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Nebraska’s Own: James Barnett

January 12, 2020 @ 5:30 pm

Nebraska's Own James Barnett

Concert Repertoire:

About James Barnett

James Barnett, DMA is an active pianist and conductor known for his work as an art song recitalist and chamber music pianist. As an ardent supporter of new and forgotten music, he has created a salon recital series (LOFTrecital) in Minneapolis, MN, focused on neglected works and composers. In addition to the recital series, Barnett has just launched Metamorphosis Opera Theater (MOT), a new company that pushes the conventions of opera through performances of lesser-known works.

Barnett’s career in opera started in the summer of 2007 at Des Moines Metro Opera where he served as a coach and rehearsal pianist in the James M. Collier Apprentice Program. Since then, he has been involved in numerous productions with the University of Minnesota Opera Theater, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Grand Valley State University as well as producing numerous operatic performances for such organizations as Heifer International and Feed My Starving Children. He also attended Songfest, a program devoted to the study of Art Song, where he worked with pianists Margo Garrett, Martin Katz, and Graham Johnson.

He has been a featured pianist with many companies and academic institutions across the country, including the Des Moines Metro Opera, Minnesota Opera, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Lakes Area Music Festival, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, The University of Minnesota, Grand Valley State University, Up North Vocal Institute, and OperaNEO.

When not performing, he is an active teacher having been on staff at Grand Valley State University, Up North Vocal Institute, and Minnesota Operaʼs Opera Artist+ Summer Camp. Barnett is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in Piano Accompanying/ Vocal Coaching at the University of Minnesota. Major musical influences in his life include James and Karen Johnson, and Z. Randall Stroope.

About Kristin Lelm

Kristin Lelm

American soprano and instructor of voice and piano, Kristin Bell Lelm, studied at East Peoria Community High School. She graduated in 2007 from Bradley University, where she studied vocal performance with Dr. Kerry Walters and performed with the Bradley Chorale and Chamber Singers. She is a winner of the Bradley Symphony Orchestra Concert-Aria Competition and won the 2007-2008 Presser Award. She obtained her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from DePaul University, under the study of Jane Bunnell.

Kristin Lelm’s opera roles include Purcell’s Fairy Queen, Sister Genevieve in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and as Euridice in Monteverdi’s Orfeo. In March 2009, she performed the role of Gretel in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel at the Reskin Theater.

Kristin is an active soloist at St. James Lutheran Church and School in Chicago and sings with the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the direction of Riccardo Muti. She also maintains a private voice and piano studio.

About Elizabeth Furuta

Elizabeth Furuta

Elizabeth Furuta began playing the violin at the age of four, inspired by the television show Sesame Street. She joined the Omaha Symphony in 2015 as second associate concertmaster. Prior to her appointment, she was a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, and the concertmaster of the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra.

Elizabeth holds bachelor and master degrees in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received the Dr. Bennett Levine Memorial Award in Chamber Music. Her primary teachers include William Preucil, David Updegraff, Peter Salaff, and the Cavani Quartet. An avid chamber musician, she has worked with many major string quartets, including members of the Brentano, Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard, Shanghai, Takács, and Tokyo string quartets and has participated in the Banff Chamber Music Residency, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the Taos School of Music. Other notable appearances include a solo performance for former United States Supreme Court Justice David Souter and a featured appearance on NPR’s nationally broadcast program Says You.

About Tim Strang

Tim Strang

Tim Strang joined the Omaha Symphony in the fall of 2011. A native of Davenport, Iowa, he began his cello studies at the age of 9 in a public school music program, and soon after began lessons with Janina Ehrlich at Augustana College. In high school, he performed with the Augustana College Orchestra and Quad City Symphony, as well as the Quad City Youth Symphony, of which he was principal cellist. He also appeared with the QCYSO as soloist in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 and was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. He went on to receive degrees from Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan in cello performance, studying with Felix Wang and Anthony Elliott, respectively. He graduated from Vanderbilt summa cum laude as a Harold Stirling Vanderbilt scholar and recipient of the Jean Keller Heard String prize. At Vanderbilt, he had many opportunities to perform new music, performing on the BMI composer in residence series and as part of a composition workshop exchange with the Royal Academy of Music in London. This passion continued in Ann Arbor, where he performed with U of M’s new music ensemble. He has performed in the summer at Round Top, Aspen, and with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO. In addition to playing with the symphony, Tim plays for the Omaha Chamber Music Society and other chamber music groups, as well as teaching private cello students.


January 12, 2020
5:30 pm


Presbyterian Church of the Cross
1517 S. 114th Street
Omaha, NE 68144 United States
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