Imani WindsGuest Ensemble
Scott Allen JarrettConductor
Marsalis Big BrassGuest Ensemble
Simply ThreeGuest Ensemble
In the 2017-2018 season, J’Nai returns to San Francisco Opera as Josefa Segovia in the world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West directed by Peter Sellars, in addition to performing the role of Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino with Opera Zürich. She is also featured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl and in works by Mozart at Walt Disney Hall; in Gershwin selections with the New York Philharmonic at the Bravo! Vail Festival led by Bramwell Tovey; and in Bernstein centennial celebrations with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.
Recent opera performance highlights include debuts at San Francisco Opera and Bavarian State Opera as Bersi in Andrea Chénier; at Los Angeles Opera as Nefertiti in Akhnaten; and at Vancouver Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking; and performances as Carmen in the world premiere of Bel Canto, an opera by Jimmy Lopez, based on the novel by Ann Patchett at the Lyric Opera of Chicago; the title role in The Rape of Lucretia at Wolf Trap Opera; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at San Diego Opera and Wolf Trap Opera; the title role in Carmen at the Finger Lakes Opera; and Adalgisa in Norma at Knoxville Opera.
Highlights as a soloist include performances of the mezzo-soprano solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the L.A. Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, at the Farewell to Christoph Eschenbach concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center; Ravel’s Shéhérezade with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, with whom she also was featured in Gershwin works in the orchestra’s inaugural week at the Elbphilharmonie, as well as chamber works with the NDR Symphony cellists; the mezzo-soprano solo in Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Louisville Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Lexington Philharmonic; Ravel’s Chansons Medécasses with Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; chamber works with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Art Institute of Chicago; as well as soloist engagements with the Opera Orchestra of New York, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Oregon Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphonic Orchestra. J’Nai was also a featured soloist in the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration at Carnegie Hall, at the Festival de Torroella de Montgrí, and the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends tribute concert at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
In 2015, J’Nai completed a three-year residency with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which included performances as Inez in Il trovatore, Vlasta in Mieczysław Weinberg’s The Passenger under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, and Flora in La traviata. That same year, she represented the United States at the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She is a recipient of a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant, first prize winner at the 2016 Francisco Vinjas International Competition, first prize winner at the 2015 Gerda Lissner Competition, a recipient of the 2013 Sullivan Foundation Award, a 2012 Marian Anderson award winner, the recipient of the 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant, the recipient of the 2009 Richard F. Gold Grant as the singer with a promising operatic career, and the winner of the 2008 Leontyne Price Foundation Competition. J’Nai was previously a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York.
A native of Lakewood, Washington, she earned her Master of Music degree from Curtis Institute of Music, and her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music.
Nicole Cabell, the 2005 Winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff and Decca recording artist, is one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos of today. Her solo debut album, “Soprano” was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone and has received an incredible amount of critical acclaim and several prestigious awards: the 2007 Georg Solti Orphée d’Or from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique and an Echo Klassik Award in Germany.
Nicole Cabell’s current season includes some exciting role debuts: first as Violetta in La Traviata with Michigan Opera Theatre, then as Medora in Il Corsaro with Washington Concert Opera. She will reprise the role of her triumphant San Francisco Opera debut: Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In concert, Ms. Cabell will make her Paris debut in Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, will appear several times in Spain, first with the Orquesta de Galicia in a Barber/Mahler program, then on tour with the RPO and Charles Dutoit in Poulenc’s Gloria. In London, she will be heard with the RPO in the same Poulenc piece as well as with the BBC Orchestra in Elgar’s The Apostles with Sir Andrew Davis. Further concert appearances include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony and Bernard Haitink at Tanglewood, the Dallas Symphony and Jaap van Zweeden in Vail, CO and the Baltimore Symphony and Marin Alsop, a Barber/Brahms program in Nashville with GianCarlo Guerrero and an evening of French Opera Arias and Duets with Stephen Costello and the Lyric Opera of Baltimore. Nicole Cabell will appear in recital in Chicago. Future projects include a debut with the Paris Opera and returns to the Cincinnati Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre.
Last season started with Ms. Cabell’s much-anticipated role and company debuts as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the San Francisco Opera. The rest of her season featured another favorite role, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, which she sang for her debut at the Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona and for her return to the New National Theatre in Tokyo. Further opera engagements included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Cincinnati Opera. In concert, Miss Cabell sang the Mozart Requiem at Carnegie Hall,
Bach’s B minor Mass in Chicago and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Cleveland Orchestra on tour in Miami.
Ms. Cabell’s previous season showcased her command of Mozart’s music, as she sang the Countess in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro in Montreal, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in Tokyo. She was also heard in some of her favorite roles in the French repertoire: Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with the Palm Beach Opera and Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles at the Santa Fe Opera. In concert, she appeared in New York, London, Chicago, Cincinnati, Toronto, Atlanta,
San Diego and St Petersburg. Prior to that, Nicole Cabell returned to the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Micaela in Carmen, to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and made an exciting role debut: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Oper Köln and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. She also returned to the Cincinnati Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. In concert, she appeared with the Edinburgh Festival as the Mater Gloriosa in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, followed by Gala Opening Concerts in Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and their music director, Claus Peter Flor. Nicole Cabell sang solo recitals in Toronto and Louisville, KY.
Nicole Cabell’s previous season brought her to the Metropolitan Opera for her house debut in two of her most acclaimed roles: Pamina in The Magic Flute, followed by Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore. With her home company, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she sang Leïla in Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles and an Opera Concert at Millenium Park conducted by the company’s Music Director, Sir Andrew Davis. Other opera engagements included two role debuts: the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with
the Cincinnati Opera and Micaëla in Carmen with the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. In concert, Nicole Cabell was heard in Copenhagen, Prague, Munich, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Ottawa, Indianapolis and Raleigh. Miss Cabell appeared twice in recital at Carnegie Hall, first for Marilyn Horne’s 75th birthday gala concert, then as part of Jessye Norman’s Honor Festival, apart from solo dates in Toronto, Berkeley and Cincinnati. A more unusual event in the soprano’s season was a series of cabaret concerts at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
Awards include first place in both the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and the Women’s Board of Chicago Vocal Competition. Nicole Cabell was a semi-finalist in the 2005 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and earned first place in the American Opera Society competition in Chicago. She is the 2002 winner of the Union League’s Rose M. Grundman Scholarship, and the 2002 Farwell Award with the Woman’s Board of Chicago. Nicole Cabell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music.
American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. The New York-based pianist gained an international following with the remarkable success of her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which she independently raised the funds to record. Released in 2007 on Telarc, it ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to many “Best of 2007” lists including those of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker.
Dinnerstein’s performance schedule has taken her around the world since her acclaimed New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2005, to venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Sydney Opera House, Seoul Arts Center, and London’s Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia festivals; and performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra a Sinfonica Brasileira, and the Tokyo Symphony.
Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the U.S. for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. She gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system at the Avoyelles Correctional Center, and performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Dedicated to her community, in 2009 Dinnerstein founded Neighborhood Classics, a concert series open to the public hosted by New York public schools which raises funds for their music education programs.
Dinnerstein is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio. She is on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music and is a Sony Classical artist. She is managed by Andrea Troolin at Ekonomisk Mgmt with booking representation through Helen Henson at Blu Ocean Arts.
Hailed as a “leading force for the music of our time,” for her work as a conductor, communicator, recording artist audience builder, champion of American composers and distinguished musical citizen, JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center and Music Advisor to the Hawaii Symphony. She has been acclaimed by The Washington Post as having “Toscanini’s tight control over ensemble, Walter’s affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski’s gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein.”
Ms. Falletta has guest conducted over a hundred orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Her 2017-18 international guest conducting appearances include performances with the RTE Concert Orchestra (Dublin), the New Japan Philharmonic and Mexico Symphony Philharmonic, among others, as well as recordings with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony. Recent guest conducting highlights include performances with the National Symphony at Wolf Trap, the National Orchestras of Peru, Columbia and Iceland, as well as debuts in Belgrade, Gothenburg, Lima, Bogotá, Helsingborg, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, a European tour with the Stuttgart Orchestra, return engagements with the Warsaw, Detroit, Phoenix, and Krakow Symphony Orchestras and a 13 city US tour with the Irish Chamber Orchestra with James Galway.
In 2016, Falletta was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining an esteemed roster that dates back to the Academy’s founding in 1780, including America’s founding fathers and more than two hundred fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. She has served as a Member of the National Council on the Arts and is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards including the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award for exceptionally gifted American conductors, the coveted Stokowski Competition and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter Awards for conducting, as well as the American Symphony Orchestra League’s prestigious John S. Edwards Award. She has introduced over 500 works by American composers, including well over 100 world premieres.
JoAnn is a leading recording artist for Naxos. Her discs have won two Grammy Awards and ten Grammy nominations. In 2016, Falletta celebrated the release of her 100th recording, Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale Suite / Octet / Les Noces with the Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players. Other recent recordings include Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 5 with soloist Norman Krieger and the Buffalo Philharmonic, a disc of the cello concertos of Victor Herbert with soloist Mark Kosower and the Ulster Orchestra and works of Richard Strauss, Florent Schmitt, Novak, Scriabin and Wagner with the Buffalo Philharmonic. In 2017, Falletta will be featured on Naxos recordings of music of Kodaly and Wagner’s Music from the Ring with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a recording of music of Franz Schreker with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and her fifth world premiere disc of Kenneth Fuchs’ music with the London Symphony.
Upon her appointment as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999, Maestro Falletta became the first female conductor to lead a major American ensemble. She has since been credited with bringing the BPO to a new level of national and international prominence. This season, the BPO will once again be featured on national broadcasts of NPR’s Performance Today, SymphonyCast, and international broadcasts through the European Broadcasting Union. Both the BPO and the Virginia Symphony have received ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming during JoAnn’s tenure. Under Falletta’s direction, the VSO has risen to celebrated artistic heights. The VSO, which made critically acclaimed debuts at the Kennedy Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall under Falletta and entered into their first multinational recording agreement with Naxos, performs classics, pops and family concert series in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg.
Falletta first fell in love with music when she was 7 and began studying classical guitar. The JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, sponsored by the Buffalo Philharmonic and WNED-FM in Buffalo, is one of the premier classical guitar performance competitions in the world.
In addition to her current posts with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, Brevard Music Center and Hawaii Symphony, Ms. Falletta has held the positions of principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Falletta received her undergraduate degree in classical guitar from the Mannes College of Music in New York and her master’s and doctorate degrees in conducting from The Juilliard School.
Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.
The operas – “Einstein on the Beach,” “Satyagraha,” “Akhnaten,” and “The Voyage,” among many others – play throughout the world’s leading houses, and rarely to an empty seat. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as “The Hours” and Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun,” while “Koyaanisqatsi,” his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since “Fantasia.” His associations, personal and professional, with leading rock, pop and world music artists date back to the 1960s, including the beginning of his collaborative relationship with artist Robert Wilson. Indeed, Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music – simultaneously.
He was born in 1937 and grew up in Baltimore. He studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud. Finding himself dissatisfied with much of what then passed for modern music, he moved to Europe, where he studied with the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Aaron Copland , Virgil Thomson and Quincy Jones) and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar. He returned to New York in 1967 and formed the Philip Glass Ensemble – seven musicians playing keyboards and a variety of woodwinds, amplified and fed through a mixer.
The new musical style that Glass was evolving was eventually dubbed “minimalism.” Glass himself never liked the term and preferred to speak of himself as a composer of “music with repetitive structures.” Much of his early work was based on the extended reiteration of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry. Or, to put it another way, it immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops.
There has been nothing “minimalist” about his output. In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than twenty operas, large and small; ten symphonies (with others already on the way); two piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks to films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris’s documentary about former defense secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, among many others. He presents lectures, workshops, and solo keyboard performances around the world, and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Monica Huggett was born in London, in 1953, the fifth of seven children. She took up the violin at age six and at age sixteen entered the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Manoug Parikian.
From age seventeen, beginning as a freelance violinist in London, Monica has earned her living solely as a violinist and artistic director and, in 2008, was appointed inaugural artistic director of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program, where she is now artistic advisor and artist-in-residence. In the intervening four decades, she co-founded, with Ton Koopman, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra; founded her own London-based ensemble, Sonnerie; worked with Christopher Hogwood at the Academy of Ancient Music and Trevor Pinnock with the English Concert; toured the United States in concert with James Galway; and co-founded, in 2004, the Montana Baroque Festival. In addition to her position as artistic director of Portland Baroque Orchestra, she is also the artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra.
She is a frequent guest director and soloist around the world, including engagements with Arion Baroque Orchestra (Montréal), Tafelmusik (Toronto), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), Columbus Symphony, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Seville Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. She regularly directs performances in New York of Juilliard415, the student baroque orchestra of the Historical Performance Program, as well as playing with Juilliard Baroque, the faculty ensemble of the program. Monica’s expertise in the musical and social history of the Baroque Era is unparalleled among performing musicians. This huge body of knowledge and understanding, coupled with her unforced and expressive musicality, has made her an invaluable resource to students of baroque violin and period performance practice through the 19th century.
Monica’s recordings have won numerous prizes. Her CD “Flights of Fantasy” with Irish Baroque Orchestra was named by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as Classical Recording of the Year for 2010. Her recording of J.S. Bach’s “Orchestra Suites for a Young Prince” with Gonzalo X. Ruiz (PBO principal oboist) and Ensemble Sonnerie was nominated for a Grammy™ Award and won the Diapason d’or in 2009.
Recordings with PBO include a 2011 recording of Bach’s St. John Passion (Avie). This was followed by a 2014 release of “J.S. Bach Concertos for Oboe and Oboe d’amore” (Avie) featuring Gonzalo X. Ruiz, and a 2015 release of “J.S. Bach Concertos for One, Two and Three Violins.” In 2015, Juilliard Baroque, led by Monica, released its inaugural recording, “Couperin, Les Nations: Sonades, et Suites de Simphonies en Trio.”
Monica lives in Portland, where she enjoys spending time in her garden and plans to buy a motorcycle this year.
Since 1997 Imani Winds, the Grammy-nominated wind quintet, has taken a unique path carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs. With two member composers and a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging American, European, African and Latin American traditions. From Mendelssohn to Astor Piazzolla to Wayne Shorter and Stravinsky, Imani Winds seeks to engage new music and new voices into the modern classical idiom.
Starting in the fall of 2016 through 2018, Imani Winds has been appointed as the University of Chicago’s Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence. This multi-faceted residency includes in depth collaborations with wind students, the chamber music department, composition majors and the Hyde Park community and will also feature world premieres on the “UC Presents” Series, the presenting arm of the University.
Imani Winds’ touring schedule has taken them across the globe. At home, the group has performed in the nation’s major concert venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall, to name a few. In recent seasons, the group has traveled extensively internationally, with tours in China, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and throughout Europe. Fall 2017 will include a tour of New Zealand.
The group continues its Legacy Commissioning Project, in which the ensemble commissions and premieres new works for wind quintet written by a variety of composers of diverse musical backgrounds. Recent commissions include works by Vijay Iyer, Simon Shaheen, Jason Moran, Mohammed Fairouz and Frederic Rzewski. Recently, a concert-length new work by Imani Winds’ member, Jeff Scott, was written for the group, jazz trio and string quartet entitled The Passion, which musically explores the idea of a fictitious meeting between JS Bach and John Coltrane. 2017 – 2018 will include premieres by Valerie Coleman, Reena Esmail, Nkeiru Okoye, Courtney Bryan and Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Threadgill.
In the summer of 2010 the ensemble launched its annual Chamber Music Festival. The program, set on the campus of Mannes School of Music, brings together young instrumentalists and composers from across North America and beyond, for an intense exploration and performance of traditional and new chamber music compositions. Now in it’s 7th year, the participants have gone on to successes around the world, ranging from winning positions in orchestras, expanding entrepreneurial endeavors, founding their own music educational programs and forming their own chamber music ensembles.
Imani Winds has five releases on E1 Music, including their 2006 Grammy Award nominated recording entitled The Classical Underground. They have also recorded for Naxos and Blue Note and released “The Rite of Spring” on Warner Classics which was on iTunes Best of 2013 list.
Their 8th commercial recording was released in the fall of 2016.
The only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award (in 2011 for Messiaen’s towering “Livre du Saint-Sacrement”), Paul Jacobs combines a probing intellect and extraordinary technical skills with an unusually large repertoire, both old and new. “Paul Jacobs is one of the great living virtuosos,” praised Anne Midgette in the The Washington Post, and in an article in The Economist Mr. Jacobs was termed “America’s leading organ performer.”
An eloquent champion of his instrument who argues that the organ for too long has been excluded from the mainstream of classical music, Paul Jacobs is known for his imaginative interpretations and charismatic stage presence. No other organist alive today is repeatedly invited as soloist to perform with the country’s preeminent orchestras, thus making Mr. Jacobs a pioneer in the movement for the revival of symphonic music featuring the organ.
Heralded as “one of the major musicians of our time” by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, Paul Jacobs has transfixed audiences, colleagues, and critics alike with landmark performances of the complete works for solo organ by J.S. Bach and Messiaen, as well as works by a vast array of other composers. Mr. Jacobs made musical history at the age of 23 when he played Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. A fierce advocate of new music, Mr. Jacobs has premiered works by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Theofanidis, and Christopher Rouse, among others. As a teacher he has also been a vocal proponent of the redeeming nature of traditional and contemporary classical music, which he fears is being diluted in a popular culture.
The 2017-18 season brings uncharted territory for Mr. Jacobs; in September he served as president of the jury for the first International Organ Competition in Shanghai, China — an especially important milestone in the development of organ playing in Asia. Mr. Jacobs’ orchestral engagements include Stephen Paulus’ Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra with the Cleveland Orchestra, Wayne Oquin’s Resilience and James MacMillan’s A Scotch Bestiary with the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony with the Utah Symphony and the Chicago Symphony. Recitals are slated under the aegis of the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Hall, as part of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Tristan Project, in Sacramento, Tampa, Houston, Baylor University, and Pittsburgh, among others.
Mr. Jacobs began the 2016-17 season with a recital at Lincoln Center’s Paul Recital Hall, followed by orchestral engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he gave the world premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Organ Concerto and performed the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony. He also joined the Toledo Symphony for a performance of Michael Dougherty’s Once Upon a Castle, a work he recorded in 2015 with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra which was released by Naxos in September 2016, and awarded three Grammies, including Best Classical Compendium. Solo recitals included the Oregon Bach Festival, El Paso Pro Musica, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall.
In the 2015-16 season, Mr. Jacobs and world-renowned dramatic soprano Christine Brewer toured the program of their Naxos album “Divine Redeemer,” with appearances at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica, and Spivey Hall in Atlanta, GA. At the Pacific Symphony, Mr. Jacobs curated and performed at a multi-day organ festival in February 2016. Mr. Jacobs performed recitals throughout the United States, including at the Kennedy Center and Denver’s Cathedral of St. John, and he appeared with orchestras including the Indianapolis Symphony and the Lexington Philharmonic. In summer 2016, Mr. Jacobs returned to the Oregon Bach Festival, where he is the director of the Festival’s Organ Institute.
Mr. Jacobs’ performance in Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival with soprano Christine Brewer received a glowing review from Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim of The New York Times:
Seated at the console was the organist Paul Jacobs, a virtuoso of dazzling technical acumen, who anchored this recital of devotional music as part of the Lincoln Center White Light Festival. […]Mr. Jacobs showed off his mastery in a handful of solo selections by Bach, Reger, Charles-Marie Widor and Nadia Boulanger, Lili’s sister. In Reger’s Toccata and Fugue, he built up a wonderfully organic crescendo in which the music expanded in all dimensions — brightness, clarity and volume — until it filled the room with a pulsating, radiant cloud of sound.
Prodigiously talented from his earliest years, at 15 young Jacobs was appointed head organist of a parish of 3,500 in his hometown, Washington, Pennsylvania. Mr. Jacobs would go on to make musical history at the age of 23 when he played J.S. Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. He has also performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in marathon performances throughout North America, and recently reached the milestone of having performed in each of the fifty United States. In addition to his recordings of Messiaen and Daugherty on Naxos, Mr. Jacobs has recorded organ concerti by Lou Harrison and Aaron Copland with the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas on the orchestra’s own label, SFS Media.
Mr. Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, double-majoring with John Weaver for organ and Lionel Party for harpsichord, and at Yale University with Thomas Murray. He joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2003, and was named chairman of the organ department in 2004, one of the youngest faculty appointees in the school’s history. He received Juilliard’s prestigious William Schuman Scholar’s Chair in 2007.
In addition to his concert and teaching appearances, Mr. Jacobs is a frequent performer at festivals across the world, and has appeared on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Pipedreams, and Saint Paul Sunday, as well as NPR’s Morning Edition, ABC-TV’s World News Tonight, and BBC Radio 3.
Scott Allen Jarrett
Scott Allen Jarrett is a renowned and acclaimed Bach and baroque expert. Jarrett is the Director of Boston Unversity’s Music at Marsh Chapel. He is also the Music Director of Boston’s Back Bay Chorale and Choral Artist-In-Residence at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA with conducting responsibility for the Conservatory Choir. Jarrett is also Resident Conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus. With H+H, Jarrett regularly leads ensemble performances as part of the King’s Chapel recital series with particular focus on 17th century German and Italian works in addition to assisting music director Harry Christophers to build one the country’s best professional choruses. In demand for his expertise with the vocal works of J. S. Bach, Jarrett was named Director of the Vocal Fellows Program at the Oregon Bach Festival in 2016, following many summers at the Festival working with founder Helmuth Rilling and now with Artistic Director Matthew Halls. Valued for his experience with large choruses and his skills with orchestral repertoire, Jarrett served eleven years as Director of Choruses and Assistant Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony.
Off the podium, Jarrett is active as a baritone and keyboard player. His recent recitals of Debussy and Fauré with tenor Nicholas Phan and the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago in September 2016 were met with critical acclaim. He can be heard as organist on Seraphic Fire’s recording of the Monteverdi Vespers and as pianist on their 2012 Grammy-nominated recording of the Brahms Requiem. Jarrett also conducted performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Seraphic Fire, the first guest conductor in that organization’s fifteen-year history. He served as accompanist for Helmuth Rilling and the late Robert Shaw, and through his long-time collaborations with his mentor Ann Howard Jones, served eight summers on the conducting staff at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He is a baritone in the professional chorus of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and may be heard in the bass section of their recent recordings for the CORO label.
Marsalis Big Brass
The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is composed of some of America’s top brass musicians dedicated to bringing the joyous experience of great music to a wide range of audiences.
The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is a family owned and operated business that had its beginnnings on the streets of New Orleans. On the advice of Ellis Marsalis, the group created a concert format that breaks the usual barriers between genres and strives to create connection between the audience and performers.
A group that always reflects the diverse makeup of men and women in the American culture, RMPBB is dedicated to the notion that music is a gift to be enjoyed by everyone. The group is especially dedicated to reaching out to the world’s youth and inspiring them to reach for their dreams. A veritable “dream team” of virtuoso brass players, associate artists have appeared on the world’s most prominent stages and performed with such groups as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Baltimore Symphony, the São Paolo State Symphony Orchestra, the Imani Winds, Canadian Brass, Empire Brass, Dallas Brass, and Boston Brass. The group burst onto the music scene with a debut performance in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center in Verizon Hall, a residency for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and a special feature on the National Public Radio show, “All Things Considered.”
In recent years the group has been invited to perform in major music halls around the world including China’s National Center for the Performing Arts, Tangelwood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall, and several prominent halls in Brazil and Italy.
Performances by The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass range from solo trumpet, to brass quintet, to the full ten piece ensemble with percussion. Their programs include holiday concerts, family concerts, traditional brass concerts with optional organ or choir, themed concerts (American music, Baroque-Renaissance, contemporary popular music, Brothers on the Battlefield: The Power of Love, the Francis Johnson Project, the John Philip Sousa Project, etc.), as well as specially designed residencies, all available to suit the needs of every venue.
John Nelson is recognized on the international scene as one of America’s principal conductors. He studied at the Juilliard School in New York, where he received the Irving Berlin conducting prize. He has been the Musical Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Caramoor Music Festival in New York and the Chamber Orchestra of Paris. He has also been the Principal Guest Conductor of the National Orchestra of Lyon, Artistic Advisor of the orchestras of Nashville and Louisville, and is presently the Principal Guest Conductor of the National Orchestra of Costa Rica, the country in which he was born to American missionary parents.
In the course of his career he has conducted virtually all the major orchestras in the United States and Canada including those of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal and Toronto but also in Europe, all the major London orchestras, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Orchestre de Paris, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and all the major orchestras in Spain. In Asia, he has conducted the New Japan Philharmonic, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the China Philharmonic and the orchestras of Shanghai and Guangzhou. His large repertoire has led him to the world’s great opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Bastille in Paris, the Stuttgart Opera, the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, the Netherlands Opera and the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
John Nelson is recognized as a great interpreter of the sacred music repertoire. In 1994, he co-founded SOLI DEO GLORIA, an organization based in Chicago that commissions works of sacred music from the world’s great composers such as Christopher Rouse, James MacMillan and Roxanna Panufnik.
Maestro Nelson’s distinguished discography includes Handel’s Semele (Grammy Award 1993), Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict (Diapason d’Or 1992) and highly acclaimed DVDs of Bach’s B minor Mass and St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. He also recorded the complete Beethoven Symphonies and Piano Concertos with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris of which he is Honorary Musical Director.
In the 2015/2016 season, John Nelson conducted the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium and Don Giovanni at Santa Fe Opera, as well as engagements with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, the Oxford Philharmonic and the Symphony Silicon Valley.
In 2016/17, he returned to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic and the Kioi Sinfonietta (Tokyo) and the Aspen Music Festival. He made his debut with the Frankfurt Opera in Berlioz’s Les Troyens, followed by a recording for Warner Classics of the same opera with Joyce DiDonato as Didon and the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the 2017-18 season John Nelson will travel to Bucharest to conduct Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, followed by a tour of Canada and China with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kenneth Overton is lauded for blending his opulent baritone with magnetic and varied portrayals that seemingly “emanate from deep within body and soul.”
Raised in Philadelphia, Kenneth Overton’s symphonious baritone voice has sent him around the globe. Kenneth is one of the most sought after Opera singers of his generation, and successfully started his season with a return to The New York City Opera performing the role of Jake Wallace in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West . Shortly thereafter, he returned to the San Francisco Opera in “the most eagerly anticipated new opera of the season” (The New York Times, 2017); the world premier of John Adams’The Girls of the Golden West, as the cover for the role of Ned Peters. Additionally, Kenneth thrived in his Hungarian debut as Porgy in the Margaret Island Open Air Theatre’s production of Porgy and Besswhere he was heralded as one of “America’s most renowned Opera singers”.
Alongside the New England Symphonic Ensemble, Kenneth took Carnegie Hall by storm this season in his soloist performances of Faure’s Requiem and the New York Premier of Michael John Trotta’s Seven Last Words of Christ with Mid America Productions. In addition, he returned to David Geffen Hall with the National Chorale in Mozart’s Requiem, and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore. He also starred in the significant World Premier of Upon This Handful of Earth by Norwegian Composer Gisle Kverndokk, commissioned by the New York Opera Society.
Kenneth’s ever blossoming career has allowed him to perform with some of the most prestigious Opera Companies and Orchestral Organizations in the world, highlights include his 2017 New York Philharmonic debut, and his San Francisco Opera debut as Lawyer Frazier in Porgy and Bess and a return to the company as Sid in La Fanciulla del West. As a leading baritone, Kenneth has performed with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Opera Memphis, Sacramento Opera, Nashville Opera, Connecticut Opera, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Boheme Opera of NJ, Houston Ebony Opera Guild, Toledo Opera, Opera Delaware, Shreveport Opera, Opera Tampa, and Opera Carolina. Kenneth has been seen as Germont in La Traviata, Michele in Il Tabarro, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Marcello and Schaunard in La bohème, Ping in Turandot, Angelotti in Tosca, as well as Bello and Sid in La Fancuilla del West.
Kenneth’s interpretation of the title role in Porgy and Bess has been proclaimed as “breathtaking.” He has performed the role over 100 times at international houses such as the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the critically-acclaimed production from South Africa’s Cape Town Opera, Palacio Bellas Artes in Mexico City, L’Opera Montreal, and he triumphed in Tony Award Winning Director John Doyle’s new staging for The Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen and debuted the role at various houses on tour throughout the British Isles. Kenneth has also portrayed Porgy in concert with the Traverse City Symphony, the Springfield Symphony, the National Chorale at David Geffen Hall – Lincoln Center, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, the Paducha Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, the Sopot Festival in Poland, and the Klangvokal Festival in Dortmund. Kenneth has also sung Porgy on stage in the USA at Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Memphis, Opera Carolina, and the Lexington Opera Society.
Kenneth is widely recognized for his concert work, having performed as soloist with Phoenix Symphony, Norwalk Symphony, National Chorale, Harlem Chamber Players, Duluth Superior Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Yonkers Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Oratorio Society of New Jersey, Lexington Philharmonic, Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, Mineola Choral Society, Summit Chorale Festival, New York City Opera’s Schomberg Series, Sarasota Symphony, and San Antonio Symphony. His concert and oratorio repertoire includes Faure’s Requiem, Durufle’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Christmas Oratorio (Saint-Saëns), Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Vaughn Williams’ A Sea Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Schubert’s Mass in A-flat, Dvorak’s Te Deum, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Haydn’s Creation and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. Kenneth is also regularly featured with the American Spiritual Ensemble as a soloist for annual performances in the USA and abroad.
Kenneth’s versatile acting and singing abilities have allowed him to continue his passion for musical theater and new works. He made his Operatic Broadway debut in Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme. He triumphantly portrayed Joe in Showboat and Judge Turpin in Sweeny Todd for the Pensacola Opera, and excelled in the diverse contemporary works, Corps of Discovery by Michael Ching and The Widow’s Lantern by David Ott. In 2018, Kenneth will debut the role of Yeshua in the World Premier of Richard Danielpour’s, The Passion of Yeshua at the Oregon Bach Festival. The busy young baritone will also return to Lincoln Center for the New York Premier of Angela Rice’s Thy Will Be Done, with the National Chorale. He continues his season with the role of historical figure and civil rights leader, Ralph Abernathy in the World Premier of Douglas Tappin’s Rhythm and Blues Opera, I DREAM, with Opera Grand Rapids, Toledo Opera, and Opera Carolina.
Pride and tradition portray the motif of Kenneth’s debut solo album Been In De Storm So Long: Songs My Fathers Taught Me, his homage to the spiritual tradition that has been formative in his artistic life. Pianist Kevin Miller and Kenneth’s collaboration embody the historic Spirituals from our past and contemporary art songs by African American Composers, giving them a new life of their own. Amidst performing, Kenneth serves as co-founder and artistic director of Opera Noire of New York, a performing arts organization created to empower African-American artists to reach their full creative potential in a creative supportive environment.
Named one of NPR’s “Favorite New Artists of 2011,” American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. Praised for his keen intelligence, captivating stage presence and natural musicianship, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. Also an avid recitalist, in 2010 he co-founded the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) to promote art song and vocal chamber music.
In the summer of 2017, he returns to the San Francisco Symphony for Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette with Michael Tilson Thomas, to the Oregon Bach Festival, to the Thüringer Bachwochen’s Weimar Bach Academy, and to Wolf Trap for Carmina Burana with the National Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda. Highlights of his upcoming 2017/2018 season include his debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo for Britten’s War Requiem with Marin Alsop; and returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philharmonia Baroque, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony for Schubert’s Mass in E-flat with Riccardo Muti, and the Toronto Symphony for performances as the title role in Bernstein’s Candide. He also serves as artistic director of two festivals next season: Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago’s sixth annual Collaborative Works Festival, and as the first singer to be guest Artistic Director of the Laguna Beach Music Festival.
Mr. Phan has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the North America and Europe, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Baroque, Les Violons du Roy, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and the Lucerne Symphony. He has also toured extensively throughout the major concert halls of Europe with Il Complesso Barocco, and appeared with the Oregon Bach, Ravinia, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Rheingau, Saint-Denis, and Tanglewood festivals, as well as the BBC Proms. Among the conductors he has worked with are Marin Alsop, Harry Bicket, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Alan Curtis, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, Jane Glover, Manfred Honeck, Bernard Labadie, Louis Langrée, Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, John Nelson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Helmuth Rilling, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Masaaki Suzuki, Michael Tilson Thomas and Franz Welser-Möst.
An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with many chamber musicians, including pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Jeremy Denk, Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Myra Huang and Alessio Bax; violinist James Ehnes; guitarist Eliot Fisk; harpist Sivan Magen; and horn players Jennifer Montone, Radovan Vlatkovic and Gail Williams. In both recital and chamber concerts, he has been presented by Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, Boston’s Celebrity Series, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. In 2010, he co-founded the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, an organization that promotes the art song and vocal chamber music repertoire of which he is Artistic Director.
Mr. Phan’s many opera credits include appearances with the Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and Frankfurt Opera. His growing repertoire includes the title roles in Bernstein’s Candide, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Fenton in Falstaff, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Lurcanio in Ariodante.
Phan’s most recent solo album, Gods and Monsters, was released on Avie Records in January. His first three solo albums, A Painted Tale, Still Fall the Rain and Winter Words, made many “best of” lists, including those of the New York Times, New Yorker, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe. Phan’s growing discography also includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony, the opera L’Olimpiade with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Scarlatti’s La gloria di Primavera with Philharmonia Baroque, Bach’s St. John Passion (in which he sings both the Evangelist as well as the tenor arias) with Apollo’s Fire, and the world premiere recordings of two orchestral song cycles: The Old Burying Ground by Evan Chambers and Elliott Carter’s A Sunbeam’s Architecture.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Phan is the 2012 recipient of the Paul C Boylan Distinguished Alumni Award. He also studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School, and is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. He was the recipient of a 2006 Sullivan Foundation Award and 2004 Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation.
Praised by the New York Times for her “luminous voice” and “intensely expressive interpretations,” and named “remarkable, artistically mature … a singer to watch” by Opera News, soprano Sarah Shafer is quickly emerging as a sought-after artist on both the operatic and concert stage. The 2017 – 2018 season sees Ms. Shafer’s debut with the Metropolitan Opera singing Azema in the John Copley production of Semiramide, conducted by Maurizio Benini. Concert work includes her debut with Malmö Symphony Orchestra singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with John Wilson conducting, and her debut with Utah Symphony Orchestra singing Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, conducted by Markus Stenz. Recital work includes a return to the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago for their opening concert “Myths and Legends” and a salon concert with Myra Huang.
The 2016–2017 season saw Ms. Shafer’s house and role debut as Leila in Bizet’s Pearl Fishers at Tulsa Opera, as well as a return to San Francisco Opera as Zerlina in Jacopo Spirei’s new production of Don Giovanni. Recital work included appearances with the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, a salon concert exploring the poetry of Paul Verlaine as set by the music of Claude Debussy with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, and a recital with pianist Brian Zeger as part of Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music series.
Concert work for the 2016 – 2017 season included Carmina Burana with the San Antonio Symphony conducted by music director Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Mozart’s Requiem with the Omaha Symphony, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with both the Cheyenne and Williamsport Symphony Orchestras, the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s “Talking to Aphrodite” with the Sejong Soloists at Carnegie Hall, a holiday concert with fellow Curtis alumnus Jarrett Ott and the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bach’s St. John Passion with Voices of Ascension chorus.
Highlights of recent seasons include her role debut of Pamina in the Jun Kaneko production of Die Zauberflöte and the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women in the role of Rosetta, opposite Anna Caterina Antonacci and conducted by Nicola Luisotti, both with San Francisco Opera. Ms. Shafer had an enormous success in her return to Opera Philadelphia as Adina in the Stephen Lawless production of L’elisir d’amore, and created the role of Mary Lennox in the world premiere of Nolan Gasser’s The Secret Garden with San Francisco Opera. Other career highlights include Barbarina and the cover role of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival and the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, and several roles for Opera Philadelphia including Nuria in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Voce dal Cielo in Don Carlo, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte.
An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. Shafer enjoys an active collaboration with legendary pianist Richard Goode, having recently performed Schumann and Brahms lieder at Carnegie Hall and Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen with clarinetist Anthony McGill at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. She has also collaborated with such musicians as guitarist Jason Vieaux, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. Ms. Shafer was a resident artist at the Marlboro Music Festival for five summers, where she worked with Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Benita Valente, Sir Thomas Allen, and Martin Isepp. She has also performed at the Mozart and Handel Académie européenne de musique in Aix-en-Provence, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival France, the Bard Summer Music Festival, and was named a winner of the 2014 Astral Artists National Auditions.
Highlights of concert work includes appearances at Carnegie Hall with the New York Choral Society in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the New York Choral Society, and Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Shafer has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Mexico, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Wroclaw Symphony Orchestra (Poland), the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, among others. Additional concert repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion and Mass in B minor, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Poulenc’s Gloria, Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables, Fauré’s Requiem, Duet for Soprano and Tenor after Tchaikovsky’s Fantasy-Overture Romeo and Juliet, Strauss’s Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, Handel’s Messiah, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.
A recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Ms. Shafer’s credits for Curtis Opera Theatre include over 20 productions and a variety of roles such as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Almirena in Rinaldo, Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Elizabeth Zimmer in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, Ilia in Idomeneo, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Sofia in Il Signor Bruschino, and Mélisande in Impressions of Pelléas. Most recently, she sang the role of Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites.
A native of State College, PA, Ms. Shafer holds degrees in voice and opera from the Curtis Institute of Music, and is currently based in Philadelphia.
The electrifying trio of Glen McDaniel, Nick Villalobos, and Zack Clark, together known as Simply Three, has been captivating audiences worldwide with high-octane performances since 2010. Acclaimed as “having what it takes” (Boston Philharmonic) and “highly imaginative and well played” (Maine Today), Simply Three continues to receive praise for their ability to impress listeners with a multitude of genres that span from artists and composers such as Adele, Gershwin, Coldplay, twenty one pilots, Ed Sheeran, and Michael Jackson. By reshaping convention through this style of genre hopping, the trio continues to seek the true essence of classical crossover with original works as well as innovative arrangements that showcase their technical virtuosity and heartfelt musicality.
With an ever-growing online popularity, Simply Three is creating a renewed excitement for instrumental music through inventive music videos that have captured the hearts of millions of YouTube viewers across the globe. Furthermore, their works have gained great critical recognition by publications such as The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, and RyanSeacrest.com, as well as mainstream artists themselves. Chart-topping rockers OneRepublic praised Simply Three’s version of their hit single “Counting Stars,” exclaiming they “LOVE this ‘Counting Stars’ cover!” Additionally, GRAMMY®-nominated R&B sensation Janelle Monáe proclaimed the trio’s project of her hit singles “Cold War” and “Tightrope” to be “an honor” while making it a highlighted feature of her personal website.
Simply Three has old school training but a new school sound. Their quest to look beyond the scope of possibility has led them to collaborate with some of the world’s most creative musicians, including Kellindo Parker (Janelle Monáe), Alyson Stoner, and Jeff Smith (M-Pact), in hopes of creating a new, fresh genesis for string playing. With this, the trio is able to merge shows into a unique synergy of thrilling performances and tone-rich sounds not soon to be forgotten.
Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After traveling the world with ensembles like Tragicomedia, and as frequent guest with Cantus Köln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as conductor of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra Vancouver, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques, Le Nouvel Opéra and Tempo Rubato. Of special note is his recent appointment as Artistic Director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, only the second person to hold this position since the orchestra was founded in 1994.. His coming season includes appearances with Symphony Nova Scotia, Portland Baroque, Mercury Baroque in Houston, Vancouver Early Music, Arion Baroque in Montreal and the Boston Early Music Festival as well as concerts with Seattle Baroque.
Recently, he conducted the Montreal based baroque orchestra Ensemble Arion, Les Violons du Roy, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra Oregon; both the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra have regularly invited him as their featured soloist. In the last years, he has explored new shores by repeatedly conducting the Victoria Symphony (f.i. with pieces by and around the adolescent Mozart, including his piano concerto Jeunehomme) and also Symphony Nova Scotia, most recently with Handel’s “Messiah”.
After working as an assistant conductor at the Amsterdam, Basel, and Hamburg opera houses, he has directed productions of Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona with the Freiburger Barockorchester; Pepusch’s Beggar’s Opera at the Castle Theatre in Gotha, Handel’s Orlando Furioso and Stradella’s Moro per Amore at the Teamtheater in Munich; Telemann’s Passion oratorio Seliges Erwägen at the Europäische Wochen festival at Passau; Caldara’s Clodoveo and the multipart opera event Mozart à Milano, both of which were Canadian-German co-productions mounted at festivals in Montreal and Vancouver, and at the Sanssouci Palace Theatre in Potsdam; and, for the Vancouver Early Music Festival, Handel’s Resurrezione, Rameau’s Pygmalion, Purcell’s Fairy Queen and King Arthur, the celebrated 2010 performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers, and 2012′s Orlando by Handel.
Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs and, frequently, on the radio in many countries. He made his North American recording debut with the ensemble Tragicomedia on the CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA), and won worldwide acclaim from both the public and critics for the release of Handel’s Gloria (on the Canadian label Atma Classique). Volume 1 of his recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti appeared in May 2005. Critics around the world unanimously praised it, and in the following year it was nominated for an Opus prize as the best Canadian early-music recording. In 2007, his recording of Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu with the Montreal-based ensemble Les Voix Baroques won an Opus prize, and was nominated for a Juno Classic Award. The same year, he recorded Caldara’s oratorio Clodoveo (also nominated for the Juno), and both conducted and performed as fortepiano soloist with the German ensemble Echo du Danube in the first recording of concertos by Wagenseil. In 2008 he added to his solo outings by recording Bach’s Clavierübung II, and revisiting his first love, the organ, with the release of Alessandro Scarlatti’s keyboard works, Volume 2. (The last volume 3, harpsichord again, to be published soon.) Recently, he also released an Opus award winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with superstar soprano Karina Gauvin and his Montreal based ensemble Tempo Rubato, a recording of Bach’s St. John’s Passion, various albums with Les Voix Baroques on Buxtehude, Carissimi and Purcell, all of the above with raving reviews; his latest album with Karina Gauvin and Arion Baroque Orchestra (“Prima donna”) won the Juno 2013; a complete recording of Handel’s Orlando was released in the summer of 2013, with an exciting group of international star soloists and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra performing.
Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa con laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, medieval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships for the highly talented. In addition to his studies, he has attended numerous master classes in harpsichord and historical performance. To ground himself further in the roots of western music, he became intensively involved, over the course of several years, with Gregorian chant. In 1997, his group Le Nuove Musiche won first prize at the Premio Bonporti music competition in Rovereto, Italy.
From 1990 to 1995, Weimann taught music theory, improvisation, and Jazz at the Munich Musikhochschule. Since 1998, he has been giving master classes in harpsichord and historical performance practice at institutions such as Lunds University in Malmö and the Bremen Musikhochschule, and also at North American universities such as Berkeley (University of California), Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, McGill in Montreal, and Mount Allison in New Brunswick. Since 2007 he has been conducted several acclaimed opera productions at the Amherst Early Music Festival. For half a decade, he has been teaching early music performance practice to voice and instrumental students at the Université de Montréal, as well as conducting the Baroque opera programme, for example, in the celebrated Monteverdi’s Poppea. Singers of note, such as those with the Atélier Lyrique de Montréal and other opera studios, seek his services as a vocal coach and he was in charge of harpsichord instruction at McGill University in 2013-2014.
Alexander Weimann lives with his wife, 3 children and pets in Vancouver, and tries to spend as much time as possible in his garden and kitchen.