Known for his virtuosic, high‐energy performances, violinist Zachary DePue successfully balances his roles as concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, soloist, chamber musician, fiddler, community leader and mentor with passion and dedication.
A rising star among both classical and crossover music fans, he was appointed concertmaster of the ISO in 2007 and became one of the youngest concertmasters in the country. He graduated in 2002 from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with renowned violinists Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo. He earned a full‐tuition scholarship to Curtis and he also held the David H. Springman Memorial Fellowship. He served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra before becoming a violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra. Prior to entering Curtis, he attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.
With an innate talent for improvisation and arranging, Mr. DePue found much of his inspiration from his three older brothers, all violinists and fiddlers. In 1985, the four classically‐trained brothers formed their own acclaimed group, which combines classical and bluegrass for an eclectic, fun concert experience. The group’s father is Wallace DePue, a composer and professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University.
Mr. DePue was a founding member of Time for Three, ISO’s first ever ensemble-in-residence, alongside his fell Curtis colleagues, violinist Nick Kendall and double bassist Ranaan Meyer. With its dynamic energy and unique mash-ups of bluegrass, jazz and classical music, Time for Three has reinvented the ISO’s Happy Hour Series and has introduced a new audiences to the symphony experience.
This season, Mr. DePue became a member of the 40th Class of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, a prestigious program that connects Indianapolis’ emerging leaders to the issues and needs of the community.
His violin was made by Ferdinand Gagliano of Naples, Italy, in 1757.
Cellist Sophie Shao, winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, is a versatile and passionate artist whose performances the New York Times has noted as “eloquent, powerful” and the Washington Post called “deeply satisfying.”
Shao has appeared as soloist throughout the United States and performed the UK premiere of Howard Shore’s concerto “Mythic Gardens” with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Other recent concerto performances include Haydn and Elgar Concerti with Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Richard Wilson’s “The Cello Has Many Secrets” with the American Symphony Orchestra, and Saint-Saens’ “La muse et la poete” at the Bard Music Festival.
Ms. Shao has given recitals in Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Middlebury College, and the Phillips Collection, the complete Bach Suites at Union College and in New York City. Her dedication to chamber music has conceived her popular “Sophie Shao and Friends” groups which have toured from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ. She was a member of Chamber Music Society Two, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s program for emerging young artists. She is also committed to the music of our time and collaborations with living composers.
Ms. Shao’s recordings include the Complete Bach Suites, Andre Previn’s Reflections for Cello and English Horn and Orchestra on EMI Classics, Richard Wilson’s Diablerie and Brash Attacks and Barbara White’s My Barn Having Burned to the Ground, I Can Now See the Moon on Albany Records, Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records. Her performance of Howard Shore’s “Mythic Gardens” at the KKL in Lucerne was released in 2017 on Sony Classical along with Lang Lang’s performance of “Ruins and Memory”.
A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. She also studied wtih David Soyer at the Curtis Institute of Music, with Aldo Parisot at Yale College, where she received a B.A. in Religious Studies and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is also on the faculty of Vassar College and plays on a cello made by Honore Derazey from 1855 once owned by Pablo Casals.
Sponsored by Rosalyn Sinclair
The recipient of both 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, pianist Natalie Zhu is a winner of Astral Artistic Services' 1998 National Auditions. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded Astral's recent presentation of Ms. Zhu in recital as a display of "emotional and pianistic pyrotechnics." The recital was later broadcast on National Public Radio's "Performance Today."
Ms. Zhu has performed throughout North America, Europe, and China as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed in the United States with the Pacific Symphony, the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Astral Chamber Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, and with the Colorado Philharmonic National Repertory Orchestra. Ms. Zhu made her European debut in 1994 at the Festival de Sully et d'Orleans in France, and has toured in Austria, Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France and Turkey.
She collaborated with renowned violinist Hilary Hahn, stepping in for pianist Garrick Ohlsson in several performances of Ms. Hahn's October 2000 U.S. tour. Subsequently, Ms. Zhu and Ms. Hahn have maintained a partnership to this day with tours of the U.S., Europe, and Japan, including a hugely successful Carnegie Hall recital debut. The duo recorded the Mozart Sonatas for the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Natalie Zhu has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the grand prize in the both the 1988 and 1989 Young Keyboard Artists Association Competition. She was the first prize winner in the Johanna Hodges Piano Concerto Competition in 1988 and 1991, having also received its 1991 Concert Series Award. In 1994, she was the top prize winner in the first China International Piano Competition. An active chamber musician, she is a frequent soloist at the Amelia Island Festival and has appeared at both the Great Lake Music and Marlboro Music festivals. In the year 2000 she was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival.
Ms. Zhu began her piano studies with Xiao-Cheng Liu at the age of 6 in her native China and made her first public appearance at age nine in Beijing. At age 11 she immigrated with her family to Los Angeles, and by 15 was enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music where she received the prestigious Rachmaninoff Award and studied with Gary Graffman. In 2001 she joined the Curtis faculty as staff pianist. She received a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music where she studied with Claude Frank.
For further information, go to www.nataliezhu.com.