Ardente String Quartet & Trio Primavera

August 22, 2020, 11:00 am

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(Left to right) Ardente String Quartet: Ruth Kim, Julie Kim, Ella Saputra, Haoming Song. Trio Primavera: Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, Esme Arias-Kim, Yerin Yang.

This Saturday, we’ve got the last two in our summer survey of chamber groups from major music schools: the Ardente String Quartet from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, and Trio Primavera from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. We also hear Zoom interviews with two members: violinist Ella Saputra and cellist Jan Vargas Nedvetsky.

Ardente String Quartet

The Ardente String Quartet is part of Midwest Young Artists Conservatory’s intensive chamber music program, coached by Dr. Allan Dennis and Robert Bassill. The members are 15-year-olds Ella Saputra and Ruth Kim on violins, 15-year-old Julie Kim on viola, and 16-year-old Haoming Song on cello. Ella, Ruth, and Julie are students of Desirée Ruhstrat, and Haoming is a student of Hans Jørgen Jensen. They received an Honorable Mention at the 2020 Midwest National Chamber Music Competition, and reached the finals of the 2020 St. Paul String Quartet Competition where they received the Audience Prize.

Ella Saputra has received prizes and awards from the Sejong Music Competition and the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius, among others. She is a fellow of Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative. Ella made her orchestra soloist debut in violin with the MYAC Concert Orchestra as a winner of the 2017 Walgreens Concerto Competition, and made her viola debut with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago in the DePaul Concerto Festival. She attends J.B. Conant High School in Hoffman Estates.

Ruth Kim and Julie Kim are between their freshman and sophomore years at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Ruth has performed as a soloist with the MYAC Concert Orchestra, and besides violin Ruth likes being with friends, studying in the field of veterinary medicine, and cuddling with her dog Chocopie. Julie is a member of the MYAC Symphony Orchestra, plays field hockey, and is involved in Catalyst.

Haoming Song has been playing cello for approximately 9 years, and currently studies with professor Hans Jørgen Jensen at Northwestern University. He is currently the Principal Cello of the MYAC Symphony Orchestra. He has previously appeared on Introductions on piano, winning first prize in the Junior Division of the Chicago National Competition for Piano Duos in 2017. Haoming has just started his senior year at Adlai E. Stevenson High School.

Trio Primavera

Formed in September 2019 at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, Trio Primavera features 17-year-old pianist Yerin Yang, 14-year-old violinist Esme Arias-Kim, and 13-year-old cellist Jan Vargas Nedvetsky. Coached by the artist faculty members Rodolfo Vieira and Mark George, the group represents cultural diversity in music, blending Korean, Chilean, Colombian and Russian cultures and temperaments. Trio Primavera’s inaugural performance took place at Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall in December 2019, and they reached the semi-finals of the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Yerin Yang has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as winner of the 2018 Crain-Maling Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, as well as with the South Carolina Philharmonic and Pasadena Symphony. She has appeared on Introductions previously: giving live solo recitals in June 2016 and May 2019, and with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 2018.

Esme Arias-Kim won First Prize in the 2020 Sphinx Competition and the 2020 Fox Valley Symphony Concerto Competition, and is a winner of the 2020 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions. She has previously appeared on Introductions as a winner in the DePaul Concerto Festival in 2016, and with her sister Claire Arias-Kim in May 2020 after being featured on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. She has been offered her own solo recital on Introductions once studio sessions resume.

Jan Vargas Nedvetsky has performed solo recitals in Paris and Moulin d’Ande, France, and received awards in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the DePaul Concerto Festival, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions and the Society of American Musicians Competition. During the COVID-19 lockdown, he’s produced collaborative videos with performer friends from the Chicago area and beyond. He has been accepted as a Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative fellow for the 2020-21 year.

Video: What a Wonderful World Community Project, created by Jan Vargas Nedvetsky & Natalie Vargas Nedvetsky, featuring musicians from around the world. Video & audio: Rob Waller.

Video: Robert Schumann’s Träumerei. Video created by Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, edited by Isabel Chen, featuring the 2019-2020 fellows of the Music Institute of Chicago Academy.