Musicians - Beautiful string music for any occasion serving the Chicago area

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Meet some of our musicians:

Kelvin Lin - violin

The violinist Kelvin Lin is a former first prize competition winner of National Violin Competition and a prize winner of the Henri Wieniawski International Competition. Born in Shanghai, China, Lin made his concert debut at age 12 performing Felix Mendelssohn’s violin concerto with the London Symphony in Hong Kong, and also performed at Jimmy Carter’s welcome ceremony 1979 in Beijing, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in a nationally televised live concert with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in HK, which drew attention of the world renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin. In 1994, Lin made his North American debut with the Michigan Symphony orchestra, earning two nights of standing ovations for his performance of Bruch Violin Concerto. Lin has been a frequent soloist at the Chicago Music Festival with Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman under Maestro Sir Georg Solti and Pierre Boulez. Since making Chicago his home in 1991, Lin has performed as soloist with “The Chicago” at Navy Pier opening night, performing “Unforgettable” with Natalie Cole in July, 1997. He twice made concert tours with Moody Blues and in recitals in live broadcast Jascha Heifetz Memorial Concert Series, has given interviews and live performances on WFMT, as well as giving an opening concert at the Chicago Music Festival.

Patrick Rustandi  - violin and viola

As the founder of this ensemble, Patrick received his early music education in Romania and Belgium. He graduated from DePaul University receiving his Masters of Music in violin and his Performer ‘s Certificate with distinction in viola. Mr. Rustandi won 1st prize in the 4th Annual Leonard Sorkin Memorial Violin Competition. An avid chamber music player, he currently freelances throughout the Chicago area and performs many concerts including recitals and contemporary composers concerts.

His performing experiences include concerts with the Theatre de la Monnaie Orchestra in Belgium (violin), the Elgin Symphony (viola), Northwest Indiana Symphony (violin), Concertante di Chicago (viola), Civic Orchestra of Chicago (principal violin), Chicago Opera Theater (violin) and Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra (associate concertmaster). Mr. Rustandi is currently a faculty member at the Merit School of Music in Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts.

Christie-Keiko Abe - violin

Christie received her Bachelor of Music with Honors from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music-University of Sydney, Master of Music from Australian Institute of Music, Sydney Australia, Specialist in Music in Violin Performance /Performance PhD with Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors from The University of Michigan School of Music and an Artist Certificate in Violin Performance (Post graduate degree) from The University of Wisconsin-Madison where she served as an assistant to David Perry.
As a soloist performer, Christie has appeared with the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony, has won many awards and competitions and has recorded on NAXOS, Albany and Arabesque Labels with the IRIS chamber Orchestra. Among many others, She is currently a member of the Chicago Trio / Duo & Metropolis Duo, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and a founding member of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra under the director of Michael Stern in Memphis, Tennessee. Mrs. Abe is also a faculty member at the Columbia College's Sherwood Music Conservatory.

Matthew Agnew - Cello

Matthew studied Suzuki cello from age four with Marilyn Kesler in Okemos, Michigan.  In High School he had the benefit of orchestra instruction and guidance from Shirley Mullins, a Janos Starker student, and cello instruction from Jane Katsuyama of the Dayton Philharmonic.  He attended DePaul University on scholarship and studied with William Cernota from the Lyric Opera Orchestra. In 2001 he won second place at the Lansing Matinee Musicale Richardson Awards.
Matthew is the principal cellist of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2002.  He also plays with several Chicago area orchestras, including Chicago Opera Theater, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and the Joffrey Ballet. In 2005 he was awarded the assistant principal position with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, a summer festival orchestra in Lancaster, Ohio.

Erica Lessie - cello

Erica graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Music degree. She earned a Masters of Music at Florida State University and completed courses for a Doctor of Musical Arts. She played in the Tallahassee, Fox Valley and Lake Forest Symphonies and was a member of the Fugacci Piano Quartet and the Andersonville String Quartet.

Erica has appeared on numerous recordings and has performed with many artists including Johnny Mathis and the Four Tops. Currently, she is a freelance cellist in the Chicago area. Her recent projects include researching the work of women composers and composing for cello. Erica is currently a faculty member at the Columbia College's Sherwood Music Conservatory and the Chicago High School for the Arts.


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