Boe photo
ORION STORIES
Q&A with Stephen Boe
Stephen Boe, the Orion Ensemble’s regular guest violist, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University School of Music, where he later served as assistant professor of violin. He has also been on faculty at DePauw University and Ohio University. As a chamber musician, Boe has performed in Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, as well as in venues throughout Europe, China, South America and the United States. In 1991, he was awarded a prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and was an Artist in Residence for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993 to 1995. He was also a founding member of the New Artists String Quartet and first violinist with the Brooks Unstrung Quartet. He has served as concertmaster for the Joffrey Ballet, the Chicagoland Pops, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic and the Indiana University Festival Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with several of these ensembles.   
This is your seventh season performing with Orion. What do you find most enjoyable about performing with the ensemble?
I have played a lot of chamber music with the usual configurations of string quartet and piano trio. With the Orion Ensemble I have had the opportunity to learn and perform chamber works outside the typical chamber music repertoire. It has been my experience that the music-making of this ensemble brings standard and rarely performed repertoire equally to the highest level.
 
What have been some highlights of this past Orion season?
Orion has fantastic programming so I would have to say that every program is a highlight. If I have to choose something specific, it has been a very new experience for me to play clarinet, viola and piano trios. We performed two works this season: one by Nancy Van de Vate and one by Alfred Uhl.
 
What are you looking particularly forward to on the final program in May?
In addition to the trio by Alfred Uhl, of course everybody loves one of the biggest pieces in chamber music: the piano quintet by Brahms. No matter how many times I play or listen to this work, it always inspires and gives joy and great energy.
 
What else is coming up for you musically?
I have recorded the Sonatas for viola and piano by Brahms with pianist Christopher Harding. They are soon to be released on iTunes and YouTube.
See Orion's May Concerts!
A Brahms Finale
with guest artists Stephen Boe and Mathias Tacke

Concerts—
May 5 - 7 pm (Chapelstreet Church, Geneva)
May 15 - 7:30 pm (PianoForte Studios, Chicago)
May 19 - 7:30 pm (Nichols Concert Hall, Evanston)

$26 adults | $23 seniors | $10 students

“Innovative programming. Unique repertoire.
Thoughtful performances that get to the music’s soul.”
~ Jim Ginsburg, President, Cedille Records


26 Years – The Journey Continues – 2018-19
The Orion Ensemble is supported in part by grants from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and by generous donations from our dedicated patrons.