The Academy Orchestra performs an All-Vivaldi program featuring his Concerto for Strings in C minor, and the Concerto for 4 Violins in B minor with guest violnists Yuri Cho, DeAnn Letourneau, Brandon Buckmaster, and YAO Music Director, Yunior Lopez. The Young Artists Orchestra Symphony takes the stage with a feat of Russian music including Shostakovich’s Waltz no. 2 from the movie Eyes Wide Shut, segments of his Symphony no. 8, and Borodin’s popular Polevtsian Dances.
Yuri Cho, violin
A versatile violinist, Ms. Yuri Cho gave her first performance at age 10 at the winner’s concert of Korean Newspaper Music Competition in Seoul. Since entering the Menuhin School, she had the rare honor to perform the Brahms sextet with Lord Menuhin in Buckingham Palace at age 15 and was selected as a soloist and a Concertmaster of the Yehudi Menuhin Orchestra in the 1993 Europe tour with Lord Menuhin conducting.
Since then, her engagements have taken her throughout England, Europe, and Korea with orchestras such as the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Beethoven Society Orchestra, the Redhill Symphony Orchestra, the Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Menuhin School Orchestra. As a recitalist, she was presented in Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Hall, Barbican Center, and in cathedrals, and churches throughout Europe and England. In 2000, Cho was selected and presented by the Eastman School of Music to play a New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall sponsored by the Messenger foundation.
Cho has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors. They include: first prize of the Han-Kook Violin Competition, sponsored by the Korea Times Newspaper, Ewha & Kyunghyang Concour, Surrey Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Yong Performing Artist Series’ Recital in Seoul Korea, the Young San Art Hall Recital Series sponsored by The Music Critics Association of Korea, the winner of the Louis Peskai Competition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, winner of the Redhill Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and winner of the prestigious Eastman School of Music Performer’s Certificate, to win in the same year the Eastman Concerto Competition performing Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with the Eastman Symphony Orchestra.
Cho began her musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School. She also earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music. She has completed all of her coursework for Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where she was also a teaching assistant of Zvi Zeitlin, Distinguished Professor of Violin. From 2010–2011, she was a lecturer at the Myung Ji University and Kook Min University in Seoul, Korea.
DeAnn Letourneau, violin
De Ann Letourneau is the Concertmaster of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, one of the few female Concertmasters in the US. She is a powerfully warm and emotionally charged violinist with a unique ability to relate her love of music to all audience members. The Las Vegas Review Journal said, “…She performed not only impeccably but with an exuberant sense of joy.” The Duluth News Tribune said “…her performance was sensationally vibrant from beginning to end.”
She is a native of Superior Wisconsin where she began studying at age 14, and very quickly became noted as one of the up and coming Young Artists through several National Young Artists Competitions. She has appeared as guest artist with many orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, National Arts Chamber Orchestra (Chicago), Duluth-Superior Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, Contemporary Arts Ensemble of Ohio, St. Martin Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, the Lake Superior Chamber Symphony and the Henderson Symphony. She has also been heard on several TV and Radio interviews and concerts including: KNPR FM, National Public Radio (Las Vegas and Minneapolis), WQXR FM New York and Wisconsin Public Radio and of course our own Fox 5, Morning Blend and PBS stations.
In Las Vegas, she is and has been instrumental in much of the progression of the Fine Arts culture. Her enthusiasm and dedication to cultivating the Arts and Youth in Las Vegas earned her the honor as the first ever recipient of the “Woman of Distinction Award in the Performing Arts”, the Congressional Certificate of Achievement, a Proclamation from the City of Las Vegas, A Certificate of Achievement from the Senate all for her work with the Arts and Youth in Las Vegas. In March 2012, she was inducted into the Superior Academic Hall of Fame with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” because of her dedication to working with young people and community arts growth. Next to performing, coaching young artists and inspiring young people through music is a true passion. She regularly visits CCSD schools with her violin and some friends. She has a private studio with students, college students and professionals from around multiple States to come have regular lessons to help prepare their auditions for Competition, College Admissions and Professional Symphonic Jobs.
De Ann has always been fortunate in working with some the best coaches and pedagogues over many years. She has brought those experiences into her private studio and as a teacher and coach, where she shares that knowledge and passion with new young performers.
She attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior with Diane Balko, UW-Milwaukee with Efim Boico & the Fine Arts Quartet in their Chamber Program, and finally finishing at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music to study with Dorothy DeLay (Juilliard, CCM) & Kurt Sassmanshaus (CCM, Aspen). She has also had the opportunity to study with some other great violin pedagogues at various times such as Josef Gingold (Indiana University), Jascha Brodsky (Curtis) & David Cerone (Cleveland Institute).
De Ann lives in Summerlin with her husband Scott, The Business Formation Expert, and their 3 beautiful and talented daughters, Grace 16, Rose 13 & Faith 11(cant forget their 2 dogs: Tashi and Lady) 😉
Brandon Buckmaster, violin
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1986, Mr. Buckmaster began his violin studies at the Suzuki Violin Institute of the University of Evansville in 1991. His instructors quickly recognized in Mr. Buckmaster a remarkable musical temperament. Noted for his his exceptional talent, Mr. Buckmaster several years later was awarded a music scholarship after winning a regional concerto competition in Southwestern Indiana. In the following summers of 2001 and 2002 he attended the Interlochen Summer Arts Academy. It was there in Northern Michigan he dedicated himself to mastering the violin after being deeply moved performing the Fourth Symphony of Brahms with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. He was eventually one of the few selected among several applicants to be mentored by William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. Observing Mr. Buckmaster’s extraordinary ability and potential, Mr. Preucil recommended him to the violin studio of internationally acclaimed Professor Mauricio Fuks, a highly sought after pedagogue at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University. The following winter, accepted as the youngest student under the tutelage of Mr. Fuks, Mr. Buckmaster commenced studies
with the professor through the remainder of his high school studies. After accepting an invitation to attend the Royal Conservatory of Music, Mr. Buckmaster began his formal studies in Canada as an international student. A few years later he moved to New
York City after deciding to transfer to the Manhattan School of Music. As a concertmaster Mr. Buckmaster was featured, perhaps most notably, in a limited engagement with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in the production of the opera “La Campana Sommersa” by Ottorino Respigghi. And as a featured soloist, he has collaborated with the Evansville Philharmonic, UNC Charlotte Orchestra, The Orchestra of Central Piedmont College and the Peabody Conductor’s Orchestra in a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto.
Mr. Buckmaster played an integral part in the 2012 North American premiere of the “Violins of Hope”, now memorialized as a PBS documentary. In this unique concert series, Mr. Buckmaster joined the Charlotte Symphony as a section violinist, and as a soloist he performed traditional Yiddish folk songs transcribed for violin and orchestra. It was an extraordinary honor for him to have had the opportunity performing on one of the very few violins recovered from the Holocaust concentration camps of World War II. Because of the extraordinary interest in the Violins of Hope from national news outlets, Mr. Buckmaster was noted and pictured in stories featured in The Hufffington Post, NPR News, Yahoo! News and Good Morning America. Soon after that, Mr. Buckmaster accepted an invitation to present a violin recital on behalf of the Violins of Hope organization in an intimate and exclusive performance in Canada for patrons of Musée de l’Holocauste Montréal.
Mr. Buckmaster holds a Masters in Music degree from the internationally renowned Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor in Music Performance and was unanimously voted alumni of the year by the faculty of the
College of Arts and Architecture.
Yunior Lopez, violin
For more information about Mr. Lopez, please visit his page at Founder and Music Director