Salon 2018-11-04 — Polaris Piano Trio

Sunday November 4, 2018 6:00 PM in Sterling

Guilford Station Arts Proudly Presents

The Polaris Piano Trio 

Laura Kobayashi, Violin
Kenneth Law, Cello
Julee An, Guest Pianist


Selections from Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello in E-Flat Major, Op.1, No.1        Ludwig van Beethoven

  1. Allegro                                                                                                     (1770 – 1827)
  2. Finale: Presto

“Boogie Woogie” from “Roots II” (1992)                                                                    David Baker

(1931 – 2016)

Selections from Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in C minor, Op.66
Felix Mendelssohn

  1. Allegro energico e con fuoco (1809 – 1847)
  2. Andante espressivo
  3. Finale: Allegro appassionata


Violinist, Laura Kobayashi leads a varied career as a performer and pedagogue. She currently resides in Northern Virginia and performs as a member of the Polaris Piano Trio, the Main Street Chamber Players and the Kobayashi/Gray Duo.  She is also a founding member of the Main Street Music Studios in Fairfax where she maintains a large private studio of students.

With duo partner/pianist, Dr. Susan Keith Gray, Dr. Kobayashi performs regularly throughout the United States. The Duo has performed abroad in Wales, Thailand, South Africa, Norway, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Trinidad and St. Lucia and has presented guest artist master classes, workshops and clinics in all of those countries. They have also recorded two CD’s of music by women composers for the Albany Records label, which have been broadcast on national public radio throughout North America as well as in Europe and have received rave reviews from The Strad magazine, Strings magazine and Fanfare magazine and have edited for publication a violin sonata by 19th Century French composer Marie Grandval for Hildegard Publishing Company.

Dr. Kobayashi has appeared as a soloist with a number of professional and university/college orchestras throughout the United States and overseas with the Salta Chamber Orchestra of Argentina and the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra of Thailand. In addition, she has participated and served on the faculties of numerous music festivals in the United States, Norway, Brazil and Argentina.

Dr. Kobayashi is the recipient of two teaching awards: the 2012 VASTA (Virginia State Chapter of ASTA) Outstanding String Teacher Award and the 2002 “Excellence in Teaching” Award by the Division of Music and College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University. Her past teaching positions include West Virginia University, University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Georgia and the Preparatory Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Prior to her teaching career, Dr. Kobayashi was a professional orchestral musician and played as a member of the second violin section in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

Dr. Kobayashi studied violin with Dorothy DeLay, Andrew Jennings, Paul Kantor and Denes Zsigmondy and performed in the master classes for Nathan Milstein, Ruggiero Ricci, Arthur Grumiaux, and Gyorgy Pauk. Chamber music studies have been with members of the Juilliard, Tokyo and American String Quartets as well as with collaborative pianists Robert McDonald and Samuel Sanders. Dr. Kobayashi earned degrees from The Juilliard School and Yale University and the Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Michigan.

A native of Columbia, SC, cellist, Kenneth Law, enjoys a diverse career as performer, teacher and author.  He is a member of the Ritz Chamber Players (Jacksonville, FL), Main Street Chamber Players and Polaris Piano Trio.   In addition to performances abroad as soloist and recitalist, his chamber music performances include appearances at the Arts Club of Washington, the German Embassy and the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center Concert Series, and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Mr. Law has also performed in England, France, Scotland, Panama and Puerto Rico as a member of the Converse Trio. He has collaborated with such artists as Earl Carlyss (Juilliard String Quartet), Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet), Ying String Quartet, Norman Carroll (Concertmaster Emeritus, Philadelphia Orchestra) and violinist Diane Monroe, and has recorded orchestral and chamber music for Albany Records, and the New Albion and Telarc labels. In March of 2006, Mr. Law was featured on the nationally televised NAACP Image Awards as a member of the Ritz Chamber Players.  Mr. Law gave his first performance at the Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, SC, as a member of the Converse Trio in the Spring of 2008; in the Summers of 2009 and 2010 returned as a member of Ensemble Argos and in the Spring of 2017 as a member of the Polaris Piano Trio.  In the Summer of 2011 he performed as a member of the Charleston Baroque, and as Director of Chamber Music and performer in the 2013 Colour of Music Festival, also in Charleston.

Mr. Law currently maintains a large private studio in Fairfax.  Prior to his move to Fairfax, He served on the faculty of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a past president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and is a recipient of the Studio Teacher of the Year Award from both the South Carolina (2010) and the Virginia (2017) chapters of the American String Teachers Association.

Mr. Law received undergraduate and graduate degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music and Cleveland Institute of Music where his primary teachers were Paul Katz and Alan Harris, and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied cello with Stephen Kates, and chamber music with Earl Carlyss.  He was also a chamber music fellow at The Juilliard School.  For several summers, Mr. Law was a participant in the Aspen Music Festival’s Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, and was coached by the Cleveland, American, Muir, Cavani, Orion and Emerson String Quartets.  As a participant in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, he was coached by the Tokyo Quartet, Claude Frank, Aldo Parisot, Gyorgy Pauk, and Nobuko Imai.  During the summer, Mr. Law has served on the faculties of the Summit Music Festival, Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the Colour of Music Festival in Charleston, SC.

Regarded as an artist of great depth and virtuosity, pianist Julee An has appeared as soloist in some of the most prestigious venues around the globe, including the Grand Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Her successful solo recital debut in 1993 at the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, was marked as the second and only occasion that a Korean pianist had been invited to perform, the first being the legendary pianist Kun-Woo Baik.  Since her debut as a solo recitalist at age 10, and her debut as an orchestral soloist at age 11, Ms. An has performed in major cities in almost every state in the U.S. in recital and with orchestras, and toured extensively throughout Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland.  She made her first, month long, eighteen-city tour on concert stages throughout Europe at age 17.   Ms. An has performed as guest artist at the Prince Albert Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, the Mosel Festiwochen Musikfestival in Germany, International Piano Series in Charleston, Old First Church Series in San Francisco sponsored by the Chopin Foundation, Embassies in Washington DC, Piano Technicians Guild Convention in Chicago, Music Teachers National Associations’ (MTNA) Conventions in Texas, Louisiana, and Nebraska as their highlighted guest artist, to name a few.   Her performance of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No.1 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic was aired live throughout Russia, and many of her live performances have been televised and radio broadcasted in Canada and the U.S., including through Classical KUSC, of her numerous performances in Los Angeles.

Ms. An’s many awards include First Prizes at the Young Keyboard Artist International Competition, the American Music Scholarship International Competition, National MTNA Baldwin and Yamaha Competitions.   Ms. An began her piano studies at age 4 in Seoul, Korea, with her mother, and her later studies include extensive work with John Perry and Julian Martin at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Southern California for her undergraduate and graduate (B.M/M.M.) degrees.  As a pedagogue herself beginning her teaching career working with both undergraduate and graduate piano performance majors at USC, she currently lends a small portion of her schedule to work with intensive private students, landing their music studies at Yale, University of Maryland, Peabody Conservatory, Stanford, and Berklee College of Music.   After performing as the first guest artist for the Korean-American Scholarship Foundation, a scholarship was established by the foundation in Ms. An’s name, which continues to be awarded, annually, to Korean-American students of excellence in academics and leadership, since 1991.

Ms. An currently resides in Arlington, VA, where she shares her time as a guest lecturer, adjudicator, solo artist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist.