The NIU Philharmonic, under the direction of conductor Lucia Matos, will present its first concert of the fall semester at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, located in the Music Building.
Selections on the program are Felix Mendelssohn’s “Overture to Die schone Melusine, Op. 32,” Robert Schumann’s “Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120,” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104,” with NIU School of Music cello professor Cheng-Hou Lee as soloist.
Lee was an assistant to Paul Katz for five years at both Rice University (master of music in chamber music) and New England Conservatory of Music, where he has completed all but his dissertation for the doctor of musical arts degree. He holds both the bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees in cello performance from the Juilliard School.
He joined the Avalon String Quartet in 2006. The quartet is in residence at NIU, a position formerly occupied by the distinguished Vermeer Quartet. As a part of their residency, the quartet members perform four programs annually in DeKalb and Chicago, and the members teach individual studios and coach chamber music at the school. This follows previous residencies at the Juilliard School and at Indiana University South Bend.
Lee has worked with Yo-Yo Ma, Harvey Shapiro, Janos Starker and Mistilav Rostropovich. He won the Chi-Mei Foundation Award for Outstanding Talents, a career grant from the Quanta Computer Education Foundation, and twice won the National Cello Competition in Taiwan. He has performed with Ruth Laredo, William Bolcom, the Omega Ensemble and the Boromeo and Miami quartets. He also has appeared at the Cape Cod, Newburyport and Ravinia Festivals, and on WQXR radio in New York City.
Brazilian-born NIU Philharmonic conductor Matos is also music director of the NIU Opera Workshop. She has appeared with numerous orchestras in the United States and abroad, and her first commercially distributed CD, with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, was released in 2007 by Cala Records.
Also intensively involved with opera, Lucia Matos has conducted several productions at Opera Illinois and was a semi-finalist at the 2007 Bela Bartok International Opera Conducting Competition. She studied conducting with Henrique Gregori at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas and, after graduating, was assistant conductor for two professional orchestras in Brazil (Sinfonica Municipal de Campinas and Orquestra da UNICAMP).
In 1998, Matos was awarded a fellowship to continue her studies in the United States. She received a master of music and doctor of musical arts from the University of Iowa, studying with William LaRue Jones. From 2003 to 2008, Lucia she was the orchestra director at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
For more information, contact Lynn Slater at (815) 753-1546 or [email protected].