Julie Albers, the new principal cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is recognized for her superlative artistry and charismatic performing style. The Grand Prize winner at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France, Ms. Albers toured France as soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Douai. Her Twin Cities debut recital on Music in the Park Series with pianist Orion Weiss will feature works by Janáček, Poulenc, Beethoven and Grieg. One of the most sought-after young American pianists, Orion Weiss has performed with the Chicago and Boston Symphonies, and the New York Philharmonic. Julie Albers’ debut album with Orion Weiss includes works by Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Massenet, and Piatagorsky.

Julie Albers, cello & Orion Weiss, piano

Julie Albers, cello

American cellist Julie Albers is recognized for her superlative artistry, her charismatic and radiant performing style, and her intense musicianship. She was born into a musical family in Longmont, Colorado and began violin studies at the age of two with her mother, switching to cello at four. She moved to Cleveland during her junior year of high school to pursue studies through the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Aaron. Miss Albers soon was awarded the Grand Prize at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France, and as a result toured France as soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Douai.

Julie Albers made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998, and thereafter has performed in recital and with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2001, she won Second Prize in Munich’s Internationalen Musikwettbewerbes der ARD, and was also awarded the Wilhelm-Weichsler-Musikpreis der Stadt Osnabruch.  While in Germany, she recorded solo and chamber music of Kodaly for the Bavarian Radio, performances that have been heard throughout Europe. In 2003, Miss Albers was named the first Gold Medal Laureate of South Korea’s Gyeongnam International Music Competition, winning the $25,000 Grand Prize.

In North America, Miss Albers has performed with many important orchestras and ensembles. Recent performances have included exciting debuts on the San Francisco Performances series and with the Grant Park Music Festival where she performed Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso for 3 cellos with Mr. Penderecki conducting. Past seasons have included concerto appearances with the orchestras of Colorado, Indianapolis, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Munchener Kammerorchester among others.  During the 2014 -15 season, performances included appearances with the Winnipeg Symphony, Oklahoma Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Albany Symphony where she premiered a new concerto by Michael Torke.  Upcoming performances include recitals with pianist Orion Weiss at the Schubert Club in St. Paul, MN and the Orange County Philharmonic Society in Costa Mesa, CA along with appearances with orchestras such as the Colorado Music Festival orchestra, the Ann Arbor Symphony, the Rochester and Rhode Island Philharmonics, amongst others. .

In addition to solo performances, Miss Albers regularly participates in chamber music festivals around the world.  2009 marked the end of a three year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two. She is currently active with the Albers String Trio and the Cortona Trio. Teaching is also a very important part of Miss Albers’ musical life. She currently is Assistant Professor and holds the Mary Jean and Charles Yates Cello Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.  Miss Albers was named principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in 2014 and begins her position there in Fall 2015. 

Miss Albers’ debut album with Orion Weiss includes works by Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Schumann, Massenet, and Piatiagorsky and is available on the Artek Label. Julie Albers performs on a N.F. Vuillaume cello made in 1872 and makes her home in Minneapolis with her husband, Bourbon, and their dog, Dozer.


Orion Weiss, SteinwayOne of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, the pianist Orion Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won him worldwide acclaim.

The 2015-16 season will see Orion performing with the Iceland Symphony, among others, and in collaborative projects including those with the Pacifica Quartet and with Cho-Liang Lin and the New Orford String Quartet in a performance of the Chausson Concerto for piano, violin, and string quartet. The 2014-15 season featured Orion’s third performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as a North American tour with the world-famous Salzburg Marionette Theater in an enhanced piano recital of Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux. In 2015 Naxos released his recording of Christopher Rouse’s Seeing – a major commission Orion debuted with the Albany Symphony – and in 2012 he released a recital album of Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Bartok. That same year he also spearheaded a recording project of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with his longtime collaborators the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta.

The 2013-14 season featured Orion with orchestras around North America, including the Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Vancouver Symphonies, and the 2012-13 season saw Weiss in repeat engagements with the Baltimore Symphony and New World Symphony.

Named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year in September 2010, in the summer of 2011 Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood as a last-minute replacement for Leon Fleisher. In recent seasons, he has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and in duo summer concerts with the New York Philharmonic at both Lincoln Center and the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. In 2005, he toured Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman.

Also known for his affinity and enthusiasm for chamber music, Weiss performs regularly with his wife, the pianist Anna Polonsky, the violinists James Ehnes and Arnaud Sussman, and cellist Julie Albers, as well as ensembles including the Pacifica Quartet. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across the U.S. at venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, Sheldon Concert Hall, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Bard Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, and Spivey Hall.  He won the 2005 William Petschek Recital Award at Juilliard, and made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall that April. Also in 2005 he made his European debut in a recital at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center from 2002-2004, which included his appearance in the opening concert of the Society’s 2002-2003 season at Alice Tully Hall performing Ravel’s La Valse with pianist Shai Wosner.

Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Gilmore Young Artist Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Gina Bachauer Scholarship at the Juilliard School and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. A native of Lyndhurst, OH, Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, Sergei Babayan, Kathryn Brown, and Edith Reed. In February of 1999, Weiss made his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In March 1999, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Weiss stepped in to replace André Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He was immediately invited to return to the Orchestra for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in October 1999. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.

Date & Venue

Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 4pm
Saint Anthony Park United Church of Christ

Join us at 3pm in the church for a pre-concert talk with the artists.

Concert length is estimated to be 2 hours with one intermission.

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Janáček – Pohádka (Fairy Tale)
Poulenc – Sonata for Cello and Piano


Beethoven – Twelve Variations on “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen,” Opus 66
Grieg – Sonata for Cello and Piano

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There's no doubt that Albers has much to offer, as she consistently drew elegant and well-controlled tones from her instrument. Her cultivated vibrato gave her sound a gossamer gloss, and from a technical standpoint, Albers displayed a complete mastery of the many obstacles put in her way—all with a determined, focused stage presence.


When you’re named after one of the biggest constellations in the night sky, the pressure is on to display a little star power — and the young pianist Orion Weiss did exactly that…

The Washington Post