CHINA Concert Tour by TCU Faculty Artists
José Feghali, piano; Curt Thompson, violin; Jesus Castro-Balbi, cello; Yuan Lu, double bass; John Owings, piano; Misha Galaganov, viola; Gary Whitman, clarinet; Till M. Meyn, composer
Shanghai Normal University
Wednesday, December 16, 2009; 7:30 p.m. (Shenyang)
Thursday, December 17, 2009; 7:30 p.m. (Beijing)
Saturday, December 19, 2009; 7:30 p.m. (Shanghai)
(Preview performance Monday, Nov. 23, TCU's PepsiCo Recital Hall)
Eight faculty members from the Texas Christian University School of Music will perform chamber music recitals in China in December. Faculty artist/teachers Jesús Castro-Balbi, José Feghali, Misha Galaganov, Yuan Lu, John Owings, Curt Thompson, and Gary Whitman have been invited to perform on the Chamber Music Series of the Shanghai Concert Hall on Saturday, December 19, 2009. Included on the program will a work composed by TCU faculty member Till M. Meyn. While in China, the TCU contingent will visit the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Normal University, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music performing and giving masterclasses at all locations. The TCU School of Music is in the process of establishing working relationships with all four universities to foster the exchange of faculty and students. In addition to the work by TCU composer Meyn, the concert will feature works by Bruch, Brahms, and Schubert.
Jesús Castro-Balbi – TCU’s Cello Professor Jesús Castro-Balbi performs internationally as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, including six appearances at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York. He is also the leader of the TCU Cellofest, TCU Cello Ensemble, Faculty & Friends Chamber Music Series, of the Texas Cello Society, and the Associate Dean at Conservatory Music in the Mountains in Durango, Colorado. His concerts received glowing reviews in the Strad Magazine, Strings Magazine, the New York Concert Review, and have been broadcast on BBC World, Japanese public television NHK, Korean national television KBS, French television TV5-Arte. Dr. Castro-Balbi is the winner of the First Prize at the First “Carlos Prieto” International Cello Competition, and is a permanent member of the competition jury. In 2008, he received the Deans’ Research and Creativity Award at TCU. He has given master-classes and lectures at the Boston Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Paris Conservatory (France), the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the Yale School of Music. Dr. Castro-Balbi studied at the Lyon Conservatory (France), Indiana University at Bloomington, Yale, and received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Juilliard. His main teachers include Aldo Parisot and Janos Starker.
José Feghali -- Since winning the Gold Medal at the Seventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, he has appeared in over 500 performances worldwide. Mr. Feghali regularly collaborates in chamber music performances, and has performed at a concert at the Palace of Versailles in 1999. Mr. Feghali appeared in the 1999 inaugural concert series of the new São Paulo Hall, both in recital and performances with the State Orchestra of São Paulo under the baton of John Neschling. He performed with Jon Vickers at the Ravinia Festival 2000, as well as presenting a solo recital and appearing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christop Eschenbach. Mr. Feghali's recordings include a CD of music inspired by dance on the Koss Classics label. He has also recorded Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor with the Philharmonic Orchestra of London under Barry Wordsworth and an all-Chopin solo recital album for future release.
Misha Galaganov – Dr. Misha Galaganov, Assistant Professor of Viola at TCU, has performed as a soloist in Russia, Israel, Czech Republic, Holland, Belgium, Austria, the USA, and Mexico. He has been invited to collaborate in solo and chamber music performances with such musicians as Martha Katz, Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Ko Iwasaki, Eduard Brunner, and many others in Europe and the USA. Dr. Galaganov has taught and given master classes in numerous festivals, including Orlando festival, Music in the Mountains, Mimir, and others in Holland, Austria, Israel, and the USA. He is referenced in Who’s Who in Fine Arts on AcademicKeys.com, an informational source about the faculty, educational resources, and professional activities in the USA. He has also been selected to be profiled in Marquis Who’s Who in America, 2005 scheduled for publication in October 2004. Misha Galaganov serves as the conductor of the String Orchestra division of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth and as the director of the YO chamber music program. In addition, Dr. Galaganov is a co-director of Fort Worth Amateur Chamber Music Roundup festival
Yuan Lu –A renowned double bass artist, Yuan Lu has won numerous national and international competitions, including first prize in the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Solo Competition and the 16th annual Corpus Christi International Young Artists Competition. A long-time member of the San Antonio Symphony, Lu is a frequent recitalist, clinician and chamber music artist throughout the U.S. and China. A pioneer of Chinese artists, Lu holds the distinction of being the first Chinese double bass recitalist to perform in China in 1984. Subsequently, he has performed as a soloist with various orchestras on major television and radio programs in China. In the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra’s 130-year history, he is the only featured double bassist soloist, including a live, televised debut in 1996 and a sold-out double bass concerto in historic Shanghai Concert Hall in 2009. Critics have acclaimed him as “a leading double bass virtuoso, a unique world-class performer.”
Till M. Meyn – Till Meyn, Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at TCU, earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California at San Diego, a Master of Music in Composition from Indiana University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Recent performances of his works include a performance of Red/Blue at Clarinet Fest 2008 in Oklahoma City, MO; a performance of his saxophone concerto at the 2008 Biennial Saxophone Congress in South Carolina; a performance at the 2007 Florida State University Festival of New Music; at the 2006 SCI/CMS National Conventions in San Antonio; a performance by the Woodley Ensemble in Washington, D.C. (2007); performances at the 2002, 2005 and 2006 National Flute Association Conventions in Washington, D.C., San Diego, and Pittsburgh; at the 2006 World Saxophone Congress in Slovenia; at the Manhattan School of Music (January 2005); at the 2004 Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses National Seminar at Harvard, at the 2004 Midwest Regional ACDA Convention in Indianapolis, and at the 2002 MENC National Convention in Nashville.
John Owings – John Owings, Herndon Professor of Music and Chair of Piano at TCU, consistently wins enthusiastic praise from audiences and critics for his exciting pianism and sensitive artistry. Since his debut with the San Antonio Symphony at age 15, he has appeared as soloist with orchestras and given solo recitals in major cities in the United States, Latin America, Europe and the Far East. Among his recent engagements was an all-Chopin recital in Seoul, Korea on the Kumho Art Hall Concert Series. An experienced chamber music performer, Mr. Owings has played six Carnegie Hall recitals with violinist Fritz Gearhart, performs frequently with violist Misha Galaganov and, with clarinetist Gary Whitman, in the ensemble Trio Con Brio. Gold medalist of the first Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition in Cleveland, Mr. Owings was also the top prizewinner in the Vianna da Motta International Competition in Lisbon, the London Liszt Society Competition and the Musical Arts Competition in Chicago. His CD recordings of music by American composers, the music of Robert Casadesus and, most recently, the piano works of Julius Reubke, have received outstanding reviews. In 1993, TCU conferred upon him its highest honor – the Chancellor’s Award – in recognition of his performances of the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas.
Curt Thompson – Dr. Thompson is quickly gaining recognition as a performing artist through concerts given in the United States and abroad. Performances for north Texas audiences have been twice included in the ‘Top 10’ musical events of the year in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Dr. Thompson has performed recitals throughout Europe, Central America, and South America including performances at Salle Gaveau (Paris), the Bulgarian State Academy of Music (Sofia), and the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica (San Jose). He has been featured in several festivals including the Copland/Shostakovich Festival in Rio de Janeiro, the Festival de Primavera in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the Seventh Centennial Festival of Villarobledo, Spain. As a concerto soloist, Dr. Thompson appeared with several orchestras including the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Chamber Orchestra, the Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra, and in the upcoming season with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Peru. His debut recording of The Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Charles Ives was released in 2004 on the Naxos label.
Gary Whitman -- Gary Whitman is Professor of Clarinet and Division Chair of Woodwinds at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Active as a recitalist, he has performed at ClarinetFest conferences in Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Maryland, and Missouri. His performances at international conferences include Paris, France, Ostend, Belgium, Stockholm, Sweden, Vancouver, BC, Canada, and Porto, Portugal. He has presented masterclasses in Mexico City, Peru, Belgium, and Puerto Rico. His chamber music affiliations include the Texas Clarinet Consort, and Trio Con Brio, a TCU faculty trio dedicated to performing and commissioning music for clarinet, viola, and piano. Trio Con Brio has presented 11 chamber music commissions in the past five years. He has performed new works by Eric Ewazen in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as well as Osvaldo Golijov and Sebastian Currier at the “Cliburn at the Modern” series in Fort Worth. In addition to his position at TCU, Mr. Whitman is the bass clarinetist of the Fort Worth Symphony, performing in the classical subscription series, “Pops”, the opera and ballet productions at Bass Performance Hall. He holds the BME and MME degrees from the University of North Texas and was awarded the certificat de stage from the International Music Institute in Nice, France. In 2004, TCU conferred upon him the Dean’s Award for Research and Creativity and in 2009 the College of Fine Arts award for the Chancellor’s Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teacher and Scholar. Mr. Whitman is an artist-clinician for Buffet Crampon USA, Inc. and from 2008 to 2010 is serving as President of the International Clarinet Association.
For information, contact the TCU School of Music (817) 257-6349 or
see Calendar of events for a current listing of concerts and scheduled events