Meet the Musicians

Lily Arbisser, soprano

Lily Arbisser is an “individual-timbred soprano” (Opera News) whose voice “floats effortlessly” ( over the orchestra. Highlights of recent seasons include joining Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute in Chicago as a vocal fellow, winning first prize in the National Federation of Music Clubs’ (NFMC) Biennial Young Artist Competition, being a semi-finalist in the Kurt Weill Foundation’s prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition, and debuting at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as Suzu in Riyoichi Saito’s chamber opera Dojoji.

In March 2020, before the pandemic halted in-person performances, Lily sang Elle in Poulenc’s La voix humaine with the Modern Opera Company in New York City. During the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, Lily was booked for solo recitals for the National Federation of Music Clubs throughout the United States: Arkansas, Michigan, South Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, Iowa, and Chautauqua. When the pandemic resulted in cancellations, Lily continued concertizing online and performed live-stream recitals collectively viewed over 2000 times.

Lily’s return to in-person performances in 2022 will include numerous solo opportunities in Iowa and in the New York City area. Select performances include Anne Frank in James Whitbourn’s oratorio Annelies with Princeton Pro Musica in Princeton, NJ and a solo recital for the Iowa Federation of Music Clubs as the state’s first Iowa-born winner of the NFMC’s Young Artist competition. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Lily is also extremely excited to return home to join pianist Thomas Sauer and Chamber Music Quad Cities for a recital of newly commissioned art songs setting work by Quad-City-area poets.

Lily is a proud graduate of Davenport Central High School. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University with a Bachelor of the Arts in Art and Archaeology and a Certificate in Vocal Performance. She holds a Master of Music degree from Mannes College. When not singing, she can be found outdoors cultivating a newfound passion for soil science, pollinators, and native plant gardening.

Kyu-Young Kim, violinist

Kyu-Young Kim, Artistic Director and Principal Violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is widely recognized for his dynamic performances as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. His appointment as the SPCO’s Artistic Director in January 2016 marks the first time a playing member has been tapped to take the artistic helm of a major American orchestra. Under his artistic leadership, the SPCO won a Grammy for its recording of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet in a new arrangement by violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in 2018, and has toured to great critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Previously, Kim has toured throughout the world as a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet with whom he won the Grand Prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition and was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two Program. As a former member of the Pacifica String Quartet, Mr. Kim won the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award. He has appeared as soloist with the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Poland, and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and is an Emeritus Member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Thomas Sauer, pianist

Pianist Thomas Sauer is highly sought after as soloist and chamber musician in a wide range of repertoire. Recent appearances include Carnegie Hall, St. John’s College, Oxford, and the Chamber Music Societies of Lincoln Center, Boston, and Philadelphia. With his long-time duo partner Colin Carr, Mr. Sauer has appeared at the Wigmore Hall (London), the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), and Da Camera (Houston). He has performed with members of the Juilliard String Quartet at the Library of Congress and given numerous concerts with the Brentano String Quartet.

Mr. Sauer’s varied discography includes recordings of Beethoven and Haydn piano sonatas (MSR Classics); solo music by Thomas Adès, Stephen Hartke, and Hans Abramahsen (Azica Records); with Colin Carr, the complete cello and piano works of Mendelssohn (Cello Classics) and Beethoven (MSR Classics); music of Hindemith with violist Misha Amory (Musical Heritage Society); music of Britten and Schnittke with cellist Wilhelmina Smith (Arabesque); music of Ross Lee Finney with violinist Miranda Cuckson (Centaur Records); and music of James Matheson (Yarlung Records).

Mr. Sauer has performed at many of the leading festivals in the United States and abroad, including Marlboro, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, and Taos, as well as Lake District Summer Music (England), Agassiz (Canada), Festival des Consonances (France), and Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival (Denmark). A faculty member of Mannes and Vassar Colleges, Mr. Sauer was the founder and director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute, a highly regarded summer program that ran for fifteen seasons.