posted April 7, 2011

“Sundays at 2” to Feature Violinist and Pianist on April 17

The "Sundays at 2" recital series coordinated by the department of music at Hope College will feature the duo of violinst Gao Can and pianist Eubyol Ko on Sunday, April 17, at 2 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The major works on the program include the "Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major," by Maurice Ravel, and the "D Minor Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 49," by Felix Mendelssohn. The duo will be joined by Grand Rapids Symphony cellist, Alicia Eppinga, for a trio.

"We are incredibly excited to have this duo performing at Hope College," said Dr. Adam Clark, assistant professor of music. "They are each world-class musicians and bring such brilliance and life to whatever they play. This will certainly be a performance not to miss."

Gao Can won the grand prize in China's National Violin Competition in 2006; was presented the Special Recognition Award by Michael Hill at the International Violin Competition 2007; was the second prize and Special Award winner of the 2008 Naples "Alberto Curci" International Violin Competition; and was granted the Highest Violin Award in the 2009 Ima Hogg International Young Artist's Competition.

Gao is a member of the violin faculty at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and is a guest violin faculty at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus and the late Professor Lin Yaoji.

As a soloist with major orchestras, Gao has made appearances with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, St. Carlo Opera Orchestra and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra among others. He has performed under the baton of renowned Chinese conductors such as Huang Xiao Tong, Zheng Xiao Ying, Yong Yan Hu and Shi Shu Cheng. Gao is a frequent participant and invited performer at music festivals around the world. He has been a part of the Salzburg Music Festival, Beethoven Music Festival, Tong Yeong International Festival in Korea and Morning-side Music Bridge Academy of Canada.

In 2009, Gao completed a solo violin recital recording to be released by Tiantian featuring work by Guiseppe Tartini, W.A. Mozart, Cesar Franck and Li Zi Li. Gao can also be heard in the soundtrack of French film "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress," which won "Best Movie Soundtrack" in the Canadian Film Festival in 2002. Also, Gao's playing in the album "Dance of Cigarette" was selected by the Chinese Olympic Committee as part of the musical presentation in the closing ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

A native of South Korea, Dr. Eunbyol Ko is an assistant professor of piano at Morehead State University. She maintains an active international performing career as a soloist chamber musician, and concerto soloist. She has performed in Canada, Austria, Belgium, Italy, the Czech Republic, South Korea and throughout the United States, and has appeared with orchestras including the Kyungwon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queen City Chamber Orchestra and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. Her performances have been televised and broadcast nationally on MBC in Korea as well as Waterloo's KCFP in Canada.

Prior to joining Morehead State University Ko was on the faculty at Austin Peay State University, as well as the Secondary Piano and Preparatory departments at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. She is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association, and has presented at conferences both locally and nationally.

Ko's competition honors include first prizes in the South Korea National Piano Competition, the Eum-Yeon competition in South Korea, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's Chamber Music Competition. She was also a prize winner in the Kankakee Young Artists Concerto Competition, the International Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, and the American Protégé International Piano Competition in New York.

Ko holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a master's degree in piano from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a bachelor's degree in piano from Kyungwon University in Korea. Her former teachers include Soo-Jung Shin, Shigeo Neriki, Eugene Pridonoff and James Tocco.

Alicia Eppinga has been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 1989, and was appointed assistant principal cello in 1990.  She was raised in Grand Haven, and attended the Interlochen Arts Academy from 1980 to 1983. She received her bachelor's degree in music performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of Richard Kapuscinski, and her Master in Music degree at the Eastman School of Music with Steven Doane. Since arriving in Grand Rapids, Eppinga has been a frequent performer in solo and chamber music concerts. Her quintet, Supernova, performs educational programs in the Grand Rapids area schools. She is also a member of Ensemble Montage, a group of musicians dedicated to bringing unique and contemporary chamber music to West Michigan.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.