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Please Note: This concert will be held in the Landmark Center Cortile (1st floor).
About the Artists:
Japanese Pianist Rie Tanaka and Finnish-American Cellist Jesse Nummelin met while studying at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. The language barrier challenged them to communicate verbally, but they bonded through playing Classical Music together, and have been performing together for the past 10 years. They appeared at regional concert series such as Schubert Club’s Courtroom Concert series, Green Lake Festival of Music, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Guest Artist recital, Hastings Arts Center’s Coffee Concert, Saint Paul Conservatory of Music’s Coffee Concert, among many. They have performed with guest musicians from Minnesota Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and many notable regional artists. Now a married couple, Jesse and Rie’s mission is to build bridges between people and cultures using the universal language of music. Their duo name “Ihana” is a Finnish word for “wonderful,” acknowledging Jesse’s three-quarter Finnish Heritage, while it could also mean “one flower” in Japanese. The name carries the meaning of two cultures coming together. Their most recent project is a multicultural program, titled “Folk Music of Classical Composers”. Featured composers are Sibelius, Copland, de Falla, Bartok, Mamiya, and Chopin. All of these composers are widely known for integrating the traditional folk music of their heritage into classical music, and bringing spotlights to the underrepresented cultures throughout Western Music history. The duo hopes to offer diverse and cross-cultural experience to the audience, and show how cultures, although different from one another, can speak to every one of us with a sense of belonging, comfort, and nostalgia.
Native of Osaka, Japan, pianist Rie Tanaka is a prize winner of international and national competitions in Japan and the U.S. She won top prizes in West Central MTNA Young Artist Competition, Schubert Club Competition, Chautauqua International Piano Competition, Rosenstock International Piano Competition, to name a few. Rie maintains a full concert schedule for solo and chamber performances. She has appeared in venues such as NHK Osaka hall, Phoenix hall in Osaka Japan, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (MN), Thrasher Opera House (WI), Landmark Center (MN), among others. She is a performing artist of the Thursday Musical Concert Series, Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series, Hastings Arts Center Coffee Concert Series, and the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music Coffee Concert Series. Rie attended the prestigious music special training school at Yuhigaoka High School in Osaka, Japan, which led to the musical tour in Vienna, Austria, performing in Wiener Musikverein. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point where she studied under a concert pianist Raffi Besalyan. She was a recipient of more than 15 scholarships and awards for her excellence in performance and academia. She received a Master’s and Doctor of Musical Art degrees in Piano Performance at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, studying under Alexander Braginsky and serving as a teaching assistant. Rie has a passion for educating musicians about performance injury and prevention. She is a RYT200 Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga teacher, and works with music teachers and students to promote healthy mind and body. In the past 4 years, she has led the original course, “Wellness for Musicians” at various summer festivals, including; Minnesota International Piano Camp, Saint Paul Chamber Music Institute, and Green Lake Chamber Music Camp. In her doctoral thesis, “Wellness for Musicians; Blueprint to Your Very Own Injury Prevention Course,” she introduces and explores injury preventative activities that can be taught by any music teachers. She has been featured as a guest lecturer at Universities and Music Teachers Associations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, and South Dakota. Rie is a piano faculty at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, and Mount Olivet School of Music.
Jesse Nummelin is a native of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He started Suzuki cello at age three with the Aber Suzuki Center for the Arts. Jesse went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in cello performance at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a Masters of Music at Arizona State, where he worked as Teaching Assistant to Professor Thomas Landschoot. Jesse is an avid chamber musician and teacher. He is the assistant principal of Cello of the Des Moines Symphony, section Cello at Duluth Superior Symphony and South Dakota Symphony. He has played with orchestras including Phoenix Symphony, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, Musica Nova, Tucson Pops and the Tucson Symphony. He has played with the CWSO scholarship quartet, premiered several compositions with string quartet at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix, AZ and has performed on the UWSP radio broadcast “Acoustic Revival.” He also made a series of Jazz recordings through the Foulger Institute with acclaimed artists Allison Eldredge and Tom Landschoot. Jesse has performed with notable artists including Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Pinchas Zukerman, Anne Akiko Meyers, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Curtis Stigers, the Juilliard String Quartet and John Williams. He has taught cello to people of all ages and backgrounds through various programs and private studios. He served as a faculty of cello at the Aber Suzuki Center for the Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2016. Jesse currently lives in St. Paul and teaches cello at the St. Paul Conservatory of Music, Mount Olivet School of Music, the Waldorf City of Lakes School and Music Connection in Forest Lake. Jesse’s teachers include Thomas Landschoot, Tom Rosenberg, Dr. Lawrence Leviton, Dr. Tim Mutschlecner, John Greiner, and Susan Bender.
About the Host:
Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe). With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie is also a two-time McKnight Artist Fellow, and has won grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and at age 31, was listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40. Abbie has been a Composer-in-Residence with New York State School Music Association, The Rose Ensemble, The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, and Schubert Club. In 2019, she will be the American Composers Forum’s ChoralQuest composer, visiting schools around the U.S. to write new choral music with middle school singers.
Originally from Wisconsin, Abbie is a graduate of St. Olaf College (B.A.), the University of Minnesota (M.A.), and holds a diplôme from the European American Musical Alliance Institute in Paris, France. She lives in Minnesota, where she is Adjunct Professor of Composition at Concordia University-St Paul and executive director of Justice Choir.
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Seating is limited and first come first served. Please plan on arriving early.
Schedule & Programs Subject to Change