Cho-Liang Lin to offer benefit recital for Rockford College Music Academy

Internationally acclaimed violinist, Cho-Liang Lin, and pianist Anne Epperson will present a benefit recital for the Rockford College Music Academy, Sunday, March 30, at the Coronado Theatre. Both artists are donating their services as a tribute to Eleanor Stanlis and her life’s work.

Violinist Cho-Liang Lin is one of the most eloquent and award-winning performers of his generation. Versatility has been a hallmark of his career, and he has won acclaim as a soloist, recitalist, and as a chamber musician around the world. Lin was chosen by Musical America as “Instrumentalist of the Year 2000.” He is a much-heralded recording artist. American Record Guide says, “Lin is a great violinist—one of the greatest today.” Many of his recordings have been released on the Sony Classical label, some of which have won awards including Gramophone’s Record of the Year and two Grammy awards.

Pianist Anna Epperson made her debut at the age of 12 with the New Orleans Philharmonic and has since appeared throughout the United States with orchestras and in recital. Epperson maintains a successful performing career as a collaborative partner. She is an active consultant and adviser in the developments of collaborative piano programs nationwide. She has recorded for Vanguard, Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society Centaur and Koch International.

Lin and Epperson are donating their services to the Music Academy in tribute to Eleanor Stanlis (1922-2000), founding director of the Rockford College Music Academy. All proceeds of the benefit recital support The Eleanor Stanlis Endowment for the Enhancement of the Rockford College Music Academy and will benefit the education and scholarship programming of the school.

The Music Academy presently serves approximately 600 students from age 6 months to 86 years of age and is home to 320 Suzuki string, piano, and guitar students working with a staff of 23 Suzuki-trained teachers. Stanlis was one of the pioneer Suzuki teachers in this country. She studied in Japan with Suzuki and later continued her studies in the United States. Eleanor’s first Suzuki student was her daughter, Margaret Batjer (now concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra), who begged to play the violin at age 3. Stanlis brought the Suzuki philosophy and methodology to Rockford in 1971 and over three decades influenced the lives of hundreds of children and families. Her vision of a community school of music was realized in 1985, the year of her 65th birthday. Eleanor taught at the school until the day before her death.

Margaret Batjer will perform one piece only—with two other musicians. Margaret Batjer and Cho-Liang Lin will play the violin, and Anne Epperson will play piano in “A Suite in G Minor for Two Violins and Piano” by Moszkowski.

The Stanlis legacy continues at the Rockford College Music Academy under the dedicated leadership of the team of teachers and administrators she carefully cultivated. Martha Frantz, director of Rockford College Music Academy, says: “The Cho-Liang Lin and Anne Epperson benefit concert is designed to allow us to build upon and enhance Eleanor Stanlis’ vision of excellence in music education. We are grateful to Dr. Peter Stanlis, Emeritus Professor of the Humanities at Rockford College, for a major gift to establish an endowment in her name. We are also grateful to Eleanor’s daughter, Margaret Batjer, for helping us make arrangements for the Lin/Epperson benefit recital.”

The Rockford College Music Academy has grown in the past 17 years to serve approximately 600 students per year, served by 24 artist faculty members. The school serves students from age 6 months to 91 years of age, and awards $12,000 per year in financial aid and scholarship assistance.

For tickets, call the Rockford College box office at (815) 226-4100 or CentreEvents at (815) 968-5222. For information, call Rockford College Music Academy at (815) 226-4168. Tickets are $10, $20 and $30.

The preceding article is reprinted with permission from Scroll magazine, Winter 2003 issue.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!