Different countries, same language: UND's Red River Piano Trio to perform around the globe


Kate Menzies

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


Concert set for TONIGHT in Thompson, N.D., at the Muiderman Theater

The University of North Dakota's Red River Piano Trio will kick off what will become an international tour, covering four states and three countries, with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Thursday TONIGHT, Feb. 21, in the Muiderman Theater in Thompson, N.D.

This concert will include the musical stylings of Vinicius Sant'Anna on violin, Fernando Vargas on cello and Keith Teepen on piano.

These talented UND music students also are set to perform upcoming concerts in Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, North Dakota, as well as tours in China and Japan.

The trio began performing together in August of 2012 under the direction of UND Music faculty member Nariaki Sugiura.

"I believe it is my responsibility to provide performance opportunities for students," Sugiura said.

The group will perform an array of concerts from February to May across the nation and abroad with the final concert taking place in Kanuma, Japan (Grand Forks' sister city), where the trio is visiting as a representative of the city of Grand Forks and UND Music. While in Japan, the Red River Piano Trio will be collaborating with East Kanuma Junior High School students in chamber music.

A list of future finalized performance dates and venues follows:

March 9 -- Latonia Pilgrim Chapel - Cincinnati, Ohio

March 11 -- DePauw University - Greencastle, Ind.

March 12 -- Deupree House -Cincinnati, Ohio

March 16 -- Belle Mehus City Auditorium - Bismarck, N.D.

March 23 -- Valley City Community Chamber Music Festival - Valley City, N.D.

March 25 -- Stillwater High School - Stillwater, Minn.

March 25 -- Schmitt Music Center - Edina, Minn.

March 26 -- Edina High School - Edina, Minn.

May 5 -- Bemidji High School Auditorium - Bemidji, Minn.

May 13 -- University of Shanghai Science and Technology - Shanghai, China

May 20 -- Kanuma Arts and Culture Center Hall - Kanuma, Japan

About the group:

Brazilian violinist Vinicius Sant'Anna began his studies at Grupo Pao de Acucar Music Institute, where he quickly became concertmaster of the Pao de Acucar Orchestra. During his time as concertmaster, the orchestra performed in the United States, Buenos Aires and Italy. In 2008, he began his college studies at the Pensacola Christian College, studying violin with Alberto Jaffe. Recently, Vinicius won the 2012 Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Concerto Competition and is scheduled to play Lalo's Symphonie Espanol with the orchestra in March.

Vinicius is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin performance with Alejandro Drago at UND.

Venezuelan cellist Fernando Vargas began his music studies at the age of five. He studied cello at the Geneva Conservatoire in Switzerland, and finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has studied with Daniel Grosgurin, Alexander Russakovsky and Carmen Rosa Rodriguez, and performed in master classes with Christine Walevska, Joshua Roman, Sandor Devich and Peter Howard.

Recently, in 2012, Vargas performed in Japan with "Trio Ferace". He is currently pursuing a master's degree in cello performance, studying with UND's Simona Barbu.

Pianist Keith Teepen, from Cincinnati, Ohio, has performed in Europe, Asia and throughout North America. He has performed with famous trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth, internationally known euphonium player, Adam Frey and "Rent" star Anthony Rapp.

Teepen has won many awards and competitions including the DePauw Concerto Competition, which lead to a performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the DePauw Symphony Orchestra. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from DePauw University, he received a scholarship to study with Gerald Stofsky in Vienna, Austria. He has also studied under May Phang and Claude Cymerman. He has held collaborative piano positions at DePauw University School of Music and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is currently working as a graduate teaching assistant and pursuing a Master of Music degree in piano performance at UND under Sugiura.