Bunch & Brahms

The Shedd Institute for the Arts

Monday, April 11, 2022 • 7:30 PM

Pre-concert Dinner • 5:30 PM

Program

American composer and violist Kenji Bunch has returned to reside in his hometown of Portland, Oregon after living for 20 years in New York City. Amici is happy to host Bunch and pianist Monica Ohuchi to play one of his popular works “String Circle,” a string quintet with two violas, in addition to a piano quartet by Brahms. 

String Circle

Kenji Bunch

Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 60

Johannes Brahms

Key to Music Nora Rodabaugh Youth

Guest Artists

Kenji Bunch, composer, viola

Kenji Bunch uses his work as a composer and performer to look for commonalities between musical traditions, for understandings that transcend cultural or generational barriers, and for empathic connections with his listeners. Bunch draws on vernacular musical traditions, his interest in history, the natural world, and his classical training to create new concert music with a unique personal vocabulary that appeals to performers, audiences, and critics alike. After nearly three decades as a professional…

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musician whose work has been performed by over 60 American orchestras and by chamber musicians on six continents, and has been recorded numerous times, he considers his mission to be the continuing search for and celebration of shared emotional truths about the human experience.

Bunch maintains an active performing career, and is widely recognized for performing his own groundbreaking works for viola. In the ongoing search for fluency in other musical styles, he developed a deep interest in vernacular American music and improvisation. Bunch was the fiddle player and vocalist with the band Citigrass for over 15 years, and is a frequent collaborator with jazz, pop, folk, country, rock, and experimental musicians. He has also collaborated extensively with choreographers and filmmakers.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Bunch left New York City after 22 memorable years to return to his native Portland, Oregon, where he currently serves as Artistic Director of the new music group Fear No Music, and teaches at Portland State University, Reed College, and for the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

Japanese American pianist Monica Ohuchi performs “with beauty, clarity and drive… [offering a] warmth… and expressiveness [that’s] irresistible and deeply moving.” (The Times Argus) Filled with purpose, Ohuchi exudes a “commanding pianism.” (The New York Times) “Dutifully and gracefully” (San Francisco Classical Voice) attentive to musical depth and detail, Ohuchi offers uniquely generous and engaging performances. Her solo, chamber, and teaching career includes appearances…

READ MORE

… across the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe, at such venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Meany Hall (Seattle), the Canadian Opera Company’s Richard Bradshaw Amphitheater, and Hakuju Concert Hall (Tokyo).

A gracious and polished chamber musician, Ohuchi is a member of Fear No Music, and performs with Chamber Music Northwest (Oregon), the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival (Oregon), and the Craftsbury Chamber Players (Vermont). With a passion for equity and diversity, Ohuchi serves as Executive Director of Fear No Music alongside her violist and composer husband, Kenji Bunch, who is the group’s Artistic Director.

“Fear No Music’s husband-and-wife leadership team have spent the past five years making FNM the best kind of Portland hybrid: a classical ensemble with unimpeachable performance credentials, a love for local and contemporary composers, and a mature sense of social justice and responsibility. (Oregon ArtsWatch

An engaging and dedicated music educator, Ohuchi is a frequent guest clinician, panelist, and competition adjudicator. Holding advanced degrees from the Juilliard School, Ohuchi currently teaches at Reed College, as Program Director of the Performing Arts Division.  

Monica Ohuchi, piano

Kenji Bunch, composer, viola

Kenji Bunch uses his work as a composer and performer to look for commonalities between musical traditions, for understandings that transcend cultural or generational barriers, and for empathic connections with his listeners. Bunch draws on vernacular musical traditions, his interest in history, the natural world, and his classical training to create new concert music with a unique personal vocabulary that appeals to performers, audiences, and critics alike. After nearly three decades as a professional…

READ MORE

musician whose work has been performed by over 60 American orchestras and by chamber musicians on six continents, and has been recorded numerous times, he considers his mission to be the continuing search for and celebration of shared emotional truths about the human experience.

Bunch maintains an active performing career, and is widely recognized for performing his own groundbreaking works for viola. In the ongoing search for fluency in other musical styles, he developed a deep interest in vernacular American music and improvisation. Bunch was the fiddle player and vocalist with the band Citigrass for over 15 years, and is a frequent collaborator with jazz, pop, folk, country, rock, and experimental musicians. He has also collaborated extensively with choreographers and filmmakers.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Bunch left New York City after 22 memorable years to return to his native Portland, Oregon, where he currently serves as Artistic Director of the new music group Fear No Music, and teaches at Portland State University, Reed College, and for the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

Monica Ohuchi, piano

Japanese American pianist Monica Ohuchi performs “with beauty, clarity and drive… [offering a] warmth… and expressiveness [that’s] irresistible and deeply moving.” (The Times Argus) Filled with purpose, Ohuchi exudes a “commanding pianism.” (The New York Times) “Dutifully and gracefully” (San Francisco Classical Voice) attentive to musical depth and detail, Ohuchi offers uniquely generous and engaging performances. Her solo, chamber, and teaching career includes appearances…

READ MORE

… across the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe, at such venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Meany Hall (Seattle), the Canadian Opera Company’s Richard Bradshaw Amphitheater, and Hakuju Concert Hall (Tokyo).

A gracious and polished chamber musician, Ohuchi is a member of Fear No Music, and performs with Chamber Music Northwest (Oregon), the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival (Oregon), and the Craftsbury Chamber Players (Vermont). With a passion for equity and diversity, Ohuchi serves as Executive Director of Fear No Music alongside her violist and composer husband, Kenji Bunch, who is the group’s Artistic Director.

“Fear No Music’s husband-and-wife leadership team have spent the past five years making FNM the best kind of Portland hybrid: a classical ensemble with unimpeachable performance credentials, a love for local and contemporary composers, and a mature sense of social justice and responsibility. (Oregon ArtsWatch

An engaging and dedicated music educator, Ohuchi is a frequent guest clinician, panelist, and competition adjudicator. Holding advanced degrees from the Juilliard School, Ohuchi currently teaches at Reed College, as Program Director of the Performing Arts Division.  

Core Musicians Playing This Concert

Jessica Lambert, violin

Jessica Lambert, violin

Lillie Manis, violin

Lillie Manis, violin

Steven Pologe, cello

Steven Pologe, cello

Sharon Schuman, violin

Sharon Schuman, violin

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Need to get in touch?

Email us at info@chambermusicamici.org or call 541-953-9204.