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NSA Masterclass Series: Dr. Meredith Blecha-Wells, cello – October 9, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

October 9, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:


Dr. Meredith Blecha-Wells, cello

Praised for her “beautifully full and lyrically strong tone” by Gramophone Magazine, Meredith Blecha-Wells is a sought-after performer and instructor.  She has played throughout much of the United States, as well as Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia. Currently based in Oklahoma City, Dr. Blecha-Wells performs regularly with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble, and the Pangaea Chamber Players. 

​As a recording artist, Dr. Blecha-Wells recently released her debut album, Small Storms: A Collection of Short Pieces for Cello and Piano by Bohuslav Martinu.  Released on the Navona Records label, her playing is described as “technically dazzling” (the Whole Note) and is praised for her “lyrical warmth and her powerful athleticism” (Classical Music Discoveries).  Additional recording endeavors include projects for the Lorenz Corporation, as well as performances on WMBR (Cambridge, MA), KALX (Berkley, CA), WRUV (Burlington, VT), WCNY (Syracuse, NY), and KUCO (Edmond, OK).​

Dr. Blecha-Wells is currently the Professor of Cello at Oklahoma State University, where she was awarded the Distinguished Music Professor award.  Her students have won several competitions, including prizes in Classics Alive Artists, Enkor International Competition, American Protégé Competition, Ad Astra String Competition, MTNA, Hyechka String Competition, among others.  As a devoted teacher, Dr. Blecha-Wells has seen her students accepted to study at prestigious institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, Rice University, Indiana University, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

​​Dr. Blecha-Wells received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Cello Performance from Indiana University, studying under Janos Starker and Helga Winold. She also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she served as the teaching assistant to Distinguished Professor Alan Harris. Additional studies include festival participation at the Taos School of Music, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.


Going Virtual with NSATechnology Requirements

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop or tablet to the internet using an Ethernet cable, a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi at speedtest.net; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio. 

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Bongshin Ko, cello – September 11, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

September 11, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:


Bongshin Ko, cello

Hailed by critics for her “most perfect playing” (Internet Cello Society) with “great warmth and beauty” (The STRAD), cellist Bongshin Ko has appeared worldwide as a soloist with such groups as Television and Radio Symphony of Moscow, Munich Chamber Players, the KBS Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic, and Central Broadcasting Symphony of China to name a few. Ms. Ko was the first Korean artist to be invited to perform in China after the historic resumption of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China, and has since been invited back annually.

Ms. Ko has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest artists including Mstislav Rostropovich, Bernard Greenhouse, Sir Georg Solti, Leonard Stein, Gunther Schuller, Semyon Bychkov and Valery Gergiev. She appeared at Seoul International Music Festival to give the Asian premiere of Bernard Rands’ Cello Concerto, dedicated to and world premiered by Mstislav Rostropovich in celebration of his 70th birthday. Other international music events and festivals welcomed her to Schleswig-Holstein festival, Kronberg Cello festival, Hoertnagel Konzertdirekzion, Berlin Wall 10th anniversary concert, Rostropovich & Friends Concert (Germany), American Cello Congresses, Kumho Guest Artist Recital, plus numerous others in France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia, Monaco, Croatia, USA, Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.

She has performed to critical acclaims on NDR and Bayerischer Rundfunk (Germany), Fuji TV (Japan), TV New Zealand, TV China, Korean Broadcasting Systems and NBC. As a member of the European-based Tritton Cello Quartet she can be heard on the Musica Columna label. Her live performances of Brahms and Barber sonatas are often broadcast on the Arte TV in Korea and over the transpacific in-flight classical station on Asiana Airlines. Ms. Ko’s Haydn and Saint-Saens concerti, recorded with Munich Chamber Players in Germany, can also be heard on the SONY Classical label.

As a recipient of over 30 international prizes and awards, including the highest performance award in her native Korea and the Crossroad Award in the US for her “superior teaching,” she is on popular demand as a teacher as well as a performer around the globe. Prestigious schools where she taught special guest master classes include The Juilliard School, Mannheim Musikhochschule, Korean National University of Arts, Nürnberg School for Music, and Bejing Central Conservatory. Serving as Professor of Cello and Vice Director at Cal State University Fullerton School of Music she is also  active in supporting young talents and promoting cello art through Greenhouse Foundation & Festival (https://greenhousefdn.org) (https://www.facebook.com//ghfoundationusa), which she founded together with the late legendary cellist Bernard Greenhouse in 2008. As a leading member of The New York Soloists and New York Public Library Concert Series Ms. Ko performs frequently at major venues and concert halls throughout five continents.


Saint-Saëns – Cello Concerto No. 1
Sydney, Australia April 14, 2018.

Going Virtual with NSATechnology Requirements

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop or tablet to the internet using an Ethernet cable, a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi at speedtest.net; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio. 

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Bruce Uchimura, cello – August 21, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

August 21, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:

Patricia Barnes, Vice President
EEME, Inc.


BRUCE UCHIMURA, cello

Bruce Uchimura is Professor of Cello at Western Michigan University and was director of the WMU Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. He was Associate Conductor of the Augusta (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra from 1985-87 where he developed a highly successful Symphonic Pops and Educational Series. He also formed and conducted the Western String Chamber Orchestra from 1987-1998. In 1998, he took over the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra. The WMU Orchestra won the Downbeat Magazine Award for Best College Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and was invited to perform at the Michigan Music Educator’s Conference in 2007 and 2016. The WMU Orchestra was the third-place winner in the 2015 “American Prize” media-based competition’s Best College Orchestra category.

Mr. Uchimura is in much demand as an educator and clinician and has guest conducted numerous All-State and Honors Orchestras throughout the country.  He was trained at the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music and was Cellist of the highly acclaimed Merling Trio (with his wife, Pianist, Susan Wiersma-Uchimura and Violinist Renata Artman-Knific) for over 30 years. He has played Cello recitals and given master classes throughout the United States and was a charter faculty member at the ENCORE School for Strings Summer program. He is also on the faculty of the ARIA Summer Music Academy. He was awarded “String Teacher of the Year” by the American String Teachers Association Michigan Chapter in 2010. His primary teachers were Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins and Alan Harris.

Mr. Uchimura’s WMU and private cello students have gone on to impressive university, conservatory, and graduate programs as well as securing professional jobs in orchestras and teaching positions. Mr. Uchimura serves as the advisor to the WMU/ American String Teachers Association Student Chapter and is a strong advocate of entrepreneurship in music.



Going Virtual with NSATechnology Requirements

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop or tablet to the internet using an Ethernet cable, a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi at speedtest.net; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio. 

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Bruce Walker, cello – June 26, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

June 26, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 am – 12:30 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:

Anonymous Donor


Bruce Walker, Jr.

Conductor – Educator – Cellist

Bruce Walker is an Associate Professor of Music at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA, Music Director for the Yakima Youth Symphony in Yakima, WA, President of the Washington state chapter of the American String Teachers Association, on the Board of Directors for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the 2021 Music Educator of the Year by the Washington State Music Educators Association. Duties at CBC include teaching second-year music theory and aural skills, music appreciation, and conducting the Columbia Basin College Orchestra. During the summer months, Mr. Walker works for many workshops, festivals, and institutes throughout the Northwest including the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute, Montana Suzuki Institute, Pipestone Summer Music Camp, Boise’s All-Thing-Cello Camp, and the Music, Meadows, and Mountains Retreat. Previously, he has worked as a faculty member with the Youth Excellence on Stage Academy in collaboration with American Voices, a US non-government, non-profit, cultural exchange organization. Through this organization, he has conducted, traveled, and taught cello in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

As a conductor, Mr. Walker has participated in some of the finest conducting workshops and music festivals across the United States such as the Marrowstone Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, various workshops sponsored by the Conductor’s Guild, Astoria Music Festival, Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop, and the University of Oregon Orchestral Conducting Institute. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Central Washington University Symphony, Oregon East Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony, and the Musicians of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. Memorable for his unique style of positive student engagement, analogies, and his knowledge of the orchestral repertoire, Mr. Walker is also in high demand as an adjudicator and guest conductor for many All-State and Honors Orchestras throughout the United States, most recently conducting the 2021 Nevada All-State Symphony Orchestra.

As a cellist, Mr. Walker remains very active as a traditional and Suzuki cello teacher, solo performer, and orchestral cellist. He has appeared as soloist with the Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with the Oregon East Symphony performing Luigi Boccherini (arr. Grutzmacher) – Cello Concerto No. 9 in B flat. He has also held principal cello positions with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Orchestra, Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, Central Washington University Symphony, Wenatchee Valley Symphony, and the Pierre Monteux School Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Walker won numerous competitions with Trio Giocoso and the DeKalb and Byron String Quartets. Currently, he is an on-call cellist to the Oregon East Symphony (Pendelton, Oregon), Walla Walla Symphony (Walla Walla, Washington), Mid-Columbia Symphony (Richland, Washington) and Yakima Symphony (Yakima, Washington).

Mr. Walker earned Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Cello Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Music degree from Central Washington University focusing on Orchestral Conducting and Cello Performance. In the fall of 2019, he began his Doctorate of Music Arts degree in Music Education through Boston University. His primary teachers have been Kangho Lee and John Michel (cello), Dr. Jeffery Meyer, Michael Jinbo, Dr. Nikolas Caoile, Kenneth Woods, and Lawrence Golan (conducting), and Dr. Beth Cantrell, Priscilla Jones, Dr. Andrea Yun, and the late H. Glenda Piek (Suzuki cello).

When not in the classroom, on the podium working with ensembles, or teaching cello lessons, he enjoys hiking and traveling around the Pacific Northwest, enjoying time outside around a BBQ pit and smoker sampling new culinary creations, or shopping for and admiring argyle socks.


Going Virtual with NSATechnology Requirements

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop or tablet to the internet using an Ethernet cable, a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi at speedtest.net; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio. 

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Dr. Ka-Wai Yu, cello – April 17, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

April 17, 2021 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

9:30 am – 11:30 am
Masterclass

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:


DR. KA-WAI YU, cello

Dr. Ka-Wai Yu is Assistant Professor of Music at Dixie State University, where he teaches cello and string chamber music. He previously taught at Eastern Illinois University and Indiana Wesleyan University. In great demand as a clinician, Dr. Yu has given master classes in numerous universities and institutions in North America and Asia. He is the Co-Director of the Castle Rock Music Camp in DSU. He has also taught in music camps and workshops in Illinois, Georgia and Michigan, as well as in Hong Kong, among them the Blue Lake Fine Arts. He has served as adjudicator, held clinics, and guest-conducted regularly at various high schools, youth orchestras, and string festivals in the Southwest and Midwest, USA. Dr. Yu is the President-Elect of the Utah Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. He has presented in the national and regional conferences of ASTA, the Historical Keyboard Society of North America and Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. He is President of the Cello Society of Southern Utah.

Currently the Principal Cellist of Southwest Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Yu has performed at major concert halls in Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. He is vivid as a chamber musician, and has been a member of the Zion Trio, Ensemble Finesse, and the period-instrument ensembles Cosmopolitan Baroque and Concentus.  He has appeared in the Aspen Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Orford Arts Center, Toronto Summer Music Academy, Vancouver Early Music Festival, among others. His recent solo performances include concerto appearances with Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Illinois, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Chamber Orchestra, Dixie State Symphony Orchestra, and Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra. His performances have been broadcast on RTHK and WILL-FM. His transcription of Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto for cello and string quartet has been published by A-R Editions, Inc.

Dr. Yu obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with cellist Brandon Vamos of the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet. He also holds a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with first-class honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His other major mentors have included conductors Maurice Peress and Angela Tam, cellists Helga Winold, Csaba Onczay, David Starkweather and Ming-Yuen Cheung, singers Raymond Fu and Chiu-May Wong, and viola da gambist Wendy Gillespie. He has also studied chamber music with members of the American String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and Parker Quartet.


Going Virtual with NSATechnology Requirements

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop or tablet to the internet using an Ethernet cable, a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi at speedtest.net; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio. 

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Ferenc Cseszko, violin/viola – April 24, 2021 (In Person!)

In-Person Experience

April 24, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium (Seating limited to 70)

Tuition: Complimentary
Registration Deadline: April 23, 2021

10:00 am – 11:40 am
Masterclass

11:45 am – 12:00 pm
Recital
(Scroll for Program)

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Meet the Artist


Parking will be available at the Historic Fifth Street School (Home to NSA) and in the city garage across the street.

Health Protocols followed by NSA are as followed:

  • Masks are required
  • Temperatures will be checked at the door
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided and must be utilized
  • All seats and commonly touched surfaces will be disinfected prior to use

Program

Fritz Kreisler:  Miniature Viennese March
Fritz Kreisler:  Schön Rosmarin
Pablo de Sarasate:  Zigeunerweisen

Jae Ahn-Benton, piano


FERENC CSESZKO, Violinist/Violist

Hungarian-American violinist/violist, pedagogue, and orchestra conductor, Dr. Ferenc Cseszko joined the Nevada School of the Arts in 2019 as a violin, viola, and strings chamber music faculty.  His appointment followed 18 years of teaching/performing in Academics while an Associate Professor of Violin/Viola and Director of the Orchestra Program at the University of Idaho (2003-18), and Assistant Professor of Violin/Viola at Fort Hays State University (Kansas, 2000-03).  In addition, Dr. Cseszko served as Artist-in-Residence at the Universidad Juan N. Corpas in Bogotá, Colombia (2003-2009).  His main activities at that institution included regular masterclass and workshop presentations, as well as solo and faculty chamber music recitals presented at various local academic institutions, such as the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano.       

In addition to Colombia, Dr. Cseszko presented recitals and clinics at concert venues and music festivals in Austria (Bregenz), Croatia (Dubrovnik), Germany (Frankfurt, Munich and Giessen), Hungary (Budapest), Italy (Rome, Ancona), Serbia (Belgrade, Novi Sad and Subotica), Switzerland (Sion), throughout the United States, Canada (Vancouver, B.C.), and Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey).

As an orchestral musician, he held positions in over a dozen professional orchestras, including the Spokane Symphony, Wichita Grand Opera, Nevada Ballet Orchestra, Madison Symphony (Wisconsin), and the Budafoki Dohnányi Zenekar (Hungary; including its 10-city Mexican tour with Jesus López Cobos conducting). Currently, he is performing with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Las Vegas Sinfonietta, and Opera Las Vegas.  

As an orchestra conductor, Dr. Cseszko frequently led festival and university orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, such as the Orquesta Filarmónica de Universidad Juan N. Corpas at the Teatro Colón in Bogotá, Colombia, the National Chiayi University Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), and the Washington Idaho Symphony Orchestra on subscription concerts. 

Born in the former Yugoslavia to Hungarian parents, Dr. Cseszko earned a Conservatory Diploma from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, a Master of Music degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His teachers included Tyrone Greive, János Pallagi, Sándor Devich, Peter Lissauer, Eszter Perényi, and Michael Barta (violin and chamber music) and David E. Becker (orchestral conducting). In addition, he performed on masterclasses given by Yehudi Menuhin, Sidney Harth, Michael Tree, Lóránd Fenyves, György Pauk, and Elmar Oliviera.