Appearing December 12:

Steven Greenman, Violin and Composer
Described by the Washington Post as “particularly impressive” and “extraordinary” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steven Greenman is a consummate musical artist. He is a masterful violin soloist with symphony orchestras, a soulful performer of klezmer music, and a virtuoso performer of East European folk music. Steven’s influential recordings, klezmer compositions and dedicated masterclasses have been internationally acclaimed.

Steven is recognized as one of the finest practitioners of traditional klezmer violin music. International performances include Jewish Culture Festival (Poland), Internationales Klezmer Festival Fuerth (Germany), Harbin Summer Music Festival (China), University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (China), Klezmer Musica Festival (Italy), and Ashkenaz (Canada). He has performed with the Klezmatics, Kapelye, Joel Rubin Jewish Music Ensemble, Khevrisa, Budowitz, Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band and Shtetl Band Amsterdam. At the forefront of the klezmer revival, Steven has established new klezmer ensembles: Khevrisa, Stempenyu’s Dream, Di Tsvey, the R2G Klezmer Trio, and the Steven Greenman Klezmer Ensemble. Steven’s thrilling collaboration with master pipa-player Gao Hong, The Braided Candle, explores a unique blending of traditional Jewish and Chinese folk music styles. 

Steven is renowned for his recordings Khevrisa – European Klezmer Music, featured on the Smithsonian Folkways label, and his self-produced recordings of his original Jewish and klezmer compositions, Stempenyu’s Dream and Stempenyu’s Neshome.

Steven’s composed his virtuoso masterwork, Klezmer Concert Suite for Solo Violin and Orchestra in 2018 and was the violin soloist with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra for its premier performance.

As a concert violin soloist, Steven has performed with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Akron, Canton, Firelands and Muncie Symphonies, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra. Steven performed the music of violin virtuoso David Rubinoff as a violin soloist with the Joseph Rubin Orchestra (Rubinoff and His Violin Concert – 2018).

Steven is the director and founder of the Case Western Reserve University Klezmer Music Ensemble.

He has led klezmer music master classes at KlezKamp, KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar (Germany), Internationales Klezmer Festival Fuerth (Germany), KlezFest London (England) and Master Class de Musica Tradicional Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in addition to numerous universities and colleges.

Appearing February 13:

Marina Ziegler, 17, is a junior at Copley High School. She began piano study at the age of four with her mother Mayumi Kikuchi. At the age of five, Marina began violin study at the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), where she studied with Stephen Sims. Marina has also studied violin with Isabel Trautwein from the Cleveland Orchestra and Eugenia Postyreva at ClM. She currently studies with David Bowlin from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Marina has placed in or won many competitions in both violin and piano, including the Sigma Alpha Iota String Competition, State Buckeye Piano and Violin Auditions, and the 2020 Suburban Symphony Young Soloist Concerto Competition. She has performed in many venues in Northeast Ohio and in 2018 performed on both instruments in Japan. In the past few summers, she has attended the Tanglewood Institute Violin Workshop, Credo Music Festival, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. She currently plays in the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra as assistant concertmaster.

Matthew Chang is a 9th grader at Hawken School who has been playing piano for nine years. He began his studies with Olga Radosavljevich and currently studies with Derek Nishimura in the Preparatory Division of the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Matthew has been awarded the Olga Radosavljevich piano scholarship for the last two years. He studies music theory with Dr. Allen Yueh at CIM and has also studied with Adeline Huss. Matthew currently participates in a chamber music group at CIM with his coach, Carolyn Warner. His past piano experiences include Baldwin Wallace Piano Camp, Summer Sonata Piano Camp at CIM, the Intermediate Piano Camp at Interlochen, where he received a merit scholarship and participated in a piano trio chamber group, and CIM Composers Camp. Most recently, he attended the Indiana University Piano Academy, where he also received a merit scholarship. Matthew has participated in masterclasses with Sean Schulze, Antonio di Cristofano, Orion Weiss, Shai Wosner, Edward Auer, and Caroline Oltmanns. He has been selected to participate in honors recitals at CIM in addition to the Preparatory Showcase Recital in the spring of 2021. Recently, he was selected as one of the winners of the 2021 CIM preparatory concerto competition. His other musical experiences include playing clarinet in the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony and Contemporary Youth Orchestra. He runs cross country for Hawken and in his free time, enjoys solving math problems.

Isabelle Liu  began studying violin at the age of 6 and currently studies under violin professors Ilya and Olga Kaler in the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her previous teachers include Jory Fankuchen, Helen Kim, and Fabiola Kim. She has also received masterclasses from violinists Yu-Chien Tseng and Evgeny Bushkov.

Isabelle has won several competitions, including the Elite International Music Competition where she performed at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Silicon Valley Youth Music competition in 2015 and 2016, winning Grand Place in 2018. In 2021, she was a finalist of the Ann Arbor Symphony Young Artist competition and winner of the Suburban Symphony Orchestra Young Artist competition.

Isabelle has participated in many orchestras such as the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra and California Youth Symphony Associate Orchestra, and CIM orchestra as a part of her YAP program. In the summers, she attended chamber music camps at Crowden Chamber Music, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and the C’est Bon Chamber Music Academy. In 2019, she passed the first round of the auditions for the San Francisco Youth Symphony, but could not attend the final round because of relocation to Los Angeles, where she attended the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts.

Besides violin, Isabelle plays piano as well, passing Certificate of Merit for piano in levels 4 to 8 and receiving Branch Honors in 2016 and 2018. She has accompanied her school’s choir groups with violin and piano and participated in string orchestra throughout her school years

Appearing April 10:

Carl Topilow, Guest Conductor

Founding conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Carl Topilow’s eclectic programs have been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. He enjoys a dual career as both conductor and clarinetist, often finding an occasion to perform a selection with the Pops on one of his brightly colored clarinets. Carl is also conductor of the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, based in Sandusky, and Music Advisor of the National Repertory Orchestra, a summer festival in Breckenridge, CO. He has served as principal pops conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. He was named Faculty Emeritus after 37 years as Conductor and Director of the Orchestral Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Topilow has performed as guest conductor with 125 different orchestras in 37 states and 12 foreign countries. In addition to his concert with the Suburban Symphony, he will appear this season with  orchestras in Paducah (KY), Toledo, the Woodlands (TX), Youngstown, and the Ohio Valley Symphony.

Topilow’s wife Shirley is President and CEO of the Cleveland Pops  Orchestra. Their daughter Jenny is a violinist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Their daughter Emily, a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University, is pursuing her career in marketing.

Carl’s new book, The Orchestral Conductor’s Career Handbook, published by Rowman and Littlefield, is now available through www.carltopilow.com.

James Thompson Violin

Violinist James Thompson is forging a promising career as a versatile chamber musician, soloist, and
music educator. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he is currently on faculty at Music@Menlo and will be joining the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program in fall of 2021.

In 2014, Mr. Thompson made his solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. He has appeared as a soloist with numerous ensembles including the Cleveland Institute of Music orchestra, the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Pops, and the Cleveland Philharmonic. Mr. Thompson was invited to perform in Budapest as part of the First Bartok World Competition and in Sendai for the Seventh Sendai International Violin Competition.

Mr. Thompson has performed for chamber music festivals around the country, including Music@Menlo, the Perlman Music Program, and the Taos School of Music. He has collaborated in concert with a multitude of established musicians including David Finckel, Soovin Kim, Jaime Laredo, Peter Salaff, Roger Tapping, and a variety of musicians from both the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music. An advocate for new music, Mr. Thompson has worked alongside composers Keith Fitch, Gabriela Lena Frank, Stephen Hartke, Libby Larsen, and David Rakowski, among others, on performances of their works.

Alongside his performance career, James Thompson is forming a strong reputation as a private instructor and chamber music coach. In 2019, he joined the faculty of Music@Menlo as both a coach for the Young Performer’s Program and a mainstage artist. Mr. Thompson has recently served as a teaching fellow
at both the Encore Chamber Music Festival and the Western Reserve Chamber Music Festival. He maintains a private studio and was on faculty at the Aurora School of Music from 2016-2019. He views his work with young people as an immensely important aspect of his calling as a musician, and is grateful to have the opportunity to share with everyone the joy he has found making music.

Mr. Thompson holds Artist Diploma, Masters, and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he has studied with Jaime Laredo,
William Preucil, and Paul Kantor.

Appearing May 22:

David Rothenberg, Pre-concert Lecturer

David J. Rothenberg is a member of the music history faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where he has taught since 2005 and been chair of the Department of Music since 2015. He received his PhD from Yale University.

Rothenberg’s research focuses on music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, exploring connections between music, liturgy, visual art, and literature. His publications include The Flower of Paradise: Marian Devotion and Secular Song in Medieval and Renaissance Music (Oxford University Press, 2011); Music and Culture in the Middle Ages and Beyond: Liturgy, Sources, Symbolism, co-edited with Benjamin Brand (Cambridge University Press, 2016); and the Oxford Anthology of Western Music, Volume 1: From the Earliest Notations to the Early Eighteenth Century, co-edited with Robert R. Holzer (Oxford University Press, 2013, 2nd ed. 2019). He served as a senior editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (Oxford University Press, 2015), for which he wrote several entries including “Requiem.”

In 2007 Rothenberg was the recipient of the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society. He has received research grants and fellowships from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University. In addition to his academic work, he is a regular pre-concert lecturer for The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, and other musical organizations, among which he is now happy to count the Suburban Symphony Orchestra.

He lives near Shaker Square with his wife Elizabeth, a cellist in SSO, and daughter Beatrice.