String Theory to Close Concert Season with Renowned Line-up

Alumni Hero
 Chattanooga’s celebrated concert series, String Theory at the Hunter, will present the final installment of its 2011-12 season with the sounds of several internationally acclaimed artists on Thursday, April 19. A Musical Dialogue, hosted by Patrick Castillo, will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the concert at 6:30 at the Hunter Museum of American Art.

In its third season, String Theory is a partnership of Lee University and the Hunter Museum of American Art. The concert series has consistently provided an innovative artistic experience for the Chattanooga community.

Featured performers will include Erin Keefe, Meg Freivogel McDonough, Kristopher Tong, Sean Lee, Sun-Mi Chang, Maiya Papach, Daniel McDonough, Raman Ramakrishnan, and Patrick Castillo.

The evening’s program includes Shostakovich’s Prelude and Scherzo for Octet, Op.11, Dvořák’s Terzetto in C Major, Op. 74, and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.

American violinist Keefe is praised as a compelling artist who combines exhilarating temperament and fierce integrity. Keefe is the newly appointed concert master of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. A top prize winner of several international competitions, she recently took the Grand Prizes in the Valsesia Music International Violin Competition in Italy and the Torun International Violin Competition in Poland. She is also the winner of the 2006 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Meg McDonough, second violinist of the Jupiter String Quartet, is devoted to keeping chamber music easily accessible, current and interesting to young and old audiences alike. She performs extensively with the Jupiter String Quartet and is a founding member of East Coast Chamber Orchestra. She lives in Boston where she continues to play for the East Coast Chamber Orchestra and also collaborates with other groups such as A Far Cry.

Violinist Tong is praised for his exceptional gift of insight, virtuosity, and true flair. Tong has performed hundreds of concerts across the world as the second violinist of the critically acclaimed Borromeo String Quartet. He has also performed on radio programs such as NPR’s Performance Today and WGBH’s Classical Performance and Classical Connections. Tong currently serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.

With performances described by The New York Times as “breathtakingly beautiful,” violinist Lee is quickly gaining recognition as one of today’s most talented rising artists. As the winner of the 2009 Juilliard Concerto Competition, Lee made his New York City concerto debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with conductor James DePreist and the Juilliard Orchestra. In 2010, Lee joined the faculty of Music@Menlo’s Chamber Music Institute.

Violinist Chang won a position with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in 2009. In 2008, she was the soloist of the Yale Philharmonia's tour to Seoul, Beijing, and Shanghai. Chang is also the laureate of the 2007 International Markneukirchen Violin Competition in Germany and the 2007 International Sion Valais Violin Competition in Switzerland. In 2006, she won the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition at the Yale School of Music.

Violist Papach has served the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for many years, making frequent national and international appearances as a chamber and orchestral musician. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, and she has performed regularly with IRIS Chamber Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and also a member of Accordo, a new chamber ensemble in the Twin Cities.

Daniel McDonough, cellist, has performed in the United States and abroad as a chamber musician and recitalist. He is best known as cellist of the award-winning Jupiter String Quartet, which has received first prize at the 8th Banff International String Quartet Competition and grand prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. McDonough is also the founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra.

Cellist Ramakrishnan is a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet and has performed across the United States and abroad. He won the grand prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition, as well as the Martin Segal Award and the Guarneri Quartet Award. He has also toured with Musicians from Marlboro and performed frequently with the Zankel Band and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra.

Castillo leads a multifaceted career as a composer, performer, writer, and educator. He has provided program notes for numerous concert series and has led a variety of pre-concert discussion events. Castillo has also designed outreach presentations for middle and high school students and authored, narrated, and produced the widely acclaimed AudioNotes series of listener’s guides to the chamber music literature.

String Theory was founded in 2009 by Gloria Chien, an internationally acclaimed pianist and associate professor of music at Lee.

Tickets are $25 (advance sales) or $30 at the door, with a $5 discount for String Theory donors and Hunter members.

For more information about String Theory at the Hunter or to purchase tickets, visit, call 423-267-0968, or email