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Coming up: Pianist Paul Juhn and Violinist Emma Steele

We have a great program coming up this Saturday. Paul Juhn will perform Chopin’s Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise and Emma Steele will be performing Beethoven’s Sonata Number 2 for violin and piano. In February, Paul performed with the CSO (!!!) and Emma is a co-concertmaster with the CYSO and has been accepted to Juilliard and Indiana University to study music (she doesn’t know where she’s going yet).

Below are Paul and Emma’s bios:

Paul Juhn, age 16, attends Vernon Hills High School. He began playing the piano when he was four years old. He currently studies piano with Emilio del Rosario, cello with Blake Brasch, and chamber music with Mr. Hans Jensen at the Music Institute of Chicago. His former piano teacher was Dr. Soo Lee at the Music Institute of Chicago.

He won prizes at many competitions including CAMTA, the North Shore Music Teachers Association, the Illinois Music Teacher's Association, and the Granquist Music competition. He has placed first in the Primary, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior division of the Society of American Music competition and was the alternate in the MTNA Junior competition in 2004. In 1998, he was the youngest winner in the piano division of the Midwest Young Artists Concerto competition and an overall win at the 2003 Walgreens Concerto competition. Paul has won first place in both the junior (2005) and senior (2007) divisions of the Sejong Music Competition and was a finalist in the CSO Youth Auditions.

He has given many public performances, including the Young Steinway Series at the Skokie Public Library (2001) and on WNIB radio station as one of "Chicago's Most Promising Student Pianists". Recently, Paul performed at a Gala Celebration for the Music Institute of Chicago and in the "East meets West" series with Korean themes.

Emma Steele is co-concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and concertmaster of the Chicago Encore Chamber Orchestra. With the Encore Orchestra, she recently toured Eastern and Central Europe , performing in the Palace of Arts National Concert Hall in Budapest , Esterhazy Palace in Vienna , and Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague .
She has won first place awards in the Midwest Young Artists Walgreen Competition, Society of American Musicians competitions, the Chinese Fine Arts Society Music Festival, and the Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competitions. Emma has received honors in the Johansen International String Competition, Chicago Symphony Youth Auditions, and the Stulberg International String Competition. She has received scholarship awards from the Musicians Club of Women and the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation.

Emma is featured in the recently-released PBS documentary special Circling Around: The Violin Virtuosi. She has performed (as part of the Gioco Quartet) on Public Radio's program From the Top, Chicago's classical radio station WFMT, the Skokie Steinway Series, the Taste of Chicago Comcast Stage, and at City Hall for Mayor Daley.

Emma is a sixteen-year-old homeschooled student and has been playing violin since she was four. She is a student of Cyrus Forough, whose legendary teachers include David Oistrakh, Arthur Grumiaux, and Josef Gingold. Mr. Forough is professor of violin at Carnegie Mellon School of Fine Arts and International Music Academy of Pilsen, Czech Republic. Emma has performed in masterclasses for Alexander Kerr, Pamela Frank, Joseph Fuchs, Henryk Kowalski, Barnabas Keleman, and Hidetaro Suzuki. As a chamber musician, she has performed in masterclasses for members of the Tokyo String Quartet, the Beaux Arts Trio, the Borromeo String Quartet, the Penderecki String Quartet, and the Pacifica Quartet.

Emma formerly studied with Mimi Zweig at Indiana University and Stacia Spencer at Northwestern University . With the Indiana University Violin Virtuosi, under the direction of Mimi Zweig, Emma has traveled and performed throughout the U.S. has and toured Japan , performing in Yokohama , Kamakura and at Meguro Persimmon Hall in Tokyo .

Photo credit: BrassPotato (on Flickr)

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