Music on the Hill Artists' Bios
Hailed by the New York Times for her “rich tone” and “virtuosic panache,” violinist Francesca Anderegg delivers insightful accounts of contemporary and classical music. Through her inventive programming, active composer collaborations, and precise yet impassioned interpretations, Anderegg has earned renown as a musical explorer of the first order. "This was playing that had it all — taste, mastery, sensuality." – Norman Lebrecht, The Arts Journal. A recent highlight was a tour of Brazil, in which Anderegg performed as soloist with orchestras, taught master classes at Brazilian universities, performed recitals throughout the country, and taught at a social music project in Recife at the invitation of the U.S. Consulate. Past projects include recitals at the Arts Club of Washington, DC, all-Elliott Carter concerts at the Miller Theatre, performances with Itzhak Perlman and members of the Perlman Music Program, and more. Anderegg's second album “Wild Cities” was released in July and featured in the September issue of Strad Magazine.
Anderegg holds degrees from Harvard and Juilliard, where her teachers included Robert Mann, Ronald Copes, and Naoko Tanaka. In 2016, Ms. Anderegg was awarded a McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, given to artists with a "distinctive musical voice." She is a past recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing Arts. Committed to education and outreach as well as performing, Anderegg is currently on the violin faculty at St. Olaf College, and has taught at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Violist Deanna Anderson, a native of Minneapolis, is a freelance performer and teacher currently based in the Twin Cities. Previously she lived in Paris, France for three years, where she performed chamber music for the Sinfonietta Paris concert series and with numerous other ensembles. She has performed in venues in Paris such as the Philharmonie de Paris, Palais Garnier, Cité de la Musique, Théâtre du Châtelet, and the Salle Pleyel.
In solo, orchestral, and chamber music settings, Deanna has performed at the Château de la Roche Guyon (France), Cervo Internationale Sommerakademie (Italy), Oberstdorf Musiksommer (Germany), the Juilliard ChamberFest, Festival Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordão (Brazil), the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. Deanna has also performed with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, the Lakes Area Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquestra de Cámara Galega (Spain).
Deanna is dedicated to pedagogy and outreach, having recently taught and performed in Switzerland through the Juilliard Global Adventures Program. In addition to maintaining an active private studio in Paris (teaching both viola and piano), she has taught for the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School.
Ms. Anderson holds master's degrees from the Juilliard School and the Conservatoire de Paris, and a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Winner of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts, Bethel Balge has performed as a featured soloist in Germany, Russia, and Portugal, as well as various American venues. Recently, Balge founded a new chamber music series at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota called the Summer Avenue Music Series (SAMS). Balge received a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota under Distinguished McKnight Professor Lydia Artymiw. As a collaborator, Balge performs regularly in the Chamber Music Performance Series at Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN). She teaches piano, piano pedagogy, and piano literature courses at Bethany Lutheran College; piano at Martin Luther College; and supervised teaching assistants at the University of Minnesota.
The Bekesh Trio invites you to enjoy some of the most loved music written for piano trio, and hopes that you experience the transcendent beauty and inspiration of these great masterpieces. The trio finds a settled satisfaction in being part of a continuum that hands music from one generation to another. The newly formed group features seasoned, versatile musicians who have performed extensively in venues around the world: Kenneth Freed, Sharon Mautner-Rodgers, and Bethel Balge.
Lydia Miller Choorapuzha continues to earn praise for her work as both a performer and educator. A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lydia performs regularly with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She is the founder and artistic director of Music on the Hill, a renowned chamber music series in Mankato, Minnesota. Her performances are heard regularly on Minnesota public radio. As a teacher, her students have not only won jobs in professional orchestras, but have also attended such prestigious universities as Yale and Harvard, pursuing careers in medicine and science. Her teaching philosophy trains not only the fingers and ears, but also the brain in how to think and solve problems in the most efficient way possible, a skill that transfers to every career path. In recognition of her excellent teaching Lydia was recently invited to join the College of Examiners at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. As an examiner, she travels throughout the US and Canada evaluating the progress of students and providing detailed feedback to students and their teachers. Her own students have been awarded both state and national gold medal awards through the Royal Conservatory's assessment program. A native of Maryland, Lydia's early training was at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD. Her undergraduate degree is from Boston University, where she was a student of Peter Zazofsky, and her master's degree is from the State University of New York at Purchase, where she studied with Laurie Smukler. Additionally, Lydia has studied at the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin, in Minneapolis with Jorja Fleezanis, and at Indiana University with Mimi Zweig. When not working Lydia stays busy with her one-year-old son Mark, her husband Jason, and their two dogs Magnum and Little Bear.
Cellist Michael DeBruyn joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during the 2013-2014 season. Prior to joining the PSO, Michael was principal cellist of the Louisville Orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Michael grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and began studying the cello at the age of four. His former teachers include Dr. Felix Wang, Dr. Tanya Carey, Richard Aaron, and Desmond Hoebig. His summer engagements have included the Meadowmount School of Music, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.
As a chamber musician, Michael has worked closely with members of the Arianna, Pacifica, Cavani, and Cleveland Quartets. In 1998, he received an honorable mention in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Blakemore Quartet. Michael and his wife, Francesca Tortorello, have been performing together as a professional duo since 2004.
Eleanor Freed is a San Francisco based violist, and is a second year Fellow in the San Francisco Academy Orchestra. She plays with multiple ensembles, including a new music collective that performs works by living composers. She studied with Peter Slowik at the Oberlin Conservatory, and is currently under the tutelage of Matthew Young, a San Francisco Symphony violist. In her spare time, Nellie enjoys reading chamber music with friends and cooking.
A violist and violinist, Kenneth Freed started music lessons at the Henry Street Settlement Music School in lower Manhattan with Elizabeth Weickert before attending the Juilliard Pre-College Division studying with Louise Behrend. He then received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Yale College and a Master of Music Performance degree from Yale University School of Music studying violin with Syoko Aki Erle. While at Yale, he was awarded the William Waithe Concerto Competition Prize, the Broadus Earle Memorial Prize for Violin, and the Tokyo String Quartet Prize for Chamber Music. He then studied in London with Helen Dowling, a student and assistant to Georges Enescu.
Orchestral music has been the primary focus of Freed’s career. He has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra viola section since 1998. Before he joined the orchestra, Freed played second violin in the internationally acclaimed Manhattan String Quartet. He has served as Committee Chair for the Artistic Advisory Committee and served on the Member’s Committee as well. He now serves on the Diversity Committee.Freed has been quietly returning to his first love, the violin, and will frequently be performing with the newly formed Bekesh Trio in southern Minnesota.
Pianist Mary Jo Gothmann enjoys a varied career as a chamber musician, soloist, opera coach and organist. Her recent chamber music engagements have included performances with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, Hill House Players, Bakken Trio, Music at Trinity, Colonial Chamber Music Series, Lakes Area Music Festival, and the Taos Chamber Music Group. Mary Jo is the founder and Artistic Director of the JOYA Chamber Music Series at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka. Mary Jo performs frequently with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra and has performed with EOS Orchestra in New York City, and as a piano soloist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the St. Paul Civic Orchestra. She has worked for some of the most prestigious opera companies in the United States including the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Minnesota Opera and has performed recitals with singers from the Metropolitan Opera as well as with instrumentalists from many of the country’s major symphony orchestras. Mary Jo is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, University of Minnesota, New England Conservatory and St. Olaf College. Mary Jo has been the principal organist at Zion Lutheran Church since moving to Shoreview, Minnesota in 2005.
Dr. Chun Chim (David) Leung, Music Director of Minnehaha Academy Orchestra and former Assistant Professor of Violin at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and Music Director of Saint Mary’s Chamber Orchestra, is versatile and active in every aspect of performance as violin and viola soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, concertmaster, orchestral conductor and educator.
Leung performs and teaches extensively around the world, including regular masterclasses and concerts in Kenya, Colombia, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Canada and the United States.
Leung has collaborated with many of today’s best-known artists such as Arvine Arditti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Anthony Camden, Andrés Cárdenes, Anthony Dean Griffey, Sharron Isbin, Warren Jones, Mikhail Kopelman, Gregory Kunde, Sir Neville Marriner, Dale Warland and Pinchas Zukerman. Leung has also performed in numerous major international music festivals such as Festival Pablo Casals in France, Carinthian Summer Music Festival in Austria, Aberdeen International Music Festival in Scotland, Hong Kong Arts Festival, La French May, Musicarama and June in Buffalo.
Leung made his Carneige Hall debut at the Weill Recital Hall in New York City in 2009. The recital program includes a series of works by contemporary Chinese composers such as Chan Yi, Bright Sheng and Zhou Long, including three world premieres of commission pieces in the presence of the composers.
In light of his outstanding achievements and accomplishments in musical performance, Leung is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Investec Music Prize, Guinness Flight Music Prize, St. David Lodge Music Award, the Ruggiero Ricci Violin Performance Merit Award and scholarships such as the Bloomberg Scholarship, Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship and Standard Chartered Community Foundation Scholarship.
A native of Hong Kong, David Leung began his violin lessons at the age of six with Tong Lung and made his concerto debut at ten. Leung continued to study with Lo Chu Tong and Michael Ma at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, was awarded Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance with First-Class Honors. Leung holds a Master Degree in Violin Performance and Literature, a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance and Orchestral Conducting, and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, under the tutelage of Mikhail Kopelman, former leader of the legendary Borodin and Tokyo String Quartets.
A native of Nisswa, MN, Scott Lykins began studying piano at a young age and, through the Brainerd public school orchestra program, began playing cello at the age of 12. After high school, he attended DePaul University before transferring to the Eastman School of Music, where he received a Bachelors of Music in Cello Performance. He has participated in the Bowdoin International Music Festival, National Orchestra Institute, National Repertory Orchestra and the Summer Music Festival at Colorado College. He has served as principal cellist of the Classical Symphony of Chicago and the Eastman Philharmonia, and has played with the Syracuse Symphony and the New World Symphony in Miami. This spring he earned a Masters Degree in Cello Performance at Eastman, studying with Alan Harris. Other teachers include Joseph Johnson, Steven Doane, Stephen Balderston, and Brant Taylor.
Sharon Mautner-Rodgers began her cello studies in California, and later received a full scholarship to the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, where she was a recipient of the Herbert Zipper Award. Sharon attended the Curtis Institute of Music and earned her B of M degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received the Ellis A. Feiman Memorial Award for excellence. Sharon has been a member of many professional symphony orchestras, including the New World, Charleston, Naples (FL), Memphis, Des Moines, Honolulu, and Malaysian Philharmonic. Sharon has taught cello and coached chamber music at the Luzerne Music Center (NY), Weathersfield Music Camp (VT), Drake University Prep, and Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Currently, Sharon is in her 10th year as Principal Cellist of the Mankato Symphony and Instructor of Cello at Gustavus Adolphus College. She is Associate Principal Cellist of the South Dakota Symphony and teaches cello privately and at Grace Christian School, as well as being a substitute cellist for the Minnesota Orchestra. In the summers, Sharon is Associate Principal cellist of the Missouri Symphony "Hot Summer Nights" festival and on the faculty of the International Cello Institute.
Thomas Rosenberg is nationally known as a dynamic performer, chamber music coach, and teacher. Since 1981 he has been Artistic Director of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (www.Fischoff.org) through which he is a recipient of the 2007 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award, the highest honor in the arts from that state. A resident of Saint Paul, Minnesota, he is currently on the faculties of Macalester College, Carleton College and the McNally Smith College of Music teaching cello and coaching chamber music and has served as String Chamber Music Coordinator and primary coach for the University of Minnesota School of Music. He also maintains The Opus 1911 Music Studio (www.tomrosenbergmusic.com), a busy private studio of pre-college cellists and chamber ensembles featuring many of the regions most outstanding young artists and is Director of the Green Lake Chamber Music Camp in central Wisconsin. Former teaching assistant to renowned cellists and artist-teachers Paul Katz and Laurence Lesser, Tom is recipient of the 2003-4 “Master Studio Teacher Award” from the Minnesota chapter of the American String Teachers Association and has also been named "Arts Educator of the Year" by the Michigan-Indiana Arts and Sciences Council . He has led chamber music “informances” to audiences around the US, and has presented a series of lectures on the Beethoven String Quartets. During the summers he teaches and coaches at music centers such as the Tanglewood Institute, The Quartet Program where he has also been Associate Director, Icicle Creek, Bravo, the Midwest Young Artists Summer Chamber Music Camp and the Green Lake Chamber Music Festival. Recent masterclasses have been at The Cleveland Institute of Music, The Oberlin Conservatory, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, Temple University, Ohio State University, The Columbus Chamber Music Connection and Suzuki Program, The Interlochen Arts Academy and Webster University in Saint Louis.
Mr. Rosenberg was awarded the prestigious McKnight Performing Artist Fellowship Award in 2004. He also has received top chamber music prizes at the Munich (Germany), Portsmouth (England) and Chicago Discovery Competitions, and is a three-time Naumburg Chamber Music Award finalist. His freelance activities include numerous solo and chamber music recitals, performances with the Schubert Piano Trio, The Isles Ensemble, Minnesota Public Radio and performances as an extra musician with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Rosenberg was a founding member of the highly acclaimed Chester String Quartet with whom he made numerous recordings and for twenty years, appeared on concert stages and live radio coast to coast in the United States, Canada, Central America and Europe. He has been solo cello of the New York Chamber Ensemble performing in all of the major concert halls in NYC, performed with jazz greats Charlie Haden and Al Foster in Carnegie Hall and appeared at many music festivals including Aspen, Newport, Banff, South Mountain, Cape May, the Grand Tetons, and the International Music Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica. As a soloist, he has been noted by the Boston Globe as displaying “beautifully inflected, noble playing with a gorgeous dark tone.” He performs on a rare cello by Lorenzo Storioni made in Cremona, Italy in 1794.
Tom is a graduate of Oberlin and the Eastman School of Music where he was teaching assistant to both Paul Katz and Laurence Lesser. Other teachers include Richard Kapuscinski, Alan Harris, Alta Mayer, and for chamber music, members of the Budapest, Juilliard, Tokyo, Guarneri, and Cleveland Quartets.
Francesca Tortorello (DMA) regularly performs recitals across the country and collaborates with a wide variety of instrumentalists and singers. She has worked with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and has been heard on Minnesota Public Radio performing on Talking Volumes. She gave the Midwest premier of Samuel Barber’s lost violin sonata with violinist Dr. John Gilbert in July 2014 at the University of Minnesota.
Now located in Pittsburgh, Dr. Tortorello is the Accompanist Coordinator at Duquesne University and plays for the Mendelssohn Chorus of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus. She also has an active theater career and serves as musical director shows for several professional theater companies.
Dr. Tortorello began piano lessons at the age of four in her hometown of Mount Kisco, NY. She holds a Bachelors degree in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Antonio Pompa-Baldi. Her true passion, however, has always been chamber music and she received a Masters degree and Professional Studies certificate in Collaborative Piano from CIM, studying with Virginia Weckstrom. She recently obtained a Doctorate in Collaborative Piano and Coaching at the University of Minnesota and studied with Timothy Lovelace.
A dedicated teacher and coach, Dr. Tortorello is a resident artist at Pittsburgh Musical Theatre and has maintained a teaching studio for the past decade. Francesca and her husband, Pittsburgh Symphony cellist Michael DeBruyn, have been performing as a professional duo since 2004.