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Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition Fifth Anniversary Gala Concert

Barbash Concert banner 420The Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition will celebrate its Fifth Anniversary with a gala concert featuring past laureates: Avery Fisher Career Grant recipients violinist, Rachell Ellen Wong, and double bassist, Nina Bernat; Young Concert Artists International Auditions winner, violinist, Lun Li; and Tianyou Ma, winner of the Bach Prize at both the Singapore and Menuhin International Violin Competitions. More about the competition here

The concert is presented by Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS). 

View the program

Friday, December 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm

In person ~ $30
Online ~ $10

The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, Manhattan

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RachellEW Credit Lucien KnutesonRachell Ellen Wong

Recipient of a prestigious 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant — the only early music specialist in the respected program’s history — and Grand Prize winner of the inaugural Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition, violinist Rachell Ellen Wong is a star on both the modern and historical performance violin stages. With performances across five continents, Rachell has established herself as one of the leading historical performers of her generation, collaborating with esteemed ensembles such as the Academy of Ancient Music, Jupiter Ensemble led by lutenist Thomas Dunford, Bach Collegium Japan, Ruckus Early Music, and Les Arts Florissants, among others. Equally accomplished on the modern violin, Rachell made her first public appearance with Philharmonia Northwest at age 11 and has since performed as a soloist with orchestras such as Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Panamá, Orquesta Sinfónica de Costa Rica, and the Seattle Symphony. In 2020, Rachell made her conducting debut with the Seattle Symphony, leading a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons from the violin. Currently, she serves as concertmaster of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

Notable highlights from Rachell's 2022–2023 season include performances of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Auburn Symphony (WA), Beethoven's Violin Concerto with the Richmond Symphony (IN), Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy with the American Classical Orchestra (NYC), as well as recitals for UC Berkeley's Cal Performances, the Edinburgh Music Festival, the Washington Bach Consort in DC, and for the Starling-DeLay Symposium at The Juilliard School. Additionally, Rachell is an Artist-in-Residence with the Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia, and a faculty member at the Valley of the Moon Music Institute in Sonoma, CA. She is also an American Fellow of The English Concert.

Alongside acclaimed keyboardist David Belkovski, Rachell is co-founder of Twelfth Night. Founded in 2021, Twelfth Night’s notable engagements include Music Before 1800, Reno’s Apex Concert Series, Arizona Early Music, and Chatham Baroque. The ensemble is set to make its Carnegie Hall debut during the 2023–2024 season.

Rachell holds a Master of Historical Performance from The Juilliard School, a Master of Music degree from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she divides her time between New York City and Seattle. Rachell performs on a Baroque violin from the school of Joachim Tielke circa 1700, as well as a violin made by Carlo de March in 1953. Her exceptional blend of technical virtuosity, expressive musicianship, and deep understanding of period performance practices has garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated following. For more information about Rachell, please visit her website at www.rachellwong.com.

Nina BernatNina Bernat

Double bassist Nina Bernat, acclaimed for her interpretive maturity, expressive depth, and technical clarity, emerges onto the world stage with awards and accolades, thrilling audiences everywhere. This year, Nina is honored as a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the CAG Elmaleh Competition. Recent First Prizes include the 2022 Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition, the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition, the Juilliard Double Bass Competition, and the 2019 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. She was also named a Bowers Program Artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the 2024–2027 seasons.

Engaged in all aspects of double bass performance, in 2019 she was invited to perform as guest principal bassist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, serving under the batons of András Schiff and Osmo Vänskä. Among her notable chamber performances are appearances with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Series, and Mostly Music. This summer, Nina heads to Vermont for her second season at both the 2023 Marlboro Music Festival and the Lake Champlain Music Festival. She returns to the 2023 Grace Note Farm Summer Music Festival in Rhode Island for her third season, as both performer and co-organizer.

Nina’s 2023–2024 season includes a concerto debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and performances as guest principal of the Oslo Philharmonic. Nina performs on an instrument passed down from her father, Mark Bernat, attributed to Guadagnini

For more information, visit www.ninabernat.com.

Lun LiLun Li

Lun Li is a violinist committed to creating thought-provoking, boundary-pushing concert experiences for contemporary audiences around the world. A native of Shanghai who is currently based in New York, Lun won First Prize in the 2021 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, the Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, and was named John French Violin Chair at YCA. Additionally, he is also the joint winner of the First Prize at the 2021 Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition. Recently, he was named a Bowers Program Artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the 2024–2027 seasons.

Lun has appeared on major musical stages around the world, including Helsinki Music Centre, Konzerthaus Berlin, Kulturpalast Dresden, Wiener Konzerthaus, and Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. Next season, he will make his solo recital debut in Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., as well as his concerto debut in the Lincoln Center.

An avid chamber musician, he has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, the Verbier Music Festival Academy, Music@Menlo’s international program, and Music from Angelfire. He has collaborated with leading musicians such as Kim Kashkashian, Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Marcy Rosen, Steven Tenenbom, Peter Wiley, and members from Calidore, Doric, and Miro Quartets. His upcoming season will include chamber music tours with Curtis Institute of Music, Marlboro Music Festival, and Young Concert Artists, bringing him to Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and others.

Lun holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music (BM’20) and The Juilliard School (MM’22). His mentors include Ida Kavafian, Catherine Cho, and Joseph Lin. He is currently pursuing an artist diploma at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Catherine Cho.

Lun plays on the Stradivarius “Samazeuilh” 1735 violin, on generous loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Tianyou Ma photo 2022 2Tianyou Ma

Violinist Tianyou Ma has been a prize winner in numerous prestigious international competitions, including the 2021 Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition (Joint Grand Prize), the Singapore International Violin Competition (Bach Prize), the Sendai International Music Competition, The Menuhin International Violin Competition (Bach Prize), and the Postacchini Competition.

Tianyou has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Webern Kammerphilharmonie, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, London Doctors’ Orchestra, Adelaide Youth Orchestra, and Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician in many countries in Europe, Asia, the USA, and Oceania. He has spent his summers studying at the Verbier Festival Academy, Gstaad and International Summer Academy (Internationale Sommerakademie der mdw).

Tianyou began studies at the Elder Conservatorie of Music in Adelaide, Australia in 2010, when he was awarded a full scholarship to study with Keith Crellin. Since 2014, Tianyou attended The Yehudi Menuhin School in the United Kingdom where he studied with Diana Galvydyte. He was also awarded a full scholarship covering all his living fees from the Music and Dance Scheme in the United Kingdom from 2016–2019. Tianyou pursued his undergraduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia from 2019–2023, studying with Pamela Frank and Shmuel Ashkenasi. Tianyou is now pursuing his Masters Degree with Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School. He is the recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.

This ticket page is provided by Gotham Early Music Scene.