Myra Presents: Sunday Concerts in the Galleries 2019-20


“Not too long ago, audience members would storm out of the concerts if the musicians played anything new, but as time went by, the audience began to appreciate the new stuff, until the new stuff became the highlight of each show.”
—Laurel Reuter, Director, North Dakota Museum of Art


Tickets for the Concert Series are available by subscription, or available for single concerts at the door or in advance at the Museum, 701.777.4195.

Member tickets: $90 for the season,
$30 per concert at the door

Non-member tickets: $110 for the season,
$35 per concert at the door

Student and Military tickets: $45 for the season,
$15 per concert at the door

Children 12 and under: Free

Arsentiy Kaharitonov


OCTOBER 6, 2019 | 2 PM

OCTOBER 7, 2019 | 7:30 PM

Russian pianist Arsentiy Kharitonov’s debut concert at Carnegie Hall was cited in the New York Observer as one of New York’s top six concerts of the 2015 – 2016 season. 
He started playing piano at the late age of sixteen, in the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in Russia’s famed St. Petersburg Conservatory. His musical progress was immediate and astounding. Within three years, he was giving solo recitals, which featured his own compositions and improvisations in addition to the standard piano repertoire. His first orchestral appearances included solo performances with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Theatre Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.

A prizewinner of national and international competitions, Mr. Kharitonov has been heard in solo recitals and with orchestras in Russia, Europe, Asia, and the States. “His style is unlike any of his contemporaries, and harkens back to earlier times . . . Trumping some of the more prominent musical gymnasts, this is genuine poetry and a rare sincerity issuing from the deeper reaches of the human heart.” 

Kharitonov’s music attracts audience and performers with its virtuosity, rich harmonic language, and memorable melodies as well as its intensity and astute expression. His music has been commissioned by a number of spectacular musicians such as cellist Cicely Parnas, violinist Julia Bushkova, conductor and recorder player Paul Leenhouts, ensemble ViolUNTi, vocal ensemble Tapestry, and musicians from Mariinsky and Chicago Symphony orchestras. 

Arsentiy Kharitonov holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas in piano performance. He is an active advocate of lesser-known musicians such as Leo Ornstein and Robert Kahn. He founded Masterpiece Finder, an organization that researches and highlights music masterpieces of historical and contemporary composers. Grand Forks discovered  Mr. Kharitonov,  the pianist with the vocal ensemble Tapestry, in 2018 when the group performed in the Museum’s Myra Presents Series.

Thomas Mesa and Ilya Yakushev


NOVEMBER 24, 2019 | 2 PM

NOVEMBER 25, 2019 | 7:30 PM

Cellist Thomas Mesa and Pianist Ilya Yakushev join together to present Intimate Classics at the North Daktoa Museum of Art.

The Cuban-American cellist Thomas Mesa has established himself as one of the most charismatic, innovative, and engaging performers of his generation. Mr. Mesa was the winner of the $50,000 First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition (Detroit), the Thaviu Competition for String Performance (Chicago, 2013), The Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions (Philadelphia), and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition (Coconut Grove, Fl.) He has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the United States and Mexico, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Santa Barbara Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra which received this rave review from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: A listener with closed eyes would have been hard pressed to distinguish [Mesa’s] shapely, expressive performance from that of another gifted artist two or three times his age. (WBJC, Baltimore’s Classical Music Station)

Russian Ilya Yakushev who won the 2005 World Piano Competition, received his first award at age twelve as a prizewinner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. Many awards followed. In 1997, he received the Mayor of St. Petersburg’s Young Talents award, and in both 1997 and 1998, he won First Prize at the Donostia Hiria International Piano Competition in San Sebastian, Spain. In 1998, he received a national honor, The Award for Excellence in Performance, presented to him by the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Yakushev attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in his native St. Petersburg, Russia, and subsequently came to New York City to attend Mannes College of Music where he studied with legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman.

The Italian Saxophone Quartet 


JANUARY 19, 2020 | 2 PM

JANUARY 20, 2020 | 7:30 PM

Pasquale Casare, tenore saxophone
Michele Paolino, baritono saxophone
David Bartelucci, alto saxaphone
Frederico Mondelci, soprano saxaphone

The Italian Saxophone Quartet was founded in 1982 by four saxophone soloists, close friends determined to join together to perform chamber music for saxophone at the very highest artistic level. Since then, they have played to wide acclaim in more than 500 concerts in Italy (including the most important concert institutions), France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Japan, USA, Sweden, Lebanon, Bermuda and Russia. The quartet’s concerts have been recorded and broadcast by the Italian RAI-Radio 1 and RAI-Radio 3 as well as by Swedish, German, Japanese and American national radios.

The quartet won a number of important chamber music competitions including the unanimous First Prize plus a special prize at the prestigious “Premio Ancona” in Italy.
Featuring the soprano saxophone master Federico Mondelci, the Sax Quartet presented a delightful program of classical, blues, Piazzolla’s tangos, and contemporary music. The quartet’s flawless performance was entertaining for hardcore classical music fans and yet reached the more novice concert goer, which is just what we wanted.

Havingpresented and listened to many American sax quartets it was amazing to hear how much more sublime the ISQ sounds. The uniqueness of their instrumentation and the unquestionable quality of the performance teamed with creative programming is a winning combination.

—Corby Skinner, Director, Alberta Bair Theatre, Billings, MO.

L’Histoir du Soldat: The Soldier’s Tale

Clive Hicks-Jenkins, 2013, mixed media. One of many images that was projected above the orchestra during a production of The Soldier’s Tale at the Hay Festival. The presentation underlined the narrative with sequential images and animation sequences.



FEBRUARY 22, 2020 | 7:30 PM

FEBRUARY 23, 2020 | 2 PM

Composed by Igor Stravinsky in 1918 with libertto by C.F. Ramuz. Produced by Cody Hunter of Mayville State University.

Performed by music faculties from Mayville State University, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, and Concordia College.

L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) is a theatrical work to be read, played, and danced by three actors and one or several dancers, accompanied by a septet of instruments.

Stravinsky’s greatest work for narrator and orchestra, L’Histoire tells the story of a soldier on leave, heading home to see his family. On the way, the soldier runs into another traveler who wishes to purchase his fiddle in exchange for monetary gain. Shortly after the transaction, the soldier realizes that it was the Devil to whom he had sold his fiddle. Fortune, sorrow, reflection, and defeat follow the protagonist through the rest of the tale, with Stravinsky’s unique, angular, and American jazz–influenced music perfectly blended throughout.

Since its premier, L’Histoire has become one of the most significant pieces of chamber music composed in the twentieth century. Scored for violin, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, bassoon, double bass, percussion, and actors, Stravinsky masterfully utilizes each instrument’s unique timbre to create unforgettable music with a timeless message: “No one can have it all.”

Stravinsky hit on hard times when he retreated to Switzerland during WW I. He tried to write small scale, income-producing pieces in hopes that someone might perform them. The result is thoroughly convincing theater, like a radio drama with music. The score for L’histoire is a series of short interludes marches — a tango, jazzy riffs, funeral and wedding music, etc. featuring the soldier’s old violin — that prefigure Stravinsky’s life-long fondness for writing pieces lasting under five minutes. None are as delightful as this score born of empty pockets.

John Bruce Yeh


MARCH 8, 2020 | 2 PM

MARCH 9, 2020 | 7:30 PM

John Bruce Yeh is the longest-tenured clarinetist in the history of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). He joined the ensemble in 1977 at the age of nineteen. Two years later, he was named assistant principal E-flat clarinet and served as acting principal clarinet from 2008 to 2011. Mr. Yeh has performed as a soloist with the CSO for Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with Neeme Järvi and the U.S. premiere of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto with Pierre Boulez. He also has performed as guest principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic.

An enthusiastic champion of new music, Mr. Yeh has been the dedicatee of new works for clarinet by composers ranging from Ralph Shapey to John Williams. He won the 1982 ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the 1985 Naumburg Clarinet Competition in New York. Mr. Yeh is also the director and cofounder of Chicago Pro Musica, which received a Grammy Award for Best New Classical Artist in 1986. He has released over a dozen recordings to worldwide critical acclaim. Mr. Yeh appears at festivals and on chamber music series worldwide, including the Marlboro Music Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has performed with the Guarneri, Ying, and Pacifica string quartets, among others.

Mr. Yeh is father to Molly Yeh, author, food blogger, and Food Network star who lives with her husband Nick Hagen and their newly-arrived daughter on his five-generation family farm outside of Grand Forks. She graduated from Julliard in percussion.

Patrick Godon, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, holds both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from DePaul University. Godon made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in 2003, and as soloist in 2007. Since 2016 he performs the Principal Keyboardist duties regularly with the CSO on celeste, organ, piano, and synthesizer. Godon is Artistic Director and pianist for International Chamber Artists, a professional classical chamber ensemble that he founded in 2006.

Dover Quartet



Joel Link, violin
Bryan Lee, violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola
Camden Shaw, cello

This is a return visit to the Museum by the Dover Quartet, young Americans who met at the Curtis Institute. After sweeping all prizes at the 2013 Banff String Quartet Competition, the Dover was named the Cleveland Quartet Award-winner, and honored with the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. The Dover has become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The Quartet’s rise from an up-and-coming young ensemble to occupying a spot at the top of their field has been “practically meteoric” (Strings). With its burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the Quartet’s distinctive sound has helped confirm its status as “the young American string quartet of the moment” (New Yorker). The Quartet serves as the quartet-in-residence for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Chamber Music Northwest, Artosphere (Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, AR), the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival (Florida), Peoples’ Symphony in New York, and was recently named the first-ever quartet-in-residence for the Kennedy Center.

In the spring of 2016, the Dover Quartet was recognized with the Hunt Family Award, an inaugural Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, and in past years has taken top prizes at the Fischoff and the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competitions.

All four Quartet members are consummate solo artists: first violinist Joel Link took first prize at the Menuhin Competition; violinist Bryan Lee and violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt have appeared as soloists with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic, respectively; and cellist Camden Shaw released a solo album debut on the Unipheye Music label. In 2018-19 the Dover Quartet performed more than a hundred concerts around North America. According to the Chicago Tribune, “The Dover players have it in them to become the next Guarneri String Quartet — they’re that good.”



Myra Foundation


This project is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

$1500 +

Bobbi Mason
Luise and Richard Beringer

$1000 +


$500 +

Margaret Bundlie
Madelyn Camrud
Prarie Public

$250 +

Julie Blehm
Ray and Carolyn Fischer
Robert Hoverson
Dr. Leslie and Martha Klevay
Lisa Lewis
George Noel
Dexter and Betsy Perkins
Jennifer Tarlin
Cynthia and John Shabb
Naomi and Jeffrey Welsh
Devera Warcup

$50 – $100

Richie and Sandra Aanderud
Eleanor Baria
Mae Marie Blackmore
Dave and Denise Britton
Martin Brown
Nancy and Mark Hadlich
William Harwood
Gordon and Trudy Iseminger
Nile and Derek Kobetsky
Deborah and Brad Lachance
Doug Munski
Alice R. Seneschal
Barbara Snowfield
Kirk & Joan Smith