Geneva Lewis and Renana Gutman

July 18, 2018, 12:15 pm

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New Zealand born violinist Geneva Lewis is joined by collaborative pianist Renana Gutman to perform works of Mozart and Wieniawski live under the Tiffany glass dome at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, 20-year-old Geneva Lewis has performed as a chamber musician and soloist throughout the United States and Europe. She has been a member of many prize-winning ensembles, and is a current member of the Ravos Quartet, which was selected as a New England Conservatory Honors Ensemble 2016/17. She is also a current member of the Callisto Trio, which was the recipient of the Bronze Medal in the senior division at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, as the youngest group ever to compete in the finals. Most recently, the Callisto Trio was invited to participate in the Masters on Tour series of the International Holland Music Sessions, during which they will perform in such locations as the Philharmonic Bratislava and the Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Geneva will be entering her third year of studies at the New England Conservatory, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance, where she is a student of Miriam Fried. She has been the recipient of a number of solo and chamber music awards, including first prizes at YoungArts, the Music Center Spotlight Awards, ENKOR, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, St. Paul’s String Quartet Competition, and the M-Prize, among others. As a soloist, she has performed with the Pasadena Symphony, Pasadena Pops, Diablo Symphony Orchestra, Culver City Symphony, Sierra Summer Festival Orchestra, Brentwood Westwood Symphony Orchestra, and Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Praised by the New York Times for her “passionate and insightful” playing, Renana Gutman has performed across four continents as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and collaborative artist. She played at venues like The Louvre Museum, Grenoble Museum, (France), Carnegie Recital Hall, People’s Symphony Concerts, Merkin Hall (New York), St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia (Russia), Stresa Music Festival (Italy), Ravinia Rising Stars (Chicago), Jordan Hall, Gardner Museum (Boston), Herbst Theatre (St. Francisco), Menuhin Hall (UK), UNISA (South Africa), Marlboro (VT), and National Gallery, Phillips Collection, and Freer Gallery (Washington DC). Her performances are heard frequently on WQXR Young Artists Showcase, NY, WFMT Dame Myra Hess, Chicago, and MPR Performances Today, MN.

Renana was one of four young pianists selected by the renowned Leon Fleisher to participate in his workshop on Beethoven piano sonatas hosted by Carnegie Hall, where she presented performances of “Hammerklavier” and “Appassionata” to critical acclaim. Her recording of Chopin etudes op. 25 will be released in 2018 by “The Chopin Project”. A top prize winner at Los Angeles Liszt competition, International Keyboard Festival in New York, and Tel-Hai International Master Classes, she performed concerti such as Brahms 2nd, Rachmaninoff-Paganini Variations, and Beethoven’s “Emperor” with the Jerusalem Symphony, Haifa Symphony, Belgian “I Fiamminghi”, and Mannes College Orchestra. Her festival appearances included Marlboro and Ravinia, where she collaborated with prominent musicians such as pianist Richard Goode, clarinetist Anthony McGill and members of the Guarneri string quartet, to name a few.

High in demand as a chamber musician, Renana toured with “Musicians from Marlboro”, and serves regularly as the collaborative pianist of Steans Institute at Ravinia Festival, where she performs chamber music and lieder extensively. In recent seasons she performed chamber music with violist Kim Kashkashian, violinist Miriam Fried, and clarinetist Charles Neidich. She tours regularly with violinist Alexi Kenney, winner of the Avery Fisher Grant.

Renana premiered newly commissioned music by Paul Schoenfield, Tamar Muskal, Judith Zaimont, and other living composers. As a member of “Echoes of Hope” project, she is also dedicated to performing obscure pieces by Jewish composers who perished in the Holocaust; Erwin Schulhoff, Viktor Ullmann, and others. A former founder of the piano trio “Terzetto”, Renana won first Prize at the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, Ohio, and performed Beethoven Triple Concerto with Lansing Symphony. The trio was featured at “Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival”, the Banff Center, Canada, Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, North Carolina and Saugatuck Music Festival, Michigan.

From 2008-2010, Renana had been on the piano faculty of the Yehudi Menuhin Music School in the UK, alongside prof. Marcel Baudet. She currently teaches at 92nd Street Y, and Bard College Preparatory in NY. A native of Israel, Renana started playing at the age of six, and soon after, garnered multiple awards and honors. She received scholarships from the America Israel Cultural Foundation, and the Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women. She completed her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at Mannes College of Music, NY, where she studied with Richard Goode. In Israel, her teachers were pianists Natasha Tadson, Viktor Derevianko, and the Israeli composer Arie Shapira.

Renana became an American citizen in 2015 and makes her home in NYC. She also pursues her passion for Argentinian Tango, languages, and poetry.


Biographies provided courtesy of IMF Chicago

  • Violin Sonata in F Major, K. 377, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Temo con variazioni. Andante
    Tempo di menuetto, un poco allegretto

  • Fantasia on Themes from Gounod’s ‘Faust’ by Henryk Wieniawski