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Please contact Dr. Hsiaopei Lee at Hsiaopei.lee@usm.edu or call 601.266.4718

This event is made possible by the generous support from Partners for the Arts, the School of Music, the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Corelli Strings, and D’Addario and American Viola Society.





2015 Viola Festival Guest Artists

Sally Chisholm, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Violist, Sally Chisholm, was a founding member of the Thouvenel String Quartet, frequently touring Europe, China and in 1987 Tibet. Internationally known for its commissioning of great American composers, including Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt,and Ernst Krenek, the Thouvenel won first prize at the Weiner International Chamber Music Competition, was a finalist of New York's Naumburg Competition, and performed on NBC's TODAY Show.
Since joining the Pro Arte in 1991, Ms. Chisholm’s international appearances include solo performances in Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia and the Wronski Violin Competition Jury in Warsaw, Poland. Released CD’s of Piano Quartets by Beethoven, Fauré, Mahler, Schumann, and live recordings of the Strauss Piano Quartet, the “Trauermusik”for Viola and Orchestra by Hindemith, and viola quintets of Mozart, Brahms and Dvorak are some of her discography.
She performs annually in the Festival Der Zukunft in Ernen, Switzerland, Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, and is a founding member of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, whose collaborating artists include Robert Mann, Leon Fleisher, Charles Neidich, Samuel Rhodes, and Nobuko Imai.
As part of the Centennial Celebration of the Pro Arte Quartet, four commissions of chamber works were premiered: John Harbison Fifth Quartet, William Bolcom Second Piano Quintet, Paul Schoenfield Piano Quintet Rhapsodies, and Walter Mays Dreaming Butterfly String Quartet. Benoit Mernier’s Third Quartet was premiered in April 2014, with the Pro Arte touring Belgium the following month. Recordings of all premieres are released on Albany Records.
Ms. Chisholm has participated in the Marlboro Festival of Music since 2009, and continues to coach and perform at the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute.


Elias Goldstein, Louisiana State University

Dr. Elias Goldstein won second prize at the Primrose International Viola Competition in 2011 and recently made his Russian debut with the Mocow Soloists and the New Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Alexander Slatkovsky. He took second prize at the Bashmet International Viola Competition, and was also a top prizewinner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in 2010. He has also won top and special prizes at the Andrews University International String Competition, and the Watson Forbes International Viola Competition in 2009.
He holds degrees from DePaul University (M.M.) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (D.M.A.) where he was a Collins Fellow. He has studied with Mark Zinger and with Sally Chisholm. As a soloist with orchestras, he has appeared with the Moscow Soloists under the direction of Yuri Bashmet, New Moscow Philharmonic, New Mexico Chamber Orchestra, Advent Chamber Orchestra, the Ukrainian Chamber Orchestra, and the DePaul Symphony Orchestra, where he won the annual concerto competition twice.
As an orchestral musician, he has performed as guest concertmaster with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He was a regular member of the Grant Park Orchestra, and has also performed with the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway and with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is a founding member and principal violist of the Advent Chamber Orchestra.   Currently his is principal of the Baton Rouge Symphony.   Recent master-classes and solo recitals include: University of Michigan, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University, DePaul University, University of Missouri-St.Louis, Northern Iowa University, Peabody Conservatory, Iowa State University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, and University of New Mexico-Albuquerque.
In recent chamber music collaborations, he has appeared with the Pro Arte Quartet on Wisconsin Public Radio, and the Midsummer Music Festival. Dr. Goldstein was recently appointed to the faculty of the Louisiana State University School of Music as an Assistant Professor of Viola. Before coming to LSU, he served on the faculty at Ball State University in Indiana.  He teaches and performs in the summer at Kristiansand Sommer Symfoni in Norway.   He is inspired by his violinist wife, Roxana Pavel, and their two children, Lukas and Linette.


Joohae Kim, University of Southern Mississippi

Born in South Korea, New Zealand pianist Joohae Kim began learning the piano at the age of three. Dr. Joohae Kim studied piano performance at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, completed her Bachelor and Masters degree in with first class under the guidance of the leading pedagogue Rae de Lisle. She has recently completed her doctoral study, with Dr. Read Gainsford at Florida State University, researching four New Zealand piano preludes from 12 Landscape Preludes and later made her debut at the Carnegie Hall performing this work.
Dr. Kim’s performances have earned numerous prizes in major piano competitions, including Kerikeri International Piano Competition, Kapiti Coast National Piano Competition and Christchurch National Piano Concerto Competition. She also collaborated with Bach Musica Chamber Orchestra of New Zealand performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major K. 467. Dr. Kim’s recitals and concerto performances have been recorded and broadcasted by Radio New Zealand and Concert FM Radio for the Young New Zealand series. She has been a Collaborative Guest Artist in Whitehead Hall, Valdosta State University.
Dr. Kim is an active teacher in her field. She has been teaching assistant in Florida State University and also participated as a teaching faculty in FSU Summer Music camp. For her achievements in both teaching and performing piano, she has been awarded the University of Auckland Blues Awards for Achievement in Music in Piano Performance. She is also a recipient of Miss Willa Chapman Award from the Rotary Club of Tallahassee. As of 2012, Dr. Kim is a Collaborative Faculty Artist in University of Southern Mississippi.


Charles Pikler, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Charles Pikler joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a violinist in 1978 and, in 1986, he was named principal violist.
Pikler studied the piano with his parents and violin with Ben Ornstein, Bronislaw Gimpel at the University of Connecticut and Roman Totenberg at the Tanglewood Young Artist Program at the Berkshire Music Center. He appeared as soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony and Manchester Civic Orchestra, among others. He holds a degree in mathematics with distinct honors from the University of Minnesota.
He launched his career as a violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1971, later becoming a member of the Cleveland Orchestra (1974 to 1976) and the Rotterdam Philharmonic (1976 to 1978).
He has been featured as a soloist with the CSO, as well as with other orchestras in the Chicago area. Additionally, he has also been soloist with the Kingsport Tennessee Symphony, Orchestra of the Pines in Nacogdoches, Texas, National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.
Pikler served as concertmaster of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra under Dieter Kober, touring with it and also performing as soloist; the Sinfonia Orchestra of Chicago; the Orchestra of the Apollo Chorus; the Chicago Opera Theater Orchestra; the Northbrook Symphony; and the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest. He currently serves as principal violist of the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra.
A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with several ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony String Quartet. Pikler has been a guest artist with the Daniel String Quartet in Holland, the Vermeer Quartet of De Kalb, and the Louisville String Quartet. In 1990, he performed Frank Beezhold’s Viola Concerto, which was composed for and dedicated to him, with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago at Orchestra Hall. He also has recorded it in the composer’s own transcription for piano and viola with Dorothy Shultz.
He has recorded Easley Blackwood’s chamber music with the composer for Cedille Records. He was featured as soloist on the Sewanee Symphony’s recording of Berlioz’s Harold in Italy for Solo Viola and Orchestra, with Victor Yampolsky conducting. In 1995 and 1996, he served as guest principal violist for the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa and was a guest violist at the Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockland, AVMaine. Pikler participates in the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While on sabbatical from the CSO during the 2014–15 season, Pikler performed as a substitute section violist at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for two operas.
Pikler is on the faculty of Northwestern University. He coaches the violists of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as other ensembles at the Midwest Young Artists program in Highwood, Illinois. Pikler is the founder and music director of I Solisti, a chamber orchestra which is part of the Midwest Young Artists program.
Pikler and his wife, Ruth, have two sons, David and Andrew, and a daughter, Amy.



Juliet White-Smith, Ohio State University

Violist Juliet White-Smith is an active international soloist, chamber musician and clinician. She has been a guest artist at Strings in the Mountains and the Fontana Festival in Michigan. She has performed in the viola sections of the Rochester Philharmonic, the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, and the Grand Rapids Symphony.
White-Smith is in demand as a master class teacher, clinician and adjudicator. She has presented master classes at Mahidol University College of Music in Thailand, the Eastman School of Music and for the annual conference of the American String Teachers Association. She was the featured pedagogue in “Ask the Teacher” in the April 2010 issue of The Strad magazine. She has been a string juror for the William Primrose International Viola Competition, the annual concerto competition of the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras and the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Concerto Competition.
A prominent advocate of the viola, White-Smith served as president of the American Viola Society 2008-2011. Her debut CD recording of works by contemporary American composers George Walker, Michael Colgrass and Maurice Gardner (Fashionably Late: Juliet White-Smith Debuts!) was released in May 2009 on the Centaur Records label.
White-Smith earned the doctor of musical arts degree at the Eastman School of Music. Prior to her appointment at the University of Northern Colorado, she was a visiting professor at Western Michigan University.
More information about Juliet White-Smith, including links to her compact disc recording, Fashionably Late: Juliet White-Smith Debuts!, can be found on her website at www.julietwhite-smith.com.


Zhaolei Xie, University of Southern Mississippi

Chinese Pianist Zhaolei Xie was a winner in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, which led to his debut in Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2006. He also won the Bronze Medal in the 58th Wideman International Piano Competition. His other awards include the First place in the Young Artist Division of the Tourgee DeBose National Piano Competition in Baton Rouge; Winner of Monroe Symphony Young Artists Competition, Mid-Texas Symphony Young Artist Competition and Texas Christian University Piano Concerto Competition; Second place in the Louisiana Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition of MTNA and Texas Young Artists Competition.
Mr. Xie has appeared as orchestral soloist with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony Orchestra, Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra and Southeastern Louisiana University Chamber Orchestra. He is also active as a recitalist, chamber musician and piano accompanist. Mr. Xie has performed piano solo and chamber music in Ed Landreth Auditorium and PepsiCo Recital Hall in Texas and Miller Recital Hall and Greenfield Hall in New York City. He has served as piano accompanist in Southeastern Louisiana University and the Thurnauer School of Music of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in New Jersey. Mr. Xie has participated in master classes given by Leslie Howard , Yoheved Kaplinsky and Jose Feghali.
Mr. Xie received his piano training in Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and St. Petersburg State Conservatory of Music, Russia from 1993-2004. He earned his Bachelor’s degree with honors from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he was a student of David Evenson and Kenneth Boulton. Mr. Xie holds Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music, and Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, where he studied with Marc Silverman and John Owings. He is a member of PHI KAPPA PHI National Honor Society. In 2014, Mr. Xie was appointed as Staff Accompanist in The University of Southern Mississippi.