2020 Photos of CMIsc

Chamber Music Institute/Southern California—July 7-18, 2000

What is it like to play outdoors in a park? …the fresh breeze of air blows by,

you clip your music down so that you can see it,

you’re wearing a mask (COVID-19) and strain to hear what someone is saying…

you try playing the way the mentor is showing you….

After four rehearsals, you provide a brief concert for those passing by. In celebration of 2020 being the 250th anniversary of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s birth year (1770), all four of our quartets prepared a movement by Beethoven. As we rehearsed in the woods, we imagined Beethoven walking by, getting to hear his music.

Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827

Friday, July 17 at 11 am
Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 2, IV. Allegro molto quasi Presto

Violinists Hannah Velez and Lionel Wang, violist Jacob Wong, and cellist Jared Weissberg

Saturday, July 18 at 11 am
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 6, I. Allegro

Violinist Joshua Kim, violist Melody Sun, cellist Joseph Sung and violinist Eunice Sung

Saturday, July 18 at 3:30 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 1, I. Allegro con brio

Violist Christopher Chang, violinist Amara Miranda, cellist Bailey La Brie, violinist David Doo

Saturday, July 18 at 6:30 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 4, II. Scherzo

Violinists Kaylee Maeng, Kayla Teng, cellist Tiana Lin and violist Jarrett Huang

After each quartet performed a movement of Beethoven, our faculty performed the “Eyeglasses Duo” by Beethoven.

Our artist-teachers, Prof. Leslie Ho and Prof. Esther Back performed the Duo “with obligato eyeglasses” for viola and cello by Beethoven.


DAY FOUR: CONCERT DAY for We/Sat quartet at 5:15 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 4, II. Scherzo

“Warmup” looks like utter confusion but there’s a method in Prof. Ho’s madness! The performers are purposely sitting where they can’t watch each other and must LISTEN more acutely in this very tricky fugal composition.
For their performance they turned to watch each other. Our artist-teachers, Prof. Leslie Ho and Prof. Esther Back performed the Duo “with obligato eyeglasses” for viola and cello by Beethoven. Bassem Wahbi will provide videos we will post here in two to three weeks.

following photos: DAY FOUR: CONCERT DAY for We/Sat quartet at 2 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 1, I. Allegro con brio

The final rehearsal for David, Amara, Christopher and Bailey. After they performed, we provided a surprise for them! Our artist-teachers, Prof. Leslie Ho and Prof. Esther Back performed the Duo “with obligato eyeglasses” for viola and cello by Beethoven. Bassem Wahbi will provide videos we will post here in two to three weeks.

following photos: DAY FOUR: CONCERT DAY for We/Sa quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 6, I. Allegro

Prof. Ho worked and worked to develop rhythmic precision with the quartet on their final day. They settled into a sparkling performance! Bassem Wahbi will provide videos we will post here in two to three weeks.
After Joshua, Eunice, Melody and Joseph performed, we provided a surprise for them! Our artist-teachers, Prof. Leslie Ho and Prof. Esther Back performed the Duo “with obligato eyeglasses” for viola and cello by Beethoven.

following photos: DAY FOUR: CONCERT DAY for Tu/Fr quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 2, IV. Allegro molto quasi Presto

Videographer Bassem Wahbi talks with the students just before starting the concert. He will provide videos we will post here in two to three weeks.
After Hannah, Lionel, Jacob and Jared performed, we provided a surprise for them! Our artist-teachers, Prof. Leslie Ho and Prof. Esther Back performed the Duo “with obligato eyeglasses” for viola and cello by Beethoven.

DAY THREE for We/Sat quartet at 6:45 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 4, II. Scherzo

The backyard of Prof. Ho’s studio, working on improvisation over a G minor Blues bass line.
We were treated to a vocal “Stand By Me” by Prof. Ho

following photos: DAY THREE for We/Sat quartet at 2 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 1, I. Allegro con brio

Prof. Back working for steady precision to fit the parts together in Beethoven
Responding to the tambourine, we worked as a “bootcamp” to develop a better feel for the subdivisions of the beat
Prof. Ho creatively asking each member of the quartet to play polyrhythms and help each other maintain the pulse

following photos: DAY THREE for We/Sat quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 6, I. Allegro

rehearsing with violinists and violist standing up
Surprise! What we look like for a brief moment without masks: Joshua, Melody, Joseph & Eunice
Learning to improvise rhythms, follow harmonic progressions, play chops, create melodies
Urging, cajoling, repeating, emphasizing, pleading for the classical style of early Beethoven

following photos: DAY THREE for Tu/Fri quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 2, IV. Allegro molto quasi Presto

violinist Hannah Velez improvises a G minor blues solo while violinist Lionel Wang provides chops, violist Jacob Wong strums the harmony and cellist Jared Weissberg provides a bass line.
violinists Hannah Velez and Lionel Wang rehearsing with violist Jacob Wong
Cellist Jared Weissberg has solved the problem of wind blowing his pages! His iPad provides all he needs!
Prof. Leslie Ho asked the quartet to try an idea of Dr. Donald Ambroson (CMIsc board member) to rehearse back to back…sharpening our listening skills, learning to anticipate what we expect the others to play, and reacting quickly to adjust to what we hear.

DAY TWO for We/Sat quartet at 5:15 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 4, II. Scherzo

A late afternoon in the park, we began at 5:15 and hoped to finish before dark.
Yes, that’s right, she manages to play even while her chair is leaning back (downhill).
A better view, violinist Kaylee Maeng manages to keep playing no matter what the wind threw at her.
Wind blowing hair in her face, violinist Kayla Teng finds the notes and sets the pace for this Scherzo.
Unflappable Jarrett Huang adds his violist’s perspective to this great Beethoven Scherzo (op 18, no 4).
cellist Tiana Lin keeps the energy alive and helps accentuate those sforzandis
Despite the long shadows, the quartet continues to respond to the nudges from Prof. Esther Back
violist Jarrett Huang
violinist Kaylee Maeng, leading the Beethoven op. 18 no. 4, II. Scherzo
violinists Kaylee Maeng and Kayla Teng, cellist Tiana Lin, and violist Jarrett Huang

following photos: DAY TWO for We/Sat quartet at 2 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 1, I. Allegro con brio

Prof. Ho is emphasizing how important precision….German discipline!….is to play Beethoven’s music
Drilling the importance of being able to subdivide and feel the beat, Prof. Leslie Ho signals to ask the players to switch from 1 to 2 to 4 notes per beat in a spontaneous drill. Hopefully, they’ll practice this!
Giving them a tiny taste of “boot camp” (Learning to count better) Prof. Ho patiently pulls them along.
A view of Bailey’s cello part in Opus 18, No. 1, I. Allegro con brio. She is well prepared!
Prof. Esther Back works with the quartet to improve their understanding of phrases and bowings.
violist Christopher Chang, violinist Amara Miranda, cellist Bailey La Brie, and violinist David Doo

following photos: DAY TWO for We/Sat quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 6, I. Allegro

The ducks knew we were coming and took over the area under the willow, so we simply moved to another of the many shady spots in Tri-City Park.
Prof. Leslie Ho helped the players to understand how to select chord tones as they learned to play harmony parts and improvise accompaniments while they took turns playing solos.
A very popular park, lots of people enjoy walking here and often stopped to listen to Beethoven, amazed that young people could play such difficult music. Our most loyal audience includes our mothers.
Pinned down because the wind often whips away our music, here’s a view of Beethoven op. 18/6, I. Allegro. It is one thing to play advanced music alone, it is another thing to play well with others!
Another way to play harmony parts is to strum your instrument like a ukelele
violinists Joshua Kim and Eunice Sung
How Beethoven would love hearing his music played in the woods….his favorite place to walk

following photos: DAY TWO for Tu/Fri quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 2, IV. Allegro molto quasi Presto

We gather….we tune….we’re enjoying a cool summer morning
What a peaceful place to be
Hannah learns to strum the harmony and create a rhythmic pattern
Lionel learns to strum and hear the chord changes
Jacob learns to strum and adds his own unique rhythm to the harmony
Jared adds a powerful bass line and strums the chord changes
A duck adds his opinion of this musical event. The ducks here seem to enjoy Beethoven a lot.
He struts around until we give him a “close up.”
A complete run-through of Beethoven op. 18, no. 2, IV. Allegro molto quasi Presto

following photos: DAY ONE for We/Sa quartet at 2 pm
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 1, I. Allegro con brio

Prof. Esther Back led the quartet in their introduction to Beethoven op. 18, no. 1, I. Allegro con brio. See how close we are to Lot E in the Tri-City Park in Placentia? You should come and enjoy our music offering!
Another view of the great surroundings. We just move around to stay in the shade. Our group includes violinists David Doo and Amara Miranda, cellist Bailey La Brie, and violist Christopher Chang
violinist Amara and cellist Bailey
Prof. Leslie Ho worked with the quartet to begin to improvise and understand harmony changes.

following photos: DAY ONE for We/Sa quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet op. 18, no. 6, I. Allegro

Enjoying the shade under the weeping willow: Melody, Joshua, Eunice and Joseph are given a demo by Prof. Esther Back in how to use bow speeds for more nuances in playing Beethoven op. 18, no 6, I. Allegro
Prof. Esther Back mentors our musicians
Sforzando! Crescendo! Fast—slow—fast bow speeds
First Violinist Joshua Kim’s outstanding skills in reaching those high notes with great control!
Prof. Leslie Ho has a wide range of skills and musical taste. Here he demonstrates jazz “chops” as well as spiccato finesse.
violist Melody Sun
cellist Joseph Sung
violinist Eunice Sung

following photos: DAY ONE for Tu/Fr quartet at 9:30 am
Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 2, IV. Allegro molto quasi Presto

Prof. Leslie Ho demonstrates a jazz style
Your leader, Hannah, starts your quartet playing
Staying six feet apart, faces covered with masks, fresh air in abundance, we’re enjoying being here!
How does he do those chops? …the rhythms in learning to “swing” are great fun!
Our cello coach, Esther Back, demonstrates what classical bow styles are needed for Beethoven.
With very high standards, she pushes us to reach for the level Beethoven would want to hear!
Our cellist, Jared, sets a great foundation: he starts the Beethoven op 18, no 2, IV. Allegro molto quasi Presto…and he likes a fast tempo! (which Beethoven would like)
Always encouraging, Prof. Esther Back suggests another approach.
Violist Jacob, always reliable, always there when you need him. What a puzzle we’re learning to put together!

Many Thanks!
We are grateful for the generous contributions from our donors who have made these two weeks of chamber music tuition-free for our selected performers.

Dennis and Nancy Apolonio
Jonathan Andreas
The Hennings Fischer Foundation
Helena and HoKim
Wen Ju Lee and Yuh Chun Lin
The Miranda Family Library
Kay Pech
Sukhyeun Sung and Jin Lee

Special Awards:

Ingenious Award….Jared Weissberg, cello (put his music on iPad)

Most Improved Award….Eunice Sung, violin

Best Improvisation Awards….Melody Sun, viola, and Kaylee Maeng, violin

Best Mask Award….Bailey La Brie, cello (she also drove the longest distance)