THE LOS ANGELES ENSEMBLE
Formed in the fall of 2015, the Los Angeles Ensemble was awarded first prize at the International Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso in London and fourth prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition in Harbin, China. LAE is active in the greater Los Angeles area, performing regularly in concert series such as L’Ermitage and Classics Alive Presents as well as in intimate house concert settings.
Consisting of four youthful musicians with a passion for untethered creativity, LAE prides itself on its diverse programming and takes full advantage of its versatility as an ensemble. Beyond playing quartets, their programming offers variety to their audiences by including literature for solo, duo, and trio formations. Special projects have also featured contemporary music, film music, and narration.
Members of LAE have studied at some of the most prestigious institutions across the world, including universities in Korea, Germany, Singapore, Austria, Switzerland, as well as the Los Angeles’ own University of Southern California and The Colburn School. They have also won a remarkable number of prizes at competitions which include but are not limited to Nagoya, Korea Times, Padova, Golden Bell, and Yong Siew Toh.
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Pianist Sung Chang gave his debut concert at the tender age of five in Seoul, Korea. Since then, he went on to become the youngest winner of the Nagoya International Piano Competition in Japan, also receiving the Chamber Music Special Prize and the Japan Expo Special Prize. Sung was awarded first prizes in a number of other competitions including the 7th Bösendorfer USASU International Piano Competition, Korea International Music Foundation Competition, Valsesia Musica International Competition, International Piano Competition “Citta Di Caraglio” in Italy, and Wettbewerb der Chopin Gesellschaft Hannover e.V, where he also won the audience prize.
Sung actively performs as a recitalist and soloist across the globe. He recently performed Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and his recital at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was broadcast live across the Netherlands. He appears frequently as a soloist with orchestras, and he has performed with the KBS, Taejon, Wonju, and the KNUA Symphony Orchestras, and the KyungKi Philharmonic Orchestra.
A passionate chamber musician, Sung won the International Schubert Competition with his piano duo and his collaborations have taken him to the Netherlands, France, Taiwan, and China. His chamber music engagements have included the Isang Yun Memorial Concert, North Korea National Orchestra Interaction Concert, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Kumho Rising Star Series Concert, and Yamaha Rising Star Concert.
A graduate of the Korea National University of Arts, Sung completed the Musical Performance and Postgraduate Program at the University of Music, Drama, and Media in Hannover, Germany, where he studied with Vladimir Krainev and Ewa Kupiec. He is currently pursuing his studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music with Jeffrey Kahane.
Violinist Joanna Lee has performed throughout Korea, Japan, China, Europe, and the United States in significant venues such as the KKL in Luzern, the JT Art Hall in Tokyo, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. She was a soloist with the Suwon Symphony and has been invited to prestigious festivals such as the Verbier Festival, Kuhmo Festival, and the Mozarteum Summer Academy. A prizewinner from a number of competitions, Joanna holds first prizes from the Padova International Competition, Korea Times Competition, Utah Chamber Music Competition, and the Beverly Hills Consortium. Joanna has played in masterclasses for David Kim, Paul Kantor, Arnold Steinhardt, Masao Kawasaki, and György Pauk, and was a recipient of multiple scholarships such as the Colburn Foundation Scholarship and the Fritz-Gerber Scholarship.
As a chamber musician, Joanna is active in the greater Los Angeles area and abroad. She was awarded the first prize in the International Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso in London and fourth prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition this past summer in Harbin, China. She is a founding member of the piano quartet Los Angeles Ensemble, which performs primarily in the Los Angeles area, and also coordinated the Korea-Japan Chamber Music Tour, which took place in three cities in Korea and Japan. Joanna is fortunate to have worked with chamber music coaches such as Walter Levin, Paul Katz, Gehard Schulz, and members of the Tokyo String Quartet.
Born into a musical family, Joanna began playing the violin at the age of six. She attended the University of Music in Basel, Switzerland and the University of Vienna, where she completed her studies with distinction under the guidance of Adelina Oprean and Dora Schwarzberg. During this time, she also received close musical guidance from Mikyung Lee and Ikhwan Bae. Joanna holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Phi Kappa Lambda), where she studied under the tutelage of Margaret Batjer on a full scholarship. Her areas of concentration were Sacred Music, Jazz, and Baroque Violin.
Joanna is currently a member of the Santa Barbara Symphony and Visiting Lecturer at Scripps College in Claremont.
Tanner Menees is an avid chamber musician as both a violist and violinist. He was selected to participate in the prestigious Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Ravinia On Tour, which will perform at venues in Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Stamford. Tanner has also attended a number of other festivals including the Menuhin Festival String Academy and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.
He has worked extensively with members of the Juilliard and Berg String Quartets at the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City and McGill’s International String Quartet Academy, and he has collaborated in performance with some of today’s most notable artists, including Martin Beaver, Miriam Fried, Clive Greensmith, Richie Hawley, Gary Hoffman, and Ronald Leonard.
As a soloist, Tanner has performed with the Colburn Orchestra under Maestro Thierry Fischer, and as an orchestral musician, he has served as principal viola for the Colburn Orchestra under the batons of Yehuda Gilad, Sir Neville Marriner, and Robert Spano since 2015.
Tanner is currently an Artist Diploma candidate studying with Paul Coletti at the Colburn School, where he also received his Bachelor of Music.
Lu’s ability to deliver the notes with stunning aplomb yet tug firmly on the heartstrings made here, for this listener, the most compelling soloist of all,” the Straits Times wrote about cellist Bingxia Lu. In 2005, Bingxia won first prize at the Golden Bell Award Cello Competition, becoming the youngest winner in the history of this prestigious competition in China. She continued to garner awards at other competitions, including second prize at the Yong Siew Toh Concerto Competition, second prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong, and fifth prize at the Beijing International Music Competition.
Bingxia appears regularly in recitals and has performed in France, the Netherlands, Austria, Australia, and England. She won the Presentation Performance Awards, where she was invited to play several recitals throughout Los Angeles, and she was also invited to play string quartets for the presidents of more than 20 countries during the APEC Summit.
As a soloist, Bingxia has performed with a number of orchestras including the Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, NUS Young Orchestra, China Youth Orchestra, China Broadcast Philharmonic Orchestra and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. Her repertoire for these engagements have included concerti by Boccherini, Elgar, Saint-Saens, and Tchaikovsky.
During her studies at the National University of Singapore, Bingxia was selected multiple times to be on the Dean’s List. She is currently enrolled at University of Southern California’s Thornton Music School, where she is studying with Ralph Kirshbaum.