Young violinist headlines Friends and Family Series at the Chief | SteamboatToday.com

Young violinist headlines Friends and Family Series at the Chief

Talented, high school violinist, Emma Meinrenken will be the featured musician this weekend for the Chief Theater's Friends and Family series.

— The Chief Theater's Friends and Family Series features rising star and violinist Emma Meinrenken this weekend.

Taking the stage at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Chief, Meinrenken will be accompanied by local cellist John Sant' Ambrogio and pianist John Etsell for a show with music from composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert and more.

Meinrenken has won numerous awards in competitions across the U.S., including first place at the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition in Utah, the silver medal at the 2014 Stulberg International String Competition in Michigan, as well as grand prize at the 2013 FCMF National Competition, across all instrument categories. 

If You Go…

What: Friends and Family Series: Emma Menrenken

When: 7 p.m. on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26


Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

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Tickets: $20 general admission and $5 students

She's 15, but age is not a factor for this aspiring musician.

Since her debut at age 10 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Meinrenken has since performed as a soloist with orchestras across North America such as the Utah Symphony, the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Metropolitan Montreal, according to Sant’ Ambrogio, who started the Friends and Family Series. She was also chosen as one of the "Top 30 Hot Young Canadian Classical Musicans under the age of 30" by CBC Radio.

This will be her second time in Steamboat Springs after last year's concert for the series.

Earlier this week, Explore Steamboat caught up with Meinrenken and asked her what it's like to be a young musician traveling the country.

Explore Steamboat: What is it that you love about playing the violin, especially at this level?

Emma Menrenken: The great thing about playing at a high level is that it's less about technique and more about expression. The music of the violin is very similar to the human voice. It's a mode of expression for many musicians as it is for me. It gives me a way to express feelings through music rather than words.

ES: Do you have particular composers who you gravitate toward more so than others?

EM: I feel more comfortable playing virtuosic pieces that expose more technical abilities. I admire composers who can compose those simple, beautiful and profound melodies like Ludwig van Beethoven or Bach.

ES: Is it hard to perform at this level at a young age? What are some of the challenges?

EM: The main challenge is balancing the life of being a young musician, with the life of being a young person. I still go to school and also have to practice. So I have to find that balance of practice and work all the time. But also, it's another form of education that teaches me responsibility and values.

ES: Do you remember your first big performance? What was that like?

EM: I was 10 years old, and it was my debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. That was a pretty amazing experience partly because I was very young but was surrounded by people who were four or five times my age. It was a really great experience that really helped me develop my confidence in front of a large audience. It's part of the reason why I'm so comfortable performing on stage today. Of course, I still get nervous before a concert. But that adds to the excitement.

ES: Do you have any vivid memories or favorite performance venues that come to mind?

EM: I do love playing in really big concert halls. There is this sense of importance and grandeur there. But I also like playing in places like Steamboat that have a more intimate venue. You can feel the emotions of the audience and their responses as you play. It allows for personal expression for everyone involved.

Tickets for the performance are $20 for general admission and $5 for students and can be purchased at All That or online at http://www.chieftheater.com.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Friends and Family Series: Emma Menrenken

When: 7 p.m. on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26


Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

Tickets: $20 general admission and $5 students