Friends Will Be Friends

Apex Concerts begins its spectacular Eleventh Season “A New Decade” with a celebration of friendship and community, so dearly missed in times of COVID. “Friends Will Be Friends” brings to Reno a remarkable group of musicians: pianist Gloria Chien, violinists Kristin Lee and Sean Lee, and composer Patrick Castillo, giving the world premiere of a new work on our stage. Together with Apex co-directors Hyeyeon Park and Dmitri Atapine, this group met over the last decade at Music@Menlo, one of the world’s leading chamber music festivals. Inspired by this formative time in their careers, making music together and forging life-long friendships, these musicians have also started a multitude of projects and series across the United States. Apex Concerts was born of our shared belief that chamber music is an all-encompassing art that must be nourished, championed and shared with the widest audience. It will be a privilege to perform and open our 11th season in the company of some of the people who inspired the first!

  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) Variations on a Theme by Rossini (1942)
  • Patrick Castillo (b.1979) Winter Light for Two Violins, Cello and Piano (2020) (west coast premiere)
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) Suite for Two Violins, Cello and Piano Left Hand, Op.23 (1930)

The Artists

Kristin Lee, violin

Kristin LeeRecipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and educator. She has appeared with top orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Ural Philharmonic of Russia, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony and in recital on many of the world’s finest stages including Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Kennedy Center, Kimmel Center, Phillips Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre Museum, Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery and the Ravinia Festival. An accomplished chamber musician, she has appeared with Camerata Pacifica, Music@Menlo, La Jolla Festival, Medellín Festicámara of Colombia, the El Sistema Chamber Music festival of Venezuela and the Sarasota Music Festival. She is the concertmaster of the Metropolis Ensemble, with which she premiered Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto, written for her, which appears on Fung’s CD Dreamscapes (Naxos) and won the 2013 Juno Award. Born in Seoul, Lee moved to the U.S. to study under Sonja Foster and soon after entered The Juilliard School’s Pre-College. She holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School under Itzhak Perlman. An alum of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), she is a member of the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and the co-founder and artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle.

Sean Lee, violin

Sean LeeViolinist Sean Lee has captured the attention of audiences around the world with his lively performances of the classics. A recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is one of few violinists who dare to perform Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices in concert and his YouTube series, Paganini POV, continues to draw praise for the use of technology in sharing unique perspectives and insight into violin playing. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Israel Camerata Jerusalem and Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice and his recital appearances have taken him to Vienna's Konzerthaus, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall. As a season artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and an alum of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), he continues to perform regularly at Lincoln Center, as well as on tour. Originally from Los Angeles, Lee studied with Robert Lipsett of the Colburn Conservatory and legendary violinist Ruggiero Ricci before moving at the age of 17 to study at The Juilliard School with his longtime mentor, violinist Itzhak Perlman. He continues to call New York City home and currently teaches at The Juilliard School’s pre-college division, as well as the Perlman Music Program. He performs on a violin originally made for violinist Ruggiero Ricci in 1999, by David Bague.

Gloria Chien, piano

Gloria ChienTaiwanese-born pianist Gloria Chien has one of the most diverse musical lives as a noted performer, concert presenter and educator. She was selected by the Boston Globe as one of its Superior Pianists of the year, "… who appears to excel in everything." She made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard and performed again with the BSO with Keith Lockhart. In recent seasons she has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Kissingen Sommer festival, the Dresden Chamber Music Festival and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. An alum of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), she performs frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2009 she launched String Theory, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga, that has become one of Tennessee's premier classical music presenters. The following year she was appointed director of the Chamber Music Institute at the Music@Menlo festival by Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han. In 2017, she joined her husband, violinist Soovin Kim, as co-artistic director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont. Chien received her B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. She holds the position of artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. She is a Steinway artist.

Hyeyeon Park, piano

Hyeyeon ParkSelected as an Artist of the Year by the Seoul Arts Center, Hyeyeon Park has been described as a pianist “with power, precision and tremendous glee” ( Gramophone). She is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including Oberlin, Ettlingen, Hugo Kauder, Maria Canals, Prix Amadèo and Corpus Christi, and her performances have been broadcast on KBS and EBS television (Korea) and RAI3 (Italy), WQXR (New York), WFMT (Chicago), WBJC (Baltimore) and WETA (Washington, D.C.) radio. She is artistic director of Apex Concerts (Nevada) and a professor of piano at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her first solo CD, Klavier 1853, has been released on the Blue Griffin label.

Dmitri Atapine, cello

Dmitri AtapineDmitri Atapine has been described as a cellist with “brilliant technical chops” (Gramophone), whose playing is “highly impressive throughout” (The Strad). He has appeared on some of the world's foremost stages, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Zankel and Weill halls at Carnegie Hall and the National Auditorium of Spain. An avid chamber musician, he frequently performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is an alum of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). His multiple festival appearances have included Music@Menlo, La Musica Sarasota, Pacific, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence, Nevada and Cactus Pear, with performances broadcast in Spain, Italy, the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South Korea. His many awards include the first prize at the Carlos Prieto Cello Competition, as well as top honors at the Premio Vittorio Gui and Plowman chamber competitions. He has collaborated with such distinguished musicians as Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Bruno Giuranna and David Shifrin. His recordings, among them a critically acclaimed world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s complete works for cello and piano, can be found on the Naxos, Albany, MSR, Urtext Digital, Blue Griffin and Bridge record labels. Atapine holds a doctorate from the Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Aldo Parisot. The artistic director of Apex Concerts and Ribadesella Chamber Music Festival, he is the cello professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.