Chamber Music Sundays at Three Performing ‘Meet Me in Paris’


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 15, 2013 – Chamber Music Sundays at Three will present “Meet Me in Paris” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 3, in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

In this concert, Bulgarian cellist,Valentina Takova will perform with Chamber Project Saint Louis violist Laura Reycraft, Washington University piano professor Seth Carlin and Sundays at Three Artistic director Brandon Christensen.

The concert, titled “Meet me in Paris”, focuses on chamber works by the great French Romantic composers Gabrielle Faure and Camille Saint-Saens and will include “Elegy for Piano and Cello” by Faure, “Piano Trio Op 18 in F Major” by Saint-Saens and the dramatic “Piano Quartet Op 15 in C Minor” by Faure.

Valentina Takova

Takova, born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, began cello studies there at the age of six. She has appeared as soloist with orchestras in her native Bulgaria and the United States. In addition, Takova has recorded extensively for National Bulgarian Radio and has appeared on this country’s National Public Radio. A member of Boston’s Kalistos Chamber Orchestra (which recently presented its debut performance in Merkin Hall, N.Y.), she also has performed with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra. Takova has toured Canada as a chamber musician and, from 1999 to 2002, toured the United States with the V.A.V. Piano Trio. Her primary teachers include Dennis Parker, Rhonda Rider and Alan Harris. She has performed in master classes for Aldo Parisot, Gary Hoffman and David Finkel. Takova recently completed the graduate program at the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Aldo Parisot.

Laura Reycraft

Reycraft received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2003 as a student of Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey. In 2005, she earned her Master of Music diploma from the University of Maryland where she studied viola with Daniel Foster and Michael Tree and Suzuki violin pedagogy with Ronda Cole. Reycraft has participated in several music festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Sarasota Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She has played as a substitute with the National Symphony Orchestra and is currently a regular substitute with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and an active freelancer in the St. Louis area. In addition to maintaining a private studio, Reycraft teaches at the Community Music School of Webster University and is the Suzuki violin teacher at City Academy. She is a founding member and artistic director of Chamber Project Saint Louis.

Seth Carlin

Carlin’s career began at the age of nine with a broadcast performance over radio station WNYC, performing a work written especially for him. Since then, Carlin has been soloist with orchestras such as the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Philharmonia Baroque and Boston “Pops,” with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Nicholas McGegan and Roger Norrington; in recital with performers such as Pinchas Zukerman and Malcolm Bilson; and in performances at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Newport Music Festival in Rhode Island, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Great Performers at Lincoln Center Mozart Marathon, Cambridge Society for Early Music in Massachusetts and “On Original Instruments” at Merkin Hall in New York. In addition, he has made appearances on French, Swedish, German and mainland Chinese national television and radio, and recorded for Titanic and Naiad records. Recent concerts have taken him to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Carlin performed the cycle of complete Schubert fortepiano sonatas, including the “Wanderer” Fantasy in New York City during the 1991-1992 season. The concerts were broadcast nationally on National Public Radio’s Program “Performance Today.” Carlin was a prizewinner in the International Busoni Competition, a recipient of a special scholarship from the French government and one of only two fully funded National Endowment for the Arts recitalist grand winners in the United States in 1989. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and graduated cum laude from Harvard University. He also holds a Master of Science in piano from Julliard School and a Licence de Concert from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. Carlin has studied piano with Rosina Lhevinne, Jules Gentil and Morton Estrin, as well as interpretation with Wilhelm Kempff. His CD recording of Sonatas and Bagatelles by Beethoven was named “Recording of the Month” by Alte Musik Actuelle magazine. Carlin is professor of music and head of the piano program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Brandon Christensen

Christensen completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony-Brook University in New York in December 2002, where he studied violin with Mitchell Stern and chamber music with Timothy Eddy, Gilbert Kalish and Julius Levine. He joined the faculty of Southeast in the fall of 2002, where he is currently a professor of violin and viola. Before moving to Missouri, Brandon was a visiting professor of violin and viola at Dickinson College, and a member of the artist-faculty at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music in Lancaster, Pa. He has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States as a former member of the West-End Chamber Ensemble, and was a chamber music fellow at the Banff summer festival as a member of the Stony-Brook graduate piano trio. Christensen maintains a vigorous concert schedule and in recent seasons, he has performed regularly throughout the region, as well as in Italy, Finland and China. Last season he was a featured artist on both the Southern Illinois Music festival and the “Ascoli Piceno” international music festival in Italy. Christensen is the founder and artistic director of the “Chamber Music Sundays at Three” concert series.


Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets may also be purchased online at