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Biographies

Anatol Lysenka, Principal Conductor

After six years as Summer Conductor of the North Shore Chamber Orchestra, Anatol Lysenka was appointed Principal Conductor by the Board of the North Shore Chamber Orchestra in 2010. Anatol Lysenka, Principal Conductor

He was born in Belarus, formerly a part of the Soviet Union.  He earned his first Master’s Degree in conducting at the Belarusian Conservatory of Music.  In 1985 he received his second Master’s Degree in Opera-Symphony conducting at the Moscow State Conservatory. Mr. Lysenkal was awarded first prize for Symphony Orchestra Conducting in the Belarus Republic Contest in 1987.

Mr. Lysenka has participated in a number of major international and Belarusian festivals including the Spring Festival of Music, Belarusian Musical Autumn, Revival of Belarusian Chorus, and Music for Youth (where he did the world premier of the Wagner Symphony #3).  He has conducted numerous orchestras in Eastern Europe.

Since coming to the U.S. in 2000, Maestro Lysenka  has conducted a number of Symphony Orchestras in Illinois.  In 2005 he founded the Tutti Chamber Orchestra located in Chicago.  With American Music Festivals, Mr. Lysenka has guest conducted the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, Community Players Orchestra, and the Glenview Symphony.  His orchestral arrangement of Shostakovich’s Prelude and Fugue #24 was premiered with the Glenview Symphony (2003), and subsequently performed by the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Lysenka has provided valuable outreach for American Music Festivals into the Russian and Belarusian communities in the Chicago area.

Mr. Lysenka has been widely recognized for his orchestral arrangements.  Few conductors possess the level of advanced knowledge and expertise that
he has in interpreting and performing the complex music of Shostakovich and other works by great 20th century Soviet and contemporary Belarusian composers.  Many of these compositions are primarily based on Russian and Jewish folk music, and the history and traditions that are the inspiration for Belarusian music and art.  Mr Lysenka strives to share his native culture through performances and adaptations of these works.

Natallia Lysenka, Assistant Conductor

N. Lysenka is a native of Belarus, where she began studying the mandolin and piano at the age of 6. As a Natalia Lysenkamandolinist, she graduated from the Special School of Music for Gifted Children affiliated with the Belarusian State Conservatory of Music, receiving her Bachelor's degree in 1981. She earned her Master's Degree in Mandolin Performance, Conducting and Pedagogy in 1987, followed by her Doctorate in Conducting in 1996, both from the Belarusian State Conservatory of Music in Minsk.

In 1987, Natallia started working for Belarusian college of Music and Arts. She had supervised the orchestral department and taught classes of the mandolin, conducting, and arrangement. She had been the conductor of the Russian folk orchestra in the college and participated in the teacher's orchestra as a mandolinist.

Natallia had assisted in publications of educational programs for the Belarusian College.

During 1996-2002 Natallia had been part-time professor of conducting at Belarusian Conservatory. Nowadays, her students are conductors of Russian and Belarusian folk orchestras. She has lived in the USA since July of 2002.

Harvey Treger, Founder

Harvey Treger

Harvey Treger, who founded the orchestra in 1980, was an innovator and creative organizer. Professor of Social Work and Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois, Chicago, he had an international reputation for his pioneer work, research and publications in Police Social Work.

He designed, organized and directed a Police-Social Work Demonstration-Research Project, a model for university-community cooperation. By placing social workers and graduate students in police departments, social assessments and early intervention services were provided to misdemeanant juveniles and adult non-violent offenders in crisis with social and emotional problems who came to the attention of the police. This award-winning program has added a new specialty in social work practice - "Police Social Work" It is now in 57 police departments in Illinois, in communities throughout the nation, and in Europe.

Professor Treger turned his lifelong hobby of playing the cello and love of music into building the North Shore Chamber Orchestra, which provides opportunity and enrichment for many. He passed away on August 17, 2016,after organizing, managing, guiding and promoting the orchestra for 35 seasons.

Susan Merdinger – Solo Pianist

Steinway Artist SUSAN MERDINGER, who Fanfare Magazine has hailed for her “magic touch” and for keeping audiences “spellbound from first note to last”, recently performed at the Logan Center for the Arts on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series in her sixth engagement on the CSO series. Merdinger has graced the New York stages of Carnegie and Merkin, as well as many of the finest venues of Europe, Canada and Mexico, performing with orchestras such as The Chicago Philharmonic, The Highland Park Strings and the Symphony Orchestra of the State of Mexico. She has appeared live on radio stations such as WQXR and WFMT, as well as BBC Television in the UK, and is a First Prize Winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, the Artists International Young Musicians Competition and Distinguished Artists Awards, the Dewar’s Young Musicians Award in Music, and a Gold Medal in the Global Music Awards. Merdinger is completing the entire cycle of Sonatas for Piano and Violin and Piano and Cello by Beethoven in an ongoing project for Live from WFMT. A noted interpreter of Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and Mozart, Merdinger was fortunate to study with some of the world’s expert “Beethoven pianists” such as Claude Frank, Walter Hautzig, and Karl Ulrich Schnabel at Yale University, Manhattan School of Music and privately in New York City. Merdinger currently lives in Highland Park, IL, where she teaches privately and is on the Piano Faculty at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest. She is Artistic Director of Sheridan Music Studio, The Five Greenes and Pianissimo! This performance of Beethoven's Triple concerto marks Merdinger's fourth appearance and collaboration with the North Shore Chamber Orchestra and Maestro Anatol Lysenka.

Michaela Paetsch – Solo violinist

Michaela Paetsch's playing has been described as “gloriously charged…beguilingly velvety” (The Strad). Her captivating artistry is celebrated for the soaring vitality and the personal commitment she shows her audiences. Michaela garnered international attention and numerous awards, including first prize in the G.B. Dealey International Competition, a bronze medal in the Queen Elisabeth International Competition, and the prize for the Russian Composition by Juri Falik at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. Paetsch has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician in the major musical centers of the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall, and the Library of Congress (in Washington, D.C.). She has collaborated with major orchestras throughout the world, including the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the Philharmonics of Osaka (Japan), Seoul (Korea), Liége (Belgium) and Bergen (Norway); the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Residentie Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the BBC Symphony, among others. Her extensive discography began with the 1987 recording of the 24 Caprices by Niccolo Paganini for TELDEC, making her the first female performer to record the complete work. Die Zeit, a German newspaper, described the disc as a “sensation in the history of record-making.” A native of Colorado Springs, CO, Paetsch currently lives in Switzerland and concertizes throughout Europe with various ensembles, including Prima Carezza and the Paetsch Family String Ensemble. Paetsch was a protegé of Szymon Goldberg at the Yale School of Music, where she met Ms. Merdinger, and the Curtis Institute of Music and Ivan Galamian at the Meadowmount Music Festival. Michaela and Ms. Merdinger's recent performances included an All-Beethoven Piano and Violin Sonata program for Live from WFMT and in concerts around Chicago.

Steven Honigberg – Solo cellist

Steven Honberg is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins. Hired under the leadership of Mstislav Rostropovich, he is currently a member of the National Symphony Orchestra.Mr. Honigberg has given recent recitals in Washington DC at the Dumbarton Concert Series, at the Phillips Collection, at the National Gallery of Art, and recitals in New York and throughout the United States. In Chicago (his home town) he has appeared on radio WFMT, at the Ravinia Festival, and as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ars Viva Orchestra, Lake Forest Symphony and New Philharmonic Orchestra among others. He has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in two performances at the Kennedy Center of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Triple Cello Concerto with the NSO’s Music Director Christoph Eschenbach. Mr. Honigberg performed Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Cello Concerto with the NSO and won rave reviews for the 1988 world premiere of David Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony. Mr. Honigberg was the Director of the Chamber Music series at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC for eight years (40 concerts). He has recorded extensively with the Potomac String Quartet, including the nine string quartets composed by American Quincy Porter and the eleven quartets of David Diamond which John von Rein, music critic for the Chicago Tribune, chose as one of his top 20 CDs for 2003. Honigberg has also recorded the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano, and the complete work of Chopin for cello and piano with his mother, Carol Honigberg. From 1990-2009, Honigberg was principal cellist, chamber music director of the Edgar M. Bronfman series in Sun Valley, Idaho where he was featured as soloist with the summer symphony in concerti by Barber, Bartok, Bloch, Boccherini, Dvorak, Elgar, Goldschmidt, Haydn, Korngold, Popper, Saint-Saens, Schumann, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Walton. He is also a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Society, PostClassical Ensemble and the Phillips Camerata. Merdinger and Honigberg are collaborating on the Complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Cello for Live from WFMT and will complete the series in the Fall 2018. As author, in 2010 his first book was published: Leonard Rose: America’s Golden Age and Its First Cellist.

Anatol Lysenka

Anatol Lysenka, Principal Conductor

Dr. Nattalia Lysenka

Natallia Lysenka, Assistant Conductor