning the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. She also studied privately with renowned pianist Lilian Kallir and attended the Tanglewood, Kneisel Hall, and Taos Chamber Music summer festivals.
Wang is an enthusiastic teacher and adjudicator. She has served on faculties at The University of Texas at Austin, University of WI-Oshkosh, University of WI-Platteville, Baylor University, Lutheran Summer Music, the New England Music Camp, and Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT. She performs and lectures on J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier as a member of The Bach Four and has recorded solo and chamber works by Jan Radzynski on the Centaur label.
In the summers, she teaches at the Interlochen Arts Camp and the Adamant Music School (VT). Dr. Wang is the Ethel and Edgar F. Johnson Professor of Fine Arts at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.