Five Fridays I: violin and piano

Danbi Um, violin

Mika Sasaki, piano

Friday October 6, 2023 at 7:30pm

on the labyrinth at
St. Paul’s Church, Chestnut Hill

In the first concert of the 2023-24 season, Danbi Um makes a much-anticipated return to Five Fridays with pianist Mika Sasaki in a compelling program of music by Burleigh, Strauss, Grieg, and Kreisler.

Since 2011 the Five Fridays series has raised funds to benefit two local organizations that combat hunger and homelessness in NW Philadelphia.  Thanks to support from generous sponsors and concert-goers, all net proceeds from the series will be shared between Face to Face Germantown and Family Promise of Philadelphia.

A reception to meet the artists will follow the concert.

Tickets online or at the door | $30 General Admission, $5 Student


Follow Music at Saint Paul’s in Eventbrite for ticketing updates.


Harry Burleigh —  4 Southland Sketches

Richard Strauss — Sonata in Eb Major, Op.18

Edvard Grieg — Sonata No.2 in G Major, Op.13

Fritz Kreisler – Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice for Solo Violin, Op. 6

Fritz Kreisler – Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta


Danbi Um

Praised by The Strad as an “utterly dazzling” artist, violinist Danbi Um captivates audiences with her virtuosity, individual sound, and interpretive sensitivity. She is a Menuhin International Violin Competition Silver Medalist, a winner of the prestigious 2018 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and a recent top prizewinner of the Naumburg International Violin Competition. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and her Washington, DC, recital debut at the Phillips Collection. This season will also see her return to the Rockport, Moab, Saratoga Performing Arts (SPAC), Santa Fe, and North Shore Music Festivals, as well as her debuts at the Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music San Francisco, and the Mostly Music, Newburyport, La Musica (Sarasota), and Chelsea Music Festivals. In addition, she embarks on a duo recital tour with guitarist Jiji to Delaware, Houston, New York, and Nova Scotia. Her debut album, Much Ado: Romantic Violin Masterworks, will be released in fall 2023. Past concerto engagements include appearances with the Israel Symphony, Auckland Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, and Dartmouth Symphony. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ms. Um moved to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She also holds an Artist Diploma from Indiana University. Her teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo, and Hagai Shaham. She is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program and plays a 1683 “ex-Petschek” Nicolo Amati violin, on loan from a private collection. Danbi Um is an Astral laureate artist.  More at


Mika Sasaki

Praised as a “superb interpreter” (Fanfare) and for her “virtuosity… and sparkling sound” (Times Argus), pianist Mika Sasaki enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. She has performed across the U.S. and in the U.K., Italy, Japan, and Switzerland, appearing in venues such as the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. She has appeared as concerto soloist with the Sinfonia of Cambridge, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, 92Y Orchestra, and more recently, with the InterSchool Symphony Orchestra of New York, performing Amy Beach’s Piano Concerto. Mika is the pianist of Ensemble Mélange and is a newly appointed core member of Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. As a guest artist, she has performed with the Manhattan Chamber Players, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Connect, Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Passionate about education and audience engagement, she has presented interactive performances at schools and community venues all around New York City and across the country, including residencies in Chattanooga, TN, and Portland, OR. She is an alumna of the Peabody Conservatory (B.M., M.M.), Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, and The Juilliard School (D.M.A.), as well as summer programs such as Tanglewood, Music@Menlo, Chigiana, Yellow Barn, Aspen, Icicle Creek, Mannes Beethoven Institute, and Taos. She has taught and performed at pianoSonoma, Rushmore, Taubman Piano Festival, Charles Ives Music Festival, Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard, and Music@Menlo. Based in New York City, Mika is a faculty member at The Juilliard School, where she is the Supervisor of Secondary Piano and teaches keyboard skills, piano, and chamber music in the College, Pre-College, and Extension Divisions. When not at the piano, she can be found tending to her houseplants, cooking, or chasing after her cat.  More at

Coming next to Five Fridays:


10 NOVEMBER 2023
Vox Fidelis, vocal ensemble

Sonya Ovrutsky Fensome, piano

15 MARCH 2024
Lily Wintringham, flute | Jonathan Wintringham, saxophone | Michael Djupstrom, piano

19 APRIL 2024
Puget Sound, piano trio

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