The first performance of the Pleasant Hill Community Church, United Church of Christ 2020 concert season is on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. with a duo performance by Emi Kagawa (piano) and her colleague Zofia Glashauser (violin). Their program will include Brahms as well as new compositions by their contemporary, Jennifer Higdon. A native of Osaka, Japan, pianist Emi Kagawa is a soloist and chamber musician who has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy and Japan. An internationally recognized soloist and chamber musician, Emi Kagawa is the newly appointed principal keyboard of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Zofia Glashauser joined the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra as the concertmaster of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the assistant concertmaster of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Zofia is also a very active chamber musician, playing violin with the acclaimed Michigan City Chamber Music Festival and the South Bend Symphony String Quintet.

Emi Kagawa received her bachelor’s degree from the Kyoto City University of Arts, and her Master of Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has continued her studies at New York University and at The Juilliard School as a full scholarship student. A winner of numerous national and international competitions, she is a dedicated educator currently on the piano faculty of St. Joseph University in Philadelphia. She maintains established private teaching studios in both New York and New Jersey. Ms. Glashauser was born in the historically rich city of Krakow, Poland. Upon her arrival in America, she was immediately accepted into the studio of renowned pedagogue Renata Knific at Western Michigan University. While there, Zofia was both a winner of the 2001 concerto competition and a semi-finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. She then continued her studies at Northwestern University for a master's degree.

The Feb. 23 concert program will contain five movements from Jennifer Higdon’s String Poetic and 4 movements from the Sonata for violin and piano in d minor Op.108 by Johannes Brahms. Noted by the New York Sun, Emi Kagawa is “an artist both interesting and bold who quite literally throws herself into her performance creating truly exciting music.” Ticket holders to the Bryan Symphony in Cookeville were treated to her performance on Feb. 16 in the spectacular piano part in Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens. This will be her fourth performance at PH Community Church, having previously performed with the Cumberland Piano Trio on two occasions and once as a solo recitalist. Ms. Kagawa currently lives in Knoxville with her partner Sam and two cats, Lulu and Huan Hu. When she is not practicing, she enjoys cooking and being in nature. 

Zofia Glashauser is also an avid soloist, having performed with various orchestras on violin concertos by Tchaikovsky, Vieuxtemps, and Mozart, as well as “brilliante” works by Wieniawski, Sarasate and Kreisler. These performances were lauded by audience and critics alike. Her playing is often characterized as having a sublime, yet fiery passion and a fine crystalline technique. She lives currently in Knoxville and enjoys many activities, including cooking, reading, and especially running, having participated in numerous races. She loves sharing these interests with her husband Jason and their three beautiful children Simon, Gabriela and Susannah.

The Pleasant Hill Community Church, UCC has been the venue for many concerts both vocal and instrumental in many genres for several years. The presentations are held in the sanctuary of the church at 67 Church Drive off of Main Street in Pleasant Hill and are free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted and enable the Church Concert Team to bring other high caliber performances to the area.

This week in Pleasant Hill:

The Grab thrift store is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9547 Hwy. 70 W. Regular store hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. REMINDER: when schools are closed for inclement weather, the Grab will be closed also.

Tuesday, Feb. 18, “Priest,” film as part of a series exploring spiritual and theological themes in movies led by The Rev. Glenna Shepherd at PH Community Church, 67 Church St. Call 931-277-3193 for information.

Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to noon, Trash & Treasure Sale preparation at Blue Barn on Lake Drive. Volunteers needed or drop off contributions.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 5:30 p.m. supper, 6:15 p.m. Story Church in Room 1 of the PH Community Church, 67 Church Drive in Pleasant Hill.

Wednesdays, 6 p.m., Bible Study & Prayer at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Mission at 39 Browntown Rd. near Main St.

Thursday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Community Bridge, Fletcher House Dining Room, all welcome. Call 277-5977.

Sunday, Feb. 23, 8:15 a.m., documentary: “On the Path to Strawberry Fields” about positive movement toward a more holistic, sustainable, and enlightened society in Room 4, PH Community Church, UCC Main Street and Church Drive in Pleasant Hill.

Sundays, 9 a.m., Adult Book Study of “Things Hidden” by Richard Rohr in Room 1 of PH Community Church, UCC Main Street and Church Drive in Pleasant Hill.

Sunday, Feb. 23, 3 p.m., concert with pianist Emi Kagawa and violinist Zofia Glashauser in the PH Community Church, UCC Sanctuary, Main Street and Church Drive in Pleasant Hill. Free and open to the public.