Nov 18, 1:30pm
Manou Magdalena Chakravorty was born in the USA in 2003. As a student at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, she began her cello studies with Karen Schulz-Harmon at the age of four. She is currently studying with Richard Hirschl, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and string conductor at Roosevelt University, and Oleksa Mycyk from the Northwestern University.
At the age of eleven, Manou performed in her first master class for the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Chicago Symphony Center. She received lessons from many important cellists, including Horacio Contreras, Amir Eldan, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Terry King, Susan Moses-Bloom, Gaetano Nasillo, Csaba Onczay, Kirill Rodin, Martti Rousi, Mauro Valli, Richard Aaron, Ivan Monighetti and Wei Yu. She was also a scholarship holder of the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein and took part in the intensive weeks there.
As the winner of several competitions, Manou recently won the prestigious Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg scholarship at the Annual Musicians Club of Women Scholarship Auditions 2019. CSA Sinfonia Concerto Competition” and won the 1st prize of the “Great Composers Competition” for the Masters of Cello Concerto as well as the “61. DuPage Symphony Young Artist Auditions”. In 2017 she was a semi-finalist at the “X. International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians” in Kazakhstan and received the jury award and first place at the “American Protégé International Concerto Competition”. In 2016 she won 1st prize at the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition and won the Chicago Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra. In 2015 she won the “Indiana Summer String Academy Concert Competition” and achieved excellent placements in several other competitions, including the “Walgreens National Concerto Competition 2019”, the “DePaul Concerto Festival” 2018 and 2019 and the “Enkor International Music Competition for Strings” 2017.
Manou's most recent appearances include a livestream concert in May 2020 as part of the Mandala Makers Festival as well as chamber music and solo at the 16th Strings in Michigan in 2019, the Elgar Cello Concerto (4th movement) with the CSA Sinfonia Orchestra and a performance at the Guarneri Hall in Chicago. In 2018 she was invited to the 2nd International Tchaikovsky Youth Festival and performed at the Moscow Conservatory and the Georgievsky Hall in the Kremlin. In 2017 she played in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, was featured in the WFMT “Introductions” and gave a recital in the Skokie Public Library as part of the 36th Young Steinway Concert Series.
As a soloist with orchestra, Manou has worked with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation, the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra and the baroque cellist Gaetano Nasillo.
Manou currently plays an English cello made by Charles and Samuel Thompson in 1772.
Learn About the Musicians
Johann Sebastian Bach
Cello Suite No. 2
Piotr Nowak was born in Miastko (Poland) in 1993, and at the age of six he began his music education. He graduated with honors Master of Music in the class of prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń at Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, currently a student of the artistic diploma performance program at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at the Roosevelt University in Chicago in the studio of prof. Junghwa Moon Auer and prof. Edward Auer. Piotr has been awarded in many piano competitions, most recently this year, he won 1st prize in the Fay Stopeck Memorial Piano Competition organized by the Lake View Musical Society in Chicago, and was a finalist in the Cultural Foundation’s 2022 Classical Music Fellowship Piano Competition in Chicago. Last year, he won 2nd prize in the 8th International Chamber Music Competition in Bydgoszcz – as Nowak Trio. In 2019, he won 3rd prize in the 1st Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Turzno, Poland.
He has participated in many piano courses with such professors as Dang Thai Son, Kevin Kenner, Dmitrij Bashkirov, Krzysztof Jabłoński, Ilja Scheps, Arie Vardi, Choong-Mo Kang, Joaquín Achúcarro, Dimitri Alexeev, Jerome Lowenthal, Emile Naoumoff, Michail Voskresensky, Pavlina Dokovska, Noriko Ogawa, Tatiana Zelikman, Alexander Mndoyants, Margarita Schevchenko, Zlata Chochieva, André Michel Schub, Asaf Zohar, Read Gainsford, Andrea Bonatta, Jan Gottlieb Jiracek von Arnim, Nikolai Demidenko, Tobias Koch, John Perry, Anton Kuerti, Lee Kum-Sing, Andrzej Jasiński, Jerzy Sulikowski, Piotr Kępiński.
Piotr has performed in USA, Japan, Great Britain, Australia, South Korea, Canada, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia. He has played recitals in Warsaw during official visits of the presidents of France, Mongolia, Czech Republic, Armenia and Greece Republic. In 2020 he recorded his debut compact disc titled “Chopin Spirit – Piotr Nowak”.
He has cooperated with orchestras of the Polish Radio, Iuventus Orchestra, Japanese Mozart Virtuoso Orchestra, and several polish philharmonic orchestras. He is a scholarship holder of the ministerial project “Young Poland”. He was awarded with the “My talent for Poland Prize” by the former Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, as well as received awards from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, including Decoration of Honor Meritorious for Polish Culture, Minister of Science and Higher Education and the president of Bydgoszcz and mayor of Solec Kujawski.