Gabriela Vargas, flute; David Cooper, horn; Kuang-Hao Huang, piano

This performance is generously sponsored by the Zell Family Foundation.

Scenes and Souvenirs: Music for Flute, Horn and Piano

  • Mel Bonis (1858-1937) - Scènes de la foret, Op. 123 (15') (1927-28)
  • I. Nocturne
  • II. À l'aube
  • III. Invocation
  • IV. Pour Artemis
  • Eric Ewazen (b. 1954) - Ballade, Pastorale and Dance (1993) (21')
  • I. Ballade
  • II. Pastorale
  • III. Dance
  • Franz Doppler (1821-1883) - Souvenir du Rigi (1876) (7')

Costa Rican flutist Gabriela Vargas is well known for the beauty of her tone and the musical versatility that makes her equally stand out in an orchestral, chamber music or solo environment. An active performer in the Chicago area, her latest orchestral performances include the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed under the baton of Bernard Haitink, Sir Andrew Davis, Riccardo Muti, James Gaffigan, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Kazem Abdullah, Edo de Waart, Alan Gilbert, Carlos Prieto with the Costa Rican National Symphony, Milwaukee, Chicago and Oregon Symphony Orchestras, Louisiana Philharmonic, among others. 

As a chamber musician, Gabriela has performed with The Chicago Ensemble, Access Contemporary Music, International Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble. She performed her concerto debut at age 19 as the winner of the Young Artist Competition with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica and the world premier of Victoria Bond’s Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble “Pater Patriae: A Washington Portrait,” which was broadcasted live on 98.7WFMT, aired on CAN TV and released by Albany Records in the album Soul of a Nation. 

Passionate about teaching and educating, Vargas is Artist Faculty at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and is one of the founders of the “El Sistema” based Youth Orchestra program at People’s Music School in Chicago. She has given masterclasses at the Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad de Panamá, Western Illinois University, Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, Northern Illinois University, Florida State University, University of Texas at San Antonio, Universidad Mayor in Chile, Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo, Tom Jobin in Brazil. 

She received degrees from Universidad de Costa Rica and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. In Chicago she studied with flutists Dionne Jackson, Donald Peck and Mathieu Dufour. She recently worked on a Mentorship program under the tutelage of Robert Langevin, principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic. 

David Cooper is the principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his appointment to the CSO by Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti in 2019, Cooper served as principal horn of the Dallas Symphony, a position he held since May 2013 after joining the symphony as third horn in 2011. He also served as principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2017–18; acting principal horn with the Victoria Symphony in Victoria, British Columbia, from 2006–08; and co-associate principal horn of the Fort Worth Symphony from 2008–11. He has been guest principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Liceu Opera in Barcelona, Spain. Cooper is an avid chamber musician and performs as a soloist all over the world.

David Cooper is Artist Faculty at Roosevelt University and has given masterclasses in America, Asia, Europe and Australia. He began his horn studies with Dale Bartlett in Lansing, Michigan coming from a horn-playingfamily, where both his uncle and grandmother performed as professional horn players in the Lansing Symphony. While still in high school, Cooper began performing with the Michigan State University orchestra and later went on to attend the Curtis Institute of Music, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in music. While at Curtis, Cooper received a Tanglewood Fellowship and later spent three consecutive summers at Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont beginning in 2011. He studied with Jerome Ashby while at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Eric Ruske was his main teacher after leaving Curtis. In his free time, Cooper enjoys being a father in addition to doing Pilates and swimming. He loves animals and being outdoors.

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 at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, and at every major venue in the Chicago area. Huang has recorded for Aucourant, Cedille, Innova and Naxos, including a CD of flute fantasies with flutist Mathieu Dufour and a premiere recording of early songs by Alban Berg with mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley.  

A strong advocate of new music, Huang is a core member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Picosa.  He has premiered numerous works by major composers including Louis Andriessen and Chen Yi at Weill Hall as part of Carnegie Hall’s Millennium Piano Book Project. He has also appeared on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series.

In addition to serving on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Concordia University-Chicago, Huang is Associate Artistic Director for the International Music Foundation and is the driving force behind Make Music Chicago. He also founded IMF’s Pianos in the Parks program, which partners with the Chicago Park District to give all Chicagoans access to outdoor pianos and free lessons.

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.

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