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Program TBD

SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 3:00

Program TBD


The winner of the Second Prize at the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Competition and the 2015 William Petschek Recital Debut Award from The Juilliard School, pianist Henry Kramer is establishing himself as one of the most exciting American musicians of his generation. His performances have been praised by critics as “triumphant” and “thrilling” (The New York Times), and “technically effortless” (La Presse, Montreal). After his Philadelphia recital debut, Peter Dobrin of the Philadelphia Inquirer deemed Henry,

”…a pianist of enormous talent…[he] personalized interpretations to such a degree that works emerged anew. He is a big personality.”
-Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer


Henry has been invited to play with orchestras across the globe including the National Belgian Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, Turkey, the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Montreal, and the Yale Philharmonia.  He has soloed under the batons of preeminent conductors Marin Alsop, Jan Pascal Tortelier, and Stéphane Dénève. In recent seasons, Mr. Kramer was featured in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the National Orchestra of Belgium and Hans Graf, in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in the Dominican Republic, Ravel's Concerto in G with Gerard Schwarz and the Indianapolis Symphony, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Symphony in C.


Mr. Kramer has been a guest performer in recitals at Portland Piano International (Oregon), The Cliburn Foundation, and the National Chopin Foundation in Miami and in important venues like Carnegie Hall in NY, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Queen Elizabeth Hall in Antwerp (Belgium) and BOZAR in Brussels.  Deeply committed to the chamber music repertoire, he has been featured in performances at Lincoln Center, and has participated in the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest, Music@Menlo’s International Program, and the Verbier Festival Academy, where he was awarded the Tabor Prize in piano. He appeared on Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute tour, which included performances at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and New York’s Morgan Library, as well as an unprecedented appearance in Havana, Cuba, as a cultural ambassador. This past summer, Mr. Kramer performed in the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Resonance Festival dedicated to the works of Schubert and also at the Salon Chamber Music Festival in Provence where he shared the stage with prominent members of the Berlin Philharmonic including Emmanuel Pahud and Daishin Kashimoto.


Dr. Kramer holds both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School and an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music where he received the Charles S. Miller Prize for the most outstanding first-year pianist. In 2018, he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music.  He has been the Iva Dee Hiatt Visiting Artist in piano at Smith College and also served as Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Dance and Music. His musical mentors have included Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, and Boris Berman. Henry's first commercial recording dedicated to the Oratorio Transcriptions of Liszt was recently released on the NAXOS label.  Since August of 2018, Dr. Kramer holds the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.

This is Henry's second season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.


Since winning the First Prize of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1985, violinist Nai-Yuan Hu has appeared on many of the world’s stages, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and other major venues in Europe, North and South Americas and Asia.  In praise of his playing, BBC Music Magazine wrote, “Taiwanese violinist Nai-Yuan Hu is an awesomely capable performer whose technical facility, musical intelligence and unfaltering verve place him among the higher echelons of today’s string virtuosi.

Mr. Hu’s solo engagements include appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, Toronto Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Netherland and Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestras, Belgian National Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille in France, Haifa Symphony, Austro-Hungarian Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Taiwan’s NSO, China and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras and others.  He has collaborated with such conductors as George Cleve, Adam Fischer, Leon Fleisher, Gunther Herbig, Emmanuel Krivine, Jahja Ling, Shao-Chia Lu, Jean Bernard Pommier, Gerard Schwarz, Maxim Shostakovich, Hubert Soudant, and Yu Long among others.

As a recitalist, Mr. Hu performed in such venues as Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Casals Hall in Tokyo, and Jordan Hall in Boston where he premiered Bright Sheng’s “The Stream Flows” in 1990.  He has appeared either as guest soloist or chamber music artist in such festivals as Mostly Mozart, Marlboro, OK Mozart, Seattle, Grand Teton, Kirishima in Japan, and Beijing where he performed with Fou Ts’ong, Martha Argerich and Misha Maisky. 

Mr. Hu is Music Director of Taiwan Connection, a music festival he founded in his native homeland in 2004 to promote chamber music and music education.  A string orchestra consisting of young talented Taiwanese musicians was created in 2007 for the festival.  Two years later, a full complement of winds was incorporated to form the TC Chamber Orchestra, which performs in true chamber music fashion—always without a conductor.  The TC musicians have tackled such works as Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 3, 5, and 7; Brahms’ Fourth Symphony; and Schubert’s Great C Major Symphony to critical acclaim.

Mr. Hu’s recording of Goldmark’s Concerto and Bruch’s Concerto No. 2 with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony (released by Delos Music) garnered “Critics’ Choice” from Gramophone as well as praises from many publications including BBC Music Magazine, The Times of London, and The Washington Post.  He has also recorded for EMI Taiwan, Koch International, Sunrise, and Chi-Mei in Taiwan, playing on the Foundation’s Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù violins.

Mr. Hu has served on the jury of international competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium and the Seoul International Violin Competition in South Korea.  He has given master classes in music schools in America, Europe, and Asia.  Born in Taiwan, Mr. Hu began studying the violin at age five.  He arrived in the United States in 1972 to continue his studies with Broadus Erle and later with Joseph Silverstein.  He attended Indiana University where he studied with Josef Gingold and subsequently served as Mr. Gingold’s assistant.  He currently resides with his wife June Huang in New York City.    



Julian Rhee is quickly gaining recognition as an emerging artist and performer, praised for his “sophisticated, assured tone, superb intonation, and the kind of poise and showmanship that thrills audiences.” (The Strad) 

An avid soloist, Julian made his Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut at age 8, and has gone on to perform with orchestras including the Aspen Philharmonic, Wisconsin Philharmonic, San Jose Chamber, Avanti, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Eugene, Santa Rosa and Madison Symphony Orchestras. He has performed in an array of venues including Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, Heinz Hall, the Overture Center for the Arts, Teatro El Círculo in Rosario, Argentina, The Musikverein in Vienna, Bartok Hall in Hungary, New World Center, and the John F Kennedy Center. 

Julian is a winner of the 2021 Astral Artists’ National Auditions, and in January of 2020, was named the first prize winner of the Elmar Oliveira International Competition, where he was also awarded the special Community Engagement Award. A top prize winner of the Johansen and Klein International Competitions, Julian has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar and received his medal at the White House. 

A passionate chamber musician, Julian’s performance on violin and viola earned him and his String Quartet first prize in the A.N. & Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Music Competition, Rembrandt, Fischoff and the M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition. He has performed at and attended festivals including the Heifetz Institute, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Institute, Rockport Music, NorthShore Chamber Music Festival, and Pierce Hill Performing Arts. He has also appeared alongside Time for Three on NPR’s From The Top, Jupiter Chamber Players, 98.7 WFMT’s Introductions, Milwaukee Public Television, and Wisconsin Public Radio and Television.


Julian studied with Almita Vamos and Hye-Sun Lee at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory.

This is Julian's third season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.


Violist Tabitha Rhee is a gifted young violist currently pursuing a Masters of Music degree at the Juilliard School where she studies with Misha Amory and Roger Tapping as a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship.

Ms. Rhee was born in New York City and raised in  Wisconsin, commuting weekly to study at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy with Almita and Roland Vamos. During her pre-college years, she enjoyed her time as an active member of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster and Principal Violist. Following high school, she continued her studies at Juilliard as a Kovner Fellow, where she received her  Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Misha Amory and Heidi Castleman. 

Ms. Rhee is the winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition and has soloed with the  Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Peter Oundjian at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully  Hall. She has performed with The Juilliard Orchestra as a Principal Violist and has appeared on the concert stages of Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Wiener Musikverein, and Bela  Bartok Hall in Budapest. In addition, she has performed as a soloist with the Skokie Valley,  Madison, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras. As a young student, she was a recipient of the  Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship from the Musicians Club of Women in  Chicago and a founding member of the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, where she currently serves as Artistic Assistant and Mentor when she is home in Wisconsin. 

Tabitha has attended various prestigious music festivals such as the Music@Menlo International Program, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Winter Workshop, Verbier Festival Academy, Pierce Hill Performing Arts, Bravo! Vail, and Finckel-Wu Han Chamber Music Program at the Aspen Music Festival, where she was a New Horizons Fellow. She has worked closely with esteemed coaches such as Samuel Rhodes, Natasha Brofsky, Wu Han, and David Finckel, as well as masterclasses with Antoine Tamestit, Kim Kashkashian, Lawrence Power, and Nobuko Imai.

While a graduate student at Juilliard, Ms. Rhee has performed with the New York  Philharmonic as a substitute violist, the Death of Classical music series in collaboration with  Cantori New York, and the Apex Ensemble, formerly known as the Montclair Orchestra. She has participated in studio recording work for this year’s Michael Buble Christmas television show and the Don’t Worry Darling film, expected to release in the fall of 2022. She recently performed with the Wisconsin Philharmonic, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola with her brother Julian, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the New England Conservatory.

This is Ms Rhee's third season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.



Known for his “rich tone and lyrical acumen” (Chicago Tribune), violist Michael Isaac Strauss has performed around the world as a soloist, recitalist, in chamber music, and in symphonic settings. His love for the intimate concert setting has led to performances on concert series, live radio broadcasts, and festival appearances across Europe, North America, and Asia.


A former member of the distinguished Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss made several European and domestic tours with them, as well as a critically acclaimed recording of Mozart’s complete viola quintets on the Lyrinx label. He is a founding member of the new Indianapolis Quartet, in residence at the University of Indianapolis since 2016, where he also serves on the faculty. Strauss has also taught at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music since 2016 and is the violist for the Dana Trio, in residence at Youngstown State University.


Strauss’ solo work is featured on several CDs—the debut recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Sonata, David Finko’s Viola Concerto (re-released in 2015), Stamitz’s works for solo viola with orchestra (Centaur), and the Suzuki Viola School CDs, Volumes 8 and 9. He has also recorded chamber works by living composers with the Philadelphia-based Orchestra 2001, the complete string quintets by Mozart with the Fine Arts Quartet, and he recently released Wordless Verses (Naxos)—trio works inspired by poetry for oboe, viola, and piano with the Jackson Trio.


Strauss was principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 20 years and has served on the faculty of several prominent schools including Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and Swarthmore College. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. 


This is Strauss' fourth season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.

Michael performs on a Matteo Albani viola, Bolzano, Italy, ca. 1704.


Acclaimed cellist  Julian Schwarz  was born to a multigenerational musical family in 1991. Heralded from a young age as a cellist destined to rank among the greatest of the 21st century, Julian’s powerful tone, effortless virtuosity, and extraordinarily large color palette are hallmarks of his style. 

After making his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony and his father Gerard Schwarz on the podium, he made his US touring debut with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Since being awarded first prize at the inaugural Schoenfeld International String Competition in 2013, he has led an active career as a soloist, performing with the symphony orchestras of Annapolis, Boise, Bozeman, Buffalo, Charlotte, Columbus, Des Moines, Hartford, Jacksonville, Louisville, Memphis, Modesto, Omaha, Puerto Rico, Richmond, Rochester, San Antonio, Sarasota, Seattle, Syracuse, Toledo, Tucson, Virginia, West Virginia, Wichita, and Winston-Salem, among others. Internationally, he made his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony, his Mexican debuts with the Boca del Rio Philharmonic in Veracruz and the Mexico City Philharmonic with frequent collaborator Jorge Mester, and his Hong Kong debut at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival. He has also appeared at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Verbier festival in Switzerland.


As a chamber musician, Mr. Schwarz performs extensively in recitals with pianist Marika Bournaki. In 2016 the Schwarz-Bournaki duo was awarded first prize at the inaugural Boulder International String Competition’s “The Art of Duo”, and subsequently embarked on an extensive 10-recital tour of China in March 2017. Mr. Schwarz is a founding member of the New York based Frisson Ensemble (a mixed nonet of winds and strings), and the Mile-End Trio with violinist Jeff Multer and Ms. Bournaki. He frequently performs at Bargemusic in Brooklyn with violinist Mark Peskanov, on the Frankly Music Series in Milwaukee with violinist Frank Almond, as a member of the Palladium Chamber Players in St Petersburg FL, and has appeared at the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival. In addition, he is the co-coordinator of chamber music at Eastern Music Festival, running programming for the Tuesday evening chamber music series.

Julian Schwarz is an ardent supporter of new music and has premiered concertos by Richard Danielpour and Samuel Jones (recorded with the All-Star Orchestra for public television in 2012, and subsequently released as a DVD on Naxos). In the 17-18 season, he gave the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s first Cello Concerto with a consortium of six orchestras. Other premieres include recital works by Paul Frucht, Scott Ordway, Jonathan Cziner, Gavin Fraser, Alex Weiser, Ofer Ben-Amots, and the US Premiere of Dobrinka Tabakova’s Cello Concerto. On record, he has recorded Bright Sheng’s “Northern Lights” for Naxos, the complete cello/piano works by Ernest Bloch for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, and an album of concertos with the Seattle Symphony.

A devoted teacher, Mr. Schwarz serves as Assistant Professor of Cello at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA) and on the artist faculty of New York University (NYU Steinhardt). He spends his summers teaching and performing at the Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC). Past faculty appointments include artist-in-residence at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia, Canada), faculty teaching assistant to Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School, and artist-in-residence at the pianoSonoma Festival.

Born in Seattle, WA, Mr. Schwarz studied at the Academy of Music Northwest and the Lakeside School. He continued to the Colburn School in Los Angeles under Ronald Leonard, and then moved to New York City to study with mentor Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School (BM 14, MM 16). Other influential teachers include the late David Tonkonogui, the late Toby Saks, Lynn Harrell, Neal Cary, and chamber music mentors Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Jonathan Feldman, Toby Appel, and Paul Coletti.


Julian plays a Neapolitan cello made by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743 and multiple American bows made by the late Paul Martin Siefried. He is an active contributor to Strings Magazine’s Artist Blog, edits cello editions for Carl Fischer Publishing, and sits on the music committee of the National Arts Club. A Pirastro artist, he endorses and plays the "Perpetual" medium and edition sets of cello strings. Julian also proudly endorses Melos Rosin.


Cellist Wyatt Sutherland is the former Principal Cellist of the Chamber Orchestras of Louisville, Oklahoma City, and Baltimore, and has performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic, Baton Rouge Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Yamagata Symphony Orchestra (Japan), and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  


He became interested in the cello after hearing the legendary cellist Janos Starker solo with the Louisville Orchestra. At age 9 he started cello studies with Guillermo Helguera at the University of Louisville String Academy, and upon graduating high school began studies with Starker at Indiana University's School of Music in Bloomington Indiana. Other cello mentors include Raya Garbousova, Susanna Onwood, Thaddeus Bryce and Yoshio Sato.


Wyatt has worked with Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Klaus Tennstedt, Gunther Schuller, David Zinman, Josef Gingold, Menahem Pressler, Louis Krasner, Juilliard String Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet. He was a Fellowship recipient at the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals, and a recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Scholarship, Gustav Golden Award, Mark Allen Everett Foundation Award, and the Phillips Petroleum Foundation Award. Wyatt performed the North American premiere of Yehudi Wyner's "De Novo" for Cello and Chamber Ensemble at the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival.

During the week Wyatt is a Technical Software Consultant with Industrial Logic, specializing in XP/Lean/Agile principles and practices, helping Fortune 100 companies improve their software development process. When Wyatt is not at the cello or coaching software organizations or working on a construction project he can be found experimenting in his kitchen whipping up something yummy for family and friends.

Wyatt has a deep passion for excellence in music, in 2018 he and his wife, Monika, founded Pierce Hill Performing Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission of providing scholarships for young musicians, in need of financial support to help reach their potential, for summer music camps and private lessons.

Wyatt resides in Viroqua in a renewable energy-efficient home he built with Monika and their four children.

This is Wyatt's fourth season at Pierce Hill Performing Arts.


Wyatt performs on a Gennaro Gagliano cello, Cremona, Italy, ca. 1750.


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