Musica Reginae Productions

Musica Reginae Chamber Players

18 November 2017
7:30 PM

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Cyrus Beroukhim, violin; Junah Chung, viola; Barbara Podgurski, piano


~ Reception to Follow ~


Image: Beowulf Sheehan

Cyrus Beroukhim’s

(violin) luxurious sound and innate eloquence consistently draw in audiences around the world. Recently appointed as Associate Professor of String Studies at NYU, he continues to perform as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, appearing at major venues including the Theaterplatz and Paul Klee Zentrum in Bern, Novell Hall in Taipei, Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, Kravis center in Palm Beach, The Barns at Wolf Trap in Washington DC, Qualcomm Hall in San Diego, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and various halls throughout Germany, Luxembourg, Japan, and Israel. His performances of Bach and Vivaldi Concerti with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields were heralded as “flawless and sensitive” by the Zeitung im Espace Mittelland (Switzerland). As a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra since 2009, Mr. Beroukhim has been featured as soloist in the production of Concerto Barocco, choreographed by George Ballanchine. He has also appeared as concertmaster with the American Ballet Theatre, American Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Little Orchestra Society, Gotham Chamber Opera and New York Symphonic Ensemble.

Cyrus Beroukhim’s diverse musical activities are a reflection of his passionate interest in different genres of music. Of Persian descent, Mr. Beroukhim regularly premieres works by Iranian composers and was personally invited by Queen Farah to perform at her son’s memorial, broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide. In 2007, he founded the Zukofsky Quartet and immediately tackled the most challenging music of today’s living and recently deceased composers. The quartet’s performances of the complete Milton Babbitt cycle were praised as “supple and polished” (The New York Times) and “making the daunting and very difficult, beautiful” (Chicago Tribune). As a member of Classical Jam, an ensemble that explores the music of different cultures through original compositions and improvisation, he continuously pushes the envelope of classical music in a rapidly changing world.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mr Beroukhim started playing the violin at the age of three. He pursued his undergraduate degree at the Oberlin Conservatory and went on to receive his Master and Doctorate of Music from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Cho-Liang Lin. Joining the faculty of SUNY Fredonia in 2010, he currently teaches at Columbia University in New York City. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammaphon, Vanguard Classics, Naxos, Aeon, and New World Records, and has been broadcast live on NPR, WQXR 96.3 (New York), and K-Mozart (Los Angeles). His performance of Saint-Saëns “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” earned him the distinction of “crème de la crème” on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

Image: Matt Dine

Junah Chung’s

(viola) perpetually inventive and nuanced musicianship has propelled a dynamic career as an international soloist and chamber musician, beloved teacher, and prolific violist throughout the New York music scene. His most recent solo engagements include performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in Seoul and Vaughn Williams’ Flos Campi in New York City. Mr Chung performs recitals regularly in venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Metropolitan Museum Balcony, Tenri Cultural Institute, Trinity Church, Christ and Saint Stephen’s Church, the National Gallery of Iceland, and is in the process of recording his debut solo album.

After graduating from The Juilliard School in 1996, Mr Chung moved to Amsterdam where he performed with the Nieuw Sinfonietta of Amsterdam. In 1998, he relocated to Iceland to become the Assistant Principal Violist of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, where he also served as Principal Violist of the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra and the Iceland Opera Orchestra. After three years, Mr Chung returned to New York City and began to perform with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St Luke’s, and American Ballet Theatre. He also served as Principal Violist of Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra, Jupiter Symphony Orchestra, and the Sonos Chamber Orchestra. Coupled with his success as a highly in-demand orchestral musician, Mr Chung has recorded for numerous major motion picture soundtracks, played in many Broadway orchestras, and currently holds a chair as the violist/violinist of Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway.

A sought-after chamber musician, Mr Chung has been a member of the New York Philomusica, American Modern Ensemble, Reykjavík String Quartet, and Trio Saint Germain. He is the co-founder, with his wife, violinist Ragga Petursdottir, of the Greenburgh Chamber Players and is a frequent guest artist with the Greenwich Chamber Players. Festival appearances include the Windham Chamber Music Festival, The International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, The Bright Lights Music Festival in Iceland, Korea’s Daejon Chamber Music Festival, and the Lake Winnepesaukee, Kutztown, Summit, Craftsbury, Rhode Island, and CW Post Summer Music Chamber Festivals. Mr Chung has collaborated with renowned artists such as David Kim, Roberto Diaz, Andres Diaz, Larry Dutton, Timothy Eddy, Nancy Allen, Mikhail Kopelman, Stefan Hoskuldsson, and Oleg Krysa.

Mr Chung’s dedication to music goes well beyond his own career; he has been a teacher and mentor to countless students, many of whom have gone on to study at the top music conservatories including The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes College of Music. He has helped numerous students win auditions and overcome obstacles with his unique teaching approach, which stems from his life experiences and creative ideas. Mr Chung is constantly seeking inspiration and solutions using unconventional methods to better his students’ and his own playing. He has been on the faculty of the CW Post Summer Chamber Music Festival, Kutztown Summer Chamber Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, Point CounterPoint, and was a conductor at The School For Strings. Mr Chung currently serves on the faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center Music Performance program, where he teaches private lessons and coaches chamber music groups.

Mr Chung received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music in 1993 and his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 1996. His teachers included Lillian Fuchs, William Lincer, Roland Vamos, Masuko Ushioda, and Rafael Druian. Mr Chung also studied chamber music with Felix Galimir, Joseph Fuchs, Eugene Lehner, William Pleeth, and Jacob Lateiner.

Born in Seoul, Korea into a musical family, Mr Chung grew up in Davis, California. He began piano lessons at the age of 6 with his mother, Jung Kang Hahn, a concert pianist, and violin lessons when he was 10 years old, later switching to viola in college. His father, Duyoung Chung, was a composer, minister, professor, flutist, and conductor who founded the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr Chung is the oldest of four brothers; Sanah is a financial consultant, Narah is a pianist and the assistant conductor of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic, and Hanah is the concertmaster of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic.

In addition to his love of performing and teaching, Mr Chung is an avid golfer, photo enthusiast, connoisseur of fine instruments and bows, and considers himself a foodie and an espresso aficionado. He resides in White Plains, NY with his wife, Ragga, and two gorgeous cats, Sophie and Jasmine Rose.

Image: Dina Horowitz

Barbara Podgurski

(piano) is a native of New York and a Teaching Artist. She holds a DMA in piano performance from The Graduate Center (CUNY) as well as a BM in piano performance and an MM in both piano performance and music theory from the Mannes College of Music. Dr Podgurski has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Europe and has performed at many of the world’s finest venues including a number of performances at Carnegie Hall. She has been featured in numerous television and radio broadcasts, including appearances on WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase, WNYC’s “Soundcheck”, NPR, WPLN Nashville’s “Live from Studio C”, WQED and numerous others. She was recently featured on a television documentary for NHK in Japan with her touring partner violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn and the famed “Red” Mendelssohn Stradivarius. She was a special guest in March 2015 performing for the National Association of Broadcasters at the 2015 Golden Mike Awards with Grammy-nominated violinist Jenny Oaks Baker.

Past collaborations with renowned artists include violinists Philippe Graffin and the late Lorand Fenyves, flutist Harold Jones, clarinetist Charles Neidich, pianists Diane Walsh and Seymour Lipkin, and cellists Manfred Stilz, Marcy Rosen and the late Paul Tobias. Dr Podgurski has premiered numerous new works including a commission of a concerto by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer George Walker which she premiered with the Queens Symphony Orchestra.

She is a dedicated proponent of new music, focusing on premiering works of NYC based composers and programming such works on MRP’s concert series each season. Barbara has been working for a number of years with the Department of Cultural Affairs as a contact for organizing and contracting musicians for the 9-11 Commemoration Memorial (live televised broadcast from Ground Zero in NYC) and most recently was invited with her colleagues to perform at a private ceremony for Pope Francis and members of the United Nations in an interfaith prayer service during the 2015 Papal visit to NYC.

Dr Podgurski is currently the Executive and Artistic Director of Musica Reginae Productions in Queens, NY. She is also a past Music Director of NIAM (Nantucket Island Arts and Music Summer Festival).

She is a member of the Lexington Piano Trio (with violinist Cyrus Beroukhim and cellist Arash Amini) as well as the Barbad Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble based in Astoria, Queens.

A former faculty member at The Mannes College of Music (The New School), Hunter College (CUNY) and Mercy College, she is currently on the faculty of the RiverArts Music Program in Hudson Valley, and is a consultant for the Board of Education for both New York City and New York State. By invitation in 2014, Dr. Podgurski became a Steinway Teaching Artist.

She performed once again this past spring at Carnegie Hall (NY), toured this past summer with performances on Nantucket, at the Luzerne Summer Music Festival and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and has just returned from a tour including concerts in St. Croix (USVI) and Palm Beach (FL). She recently completed summer labs for Developing the Teaching Artist Practice through Lincoln Center Education in NYC. Barbara is currently a contributing writer to Cambridge’s Nineteenth Century Music Review.