Debussy, Delius, Gershwin, Dorman
A unique ensemble of soloists and chamber musicians, three principal players of major symphony orchestras have joined together to embark on the beautiful instrumental combination that Debussy made famous with his Sonate for Flute, Viola and Harp. Playing both traditional and contemporary works, Demarre, Che-Yen, and Julie arrange and commission new works for this ensemble of flute, viola & harp.
Newly appointed professor of viola at the UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, award-winning violist Che-Yen Chen is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet and First-Prize winner of the 2006 London International String Quartet Competition. He was awarded the First-Prize in the 2003 Primrose International Viola Competition and has been described by San Diego Union Tribune as an artist whose "most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music." Chen’s recordings with the Formosa Quartet can be found on EMI, Delos, and New World Records, and the quartet’s current project, From Hungary to Taiwan, will be released with Bridge Records in the 2018-19 season. Having served as principal violist of the San Diego Symphony and Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Chen has appeared as guest principal with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Performing in chamber music festivals across North America and Asia, Chen is a founding member of Camera Lucida and The Myriad Trio. As a former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and a participant of the Marlboro Festival, Chen’s combine passion in chamber music and education has led him to embark on cofounding the Formosa Chamber Music Festival, the first intensive chamber music training program of its kind in Taiwan. Before joining UCLA, Chen has been on the faculty of USC, UCSD, SDSU, CSU Fullerton, and has given master class across North America and Asia.
Winner of a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant, flutist Demarre McGill has performed concerti with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Milwaukee Symphony, among others. An active chamber musician, Mr. McGill is a member of the Jacksonville, Florida based Ritz Chamber Players and has been a member of Chamber Music Society Two, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s program for emerging young artists. He has been featured on a PBS Live from Lincoln Center broadcast with the Chamber Music Society performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #2 as well as on an Angel Records CD playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #5 with pianist Awadagin Pratt and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Mr. McGill has participated in the Music from Angel Fire, Santa Fe, Kingston, Cape Cod, Music@Menlo, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mainly Mozart, La Jolla and Marlboro music festivals. He has also performed on the Ravinia Festival’s “Rising Star” series, the A&E Network Series The Gifted Ones, and was special guest on the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood television program.
Currently principal flutist of the Seattle Symphony, Mr. McGill has held the same position with the San Diego Symphony, The Florida Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He also served as acting principal flutist of the Pittsburgh Symphony during the 2005-06 season.
In addition to his performance schedule, Mr. McGill is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Art of Élan, a chamber music organization in San Diego that aims to expose new audiences to classical music.
Mr. McGill received his Bachelor’s Degree in Flute Performance from The Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. He continued his studies with Mr. Baker at the Juilliard School, where he received a Masters of Music degree.
Julie Ann Smith
Principal Harpist of the San Diego Symphony, Julie Ann Smith is one of the most prominent young harpists today, performing as both an orchestral musician and concert artist. Gaining international recognition for her performing style and diverse repertoire, Ms. Smith was the Silver medalist winner in the 2004 USA International Harp Competition and Bronze medalist in 2001. She made her National Symphony Orchestra debut in 2003 and has been honored in numerous competitions throughout the country. She is an active recitalist and soloist with orchestras across the country, enchanting audiences with her dramatic presence and engaging style. Her appearances include performances with the San Diego Symphony, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the South Dakota Symphony, the West Los Angeles Symphony, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. She has been the featured recitalist for the 2006 American Harp Society National Conference, the 2007 USA International Harp Competition and guest artist for the 2010 Young Artist Harp Seminar in Rabun Gap, GA.
Equally experienced as a chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Smith collaborates with renowned musicians across the country. A founding member of the San Diego-based Myriad Trio, she regularly appears in chamber concerts and festivals and has performed abroad in Italy and Japan. During the 2006-07 season she was the Acting Principal Harpist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and prior to that held the position of Principal Harpist for the New World Symphony Orchestra.
As a teacher, Ms. Smith maintains a harp studio and works with students of all ages. A trained instructor in the Suzuki method, she has served on faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and regularly gives master-classes across the county. Ms. Smith released her first album, The Rhapsodic Harp, which is available from her website, www.harpjas.com. Attending the Cleveland Institute of Music, she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in harp performance where she studied with Yolanda Kondonassis. Her other primary teachers have included Alice Chalifoux and Patrice Lockhart. A native of Hastings, NE, Ms. Smith began studying the harp at age eleven.