ChamberFest DBQ



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August 5, 2021

ChamberFestDBQ 2021 Events

Thursday, August - LIVE Concert, Hempstead HS Auditorium - 7pm

Experience an intimate concert with world-class performers while supporting local community music programs. Don’t miss the 13th year of ChamberFest DBQ.

Northeast Iowa School of Music’s ChamberFestDBQ is the highlight of our concert season and one unlike anything else you can hear in Dubuque. Each year, 2018 Pulitzer Prize Finalist Michael Gilbertson, artistic director, hand-picks an ensemble of guest artists of the international music scene for a benefit concert for our school. Gilbertson is a Dubuque native who studied at the prestigious Juilliard and Yale Schools of Music and is now a successful composer teaching at the San Fransico Conservatory of Music.

You can experience Gilbertson and guest artists in concert one night only at the ChamberFest DBQ concert on Thursday, August 5, 7pm at the Dubuque Hempstead HS Auditorium. After the concert, mix and mingle with the performers. The performers are world-class, but this concert is only available in Dubuque! Tickets go on sale in June. Call (563) 690-0151 or visit to purchase tickets.

With your ticket purchase, in addition to hearing the artists in an intimate setting, you support music in our community. Proceeds from ChamberFestDBQ support Northeast Iowa School of Music’s mission to provide quality, affordable music education and enrichment in the Tri-State Area. You provide music lessons and classes to students of all ages and economic backgrounds and give creative outlets to adult musicians in ensembles. You reach students in downtown Dubuque with free and low-cost programs and bring the community free concerts.

Michael Gilbertson got his start at Northeast Iowa School of Music and knows the impact of a music school in Dubuque. While he was still a Juilliard student, he first approached Northeast Iowa School of Music in 2009 about a benefit concert because he wanted to give back to our school. Now, he returns year after year to bring this amazing musical performance to our community and help the music school continue its mission, all because he deeply believes in the importance of our work.

As part of our mission of education, ChamberFest DBQ often includes a student workshop where local musicians can learn from our ChamberFest DBQ guest artists. The workshop is free and open to all! Children through adults are encouraged to participate. This workshop will not be held this year (2021).


This Year's Performers:

Michael Gilbertson
Artistic Director

Michael Gilbertson, Artistic Director of ChamberFest DBQ

Michael Gilbertson is a composer whose works have been described as "elegant" and "particularly beautiful" by The New York Times, "vivid, tightly woven" and "delectably subtle" by the Baltimore Sun, and "genuinely moving" by the Washington Post. He studied composition at The Juilliard School and at Yale. Michael's orchestral works have been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony. His choral pieces include works published by Boosey & Hawkes and G. Schirmer. His one-act opera, Breaking, was commissioned by the Washington National Opera and premiered at The Kennedy Center in 2013. His most recent work, a string quartet for the Verona Quartet, was premiered at Carnegie Hall in February, 2017.

Bridget Pasker

Cellist Bridget Pasker is a passionate chamber musician and performer. A native of Dubuque, she is a founding member of the Thalea String Quartet, who were awarded the first Graduate Quartet Residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. While she was completing her studies at The Juilliard School, Bridget discovered a true passion for outreach and music education. During her time at that institution, she was selected as a Gluck Community Service Fellow, which led her to performances at care centers in the New York City area. Bridget has continued this dedication throughout the Bay Area in a similar program out of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She also has a teaching studio at the Mid Peninsula Music Academy in Redwood City, CA. Bridget holds a Bachelors degree from The Juilliard School and Master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Bridget has performed in many countries of the world, including the US, Canada, Italy, and France.

Jean Laurenz


Jean Laurenz is an eclectic musician who loves variety and collaboration. She is currently the Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a performer, Jean has enjoyed appearances with Adele, Kanye West, The Boston Pops, The New York Philharmonic, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.  Her favorite genre is chamber music and she frequents this arena with innovative ensembles including Seraph Brass, The Knights, and with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect.  Jean holds degrees in trumpet performance and Choral Education from Yale University and Northwestern University. She is a passionate educator, activist, and Teaching Artist. Jean has curated interactive youth and community concerts for Carnegie Hall, The Boston Symphony, and Handel and Haydn Society.

David Fung

Described as “stylish and articulate” in the New York Times and having “superstar qualities” by Le Libre, pianist David Fung is widely recognized for performances that are elegant and refined, yet intensely poetic and uncommonly expressive.  Mr. Fung regularly appears with the world’s premier ensembles including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. As a recitalist, Mr. Fung has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. He is a frequent guest of major festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and the Edinburgh International Festival. The first piano graduate of the prestigious Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, Mr. Fung has also studied at the Hannover Hochschule für Musik and the Yale School of Music. He is a Steinway Artist and currently serves on the faculty at the University of Georgia.

Mari Lee


Mari Lee is an artist dedicated to engaging her audience by instilling curiosity for music. A violinist, artist, and creative producer, she aims to bridge the gap between audiences, performers, and composers. Mari has performed internationally at the South Bank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Le Festival de Radio France Montpellier, Philharmonie de Paris, and Carnegie Hall. Praised as “extremely impressive” by the Strad Magazine, she has been invited to renowned festivals including Ravinia, Verbier, and Marlboro. Mari is co-founder of Salon Séance, an interdisciplinary series that reveals the intersection between music, history, and our lives through a unique presentation: a concert theatre. Salon Séance has won multiple awards including Tarisio’s Young Artists Grants and the Britten-Pears Foundation’s Britten Award. Mari is an alumna of Beth Morrison’s Producer Academy and is a member of CIPA (Creative & Independent Producer Alliance).
She plays on 1863 Jean-Baptiste Villaume.

Evan Saddler


Percussionist and artistic producer Evan Saddler is the mind and stick behind interdisciplinary, experiential performances that provoke interaction, dialogue, and connection. A winner of international percussion competitions, Mr. Saddler is one of contemporary music’s most highly sought after artists. Currently performing with Miami’s genre-bending chamber orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble, his performance career includes appearances with Grammy-winning musicians. Also well-regarded in classical settings, Mr. Saddler has performed with organizations such as the New World Symphony among many others. Mr. Saddler is grateful for his pedagogues, who include Glen Velez and Joseph Gramley. He holds diplomas from the Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of Michigan, and The Juilliard School.



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