Colombian-American Violinist Ray Shows is a complete musician with three decades of performances as 1st violin of the acclaimed Artaria String Quartet and as a solo recitalist. His sound “a wail of individuality” Ray has performed in major concert halls in New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, across the U.S. and in Europe. Winner of a prestigious McKnight Performing Artist Fellowship, Ray is a highly regarded chamber musician who has collaborated with renowned artists Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Eugene Drucker (Emerson Quartet), Paul Katz (Cleveland Quartet), and Raphael Hillyer (Juilliard Quartet) and has appeared on national television and radio broadcasts in both the U.S. and Canada. Ray is passionate about 20th century music and has recorded music of today’s leading composers, including Gunther Schuller, Augusta Read Thomas, Marjorie Merryman and Thomas Oboe Lee. A Teaching-Artist in Residence at the Tanglewood Institute, Ray has held positions at Boston College, Viterbo University, Florida State University and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory. Named MNSOTA Studio Teacher of the Year in 2010 his students are concerto soloists, scholarship recipients at renowned American music schools, are prizewinners at national competitions, and have appeared on National Public Radio’s From the Top. Shows received the coveted Director’s Award and graduated with distinction from Boston University and Florida State University in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Carl Flesch protégé Roman Totenberg and Galamian assistant Gerardo Ribeiro. Chamber Music studies were mentored by Eugene Lehner of the legendary Kolisch Quartet and by members of the Budapest, Juilliard, Emerson, Cleveland, LaSalle, Muir, and Colorado Quartets. Professor Shows is a member of the faculty of St. Olaf College where he teaches violin, viola and chamber music. He is honored to perform on a rare violin by Andrea Castagneri and violin bow by Pierre Simon.
John Jensen holds degrees from the University of Southern California and Occidental College. He works regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO, and is sought after as a collaborative pianist, playing with fine artists in concerts and music festivals across the country. He often appears on St. Paul Sunday Morning and A Prairie Home companion and has performed with artists such as Doc Severinson, Andy Williams, and Nancy Wilson. He is co-founder of Helios, a classical-jazz quartet, and is the pianist in a jazz-only quartet of musicians from the Twin Cities. His discography includes solo recordings of classical piano, jazz, ragtime music, and chamber music with various artists. He received a Grammy nomination, a Stereo Review “Record of Special Merit” award, and a “Record of the Year” citation from the Village Voice.
View the Frequently Asked Questions about the Courtroom Concerts.
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 has been awarded a McKnight Composer Fellowship, grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and was recently listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40. A resident of Saint Paul, she is adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, and was composer-in-residence with the Schubert Club from 2005-2017.