Thornton students to compete in Solo Bach Competition

On Thursday at the Newman Recital Hall, four USC Thornton students will perform at the annual Solo Bach Competition.

The competition is open to any student who plays violin, viola, cello or bass and is currently enrolled in private instruction through the USC Thornton School of Music’s strings department. The four students will play a selected piece by Johann Sebastian Bach entirely from memory.

The first performance of the evening will be violinist Dongfang Ouyang’s rendition of Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003. After completing his studies at Bard College for violin performance and Russian studies,  Ouyang is currently studying under Professor Glenn Dicterow at USC Thornton.

Cellist Javier Iglesias-Martin, who currently studies under Professor Ralph Kirshbaum, will perform Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008. The piece runs for about 20 minutes and consists of seven movements. Most recently, Iglesias-Martin took first place at the 2016 American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition and the American Protege Strings Competition.

After a 10-minute intermission, violinist Ji Young Park, a second-year doctoral student under Midori Goto, will perform the six-part Partita No.3 in E Major, BWV 1006, a piece that is approximately 20 minutes in length. Park also attended USC for her master’s degree.

Lastly, cellist Benjamin Lash, who is pursuing a doctorate in cello performance after already obtaining his master’s from Thornton, will perform Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011. The piece consists of six parts with a running time of approximately 24 minutes.

The three judges — non-Thornton faculty Martin Beaver, Lynn Harrell and Roland Kato — will preside over the event.

Beaver is a Canadian violinist who performed with the Tokyo String Quartet as First Violin from June 2002 to July 2013. His concerto and performance pieces have been showcased across four continents, including at the San Francisco and Toronto Symphonies, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra. He has served on the faculty of New York University, was Artist in Residence at the Yale School of Music, and since August 2013 has been a part of the faculty at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles as professor of violin and co-director of chamber music studies.

Harrell is a cellist and has traveled throughout the world as a guest of reputable orchestras, including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London and Berlin. In Hong Kong, he was featured in the three-week “Lynn Harrell Cello Festival” alongside the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Kato is a violist who was a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from 1976-2016, serving as Principal Viola for 29 years of his 40-year tenure. As a guest artist, he performed alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma to benefit cancer research, and as a soloist he appeared at the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico, the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival and the Festival Internacional de Musica, among others. He was nominated for a Grammy for his work producing a recording of Georg Philipp Telemann’s Quatrième Livre de Quatuors and has had his pieces played worldwide through his commissioned arrangements of chamber music.