About the Artists
Violinist Suliman Tekalli has established himself as an exciting and versatile soloist and chamber musician, lauded for his visceral yet elegant and intelligent style of performance. Top prize winner of the 2015 Seoul International Music Competition, Mr. Tekalli has performed as soloist with major orchestras throughout North America, Central America, Europe and Asia from D.C.’s Kennedy Center to Seoul Arts Center in Korea. He is also a laureate and prize winner at the Sendai International Music Competition, Lipizer and Szeryng International Violin Competitions, and the 2004 Blount Young Artist Competition. He was also the recipient of the 2013 CIM Maurice and Judith Kaplow Prize for Uncommon Creativity.
Mr. Tekalli began studying the violin in his native Florida with Russian pedagogue Lev Gurevich at the age of three. His early performing career included being featured at the age of 11 on NPR’s From the Top and his formal debut with the Orlando Philharmonic at the age of 16.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Tekalli has performed at Yellow Barn Festival, Banff Chamber Music Festival, and Sarasota. He has performed alongside Cho-Liang Lin, David Shifrin, Paul Watkins of the Emerson Quartet, Donald Weilerstein, Bonnie Hampton, Barry Shiffman, and members of the Tokyo String Quartet. He performs regularly worldwide with the Sejong Soloists, as well as his sibling pianist Jamila Tekalli in the United States and Central America. In 2016, Mr. Tekalli performed in Alice Tully Hall as part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s inaugural “Encounters” program. Mr. Tekalli has studied with Joel Smirnoff at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Hyo Kang at Juilliard and Yale, and Sergiu Schwartz at the Schwob School of Music.
Mr. Tekalli performs on the 1683 ex-Holloway Antonio Stradivarius violin, “Cobbett”, which is on loan to him from Mr. Higgin Kim, Chairman of Byucksan Engineering Co. Ltd through the Stradivari Society of Chicago and Sejong Soloists.
Jamila Tekalli has performed as a soloist and collaborative musician in concerts, festivals, and competitions throughout the United States, Canada, and Central and South America. She has performed with members of the National Symphony, New World Symphony and Orlando Philharmonic. Performances in chamber recitals have taken her throughout Ecuador, in the cities of Quito, Cuenca and Loja.Her awards and distinctions include Finalist of the Stravinsky International Piano Competition, Third Prize and Finalist of the Baldwin National Piano Competition, Winner of the Steinway Indiana Collegiate Piano Competition, and Winner of the Indiana University and University of Miami Concerto Competitions.
As an educator, Dr. Tekalli has served as Lecturer in Music at Barry University in Miami, Florida where she taught piano, chamber music, music theory, music history, musical theater and choral programs, and led workshops and masterclasses in solo and collaborative playing. Tekalli served as director and teacher of piano workshops and masterclasses, and as a judge of the 2007 Concurso Internacional de Música Clásica “Jóvenes Talentos” held at the school Fronteras Musicales Abiertas in Cuenca, Ecuador.
Dr. Tekalli is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she received a doctorate in Piano Performance and cognate in Music Theory, where she studied with Tian Ying. She received degrees from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and the University of Central Florida, with studies with Evelyne Brancart, Arnaldo Cohen and Laurent Boukobza. Summer festivals include the Banff Centre, Bowdoin International Music Festival, International Keyboard Institute at Mannes, and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute where she has studied with artists Robert McDonald, Julian Martin, Boris Slutsky, Marc Durand, Dawn Upshaw, and members of the Brentano and Tokyo String Quartets,
Dr. Tekalli resides in Washington D.C. where she serves as Music Director at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Piano Faculty at the Levine School of Music, and Associate Pianist with the National Children’s Chorus of D.C. Dr. Tekalli is a member of the Music Teacher’s National Association, National Guild of Piano Teachers, and Chamber Music of America.
About the Tekalli Duo
The Tekalli Duo has performed internationally across the Americas and overseas, leaving audiences breathless by their depth of individual technical mastery as well as their shared musical intuition. Highly versatile in their performing capacities, Tekalli Duo has appeared as duo soloists with orchestra, recitalists, educators, and American musical ambassadors abroad. Their diverse ethnic background greatly influences their passion to connect the world through the language of music.
In March 2014, Tekalli Duo performed the Mendelssohn Double Concerto with La Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico, which was broadcasted on Radio Universidad de Guanajuato. Their recitals have been presented by Concert Artists Guild in NYC, as well as the Odeon and Woodbridge Chamber Series. They gave the Canadian premiere of Michael Brown’s Violin Sonata, which they commissioned, as well as Suliman Tekalli’s transcription of Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin at the Banff Centre. Tekalli Duo has also lead masterclasses at the University of Tampa. Under the auspices of the United States Embassy as a musical exchange of Western and Middle Eastern music, Tekalli Duo appeared as performers in pre-revolutionary Libya at the University of Tripoli. In the fall of 2015, they performed a recital live on WFMT radio in Chicago as part of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts.
Tekalli Duo’s repertoire includes the duo concerto and sonata repertory of the classics through romantic, 20th century and contemporary periods. Their recitals invariably mix standard classical repertory with newer works by composers of their heritage such as Fazil Say and Takemitsu, as well as their own transcriptions of classical and contemporary music.