BRIAN GRONER, conductor – Brian Groner is Music Director of the Fox Valley Symphony in Wisconsin. He is also the music director of the Harper Symphony Orchestra in Illinois and serves as a faculty member of Northeastern University.
As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the Shenzhen Symphony in China, the San Diego Symphony, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. He also has conducted for the Moscow Classical Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Nashville Ballet, Butler Ballet and the Blair Ballet.
Mr. Groner’s concerts have been broadcast by National Public Radio in the United States and as a champion of new music, he has conducted the world premiers of works of more than twenty American composers.
His advanced degree in conducting is from Northern Illinois University in collaboration with Northwestern University under the guidance of Victor Yampolski.
MYKOLA SUK, piano - Mykola Suk’s international career has spanned four continents from the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. He has appeared as soloist with numerous leading orchestras from the Russian National Symphony to the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, and has collaborated with many outstanding conductors: Mikhail Pletnev, Janos Ferencik, Arvid Jansons, James DePriest and Carl St. Clair. Mr. Suk’s interviews, live performances, and CD recordings have been broadcast throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia on prominent radio stations and broadcast systems such as WQXR and WNYC, New York; WFMT, Chicago, and WGBH, Boston.
KEVIN CASE, violin: The Festival’s concert master, Kevin Case performs frequently in Chicago as a soloist, chamber musician, and as concertmaster with many other ensembles including Music of the Baroque and Ars Viva. He has served as concertmaster of the Memphis Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony, and the Dallas Opera, and also has been featured as soloist with orchestras throughout North America and Canada.
Mr. Case received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he was the teaching assistant to the renowned violinist Zvi Zeitlin.
Now an attorney as well as a violinist, he is the founder and principal of Case Arts Law LLC, a boutique law firm catering to the needs of classical musicians and other performing artists.
NAZAR DZHURYN, cello: A native of Lviv, Ukrain, Nazar Dzhuryn received his degrees from the Lviv Music School and Moscow Conservatory where he subsequently spent two years as an Assistant Professor of Cello. He has performed in solo recitals throughout Russian, Ukraine, South America, Europe, Africa and the United States.
An active Chamber Musician in the Chicago area, he also maintains private teaching studios, is assistant principal cellist of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and serves on the music faculties of Northeastern University, Elgin Community College and Naperville’s School for the Performing Arts. As principal cellist of the Festival, Nazar was featured during the 2013 season as soloist with the orchestra in Haydn’s C Major Cello Concerto.
IGOR GRUPPMAN, violinist and conductor
Mr. Gruppman has collaborated with and been influenced by important conductors: George Solti, Valery Gergiev, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle and Bernard Haitink.
He sometimes shares the podium with Maestro Gergiev, and in 2009, he was invited by him to conduct the Mariinsky Stradavari Orchestra on a tour of Asia. In that part of the world, he also has been invited for solo and conducting engagements with the Tokyo NHK and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestras.
Mr. Gruppman appeared in an all-Mozart program at the De Doelen Great Hall in Rotterdam where in addition to conducting, he gave the Netherlands premier of Mozart’s recently reconstructed Concerto for Violin and Piano with pianist Ronald Brautigam. He has since been asked by the orchestra to conduct his own series of concerts, and was the conductor of the orchestra’s 2010 and 2011 proms series.
Igor Gruppman’s discography is extensive on the Naxos, Koch, and Video Artist International labels. He is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory where he studied with Leonid Kogan and Mstislav Rostropovich followed by studies with Jascha Heifetz in Los Angeles. He is now on the faculty of the Rotterdam Conservatory.
Recently Igor and his wife Vesna premiered Paul van Brugge’s Double Concerto for Violin and Viola with the Temple Square Orchestra, commissioned by the Dutch Performing Arts Foundation. In 1994 the Gruppman Duo won a Grammy Award for their recording of Malcolm Arnold’s Concerto for two violins which they performed at the Festival in 2012.
Mr. Gruppman plays the 1731 “Julles Garcin” Stradivarius violin generously provided by the Erasmus Foundation.
“An artist of vibrant instinct and disarmingly natural musicianship.” –
VESNA GRUPPMAN, violin and viola
Vesna Gruppman’s solo career began when she was a teenager. By the age of sixteen, she had performed as soloist with several ensembles including the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonic. She also received the First Prize at the Jaroslav Koci-n International Violin competition in Russia and was the first artist to win the National Violin Competition in her native Yugoslavia six times in a row.
A graduate of the Moscow Special School of Music, Ms. Gruppman received a doctorate in performance and pedagogy from the Moscow Conservatory where she studied with legendary teachers: David Oistrakh, Yuri Yankelevich and Igor Bezrody. As testimonial to an active performing schedule, Ms. Gruppman has appeared as soloist and chamber musician with the Dallas Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Concerto Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, London’s Beethoven Philharmonic Orchestra the Rotterdam Philharmonic Strings and Mariinsky Orchestra. Her recital appearances have taken place at Wigmore Hall and St. John’s Smith Square in London, the Hermitage Hall in Amsterdam, Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall and the Mozart Hall in Prague.
Ms. Gruppman’s solo and chamber music recordings have received generous reviews in international publications: Gramaphone, American Record Guide, Classical Disc Digest and The Strad Magazines. In 2009 Video Artists International featured Ms. Gruppman as a soloist and chamber musician. And in 2010 the Netherlands Performing Arts Foundation awarded a commission to Vesna and Igor Gruppman for composer Paul van Brugge’s concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra. The premier took place in March 2011 with the Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
During Vesna Gruppman’s 2013-2014 season, she was featured in recital and on chamber music tours of Asia and the United States and on a new DVD release for Video Artists International. She is a professor of Violin and Viola at the Rotterdam Conservatory, and she and her husband Igor are co-founders of the Gruppman International Institute.
“…drive and passion…deft balance, elegant phrasing and burnished shimmer…” – LA TIMES