Chamber Talk with Max Mandel: Evnin Rising Stars

Crossing the Threshold

Tue, October 21, 2014, 7:00pm


What do you know about chamber music?

Max Mandel, Evnin Rising Star alum and accomplished viola player, breaks it down for you with style, charm, and wit. This entertaining salon-style series, with live music and conversation from artistic, historical, political, and insider perspectives, is designed for the chamber novice as well as seasoned concert-goers. You’ll leave with a true sense of how and why the music works.

This Chamber Talk focuses on the role of mentorship in the classical tradition and how it impacts musicians and composers, using Brahms and his relationships with Clara and Robert Schumann as a prime example. The lecture includes an open rehearsal of Brahms’ Piano Quintet in f minor with Leon Fleisher, Kenneth Renshaw, YooJin Jang, Matt Lipman, and SuJin Lee.  Following the open rehearsal is a Q&A among Max Mandel, Leon Fleisher, and these four Evnin Rising Stars musicians.


Photo by Koichi Miura

Photo by Koichi Miura

Legendary pianist Leon Fleisher represents the highest standard of musicianship and, at 85 years young, he continues to impart his life-affirming artistry throughout the world, thriving in a sustained career as conductor and soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, and master class mentor.

“The Rising Stars program enabled me to feel confident about my abilities as a chamber musician…It gave me a hunger for the profession of chamber music, not just the music itself, which sets it apart from other educational programs.” –Max Mandel

Max Mandel


Max Mandel

Max Mandel is a Canadian violist and one of the most acclaimed active chamber musicians of his generation. He is currently affiliated with many chamber groups, including The Silk Road Ensemble, The Knights and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Mandel is a familiar face at Caramoor; he has appeared here over 30 times.



Photo by Koichi Miura

Photo by Koichi Miura

Leon Fleisher

Legendary pianist Leon Fleisher represents the highest standard of musicianship and, at 85 years young, he continues to impart his life-affirming artistry throughout the world, thriving in a sustained career as conductor and soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, and master class mentor. Highlights of Mr. Fleisher’s 2013-2014 season in this country include appearances as soloist with the Boston Symphony with Kazushi Ono, the Chicago Symphony with James Conlon, and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Jaime Laredo conducting some of the country’s most gifted young (15 to 22 year-old) musicians. As a conductor, he will be heard with The Cleveland Orchestra and Mitsuko Uchida and as a conductor/soloist with the Naples Philharmonic where he will be conducting a world premiere with three of his children and a daughter-in-law as harp soloists. He will perform recitals and give master classes nationally and around the world and he will conduct the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and appear as soloist with orchestra in Karlsruhe, Germany. His chamber music highlights include performances at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas with the Juilliard Quartet, in the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts series in New York with the Dover String Quartet, and at the Eastman School of Music with the Ying Quartet. He is making a new recording for Bridge Records including left-hand works written for him and the Bach/Brahms Chaconne. In the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Fleisher’s engagements include performances and master classes in Switzerland (master classes at the University and a recital at the Lucerne Festival), Germany (as conductor/soloist of the Bamberg Symphony and playing chamber music at the Tonhalle in Duesseldorf)) , Brazil (Ravel Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro) , France (master classes in Strasbourg), conducting in Taiwan and Japan, and performing in halls across the United States. A recipient of numerous honors and awards, Mr. Fleisher received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in 2007. In 2006, he was the subject of the 2006 Oscar and Emmy-nominated documentary film Two Hands. His recent memoir, My Nine Lives: A Memoir of Many Careers in Music, which he co-wrote with Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, is published by Doubleday. Most recently, Baltimore philanthropists Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker established the Leon Fleisher Scholars Fund for piano students at the Peabody Conservatory, an endowment of over $1,000,000.
Kenneth Renshaw Photo-180x295

Kenneth Renshaw

20-year-old American violinist Kenneth Renshaw has appeared as soloist with orchestras on four continents, including Lithuanian National Orchestra, the China Philharmonic, the China NCPA Orchestra, the Jenaer Philharmonie, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the California Symphony, the American Philharmonic, and the Orquestra de Festival Ushuaia. He has given sold-out recitals at major European music festivals (the Menuhin Festival Gstaad and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele) and has been featured on the national radio stations of Germany, Argentina, Lithuania, and the United States. His playing has been hailed as “vivid and eloquent” (San Francisco Chronicle) and praised for its “natural and honest sense of communication” (The Strad magazine). Kenneth won First Prizes in the 2012 Menuhin and 2010 Spohr International Violin Competitions, and the 2009 Los Angeles Philharmonic competition, among other awards. An avid chamber musician, he has collaborated in performances with many esteemed artists, including violinist Cho-Liang Lin, cellist Matt Heimovitz, violist Atar Arad, and flutist Sir James Galway. Kenneth has attended the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, the Perlman Music Program’s Residencies in Sarasota (Florida) and Stowe (Vermont), [email protected]’s International Chamber Music Institute, and the 2013 Kronberg Academy Violin Masterclasses. He has studied with Donald Weilertstein at the New England Conservatory, Itzhak Perlman at the Perlman Music Program, and Li Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is currently studying at the Juilliard School as a recipient of the prestigious Kovner Fellowship. He has been generously loaned violins from the Juilliard School, Bein & Fushi/The Stradivarius Society of Chicago, Reuning & Sons of Boston, Christophe Landon Rare Violins, and the Maestro Foundation of Southern California.

Jang _Yoojin_130916-MC

Yoo Jin Jang

Yoo Jin Jang had her first violin recital at age 11. She has been performing with top Korean orchestras such as the KBS symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra since the age of nine. Her performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Ivan Fischer’s Budapest Festival Orchestra got great reviews in 2007. She has handily won all of the top youth competitions in Korea. She came in third at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 2004. She was awarded the Fourth Prize at Seoul International Music Competition in 2009. She also excels at chamber music. She was awarded the “Schloss Weikersheim Scholarship” in the London String Quartet Competition in 2009 (KNUA Quartet). At the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, Ms. Jang was awarded Second Prize. She was also the winner of the Michael Hill Audience Prize, and won the prize for the Best Performance of the NZ commission work in this competition. She was the youngest participant in the competition. She has participated in the 2010 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and the 2009 Hannover Competition. In both of these, she received much praise from both the audience and the jury.  In 2009, she performed as a soloist with Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo in the Hoam Art Center New Year Concert, at the Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music 2009, and as a soloist with Exremadura Orchestra in Spain. Because of the enthusiastic reaction from the audience, she was invited back to Spain to perform in December 2009. She performed with the Exremadura Orchestra led by Jesus Amigo at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville. Also, she won the 2011 Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Awards which led her to perform as a guest artist with the Borromeo String Quartet in Jordan Hall. Yoo Jin Jang participated in Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program in 2013.


Matthew Lipman Photo-180x295

Matthew Lipman

Violist Matthew Lipman has been hailed by The New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing” and by the Chicago Tribune for his “splendid technique and musical sensitivity.” Engagements as soloist include the Juilliard, Minnesota, Grand Rapids symphonies, the Wisconsin Chamber, Ars Viva Symphony, Montgomery Symphony, Capital City Symphony and Southwest Symphony Orchestras, and as recitalist with the Phillips Collection in Washington D. C. and the ShortGrass Festival in northeastern New Mexico.  He will travel this season to Honolulu, Lisbon, London, Rome, and Bad Kissingen, German with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as a member of CMS Two, and his debut recording of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine, Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is scheduled for release this January. Mr. Lipman is the First Prize winner of the Washington, Stulberg, and Johansen International Competitions; the Minnesota Orchestra and Juilliard Competitions; and is a top prizewinner of the Tertis and Primrose International Viola Competitions.  He has attended the [email protected], Ravinia, Marlboro, Caramoor, and Perlman Music festivals and has collaborated with David Finckel, Miriam Fried, Paul Katz, Ani and Ida Kavafian, and Itzhak Perlman. Born in Chicago in 1992, Mr. Lipman is a student at The Juilliard School, where he is a recipient of a Kovner Fellowship and serves as teaching assistant to professor Heidi Castleman.  He has also studied with Misha Amory, Roland Vamos, and Matthew Mantell. Mr. Lipman performs on a fine viola by Matteo Goffriller, 1700, on generous loan from the REB Foundation.


Menlo headshot 180x295SuJin Lee

Twenty-one-year old cellist SuJin Lee began her music studies at age five.  Since her solo orchestra debut at age seven in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory, she has performed extensively in the United States and Europe at world-renowned venues such as the Louvre Museum, Sibelius Hall, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Art Gallery, the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, Zankel Hall, Mechanics Hall, and Jordan Hall. Prizewinner in the 2006 Johansen International Competition and 2009 Klein International Competitions, she has appeared as guest soloist with the Boca Raton Philharmonia, the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra. She has spent many summers at prestigious music programs such as the Steans Institute at Ravinia, [email protected] Chamber Music Institute, Perlman Music Program, and the Aspen Music Festival, working closely with teachers such as Ronald Leonard, Frans Helmerson, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Richard Aaron.  An avid chamber musician, she has coached with Gil Kalish, Nobuko Imai, Menahem Pressler, Miriam Fried, Ida Kavafian, Michael Tree, Wu Han, David Finckel, and Paul Neubauer and has collaborated with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, and Roger Tapping. Born in South Korea, SuJin immigrated to the United States when she was one year old.  Raised in Boston, she studied with Laura Blustein and Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School.  This May, she received her B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and completed her undergraduate cello studies at The Juilliard School with Timothy Eddy, with one semester at the Paris Conservatoire with Philippe Muller. She is currently pursuing her Master in Music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Laurence Lesser.

Dear Music Lovers,

Welcome to the best kept secret at Caramoor: Chamber Talk. Clearly the people who attended last year’s Talks really enjoyed them because we’re back for a second year! We’re returning with a few tweaks and a new time but we’re bringing you the same combination of musical history, insider insights, special guests and general zaniness. Caramoor is a garden of musical delights and it’s especially well suited to the intimacy of the chamber music genre. Every season offers an incredible number of concerts to listen to the best chamber musicians in the world. And what could make the best concert going experience even besterer? Listening to me talk about it of course! Each Talk is tied into an upcoming concert at Caramoor and my plan is to win you over with my rabid enthusiasm for chamber music and classical music in general.

This Talk is about a program that changed my life, The Evnin Rising Stars. We’re going to take a look at how musicians learn and grow with the help of one of the program’s mentors, the imminent American pianist and teacher Leon Fleisher. We’ve chosen to focus on the f minor Piano Quintet by Johannes Brahms which Mr. Fleisher will perform with the Rising Stars at their concert this coming Friday, October 25th. We’re going to be lucky enough to sit in on an open rehearsal of the piece and I will interview all of the musicians afterwards to gain insight into how musicians never stop learning from one another. There is always more to learn about classical music. I feel that knowledge about a work of art heightens one’s appreciation for it. Chamber Talk strives to be a place for us to go in-depth and get up-close to the most personal aspects of music —the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.

Thanks for continuing to enable my addiction to chamber music! Welcome to Chamber Talk.

Max Mandel