Academy Faculty

Meet our Faculty for the Academy

Our Academy Faculty:

Istvan Loga – viola
Christopher Ferrer – cello
Christopher Polen – bass

Faculty members coach academy orchestra students in various formats – one-to-one, quartets, sectionals and so on. We have two Academy orchestras – Junior (ages 8 – 14) and Senior (ages 12 – 18) comprising 22 students in total.

Academy Faculty Biographies – Senior Academy

Kit Polen

Bassist Kit Polen performs regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including joining them on tours through Europe, Asia, and the US. Since 2015, he has been Principal Bass of Camerata Chicago as well as the Associate Principal Bass of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, in addition to performing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has performed with many artists including the Kontras Quartet, Chai Collaborative Ensemble, and Leon Fleisher. Equally comfortable outside the traditional symphonic setting, Polen has collaborated with CSO’s MusicNOW series … read more.

Istvan Loga – Viola

Istvan Loga has followed his passion for classical music across borders. At the George Enesco School of Music under the guidance of Professor Alexander Gavaller he won numerous prestigious awards and studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. In 2010 he studied with the Cordis Quartet at Nederland’s Strijkkwartet Academie under Stefan Metz (Orlando Quartet) and Marc Danel (Quatuor Danel). Istvan performed alongside world-renowned pianist Martha Argerich … read more.

Christopher Ferrer – Principal Cello, Continuo

Cellist Christopher Ferrer is Principal Cellist of Camerata Chicago and a member of Lakeshore Rush. From 2013-2014 he worked as principal cellist for the West Side Story North American Tour. Christopher attended the Royal College of Music in London and Northern Illinois University. While in high school, he was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Encore Chamber Orchestra. … read more.

Kit Polen Biography

Christoper Polen – Principal Bass

Bassist Kit Polen performs regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including joining them on tours through Europe, Asia, and the US. Since 2015, he has been Principal Bass of Camerata Chicago as well as the Associate Principal Bass of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, in addition to performing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has performed with many artists including the Kontras Quartet, Chai Collaborative Ensemble, and Leon Fleisher. Equally comfortable outside the traditional symphonic setting, Polen has collaborated with CSO’s MusicNOW series, the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, and has also been a part of multiple Grammy nominated R&B recordings.

Polen has been based in Chicago since 2011, when he joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as Assistant Principal Bass. Prior to moving to Chicago, he earned his Master of Music from Indiana University and his Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, near his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina. He has spent summers studying and performing at multiple festivals including Aspen Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Brevard Music Festival. His most influential teachers and mentors include Bruce Bransby, Lawrence Hurst, Craig Brown, Andrew Raciti, and Alexander Hanna.

Academy 2020 Videos

Recording Session December 18, 2020

Senior Academy

There are 8 Videos in this playlist:

1 Bach A minor Violin Concerto BWV 1041 Movt 1
Soloist – Tabitha Rea

2 Beethoven Piano Quartet in C major, WoO 36 No. 1 Movt 1.
Soloist – Kate Johnston

Expanded for string orchestra

Mozart Symphony No 15 in G Major

3 Movt 1 Allegro
4 Movt 2 Andante
5 Movt 3 Minuet & Trio
6 Movt 4 Presto

7 Mascagni Intermezzo for Cavaliera Rusticana

8 Shostakovich Waltz No. 2

(From Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra)

Junior Academy

There are 3 Videos in this playlist:

1 Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.4 Movt. 3
2 Kuchler Concertino in D Movt. 1
3 Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.4 Movt. 3 – Section Principals

Junior Academy Section Principals
Audrianna Hall
Helen Gordeuk
Eva Dalmas
Iselin Byars
Lawrence Hall

For more Academy videos head over to Academy Videos.

Academy

Camerata Chicago Academy

The Camerata Chicago Academy was founded in 2014 and there are two orchestras comprising advanced students.

The Senior Academy Orchestra: Advanced high-school students aged 12 – 18 play as a string orchestra.

The Junior Academy Ensemble: Students aged 8 – 14 playing as a small chamber ensemble.

Camerata Chicago Academy provides a marvelous opportunity for young musicians to perform in a professional atmosphere under the direction of an internationally known conductor, Drostan Hall, Camerata Chicago’s Music Director, who has 25 years of experience of training aspiring young musicians. The objective of the Academy orchestra is to achieve a very high level of music making to produce a disciplined and professional sound, allowing young musicians to learn to work together.

The Academy has a faculty of staff who coach students in various formats such as on-to-one, quartets, quintets and sectionals.

See Academy Videos

For ten years Maestro Hall conducted the Baroque Festival Orchestra, an accomplished training orchestra for students. Known for its high level, the orchestra garnered two invitations to perform on the WFMT radio show Introductions.

The Academy orchestra is very similar in size and scope to the BFO (see photo below). I invite you to listen to this live broadcast from WFMT’s Introductions of the BFO performing Frolicksome Finale from Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony. This broadcast illustrates the experience you will receive in the Camerata Chicago Academy.

Academy Schedule

Senior Academy Orchestra

Dates: 2021 Winter/Spring Semester start date January 11, 2021 and subsequent Mondays
Rehearsal Times: All rehearsals take place on Mondays 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Location: Gary Methodist Church, 224 North Main Street, Wheaton, IL 60187 (location in normal times).

Junior Academy Ensemble

Dates: 2021 Winter/Spring Semester start date January 8, 2021 and subsequent Fridays.
Rehearsal Times: All rehearsals take place on Fridays 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location: St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, IL 60187 (location in normal times).

Concert Details

The Academy works towards high quality performances each Fall and Spring.

Instead of a concert for the 2020 fall semester we held professional recording sessions on December 18, 2020 and released the finished videos on this website.

The 2019 Fall Semester Concert for the Academy Orchestra and the Junior Academy ensemble took place on December 7, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, Wheaton. We are aiming to have a concert for the Spring 2021 Semester if possible!

See current concerts on our ticket system. Tickets for Academy concerts are only $15 and concertgoers aged 16 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

Repertoire: Featured repertoire includes music from the Baroque and classical periods and the string orchestra literature. On occasion, sectional rehearsals will be coached by a member of Camerata Chicago. Additionally, solo opportunities will be given to the most outstanding members of the ensemble and outside guest artists may be invited to solo with the orchestra.

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To audition for the Academy, please contact us here, or call 630-221-5555.

Location

The Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra is the official
Ensemble in Residence at Gary Methodist Church, Wheaton:

Gary Methodist Church
224 North Main Street
Wheaton, IL60187

Camerata Chicago String Quintet

Chamber Music
with the
Camerata Chicago String Quintet

Mathias Tacke (violin), Rika Seko (violin), Rebecca Swan (viola),
Istvan Loga (viola), Christopher Ferrer (‘cello)

Phantasy Quintet, Ralph Vaughan Williams

Beethoven String Quintet No.2, Op. 29 in C Major

This free live-streamed concert was
performed on November 20

Please make a donation to support our mission and our musicians!

Livestreamed from the Sanctuary
Gary United Methodist Church
WHEATON

Enjoy this fabulous performance of the Beethoven String Quintet No. 2 and Vaughan Williams’ Phantasy Quintet with our new quintet in this live-streamed chamber music concert.

String Quintet Repertoire

Phantasy Quintet, Ralph Vaughan Williams

Leader: Mathias Tacke

1 Prelude. Lento ma non troppo (C minor)
2 Scherzo. Prestissimo (D minor)
3 Alla Sarabanda. Lento (A major)
4 Burlesca. Allegro moderato (D minor)

Beethoven String Quintet No.2, Op. 29 in C Major

Leader: Rika Seko

1 Allegro moderato (C major)
2 Adagio molto espressivo (F major)
3 Scherzo. Allegro (C major)
4 Presto (C major)

Camerata Chicago String Quintet Artists

Mathias Tacke – Concert Master, Violin

Mathias Tacke is Concert Master of Camerata Chicago and was the second violinist of the acclaimed Vermeer Quartet, Chicago from 1992 until 2007. He is Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Northern Illinois University and Guest Lecturer for String Chamber Music at Northwestern University. Mathias was appointed Concertmaster of Camerata Chicago in the summer of 2008. … read more.

Rika Seko – Violin

After graduating from Tokyo University of Arts, Rika Seko began her professional career in Bogota, Colombia in 1986, first as guest Concertmaster of the Colombia Symphony, then as Assistant Concertmaster in the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra. During that time, she performed over 20 different concertos, from Baroque to Contemporary Repertoire, and gave numerous recitals in Latin America. Since moving to Chicago in 1994 Rika has appeared with many Chicago-area orchestras including Camerata Chicago, … read more.

Rebecca Swan – Viola

Rebecca Swan (BM The Juilliard School ’04) is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. A native of the Chicago area, Rebecca recently moved back after several years in Charlotte, NC, where she played Principal Viola for Charlotte’s Broadway Series and subbed regularly with the Charlotte Symphony. She has studied under Itzhak Perlman, Peter Slowik, Toby Appel, and James Dunham, as well as … read more.

Istvan Loga – Viola

Istvan Loga has followed his passion for classical music across borders. At the George Enesco School of Music under the guidance of Professor Alexander Gavaller he won numerous prestigious awards and studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. In 2010 he studied with the Cordis Quartet at Nederland’s Strijkkwartet Academie under Stefan Metz (Orlando Quartet) and Marc Danel (Quatuor Danel). Istvan performed alongside world-renowned pianist Martha Argerich … read more.

Christopher Ferrer – Principal Cello, Continuo

Cellist Christopher Ferrer is Principal Cellist of Camerata Chicago and a member of Lakeshore Rush. From 2013-2014 he worked as principal cellist for the West Side Story North American Tour. Christopher attended the Royal College of Music in London and Northern Illinois University. While in high school, he was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Encore Chamber Orchestra. … read more.

Mathias Tacke, concert master

mathiastacke-200x247Mathias Tacke was the second violinist of the acclaimed Vermeer Quartet, Chicago from 1992 until 2007. He is Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Northern Illinois University and Guest Lecturer for String Chamber Music at Northwestern University.

Mathias Tacke was appointed Concertmaster of Camerata Chicago in the summer of 2008.

With the Vermeer Quartet Mathias Tacke gave performances in practically all of the most prestigious festivals, including Tanglewood, Taos, Ravinia, South Bank, Lucerne, Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein and Edinburgh, to name a few. Three of the Vermeer Quartet recordings were nominated for the Grammy Award. Mathias Tacke appears internationally as a soloist and chamber player, performing a wide range of repertoire from the Baroque to music of our time.

A native of Germany, Mathias Tacke studied with Ernst Mayer-Schierning in Detmold, Germany, with Emanuel Hurwitz and David Takeno in London, and with Sandor Vegh in Prussia Cove, Cornwall. He won first prize in the German National Youth Competition and graduated from the Musikakademie Detmold, where he was later appointed to the faculty.

From 1983-1992 Mr.Tacke was a member of the Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, one of the most important professional groups specializing in the performance of contemporary music. In this capacity he gave countless first performances, including works by most of today’s leading composers. He has made numerous recordings for such labels as Sony, ECM. Harmonia Mundi, Naxos and Cedille.