Helios Trio

June 10, 2021 • 7:30 p.m.
Wheeler Concert Hall, Casper College

Wyoming Music Teachers Assoc. & ARTCORE present
John Fadial, violin; Beth Vanderborgh, cello; Chi-Chen Wu, piano
Including the debut of Douglas McConnell's "While I Run this Race"
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 7::00 p.m., $10 Admission
Wheeler Concert Hall, Casper College

The Helios Trio is a dynamic ensemble comprised of artist faculty from the University of Wyoming. Their rich and diverse backgrounds as performers combine to produce probing and passionate interpretations of the great piano trio repertoire, and have brought them international acclaim. In addition to their work throughout Wyoming and the mountain west, Helios has been recently engaged as Artists in Residence for the Music For a Great Space series in North Carolina, and was the single United States representative ensemble invited to perform at the International Debussy Centennial Conference in Oviedo, Spain in 2018. Wu, Fadial, and Vanderborgh are dedicated to education and building audiences for the future, and are highly involved in musical outreach, bringing great music to rural areas, and into the schools throughout the great state of Wyoming.

Praised by Fanfare Magazine for her "astonishing" and "poetic piano playing" and "symphonic, expansive texture of breathless virtuosity" (Historical Keyboard Society), pianist Chi-Chen Wu has appeared as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, the Aspen Music Festival, Monadnock Music Festival, and the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Concert Series, among others. Her concerts have been broadcast on NPR's Simply Grand Concert Series and NPR-From The Top in Boston. Musicians and conductors with whom she has concertized include Karl-Heinz Steffens, Jonathan McPhee, Zuill Bailey, members of the Juilliard String Quartet, Takacs String Quartet, musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as New York Philharmonic. American Record Guide chooses her recording of Schumann duo sonatas as one of the top recordings, and recommends its reader to "Stick with Kremer and Argerich (Nov/Dec 1987) or DiEugenio and Wu (Sept/Oct 2015) for more enthusiastic performances."

Chi-Chen's newest album of Schumann Fantasie and Carnaval has won a silver medal in the Global Music Awards. Her recording of the complete Schumann sonatas for piano and violin received two gold medals from the same competition. It was also named in the Top 10 "Best Classical Recordings of 2015" by The Big City, New York. The highlights of the 2019-20 season include solo recitals in Europe, concert tours in Germany and China, and lectures as well as master classes in Taiwan.

At the age of eleven, violinist John Fadial performed as soloist for President Gerald Ford, and since has sustained a multifaceted international career as chamber musician, concertmaster, soloist and pedagogue. Equally at home performing in multiple styles, from the baroque to contemporary, his performances have been praised by the critics. "Sparkling Technique," (L'Est Republicain, France), "Wow! Great Stuff," (The Washington Post). Of Fadial's recording of the Complete Brahms Sonatas (Centaur, 2019), Peter Burwasser of Fanfare writes, "Rich tone and elegant phrasing...John Fadial gives us, dare I say, cleaner readings than those from Stern. 5 Stars: a fresh rendition by a pair of elegant artists...." "(Fadial) moves effortlessly among the composer's subtle moods, voicing sentiment, melancholy, wistfulness and joyful lyricism with utter naturalness...5 Stars: ...these could hardly be bettered" (Huntly Dent, Fanfare). Fadial was a Grammy semifinalist for the disc Where Does Love Go: Chamber Music of Mark Engebretsen (Innova 2007), and collaborates regularly with many of the world's leading musicians including Gerard Schwarz, Jennifer Higdon, and Libby Larsen. Fadial has given performances and master classes at prestigious institutions and universities around the globe, including recent engagements as Visiting Guest Artist at, Interlochen Arts Academy, the French National Conservatory of Nancy, France, and Beifan University in Yinchuan, China.

Cellist Beth Vanderborgh maintains a vigorous performing, teaching and recording career. She was top prizewinner of the Washington Society for Arts and Letters Cello Competition, as well as the Baltimore Chamber Awards. The Strad Magazine (London) praised her recent recording of the music of August Nolck as "Lyrical and technically accomplished...eloquent and persuasive", and the Classical Voice of North Carolina describes her playing as "Impeccable musicianship, rhythmic precision, technical expertise, and expansive, passionate musicianship. Gorgeous music, exquisitely performed, and I do not believe I have overdone the superlatives." Vanderborgh's recent recordings include discs of the Chamber Music of Gwyneth Walker for the Albany Label, and Chamber Music of Jennifer Higdon (in collaboration with the Pulitzer prizewinning composer) also for Albany. She continues to enjoy her activities as artist faculty of the Eastern Music Festival, Principal Cellist of the Cheyenne Symphony, and Principal Cellist of the Shenandoah Bach Festival.

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