Guest Artists

Derek Bermel, clarinet
Wednesday, October 22 at 7:30
University Hall Auditorium

Minju Choi, piano
Wednesday, October 22 at 7:30
University Hall Auditorium

Recently hailed as “positively mesmerizing at the piano” by The Times-Tribune, pianist Minju Choi has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. She has appeared as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony and Shreveport Symphony, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Music Academy of the West and Juilliard Orchestras. Ms. Choi has been presented in recitals in cities in the U.S. and abroad, including Paris, New York City, Philadelphia, and Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago. She has performed solo concerts in prestigious venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Studio 54, Cosmopolitan Club of NYC, Salle Franck in Paris, and Steinway Hall. She has been heard as a soloist and chamber musician in live and recorded performances on radio stations around the country including WQXR New York Radio, WFMT Chicago Radio, WQSC Santa Barbara, KDAQ Shreveport, and WICR Indianapolis. Ms. Choi was a featured artist at the Vancouver Recital Society’s Chamber Music Festival, in which her performances were broadcast on the CBC Canada Radio.

A strong enthusiast of contemporary music, Ms. Choi has premiered and performed music by distinguished composers throughout the world. Her performances of contemporary works have included David Diamond’s Piano Concerto with Gerard Schwarz in celebration of the composer’s 85th birthday at Lincoln Center, U.S. premiere of Salvatore Sciarrino’s “Two Nocturnes,” and Philip Lasser´s piano sonata "Les Hiboux blancs" at La Schola Cantorum in Paris, which resulted in the premier of the sonata performed by Ms. Choi as the centerpiece of a modern dance work presented at Lincoln Center and at the French Institute in New York City. In 2014-2015 season, Ms. Choi will perform Gabriela Lena Frank’s recent piano duet work, Sonata Serrana No. 1 with the composer and a world premiere of composer Ching-chu Hu’s solo work, which has been commissioned by Ms. Choi.

Ms. Choi has been awarded prizes in several competitions, including first prizes at the Nena Wideman International Piano Competition, the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, and the Juilliard Concerto Competition. She was also a top prize winner in the ARTS competition sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

Minju Choi received her bachelor´s and master´s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Jerome Lowenthal. She pursued additional studies with Jean-Claude Pennetier at Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris and with Bernd Goetzke at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover. She completed her doctoral studies at Stony Brook University with Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl in 2009. Ms. Choi currently teaches at University of Indianapolis as an Associate Adjunct Professor of Piano and serves as its director of Pre-College Music Program.

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Derek Johnson, electric guitar
Guest Soloist with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
Thursday, October 23, at 7:30
Tilson Auditorium

Derek Johnson is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator active in the world of contemporary concert music and beyond. Born and raised at the majestic base of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado, Derek began his college training as an electric guitarist at Columbia College Chicago and completed graduate degrees (DM/MM) in composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Deeply engaged in the emerging position of the electric guitar in concert music, Derek is an active as a both a soloist and chamber musician presenting the rich and steadily growing canon of works written specifically for the electric guitar.

Since 2008 Johnson has been a frequent performer with the powerhouse new music ensemble the Bang On A Can All-Stars collaborating with guest artists Iva Bittova, Tyondai Braxton, Don Byron, Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner (The National), Bill Frisell, Phillip Glass, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Meredith Monk, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Steve Reich, Shara Worden and Nick Zammuto (The Books). Since 2011, Derek has been engaged in a series of ongoing collaborations with Indianapolis based singer/songwriter Christian Taylor, and is currently the drummer for Taylor’s Ampersand Blues Band. His compositions been performed throughout the United States and Canada by leading soloists and ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW and Montreal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. He has served as a faculty member in the music department of Columbia College Chicago, as an Associate Instructor of Composition at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, and as chamber music faculty at the Bang On A Can Summer Institute. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Ball State University School of Music, and is the director of the BSU Electric Guitar Quartet / Ensemble AMP. Derek is an avid transcriber and is currently working in collaboration with the innovative Swedish band Meshuggah on a series of transcription books and an inter-active software application encompassing the band’s complete discography.