Janet Sung, Artistic Director
Violinist Janet Sung enjoys an acclaimed international career as a virtuoso soloist, recognized for her intense, exhilarating performances, and by her signature lustrous, burnished tone. Hailed by The Washington Post for her “riveting” playing and “exquisite tone”, her playing possesses the rare blend of fierce intelligence, subtlety and brilliant virtuosity.
Since her orchestral debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age 9, she has performed with leading orchestras worldwide. Recent seasons has seen her as soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, Pusan Philharmonic (South Korea), Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia (UK), Cairo Symphony Orchestra (Egypt), the Aspen Festival Chamber Symphony and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, as well as the orchestras of Boise, Delaware, Dubuque, Fargo-Moorhead, Hartford, Las Cruces, Tacoma and Wyoming, amongst others across the U.S.
Ms. Sung has been heard as concerto and recital soloist at distinguished festivals, including the Switzerland's Lucerne Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Bellingham Festival, Britt Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and the Conciertos de La Villa Festival de Santo Domingo. In recital, she has been presented in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Louisville, New York City, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, as well as in Odense, Denmark, Lausanne, Switzerland and Queenstown, New Zealand, and Jiangyin, China. A prolific chamber artist, Ms. Sung performs at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Kreeger Chamber Music Festival in Washington, D.C., the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and the Newport Music Festival, and is a regular guest with the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble and the American Chamber Players.
An artist of remarkable versatility, Ms. Sung is celebrated for her compelling performances of traditional works from Bach to Berg, and is passionate about promoting works of the 20th and 21st centuries. In recent years, she has performed repertoire as diverse as Henri Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, L’Arbes des Songes, and Astor Piazzolla’s Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas. Ms. Sung has also presented the world premieres of Kenneth Fuchs’ American Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra, Augusta Read Thomas’ Double Helix, which was recently released on Nimbus Records, and Kenneth Hesketh’s Inscription/Transformation for Violin and Orchestra in Germany. A new Violin Concerto No. 4 by Augusta Read Thomas has been commissioned for her.
Her solo performances have frequently been aired on radio and television, nationally and internationally, including multiple broadcasts of her performance of Korngold’s Violin Concerto on NPR’s “Performance Today,” and regular performances on Chicago’s Classical WFMT. She is featured on recordings of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, the latter with members of the Gewandhaus Orchestra recorded at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany. Her latest solo CD, Edge of Youth, for Sono Luminus was released in Spring 2019 and has been acclaimed for its “daring program” and “moving and technically unimpeachable” playing and features works by Britten, Enescu, and three dynamic living composers, Missy Mazzoli, Daniel Visconti, and Gabriel Prokofiev. A concerto CD with the Britten Sinfonia for SOMM Recordings (UK) is to be released in Fall 2019, featuring Kenneth Hesketh’s Inscription/Transformation for Violin and Orchestra (premiere), Vaughan Williams’ Violin Concerto in d, and Ravel’s Tzigane.
Janet Sung was chosen by Leonard Slatkin as the recipient of the prestigious Passamaneck Award. She has also toured throughout the United States with fiddler Mark O’Connor’s American String Celebration, showcased in performances of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, and original compositions by O’Connor.
Ms. Sung studied with legendary pedagogues Josef Gingold, with whom she started studying at age nine, and Dorothy Delay. She graduated from Harvard University with a double degree in anthropology and music, and The Juilliard School. She was later invited as the Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard University and, as a highly sought-after artist-teacher, regularly conducts master classes at conservatories throughout the U.S. and abroad. She is currently Head of Strings and Violin Professor at the DePaul University School of Music.
Janet Sung plays a c.1600 Maggini violin crafted in Brescia, Italy.
Michael Herring, Executive Director
Equally at home on stage or off, Michael "Mic" Herring works to combine his love of music, commitment to music education, and advocation for the arts. In addition to his position as Executive Director of Chamber Music Chicago, he also currently serves as an Artist Manager and Booking Agent for Alliance Artist Management, helping to look after an international roster of artists and ensembles that include the Van Kuijk Quartet, Trio Karénine, The Tallis Scholars, Sō Percussion, Jordi Savall, the Spektral Quartet, and others.
Mic also serves as the Managing Director of The Dessoff Choirs, a 95-year-old non-profit avocational choir based in New York City, who he has been with since 2016. The 2016-2017 six-concert season opened to rave review with a performance of Mozart’s Requiem and David Hurd’s In Honor of Martin, celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy, at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in November 2016. Since then Dessoff has continued to present inspiring programming that works to bring communities together. The 2019-2020 season will see the release of Dessoff’s third album featuring the first ever recording of Margaret Bond’s The Ballad of the Brown King on the AVIE Records label, and the New York City premier of Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Sheppard.
A graduate of the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, IL, where he was a student of Janet Sung, Mic holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. While at DePaul, he diversified his playing and teaching background through the study of early music and historically informed performance practice with violinist Brandi Berry and harpsichordist Jason Moy and would later continue these studies with members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto, ON.
While still a student at DePaul, Mic was introduced to the world of arts management through his work in the marketing departments of the School of Music at DePaul and as a James S. Kemper Marketing and Public Relations Fellow with the now defunct Chicago Chamber Musicians.
From 2012–15 he served the Marlboro Music Festival as Festival Coordinator and Manager of the Musicians from Marlboro, the touring ensemble born out of the illustrious chamber music festival in Southern Vermont. During his tenure as Manager, Musicians from Marlboro appeared throughout North America in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls. Another exciting accomplishment in his time with the Musicians from Marlboro was the establishment of an annual three-concert series at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in honor of the Musicians from Marlboro's 50th Anniversary in the 2014-2015 season.
Following his time with Marlboro Mic served as a member of the development team of The Little Orchestra Society in New York City and as the Operations Manager of Young Concert Artist, a nonprofit artist management firm dedicated to launching the careers of exceptional young musicians from all over the world.
As a dedicated violin and viola teacher, Mic has taught for The Harmony Program in New York City, Play On Philly! in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St Luke’s. He maintains a private studio of violin and viola students in New York City.
In the spring of 2019 Mic completed a Master of Science degree in Arts Administration at Drexel University where his research was focused on how non-profit arts organizations can be a catalyst for change within their communities. His Graduate Thesis entitled Learning by Example: Methods to Increase Access to and Inclusion in Music Education for Economically Underprivileged Populations in New York City explores the work of three prominent New York City music education based non-profit organizations and how they work to enrich their communities by providing music education opportunities that are both accessible and inclusive.