Bates Recital Hall
2406 Robert Dedman Dr
Austin, TX 78712
Sonja Larson, Nora Karakousoglou, and Michelle Schumann
Wednesday, July 17 at 3:45-4:50 PM
Behind-the-Scenes in Bates Recital Hall
Performances, dialogue, and masterclasses with Festival Artists
Sonja Larson earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota, where she studied violin performance and pedagogy. An active freelancer, Sonja has performed in numerous orchestras, chamber ensembles and festivals in Minnesota, New England, South Carolina, and Texas. Her orchestral work includes performances with Boston Ballet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and the Masterworks Chorale. She has accompanied violinists Gil Shaham, Itzhak Perlman, and Anne Akiko-Meyers, and has shared stages with Deep Purple, Kat Edmonson, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Since arriving in Austin in 2013, Sonja has performed with the Austin Symphony, Austin Opera, and Chorus Austin, and has collaborated in chamber music performances with Dr. Michelle Schumann, Artistic Director of the Austin Chamber Music Center, and cellist Nora Karakousoglou. Other notable Austin work includes accompanying Local Opera Local Artists (LOLA) as well as teaching and concertizing as an Artist in Residence at Armstrong Community Music School. She has also enjoyed organizing a few local house concerts.
Originally from Greece, cellist Nora Karakousoglou is an active performer, teacher and teaching consultant based in Austin, Texas. She began her music studies in Greece and continued in France and in the US. In 2016, she graduated with a doctorate in Cello Performance from the Butler School of Music at UT Austin, where she studied with Bion Tsang and also served as his teaching assistant. In January of 2019 she appeared at the Paramount Theater in Austin, in the premiere of Gretel!, a new musical for which she composed and performed an original score for cello. Nora performs frequently as a member of the Austin Chamber Music Center, Local Opera Local Artists, and in duo with violinist Sonja Larson. She is on faculty at the Armstrong Community Music School, where she teaches cello and advanced musicianship, and also teaches privately. As a consultant, Nora works one-on-one with music teachers, empowering them to grow beyond the limitations of traditional music training, and master meaningful and effortless teaching.
Hailed for her “sensitive, flexible, and tempestuous dexterity” (Fanfare Magazine), pianist Michelle Schumann has built a reputation for evocative and moving performances. Since 2006, Michelle has served as Artistic Director of the Austin Chamber Music Center, where she “is fearlessly expanding our definition of chamber music” (Austin-American Statesman). Her brand of performance includes an enthusiastic interplay with the audience and her trademark includes bringing diverse music together under a blanket of narrative events.
Schumann is artist-in-residence and professor of piano at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and additionally holds a Performance Diploma from the Vienna Conservatory.