A Little Bit of LA in Riverside
On Sunday, November 15, a quartet of classical musicians and members of the LA Phil will grace the newly renovated Hole Memorial Auditorium with a wonderful chamber music concert. Jin-Shan Dai (violin), Jason Uyeyama ( violin), Ben Ullery (viola), and Tao Ni (cello) will be giving the first concert in the chamber music series of the 2015-2016 academic year.
About the Performers
Dynamic violinist JIN-SHAN DAI has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the beginning of the 2010/11 season. Previously, he was a member of the Toronto Symphony from 2004 to 2010, and made his debut as a soloist with that orchestra in 2008 playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. A native of China, Dai studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing before moving to the U.S. at the age of 17 to continue his studies with Julia Bushkova, Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer, Ani Kavafian, and Peter Oundjian. He was also greatly influenced by Paul Kantor and Kathleen Winkler.
Dai is the recipient of numerous prizes and accolades, among them top prizes in the 2000 Emerson International Chamber Music Competition and the 2000 Van Rooy National Violin Competition. Dai performs frequently as a chamber musician, and has collaborated with such artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Lowell Liebermann, and members of the Emerson String Quartet. His chamber music performances have brought him to the Taos Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, as well as the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. At home in Los Angeles, Dai frequently appears in the Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Society and Green Umbrella new music series.
Dai is a strong believer in the transformative power of music. He began his outreach efforts in Toronto with the Bach Consort ensemble, a charity organization that performs exclusively works by J.S. Bach to raise money for charities that provide scholarships for students and money for hospitals. Here in Los Angeles, he is proud to participate in Street Symphony, a non-profit organization that actively brings live classical music outreach concerts to the underserved mentally ill living within homeless, incarcerated, and veteran communities on Skid Row and throughout Los Angeles.
Dai has held leading positions in festival orchestras such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany; the Jerusalem International Music Festival in Israel; and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He was also a member of the New Haven Symphony and the Hartford Symphony in Connecticut. Dai performs annually as part of the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra, a performance-focused festival orchestra that promotes harmony and friendship through music among Asian countries and the world.
JASON UYEYAMA is Associate Professor of Music and Director of String Studies at La Sierra University, where he teaches violin and chamber music. He is also founder and director of the Orange County String Studio, located in Irvine, CA. He holds a Master's degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with Masao Kawasaki. Previous teachers include Itzhak Perlman, Dorothy DeLay, and Yao-Ji Lin.
Mr. Uyeyama continues to lead an active career as recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist. He has performed regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2005, and has performed with the Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Festival appearances include Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, Festicamara in Medellin, Colombia, as well as the festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, and Taos.
Students of Mr. Uyeyama have been accepted to The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, The Colburn School of Performing Arts, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and the Mannes School of Music. His students have also been accepted to numerous summer festivals including Aspen, Music Academy of the West, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Montecito International Summer Music Festival.
An advocate of community outreach, Mr. Uyeyama has been Music Director of Community Kids Connection in San Bernardino, CA since 2008. Through this program, he has given free violin lessons to underserved children and performances for local hospitals and charity events.
BEN ULLERY is Assistant Principal Viola of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a position he has held since 2012. Prior to moving to L.A. he spent three seasons as a member of the Minnesota Orchestra. He has also performed frequently with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as Guest Principal Viola of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Ullery has been featured recently in chamber music performances on NPR’s Performance Today as well as local broadcasts on K-USC in Los Angeles and Minnesota Public Radio. He has recorded chamber works for Bridge and Albany records.
Recent summer festival appearances include the Grand Teton and Mozaic festivals and Music in the Vineyards. He has also attended the Aspen, Taos, and Tanglewood festivals and performed as concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.
Ullery is a faculty member at the Colburn School where he teaches orchestral repertoire and coaches the Colburn Orchestra’s viola section. His students have gone on to hold positions in major orchestras in the US and Europe.
Ullery is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied violin with Gregory Fulkerson and received numerous honors upon graduation. He later attended New England Conservatory and the Colburn School, studying with James Buswell and Paul Coletti, respectively. He has also studied chamber music with members of the Guarneri, Takács, Vermeer, Borromeo, Miro, and St. Petersburg quartets.
TAO NI was born in Beng Bu, An Jui Province, China. He began his cello studies with his father at the age of eight and a year later he was enrolled in the Shanghai Conservatory Preparatory Division, where he studied with Professor Liu Mei Juan. Tao Ni made his first visit to North America in 1996 attending summer music workshops at Indiana University (Bloomington) and the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. He came as a student to the first Morning side Music Bridge in 1997, and stayed at Mount Royal College Conservatory studying with John Kadz. His other teachers include Laurence Lesser, Timothy Eddy, and most recent, Ronald Leonard at the Colburn School. Tao was also a participant in various festivals including Meadowmount, Ravinia Festival (Steans Institute for Young Artist), and the New York String Seminar in Carnegie Hall.
Ni has had much success in competition, including winning the Johannsen String Competition, the Pasadena Showcase Competition, the Hudson Valley Competition, and the new England Conservatory Concerto Competition, as well as getting top prizes at the Tchaikovsky Competition for young musicians, the Kingsville Competition, the Klein String Competition, the Corpus Christi Concerto Competition, and the Hams Competition.
He has soloed with many orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Arlington Symphony, the Brockton Symphony, the Concord Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Sendai Orchestra, the Shanghai Opera, the Colburn Orchestra, and the Calgary Youth Orchestra, among many others. As an experienced chamber musicians, Ni has collaborated with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Joseph Silverstein, Ani Kavafian, Anton Kuerti, Kim Kashkashian, James Dunham, Donald Weilerstein, Frank Cohen, Miriam Fried, and Robert Chan.
Other performing highlights include playing for Jiang Zemin, the President of China, in Calgary; playing in recital at The Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C.; being featured in a national CBC radio broadcast as part of the Mount Royal College 90th Anniversary Series; and performing a hip-hop arrangement of Vivaldi’s A-minor Cello Concerto with members of the Boston University Orchestra. He was featured in Canada’s National Post newspaper as a “Leader of Tomorrow.”
Tao Ni was previously a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in March 2012.