Ron Brickman, President and Pianist
Ron Brickman has been the President of the Mother Lode Friends of Music since its founding in 1993. Under his guidance, the organization has become the premiere presenter of classical music in California's historic gold rush country, in the central foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The Mother Lode Friends of Music presents a full season of chamber music and orchestral concerts. The Friends of Music Orchestra, now under the direction of conductor, Henrik Hansen, has become the leading symphony orchestra in the Sierra foothills, performing all components of the symphonic repertoire and hosting soloists of international stature. Recent performances have included Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6.
An accomplished pianist, Ron Brickman performs frequently as recitalist, chamber musician, accompanist and soloist with orchestra. In concerts with the Friends of Music Orchestra and other regional orchestras, he has performed concertos by Scriabin, Brahms and Schumann, and in March of 2010 he performed the second piano concerto of Rachmaninoff.
Henrik Jul Hansen, Conductor
Conductor Henrik Jul Hansen was born in Denmark and trained in conducting at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory, The Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and has received many prestigious international awards. He currently conducts the Merced Symphony, The Sacramento Ballet Orchestra, his own Gold Country Orchestra in Sacramento, as well as events with the Camellia Symphony, the Mother Lode Festival Chorus, and the Orchestra of the Mother Lode Friends of Music.
Erik Urbina, Cellist
The program showcases cellist Erik Urbina, designated the Friends of Music’s Distinguished Young Artist of the current season. Each year the organization selects a musician at the beginning stages of a professional career. Previously honored artists include mezzo soprano Karen Solaegui Lyman and violinist Dagenais Smiley. Urbina studied with Louise Sanders in Stockton throughout his teen years then with Nina Flyer, cello instructor at the University of the Pacific. He won the university’s Honors Recital in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and the annual concerto competition in 2011, playing the Dvorak cello concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra on his graduation. He has since studied with acclaimed Swedish cellist Jakob Koranyi. He now teaches privately and performs frequently as a recitalist and in area orchestras.
Laurel Zucker, Flautist
Joining him will be Laurel Zucker, one of the world’s most prominent flutists. Trained at the Julliard School, she has worked with such leading figures as Samuel Baron, principal flute with the New York Philharmonic, Paula Robison, Marcel Moyse and Julius Baker. Now Professor of Flute at CSU-Sacramento, she has 49 CD releases to her credit, exploring all facets of the flute repertoire. Gramophone Magazine recently described Zucker’s playing “as polished and gratifying as Rampal and Galway. Zucker’s interpretations are splendid all round. Her tone is airy and sweet, her virtuosity graceful.”