Alumni as featured on Chicago Tonight

May 2, 2020, 11:00 am

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Claire Arias-Kim, 18 and Esme Arias-Kim, 14. Credit: WTTW.

This weekend, we look to a couple of stories filed by our colleagues down the stairs and down the hall: the TV journalists who work for Chicago Tonight on WTTW Channel 11. They checked in with students and alumni of the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. We hear those stories, plus a selection of archival recordings from the Introductions vault.

Claire Arias-Kim, 18, violin and Esme Arias-Kim, 14, violin

Producer Marc Vitali visited the Hoffman Estates home of sisters Claire Arias-Kim and Esme Arias-Kim to see how they’re keeping up violin practice amid the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Claire performed live on Introductions last year as a high school senior, and is now a freshman at the Juilliard School in New York studying with Li Lin.

Esme is a Merit Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, studying violin with Almita Vamos. She recently won the Junior Division of the 2020 Sphinx Competition in Detroit (video of her performance here), and as a result she has been invited to give a live solo recital on Introductions in September. She is also a member of the Primavera Piano Trio, currently quarterfinalists in the now-virtual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Video: Music Institute of Chicago alumna Claire Arias-Kim, and MIC students Esme Arias-Kim and Evan Mueller, on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.

Video: Claire & Esme Arias-Kim perform the Prelude from Five Pieces for two violins and piano, by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Cameron Chiu, 18, cello

Arts Reporter Angel Idowu spoke to cellist Cameron Chiu of Palatine, who studies with Horacio Contreras at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. Cameron and fellow MIC Academy cellist Brandon Cheng created “The Swan Project“, a moving collaboration with 22 other cellists from around the world all performing “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saëns. In its first month online, it gained over 160,000 YouTube views. Cameron was subsequently invited to appear on From the Top on NPR, self-taping a Bach cello suite movement for their “Blanket Fort” episode. Cameron is also a member of the Gemini String Quartet, currently quarterfinalists in the Fischoff competition.

Video: Angel Idowu profiles Cameron Chiu and The Swan Project for WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.

Video: The Swan Project.