Texas Rising Stars: Soloist Biographies
Four young artists — recent winners of the Butler School of Music‘s String Concerto Competition — will perform solos at the Austin Civic Orchestra’s Texas Rising Stars concert on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. Read the artists’ bios below and join us for the performance!
Canadian violinist Patrice Calixte began playing the violin at the age of eight and went on to participate in a highly competitive high school music program in Montreal, Quebec, where he studied with Francine Pépin. He then earned his undergraduate degree and master’s degree in music performance from the Université de Montréal, studying under Claude Richard.
An experienced orchestral musician, Calixte has worked with many orchestras in Québec and Ontario, including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. More recently, he was hired to the first violin section of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, where he stayed for two years. Leaving Calgary in search for even more personal development, Calixte is now working towards an artist diploma from The University of Texas at Austin in the studio of Daniel Ching. He has played in numerous master classes from luminaries such as Maxim Vengerov and Regis Pasquier. Calixte has also performed as a concertist with various orchestras in Montreal and recently won The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
Henry Johnston began studying guitar at the age of six with his father, Alan Johnston. In 2009 he won second place in the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Guitar Competition, junior division. In April 2011, Johnston performed at the Fitzgerald Theatre in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota as one of five winners of MN Varsity, Minnesota Public Radio’s first annual competition for young classical singers and instrumentalists. Later that same month, he became the youngest guitarist ever to win first prize in the Schubert Club Competition in St. Paul, at the age of 14.
In 2013, Johnston was a finalist in the senior division of the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition in Louisville, Kentucky. In September of that year, he appeared on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” program broadcast from the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota. In October 2016, he won first prize in the Texas A&M International Guitar Competition. He went on to win second prize in the Florida Guitar Foundation guitar competition in March 2017, and second prize in the Indiana International guitar competition in October 2017.
Johnston’s past teachers include Alan Johnston, John Holmquist, and Judicael Perroy. He is an active chamber musician and has performed frequently with the MacPhail Guitar Quartet, featured on television and radio. He currently resides in Austin, Texas where he studies under Adam Holzman at The University of Texas at Austin. He plays a guitar made by the French luthier Hugo Cuvilliez.
Nicolás Medina Gutiérrez
Violinist Nicolás Medina Gutiérrez is in his first year at The University of Texas at Austin. A native of Venezuela, he began his violin studies at the age of seven as part of the widely acclaimed El Sistema program. Gutiérrez became concertmaster of the Lisandro Ramírez Children Orchestra at the age of 10. A few years later, he became assistant concertmaster for the Orquesta Juvenil de Carabobo.
As a soloist, Gutiérrez has performed with the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Carabobo numerous times. Additionally, he has toured Italy, France, Austria, Russia, and Japan, among other countries, as part of the prestigious Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas. As a member of that orchestra, Gutiérrez has been fortunate to work with renowned conductors including Maestro Sung Kwak, Christian Vázquez, and Gustavo Dudamel. After graduating from the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas, Gutiérrez began playing in the Caracas Symphony Orchestra while he attended the Academia Latinoamericana de Violín.
Gutiérrez is currently a student of Professor Brian Lewis at The University of Texas at Austin. He previously studied with Maestro Sergio Celis as part of the El Sistema program and Maestro Luis Miguel González at the Academia Latinoamericana de Violín.
Korean cellist Seulki Lee is the principal cellist with the Round Rock Symphony and associate principal cellist with the Victoria Symphony, roles she has held since 2016. Lee recently won second prize from the Lewisville Lake Concerto Competition in Texas and is a scholarship recipient of the Fontainebleau Festival in France, where she was awarded the Prix de musique de chambre in cello.
She began her performance career at any early age, playing the Goltermann Concerto No. 3 with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra when she was just 13 years old. She went on to perform the Dvorak Concerto with the Daejeon Art High School Philharmonic Orchestra in the Daejeon Expo Concert Hall as well as a tribute concert in 2011 to honor Pablo Casals at the Spanish Museum in New York, playing works arranged for cello orchestra conducted by Bonnie Hampton.
As a chamber musician, Lee has performed in venues around the world, including the Chapelle de la Trinité in France, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Rose Room and more. Her former chamber music coaches include Nicholas Mann, Wolfram Koessel, Laurie Carney and Laurie Smukler. As an orchestral player, Lee has performed diverse works by composers such as Richard Danielpour, Aaron Copland and Charles Fussell, led by top conductors including Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, George Manahan, Jose De Eusebio and Leonard Slatkin.
Lee is a recipient of coaching and master classes led by musicians from these string quartets: Takács, American, Tokyo, Cleveland, Jupiter, Penderecki, Arianna, Miro and Jerusalem. She has also collaborated with international musicians such as Richard Stoltzman, Tony Nys, Bonnie Hampton and Wendy Chen. Lee has performed in master classes and lessons with David Geringas, Clive Greensmith, Richard Tunicliffe, Bonnie Hampton, Robert de Maine, Peter Stumpf and Yumi Kendall. Her festival participation includes the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, Britten-Pears Aldeburgh Festival in the UK, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Music Academy of the West, Thy Chamber Music Festival in Denmark, Fontainebleau Music Festival in France, Madeline Island Music Camp (fellowship) and National Orchestral Institute.
Lee earned a bachelor’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Julia Lichten. She earned her master’s degree at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music under Norman Fischer, and also studied with Diana Legati at the Paris Conservatory as well as Herre Jan Stegenga. Currently, she is pursuing her doctor of musical arts degree with Bion Tsang at The University of Texas at Austin. She loves to travel around the world, read, and attend concerts.