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- ANGEL BLUE, SOPRANO
ANGEL BLUE, SOPRANO Angel Blue has emerged in recent seasons as one of the most influential sopranos before the public today. The two-time Grammy Award winner, 2020 Beverly Sills Award recipient, and the 2022 Richard Tucker Award winner is celebrated worldwide for her honeyed soprano and affecting deliveries of many of the most beloved roles in the operatic repertory. The 2023 spring and summer season began with Ms. Blue as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera with Maestro Nicola Luisotti, and her debut in the titular role in Aida at the Royal Opera House with Sir Mark Elder. She can be seen in concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Oskana Lyniv, and in recital with distinguished Canadian pianist Dr. Bryan Wagorn at Arizona Opera. Ms. Blue's first summer appearance begins in Europe on tour with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, under the direction of world-renowned conductor Yannick Nézét-Seguin. She will then make appearances at the Hollywood Bowl in Verdi's Requiem with the star maestro Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, shortly followed by her return to the Santa Fe Opera to sing the title role in Tosca. She makes her Aspen Music Festival debut in a solo recital with pianist Myra Huang. The 2023-2024 season introduces audiences to Angel Blue as Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore at the San Francisco Opera, followed by a highly anticipated return to the Vienna State Opera. She continues her season with performances as Micaëla in Carmen and a role debut as Magda in La Rondine at the Metropolitan Opera. On September 23, 2019 she opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019/2020 season as Bess in a new production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. These performances followed her internationally praised French Opera debut and role debut as Floria Tosca at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in July of 2019. She has also been recognized for performances in countless other theaters, such as the Vienna State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Theater an der Wien, Teatro alla Scala, Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, Paris Opera, English National Opera, and San Diego Opera. Puccini’s La Bohéme has played an especially prominent role in the development of Angel Blue’s career. She made her United States operatic debut as Musetta at the Los Angeles Opera in 2007 while a member of the company’s Young Artist Program and subsequently made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in the same role in 2015. As Mimí, she has earned exceptional international acclaim. Ms. Blue first sang the role at the English National Opera in London in 2014 and has since performed Mimí for her house debuts at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, the Vienna State Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company, the Semperoper Dresden, Hamburg State Opera, and of course, the Metropolitan Opera. Equally active on the concert platform, Ms. Blue has appeared in recital and in concert in over forty countries including Hungary, Kazakhstan, India, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, South Korea, China, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. In 2011 Ms. Blue opened the Royal Opera House, in Muscat, Oman. Orchestral engagements have included concert versions of Porgy and Bess at the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle and with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Marin Alsop, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Münchener Philharmoniker under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and Verdi’s Requiem in Sydney, Australia with Oleg Caetani. She has also sung Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Peri in Schumann’s Das Paradis und die Peri with the Accademia Santa Cecilla in Rome, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Cincinnati Symphony under Music Director Louis Langree. During the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, Ms. Blue dedicated her time to encourage younger singers to stay motivated to finish their studies and continue in opera, through an online talk show called, "Faithful Friday" where she interviewed people who she found to be inspiring. The online talk show received much acclaim from its viewers, many called the show, "Uplifting, and exactly what is needed right now." Ms. Blue has since shifted her focus back to her family life and her singing engagements. However, she still maintains that encouraging and uplifting younger singers in the opera world is at the forefront of her platform. Angel Blue was raised in California and completed her musical studies at UCLA. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.
- 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.
- BRENTANO STRING QUARTET
BRENTANO STRING QUARTET The Brentano String Quartet Mark Steinberg , violin Serena Canin , violin Misha Amory , viola Nina Lee , cello Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent ; the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.” Within a few years of its formation, the Quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and was also honored in the U.K. with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut. Since then, the Quartet has concertized widely, performing in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet maintains a strong interest in contemporary music, and has commissioned many new works. Their latest project, a monodrama for quartet and voice called “Dido Reimagined,” was composed by Pulitzer-winning composer Melinda Wagner and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, and premiered in spring 2022 with soprano Dawn Upshaw. Other recent commissions include the composers Matthew Aucoin, Lei Liang, Vijay Iyer, James Macmillan, and a cello quintet by Steven Mackey (performed with Wilhelmina Smith, cello.) The Brentano Quartet has worked closely with other important composers of our time, among them Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág. They have also been privileged to collaborate with such artists as soprano Jessye Norman, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and pianists Richard Goode, Jonathan Biss, and Mitsuko Uchida. The Quartet has recorded works by Mozart and Schubert for Azica Records, and all of Beethoven’s late Quartets for the Aeon label. In 2012, they provided the central music (Beethoven Opus 131) for the critically-acclaimed independent film A Late Quartet. Since 2014, the Brentano Quartet has served as Artists-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music. They were formerly the Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University, and were twice invited to be the collaborative ensemble for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, the intended recipient of his famous love confession.
- PASCUAL MARTÍNEZ FORTEZA, CLARINET
PASCUAL MARTÍNEZ FORTEZA, CLARINET Pascual Martínez Forteza, Acting Associate Principal Clarinet, The Honey M. Kurtz Family Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic in 2001, after holding tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. At age 18 he was appointed assistant principal of the Baleares Symphony Orchestra in his native Spain, later becoming acting principal. He has recently performed as guest principal clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic, under Simon Rattle. Mr. Martínez Forteza appears regularly as a soloist, recitalist, and master class teacher at festivals and conservatories worldwide, including the International Clarinet Festival of Chanchung (China) and The Juilliard School, among others. Since 2003 Mr. Martínez Forteza and Spanish pianist Gema Nieto have played throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States as Duo Forteza-Nieto. Together they founded the Benifaio Music Festival in Spain. Mr. Martínez Forteza also founded Vent Cameristic, a wind ensemble of professional musicians from Spain. As a soloist with that ensemble, he has played every year at the Concerts d’Estiú in Valencia, Spain. In 2003 Spanish National Radio (RNE) produced a CD featuring selections from these performances. Pascual Martínez Forteza started playing clarinet at age ten with his father, Pascual V. Martínez, principal clarinet of the Baleares Symphony Orchestra for 30 years and teacher at the Baleares Conservatory of Music in Spain. Mr. Martínez Forteza earned his master’s degree from the Baleares and Liceo de Barcelona Music Conservatories in Spain and pursued advanced studies with Yehuda Gilad at the University of Southern California, where he won first prize in the university’s 1998 Concerto Competition. He is currently a faculty member at New York University and teaches orchestral repertoire at Manhattan School of Music. A Buffet Crampon Artist and Vandoren Artist, he plays Green Line Tosca Buffet clarinets and uses Vandoren reeds and M30D mouthpieces.
- ZLATOMIR FUNG, CELLO
ZLATOMIR FUNG, CELLO The first American in four decades and youngest musician ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Cello Division, Zlatomir Fung is poised to become one of the preeminent cellists of our time. Astounding audiences with his boundless virtuosity and exquisite sensitivity, the 23-year-old has already proven himself to be a star among the next generation of world-class musicians. A recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship 2022 and a 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Fung’s impeccable technique demonstrates mastery of the canon and exceptional insight into the depths of contemporary repertoire. In the 2022-2023 season, Fung performs with orchestras and gives recitals in all corners of the world. Orchestral engagements include the BBC and Rochester Philharmonics, Milwaukee, Reading, Lincoln, Ridgefield and Sante Fe Symphonies, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, and APEX Ensemble. He gives the world premiere of a new cello concerto by Katherine Balch with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He plays recitals throughout North America with pianists Benjamin Hochman, Dina Vainshtein, and Janice Carissa, including stops in New York City, Chicago, IL, San Diego and Berkeley, CA, Los Alamos, NM, Rockville, MD, Melbourne, FL, Vancouver and Sechelt, BC, Northampton, MA, Province, RI, Burlington, VT, and Waterford, VA. Tours of Europe and Asia include a recital at Wigmore Hall and two performances at Cello Biënnale Amsterdam. Recent summer festival appearances include Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail with the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Slatkin, ChamberFest Cleveland, Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and Verbier. As a soloist, Fung has appeared with the Detroit, Kansas City, Seattle, Utah, Greensboro, Ann Arbor, and Asheville Symphonies, among many others. Past recital highlights include his Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall debut with pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen and multiple tours throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. As a chamber musician, he has been presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, IMS Prussia Cove, Syrinx Concerts in Toronto, The Embassy Series & The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, and Salon de Virtuosi and Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York City. A winner of the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the 2017 Astral National Auditions, Fung has taken the top prizes at the 2018 Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition, 2016 George Enescu International Cello Competition, 2015 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players, 2014 Stulberg International String Competition, and 2014 Irving Klein International Competition. He was selected as a 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar for the Arts and was awarded the 2016 Landgrave von Hesse Prize at the Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses. Of Bulgarian-Chinese heritage, Zlatomir Fung began playing cello at age three. Fung studied at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Richard Aaron and Timothy Eddy. Fung has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today and has appeared on From the Top six times. In addition to music, he enjoys cinema, reading, and blitz chess.
- LUCILLE CHUNG, PIANO
LUCILLE CHUNG, PIANO Lucille Chung, Piano Born in Montréal, Canadian pianist Lucille Chung has been acclaimed for her “stylish and refined performances” by Gramophone magazine, "combining vigor and suppleness with natural eloquence and elegance" (Le Soir). She made her debut at the age of ten with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit subsequently invited her to be a featured soloist during the MSO Asian Tour in 1989. Since then, she has performed an extensive concerto repertoire spanning from Bach to Adams with over 70 leading orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerífe, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao, Staatskapelle Weimar, Philharmonie de Lorraine, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Belgrade Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, KBS Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Dallas Symphony, UNAM Philharmonic (Mexico), Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, MAV Symphony (Budapest), Lithuanian National Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra as well as all the major Canadian orchestras, including Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Calgary, Winnipeg and Métropolitain, among others. She has appeared with conductors such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Spivakov, Vasily Petrenko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Stéphane Denève, Peter Oundjian, Gerd Albrecht and Charles Dutoit. As a recitalist, she has performed in over 35 countries in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London, New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Spivey Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional, the Great Hall of the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Seoul Arts Center, and Sala São Paulo. Festival appearances include the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Incontri in Terra di Siena in Italy, MDR Sommer Festival in Dresden, Lübecker Kammermusikfest, Salon-de-Provence Festival, Santander International Festival and Gijón International Piano Festival in Spain, Felicja Blumental Festival in Israel, Music@Menlo, Mainly Mozart, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Montreal International Festival, Ottawa Chamber Festival, Bard Music Festival in NY, International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NYC, Chang Chun Festival in China, and the Bravissimo Festival in Guatemala. In 1989, she was recognized on the international scene as the First Prize winner at the Stravinsky International Piano Competition. She won Second Prize at the 1992 Montreal International Music Competition, at which she also won a Special Prize for the best interpretation of the unpublished work. In 1993, she received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Governor General of Canada and in 1994 won the Second Prize at the First International Franz Liszt Competition in Weimar. In 1999, she was awarded the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts. Before turning twenty, she graduated from both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where she studied with Seymour Lipkin. She decided to further her studies in London with Maria Curcio-Diamand, Schnabel’s protégée, at the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and received the Konzertexam Diplom from the Hochschule "Franz Liszt" in Weimar, where she worked with the late Lazar Berman. She was the first non-Italian recipient of the honorary title of “Master” upon graduating from the Accademia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, Italy. She also worked with Joaquín Achúcarro at Southern Methodist University, where she held the Johnson-Prothro Artist-in-Residence endowed position. Ms. Chung is the recipient of the Honors Diploma at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy and was named Honorary Professor of the Jilin Arts College in China. Lucille Chung has been hailed as “a considerable artist, admirable for her bold choice of music” by The Sunday Times for her recordings of the complete piano works by György Ligeti on the Dynamic label. The first volume was released in 2001 to great critical acclaim, receiving the maximum R10 from Classica-Répertoire in France, 5 Stars from the BBC Music Magazine, and 5 Stars in Fono Forum in Germany. The final volume, which also contains works for two pianos, was recorded with her husband, Alessio Bax and once again received the prestigious R10 from Classica-Répertoire. Her all-Scriabin CD won the “Best Instrumental Recording” prize at the 2003 Prelude Classical Awards in Holland as well as the coveted R10 from Classica-Répertoire in France. She also recorded the two Mendelssohn Piano Concerti on the Richelieu/Radio-Canada label, which was nominated for the Prix Opus in Canada. In August 2005, Bax and Chung recorded Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with the Fort Worth Symphony and Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya with narration by Michael York. In 2007 she released a solo album for the Fazioli Concert Hall Series. Lucille then embarked on an exclusive contract with Disques XXI/Universal: Camille Saint-Saëns Piano Transcriptions and Mozart & Me. 2013 marked the release of a piano duo disc with Alessio Bax, presenting Stravinsky’s original four-hand version of the ballet Petrouchka as well as music by Brahms and Piazzolla for Signum Records. In 2015, she released an all-Poulenc album for Signum Records, which was chosen as the “Recording of the Month” on MusicWeb and most recently in 2018, her 14th album titled Liszt Piano Works was released to great acclaim. Her upcoming album for Signum Records will feature works by Debussy and Ravel. Lucille is fluent in French, English, Korean, Italian, German, and Russian. She and husband, pianist Alessio Bax make their home in New York City with their daughter, Mila, and are artistic co-directors of the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation, which seeks to further the careers of young pianists. Before turning twenty, she graduated from both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where she studied with Seymour Lipkin. She decided to further her studies in London with Maria Curcio-Diamand, Schnabel’s protégée, at the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and received the Konzertexam Diplom from the Hochschule "Franz Liszt" in Weimar, where she worked with the late Lazar Berman. She was the first non-Italian recipient of the honorary title of “Master” upon graduating from the Accademia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, Italy. She also worked with Joaquín Achúcarro at Southern Methodist University, where she held the Johnson-Prothro Artist-in-Residence endowed position. Ms. Chung is the recipient of the Honors Diploma at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy and was named Honorary Professor of the Jilin Arts College in China. Lucille Chung has been hailed as “a considerable artist, admirable for her bold choice of music” by The Sunday Times for her recordings of the complete piano works by György Ligeti on the Dynamic label. The first volume was released in 2001 to great critical acclaim, receiving the maximum R10 from Classica-Répertoire in France, 5 Stars from the BBC Music Magazine, and 5 Stars in Fono Forum in Germany. The final volume, which also contains works for two pianos, was recorded with her husband, Alessio Bax and once again received the prestigious R10 from Classica-Répertoire. Her all-Scriabin CD won the “Best Instrumental Recording” prize at the 2003 Prelude Classical Awards in Holland as well as the coveted R10 from Classica-Répertoire in France.
- PAUL HUANG, VIOLIN
PAUL HUANG, VIOLIN Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang is quickly gaining attention for his eloquent music making, distinctive sound, and effortless virtuosity. The Washington Post proclaimed Mr. Huang as “an artist with the goods for a significant career” following his recital debut at the Kennedy Center. His recent and forthcoming engagements include his recital debut at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland as well as solo appearances with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev (St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival), Berliner Symphoniker with Lior Shambadal (Philharmonie Berlin debut), Detroit Symphony with Leonard Slatkin, Houston Symphony with Andres Orozco-Estrada, Orchestra of St. Luke’s with Carlos Miguel Prieto, Seoul Philharmonic with Markus Stenz, and Taipei Symphony with Gilbert Varga (both in Taipei and on a U.S. tour). This season, he will also be making his Chicago orchestral debut at the Grant Park Music Festival, as well as appearances with the Buffalo Philharmonic and with the Baltimore, Alabama, Pacific, Santa Barbara, Charlotte, and Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestras. During the 2018-19 season, Mr. Huang will make debuts at the Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and return to the Palm Beach Chamber Music Society with the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Gilles Vonsattel for a performance of the Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet. In addition, Mr. Huang continues his association with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Camerata Pacifica where he will present all three violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms. Mr. Huang’s recent recital engagements included Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers” series and return enagagement at the Kennedy Center where he premiered Conrad Tao’s “Threads of Contact” for Violin and Piano during his recital evening with pianist Orion Weiss. He also stepped in for Midori with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony to critical acclaim. Mr. Huang has also made debuts at the Wigmore Hall, Seoul Arts Center, and the Louvre in Paris. His first solo CD, Intimate Inspiration, is a collection of favorite virtuoso and romantic encore pieces released on the CHIMEI label. In association with Camerata Pacifica, he recorded “Four Songs of Solitude” for solo violin on their album of John Harbison works. The album was released on the Harmonia Mundi label in fall 2014. A frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide, he has performed at the Seattle, Music@Menlo, Caramoor, Bridgehampton, La Jolla, Moritzburg, Kissinger Sommer, Sion, Orford Musique, and the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea. His collaborators have included Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, Nobuko Imai, Lawrence Power, Maxim Rysanov, Mischa Maisky, Jian Wang, Frans Helmerson, Lynn Harrell, Yefim Bronfman, and Marc-Andre Hamelin. Winner of the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Huang made critically acclaimed recital debuts in New York and in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center. Other honors include First Prize at the 2009 International Violin Competition Sion-Valais (Tibor Varga) in Switzerland, the 2009 Chi-Mei Cultural Foundation Arts Award for Taiwan’s Most Promising Young Artists, the 2013 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and the 2014 Classical Recording Foundation Young Artist Award. Born in Taiwan, Mr. Huang began violin lessons at the age of seven. He is a proud recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees under Hyo Kang and I-Hao Lee. He plays on the 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
- Artist Bios 2019-2020 (List) | PCC
2019-2020 ARTIST ROSTER BENJAMIN BEILMAN, VIOLIN CHRIS COLETTI, TRUMPET DAVID J. GROSSMAN, DOUBLE BASS PAUL LEWIS, PIANO FRANK MORELLI, BASSOON QUARTETTO DI CREMONA ZUKERMAN TRIO DEMIAN AUSTIN, TROMBONE ANNI CROFUT, DANCER PAUL HUANG, VIOLIN MATTHEW LIPMAN, VIOLA KEN NODA, PIANO ANDREW TYSON, PIANO INN-HYUCK CHO, CLARINET YING FANG, SOPRANO PAUL JACOBS, ORGAN BENJAMIN LUXON, ACTOR-NARRATOR JUHO POHJONEN, PIANO DANBI UM, VIOLIN
- CLARA NEUBAUER, VIOLIN
CLARA NEUBAUER, VIOLIN 18-year old violinist Clara Neubauer attends The Juilliard School as a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship in the studios of Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin. She has participated in the Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island and the PMP Winter Residency in Sarasota, Florida since 2017. Winner and silver medalist of the 2020 National YoungArts competition, Clara was the first prize winner in the 2019 Symphony of Westchester Competition, and the 2017 Adelphi Young Artist Competition. Clara made her concerto debut with the National Repertory Orchestra at the age of 10 and her Lincoln Center debut at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Young Ensembles Concert in 2013. Concerts this past season included concerto performances with the Symphony of Westchester and the Little Orchestra Society, as well as performances at Bravo! Vail, the Mostly Music Series, Neue Galerie, Great Performers Series in Palm Beach, Tenri Cultural Institute, and the Union Club. An avid chamber musician, Clara was a winner of the 2017 Young Musicians Competition at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a Young Performer at the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Institute for five years. She has participated in masterclasses with Ani Kavafian, Gilbert Kalish, Peter Wiley, Soovin Kim, Clive Greensmith, and others. This past season she collaborated with artists including the Dover Quartet, the Ulysses Quartet, Fred Sherry, and Anne-Marie McDermott. Born on 9/11/2001, Clara shared the stage with Bernadette Peters and Robert DeNiro hosting a 9/11 Memorial benefit and can be heard leading the audio tour guide “for children and families” at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, available as a free app at the App Store. In her free time, Clara loves to read, cook, and play ping-pong.
- BRENDAN KANE, BASS
BRENDAN KANE, BASS Double Bassist Brendan Kane has performed extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Originally from Stillwater, Minnesota, Mr. Kane joined the bass section of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the Fall of 2014. Prior to his appointment at the Met, Mr. Kane held the positions of Assistant Principal Bass of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bass of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra in Brazil. He also regularly tours around the world as Principal Bass of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra as well as annual appearances at the Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Schloss Elmau (Germany) and the St. Barts Music Festival in the Caribbean. Mr. Kane has also performed with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra (London), Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and as Guest Principal Bass with the Hong Kong and Israel Philharmonics. As a chamber musician, he has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, toured with the International Sejong Soloists and appeared alongside Pinchas Zukerman, Maxim Vengerov, Leonidas Kavakos, Tabea Zimmerman, Mischa Maisky and Sir András Schiff among others. Mr. Kane is on sabbatical from the MET for the 22-23 season upon being appointed Principal Bass of the Israel Philharmonic.
- EVAN EPIFANIO, BASSOON
EVAN EPIFANIO, BASSOON Evan Epifanio was appointed Principal Bassoon of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2018. Prior to The Met, Evan was a member of The Sarasota Orchestra and New World Symphony, as well as serving as Principal Bassoon of the Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also performed with other ensembles including The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Florida Orchestra. Evan can be heard playing with The MET Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall throughout the year. He has lead masterclasses at a variety of locations including The Academia Filarmónica de Medellín, Colombia and most recently The Juilliard School. During his summer months Evan has been heard performing with Classical Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada and The Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego.
- RAFAEL FIGUEROA, CELLO
RAFAEL FIGUEROA, CELLO Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, cellist Rafael Figueroa is established as one of the most sought-after cellists of his generation, having appeared in numerous performances throughout the United States, Europe, Central and South Americas, Japan, and his homeland of Puerto Rico. His impressive list of prizes and awards include the First Prize at the Gregor Piatigorsky Competition in Boston, The Bronze Medal at the International Pablo Casals Competition in Budapest, winner of the Jill Sackler Cello Competition at the Third American Cello Congress, and winner of the Gina Bachauer Memorial Award. Mr. Figueroa occupies the prestigious position of principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine in addition to his participation in many of the chamber music series in the New York area including The Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, The Met Chamber Ensemble with James Levine, The New Jersey Chamber Music Society, The Morgan Library Chamber Music Series, and Bargemusic. Mr. Figueroa has appeared in recitals and concerts along such artists as the late Rudolf Serkin, Peter Serkin, the late Samuel Sanders, Andre Michel Shub, Ruth Laredo, Michael Tree, Cho Liang Lin, The Cleveland Quartet, the late Alexander Schneider, and James Levine. Mr. Figueroa completed his studies at the Indiana University School of Music under Janos Starker and Gary Hoffman where upon graduation, he became a member of the school’s cello faculty. In 1987, he moved to New York City where he began a ten-year collaboration with The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, touring worldwide and recording for Deutsche Grammophon. For five years he was the cellist of The Amadeus Trio and a member of the Chelsea Chamber Ensemble, with whom he premiered and championed a large number of works by contemporary American composers. His summer festival activities have included the Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland, the Aspen Music Festival, The Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Marlboro Chamber Music Festival, Lemi-Lappenranta Chamber Music festival in Finland and the Rockport and Marblehead Chamber music Festivals. In addition to his participation for the first time at the International Festival of Music in Cheyu, Korea in the summer of 2003. Highlights of the past seasons include a performance to critical acclaim of the Brahms Double Concerto with Concertmaster David Chan and The Met Orchestra under James Levine at Carnegie Hall on February 2, 2003 as part of the orchestra’s subscription series at Carnegie Hall and a second performance of the Brahms Double and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations in Seoul, Korea.