‘Winterfest’ music festival to kick off Jan. 19 at Oakland University

‘Winterfest’ music festival to kick off Jan. 19 at Oakland University
Aeolus Quartet
Trio Solisti, Aeolus Quartet, soprano Ann Toomey, pianist Tian Tian and violist Yuri Gandelsman will perform Jan. 19-21 during Winterfest, a new weekend-long music festival at Oakland University.

The Chamber Music Society of Detroit will introduce a new weekend-long chamber music festival, WinterFest, at Varner Recital Hall on the Oakland University campus from Jan. 19 - 21. 


Participating artists include Trio Solisti, the Aeolus Quartet, and three performers with ties to Michigan, including soprano Ann Toomey, pianist Tian Tian and violist Yuri Gandelsman.


The artists will appear in different combinations across three concerts — 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19; 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20; and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21 — and will be performing several major works by Brahms as well as music of Haydn, Dvořák, Ives and Beethoven. 


“There’s nothing more exciting than coming back to your hometown and alma mater to perform in a concert,” Toomey said. “Oakland University holds such a special place in my heart and is a major part of who I am today. I’m both excited and nervous to perform for an audience of so many familiar faces.”


About the Artists


Ann Toomey
Ann Toomey

A native of Shelby Township and an alumna of Oakland University, Ann Toomey is a second-year ensemble member at the Chicago Lyric Opera. She recently completed her master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. 


Toomey was a 2016 national semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a member of the Gerdine Young Artist program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2015, and an award recipient in the 2015 Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition at UCC-CM. Concert engagements include the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, performing excerpts from Walton’s Troilus and Cressida and Verdi’s Falstaff. Last season at Lyric Opera she was featured in Die Zauberflöte.


Tian Tian
Tian Tian

Tian Tian, a native of China, studied in the U.S. with Logan Skelton of the University of Michigan, continued her training at the Juilliard School, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and then earned a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music.


Dr. Tian maintains a busy performance schedule in the U.S and abroad, and made her CMSDetroit debut in 2016-17 with the Juilliard Quartet at Oakland University. As a member of the Studzinsky Trio, she has recently performed in the U.S., China, and Korea.


Tian was appointed assistant professor of music in piano at Oakland University beginning in 2015-16. She also serves as artistic director of the Summer in Michigan Music Festival, and returns to China annually to present concerts, lectures and masterclasses.


MSU College of Music Violist Yuri Gandelsman rehearses on violin
Yuri Gandelsman

Former principal violist with the Israel Philharmonic for ten years under Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Yuri Gandelsman joined the faculty of the Michigan State University College of Music in 2008. Born in Russia, Gandelsman joined the Moscow Virtuosi after winning Moscow’s National Viola Competition and became one of the USSR’s leading musicians, collaborating with such renowned musicians as Sviatoslav Richter, Yevgeni Kissin, Vladimir Spivakov and the Borodin and Shostakovich quartets. 


Gandelsman has performed solo recitals in many parts of the world, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Warsaw, Istanbul, Budapest and Florence. He has made numerous solo recordings for the Melodya, Sony Classical, Lyrinx, ASV and Naxos labels.


Trio Solisti
Trio Solisti

Founded in 2001, Trio Solisti — violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach, and pianist Fabio Bidini — has performed on such major concert series as the Great Performers at Lincoln Center and People’s Symphony Concerts at Town Hall in New York, Washington Performing Arts Society at Kennedy Center, Seattle’s Meany Hall and La Jolla’s Revelle Series. 


Among recent performance highlights is a 2015 series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall featuring the complete piano chamber music of Johannes Brahms, with guest artists Anthony McGill (clarinet), Jesse Mills (violin), Richard O'Neill and Hsin-Yun Huang (viola), and Julie Landsman (French horn). 


The Aeolus Quartet was formed in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since its inception, the all-American quartet has been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the United States and performed across the globe with showings “worthy of a major-league quartet” (Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News). They were the 2013-2015 Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School.


The Aeolus Quartet are Grand Prizewinners of the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, 2011 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, Silver Medalists at the 2011 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and Bronze Medalist at the 2010 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in New England.


The Quartet has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia in venues such as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Reinberger Recital Hall at Severance Hall, Merkin Hall, The Library of Congress, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.


Concert Information:


  • Friday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.

Trio Solisti

Haydn: Piano Trio in C major, Hob. XV:27

Dvořák: Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 26

Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8


  • Saturday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m.

Yuri Gandelsman and Friends:

Yuri Gandelsman, viola, Ann Toomey, soprano, Tian Tian, piano, Trio Solisti

Brahms: Sonatensatz in C minor (Scherzo), Op. Posth.

Brahms: Wie Melodien, Op. 105, No. 1

Brahms: Two Songs for Voice, Viola and Piano, Op. 91

Brahms: Sonata in E-flat major for Viola and Piano, Op. 120, No. 2 

Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25


  • Sunday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m.

Aeolus Quartet with Yuri Gandelsman, viola

Beethoven Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1

Ives, String Quartet No. 2

Brahms, String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111


Single tickets and discounted festival packages may be purchased by phone at (313) 335-3300 or online at CMSDetroit.org. Single tickets, all general admission, are priced at $30 ($15 for students), and festival packages for all three concerts are priced at $75 ($37.50 for students).