This afternoon there will be a chamber music concert featuring musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Katherine Willamson (violin), Ryan Mooney (viola), and David Gerstein (cello) will present a short program of works by Beethoven and the world premiere of a duo by Arkansas composer Karen Griebling.
David will be running the Chicago Marathon in October to benefit the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so please come with cash or check ready to make a donation. The concert is free, but donations to St. Jude are greatly appreciated.
**Katherine Williamson, violin**
Ms. Williamson is a recent graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she received a Bachelor of Music with Distinction under the instruction of Professor Mark Kaplan. Other important mentors include Celine Leathead of the Minnesota Orchestra, Nam-Yun Kim and Professor Jorja Fleezanis. She has played with numerous orchestras worldwide, most recently the New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Moritzburg Festival Academy Orchestra in Germany.
In addition to her love for the orchestral repertoire, Katherine is equally compelled by the world of chamber music. She is particularly drawn to the string quartet, but is also dedicated to performing duo sonatas and contemporary works, most recently pieces by Sofia Gubaidulina and Claude Baker. Ms. Williamson has attended the Castleman Quartet Program of the West, was a winner of the chamber music competition at the Meadowmount School of Music and a two-time prizewinner at the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition. She has collaborated with pianists Aleksey Artemyev and Risa Ohkubo, performing works by Prokofiev, Mozart and Mendelssohn. Notable coaches include Ik-Hwan Bae, Charles Castleman, Gerardo Ribeiro, Jan Vogler, Jorja Fleezanis and members of the Pacifica, Guarneri, Pro Arte and Artaria string quartets.
**Ryan Mooney, viola**
Ryan Mooney started the violin at the age of four with his aunt, Margaret Pressley. He then switched to viola at age 15 and went on to study with Ian Swenson and Jodi Levitz at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has attended such music festivals as Roundtop and Tanglewood where he had the pleasure of performing with the Mark Morris Dance Troup at Jacob’s Pillow. He was also a fellow of the Carnegie Hall exchange program where he performed with his quartet in Carnegie Hall and on a Central Asian tour. Ryan has a large studio of violin and viola students, and teaches at the Community School of the Arts at UCA in Conway.
**David Gerstein, cello**
David Gerstein, a devoted performer of chamber and contemporary music has played concerts all over the world, from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the Great Wall of China. David is currently the principal cellist of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which he has been a member of since September ’08. He is also the cellist of the Quapaw String Quartet, which performs regularly at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, AR as well as in schools all over the state as part of the ASO’s Arts Partner program. Mr. Gerstein has recently appeared in concert with the Ying Quartet, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, soprano Renee Fleming, cellist Fred Sherry, violinist Jonathan Carney, Bela Fleck, and violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonenberg.