Stephanie Chase, Artistic Director
Stephanie Chase is internationally recognized as “one of the violin greats of our era” (Newhouse Newspapers) through solo appearances with over 170 orchestras that include the New York and Hong Kong Philharmonics and the Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Baltimore, and London Symphony Orchestras. Her interpretations are acclaimed for their "elegance, dexterity, rhythmic vitality and great imagination" (Boston Globe), "stunning power" (Louisville Courier-Journal), "matchless technique" (BBC Music Magazine), and “virtuosity galore” (Gramophone).
“Renowned for her impeccable intonation” (Temperament, Stuart Isacoff), her playing is also characterized by “great intensity and a huge tone, the epitome of the modern violinist” (The Baroque Cello Revival, Paul Laird). A top medalist of the prestigious VII International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Ms. Chase has performed concerts in twenty-five countries throughout the world and is a recipient of the esteemed Avery Fisher Career Grant. Equally at home in the virtuoso's repertoire, historically informed performance practice and contemporary music, Stephanie Chase offers an attractive repertoire of over 60 concertos and large works for violin and orchestra. As soloist she has collaborated with conductors that include Zubin Mehta, Leonard Slatkin, Leon Barzin, Herbert Blomstedt, Frans Brüggen, Marin Alsop, Enrique Diemecke, Christopher Hogwood, Roy Goodman, Hugh Wolff and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
With conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn, she was a featured soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic on its first trip ever to the People's Republic of China - an historic event that garnered worldwide attention.
In recent seasons her rendition of Elgar's Violin Concerto (with the Louisville Orchestra) was selected as a “Classical Act of the Decade” and her New York recital, with pianist Sara Davis Buechner, was chosen as one of "20 Concerts to Hear this Fall" by WQXR and a “Critics' Choice” by Musical America. Chase and Buechner also performed all ten of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano in a highly praised three-concert series in New York.
Other recent and upcoming highlights include performances as soloist with the Long Beach (CA) Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Boston Classical Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan (Merida, Mexico), Monterrey Symphony (Mexico), and Stanford Philharmonic, recitals at New York University, Bargemusic, Williams and Dickinson Colleges, and chamber music performances with the Music of the Spheres Society in New York and Dallas, Bronx Arts Ensemble, and Houston’s "Music in Context," which features performances on original instruments.
Stephanie Chase’s world premiere recording on period instruments of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (on Cala Records, featuring her own cadenzas), is “one of the twenty most outstanding performances in the work's recorded history” (Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Cambridge University Press) and honored with the highest possible ratings by BBC Music Magazine and Classic CD, including “Record of the Month.” Other recordings by Ms. Chase have been selected by Stereophile as a “Record to Die For” and Gramophone for its “Hot List,” and include three world premieres. Her releases on Koch International Classics (eONE Entertainment) include an album of music for violin and piano by the Bohemian-American composer Rudolf Friml, works for violin and piano by Viteslava Kapralova, and works for violin and guitar by Mauro Guiliani with guitarist Richard Savino.
Ms. Chase is also an advocate of contemporary music and has premiered music by composers including Earl Kim, Edward Applebaum, Eleanor Hovda, Joan Tower, Yehudi Wyner, Richard Pearson Thomas, and Taavo Virkhaus.
Profiles of Ms. Chase have appeared in newspapers throughout the world and in such music journals as The Strad and Musical America, and her numerous television appearances include interviews for CBS "Morning News" and by Sir David Frost. More recently she has been profiled in Stay Thirsty, The Epoch Times, and Woman Around Town.
Additionally renowned as a chamber musician whose festival appearances include Bravo! Vail, Kuhmo, Bargemusic, Caramoor, Music from Marlboro, The American String Project, Cape Cod Chamber Music, Mt. Desert Festival of Chamber Music, Seattle Chamber Music Festval, Colorado Springs Chamber Music Festival, and the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, Ms. Chase is a co-founder (2001) and Artistic Director of the Music of the Spheres Society, which presents chamber music concerts and lectures that are “dedicated to “exploring the links between music, philosophy and the sciences” (The New Yorker).
Among the musicians with whom she has collaborated in chamber music are pianists Sara Davis Buechner, Brian Connelly, Jean-Ives Thibaudet, Wu Han, Anne-Marie McDermott, Jon Nakamatsu, and William Wolfram, members of the Tokyo, Borromeo, Escher and Guarneri Quartets, and singers Dawn Upshaw, William Sharp, John Cheek and Dominique Labelle. As a former artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, she toured internationally with the group and is featured on several recordings made by the Society in a variety of repertoire.
Ms. Chase also performs in the dual roles of violin soloist and conductor and is recognized as a talented music arranger whose works are performed to rave reviews by the Perlman Music Program, The American String Project, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Music of the Spheres Society, among others.
Born in Illinois to one of America's oldest and most prominent families, Stephanie Chase's first violin teacher was her mother, and her father, (Robert) Bruce Chase, was a noted music arranger and composer as well as a violinist. At age two she was already performing in public, and she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony six years later as the youngest winner ever of the orchestra’s Youth Competition. At age seven she commenced studies in New York with Sally Thomas of The Juilliard School and within a few years embarked on extensive national tours as a soloist and recitalist, making her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the National Orchestral Association at age eighteen. Shortly thereafter she became a favorite pupil of the legendary Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux, which was followed by summer chamber music studies at the famed Marlboro Festival in Vermont with many of the late-20th century’s most prominent musicians including Rudolf Serkin, David Soyer, Rudolf Firkusny and Felix Galimir.
From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Chase programmed and hosted a "Music and Imagination" course at the Philoctetes Center in New York, an institution that was founded for the study of imagination. She is currently a Professor of Violin at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University and gives master classes at prominent music conservatories throughout the United States that include Mannes, the Shepherd School at Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin, The Frost School at the University of Miami, San Jose State University and the San Francisco Conservatory. A frequent judge for the concerto competitions at The Juilliard School, Ms. Chase recently was a judge for the Concorso Postacchini in Fermo, Italy, the Concert Artists Guild String Competition, the Hudson Valley String Competition, and the Cooper International Violin Competition. Since 2012 she has been a music advisor for Dover Publications. Articles written by Ms. Chase have been published by The Strad and Strings Magazine. She is also a regularly contributing columnist to the online journal Stay Thirsty.