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Concerto Competition: Strings

Friday, February 11, 2022 - 6:30pm

UW strings students Dalma Ashby, Eugene Chin, Hannah Chou, Christine Chu, and Elena Allen perform for outside judges, competing for a chance to perform with the UW Symphony. Adjudicators for this competition are Brendan Shea, concertmaster of the Boise Philharmonic, and Susan Gulkis Assadi, principal violist of the Seattle Symphony.

Masks are required in all indoor spaces on the UW campus. Patrons must show proof of vaccination or recent negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test for entry to live events at the Music Building. Individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including children under age five and people with a medical or religious exemption, must have proof of a negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test (taken within 72 hours of the performance). UW staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative COVID PCR tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Proof of negative test result must come from a test provider, a laboratory or a health care provider. Home or self-administered tests will not be accepted. 


Dalma Ashby, with Jieun Kim, piano
Henryk Wieniawski: Violin Concerto #2, 1st movement

Eugene Chin, with Renee Zhang, piano
William Walton: Viola Concerto, 1st movement

Hannah Chou, with Jieun Kim, piano 
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto, 1st movement 

Christine Chu, with Jieun Kim, piano
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, 3rd movement 

Elena Allen with Lorenzo Marasso, piano
Miklós Rozsa: Viola Concerto, 1st movement

Adjudicator Bios

Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola

Principal Viola of the Seattle Symphony since the 1992–1993 season, Susan Gulkis Assadi enjoys a varied career as an orchestral player, chamber musician, soloist and teacher. After playing in numerous chamber orchestras, including The Brandenburg Ensemble, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and the European-based New American Chamber Orchestra, she began her orchestral career as Principal Viola of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra before coming to Seattle.

Hailed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for her “uncommon warmth and beauty of timbre,” Gulkis Assadi has appeared often as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony. She helped inaugurate Seattle’s Benaroya Hall with Yo-Yo Ma in the orchestra’s performance of R. Strauss’ Don Quixote. David Stock’s Viola Concerto, written for Susan Gulkis Assadi and the Seattle Symphony, was released on Innova Records to critical acclaim. Ms. Gulkis Assadi’s solo performances include the West Coast premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s Viola Concerto, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto (for viola), Dittersdorf's Sinfonia Concertante for Viola and Double Bass, Berlioz' Harold in Italy and Vaughan Williams’ Flos campi.

Susan Gulkis Assadi also performs regularly with the Seattle Opera, the Seattle-based Music of Remembrance and The Governor’s Chamber Music Series. She has happily spent the last twenty-three summers performing with the Grand Teton Music Festival. She has coached and given master classes at the University of Washington, the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida and the National Orchestral Institute in College Park, Maryland.

Ms. Gulkis Assadi received her Bachelor of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Michael Tree from The Guarneri Quartet and Karen Tuttle.

Brendan Shea, violin

Brendan Shea is an award winning violinist and chamber musician. His chamber music awards were won when he played with the Wasmuth Quartet and include the Bronze Medal at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, Gold Medal and Audience Award at the Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition, and Grand Prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. As a founding member of the Wasmuth (now Verona) Quartet, he performed across the United States, Germany, and Japan. 

Brendan has performed with many world class ensembles and performers. As a soloist he has performed with orchestras in Washington D.C, Brussels, Sendai, Indianapolis, and South Bend. His award winning duo, the Shea-Kim Duo, has competed internationally and performed recitals in Asia, Europe and North America. Their awards include the Ackerman Chamber Music Award and Gold Medal at the Manhattan International Music Competition. Their second CD, The Sound and the Fury, was released by Blue Griffin Records in November of 2021. He premiered Frederic Rzewski’s Night, Death, and Devil with the Emmy Award winning 8th Blackbird. He has been a finalist and semi-finalist at the Queen Elisabeth, Isang-Yun, Seoul, Sibelius, and Carl Nielsen, and has taken first place with Honors at the Glazunov International Competition in Paris.  

 In addition to his performance career, Brendan is also a sought after violin teacher and chamber musician. He has been a guest violin professor at the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Mahanaim School in New York. He was on the faculty at Indiana University, South Bend for five years where he was a violinist with the Euclid Quartet. He was a two year visiting professor of violin at the University of Notre Dame. He has given masterclasses across the United States at many different universities, such as Michigian State University, Central Washington University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and University of Nebraska. He continues to teach and perform at several prestigious summer festivals, including the Encore Chamber Music Festival and the Alaska Chamber Music Festival. In 2017 he founded the summer chamber orchestra intensive at Indiana University South Bend, and is co-founder of Chamber Music in the Bend with Yerin Kim. He is very excited to be joining the Boise Philharmonic as their new concertmaster, and the College of Idaho as Langroise Trio Artist in Residence.

Brendan has degrees from: Oberlin (Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma); Indiana University at Bloomington (Master of Music); Stony Brook University  (Doctor of Musical Arts). He currently performs on a violin made for him in 2021 by Sam Zygmuntowicz.