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Oct. 4, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu




One night only performance on October 22nd at 7:30 pm at Watson Hall, UNCSA

Tickets $13-15. (336) 721-1945

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Tuesday, Oct. 22, will be an historic moment for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and its School of Music.

The school will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Judy and Bill Watson Chamber Music Hall with a recital by Ida Bieler, violin, and Allison Gagnon, piano. They will perform sonatas of Mendelssohn and Debussy, the passionate last sonata of Brahms, and two lovely From my Homeland pieces by Smetana. The recital, at 7:30 p.m., will be followed by a reception in the Watson Hall lobby.

Watson Hall is the first music space at UNCSA designed specifically for recitals and chamber music. It opened in October 2003 with a gala celebration.

Ida Bieler

Allison Gagnon

The music school announced this past summer that Bieler, recognized as one of the most versatile violinists performing today and member of the original School of the Arts high school class, would join the faculty this fall. One of the first women to win a concertmaster position for a major European orchestra, Bieler served from 1983-1988 as concertmaster of  the Symphony and Opera Orchestra of Cologne, the “Gürzenich Orchester.” As a chamber musician, Bieler was a member of Germany’s legendary Melos String Quartet from 1993 until the quartet’s retirement from the concert stage in 2005. The newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted that she plays with “fire and philosophy.”

The recital will mark Bieler’s debut as a music faculty member. Bieler wishes to dedicate her first concert as a faculty member at UNCSA to the memories of Ruggiero Ricci and Marc Gottlieb.

Canadian pianist Allison Gagnon directs the Collaborative Piano Program at UNCSA, where she has combined collaborative activities in performing and teaching since 1998. Gagnon played on the original concert in Watson Hall.

“We are delighted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of such a magnificent performance venue with such illustrious musicians,” said School of Music Dean Wade Weast. “With Ida being a member of the first class, and Allison playing the first concert in Watson, the synergy of this event is quite amazing. The concert will be a great tribute to longtime School of the Arts supporters Judy and Bill Watson.”

Weast anticipates a number of Bieler's fellow founding high school classmates will be in the audience for her performance. 

This is a one night only performance on October 22nd at 7:30 pm at Watson Hall on the UNC School of the Arts campus, 1533 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC. Tickets are $15 regular and $13 for students with valid ID. Call the UNCSA Box Office at (336) 721-1945 for reservations, or visit www.uncsa.edu/performances to purchase tickets online.

For descriptions, details and links to the entire UNC School of the Arts 2013 - 2014 performance season online, visit www.uncsaevents.com.

About Ida Bieler

American-born Ida Bieler has set a standard in the course of her unusual career, as a musician of extraordinary scope. Following an unconventional course, her experience and repertoire span all facets of solo and ensemble performance, bringing her acclaim from critics and public alike for her uniquely personal and communicative interpretations.

Launched into recognition by winning international competitions on three continents:
Gold Medal, Public Prize and Contemporary Music Award at Rome’s International Competition “Valentino Bucchi,” the International Violine Concours Dr. Luis Sigall, Vina del Mar, Chile, the International Competition for Chamber Music “Vittorio Gui” in Florence and  New York’s Concert Artists Guild Award, she has since appeared regularly as soloist with orchestra, recitalist and chamber music player at major music capitals throughout the world.

Ida Bieler has performed and been a frequent guest artist in major international festivals, such as; the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, the Beethovenfest Bonn, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Schubertiade in Hohenems, the Marlboro Music Festival, Casals Festival Puerto Rico, Paris Festival Châtelet and Tivoli Festival. She has collaborated with artists such as Karl Engel, Gerhard Oppitz, Leonard Hokanson, Konrad Elser, Mischa Maisky, Boris Pergamenschikow, Gérard Caussé, Radovan Vlatkovic, Marie Louise Neunecker, Patrick Messina, as well as members of the Guarneri, Amadeus and Emerson Quartets.

Ms. Bieler’s artistic focus and repertoire, staggering in extent, stretches from the Baroque to contemporary composition. Her performances and recordings of complete work cycles, from Bach’s Solo Sonatas and Partitas to the complete sonatas of Bartók, Hindemith, Corigliano and Penderecki, have received acclaim usually reserved for the “specialist” in each of several styles. She has premiered works by Aribert Reimann, Volker David Kirchner, Moritz Eggert; and with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico under the direction of the composer, she gave first performances of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Metamorphosen – Concerto per violino ed orchestra no. 2.

Ida Bieler's CD catalogue boasts an exceptionally wide and stylistically varied range of solo and chamber music repertoire. Awards have included the Cannes Classical Award, Echo Klassik Preis, Fono Forum Stern des Monats, Repertoire "10" and the Strad’s “Chamber Music Selection of the Month.”


As a chamber musician, Ms. Bieler was a member of Germany’s legendary Melos String Quartet from 1993 until the quartet’s retirement from the concert stage in 2005. She has performed and recorded with the Ensemble Villa Musica, and since 2001 has been violinist of the highly acclaimed Xyrion Piano Trio. In 2009 she founded the Robert Schumann Ensemble Düsseldorf.


One of the first women to win a concertmaster position in a major European orchestra, Ida Bieler served from 1983-1988 as concertmaster of  the Symphony and Opera Orchestra of Cologne, the “Gürzenich Orchester.” In 1988, she accepted a full professorship at  Frankfurt’s Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, and in 1993 received the appointment of  Full Professor, successor to Sandor Vegh leading the master class for solo violin and chamber music, at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. From 2005-2007, Ms Bieler was Visiting Professor for violin and chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and is Guest Professor at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Graz, Austria.

Ida Bieler has led international master classes regularly at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Hindemith Institute Blonay/Switzerland, the Stiftung Villa Musica Rheinlandpfalz, Landesmusikakademie Schloss Ochsenhausen, Landesmusikakademie North-Rhine-Westphalia, the Oberstdorfer Musiksommer, and as well at major universities and music schools in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

One of the most successful and sought-after teachers in Europe today, her support of young musicians has included initiating and serving as artistic director of the "Rheinische Streicherakademie" of NRW, the "Streicherakademie Ochsenhausen" in Baden-Würtemberg, and the “Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Rhein-Ruhr e.V.”

Her initiative, the
Vivaldi Project Düsseldorf, a teachers’ training program aimed at educating underprivileged children, has been awarded Germany’s coveted “Ideen für die Bildungsrepublik” prize for 2011.

Ida Bieler has served on prestigious international competition juries including; “Franz Schubert and Modern Music“ International Competition Graz, the Tromp International String Quartet Competition Eindhoven, Charles Hennen Chamber Music Concours, the Spohr Competition for Violin Weimar, the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, Wettbewerb des Kulturkreises des BDI, the Stiftung Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz, Grand Prix d’Eurovision, the “Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben” Hamburg.

Ms. Bieler received her early musical education at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts studying with Ruggiero Ricci and Marc Gottlieb. She continued her studies at The Juilliard School in New York, graduating as a student of Oscar Shumsky and Felix Galimir. Gaining important artistic impulses from her work with Nathan Milstein in London and Zurich, she ultimately earned the Konzertexamen degree as a student of Max Rostal at Cologne’s Hochschule für Musik, Germany.


She plays a violin from Thomas Balestrieri Cremonensis, Fecit Mantuae. Anno 1753.

About Allison Gagnon

Acclaimed for her performances with both instrumental and vocal colleagues, Allison Gagnon has appeared in recital throughout Canada and the United States, and in Europe. Her recital partners have included Tadeu Coelho, Ulrich Eichenauer, Lyne Fortin, Joanna G’Froerer, David Jolley, Ning Kam, Nataliya Khoma, Eric Larsen, Jens Lindemann, Nicholas Mann, James Miller, Marcy Rosen, James Sommerville, Angel Stankov, Marilyn Taylor, and Jasper Wood. Her performances have been recorded for broadcast on both the English and French networks of the CBC in Canada, and for NPR in the United States, as well as on CD.

As competition pianist she has partnered several prize-winners at national competitions: in Canada, these have included the CIBC National Competitive Festival, the CMC International Stepping Stone Competition, and the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition for the Performance of Canadian Music; in the United States, the MTNA National Performance Competitions and the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, as well as both the Young Concert Artists and Concert Artist Guild auditions. As opera pianist she has worked with Opera Banff in Alberta, Canada, and as orchestral pianist with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. She was also pianist for both the choral society and orchestra of the Kingston Symphony Association for nine seasons.

Ms. Gagnon has participated in summer festivals at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif., and at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. Since the summer of 1997 she has been on the piano accompanying staff of the Meadowmount School of Music in New York, while continuing to make summer festival appearances in the eastern United States. Before moving to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Ms. Gagnon was an adjunct faculty member in the School of Music at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, for 14 years, and a staff pianist for the Faculty of Music at McGill University in Montreal.

Having started piano at three years of age with lessons from her mother, Ms. Gagnon earned her Performers Associateship diploma (ARCT) from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto at the age of 17. An Alumni National Scholar for four years, she received her bachelor’s degree at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, with highest standing in the Faculty of Arts and Science; upon graduation she was awarded the Marty Memorial Scholarship to pursue studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria, where she earned the Konzertdiplom in solo piano. Subsequently, she was the first to graduate with a master’s degree in Piano Accompaniment from McGill University in Montreal. Her teachers through this time included Margaret McLellan, Pierre Jasmin, Michael Krist, and Dale Bartlett. A recipient of grants from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council, she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in 1999 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where her teacher and mentor was Anne Epperson. Twice she received the Rosa Lobe Award in Collaborative Piano at CIM, and upon graduation she was given the prestigious Gwendolyn Kodolfsky Memorial Award in Collaborative Piano. In May 2001 the Cleveland Institute of Music awarded her the Brooks Smith Award as distinguished alumna of CIM’s Collaborative Piano Department.

Dr. Gagnon is one of a new generation of artist-teachers in the field of collaborative piano. Her initiatives have included the creation of the graduate program in Collaborative Piano at UNCSA and the development of the school’s collaborative skills courses for students concentrating in piano. Recently, she has given collaborative skills master classes at the Brevard Center in North Carolina; in Montreal, Canada; and in Oslo, Norway. She is also very involved in the revision of standard piano reductions for instrumental concerto scores. Her new version of the Poème, op. 25, by Ernest Chausson has been accepted for publication by Tempo Publishers in Ann Arbor, Mich., and new versions of the Mozart violin concertos are in preparation. In 1994, she published a handbook for keyboard harmony and score reading entitled “Not Just for Pianists.” Her students have gone on to successful participation in graduate programs in Canada, the United States and Germany, and to festivals at Aspen, the Music Academy of the West and the Brevard Center.

About the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNC School of the Arts is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“the City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972.

For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.


Calendar Listing

Watson Hall, UNC School of the Arts campus, 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem, NC
October 22nd at 7:30 pm

Performed by Ida Bieler and Allison Gagnon

With Fire and Philosophy (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Ida Bieler (violin) and Allison Gagnon (piano) present sonatas of Mendelssohn and Debussy, the passionate last sonata of Brahms, and two lovely From my Homeland pieces by Smetana. Ms. Bieler wishes to dedicate her first concert as a faculty member at UNCSA to the memories of Ruggiero Ricci and Marc Gottlieb.

MORE INFO: http://uncsaevents.com/event/31078-ida-bieler-and-allison-gagnon-in-recital

WEB: www.uncsaevents.com

PHONE: 336-721-1945




Amy Consiglio


(336) 509-0529



Lauren Whitaker


(336) 734-2891