$0 – $30

Signature Series: Toru Tagawa and Friends

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Oracle Center for the Arts

700 E Kingston Street

Oracle, AZ 85623

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This Signature Series concert will feature chamber music of Beethoven, Wieniawski, and Dvorak performed by Toru Tagawa and friends.

About the artists:

Toru Tagawa is the Artistic Director and conductor of the Sierra Vista Symphony from 2016-2017 season. Toru has been the Music Director and Conductor of the the Tucson Repertory Orchestra since 2011. In 2015, the orchestra toured Japan, performed in Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures. He has been the Orchestra Director at Canyon del Oro High School since 2008, under his direction, the orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall on March 20, 2017. His conducting teachers include Thomas Cockrell, Charles Bontrager, Jung-Ho Pak, Maurice Peress and Sandra Dackow. He has participated in conducting workshops at the Juilliard School of Music, and the Queens College, Symposiums in Boston and Chicago and is a member of the Conductors Guild. He was one of the finalists in the American Prize 2014 as a conductor in community orchestra division. He is the president for the American String Teachers Association of Arizona.

Toru, from Hiroshima, Japan, started playing the violin at age 6, and joined the Kurashiki Junior Philharmonic Orchestra at age 9. He received his Violin Performance degrees from the University of Tulsa (BM) and the Florida State University (MM), and a Music Education degree (MME) from the University of Arizona. His main violin teachers include Steven Moeckel, Gary Kosloski, Eliot Chapo, Derry Deane, and Mikio Ejima.

Photo Credit: Catherine Peterson

Dr. Laura Tagawa is active as both a performer and a teacher. She is a member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra, including performances of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 1996 and 1998. She has previously performed in orchestras in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana and internationally with the AIMS Festival Orchestra (Austria), Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra (Japan), and Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra (Canada). She currently performs with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Sierra Vista Symphony, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and Tucson Repertory Orchestra. She serves as orchestra librarian for the Arizona Opera. In the summer she performs as concertmaster at the San Luis Potosi Opera Festival in Mexico.

Laura has extensive teaching experience and maintains her own teaching studio in Tucson, Arizona. She is a registered Suzuki Violin Teacher (Books 1-10) and is the President of the Arizona Suzuki Association, Co-Founder and Director of the Chaparral Suzuki Academy in Prescott, and teaches at workshops and summer programs throughout Arizona.


Laura received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Northern Arizona University, a Master of Music in Performance from Florida State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance from the University of Arizona. Her main violin teachers include Marla Mutschler, Louise Scott, Karen Clarke, and Mark Rush.



Emily Chao, originally from Edison, NJ, made her solo debut at age 13, performing the Kabalevsky violin concerto with the Union Symphony Orchestra in Union, NJ. She graduated in 2013 with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University, where she studied with Lynn Chang and completed a dissertation on Karol Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto, op 35. She also holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from New England Conservatory, where she studied with James Buswell. Emily currently plays violin with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and coaches chamber music for Tucson Adult Chamber Players. She has also played viola for the Sierra Vista Symphony and currently plays principal viola for the Tucson Repertory Orchestra.


Photo Credit: Mindi Acosta

Mr. Robert Marshall was introduced to the cello at the age of 13. He attended the University of South Carolina to pursue a music education degree under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Jesselson from 2008 to 2010. From 2010 to 2013 he studied cello performance with Charae Krueger at Kennesaw State University, where he graduated in May of 2013. Mr. Marshall recently finished his Masters Degree at the University of Arizona studying with Dr.

Theodore Buchholz, where he served as the first cellist of the University of Arizona Graduate String Quartet. Currently, Mr. Marshall performs with the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra and the UA AZ Repertory Theatre. He also collaborates with colleagues on chamber music recitals throughout the year.



Dr. Kyungsun Choi has been praised in the press as “a great energetic pianist” (Arizona Daily Star) and “a pianist with rich emotion and sensitivity” (The Korean Arizona Times). He has been enjoying varied careers as a soloist, chamber musician, an accompanist and a teacher.

Pianist Kyungsun Choi has given many solo recitals and chamber recitals both locally in the United States and internationally – Mexico and South Korea. As a concerto soloist, he performed with Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and two times with Tucson Repertory Orchestra playing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”. He was invited and performed at several symposiums at the University of Arizona celebrating the music of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and Johann Sebastian Bach. He also gave master classes and lecture recitals in several colleges.

As a collaborative pianist, he participated and performed numerous chamber recitals, chamber series, and festivals. In addition, he has worked as an opera pianist and participated in many productions such as University of Northern Iowa Opera, University of Arizona Opera, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Opera, Wieck Chamber Singers, and Opera Guild of Southern Arizona. He also has been an accompanist for Reveille Men’s Chorus, with whom he traveled to perform in Mexico and throughout the United States. As a teacher, his students have been appearing as prize winners at many competitions.

A native of Seoul, South Korea, Pianist Kyungsun Choi graduated from the Yonsei University in Seoul, where he earned Bachelor’s degrees (BM) in Piano Performance and was awarded as “High Honored Student” by the president. He went on to the University of Northern Iowa on a full scholarship where he received a Masters of Music (MM) and served as a graduate teaching assistant. He received a Doctoral degree (DMA) in Piano Performance at the University of Arizona and served as a graduate teaching assistant. His teachers have included Dr. Paula Fan, Prof. Sean Botkin, Prof. Myonghak Lee, and Hyeran Lee.

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Oracle Center for the Arts

700 E Kingston Street

Oracle, AZ 85623

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