Biographies

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The Koinonia Trio was formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan  in September 2015. Their mission is closely related to their trio name, “Koinonia,” a transliterated form of a Greek word, which means “a gift jointly contributed.’ Since its formation, the trio has won 1st Prizes at the American Prize and the Briggs Chamber Music, and was awarded the University of Michigan Performing Arts EXCELerator Grant Fellowship as well as a $10,000 grant from the Binkow Endowment for Chamber Music. The Koinonia has performed in New York, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Alaska and 5 cities in Europe as a part of a tour in Austria, Germany and Italy. The trio has been invited by many music festivals including the Innsbrook Institute, the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, and the Maui Classical Music Festival, and has given outreach concerts and workshops at schools and retirement homes. Upcoming projects include recording iconic piano trios by University of Michigan composers in 2019.

Cho, Hye Jin 1Hyejin Cho – Piano

Earning musical recognition of a unique artist with great sensitivity and a profound ability to reach any audience with an enriching message, pianist Hyejin Cho is a highly active performer who has performed across the U.S.A., Germany, Italy, Austria, England, Japan and Korea.

 An active soloist, Cho has been featured as soloist with orchestras, including the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, playing the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in Hill Auditorium, and the Northern Illinois Chamber Orchestra, playing the Mozart concerti K. 453 and 488 in four different cities. Cho also has given many solo recitals, the most recent being a concert for the Freeport Community Concert Association in the historical, 1200-seat Masonic Temple. In addition, she is developing a concert series of piano works by Robert Schumann. The series has been established in four different states – Indiana, Illinois, Utah and Michigan. Cho was frequently featured to represent the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan, including a guest artist recital at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a workshop and performance in the 2017 Michigan Seminars in Florida.

Recently Cho was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship, which enables her to do two different recording projects: the Schumann solo piano project and the piano trio recording project of music by University of Michigan Faculty composers including Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, Paul Schoenfeld and Bright Sheng.

 A serious scholar, Cho is devoted to researching right taste and interpretation. Her enthusiasm for Robert Schumann has led her to write an article “What makes Robert Schumann Schumann: Schumann’s creation of fantasy borrowed from literature, especially E. T. A. Hoffman’s novel The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr​.” The article will be published by OMF Music Resources.

A passionate chamber musician, Cho is a founding member of the award winning Koinonia Trio, a very actively performing and teaching ensemble since 2015. In addition, she has collaborated with internationally renowned artists, including Gilles Apap, Danielle Belen, Aaron Berofsky, David Halen, Chee-Yun Kim, Matthew Lipman, and members of Calidore Quartet among others. Cho also has had many collaborative projects including duo projects with violinist Rita Wang, with whom she performed in Italy, Austria and the Midwest. Her passion of collaboration also brought her to numerous music festivals including Innsbrook Institute, Maui Classical Music Festival, Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, Center Stage Strings and University of Oklahoma Summer String Academy. 

 In addition to performing, Cho is an enthusiastic teacher, serving as an Instructor of Piano at the University of Michigan and also serving on the piano faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Center Stage Strings, Anchorage Chamber Music Festivals, Innsbrook Institute, and String Preparatory Academy at the University of Michigan.

 ​Originally from Seoul, Korea, Cho graduated from Ewha Women’s University as a Valedictorian. After graduation, she came to the United States, studying with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University and earning a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma in Piano. In 2018, she completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at the University of Michigan under Christopher Harding with a concurrent Master’s degree in Chamber Music under Matt Albert and Amy I-Lin Cheng. Additional studies include private piano study with Wonmi Kim in Italy, fortepiano with Eunji Lee at Indiana Unviersity, and harpsichord with Dawn Kalis at Indiana University.

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PicChristine Harada Li – Violin

Violinist Christine Harada Li is a highly active and versatile artist who has performed across the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, and Israel. As a soloist Christine recently performed Benjamin Britten Concerto with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and will perform with the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra and the Anchorage Youth Symphony next season. She frequently performs with the award-winning Koinonia Trio, which has been playing together since 2015. Passionate about chamber music, Christine has collaborated with many internationally acclaimed artists, including David Halen, Yehonatan Berick, Gilles Apap, Guy Braunstein, Amihai Grosz, Ayano Ninomiya, members of the Berlin Philharmonic, and others. As an orchestral musician, Christine has had the opportunity to play with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, and Ann Arbor Symphony. She has performed (both violin and viola) as a guest artist at the Maui Classical Music Festival, Oberlin Acoustics Workshop and the Ann Arbor Chamber Fest.

 Christine’s piano trio was recently awarded 1st place for the American Prize, and won 1st Prizes in the Briggs Chamber Music Competition and the East Central MTNA Chamber Music Competition. Christine was the winner of the University of Michigan concerto competition and has won awards in the Hannoversche Börse der Musiktalente Competition with Das Hammerstein Trio, Marguerite Downey Piano Competition, Alaska MTNA Piano/Violin Performance Competition, among others. In 2012, Christine was selected as the winner of the Young Alaskan Artist Award and Scholarship and presented a recital with YAA director, Juliana Osinchuk. Christine was the winner of the 2009 Anchorage Youth Symphony Concerto Competition and 2009 Mary and Lucian Cassetta Scholarship.

 In addition to performing, Christine takes leadership in various art organizations and serves as Artistic Director and founder of the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, Education Director at the Innsbrook Institute Summer Festival and Academy, and Vice President of the Anchorage Fine Arts Society.

 Christine grew up in a musical family and began studying violin at the age of five and piano at the age of ten. Her childhood principal teachers were Beverly Beheim for violin and Rumi Smith for piano. Christine made her international debut when she was 10 years old at the Talent Education Research Institute’s Suzuki Summer School in Matsumoto, Japan.

 Currently Christine is pursuing a Doctorate in Musical Arts (D.M.A.), studying with David Halen at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance. Christine graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan and completed her Master of Music degree at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany. Her principal teachers here were Yehonatan Berick, Elisabeth Kufferath, Anne Röhrig (baroque), and Arthur Greene (piano).


Chrissie & NathanielNathaniel Pierce – Cello

Dr. Nathaniel Pierce, cellist and tenor, is a highly active and multi-faceted musician. He has performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has been a featured soloist with the Toledo, Dexter, Dearborn, Albany, Ann Arbor and Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphonies, as well as the University of Michigan and Indiana University Symphonies. As a recitalist, Pierce has performed his own innovative arrangements for cello and voice, and has collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists, such as Martin Katz and Amy Cheng. He is also a dedicated chamber musician, and has performed with Ayano Ninomiya, Jorja Fleezanis, David Halen, Yizhak Schotten, Steven Shipps, Martin Katz, Yehonatan Berick, among others. In recent years, Pierce has won numerous competitions; he was a prize-winner in the Matinee Musicale Competition; he won both concerto competitions at the University of Michigan and Indiana University, and in 2008 he won the Louis Potter Cello Competition. In 2014, his quartet won the prestigious Kuttner Quartet Competition at Indiana University. Pierce has dedicated many projects to perform and feature compositions by renowned University of Michigan faculty composers, William Bolcom, Kristen Kuster, Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, and Paul Schoenfield.

Pierce has taught classes at University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of Minnesota Duluth, and Western Illinois University. His students have continued to study cello at Michigan State, Boston University, and Easter Michigan Universities. Pierce is a founder and Artistic Director of the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, and Education Director at the Innsbrook Institute. His summer activities have included performing and teaching at the Maui Classical Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Ann Arbor Chamber Fest, and the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop.

Pierce is a founding member of the Koinonia Piano Trio which has toured in Europe and in the United States. The trio recently was awarded the American Prize in the collegiate division, and has garnered numerous prizes, including first prize in the Briggs Chamber Music Competition, the Binkow Chamber Music Award, the EXCELerator Fellowship at the University of Michigan, and more.

Pierce appeared on stage as a member of the children’s choir of the Brandenburg State Theater in Germany, where his parents were engaged as operatic soloists. He started his cello studies with Guenther Grossman, and Anna Zinke at the Cottbus Conservatory in Germany, and has studied with Marianne Jakobovitz, Ulrike Schaeffer of the Peter Cornelius Conservatory in Mainz, Germany, and Erling Bloendal Bengtsson in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has studied voice with Alice and John Pierce, George Shirley, Andreas Poulimenos, David Daniels and Scott Piper. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance at the University of Michigan under the instruction of Richard Aaron, and completed his Master of Music degree with Brandon Vamos at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He completed his DMA degree under the tutelage of Anthony Elliott, cellist, Martin Katz, collaborative pianist, and Scott Piper, Professor of Voice, at the University of Michigan.