A free concert featuring Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (GLCO) Music Director and violinist Libor Ondras is slated for Sunday, May 16, at First Presbyterian Church, 7940 Cemetery Rd., Harbor Springs.
Ondras will perform with The Hummel Trio at the 4 p.m. concert, which is open to the public. In addition to Ondras, the trio includes cellist Andrew Laven and pianist Emily Grabinski.
The group will perform three selections: Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Trio op. 70 No. 1 (Ghost); Franz Schubert’s Nocturne op. 148; and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Trio No. 2 op. 67.
Published in 1809, Beethoven’s Trio Opus 70 contains two trio compositions and was written specifically for violin, piano and cello. Thought to be the among Beethoven’s best work in the trio genre, “Ghost” is performed in D major.
Also referred to as “Adagio,” Schubert’s Nocturne op. 148 was completed in 1827 and offers a prime example of the Austrian composer’s chamber music. Nocturnes are musical pieces that refer to or are evocative of nighttime.
Dedicated to one of Shostakovich’s best friends, Trio No. 2 op. 67 contains four movements and lasts 25-27 minutes. Another selection written for violin, piano and cello, the composition was penned during World War II.
The trio will also perform with young musicians from the Gerber Strings program.
Now in its 20th year, the GLCO is back on track following a year-long pandemic shutdown. Judith Zorn, GLCO executive director, said everyone affiliated with the orchestra is excited to be performing again with an exciting list of events yet to come this year.
While May brings the free Sunday Series in Harbor Springs, June ushers in a GLCO main stage performance – “Americana” – at Hall Auditorium in Bay View on Saturday, June 5, 7-9 p.m. Tickets are available via www.glcorchestra.org.
The June 5 concert is also significant due to GLCO’s recent selection by the League of American Orchestras (LAO) as one of 10 orchestras to be featured at the League’s National Conference June 7-17. A recording of GLCO’s “Americana” concert will be featured during the event.
“With a nod to the past and a look to the future, the Americana performance highlights a great variety of American composers,” Zorn said. “George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is in the program, and flautist Helen Hanchin, will receive belated honors for winning the 2019 Young Artist Competition, as well as perform with the orchestra. All in all, this concert will be lots of fun! We’ll get to honor some of our young artists and hear some wonderful music.”
The Sunday Series event is free, but seating is limited. Seat reservations can be made by calling the orchestra office.
Tickets for the June Bay View concert, which features the full orchestra, are $30.
The GLCO is a regional professional orchestra providing live orchestral concerts that entertain, educate and inspire. For more information, call the GLCO office at 231-487-0010 or visit their website.
What’s the Hummel Trio?
The Hummel Trio is an ensemble-in-residence at the Grand Rapids Community College department of music.
An initiative of violinist Dr. Libor Ondras, who also serves as the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra’s music director, the group started its artistic activities in 2020 when pianist Emily Grabinski and cellist Andrew Laven joined the faculty at GRCC.
The trio’s name and research focus centers on the chamber music output of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837), a prodigious student of Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, and Beethoven. The ensemble performs concerts throughout Western Michigan, provides workshops for college students, and collaborates with high school programs through chamber music initiatives.
Libor Ondras, violin
Dr. Libor Ondras is a conductor, viola recitalist, and educator. He began his studies as a
recipient of the Slovak Ministry of Culture fellowship to study viola at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory with Yuri Bashmet. Ondras continued his studies at the Academy of Music Arts in Prague, and completed his M.M and D.M.A. degrees at the University of Houston. He has performed with major orchestras throughout the US and Europe, given lectures and played recitals for the American Viola Society, International Viola D’Amore Society, his research and scholarly writings were published in the Journal of American Viola Society. Some of his recent and upcoming activities include European Tour with the GLCO, dedicatee and soloist of the viola concerto commissioned by the GLCO from D. Lockington, visiting artist position at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, research project participant at the Belle Violinmaking School in Bilbao, Spain, solo performance with Northwest Sinfonietta, WA, invitation from the League of American Orchestras to present a concert at the upcoming 2021 National Conference MC’d by Wynton Marsalis. Dr. Ondras is a Music Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Kent Philharmonic Orchestra (MI), guest conductor for the Slovak State Opera, string faculty and artist-in-residence at the Bay View Music Festival and he currently serves as a Director of Orchestras and String Specialist at Grand Rapids Community College.
Andrew Laven, cello
Cellist Andrew Laven was appointed Assistant Principal Cellist of the Grand Rapids Symphony in 2019. He received his Master of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music as a student of Desmond Hoebig, and also has a Bachelor of Music Degree with a Performance Certificate from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott. A strong interest in historical performance led Mr. Laven to study baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai and this summer, he will participate in the 2021 International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany. Mr. Laven is also an avid chamber musician and has collaborated with Ying Quartet first violinist Robin Scott, violist Roberto Diaz, and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. While at the Tanglewood Music Center during the summers of 2015-2017, he took part in multiple world premieres of chamber works and was privileged to play in private coachings for Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax. Other festivals include the Bowdoin International Music Festival fellowship program, Karl Flesch Akademie, Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and Spoleto Festival USA.
Emily Grabinski, piano
Based in Grand Rapids, MI, pianist Emily Grabinski enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral keyboardist and can be heard with ensembles such as Appian Duo, OPUS 216, and the West Michigan Symphony. Ms. Grabinski has served previously as staff pianist at Hope College and Ashland University. She is currently the Faculty Accompanist for Grand Rapids Community College. Ms. Grabinski actively supports living composers and commissions of new works, most notably, “One for the Land (for Piano and Electronics)” by Von Hansen. Stemming from her desire to explore the similarities between musicians and athletes, this project premiered as a music video released via YouTube which she then presented in a workshop with Hope College students in 2018 titled, “Artists and Athletes: Overcoming Challenges Using the Creativity Muscle.” Emily holds the degrees MM in Collaborative Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music and BM in Piano Performance from Central Michigan University, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Violinist, violist, conductor and professor Dr. Eric Lawson has had a varied career in performance and education. Past performances as a conductor, soloist and lecturer have taken him to Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, Romania and Scandinavia. Before returning to his home state of Michigan, he was based in North Dakota where, in addition to serving as a violin instructor at Bismarck State College, Jamestown College, and the University of Mary, he was also concertmaster of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and established the Bismarck-Mandan Youth Symphony. Other former academic appointments have included Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Central College in Pella, Iowa and the University of North Dakota where he founded the string program and the UND Chamber Orchestra.
Here in Michigan, Dr. Lawson as been very active with the Alpena Symphony Orchestra as its concertmaster, conductor and president of the board. He also performs with many other orchestras in Northern Michigan and participates in the Traverse Symphony as a first violinist, in the Gaylord Symphony as concertmaster and as assistant concertmaster in the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.
And finally, in what has been one of the most important experiences of his life outside of music, he also served almost four years as an Alpena County Commissioner, representing Ossineke and Sanborn Townships. In addition to serving as chair of the Salary and Personnel Committee, he also served on the Airport, Ambulance, District Court, Circuit Court Management and Jail Committees. He also represented Alpena County in Gaylord with the Northern Michigan Regional Entity Substance Use Disorder Board and continues to serve on the Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Board. Dr. Lawson resides in Ossineke with his wife and two children.