Romantic Treasures

Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 3pm


Beethoven Sonata No. 3 Op. 69 in A Major for Cello and Piano
Villa-Lobos Deux Choros for Violin and Cello
Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence for String Sextet
Concert information

We are so pleased to have John Sharp, principal cello of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, back with a number of his colleagues in the wonderful sextet by Tchaikovsky, Souvenir de Florence from 1890, inspired by a tune that Tchaikovsky heard in Florence, Italy, where he loved to vacation. Beethoven’s masterful Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major begins the program, followed by the impassioned Deux Choros for Violin and Cello, by the Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos.

Dessert Reception gift of Sunset Foods of Highland Park.


Adult - $20
Senior - $16
Student - $8


John Sharp, cello | Liba Shacht, violin | Qing Hou, violin
Weijing Wang, viola | Larry Neuman, viola | Katinka Kleijn, cello
and Carol Honigberg, piano

John Sharp

At age 27, John Sharp became one of the youngest principal players in the history of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A top prizewinner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in performances of the Britten Symphony for Cello and Orchestra with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting, the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim, and in concertos conducted by Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit and Michael Tilson Thomas. Most recently, he was featured as soloist with the Chicago Symphony in the Elgar Cello Concerto conducted by Riccardo Muti.

Sharp performed in the Chicago premiers of Penderecki's Concerto Grosso for Three Cellos and Boulez' Messagesquisse, and is the featured soloist on a Chicago Symphony recording of Strauss' Don Quixote with Daniel Barenboim conducting.

An active chamber musician, John Sharp has participated at the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Vail, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has recorded Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir de Florence" with the Vermeer Quartet, and has performed in chamber music concerts with Mitsuko Uchida, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax and Christoph Eschenbach.

Born in Texas, John Sharp studied the cello with Lev Aronson and later with Lynn Harrell at the Juilliard School where he earned a bachelor's and a master's degree. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and later served as principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony. He has given master classes throughout the United States and in Europe and has coached at the New World Symphony, the National Orchestral Assosiation, the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. He is currently a professor of cello at Roosevelt University.

John Sharp plays a rare cello made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1694.

Liba Shacht, violin

Violinist Liba Shacht was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, where she began her musical studies at age five. Shortly thereafter, her family emigrated to Israel. The recipient of an Artist Diploma with distinction from Tel Aviv University, Ms. Shacht appeared as soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony, the Israeli Sinfonietta, and in chamber orchestras and recitals throughout Israel. She represented Israel at the Jeunesses Musicales World Congress in Korea, Japan, and England, where she performed chamber music at the Royal Albert Hall.

Upon the recommendation of Isaac Stern, Ms. Shacht was awarded a special Fellowship by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation to study with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York. She earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from Juilliard.

Her New York recital debut at Town Hall was marked by a glowing review from The New York Times: “Miss Shacht plays with Russian intensity, yet her performances are tempered with abundant humor. She delights in her nimble technique, and virtuosic displays present few obstacles. Prokofiev Sonata in D was played with explosive energy, and Schumann's Sonata in a minor was enriched with a dark, songful melancholy."

Ms. Shacht is the winner of several competitions, among them the Artist International Distinguished Artists Award, which led to her first appearance at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. As the winner of the Affiliated Artists national auditions, she has toured the United States extensively, performing with critical acclaim in recitals, playing with orchestras, and conducting master classes. She later performed as soloist in the rarely-played Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Shacht is an avid performer of chamber music. She has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and the Marlboro Music Festival, where she performed with Rudolf Serkin and members of the Guarneri Quartet, as well as the chamber music series at the 92nd Street “Y” in New York.

She is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as principal second violin of the Grant Park Symphony. Ms. Shacht frequently performs with her husband, cellist John Sharp.

Qing Hou, violin

Qing Hou has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1997. A native of China, Hou studied at the Central Conservatory in Beijing before coming to the U.S. in 1988 to continue her studies. She holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the New England Conservatory. Before joining the CSO she was a member of the San Francisco Symphony.

An avid chamber musician, Hou has performed for the Andover Chamber Music Society and at festivals in Davenport, Madison, Napa, El Paso, and Sun Valley, as well as in Europe. She has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today and performs regularly in the Chicago area in various ensembles. In 1997 Qing, along with her sister, CSO violinist Lei Hou, and CSO violist Lawrence Neuman (now Qing’s husband) founded the Chicago-based Lincoln String Quartet.

As a soloist, Qing Hou has appeared with orchestras in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, and China. In the fall of 2003 she made her first appearance as soloist with the Chicago Symphony performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G major conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Weijing Wang, viola

Violist Weijing Wang has joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra appointed by Music director Riccardo Muti in March 2012. Prior to joining the CSO, she served as acting associate principal in the St. Louis Symphony orchestra from 2009-12. From 2007-09, she served as principal of the Phoenix Symphony, as the youngest principal player ever in the history of the orchestra.

A native of Shanghai, China, Wang has received numerous awards from competitions including the Robertson Awards in the Primrose International Viola Competition, second prize in the Chicago National Viola Competition, Gold Medal in the Shenyang National Viola Competition, third prize in the Beijing National Viola Competition.

As an active and passionate chamber musician, Wang was the founding member of the Chicago Peridot String Quartet, which had numerous concert tours in cities of America and Europe. She has also collaborated with artists such as the members of the Vermeer String Quartet. As a soloist, Wang has performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Youth Symphony, Shanghai Youth Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Wang began her studies of the violin at the age of 4. At the age of 17, she started to play the viola. in 2004, she was originally admitted to the prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music without any entrance auditions due to her talent. Wang studied with Mr. Li-Kuo Chang, at the Chicago College of Performing Arts after she came to United States in 2004.

Larry Neuman, viola

Lawrence Neuman has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991. Before coming to Chicago, he was violist with the Miami String Quartet.

A founding member of the Chicago-based Lincoln String Quartet, now in its 20th season, Lawrence Neuman is heard frequently in chamber music throughout the Chicago area and has performed in chamber ensembles across the United States and in Europe. He has been heard at the Marlboro Festival, SummerFest La Jolla, Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, Bach Dancing and Dynamite, Portland Chamber Music Festival, Quad-City Chamber Music, Andover Chamber Music, and Music in the Vineyards. Neuman has collaborated with such artists as Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, Lydia Artymiw, Gil Shaham, Yefim Bronfman, Aaron Rosand, and Simone Lamsma.

During the 1998-99 season, Neuman took a leave of absence from the Chicago Symphony to serve as principal viola of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Since 2003 he has been a member of the faculty of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, Lawrence Neuman attended the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers included Heidi Castleman, Donald McInnes, and Robert Vernon.

Katinka Kleijn, cello

Hailed as “Chicago’s first lady of the cello” by Timeout Chicago Magazine, Dutch cellist Katinka Kleijn defies today’s traditional definition of a cellist, transitioning comfortably through the styles of classical, experimental, contemporary, improvisatory, folk and progressive rock, as well as across the traditional fields of solo, chamber and orchestral performance.

Most recently, she appeared as soloist in the World Premiere of Dai Fujikura's cello concerto at Lincoln Center, New York, where The New York Times described her as "a player of formidable expressive gifts".

A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Kleijn is in frequent demand as soloist, performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Charles Dutoit in Penderecki’s Triple Cello Concerto, as well as with the The Hague Philharmonic, the Chicago Sinfonietta , the Illinois Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestras of Elmhurst, DuPage and Sheboygan, and as a soloist in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Kai on the CSO’s MusicNOW Series.

Known for her innovative individual projects, Kleijn presented multi-media solo shows at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Chicago Cultural Center. A collaboration with the Chicago-based performance art duo Industry of the Ordinary resulted in the highly-acclaimed and publicized work “Intelligence in the Human-Machine” by Daniel Dehaan, which Time Magazine called “a balancing act for Kleijn’s whole body,” and where Kleijn performs a duet with her own brainwaves.

In Kleijn’s extensive work as a member of the prolific International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), named Ensemble of the Year 2014 by Musical America, she has given numerous premieres, including the US premiere of Zona for solo cello and ensemble by Magnus Lindberg at the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and Eternal Escape for solo cello by Dai Fujikura, described by the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein as “a five-minute tour de force, played with wonderfully incisive bravado.”

An avid chamber musician, Kleijn has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Christoph Eschenbach, Richard Goode, and Lynn Harrell; and appeared in the Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music Series with pianist Jeremy Denk and violinist Stefan Jackiw. She has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival and Ravinia Festival’s Rising Star Series. Kleijn was a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians from 2006-2010.

Kleijn recorded for the Naxos, Boston Record and Cedille labels. Her 2003 recording of David Baker’s Cello Concerto with the Chicago Sinfonietta received rave reviews: The Strad Magazine wrote “Kleijn gives infectious energy to the performance” and Fanfare Magazine commented that “Kleijn brings plenty of temperament and gorgeous tone.”

Non-classical recordings include CD's with the progrock metal band District 97, the ambient-folk duo Relax Your Ears, singer-song writer David Sylvian, and for the newest single “Valkyrie” by Asia with John Wetton. She is part of a working improvised music duo with Chicago-based guitarist Bill MacKay, and performs on the Chicago free jazz scene.

Carol Honigberg, piano
artistic director of the Pilgrim Chamber Players

Carol Honigberg has appeared as soloist and as chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. Recent performances with orchestra include Haydn’s Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Strings, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2, and the Two-Piano Concerto by Poulenc. She gave her New York recital debut in Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center. She has appeared as soloist with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago and appears regularly on programs live on radio WFMT. She has recently participated in summer festivals in Ceret, France, and Sun Valley, Idaho, has performed on the Chopin Festival in Washington, DC, and participated in the Chamber Music series from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. She recently gave a duo recital with violinist Judith Aller at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which was broadcast live on radio.

Carol Honigberg has recorded the Barber Piano Concerto and Piano Sonata for Musical Heritage Society, the Rhapsody in Blue in the solo piano version for Pavane Records in Belgium, the Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for cello and piano, and Chopin’s music for cello and piano with cellist Steven Honigberg on the Albany label. She also performs on the series “Darkness & Light,” music from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. She recently recorded for Albany Records a selection of chamber music by Donald Draganski for winds and piano, performed by the Pilgrim Chamber Players, of which she is Artistic Director.

She is a former faculty member of Roosevelt University in Chicago and presently teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago, Lake Forest Campus. She received her Masters of Music degree from Northwestern University. Her teachers have included Rudolph Ganz and Gui Mombeaerts. She also studied with Marguerite Long in France.

Carol Honigberg received the 2009 City of Highland Park Mayor's Award for the Arts for her role as Artistic Director of the Pilgrim Chamber Players.