Gretchen R. Iben Concert – April 29, 2023

3 PM  |  SATURDAY  |  APRIL 29, 2023


Dr. Chee Hyeon Choi

Amy Catron Alex Malaimare YooBin Lee


The Gretchen R. Iben Fine Arts Series of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1420 West Moss Avenue, Peoria is pleased to present Dr. Chee Hyeon Choi, pianist, in a program of the music of Johannes Brahms on Saturday afternoon, April 29 at three o’clock.  The program features the solo piano work Klavierstücke, Opus 118, and the Piano Quartet in G minor, opus 25.  The quartet features string players from Knox College and Millikin University.  They include Ion-Alexandru Malairmare, violin; YooBin Lee, viola and Amy Catron, cello.  All three are distinguished faculty members in their respective colleges. 

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) is one of the most celebrated composers of the nineteenth century. His music is lush and romantic and deeply moving. Be it solo piano, or the quartet, these are great masterworks of piano literature. Dr. Choi has performed on the Iben Series on a number of occasions over the past nine years, and we are pleased to host her once again for this Brahms program.  A native of Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Choi holds her master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy and her doctoral degree in Piano Performance & Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She studied the piano with Dr. Ian Hobson.  She served for a time as faculty at Millikin University before coming to Peoria and Bradley. 

Admission to this concert is free. A free-will offering will be received for the ongoing ministry of the Iben Series.  All are welcome to join us for this superb program of music for the piano. 





Chee Hyeon Choi is an Assistant Professor in Residence at Bradley University, where she coordinates keyboard studies. Dr. Choi has performed solos and ensembles at various venues including the Composers In Asia Symposium, the Central Florida Composers’ Forum, Music by Women International Festival, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Concert, and at the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall. She also performed as the principal keyboardist with Heartland Festival Orchestra and Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. She has been invited to present internationally and nationally at the College Music Society/Association of Technology for Music Instruction, Music Teachers National Association, Kimhae International Music Symposium, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Korea Pedagogy Conference, Improvisation Symposium, MTNA Group Piano Symposium, MTNA Collegiate Symposium, Central Michigan University, and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Dr. Choi was the recipient of the 2020 Illinois State Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year award. She is the founder & director of the Bradley Summer Piano Camp and has served as a faculty for the Illinois Summer Youth Music. Dr. Choi served as the VP-Conferences of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association and is the President-Elect of ISMTA.



In demand from stage to studio, Amy Catron frequently appears as a soloist, chamber musician, adjudicator, and clinician. In 2015, she premiered a concerto written for her by Carlos Carillo with Sinfonia da Camera. She recently premiered Robert Chumbley’s Particle I for solo cello, Particle II with the Millikin Wind Ensemble, and Songs of the Siren for cello and piano. In 2019, her CD, Particles and Prayer, won a silver medal in the 2019 Global Music Awards. Her reviews are nationally published in the American String Teachers Journal. Catron performs and teaches summers at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy. She is the instructor of Cello and String Area Coordinator at Millikin University.



Ion-Alexandru Malaimare is a highly accomplished musician with a career marked by performances in recitals and concerts across Europe and the United States. He has studied with some of the world’s most renowned musicians, including through a scholarship from the SoNoRo Chamber Music Workshops, and has taken first prize in various competitions such as the Young Artist Competition of the Music Teachers National Association and the University of Illinois Concerto Competition. He has also achieved notable success as a member of his quartet, winning awards at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and the New York Artists International Competition, which included an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall. In addition to his solo and chamber performances, he has held leadership roles in orchestras and served as an Adjunct Instructor of Violin at the University of Illinois Springfield and the University of Evansville. He is also dedicated to expanding his musical repertoire, including traditional fiddle music from Romania and works from movie soundtracks. He has also been featured in a live cinema workshop by Francis Ford Coppola and utilizing social media platforms to share his music. He is currently a faculty member at Millikin University and plays on an Ultralight violin made by Canadian-American luthier Joseph Curtin



Dr. YooBin Lee is an accomplished prize-winning violist with extensive experience in performance and education. As an experienced chamber musician and a versatile performer, Dr. Lee performed at prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, and has served as principal violist for various orchestras and ensembles. In addition to her performance career, Dr. Lee has held positions as Viola instructor and String Ensemble Co-director at Knox College, visiting adjunct faculty at Bowling Green State University, and Violin/Viola preparatory instructor at Millikin University. With a wealth of experience in both performance and education, Dr. Lee continues to make significant contributions to the classical music community.