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- ALBERT CANO SMIT, PIANO
ALBERT CANO SMIT, PIANO A musician who has been praised as “a moving young poet” (Le Devoir), Spanish/Dutch pianist Albert Cano Smit enjoys a growing international career on the orchestral, recital, and chamber music stages. Noted for his captivating performances, storytelling quality and nuanced musicality, the First Prize winner of the 2019 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions has appeared as a soloist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, Montréal Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony, Catalonia National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony. Recital highlights have included his Carnegie Hall debut presented by The Naumburg Foundation, his Merkin Concert hall debut presented by Young Concert Artists, recitals at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, Paris’ Fondation Louis Vuitton (the performance was streamed live globally), the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, DC, Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival, and return performances at the Steinway Society in San Jose. He has been in residence at France’s Festival de Musique de Wissembourg for seven years, a piano fellow at Bravo! Vail Music Festival and Tippet Rise Art Center, and has had his recital debut in Asia at Xiamen’s Banlam Grand Theater. Albert has been presented in recital by Festival Bach Montréal, University of Florida Performing Arts, the Krannert Center (Urbana, IL), and Matinée Musicale (Cincinnati, OH). He recently premiered Katherine Balch’s “Spolia” with flutist Anthony Trionfo taking them to the Morgan Library and Carnegie Hall. Recent recitals with Trionfo have included the Alys Stephens Center, Kravis Center, Evergreen Museum & Library, and others. Cano Smit is set to continue touring with violinist William Hagen, with whom he has recorded the CD “Danse Russe”. During the 22-23 season Albert will appear in recital and chamber music performances at Merkin Hall (New York, NY), the Cosmos Club (Washington, DC), the Crystal Valley Concert Series (Middlebury, IN), Friends of Music Concerts (Sleepy Hollow, NY), Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL), and Abbey Church Events (Lacey, WA), and will also participate in the inaugural chamber music ensemble of YCA on Tour. He will appear as soloist playing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 4 in G Minor with the Seattle Symphony (Seattle, WA), Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Aiken Symphony (Aiken, SC), and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major with the Elgin Symphony (Elgin, IL). An advocate for new music, Albert has premiered numerous solo works on his recital programs, commissioned for him by Stephen Hough, Miquel Oliu, and Katherine Balch. He has given four hand performances with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the Wallis Annenberg Center Hall and Zipper Hall, taken part in the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York and the Bridgehampton Chamber Festival, and performed with such artists as Gary Hoffman, Andrej Bielow, Thomas Mesa, and Lev Sivkov. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such ensembles as the Ebene, Szymanowski, Casals, Cosmos, Gerhard, and Verona Quartets, and has released an album of Austrian viola music for Champs Hills with Emma Wernig. Albert was First Prize winner at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition. Additional special prizes at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions include The Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert Prize for support of his Kennedy Center debut, the Friends of Music Concert Prize (NY), and the Sunday Musicale Prize (NJ). Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Albert recently completed an Artist Diploma with Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the 2020 Rubinstein Prize for Piano. Early on, he studied music at Montserrat mountain’s Escolanía de Montserrat choir, where he sang as an alto. Later, he studied piano with Graham Caskie, Marta Karbownicka, and Ory Shihor. He is an alum of the Verbier Festival Academy and holds a BA in Piano Performance from the Colburn School, as well as a MM from the Juilliard School. He currently resides in New York City.
- ANTON RIST, CLARINET
ANTON RIST, CLARINET Anton Rist was recently appointed Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has performed with the American Ballet Theater, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he served as the Principal Clarinetist of the Princeton and New Haven Symphonies. Mr. Rist has performed at the Verbier, St. Barts, Pacific, Bravo! Vail, and Aspen Music Festivals, and is a founding member of the Montserrat Music Festival in the West Indies. Mr. Rist grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan and completed two degrees at The Juilliard School. His primary teachers were Jon Manasse, Larry Guy, and Jo-Ann Sternberg.
- BRAD GEMEINHARDT, FRENCH HORN
BRAD GEMEINHARDT, FRENCH HORN Brad Gemeinhardt, Principal Horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, has performed in a broad range of classical and commercial settings, including performances as guest Principal horn with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, many Broadway shows, television and radio jingles, commercial recordings, and motion picture soundtracks. Brad received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School where his principal teacher was Jerome Ashby (former Associate Principal Horn of the New York Philharmonic). He is also a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy where he studied with Bruce Henniss and Julie Schleif. Mr. Gemeinhardt serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, Columbia University, and is a Valade Fellow at the Interlochen Arts Camp.
- NANCY WU, VIOLIN
NANCY WU, VIOLIN Nancy Wu has served as Associate Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1989. She performs regularly with the MET Chamber Ensemble and has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Martha’s Vineyard and the Fondation Giannada in Martigny, Switzerland. Ms. Wu has been a coach for the Verbier Festival Orchestra since its founding in 2000. She is an exclusive artist for Thomastik-Infeld Strings. A Fulbright grant recipient, Ms. Wu graduated with honors from Stanford University and the Vienna Hochschule für Musik, and lives in Pleasantville, New York, with her husband, double bassist Leigh Mesh and their two children.
- FRANK MORELLI, BASSOON
FRANK MORELLI, BASSOON Introduced to the bassoon in the Massapequa, NY public schools, Frank Morelli studied with Stephen Maxym at the Manhattan School of Music and later became the first bassoonist to be awarded a doctorate by the Juilliard School. He has made nine appearances as soloist in New York’s Carnegie Hall playing concertos, Sinfonias concertantes, and even a solo ballad with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. The Miami Herald has hailed his “breathtaking virtuosity” and the Toronto Globe and Mail proclaimed his performance: “the kind of Mozart even the most tireless concertgoer is lucky to hear once a year.” Morelli has four solo CDs on MSR Classics: From the Heart: 20th Century Music for Bassoon and Piano and Romance and Caprice, with pianist Gilbert Kalish, Bassoon Brasileiro with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and guitarist Ben Verdery and Baroque Fireworks, which features harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper and bassoonist Harry Searing. The magazine, Gramophone proclaimed: “Morelli’s playing is a joy to behold.” The American Record Guide stated: “the bassoon playing on this recording is a good as it gets.” Of his DG recording of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with Orpheus, Gramophone Magazine noted the “delicacy of articulation and colouring, [and] the lyrical warmth of the Andante.” Fanfare Magazine added that this recording “reset a reviewer’s standards at too high a level for comfort in a world more productive of ordinary music making.” The Orpheus CD “Shadow Dances,” which features Frank Morelli, won a 2001 Grammy Award. A prolific chamber musician, Frank Morelli appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on numerous occasions, including at the Whitehouse for the final State Dinner of the Clinton Presidency. He has participated in many major music festivals, including the Norfolk and Sarasota Chamber Music Festivals, Marlboro, Banff, Angel Fire, Casals Festival (France) and Music@Menlo. He is a member of Festival Chamber Music and the woodwind quintet, Windscape, in residence at the Manhattan School of Music with whom he has recorded two recent CDs, one featuring the music of Antonin Dvorak and the other music of Maurice Ravel (which includes his transcriptions of “Mother Goose” and “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales” both published by TrevCo). Chosen to succeed his teacher, Stephen Maxym, Mr. Morelli serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music and the Yale School of Music, as well as SUNY Stony Brook. Morelli’s students are active in major orchestras and on important faculties throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Far East, and Europe. He is editor of Stravinsky: Difficult Passages for Bassoon, a landmark excerpt book for bassoon and contra bassoon published by Boosey & Hawkes, and has several transcriptions for bassoon, woodwind quintet and other ensembles to his credit, published by Trevco Music. His unprecedented edition, The First Complete Weissenborn Bassoon Method and Studies Op. 8 Vols. 1&2 and Ludwig Milde’s Scale and Chord Studies Op. 24, is now available worldwide, published by Carl Fischer. Mr. Morelli performs exclusively on the Leitzinger Bassoon Model 1.
- ELAINE DOUVAS, OBOE
ELAINE DOUVAS, OBOE Elaine Douvas has been principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera since 1977 and was principal oboe of the Atlanta Symphony for four years prior. Her career highlights include the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, James Levine conducting. In 2017, Douvas was invited to serve as Chairman of the Jury for the Munich ARD International Oboe Competition. She has recorded several solo CDs on Boston Records, Oboe Classics, Music Minus One, and one with her quartet “Pleasure is the Law”: flute, oboe, cello, and piano. Equally devoted to her career as a teacher, Ms. Douvas has served on the oboe faculty of The Juilliard School since 1982, The Mannes College of Music since 1981, and the Bard College Conservatory since 2009. In her capacity as Chairman of the Woodwind Department at Juilliard, she teaches career development and attitudes for career longevity! Her students hold positions in numerous orchestras and university faculties. In the summers she is a long-time artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and she has given master classes and week-long seminars across the USA, as well as Canada, England, and China. Douvas lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey with her husband Robert Sirinek, former trumpeter with the Met and Orchestra Manager since 1986. They have two grown daughters, Portia and Margot, both pursuing careers in medicine. For over twenty years she has devoted her spare time to figure skating and has passed eleven USFSA tests in free-style and “moves in the field”.
- THE DANISH STRING QUARTET
THE DANISH STRING QUARTET FREDERIK ØLAND (VIOLIN); RUNE TONSGAARD SØRENSEN (VIOLIN); ASBJØRN NØRGAARD (VIOLA); FREDRIK SCHØYEN SJÖLIN (CELLO) Among today’s many exceptional chamber music groups, the GRAMMY® nominated Danish String Quartet continuously asserts its preeminence. The Quartet’s playing reflects impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and, above all, an expressivity inextricably bound to the music, from Haydn to Shostakovich to contemporary scores. Performances bring a rare musical spontaneity, giving audiences the sense of hearing even treasured canon repertoire as if for the first time, and exuding a palpable joy in music-making that have made them enormously in-demand on concert stages throughout the world. The recipient of many awards and prestigious appointments, including Musical America’s 2020 Ensemble of the Year and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, the Danish String Quartet was named in 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to the The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). In 2021-2022, the Danish String Quartet introduce DOPPELGÄNGER, an ambitious 4-year international commissioning project. DOPPELGÄNGER pairs world premieres from four renowned composers—Bent Sørensen, Lotta Wennäkoski, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Thomas Adès—with four major works from the masterful chamber music repertoire of Schubert. Each season, the Danish String Quartet will perform a world premiere on a program with its doppelgänger—the Schubert quartet or quintet that inspired it—culminating in the premiere of a quintet by Adès, after the great String Quintet in C major. The DOPPELGÄNGER pieces are commissioned by the Danish String Quartet with the support of Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures, Vancouver Recital Society, Flagey in Brussels, and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. The first commission, composed by Bent Sørensen and inspired by Schubert’s quartet in G Major (D.887), is scheduled to premiere in 2021. In addition to performances of DOPPELGÄNGER, the Danish String Quartet gives over 20 performances throughout North America in the 2021-2022 season. Highlights include debuts at the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center, Shriver Hall, and Virginia Arts Festival, return trips to Boston’s Celebrity Series, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis, Chamber Music Cincinnati, and University of Washington’s Meany Hall, and a tour of Florida. European highlights include tours of Denmark, France, Germany, and Amsterdam. As part of a multi-year residency, the Danish String Quartet brought a series of five concerts, which mirror the programs in its ongoing recording project with ECM New Series, PRISM, to La Jolla Music Society in November 2019. Each PRISM program is an exploration of the symbiotic musical and contextual relationships between Bach fugues, Beethoven string quartets, and works by Shostakovich, Schnittke, Bartok, Mendelssohn, and Webern, forming an expertly curated musical evolution within each individual program and across the entire PRISM repertory. Prism I, the first disc of this five-album project for the ECM label, was released in September 2018 and garnered a GRAMMY® nomination in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for the group’s recordings of Beethoven’s Op. 127 in E-flat Major, Bach’s Fugue in E-flat Major (arranged by Mozart), and Shostakovich’s final string quartet, No. 15 in E-flat minor. Prism II was subsequently released in September 2019 to rave reviews including a five-star review from BBC Music Magazine, “Best Classical Music of 2019” from New York Times, and “Classical Music You Must Hear” from Apple Music. Prism III—featuring Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 13, Op. 131, Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1, and Bach’s Fugue in C-sharp minor, BWV 849 from The Well-Tempered Clavier—was released in March 2021. The Danish String Quartet returned to North America in the 2019-2020 season as one of the most prominent musical voices in the monumental celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th year. With two sweeping North American tours, the Danish engaged its expansive audience in programming centered around the towering Beethoven string quartets, as well as many important works which inspired, and were inspired by, these revered giants of the classical canon. The Danish returned to Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as the featured string quartet performing the entire Beethoven cycle over the course of six concerts in February 2020. The Quartet performs the cycle again for the Schubert Club in St. Paul, MN, in November 2021. The group takes an active role in reaching new audiences through special projects. In 2007, they established the DSQ Festival, which takes place in an intimate and informal setting at Copenhagen’s Bygningskulturens Hus. The 2020 DSQ Festival featured an array of meticulously curated programs including such guests as violinist Malin William-Olsson, cellist Andreas Brantelid, and pianist Marianna Shirinyan. In 2016, they inaugurated a new music festival, Series of Four, in which they both perform and invite colleagues—the Ebène Quartet, mandolin player Chris Thile, among others—to appear at the venerable Danish Radio Concert Hall. Concerts this season featured collaborations with iconic Scandinavian artists including Andreas Brantelid, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, and the Danish National Girls Choir. Since its debut in 2002, the Danish String Quartet has demonstrated a special affinity for Scandinavian composers, from Carl Nielsen to Hans Abrahamsen, alongside music of Mozart and Beethoven. The Quartet’s musical interests also encompass Nordic folk music, the focus of Wood Works, an album of traditional Scandinavian folk music, released by Dacapo in 2014. As a follow-up, the Danish String Quartet released Last Leaf for ECM, an album of traditional Scandinavian folk music. This recording was one of the top classical albums of 2017, as chosen by NPR, Spotify and The New York Times, among others. Named Artist-in-Residence in 2006 by the Danish Radio, the Quartet was offered the opportunity to record the Nielsen string quartets at the Danish Radio Concert Hall. The two CDs, released in 2007 and 2008 on the Dacapo label, garnered enthusiastic praise for their first recordings—“these Danish players have excelled in performances of works by Brahms, Mozart and Bartók in recent years. But they play Nielsen’s quartets as if they owned them,” noted the New York Times. In 2012, the Danish String Quartet released a recording of Haydn and Brahms quartets on the German AVI-music label, for which they also received critical notice. “What makes the performance special is the maturity and calm of the playing, even during virtuosic passages that whisk by. This is music-making of wonderful ease and naturalness,” observed the New York Times. Subsequently, they recorded works by Brahms and Robert Fuchs with clarinetist Sebastian Manz, released by AVI-music in 2014, and in 2017, an album with music of Thomas Adès, Per Nørgård, and Abrahamsen, the Quartet’s debut on ECM. The Danish String Quartet has received numerous citations and prizes, including First Prize in the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in the Netherlands, as well as the Audience Prize at the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. In 2009, the Danish String Quartet won First Prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition, now known as the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, and return to the celebrated London concert hall frequently. The Quartet was the awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, and in 2011, they received the Carl Nielsen Prize, the highest cultural honor in Denmark.
- OLIVER NEUBAUER, VIOLIN
OLIVER NEUBAUER, VIOLIN Praised for his uniquely beautiful playing and mature artistry, 23-year-old violinist Oliver Neubauer is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting young artists of his time. Highlights of the 2023-24 season include Oliver’s debut with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra playing the Korngold Concerto (as first prize winner of the 26th Hellam Competition), a concert and video-audio recording in Rome (as third prize winner of the ArsClassica International Competition), and a Parlance Chamber Concerts performance of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante along with his father, Paul Neubauer, and an orchestra comprised of members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Oliver will also be making appearances at Jupiter Chamber Players (NY), Apex Concerts (Reno, NV), PMP Suncoast (FL), Mostly Music (NJ), Parlance Chamber Concerts (NJ), and will perform recitals at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium and the Juilliard School’s Paul Hall. During the summer of 2023, Oliver returns to the Verbier Festival Academy, where he will perform solo works and chamber music in the Cinéma de Verbier and Église de Verbier and will participate in masterclasses with Mihaela Martin, Augustin Dumay, and Kristof Barati. Past seasons have included appearances at Music@Menlo, Verbier Festival Academy, Four Seasons Winter Workshop, Palm Beach Chamber Music Society, Bravo! Vail, YoungArts Miami, Parlance Chamber Concerts, If Music Be the Food NYC, Mostly Music Series, Summerfest La Jolla, Music@Menlo, Lake Champlain Music Festival, OKM Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Music in the Vineyards, Art in Avila in Curaçao, and Music from Angel Fire. Oliver has performed at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall on numerous occasions as well as Symphony Space, the American Museum of Natural History, Neue Gallery, Alice Tully Hall, and David Geffen Hall. Oliver also performed with his sister Clara at the Waldorf Astoria for a 9/11 Memorial and Museum Benefit Dinner, where they shared the stage with Robert De Niro and Bernadette Peters. At the age of twelve years old, Oliver attended the Music@Menlo program for the first time and played Mozart’s E-flat Piano Quartet, an experience that sparked a deep passion for chamber music that remains with him to this day. Since then, Oliver returned to Menlo for three more summers (and returned as an International Program Artist in 2022), was a member of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program from 2013-2015, performed at Juilliard ChamberFest in 2017, and attended the Four Seasons Winter Workshop in 2019 and 2020. Coming from a musical home, Oliver performs frequently with his father Paul Neubauer, mother Kerry McDermott, and sister Clara Neubauer. He has also collaborated and performed with many esteemed artists, including Itzhak Perlman, Carter Brey, Fred Sherry, Ani Kavafian, Shai Wosner, Jason Vieaux, the Ulysses Quartet, and the Dover Quartet. As a soloist, Oliver has appeared with numerous orchestras, including the National Repertory Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony, the Sound Symphony Orchestra (as winner of their 2016 competition), the New York Concerti Sinfonietta, and the Symphony of Westchester (as winner of their 2018 competition). Oliver received 1st prize in the 2023 Hellam Young Artists Competition, 3rd prize in the 2023 ArsClassica International Competition, the Gold Award at the 2018 National YoungArts Competition and has garnered top prizes in the 2020 Adelphi Competition College Division, the 2017 Young Musicians Competition at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Artist in You Competition sponsored by the Doublestop Foundation, among others. Oliver has been featured on WQXR’s Young Arist Showcase hosted by Robert Sherman (listen here), and his solo performances at the Église de Verbier in 2021 were streamed on IDAGIO. In the summer of 2019, Oliver spent a week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, working with the Guri youth string orchestra and teaching masterclasses. Deeply inspired by the spirit of music making during the exchange program, Oliver hopes to recreate that atmosphere of genuine passion, joy, and curiosity in communities around the world. Oliver has also donated his services to organizations such as Save the Children, Concerts in Motion, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Little Orchestra Society, Goddard Riverside Community Center, and Temple Israel. In 2013, Oliver made his debut with the New York Philharmonic as the narrator for Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra in a YPC. Outside of music, Oliver loves playing chess (having competed in dozens of national tournaments), playing ping pong, eating freshly baked cookies, and discussing philosophy. An active member of the Juilliard community, Oliver is the founder and co-president of the Juilliard Knights (Juilliard’s chess club) and a member of the student congress. Oliver attends the Juilliard School in New York City, where he currently studies with Li Lin and Donald Weilerstein and is a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship. Prior to his studies at Juilliard, Oliver attended the Dalton School, Juilliard Pre-College, and the Perlman Music Program. Previous teachers include Itzhak Perlman, Sophie Arbuckle, and Arik Braude. Oliver plays a 1780 J.B. Guadagnini violin, generously on loan to him from the Juilliard String Instrument Collection.
- PAUL WATKINS, CELLO
PAUL WATKINS, CELLO Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a distinguished career as concerto soloist, chamber musician and conductor. He is the Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit (since 2014), the cellist of the Emerson String Quartet (since 2013) and Visiting Professor of Cello at Yale School of Music (since 2018). He took first prize in the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition, and has held the positions of Music Director of the English Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra. Watkins gives regular concerto performances with the major British orchestras, including at the BBC Proms, where he has appeared most recently with the BBC Symphony and Thomas Ades in Lutoslawski’s cello concerto, and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the world premiere of the cello concerto composed for him by his brother, Huw Watkins. He has performed with prestigious orchestras across the globe including the Netherlands Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony and Queensland Orchestras, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony, and the Orchestra Nazionale Sinfonica della RAI Torino, under the baton of renowned conductors including Paavo Berglund, Leonard Slatkin, Sakari Oramo, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Mark Elder, Richard Hickox, Sir Andrew Davis, and Sir Charles Mackerras. He premiered (and was the dedicatee of) Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new concerto with the Antwerp Symphony and Edo de Waart, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Hannu Lintu, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko, and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Andris Nelsons. A dedicated chamber musician, Watkins was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 until 2013, when he joined the Emerson String Quartet. With the Quartet he has travelled extensively, performing at major international festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Ravinia, Edinburgh, Berlin and Evian and has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Renee Fleming, Evgeny Kissin and Barbara Hannigan. He has conducted all the major British orchestras, and a wide range of international orchestras including the Kristiansand Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Tampere Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony, Queensland and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras. In 2006 he made his opera debut conducting a critically praised new production of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine for Opera North. Highlights of recent seasons include his conducting debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra and Detroit Symphony, as well as concerto appearances with the BBC Symphony under Semyon Bychkov and Sir Andrew Davis, the City of Birmingham Symphony under Alexander Vedernikov, and the European Union Youth Orchestra under the baton of Bernard Haitink, in a tour featuring performances at the Grafenegg Festival and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. He also made regular appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and performed Brahms’ Double Concerto on a tour of Sweden and the UK with the Västeras Sinfonietta, Simon Crawford-Philips and Lawrence Power. His extensive discography as a cellist includes a wide range of repertoire for Chandos Records, including Britten’s Cello Symphony, the concertos of Delius, Elgar, Finzi, Lutoslawski, Walton, Tobias Picker and Cyril Scott, and recitals of Mendelssohn, Martinu, and 20th century British and American music for cello and piano with Huw Watkins. He has recorded the Britten solo cello suites and twentieth century British repertoire for Nimbus, Takemitsu’s Orion and Pleiades for BIS Records, and as a conductor, music by Mozart, Gliere, Röntgen, and a Grammy® nominated pairing of the Berg and Britten violin concertos with Daniel Hope. Watkins plays on a cello made by Domenico Montagnana and Matteo Goffriller in Venice, c.1730.
- STEFAN JACKIW, VIOLIN
STEFAN JACKIW, VIOLIN Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of “uncommon musical substance” that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as a soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others. Following his summer performance with the New York Philharmonic , Jackiw opens the 2023-24 season returning to the orchestra to perform the Barber Concerto with Jaap van Zweden. His season also includes a quadruple World Premiere of new works at Roulette , and his return to Asia with the Taiwan Philharmonic and the China National Symphony . In the spring, the Junction Trio will make their Carnegie Hall debut with the New York premiere of John Zorn’s Philosophical Investigations. He was also recently invited to perform and curate a series of programs at the Edinburgh Festival (‘Stefan Jackiw and Friends’). During the 2022-23 season, Jackiw returned to the Cleveland Orchestra to perform Britten’s Violin Concerto with Thomas Søndergård, and to the Vancouver Symphony to perform Brahms with Otto Tausk. He also appeared at the 92NY with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Daniil Trifonov, and he embarked on a multi-city Junction Trio tour that included the group’s Celebrity Series of Boston debut, alongside performances in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, and more. His European dates included his return to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with the Residentie Orkest , as well as appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra , the Bournemouth Symphony , and the Sinfónica de Galicia . Other recent highlights include his performance of Mozart’s violin Concerto no. 5 with Alan Gilbert and the Boston Symphony, his return to Carnegie Hall to perform Bach with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s , and performances with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Alan Gilbert, and with Orchestre National de Lyon under Nikolaj Znaider. Jackiw recently performed a new Violin concerto, written for him by Conrad Tao and premiered by the Atlanta Symphony and Baltimore Symphony . He has also premiered David Fulmer’s concerto Jauchzende Bögen with Matthias Pintscher and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen at the Heidelberger Frühling. Jackiw tours frequently with his musical partners, pianist Conrad Tao and cellist Jay Campbel l, as part of the Junction Trio. He also enjoys collaborating with pianist Jeremy Denk with whom he has toured the complete Ives Violin Sonatas, which the pair recorded for future release on Nonesuch Records. In 2019, he recorded Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Alan Gilbert and Academy St. Martin in the Fields. Jackiw has performed in numerous major festivals and concert halls around the world, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Philharmonie de Paris, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Washington Performing Arts Society. Born to physicist parents of Korean and Ukrainian descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Jackiw plays a violin made in 1705 by Vincenzo Ruggieri. He lives in New York City.
- JESSICA PHILLIPS, CLARINET
JESSICA PHILLIPS, CLARINET Jessica Phillips won her position of Second Clarinet and E-flat Clarinet in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2001. She graduated cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Music. While at Barnard, she was accepted into the joint lesson program at the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied under Ricardo Morales. Throughout her career she has appeared as Guest Principal Clarinet with the Chicago Symphony, as well as performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, All Star Orchestra, Bavarian State Opera Orchestra, Mainly Mozart Festival, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theater, Santa Fe Opera, St. Bart’s Music Festival, and the American Symphony Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Jessica has performed at Carnegie Hall numerous times with the MET Chamber Ensemble, Mainly Mozart, Orchestra of St. Luke’s chamber music series, at the Kingston Chamber Music Festival. She has performed in recital at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, Lisbon International Clarinet Meeting, International Woodwind Festival, Peabody Conservatory, International Clarinet Association’s ClarFest in Japan and Canada, and appeared as a featured soloist with the Lincoln Symphony at the Nebraska. She can be heard on numerous “Live From Lincoln Center” performances with the Grammy award-winning Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Emmy award-winning PBS broadcasts with The All Star Orchestra .
- BENJAMIN BOWMAN, VIOLIN
BENJAMIN BOWMAN, VIOLIN American-Canadian violinist Benjamin Bowman was recently appointed as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera by maestro Nézét-Seguin. He is also the concertmaster of the American Ballet Theatre and is a member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Benjamin is very active and engaged as a chamber musician, recitalist and soloist. He regularly performs in concerts and festivals in Europe and North America. Most recently, he was nominated for a 2017 Grammy for his recording with the ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) Ensemble (‘The Chamber Works of Jerzy Fitelberg’) and was also featured on the 2013 Juno-winning album ‘Levant’ with the Amici Chamber Ensemble. Other collaborative work includes extensive immersion in contemporary music, improvisation and performance with singer/songwriters. His discography includes recent solo and chamber-music releases on the CHANDOS, Sony Masterworks/RCA Red Seal, ATMA Classique, and Innova labels. Bowman received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Benjamin plays a very fine Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin kindly loaned to him by Irene R. Miller through the Beares International Violin Society.