Rodney Friend is recognised internationally
as one of the most outstanding English born violinists. As a soloist, chamber
musician, concertmaster, director and teacher, he has appeared worldwide with
the greatest musicians of the last fifty years. He made his London debut
playing Sibelius concerto with the Halle Orchestra and his American debut
playing Britten concerto with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Centre. He
has performed extensively as concerto soloist with major orchestras in Europe,
North and South America, Scandinavia and the Far East under such conductors as
Haitink, Boulez, Bernstein, Barbirolli, Mehta, Leinsdorf, Solti, Giulini, Davis
and Roszdestvensky. Amongst his many recordings, his performances with the
London Philharmonic of the Britten and Bach concertos for EMI received the
highest critical acclaim.
1991 he formed the Solomon Trio with whom he toured Europe extensively, playing
at such venues as La Scala Milan and recording much of the great trio
literature for Carlton Records. It is however as a Concertmaster, where his
experience and reputation is legendary. In 1964 he became the youngest ever
leader of the London Philharmonic, working closely with Bernard Haitink,
Barenboim, Solti and Giulini. In 1975, he received the unique honour for a
British player when he was invited by the New York Philharmonic to be their
Concertmaster, playing concerts and recording worldwide with Bernstein, Boulez
and Mehta. It is with these two orchestras that he recorded almost the entire
his return to London, he became concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra
with Roszdestvensky, and a senior lecturer and consultant of violin at the
Royal College of Music. He is presently Artistic Director of the Cambridge
International String Academy and Professor of violin at the Royal Academy of
Music London. His many students have achieved success in all areas of violin
playing. He travels extensively as a teacher and also as a jury member for the
international violin competitions.
2008, the first two volumes of his books ‘The Orchestral Violinist’ were
published by Boosey and Hawkes, and received universal acclaim as being the
most important works so far produced for this discipline.
2015, he was conferred a Member of the British Empire by the Queen for services
to music. He plays a Joseph Guarnerius violin dated 1696. www.rodneyfriend.co.uk www.facebook.com/rodneyfriendviolin
With a wide background ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, Siyeon Ryu draws her musical inspirations from both the classical and folk music traditions of the world.
The epitome of her musical presence is her annual ‘Siyeon Ryu's Theme Concert’ which started 2002, where the traditional boundaries of musical fusion of tango, folk, and baroque were explored under a new light of expressions. Her vivid interpretations of Piazzolla tango is captured in the album ‘Pasion, Amor & Piazzolla’ released under the Sony Label. Her recent musical interest lies in re-visitation and re-interpretation of traditional Korean folk music through her unique touch of violin, acquired through years’ of her persistent learning of Haegeum, Korea’s traditional string instrument. Ms Ryu's curiosity and interest in experimenting with Korean traditional folk tunes continues in her thrilling Sony Classical Recording of 2014 'Reminiscence'. She has brought the light to the new frontier of beautifully harmonizing different cultures, enchanting the audiences not only in her country but also in Germany and U.K.
Ms. Ryu completed the recital debut in 1995 at the Royal Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Her professional experience began by touring the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Germany, and Poland. In 2008, 2009 and 2014, she successfully participated in recitals of the Berliner Philharmonie Kammermusik Saal under the auspices of the Green peace International. Moreover, she frequently attends Cambridge International String Academy every summer as a professor and performer.
As for her educational background, her undergraduate studies started at Seoul National University and completed at the Curtis Institute of Music. She received her Artist Diploma from the Royal College of Music in London and Master’s degree from Yale University, then she completed her education with doctorate degree at the State University of New York.
She found early success as a grand prize winner in the series of national competitions such as Korea Times Concours, the Ewha & Kyunghyang Concours, and as a lead violinist of the ‘Young People’s Concert’ with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of 17, she won the very renowned Dong-A Daily News Music Competition, and was awarded the ‘Youth Musician Honor’ by the Governor of Seoul Metropolitan City. In 1995, she was also a leader of Yale’s Resident String Quartet.
Ms. Ryu participated in the master classes of world-class musicians such as Issac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Igor Oistrakh, Josef Gingold. And with Ida Haendel, Herman Krebbers and Rodney Friend with special inspiring influences. Her mentors include NamYun Kim, Aaron Rosand, Rodney Friend, Syoko Aki, and Lazar Gosman. Ms. Ryu has been a professor at SookMyung Women’s University since 2000 and without a doubt, an outstanding concert violinist and an enthusiastic pioneer of violin repertoire through out her musical life.
Australian violinist, Simon James, is Second Assistant Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony and is a founding member of the Australian World Orchestra. He has also been a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Orchestra. Mr. James often serves as concertmaster with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and the Seattle Chamber Orchestra and has performed as guest concertmaster with the Vancouver Symphony, West Australian Symphony, and the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. He has performed as soloist with the Seattle Symphony and many Pacific Northwest orchestras and has worked with conductors including Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Mazur, André Previn, and Sir Neville Mariner. As concertmaster and contractor of the Northwest Sinfonia, Mr. James can be heard on hundreds of motion picture and television sound tracks. He contracted and performed on the first ever live orchestra video game soundtrack and went on to record several more such as Halo and World of Warcraft, and worked with Elmer Bernstein, Michael Kaman, Michael Giacchino, and Bill Conti. He has also recorded concerti with the Seattle Symphony and premiered Richard Englefield’s Violin Concerto with the Slovak Radio Symphony. In addition, he has performed at the music festivals of Grand Teton, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Sunflower, St. Barths, Classical Tahoe, and Methow Valley. Mr. James teaches at the Brian Lewis Young Artists Program, has been on the faculty of the Encore Chamber Music, and has given master classes at the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, Central and Western Washington Universities, and the University of Texas.
Simon joined the Coleman Violin Studio in 2007 bringing increased performance opportunities and a fresh perspective for teaching and coaching. His students have won numerous competitions including the International Menuhin Competition Junior Division, the Stradivarius International Competition, the Aspen Music Festival ACCA Concerto Competition, MTNA National, Division, and State titles, Seattle Young Artists Festival Medals, and all divisions of the SMTA Simon Fiset Competition. They were top prize winners at the International Louis Spohr Violin Competition, the Johansen International String Competitions, ASTA National Competition, and the St Paul String Quartet Competition, and have distinguished themselves in the Stulberg International String Competition and the Fischoff Competition. His students have been concerto soloists with all of the leading orchestras in the Pacific Northwest including the Seattle Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Utah Symphony, Seattle Philharmonic, Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Seattle Festival Orchestra; Cascade, Bremerton, and Sammamish Symphonies; and Seattle, Tacoma, Cascade, and Bellevue Youth Symphonies, and as KING-FM Young Artists Grand Prize Winners they have performed in recital for the Seattle Chamber Music Society directed by James Ehnes. Simon’s students have participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Kronberg Academy (2017), Cambridge International String Academy, Summit Music Festival, Music in the Mountains, Encore Chamber Music, the Brian Lewis Young Artists Program, the National Youth Orchestra, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Starling-Delay Symposium, and have appeared on NPR’s “From the Top”. They have performed in lessons and masterclasses with Leonidas Kavakos, Augustine Hadelich, James Ehnes, Leila Josefowicz, Sergey Khachatryan, Martin Chalifour, Alex Kerr, Andres Cardenes, Vadim Gluzman, Jaime Laredo, Paul Kantor, Martin Beaver, Philippe Quint, Stephanie Chase, Margaret Batjer, Henry Gronnier, Frank Almond, Brian Lewis, Joseph Silverstein, Jacques Israelievitch, Keng-Yuen Tseng, Amy Schwartz-Moretti, Jinjoo Cho, Gerardo Ribeiro, John Adams, and Stephen Shipps, and they have played for many others including Robert Lipsett, Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Robert Chen, Noah Bendix Bagley, Sarah Chang, Glenn Dicterow, Ray Chen, Silvia Rosenberg, Robert McDuffie, Pamela Frank, Erin Keefe, William Preucil, Renaud Capuçon, Mauricio Fuks, and Aaron Rosand. Simon’s students have gone on to study at the Colburn School, Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Peabody Institute, Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, and the universities of Indiana, Baylor, Princeton, Colombia, Georgetown, Stanford, and Harvard. His former students currently hold positions in the New York Philharmonic, the Spokane Symphony, the Akron Symphony, and the Canton Symphony.