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Suzuki Cello Workshop - Winter 2023 February 25, 2023 10:00 am Saturday & Sunday, February 25 & 26, 2023 Evanston Campus, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois
Suzuki Cello Workshop - Winter 2023 February 26, 2023 12:30 pm Saturday & Sunday, February 25 & 26, 2023 Evanston Campus, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois

Meet Academy Alumnus Vince Meklis

Vince Meklis, violin  |  Academy graduating class of 2010

Where are they now?  In celebration of the Academy's 10th year, MIC took time to catch up with alumni of the program.


Violinist Vincent Meklis, a recipient of a Dorothy Richard Starling Fellowship in Violin, is a prize winner of several national and international competitions, including the Corpus Christi, Sorantin, and Stulberg international competitions. He has performed as a guest artist with various orchestras, including the Grand Rapids Symphony, and has performed as a soloist across the United States at venues including Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has also made numerous international solo appearances, including a recent performance at the Brahms Museum in Hamburg, Germany, as well as in the Netherlands, Norway, the Czech Republic, and Mainland China. He has performed at music festivals such as the Sarasota and Aspen festivals and as a recitalist at the International Holland Music Sessions.

An avid supporter of classical music outreach, he enjoys visiting public schools and educational facilities, exposing school-age children to the violin and classical music in an up-close setting, and has given presentations at events such as WTTW’s Fun and Run event in Lincoln Park. A native of the Chicago area, he was a Rachel Barton Pine Scholar studying under Roland and Almita Vamos at the Music Institute’s Academy. He studied under Thomas and Allegra Wermuth at the Western Springs School of Talent Education, where he received a Lawrence and Betty Wermuth Memorial Scholarship and also began his studies under Suzanne Rickman at the age of four. As a Starling Fellow, he received a B.A. from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, under the tutelage of Distinguished Professor Midori Goto. He is currently pursuing a master’s of music degree at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany, studying under Professor Tanja Becker-Bender.

What was most beneficial about studying with Mr. and Mrs. Vamos and your time at the Academy?

I am so privileged to have studied with Dr. and Mrs. Vamos at the Academy during my high school years. Both musically and personally, their dedication was transformative. They opened to me worlds of musical expression that I had never imagined, nurturing my musical instincts and imagination. Perhaps most important, their teaching increased my love of music the more I learned from them. They will always remain sources of inspiration to me. I will always be grateful to the Academy for the opportunities to study orchestra and chamber music at such high levels, as well as the terrific master classes and other programs that have enriched my musical education.

What were some highlights during your time at the Academy?

After we won the Gold medal at the Junior Division of Fischoff, the Academy took us and two pianist colleagues on an amazing tour to New York, Baltimore, and Washington DC. We had the privilege to perform as soloists and chamber musicians at venues including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. The trip was an unforgettable experience, and having the chance to prepare for such a tour in high school was a tremendous learning opportunity. While studying at the Academy, I was also privileged to win 1st Prize, Strings Division, at the Sorantin International Competition for Piano and Strings; 2nd Prize, Strings Division, at the Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings; and 3rd Prize at the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition.

How do you think the Academy prepared you for conservatory training?

One vital preparatory part of my musical education during high school was being a member of the Academy Chamber String Orchestra. At a university or conservatory, students are expected to know and employ particular techniques of orchestral playing, distinct from solo work. Having the opportunity to play weekly under Dr. Vamos’s baton gave me the chance to learn such tools that I then took with me to USC, as he shared his wealth of knowledge from orchestral playing and conducting throughout his career.

What is your current position?

I am currently pursuing my master’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany under the tutelage of Professor Tanja Becker-Bender.

Do you have any thoughts about where you see yourself in five years?

I love orchestral playing, so in addition to chamber and other musical interests, my goal is to be playing in a professional orchestra in either the United States or Europe. I also look forward to one day teaching and sharing with my students the musical education I feel so blessed to have received.


Read more Academy alumni profiles here >>

Reverón Piano Trio

Friday, February 17 at 7:30 pm Venezuelan virtuosos return to Nichols Concert Hall to feature world and Chicago premiere performances not to be missed >>