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Sophie Shao and Friends kicks off 40th Chamber Concert Series season

Cellist Sophie Shao and a group of highly regarded artists will open the College’s 40th year of the International Festival of Chamber Music.

On Thursday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m., Shao will perform in Memorial Chapel with Lily Francis, Arnaud Sussmann and Paul Neubauer. Together, the musicians will play selections from Mozart string quartets. Shao assembled the group of Marlboro virtuosi exclusively to perform at Union.

Winner of a top prize in the 2001 Rostropovich Competition and a laureate of the 2002 XII Tchaikovsky Competition, Shao has wowed audiences since she was a child. At age 11, she made her first appearance with the Houston Symphony, and at just 19, she received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. She is currently on the faculty at Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music. 

Lily Francis is a member of Chamber Music Society Two, the residency program for distinguished young artists. Francis won a top prize in the 2009 ARD Music Competition in Munich. Like Shao, she is also a Curtis Institute graduate. As violist of the Vertigo String Quartet, she recorded the score to Michael Hollinger’s acclaimed play “Opus.”

Paul Neubauer was appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21. He has appeared with over 100 orchestras and is a two-time Grammy nominee who is currently on the faculty at The Julliard School and Mannes College.

Violinist Arnaud Sussman was a 2009 Avery Fischer Career Grant recipient. He was chosen to be a Starling Fellow by Itzhak Perlman, an honor qualifying him as Perlman’s teaching assistant for two years.

Tickets are $20 per person. For information, call 388-6080 or visit