Heather Wittels, violin; Paula Kosower, cello and Kuang-Hao Huang, piano

25th Season Opener - Deborah Sobol Memorial Concert

  • Camille Pépin (b. 1990) - The Road not taken (2018) (9’)
  • Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) - Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 87 (1882) (30’)
  • I. Allegro
  • II. Andante con moto
  • III. Scherzo. Presto - poco meno presto
  • IV. Finale. Allegro giocoso

Heather Wittels is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra first violin section where  she was the co-Acting Assistant Concertmaster for the 2022-3 seasons. She is the Director of  Chamber Music at the University of Chicago, and Artist Faculty at Roosevelt University’s  Chicago College of Performing Arts. Since 2022, Heather spends her summers serving as  Concertmaster of the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. Prior to that she was the  Associate Concertmaster of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival Orchestra in Cooperstown, New  York. She is a regular substitute violinist with both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago  Symphony Orchestra. 

She has performed the Brahms and Tchaikovsky violin concertos and the Beethoven Triple  Concerto with orchestras in Chicago, where reviewers praised her “exquisite taste” and  “immaculate technique”. She has performed on Fourth Presbyterian Church’s popular Friday  Noonday Concert series, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Henry Fogel Presents,  Wisconsin’s The Midday radio show, and Live from WFMT on the radio in Chicago, as well as  at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. 

Heather graduated cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry,  with distinction. Subsequently she earned a Masters in Music and Graduate Diploma in violin  performance in the studio of Malcolm Lowe at the New England Conservatory, as beneficiary of  the 2007 Tourjée Alumni Award for graduate study. She was a Fellow of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida and a three time Tanglewood Music Center Fellow. A native  of Brookline, MA, Heather began the violin at age three.

Paula Kosower, cellist, is an active performer and teacher who frequently appears with numerous ensembles. In recent seasons she has performed with Fulcrum Point New Music Project, for the MusicNOW series at Chicago Symphony Center, the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, the Dame Myra Hess concert series, the Wheaton College Artist Series, International Chamber Artists concerts, and programs on WFMT 98.7. She frequently serves as a substitute player in the cello sections of the Chicago Symphony and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is also a member of the contemporary ensemble Picosa, who presents a full season of concerts throughout the Chicago area. 

Ms. Kosower teaches applied lessons, cello pedagogy and orchestra repertoire classes and is an adjunct faculty member at several universities in the Chicago area including Northwestern, DePaul, and North Park universities. She teaches private cello lessons for pre-college students at the Northwestern University Music Academy. During the summer season she performs for music festivals such as the Ravinia Festival, the Zenith Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Wisconsin. She also has taught at area chamber music camps organized by Midwest Young Artists, the Chicago Chamber Music Festival, and DePaul University. She received her B.M. and M.M. degree at Indiana University where she was a scholarship student and a graduate teaching assistant of Janos Starker. She received her D.M. degree at Northwestern University where she studied with Hans Jorgen-Jensen.

Commended for his “perceptive pianism” (Audiophile) and “playing that is sensitive and wonderfully warm” (American Record Guide), Chicagoan Kuang-Hao Huang is a highly sought-after collaborative pianist whose performances have taken him throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has performed in New York City’s Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Hall; in Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and NPR’s Tiny Desk; and at every major venue in the Chicago area, including the Harris Theatre and Symphony Center. He is often heard live on WFMT and has also performed on WQXR and on Medici.tv. Mr. Huang has recorded for Aucourant, Cedille, Innova and Naxos, including a CD of flute fantasies with flutist Mathieu Dufour, a premiere recording of early songs by Alban Berg with mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, and a survey of songs by Chicago composers with baritone Thomas Hampson. Mr. Huang can also be heard with violinist Augustin Hadelich on the official recordings for Suzuki Violin Books 4-6. 

A dedicated teacher, Mr. Huang serves on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Concordia University-Chicago.  

From 2014-2021, Mr. Huang was the driving force behind Make Music Chicago, a citywide celebration of music every June 21st. He also founded the organization’s Pianos in the Parks program, which partners with the Chicago Park District to give all Chicagoans access to outdoor pianos as well as free lessons. Currently, Mr. Huang serves on the Advisory Council for the Make Music Alliance and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.

About the Rush Hour Concerts

Rush Hour Concerts are made possible through the generosity of the Zell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and contributions from individual donors.

Upcoming Performances

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