2017-18 Concert Season

The Trinity Artist Series is excited to present its sixth season, featuring the Tryon Street Ensemble, piano duo Lawing & Cook, the Ciompi Quartet with Allan Ware, and visual artist Elizabeth Bradford. All concerts are Sundays at 3:00 p.m.



September 10, 2017: The Tryon Street Ensemble


Once more, the Trinity Artist Series is thrilled to present the Tryon Street Ensemble.

This gathering of string musicians from the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra brings with them world-wide acclamation, and we are fortunate to have them open our sixth series this year.

The ensemble, featuring principal cellist Alan Black and joined by cellist Marlene Dallena, violists Ben Geller and Kirsten Swanson, and violinists Joseph Meyer and Jennie Topillow, will perform Brahams' String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18.

Joseph Meyer, violin

Meyer is an active soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader who has been garnering critical acclaim throughout the country. He has been described by the San Francisco Classical Voice as " a standout player, both technically brilliant and musically innovative." The Miami Herald has called his solo playing "exquisite," while the New Orleans Times Picayune describes him as a "brilliant concertmaster and a superb violinist."

Jenny Topilow, violin
Born into an artistic family, Jenny began violin lessons at the age of three. Continuing her love for the violin, she studied under former Cleveland Orchestra member Stephen Majeske throughout high school and received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2002.

Kirsten Swanson, viola
Graduating from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Viola Performance in 2004, violist Kirsten Swanson spent 2005-2007 as Assistant Principal and section violist with the Charlotte Symphony. An extensive orchestral musician since high school, Kirsten has played with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Vermont Symphony, and Aspen Festival and Chamber Orchestras, to name a few.

Alan Black, cello

Alan Black’s performance experience covers the complete spectrum of music; from classical music including chamber music, solo recitals, and concertos with the Charlotte Symphony, to appearing on stage as a soloist and chamber musician with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Bobby McFerrin, Van Cliburn Gold Medal pianist Jon Nakamatsu, and fiddler Mark O’Connor.

Marlene Ballena, cello

Peruvian cellist Marlene Ballena began playing the cello at age seven in her hometown of Lima. She served as a member of the Peruvian National Symphony and as principal cellist of the Piura Symphony Orchestra. Later on, she continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Stephen Geber. During her time at CIM she joined the Matisse String Quartet and participated in the Intensive String Quartet Seminar working with members of the Cleveland, Cavani,Tokyo, Jerusalem, Julliard, and Tackacs Quartets.

Ben Geller, viola
Ben Geller is currently in his third season as Principal Violist of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly as a soloist in the orchestra and as a chamber musician in the Charlotte Area. Originally from Rockford, IL, Ben began violin lessons at the age of three in the Suzuki tradition at the Music Academy of Rockford.




October 15, 2017: Cynthia Lawing and Gloria Cook

Join us for piano duo Cynthia Lawing and Gloria Cook, sisters who will perform selections for four-hand piano.

The group has performed recitals and concertos, and conducted master classes both in the United States and abroad. They have performed several world-premiere works.


Cynthia Lawing
Cynthia Lawing’s musical career has taken her throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia where she frequently presents solo recitals, lectures, and master classes. She is also a frequent soloist with orchestras throughout Asia and the Carolinas.

Aside from her solo performances, Lawing performs globally with her husband Dr. William Lawing, trumpeter, Milner Professor of Music at Davidson College. They most recently performed as guest artists in Crete, Southwest China, Taiwan, and Chile, with an upcoming performance in Zurich this summer.

Gloria Cook
Gloria Cook holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is a winner of many competitions, including the Cleveland Institute Concerto Competition, the Springfield Symphony Concerto Competition, and the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs State Competition. As a soloist, she has performed with the Springfield Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony, and the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. She was also a chamber music player at the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Charleston Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Dr. Cook studied under William Kurzban, Eunice Podis, Vitya Vronsky Babin, and Grant Johannesen.

Dr. Cook and her sister, Cynthia Lawing of Davidson College, are well-known duo-piano artists. They have won many duo-piano competitions in Hong Kong and have given numerous concerto performances and recitals in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau, as well as in the US. As Associated Colleges of the South duo-piano artists, they have performed at many colleges, such as Birmingham Southern College, Southwestern University, Wittenberg University, Ohio University at Athens, and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Dr. Cook is a Professor of Piano at Rollins College. In addition to teaching applied piano at Rollins, she also teaches courses in piano pedagogy, piano accompanying, keyboard harmony, and piano literature. Dr. Cook was recently awarded the prestigious Cornell Distinguished Faculty Award for 2014–15 at Rollins College. She is frequently asked to judge various state and regional competitions in Florida.




February 25, 2018: The Ciompi Quartet with Allan Ware

Clarinetest Allan Ware and the Ciompi String Quartet have been performing together in the USA, Europe and elsewhere for over 15 years, performing the major clarinet quintets to critical acclaim.

They offer various programs including the Quintets of Mozart and Brahms, Francaix, Paul Hindemith, Ben-Haim and featuring, among other works of American composers, a new Quintet, “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” by the Jewish-American composer Osvaldo Golijov.

Allan Ware is a chamber musician and soloist who has been entrancing audiences for decades on stages in over 30 countries with his flexible and colorful tone, intelligent interpretations and virtuostic technique.





April 22, 2018: Painter Elizabeth Bradford

Our series closes this year with a lecture and demonstration by artist and painter Elizabeth Bradford.

Elizabeth Bradford is a native Carolinian, with deep roots in the rural landscape. During much of her career she has worked to record the traditional look of the land prior to its urbanization. Her work has centered on images drawn from her rural community and her family’s ancestral farm in north Mecklenburg County where she lives. In recent years she has, as well, painted the countries to which she has traveled, and explored her own inner landscape through a series of archetypal self portraits. 

She studied art at Randolph Macon Woman’s College, the University of North Carolina, and at Davidson College, and is represented in corporate and private collections all over the United States. She was included in the United States’ State Department’s Art In Embassies Program which places representative work by American artists in embassies around the world. In 2006 Bradford was chosen as the featured artist for North Carolina’s first statewide Women’s Conference. She has had many solo exhibitions, including shows at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Davidson College. Her work focuses on intricate formal patterns found in nature, and on the experience of color, and ranges from small and intimate to large in scale. Currently her medium is acrylic on canvas or wood panel. Though representational , her paintings have a strong connection to the traditions of abstraction, and show, as well, the influence of the Pattern and Decoration movement and Pop Art.