Dana Piano Quartet plans world debut at DeYor this weekend

The Dana Piano Quartet are, from the left, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Cicilia Yudha, Michael Strauss and Joseph Kromholz
Four Youngstown State University faculty members will combine their talents for a world debut as the Dana Piano Quartet, in concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Youngstown’s DeYor Performing Arts Center.

The quartet features YSU Dana School of Music professors: Joseph Kromholz, violinist; Michael Strauss, violist; Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cellist; and Cicilia Yudha, pianist. The ensemble will perform Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25, in the Ford Family Recital Hall at DeYor.

Entitled “Romantic Masterpieces,” the concert will also feature the Dana Chamber Orchestra, YSU's elite un-conducted ensemble, performing Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite and Edward Elgar's Serenade for Strings.

Tickets are $7, $6 for senior citizens and students from other schools, and free for anyone with a valid YSU ID. Tickets are available at the DeYor or PAC Box Office, 260 West Federal Street, Youngstown; by phone 330-744-0264; or online at http://www.youngstownsymphony.com/box-office/

YSU’s return to DeYor represents the university’s commitment to community engagement and participating in the revitalization of the downtown, said Phyllis Paul, Dean of the College of Creative Arts and Communication. “This will be the first in a series of Dana Music concerts presented at the DeYor this academic year,” she said. “We will be showcasing the talents of some amazing musicians – you’d be hard-pressed to find any finer anywhere in the United States – and we’re bringing them to the beautiful and historic DeYor Performing Arts Center, certainly the premier entertainment venue in the downtown area.”

About the performers:

The Dana Piano Quartet is one of the most exciting and promising chamber groups emerging on the United States chamber music scene. Formed in August 2017 as an ensemble-in-residence at the Dana School of Music, the quartet has already been invited to perform concerts across the country.

Besides their teaching careers, each of the four quartet members has an active and prolific performing career, and they all serve as clinicians for master classes, workshops, and music festivals around the world.

Joseph Kromholz is head of strings at the Dana School of Music, where he teaches violin, viola, and chamber music. He studied violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music and economics at Case Western Reserve University, followed by doctoral studies at New England Conservatory. He joined the YSU faculty in 2015.

Kromholz previously taught violin at Luther College and taught music theory at New England Conservatory. A founding member of the Linden String Quartet and a current member of the Dana String Quartet, is concertmaster of Opera Western Reserve and the Warren Philharmonic, co-concertmaster of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and Vita Buehner Chair of CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra.

Violist Michael Isaac Strauss has performed around the world as a soloist, recitalist, and in chamber music and symphonic settings. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he joined the Dana faculty in 2014.

His love for the intimate concert setting has led to performances on live radio broadcasts, and festivals across Europe, North America, and Asia. A founding member of the Indianapolis Quartet, in residence at the University of Indianapolis, Strauss is on the faculty at Dana and at UIndy. His solo work is featured on several CDs, he has recorded chamber music works by living composers with the Philadelphia-based Orchestra 2001, and recently released “Wordless Verses” – trio works inspired by poetry for oboe, viola, and piano. Strauss currently serves as principal violist for the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and was principal violist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 20 years.

Kivie Cahn-Lipman holds degrees from Oberlin and Juilliard and recently received his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. He joined the YSU faculty this year. He is the founding cellist of the International Contemporary Ensemble, is founder, lironist, and director of the baroque string band ACRONYM and gambist with the viol consort LeStrange.

Kivie appears on more than forty recordings, and as a chamber musician he has performed frequently in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and other major venues on four continents, as well as live on New York and Chicago radio. Kivie has served on the faculties of Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges and The College of New Jersey and taught at the Cortona Sessions for New Music each summer since 2012.

A versatile solo pianist and avid chamber musician, Cicilia Yudha earned a doctorate in piano performance at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and holds degrees from the New England Conservatory, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She joined the Dana faculty in 2012.

Yudha has performed across Austria, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, and Indonesia. She is a frequent soloist with the Duke University Symphony Orchestra, has given master classes and presentations across the U.S and Southeast Asia and last year released her debut CD, “Selected Piano Works by Robert Casadesus and Henri Dutilleux.” Passionate about music education and community service, Yudha is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and is a recipient of the Steinway Top Teacher Award.