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About Courtney Elise LeBauer, violin
Born in Greensboro, NC, Courtney Elise LeBauer began studying the violin at the age of six. While still in high school, she was asked to join the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, becoming the youngest musician ever to have joined its ranks. Dr. LeBauer earned her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude at Rice University, studying with Kathleen Winkler. She earned her Master of Music with highest honors at the University of Michigan while studying with Paul Kantor, and her Doctorate of Musical Arts at The Cleveland Institute of Music with William Preucil. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied with Ida Bieler at Düsseldorf´s Robert-Schumann-Musikhochschule and chamber music with Nina Tichman at the Musikhochschule Köln. After completing a year as Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Arizona State University, she returned to Germany in 2004 and shortly thereafter joined the faculty of Düsseldorf´s Clara-Schumann-Musikschule. Dr. LeBauer has performed and taught with Julia Fischer in Vitznau, Switzerland as a part of her Musikferien for young talent, and throughout Germany representing the Zentralrat der Juden, as a member of the Klezmer-Caberet style Borofsky-Trio. She serves currently as Concertmaster and Coach for the Orchester der Landesregierung Düsseldorf. Dr. LeBauer continues to perform throughout the USA and Europe, most recently in collaboration with Pianist Elena Kushnerova in representation of their CD featuring works of Robert and Clara Schumann. For her solo performance in the Düsseldorf Tonhalle, she was praised by the Rheinisch Post for “…her stirring performance..which was the triumph of the evening”.
About Elena Kuschnerova, piano
Elena Kuschnerova was the last pianistic discovery of Harold Schonberg (1915-2003), music critic for the New York Times and prolific author on great performers. After listening to her debut CD, he dubbed her a “Pianist who grabs the imagination”, and he lauded her Scriabin CD as “the best recorded performances I am familiar with” (American Record Guide, 2000 and 2001).
Earlier, Kuschnerova’s Prokofiev CD (1997) had been awarded the prestigious “German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schalplattenkritik). A year later it was included on a list of the 50 best “Desert Island” piano recordings of all time by the German music magazine SCALA.
In its 70-year history, the Penguin Guide, the world’s most venerated source of classical reviews, has bestowed fewer than two dozen Rosettes on piano recordings, a distinction that eluded many of history’s most famous pianists. The most recent of these was awarded to Elena Kuschnerova’s all-Bach Recital (2001) in the Penguin Guide’s 2003/04 issue. The team of Penguin reviewers admonished readers to “make no mistake, this disc… is altogether outstanding. Indeed it is one of the finest Bach recitals on the piano… the present recital leaves the listener feeling exhilarated and purified as only the best Bach playing can.”
Moving to Germany in 1992 gave a push to Elena Kuschnerova’s career. Her recitals and CDs encompass an enormous range, from Bach to first performances of works composed for her, and have brought her international acclaim. Elena Kuschnerova has concertized with a number of orchestras, in addition to expressing her deep love for chamber music on the concert stage.
Elena Kuschnerova played at many important Festivals such as the Gustav Mahler Music Festival in Toblach, the Bach Festival in Ansbach, the Festival of Rarities of the Piano Music in Husum, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Clef de Soleil in Lille, etc. In 2002, Elena Kuschnerova premiered a piano concerto written for her by Siegfried Matthus at the Dresden Festival together with Dresden Philarmonic Orchestra under the baton of Marek Janowski. She has performed this work many times since then, including a performance with the RSO Berlin under Michail Jurowski.
Elena Kuschnerova has been conducting concert tours in Japan for many years. A CD with live recording of her 2003 Tokyo recital was released by Steinway Japan. Elena Kuschnerova’s new Stravinsky and Brahms CDs have been released in spring 2005 and the latter has received the Supersonic Award from the music magazin Pizzicato. The new CD with “Seven Romantic Ballades” composed for her by the Russian composer Mikhail Kollontay as well as Balladen Op.10 by Brahms has been released in 2008.
Elena Kuschnerova is also internationally recognized as a piano professor, giving master classes in Germany, Japan, Korea, Sweden, and the USA. Since 2006 she has been guest professor at the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima.
About the Guest Artist Series
The 2017-2018 Petrie School of Music season includes the fifth annual Guest Artist Series, a series of free-admission concerts and educational events open to the public. Designed to enhance the other offerings of the Petrie School—the Carlos Moseley Chamber Music Series, ensemble concerts, faculty recitals, student recitals, and the Lawson Series—GAS features an eclectic mix of soloists, ensembles and clinicians.
We gratefully acknowledge the following for support of the Guest Artist Series: The Elizabeth Woodward Cornelson, Class of 1927 and George H. Cornelson III Endowment, the Charles A Dana Foundation Guest Artist Series Endowment, and the Elizabeth Jennings Caughman Music Performance Endowment, and the Department of Theatre and Dance.