Spring Virtual Festival of Concerts
VITA Academy’s Great Composers Series
April 16, 2021, 7:00 p.m.
The Chevalier Quartet
Dagenais Smiley and Chase Spruill, violins
Cassandra Lynne Richburg, viola
Susan Lamb Cook, cello
with guest artist
Andrei Baumann, piano
String Quartet in G minor by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745 – 1799)
Adagio – Aria Andantino
The Lone Forest Maiden from Forest Scenes, Op. 66, No. 1 by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. (1875 – 1912)
4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119 by Johannes Brahms. (1833 – 1897)
String Quartet in C Major by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Allegro – Rondeau – moderato
Susan Lamb Cook is Lecturer in cello and chamber music at the University of California, Davis, a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera and the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, and director of the VITA Academy’s Great Composers Chamber Music Series at the Harris Center in Folsom. An active performer and educator both nationally and internationally, Susan has completed five concert and teaching tours of China, performs annually at festivals in Germany, Austria, and Hungary, and performs regularly for the UCD Shinkoskey Noon Concert Series, the Westminster Music At Noon Series, and the Crocker Art Museum’s Classical Concert Series. As Director Emeritus of the Sacramento Youth Symphony’s Summer Chamber Music Workshop, Susan spent 30 years developing this program and, in 2019, the Sacramento City Council awarded Susan a Resolution recognizing her work with young, local musicians. In July 2020, Susan developed Sacramento Summer Music, an educational program for young chamber musicians which focused on under-represented composers including women composers and composers of the African Diaspora. This program ultimately developed into the Sacramento Summer Music Virtual Festival of Concerts, and “Concerts and Conversations” produced by the Great Composers Chamber Music Series in collaboration with the Sacramento Baroque Soloists and the Sacramento Guitar Society, all partner organizations of the Harris Center.
Violist, Cassandra Lynne Richburg, is a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra based in San Francisco, and is an active studio musician in Los Angeles. She has performed on numerous motion picture soundtracks which include: The Lion King, Steel Magnolias, A Beautiful Mind, Moana, The Princess and the Frog and Avatar. She has performed with the Academy and Emmy Awards Orchestras on many occasions, and performed with musicians for Soul Train, NAACP Image Awards, the Grammy Awards and Dancing with the Stars. Ms. Richburg was invited to join the jury panel as an adjudicator for the 2014 William Primrose International Viola Competition. Ms. Richburg has been recognized as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and has won many competitions, including: The William Primrose International Viola Competition, a prize winner in the Lionel Tertis International Viola competition, and First Prize Winner of the Wendell Irish National Viola Competition. She has been featured as soloist with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony, the National Arts Chamber Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Savannah Symphony and the Sacramento Symphony. Ms. Richburg has served as Assistant Principal Viola for the Sacramento Symphony, and Principal Violist with the Sacramento Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and toured with both the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as a substitute musician. Ms. Richburg attended the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from USC while studying with Donald McInnes and Alan deVeritch.
Dagenais Smiley, a Northern California native, earned her Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory under the direction of Milan Vitek and her Master of Music from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, studying with Ms. Kathleen Winkler. An active orchestral musician, Ms. Smiley performs as Acting Associate Concertmaster with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, Assistant Concertmaster with the Modesto Symphony, and also performs with the Stockton Symphony, the Monterey Symphony, the Napa Symphony, the Reno Philharmonic, and other various Northern California and Bay Area orchestras. Dagenais currently teaches violin at UC Davis and maintains a private violin studio. In her spare time, Ms. Smiley enjoys hiking, watching and reading science fiction, playing Pokemon Go, and practicing yoga.
Violinist Chase Spruill has gained an international reputation as a performer of contemporary music, interpreting minimalist masters such as Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Henryk Gorecki. In 2020, BBC Music Magazine hailed his debut solo album of the music of British composer Michael Nyman, citing that “Spruill plays with great spirit…and a great sense of presence…” and calling him,” an engaging and convincing advocate.” This same year, Capital Public Radio, NPR called him,”…a breath-taking performer…” with MusicWeb International highlighting that,” …Spruill plays with fire and yet sensitivity…and with absolutely secure rhythmic foundations…” He was a core faculty member with the Nationally celebrated not-for-profit organization Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI from 2012-2017, as well as a Visiting Professor of Violin and Orchestral Studies at Wheaton College in MA from 2015-2017. Dedicated to exploring potential intersections between music and social justice, Spruill returned to his hometown in Vacaville, CA to develop and run the music program at the new school Sierra Vista K-8 where he remains on faculty. He’s collaborated with other notable artists such as Kronos Quartet, composer/electric guitarist Steven Mackey, and BAFTA-nominated composer Brian Reitzell, releasing music from the critically acclaimed television series Hannibal. His recordings appear on Philip Glass’ record label Orange Mountain Music and on Supertrain Records.
An active soloist, chamber musician, Andrei Baumann has performed extensively in the USA, Europe, Canada and Venezuela. Recognition includes the 2009 Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, and his Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall occurred in May 2008 with violinist Lily Francis as part of the Distinctive Debuts series. Other notable performances include a solo recital on the Sundays Live Concert Series at Los Angeles County Arts Museum which was broadcast by KCSN, 88.5 FM, performances at Caramoor Festival and with Itzhak Perlman at the Perlman Music Program. Mr. Baumann has a Masters of Music in Piano Performance from New England Conservatory in Boston, a Künstlerischer Ausbildung Diploma from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, Germany, and a Bachelor of Music degree at the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Baumann has been a piano faculty member at the Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, MA. He is also Head of the Piano Department at Camp Encore/Coda in Sweden, Maine. Currently living in Providence, Rhode Island, Mr. Baumann is an avid nature enthusiast. He is currently pursuing the ideal sunrise, the Aurora Borealis, and many backpacking adventures.