Ko Trio

Click below to hear the Ko Trio play.

Eclectic Chamber Music

Brought together by a love for chamber music, a commitment to creative artistry and a shared (though eclectic) Korean heritage, the KO Trio was formed in 2011 by Donna Shin, Ji Yon Shim, and Casey Robards.  While celebrating the existing repertoire for this combination of instruments, the KO trio enjoys commissioning new works and often experiments with adapting music written for other instruments.  Their concert repertoire ranges from Baroque to Brasilian, and they often feature George Crumb’s Vox Balanae (Voice of the Whale) for amplified instruments and prepared piano.

Sample Program may be downloaded here.

KO-Trio-1-300Artist Biographies

Flutist Donna Shin has built a reputation as a versatile performer of solo, chamber, orchestra, jazz and ancient Asian repertoire. Performing in concert halls throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, she is admired for her adventurous programming and expressive flair.  Her most recent international concerts include Uzbekistan, Japan, China, Brazil and South Korea.  Shin is the flute professor at the University of Washington School of Music after holding faculty posts at the University of South Carolina and Oklahoma State University.  She has been featured in solo performances with numerous orchestras and wind ensembles including the North Korean National Symphony Orchestra, People’s Liberation Army Band of China, Seattle Symphony Orchestra.  Shin recently premiered D. J. Sparr’s Precious Metal: Concerto for Flute and Winds in Seattle, Japan and China and Hilary Tann’s Shoji, at the University of Texas at Austin.  Orchestral engagements include playing principal flute with the Heidelberg Schlossfestspiele Orchester, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as performances with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Tulsa Signature Symphony, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.  Shin earned degrees with the highest honors from the Interlochen Arts Academy, Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory.  During the summer months, Shin performs as artist-teacher at the Bay View Music Festival in Michigan and is the Young Artist Competition Coordinator for the National Flute Association.

KO Trio in performance2Ji Yon Shim has given several recitals and concerto performances in the United States, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, and France. She has been principal cellist of São Caetano Synphony Orchestra (São Paulo, Brazil) and Co-Principal in several orchestras including Illinois Symphony Orchestra (Springfield, IL) and the Toho Academy Festival Orchestra in Japan.  She is currently teaching Cello and Chamber Music at the college “Faculdade Cantareira” in São Paulo, Brazil.  Previous faculty appointments include Eastern Illinois University; Escola Municipal de Música in São Paulo, Brazil; the State University of São Paulo-UNESP; and the University of Campinas-UNICAMP.  In Brazil, Ji is currently recording and performing new music from the Americas as a member of the group “Hespérides das Américas”, with whom she recorded the CD “Sons das Américas” in 2012, sponsored by SESC.  Her other recording projects include the CD “Primma” with the Trio Puelli, recognized as one of the 10 best productions of 2011 by Bravo magazine, and “Obras de Guerra” with pianist Danieli Longo, sponsored by FAPESP.  Dr. Shim holds the highest prize “Virtuosite” by the ‘Haute Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve‘ in Switzerland and completed her Doctoral of Musical Arts in 2004 at the University of Illinois, where she was Teaching Assistant for Brandon Vamos, Ko Iwasaki, Chris Costanza, Emilio Colon and Suren Bagratuni.

Casey Robards is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach known for her versatility, imagination, and sensitive musicality.  She has given recitals with singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States, as well as France, Brazil and Costa Rica, where she will return in January 2013 with soprano Ollie Watts Davis in concerts sponsored by the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano.  Other performances in 2012-2013 include recitals with soprano Karen Slack; baritone Alex Hurd; flutist Bonita Boyd; flutist, Donna Shin, duo piano recitals with her husband, Anthony Patterson, and solo piano engagements playing her own transcription of John Carter’s Requiem Seditiosam: In Memoriam Medgar Evers.  A committed coach and pedagogue, Dr. Robards is currently a collaborative pianist at Oberlin Conservatory and faculty pianist/vocal coach at the Bay View Music Festival.  She has been on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (Collaborative Piano/Voice), Central Michigan University (Piano) and numerous festivals including Young Musicians Inc. (Evanston, WY); the Weathersfield Music Festival, (Castleton, VT); the Plymouth Music Festival, (Plymouth, MA); and the StudiO Vocal Arts Institute, (Monticello, IL).  She has worked as pianist/coach for Indianapolis Opera, Indiana Opera Theatre and Illinois Opera Theatre.  Dr. Robards completed the B.M. (Piano Performance), M.M. (Piano Pedagogy) and D.M.A. (Vocal Coaching and Accompanying) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She was a Tanglewood Music Festival Vocal Piano Fellow in 2004 and 2005 and recipient of the Henri Kohn Memorial Award.

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