Tuesday, April 30, 2013

meet our guest coach kate black for workshops 7/21, 8/10 and 8/11

Violinist, Kate Black, has taught at the Carnegie Mellon University String Preparatory Program in Pittsburgh since its inception in 2003. Originally from Chicago, she holds a bachelor of music degree from DePaul University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. Her principal teachers have included Paul Kantor, Andrew Jennings and Mark Zinger. Before coming to Pittsburgh, Kate was on faculty at the Merit School of Music in Chicago.

Ms. Black enjoys performing as well as teaching. She was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago when it performed under the direction of Daniel Barenboim in Carnegie Hall. She also performed frequently with the chamber orchestra Concertante di Chicago. While living in Pittsburgh, she has held the Assistant Concertmaster positions in the Wheeling, Westmoreland and Youngstown Symphonies, as well as Principal Second Violin of the Pittsburgh Live Music Chamber Orchestra and Assistant Principal Second Violin in the West Virginia Symphony. Currently, she is a frequent substitute with the Pittsburgh Symphony and is a member of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra. In the summer, Kate has performed with the Sunflower Music Festival Chamber Orchestra in Topeka, Kansas and the Grant Park Music Festival.

Ms. Black currently resides with her two wonderful little boys, Nicholas and Wesley, and husband, Jeremy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


An Australian Violinist, Christie-Keiko Abe performs as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has given solo recitals in the USA, Austria, Japan and Australia.

She received her Bachelor of Music degree with Honors from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music at The University of Sydney, her Master of Music from the Australian Institute of Music, her PhD Specialist in Music in performance with Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors from The University of Michigan School of Music, and post-graduate program Artist Certificate in performance from The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music where she served as an assistant to Prof. David Perry. She has attended master-classes of Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Pamera Frank, Igor Ozim, Ruggiero Ricci and Igor Oistrakh. She also studied Suzuki Pedagogy for Violin and Piano at the Capital University Suzuki Institute of Ohio and the Chicago Music Institute of Illinois.

As a soloist performer, Ms Abe has appeared with the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, the Schubertiade Series, Saturday at Sherwood, Columbia College Chicago Recital Series, Metropolis Performing Arts Center Classical concert series, Australian Musicians Academy Recital Series, Pan Pacific Piano Festival, Starling recital series in Aspen, Akademie Konzert series in Austria, International Chamber Artists Recital series, Concert series sponsored by the Chicago Japanese American Association and Sound Stage for the WTTW 11 and ABC television networks.

She has recorded on the NAXOS, Arabesque,and Albany labels with the IRIS Orchestra, and the Equillibrim label with the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. Among many others, Ms. Abe is a founding member of the Chicago Trio, the Abe-Tsai Duo, Ensemble 312 and the IRIS Orchestra under music director Michael Stern in Memphis, Tennessee. She is also a member of the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. She was the Concertmaster at the Michigan Musical Theater Orchestra, International Pacific Music Festival and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra

Currently, Ms. Abe is a faculty member in the String, Piano and Suzuki Departments at the Sherwood Music School at Columbia College, Illinois, where she is also a staff accompanist.

Her major teachers include Harry Curby, David Perry, Paul Kantor, Masao Kawasaki. She has studied piano with Junko Nagata, Margaret Hair, Gabriel Pusner, Lev Vlasenko and Oleg Stepanov from the Moscow Conservatory.

(英語。日本語 / English, Japanese)


Mirei Hori has earned her Bachelor of Music from Osaka College of Music in Japan and her Master of Music from the Utrecht Conservatorium in the Netherlands.She has participated in Holland Music session as well as the Prague Chamber Music Festival.

Mirei is an active pianist and collaborative artist. In 1994, she was featured as a guest soloist to perform Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 with Operahouse Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms.Hori has also performed at series of solo concerts as well as chamber music through out the Netherlands and Japan. She is a founding member of the Chicago Trio.

Her teachers have included Takako Kawakami, Kenichi Ara, Thom Bollen, Lazar Berman and Earl Wild.

(日本語。英語/ Japanese, English)


Karen Schulz-Harmon, a native of St. Louis, is an avid chamber musician and teacher. She performs with the Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Bach Ensemble, Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Trio and the Aestas Consort. She loves recording and collaborating with different composers and various instrumentalists.  Karen is a member of the faculty at the Chicago Academy for the Arts (CAA) where she teaches private cello and music theory. She also coaches chamber music at both CAA and the Chicago Youth Symphony.

Her journey with music began at the age of seven when she started playing the piano and violin.  At age 15 she switched to cello (the instrument she had wanted to play for many years) at the request of her high school orchestra director.  Once she started playing the cello she immediately took off and knew it was the instrument she had been meant to play.  After only a few years she was accepted into the St. Louis Youth Symphony and by her senior year in high school she was playing with the St. Louis Philharmonic. That year she also had the wonderful opportunity to play with the Opera Theatre St. Louis' Youth Opera Program, where she was the principal cellist for the the premiere of Joshua's Boots and the U.S. premiere of Brundibar.  Her primary teachers in high school were Suzanne Harlamert, cello, and Donna Bodart, piano.

Karen attended Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, where she received a full scholarship to play in the honors string quartet. While there she was the principal cellist of the orchestra (four consecutive years), studied piano with Linda Perry, voice with Lori McCann and cello with Joseph Pival and Kangho Lee.  Karen graduated with a major in Cello Performance and a minor in Piano Performance.  Being so close to St. Louis, she continued to play in the St. Louis Philharmonic and studied with St. Louis Symphony cellists, Lowell Adams and Ken Kulosa.  She also won an audition to play with the Bayerisch Opera Theater in Germany for two months and sat principal for The Barber of Seville, Rigoletto and Tosca.

After moving to Chicago Karen attended Northern Illinois University at the invitation of cellist Marc Johnson on full scholarship.  She graduated in 2005 with a Masters of Music degree in Cello Performance.  During her time at NIU she enjoyed working with the members of the Vermeer Quartet and also purchased her current cello made in 1840 by Jacob Fendt and bow by André Vigneron, ca. 1900.

Karen has been heavily involved with the Chicago Cello Society for the past ten years, serving as vice president for eight years and president since the fall of 2011, succeeding Tanya Carey.  One of her main achievements was reviving the Cello Scroll newsletter and transitioning it into the blog you are reading now.

Over the past few years Karen spent two months in Europe, which included observing the teaching (approximately 40 hours) of Robert Nagy, a principal cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic. During this time she also had the opportunity to interact with the private teachers and chamber music coaches at the Südsteirische Musiktage Festival in Austria founded by Wolfgang Klos, violist in the Vienna String Trio. Karen adores Vienna and cherishes the friendships she developed there.  

In the summer of 2012 Karen was selected to attend the National Summer Cello Institute. While there she had the privilege to work with cellists Richard Aaron, Timothy Eddy, Ralph Kirshbaum and Uri Vardi.  She also participated in an enlightening Feldenkrais workshop with Hagit Vardi.

Karen has been teaching both cello and piano for the past 21 years.  She continues to teach private lessons from her studio located in the Fine Arts Building, as well as from her home studio in Chicago's historic Kenwood neighborhood.  A pedagogue emphasizing both tradition and innovation, Karen works with students of all ages. She greatly appreciates passing on her knowledge of music, inspiring future (and present) generations of music lovers.

When she is not teaching or performing Karen enjoys spending time with her husband, double bassist Andrew Harmon, and their two birds, Henry and Miles, as well as blogging, cooking, hiking, biking, reading, yoga and German language studies at the Goethe Institut.  She continues her exploration of the Feldenkrais technique in private sessions with practicioner, Steve Duke.

Below is one of Karen's favorite quotes by the man who breathed life into our beloved Bach Suites:

"Real understanding does not come from what we learn in books; it comes from what we learn from love of nature, of music, of man. For only what is learned in that way is truly understood."

~ Pablo Casals

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

summer chamber music workshops 2013

We are thrilled to announce the Chicago Trio’s sixth annual Summer Chamber Music Workshops! Each one-day intensive workshop gives musicians of all ages and playing levels the opportunity to create music with other instrumentalists as well as cultivate valuable chamber music skills. Workshops conclude with a recital, which takes place in the lovely Curtiss Hall, to which family and friends are welcome to attend.

For more information on dates and to register please click here.

We look forward to working with you this summer!

Friday, March 15, 2013

new home

Welcome to our New Blog!

The Chicago Trio's past workshop blog posts (2008-2012) can be viewed by clicking here.

Please continue to follow our new blog for future concerts and events.  Information for our 2013 Summer Chamber Music Workshops will be released very soon!  Stay tuned...

Chicago Trio Chamber Music Workshop Recital

Thank you!
~ Chicago Trio