Four exceptional Northwestern University student soloists from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music -- a clarinetist, a violinist, a mezzo-soprano and a pianist -- will be featured in a concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 22.

The concert will be streamed live locally at 5 p.m. CDT (Central Daylight Time) via the Internet.

The performance marks the 10th consecutive year that Bienen School students have been invited to participate in the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project, an initiative that features some of the best young talent from the country’s premier music institutions. The project creates an ongoing showcase for young talent and introduces Washington and Internet audiences to promising young artists.

The Bienen School of Music’s Kennedy Center performers are:

  • Clarinetist Igal Levin, a doctor degree in musical arts student who is studying with Steven Cohen. Levin will perform Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces and Kovacs’ Hommage a De Falla.
  • Violinist Renee-Paule Gauthier, a doctor of music candidate who is studying with Gerardo Ribeiro. She will perform the second and third movements of Respighi’s Sonata in B Minor for Violin and Piano.
  • Mezzo-soprano Elisa Sutherland, a second year master’s degree student in the voice and opera program who is studying with Theresa Brancaccio and Alan Darling. She will sing the arias "Ah, scostati!...Smanie implacabili" from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Handel’s Rinaldo. Sutherland also will perform selections from Carter’s Three Poems of Robert Frost, including “Dust of Snow” and “The Rose Family,” and Messiaen’s “Resurrection” movement from Chants de terre et de ciel.
  • Pianist EunAe Lee, a doctoral student in piano performance and a student of faculty member James Giles. She will perform Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 and Volodos’ arrangement of the Turkish March from Sonata, K. 331 by Mozart.

Levin, Sutherland and Gauthier will be accompanied by pianist and Bienen School alumnus Kuang-Hao Huang.


Violinist Renee-Paule Gauthier was born in the province of Quebec. A sought-after chamber player, she is principal second violin with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the Northwest Indiana Symphony. This fall she joined the faculties of North Park University and the Chicago Youth Symphony orchestras.

Pianist EunAe Lee, a native of Seoul, South Korea, was one of four finalists in the ARD International Music Competition Munich in 2011, where she performed the Beethoven Concerto No. 3 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Her performance highlights include solo and chamber appearances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. In March 2014, she received third prize at the Hilton Head International Competition.

Clarinetist Igal Levin, a native of Tel Aviv, won the Israeli Music Conservatory Competition in 2000. He also received multiple scholarship awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, for solo and chamber music. A member of the Young Musicians Unit at the Jerusalem Music Center, Levin, in 2008, was invited to join Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now Foundation in Germany. He has also performed in the Israeli Opera Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, and Israel Symphony Orchestra, and was principal guest clarinetist of the Moscow Virtuosi and the Shanghai Oriental Symphony Orchestra. Since 2010, Levin has performed regularly at the Musical Summer in Ostfriesland, Germany.

Mezzo-soprano Elisa Sutherland, a native of Milwaukee, has appeared in several Northwestern opera productions. She sang the role of Meg in Mark Adamo’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Ottavia in Monteverdi’s  L’incoronazione di Poppea, Lucrezia in William Bolcom’s Lucrezia, Nancy in Britten’s  Albert Herring, Jenny Hildebrand in Weill’s Street Scene, and as a special guest, Marlena von Schnapps, in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Sutherland has appeared as soloist with the Bienen School of Music’s Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Piano accompanist and Bienen School alumnus Kuang-Hao Huang, a native of Whitewater, Wisc., is an advocate of new music who has performed throughout the United States, in Europe and Asia. He has collaborated with some of Chicago’s finest musicians, including instrumentalists in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and singers with the Lyric Opera. Huang has performed with the Vermeer, Avalon and Spektral quartets and been a guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He can be heard on recordings on the Cedille and Naxos labels. As a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, he was a member of the New York Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas’ orchestral academy. At Northwestern, he studied with Sylvia Wang.

  • Steven Cohen
  • Gerardo Ribeiro
  • Theresa Brancaccio
  • Alan Darling
  • James Giles
  • Sylvia Wang