The Alaska Trio in Concert

Start time April 4, 2024 17:30
Address Faith Luthern Church of Homer

The Alaska Trio from the University of Alaska Fairbanks performs a FREE CONCERT featuring works by Beethoven, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky.


Eduard Zilberkant Piano

Russian born Eduard Zilberkant is recognized as one of today’s most gifted artists and has an active career as conductor and pianist. A Yamaha performing artist, Eduard Zilberkant has been received enthusiastically by audiences and press alike throughout Europe, Canada, Asia and the United States, performing in such halls as The Academy of Music and Curtis Hall in Philadelphia; Merkin Hall in New York City; Artur Rubinstein Hall and Warsaw Philharmonic Hall in Poland; Teatro di San Carlo Opera House in Naples, Italy; Teatro Sangiorgi in Catania, Sicily; Volgograd Opera House in Russia; Sitka Music Festival and Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage.

Eduard Zilberkant has been a guest artist and conductor at some of the most prestigious music festivals which include the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City; the Classical Bridge International Music Festival in New York City; the Ravello Festival in Italy; the Gumi International Music Festival in South Korea; the Corfu Festival Ionian Concert Series in Greece; the Monolis Kalomiris International Music Festival in Greece; the Assisi International Festival and Orazio Frugoni Music Institute in Italy; the Baracasa Festival of Radio France in Montpellier, France; the Alaska International Piano-e-Competition, Fairbanks, Alaska; and the Bellingham Music Festival in Washington. Some of the orchestras he has guest conducted include the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague and on tour to Germany; the orchestra of Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano in Italy; the Martinu Chamber Orchestra in the Czech Republic and Germany; the Orchestra of the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily; the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra in New York City; the Teatro di San Carlo Orchestra in Naples, Italy; and the Prague Philharmonic in Prague and Italy.

The Badische Zeitung wrote of his performance of the Dvorak’s “New World Symphony”, “[Maestro Zilberkant] made an impression for feeling the nuances of tempo, pauses, and accents… he brought out new colors and romantic feeling with full balance of the sound from the orchestra.” After his performance of the Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in Anchorage, Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News wrote: “[Maestro Zilberkant] brought admirable intelligence to his reading of the piece…and sculpting the individual lines into a monumental and heroic structure; his weaving of the finale’s awesome counterpoint show him to be a musician of significance whom we hope to hear again.” American Record Guide stated, “Zilberkant’s artistic approach emphasizes a strongly colored rhetoric, supported by passionate and sensitive temperament…Zilberkant’s pianistic and musical qualities are found not only in his speed, but also in his ability to distill the slow tempos by drawing them out to the extreme.” Radio France, Polish Radio and Television and PBS Radio and Television in the United States have also broadcast his performances. Music critics have asserted that he “possesses a remarkable keyboard mastery; plays in the style of the old romantic masters; he knows how to extract quite a palette of colors from the piano; his playing is subtle and passionate at the same time; he has the equipment that makes for pianist greatness.”

Eduard Zilberkant has been hailed as an inspirational teacher around the world. He has given masterclasses at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City, the Rubinstein Academy in Dusseldorf and the Conservatory of Music and Dance Cologne, Germany; the Puccini Conservatory in Italy; the Gumi International Music Festival in South Korea, and the Ionian Conservatory in Greece. His students have won national and international piano competitions and appear as soloists worldwide.

A Fulbright Scholar in Germany, Eduard Zilberkant received a Solisten Diploma from the Freiburg Musik Hochschule. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. His teachers have included Jerome Rose, Vitaly Margulis, Theodore Lettvin, Robert Spano and Robert Shaw. Presently, he is Artist in Residence and Professor of Piano at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For the past eighteen years he has been Music Director and Conductor of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and the Arctic Chamber Orchestra.

For more information, please visit his website at


Yue Sun Violin

Chinese violinist Yue Sun has been hailed by Jiangnan City Daily for playing “fabulously and splendidly,” and by the Nanchang Daily for her ability to “fuse her passionate performance with unparalleled musical charm.” Modern Women in China called her “the most shining rising star.” Her DVD album “Passion” for 8 premiers of Chinese solo violin works was released and published by Shanghai Audio and Video Publishing House in 2017. Shortly after, the album was published by Shanghai Music House with the sheet music, and the CD version of the same album was distributed globally in the United States by Skillman Music in January 2018. With the album, she was interviewed by New York Lounge of SinoVision and was applauded for her “stringent artistic attitude and creative technical innovation.”

As a soloist, Ms. Sun has performed recitals throughout America, Europe, and Asia at prestigious venues such as Shanghai Concert Hall and the Sanders Theater at Harvard. She has also been invited to attend and perform as a part of numerous music festivals, including Hotchkiss Chamber Music Festival, Music Festival of Banff Centre, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music, and others. As an active orchestral violinist, Ms. Sun was selected as the concertmaster and associate concertmaster for numerous orchestras such as the Latin GRAMMY® Award Orchestra of the Americas, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra, and performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, and National Grand Theater of China with renowned musicians such as Alan Gilbert, Christoph Eschenbach, David Geringas, Joshua Bell, James Gaffigan, Midori Goto, Ivan Fischer, Semyon Bychkov, and Valery Gergiev. Christoph Eschenbach praised her as “a rare talent of roaring flame and infectious passion.”

Ms. Sun earned her Master of Music in Violin Performance from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Ida Kavafian on full scholarship. Her Bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and violin performance are from Bard College with full scholarship. As an active chamber musician, Ms. Sun has invited to collaborate with Emerson String Quartet, Peter Willey, Steven Tenenbom, Paul Watkins, Jennifer Frautschi, Joan Tower,
Steven Mackey, and other renowned musicians. Ms. Sun is a member of DEKA String Quartet. With the quartet, she has been closely mentored by the Emerson String Quartet and David Finckel for the past half decade. From 2019 to 2020, her quartet has served as Artists-in-Residence through the SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Ms. Sun graduated from Stony Brook University with a Doctorate of Music Arts. At Stony Brook, she studied with Hagai Shaham, Philip Setzer, Jennifer Frautschi, and Arnaud Sussmann. She has been playing with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra from 2019 to 2022, and immediately after, she has joined UAF College of Liberal Arts as Assistant Professor of Music-Upper Strings. She is also the concertmaster of Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra the artistic director of the Northern Lights String Orchestra and violinist of the Alaska Piano Trio. In her spare time, she likes to cook and make interesting bubble teas.

For more information, please visit her website at


Daniel Strawser Cello

Dr. Daniel Strawser is an active cellist throughout the United States who has taught at all levels of music education. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Strawser studied music education at Denison University and holds masters and doctoral degrees in cello performance from the University of Memphis, where he studied with Brazilian cellist Leo Altino.

Active in symphonic, chamber, and solo performance, Dr. Strawser has performed throughout the Midwest, the Mid-South region, Alaska, and beyond. The principal cellist
of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, he previously served as principal cellist of the Delta Symphony Orchestra while also performing with the Starkville Symphony, The
Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and the Memphis-based Eroica Ensemble. Additionally, he has performed with orchestras in Ohio, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Washington, and Italy. Dr. Strawser has also been active in regional chamber music, performing with the Arkansas State Piano Quartet and pursuing duet performances with colleagues. Dr.
Strawser has performed solo recitals on a variety of repertory in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Ohio. The little-known Austrian composer Hans Gál is a particular favorite of his, and Gál’s cello music was the subject of Dr. Strawser’s doctoral dissertation.

Working in disadvantaged urban schools, Dr. Strawser taught in the public school system in Memphis, Tennessee for nine years. Dr. Strawser organized and maintained active orchestra programs throughout the city of Memphis in some of the most impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhoods in the United States. This time in public education gave Dr. Strawser a great passion for helping the disadvantaged have access to the classical music experience and access to excellent training in the field.

Dr. Strawser has served on the faculties of Arkansas State University and Union University as an instructor of cello, where he helped to develop each school’s respective cello program by teaching their very first performance majors on the instrument.

As instructor of music education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Dr. Strawser brings a strong commitment to excellence and community. Students studying Music
Education at UAF are guided through a variety of unique experiences that help to prepare them for classroom teaching. These include participation in professional
organizations, such as the collegiate NAfME chapter and AMEA that involve students in fundraising, conferences, and other professional activities. Students are also encouraged and given opportunities to work alongside local advocates for music education in Fairbanks, and are given many opportunities in both curriculum and outside of it to practice their teaching in real classroom settings.