About the Duo
The Arpeggione Duo consists of Dr. Christopher Kachian and Dr. Thomas Schönberg. When they first met at the Guitar Festiival of Sollentuna, Sweden in 2004 they discovered that they shared a passion for playing and performing classical new music composed for guitar and cello. Although both performers have studied Baroque performance practice in great depth and perform period music independently, the Duo specializes in contemporary works by living composers. They hope that by performing and recording contemporary repertoire, they can help build a vital and engaged audience for chamber music both old and new.
About the Players
Christopher Kachian, Guitar
Christopher Kachian, guitarist, has performed throughout Europe, the Americas, South and Central America and the Far East, as recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. His American performances have included a significant number of works written in the last twenty-five years, many of them commissions. These include over thirty works for guitar including 20 concerti. He has written Composer's Desk Reference for the Classic Guitar in consultation with over 25 composers, published by Mel Bay Publications. He has been heard on Minnesota Public Radio, National Public Radio and American Public Media (including several appearances on A Prairie Home Companion).
Notable premiere recordings include Conrad Susa'sCarols and Lullabies (RCA 1995), David Baker's Images, Shadows and Dreams (Collins Classics 1996 and Clarion as Dance Like the Wind, Music of Today’s Black Composers), Woodwind Music (Innova 1997), phoenix ensemble#1 (Valve-Hearts [Germany] 1998), Falls Flyer(10,000 Lakes 2002), Cyprus, First Impressions (Innova 2006), The J.S. Bach Sonatas for Gamba and Harpsichord for Guitar and Harpsichord by Chris Kachian and David Jenkins (2007), A Night in Vienna, (10, 000 Lakes 2011). With the Arpeggione Duo he has recorded Wanderer Sonata and Folklore (Ars Nova [Stockholm] 2006, 2009). Numerous other recordings of music ranging from blues to Christmas music are in his discography.
Since 1984, Dr. Kachian has directed one of the largest guitar programs in the USA at the University of St Thomas where he is professor of music. He has lectured in music of Europe, the Americas, the Twentieth-Century, the World, the United States, Film, Protest, Mathematics, and Guitar Pedagogy and Guitar Literature. He is the founder of the UST Music Business, Recording Arts, and the Popular Music degrees. 2001 - 2005, he served as Director of Guitar Studies for MMTA for whom he lead – authored and edited the nation’s first comprehensive, multi-genre guitar pedagogy syllabus. In 2011, he wrote the film score for Per Bianca, which won Best Film at the Minnesota 48-Hour Film Festival and won a screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
Recent notable USA premiere performances are Astor Piazzolla’s Double Concerto and Franz Schubert’sArpeggione Sonata. The ongoing series of Baroque concerts, with keyboardist, David Jenkins, with theSociety for the Doctrinal Affectation of Baroque Music, an early music ensemble and the Arpeggione Duo, a Stockholm-based cello and guitar duo specializing in new folk music, round out his concert career.
Rounding out his biography occurred in 2012 when he received national recognition by the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity as a National Arts Associate and Distinguished Member.
Thomas Schönberg, Cello
High School Diploma (Vista High School, Vista California) in 1978; Studentexamen (Östermalms Gymnasium) in 1979; Bachelor of Music degree (with dist) in 1984 and Master of Music in 1986 (San Diego State University, California); Doctor of Musical Arts in 1993 (Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, Connecticut).
A native of Sweden, he recieved his first lessons at the age of 9 in Nyköping under Bertil Jernbom. At the age of 13, accepted at the Royal Music Academy of Stockholm for studies under Professor Gröndahl. Cello studies on the US followed with Stephen Kates and Chamber Music studies with Earl Carlyss (of the Julliard Quartet) and Samuel Saunders at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland (1986-88). Private studies with Harvey Shapiro through the Julliard School in New York (1985-88). Later continued cello studies with David Wells (1988-91) and Fritz Magg (1991-92).
Scholarship recipient and Artist in Resident at the West Coast Chamber Music Festival (1986). Scholarships at the Academy of the West (1987), Victoria International Festival (1986 and 1989), Piteå Festival (1990), and Banff festival 1991. Artist in Resident at Morgues Int'l Festival in Switzerland (1992).
Principal at the Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra (1986-88); Assistant Principal at the Maryland Symphony (1986-88); Principal at the Hartt Symphony and the Hartt Collegium Musicum Baroque Orchestra (1989-91). Numerous solo performances with orchestras and in recitals in the United States, Europe and in Asia, including soloist with Kaohsiung Philarmonic 1992 (tour with Brahms “Double” Concerto), 1994 (tour with Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto) and 1995 (tour with Couperin Concerto). Conductor of same orchestra 1996 tour of Asia with Swedish Music by composer Lars-Erik Larsson. Numerous cello/piano recitals in the southern California area with pianist Howard Cohen (1984-86), in the Baltimore/Washington area with pianist Dr. Marian Buck-Lew (1986-88); in the Connecticut area with pianist Gayleen Chun (1989-91), in Sweden with pianist Wen-Li Hsu (1992-1999), in Sweden and Italy with pianist Francesco Mario Possenti (2006-). CD recording 2007 include music by Beethoven and Franck. World premier performance of Cello Concerto with Hartt Contemporary Players by Swedish composer Per-Erik Johansson. This piece was dedicated and composed in collaboration with Dr Schönberg. Conductor of Hedemora Orkesterförening 1995-98. Member and founder of Edda Clarinet Trio (2001). Conductor Sollentuna Orkestersällskap (2004-2006) and Lidingösymfonin (2006-2008).
Founding member of the Ars Nova Trio (1990), with regular performances 1990-2001 in Southern Asia. The trio was the subject of a Special by China Television in the fall of 1991, with performances, recordings and interviews. 1992 season included appearances at Swedish National television and concert tours throughout Sweden 1992-1996.
Cello instructor at Patrick Henry High School (San Diego), McCrea Music School (San Diego), San Diego State University 1984-1986, University of Hartford 1991-92, Piteå Music Academy 1992-1994 and Hedemora School of Music 1994-1998.
Dr Schönberg gives masterclasses regularly for advanced cello students throughout Europe, the United States and in Asia, with a special emphasis on cello technique and 18th century performance practice.
Director Hedemora School of Music (1994 - 2001), Director Sollentuna School for the Performing Arts (2001 - 2006), Director Lidingö School of Music (2006 - 2014).