Bach at the CathedralPurchase Tickets
George Stellutoconductor
Catherine Choviolin/ viola
Michelle Areyzagasoprano
Katherine Lewisviola
Alex Liedtkeoboe
Sarah Carrillotrumpet
Yukie Otaflute
Justina Chuflute
7:30pm lobby
8:00pm start
Cathedral of St. Mary
607 NE Madison Ave
Peoria, Illinois 61603
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The beautiful, profound setting of St. Mary’s Cathedral resounds with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. His music, like faith itself, is simple and revelatory, yet ever deepening and profound.

Two performances on December 17 & 18, 2021 at 8pm.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 6
Cantata No. 209
Concerto for Oboe and Violin
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2

Program Notes

About Artist

Catherine Cho, violin/ viola

Catherine Cho is recognized for her remarkable virtuosity, combining technical mastery of her instrument with an extraordinary and distinctive musicality. Praised by The New York Times for her “sublime tone”, she has appeared worldwide as soloist with many orchestras and chamber ensembles as well as in recital. Her repertoire ranges from the traditional works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms to those of Bartók, Korngold and Berg, in addition to music of our time.

Catherine Cho’s orchestral engagements have included appearances with the Detroit, Montreal, and Washington DC’s National Symphony orchestras, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Edmonton Symphony, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony, the symphony orchestras of Barcelona, Haifa, and New Zealand, the Het Gelders Orkest in Holland, the Orchestra of the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and the Aspen Chamber Symphony performing with distinguished conductors such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Robert Spano, Sixten Ehrling, Hugh Wolff, and Franz-Paul Decker. A regular guest on tour with “Musicians from Marlboro”, Ms. Cho has also been a frequent participant in their summer Music Festival in Vermont since 1993.

She has performed as special guest soloist with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center for two ballets by renowned choreographer Peter Martins including the New York premiere of his ballet Viva Verdi. Her concert performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, with the Buffalo Philharmonic under the baton of Jo-Ann Falletta, was taped live and broadcast nationwide on National Public Television in January 2002. In broadcasts heard around the world, Catherine Cho has appeared on such stations as Radio Frankfurt (Germany), CBC (Canada), WQXR (New York City), and National Public Radio. Her performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Korean Chamber Ensemble was recorded live and released on Credia Classics.

As a recitalist and chamber musician, Catherine Cho has performed on the prestigious stages of Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Casals Hall in Tokyo, the Seoul Arts Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Boston, and on Ravinia’s “Rising Stars” series in Chicago. She has performed the complete cycle of Violin Sonatas by Beethoven at HOAM Art Hall in Seoul, Korea with pianist, Mia Chung, and a recital of five Beethoven Sonatas at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Cho has appeared at the Aspen, Marlboro, BridgehamptonEastern Shore, Santa Fe, and Skaneateles Festivals as well as at Bargemusic and Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR. She has collaborated with such renowned artists as Richard Stoltzman, Andras Schiff, Anton Kuerti, Mitsuko Uchida; the members from the Guarneri, Orion and Juilliard String Quartets, and the Beaux-Arts Trio. She has been invited for several summers to teach at Mark O’Connor’s String Conference in San Diego where she has collaborated with Mark O’Connor and Natalie MacMaster. Ms. Cho was a member of the Johannes String Quartet from 2003 to 2006, and is a founding member of the chamber ensemble, La Fenice.

Among her various awards, scholarships, and achievements, Ms. Cho was a recipient of both the 1995 Avery Fisher Career Grant and, Korea’s 1995 World Leaders of Tomorrow Award as presented by the Korea Central Daily News in recognition of outstanding achievement and commendable leadership in the Arts. She was the recipient of the 1994 Sony ES Award for Musical Excellence; a top prize winner at the 1991 Hannover International Violin Competition, the 1989 Queen Elizabeth Music Competition of Belgium, the 1987 Montreal International Music Competition. In 1995 Catherine Cho served on the jury of the Montreal International Violin Competition. In 1996 she was selected for the Janet and Avery Fisher Music Residency Program at Goucher College. Ms. Cho holds a Masters Degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang, and coached chamber music with Felix Galimir. Her former teachers include Ruggiero Ricci, Franco Gulli, and Michael Avsharian. Ms. Cho is a faculty member of The Juilliard School, and has taught at the Heifetz Institute, Killington Music Festival, Seoul Music Festival, Starling-DeLay Symposium, Perlman Music Program, Great Mountains Music School and Festival, and coached chamber music at the New York String Seminar.

Devoted to the cause of promoting peace through music, Catherine Cho was VP of the Board of Musicians For Harmony for several years, and is an artist member of Music For Food, a musician led initiative to fight hunger in our local communities.

Catherine lives in Brooklyn, NY with her devoted husband, Todd Phillips, and her sweet son, Brandon. She is the stepmom of three lovely stepchildren, Lia, Eliza, and Jason. When she is away from her teaching and performances, you may find Catherine making soup in her crock pot, baking, practicing yoga, catching up with the New York Times, or creating crafts with her family.

Michelle Areyzaga, soprano

As a coveted performer with a diverse repertoire, American soprano Michelle Areyzaga is held in high regard by orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed operatic roles with New York City Opera in Telemann’s Orpheus as well as in their VOX series, and has appeared in leading roles with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Opera Birmingham, Ravinia Festival, and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México.

Michelle Areyzaga’s association with the music of Leonard Bernstein runs deep. She has become well known for her interpretation of his delightful and moving music – from her portrayal of Cunegonde in Candide to her participation in varied programs featuring his works, including musical theater and chamber music/recital works. Areyzaga toured the show Bernstein on Broadway together with Jamie Bernstein (Leonard’s daughter) for six years, performing it with the Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Oregon Bach Festival, among many others. Areyzaga is still often heard performing Bernstein, such as her performances in Las Vegas and at Ravinia in conjunction with the composer’s centennial celebration.

As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with, in addition to orchestras listed above,  Richmond Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, Rochester Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, and North Carolina Symphony, among others. She sang the first Bach B minor Mass in the country of Costa Rica, under the baton of Maestro John Nelson.

Ms. Areyzaga’s operatic roles have included Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro; title role, Madama Butterfly; Cunegonde, Candide; Adina, L’elisir d’amore; Despina, Così fan tutte; Zerlina, Don Giovanni; Pamina, Die Zauberflöte; Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi; both Musetta and Mimì, La bohème and Casilda in The Gondoliers.

Known as a foremost interpreter of vocal art song and chamber music, Ms. Areyzaga has been a repeat guest of the New York Festival of Song under the direction of Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Chicago Ensemble, as well as Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, and the Tucson Desert Song Festival. She has collaborated with the Avalon String Quartet, the Cavatina Duo, and the Lincoln Trio, and has been selected to perform world premieres of many new works by American composers.

As a recorded artist, she has performed song cycles by Gwyneth Walker on The Sun Is Love (Proteus). Other recordings include Songs from Spoon River (Cedille) by Lita Grier and The Small Hours, songs by William Ferris. She has sung numerous times in both live and programmed broadcasts on Chicago’s classical music radio station WFMT.

Ms. Areyzaga made her European concert debut as soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor at England’s York Minster Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Church in Oxford. In Paris, she received standing ovations as soloist in the Lord Nelson Mass with the orchestra of London’s Royal Academy of Music and the St. Charles Singers.

Michelle Areyzaga has been named “Artist of the Year” by Pioneer Press and has been an award recipient from the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, Wm. C. Byrd International Young Artist, Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year, Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition (Ft. Worth Opera), NATSAA—National Finalist ”Outstanding Artist”chosen by Teresa Stratas, Metropolitan Opera National Council (Central Region), Viñas Concurs International and the Concert Artist Guild.

She received her B.A. in Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University with honors and was a member of Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists. In addition she has been a member of the OperaWorks Summer intensive Program in L.A. and a member of Chicago Opera Theater’s Debut Artist Series.

Ms. Areyzaga is represented by Alpha Artists Management.

Alex Liedtke, oboe

Alex Liedtke is one of the most sought-after freelance oboists in the Chicago area, performing with nearly every regional orchestra in and around the city. In the 2019-2020 season pre-pandemic, Alex performed with Music of the Baroque, Bach Week, the South Bend, Elgin, Illinois, Dubuque, Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestras and the Chicago Philharmonic, among other area ensembles. He serves as principal oboist with the Peoria Symphony. Prior to residing in Chicago, Alex was acting assistant principal oboe/English horn with the North Carolina Symphony for two seasons and served as guest Principal Oboe for a season with the Chilean State Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Alex released a CD in 2021, “A New Renaissance,” adapting vocal and instrumental works from the renaissance period for the modern oboe, which can be streamed on all digital platforms. Alex is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where his principal teacher was Elizabeth Camus and he took additional study with Robin Driscoll, Robert Morgan, and Carolyn Hove.

Katherine Lewis, viola

Appointed as Peoria Symphony Orchestra principal violist in 2006, Katherine Lewis enjoys a multi-faceted career as a teacher, chamber musician, solo performer, and orchestral musician. She is Professor of Viola at Illinois State University where she also serves as Master Teacher and Acting Director for the ISU String Project. In addition to her work with the Peoria Symphony, she regularly performs with several ensembles at venues throughout central Illinois, including the Peoria Bach Festival and Trinity Concert Series. Her previous orchestral appointments include the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Texas and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as extensive work with the Houston and New World Symphonies.
Heavily involved in service to the profession, Dr. Lewis serves as Past-President of the IL Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association and has received the 2021 State Chapter Leadership Award from the national organization. Through IL ASTA, she helps to provide resources and facilitates programming for string teachers and their students, and advocates for public and private string programs throughout the state. Keenly interested in music education of all types, Dr. Lewis organizes a concert series at ISU called “Redbird Musical Adventures,” aimed at providing quality live music experiences at no cost to children in Bloomington-Normal and surrounding areas.

A recipient of several awards and grants for her teaching and research, including the ISU College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teaching Award and the ISU College of Fine Arts Research Initiative Award, Dr. Lewis has given recitals, presentations, and master classes at venues throughout the country. She is sought after as a guest artist for ‘Viola Day’ events and is the Creative Director of the Chicago Viola Festival. Dr. Lewis earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and also holds degrees from Lawrence University and The Cleveland Institute of Music. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, PSO principal trombonist Mark Babbitt, and their two young children.

Sarah Carrillo, trumpet

Sarah Carrillo, a native of Massachusetts, spent much of her early life studying with members of the Boston Symphony, both in Boston and at Tanglewood.  Upon completion of her bachelors degree from Boston University where she studied with the legendary Roger Voisin, she came to Chicago to attend Northwestern University, from which she received her masters degree. Sarah has performed with many groups in the Chicago area, including: Chicago Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Northbrook Symphony, The Chicago Arts Orchestra, Elmhurst Symphony, Brass Works Brass Quintet, Northside Brass, International Chamber Artists, Chicago Symphonietta, South Bend Symphony, Highland Park Strings, and Northwest Indiana Symphony.  She has also performed with the Gulbenkian Funducao Orchestra of Lisbon, Portugal, the Boston Symphony, and the New World Symphony.  She and her husband Oto Carrillo, a member of the Chicago Symphony’s fabulous french horn section, have two children who also play trumpet and french horn.

Yukie Ota, flute

Yukie Ota is a professional flutist in the United States. After completing her Master’s  Degree at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago under Mathieu Dufour  (current principal flutist of the Berlin Phil), she won 2nd prize in the Carl Nielsen  International Flute Competition in 2014. Her prize-winning performance there became a  viral news story on NPR when a butterfly landed on her during the competition, yet she  continued to play without letting the butterfly impact her performance. Yukie also won  the “Newly Commissioned Work” Prize at the 36th annual Young Artist Competition  during the 2014 National Flute Association convention. In 2011, Yukie won first prize in  the Chicago Flute Club Solo Artist Competition. 

Yukie is an active soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician. As a soloist, she  performed the Carl Nielsen Flute concerto with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.  Yukie has performed chamber music with the principal players of the Chicago Symphony  Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and is a member of the Chicago-based International  Chamber Artists. As an orchestral musician, Yukie has served as principal flutist of the  Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra since 2011. She has also been invited to be a substitute  flutist for some of this country’s top orchestras: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia  Festival, Baltimore Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony and Orpheus Chamber  Orchestra Japan 2016 tour.

Justina Chu, flute

Justina Chu is a Chicago-based flutist originally from Houston, Texas. She received First Prize at the Atlanta Flute Club Young Artist Competition and presented a recital as a featured artist in the 2021 Atlanta Flute Fair. She has also been a finalist at the Byron Hester Flute Competition and the Mika Hasler Young Artist Competition. In 2019, she performed as a soloist with orchestra at the Benedict Music Tent after winning Aspen Music Festival’s Concerto Competition. 

As an orchestral musician, Justina has appeared with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, the Billings Symphony Orchestra, and the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with conductors such as Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Katharina Wincor, and Bramwell Tovey. Justina has spent summers at the PRISMA Festival, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival, which she attended on a full scholarship. She has worked with numerous artists in masterclasses, including Marina Piccinini, Lorna McGhee, Jeanne Baxtresser, Demarre McGill, and Nadine Asin. Justina holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Houston, where she studied with Peggy Russell, and a Master of Music from the Longy School of Music, where she studied with Robert Willoughby. She recently completed a certificate program at DePaul University under the tutelage of Mark Sparks.

Concert Sponsors & Underwriters

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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This season was made possible, in part, by leadership gifts from:
Peoria Symphony Foundation Soderstrom Skin Institute Illinois Arts Council Agency
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