12-07 Eastern Music Festival

For fifty years, the Eastern Music Festival has been committed to bringing high quality performances of classical music to Greensboro, North Carolina. The festival attracts more than 60,000 audience members a year, who flock to the city for performances by classical masters, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Serkin and Sarah Chang. In 2011, the festival celebrated its fiftieth year in style with five weeks of over 100 musical events, including daily performances open to the public. To further celebrate the occasion, director Gerard Schwartz commissioned five young American composers to create new pieces for a series of Saturday concerts performed by the Eastern Festival Orchestra. Learn more here: http://www.easternmusicfestival.org/

(Photos © Mark Wagoner Photography)

Music

Peter Boyer: Festivities (Eastern Music Festival Orchestra)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor (Andre Watts, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra)
Brahms: Double Concerto: II and III (Caroline Goulding, Julian Schwarz, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra)
Philip Rothman: Starsplitter
Mozart: Parto, ma tu ben mio (Susan Graham, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra)
Bruch: Violin Concerto (Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra)
Dan Locklair: Organ Concerto: II (Susan Bates, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra)

Listen to the whole show here: 

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Artists

Andre Watts
André Watts burst upon the music world at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People’s Concerts, broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. A perennial favorite with orchestras throughout the US, Mr. Watts is also a regular guest at the major summer music festivals including Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga, Tanglewood and the Mann Music Center. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and the St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Seattle and National symphonies among others. In celebration of the Liszt anniversary in 2011, Mr. Watts plays all-Liszt recitals throughout the US, while recent and upcoming international engagements include concerto and recital appearances in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and Spain.A much-honored artist who has played before royalty in Europe and heads of government in nations all over the world, André Watts was selected to receive the Avery Fisher Prize in 1988. At age 26 he was the youngest person ever to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University and he has since received numerous honors from highly respected schools including the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, The Juilliard School of Music and his Alma Mater, the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.

Caroline Goulding
At age eighteen, violinist Caroline Goulding has performed as a soloist with some of North America’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Columbus ProMusica, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Cleveland Pops and the Cincinnati Pops. Aside from her orchestral engagements, Caroline has appeared at venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the Kennedy Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, and the University of Georgia’s Ramsey Concert Hall. She has shared the stage with Béla Fleck, Anton Nel, Christopher O’Riley, Navah Perlman, Wendy Warner and Elaine Douvas. On March 14, 2011 Caroline was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant at a reception and performance at Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. The 2010-2011 season marked a cycle of solo orchestral engagements including debuts with the Louisville Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, El Paso Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and return solo appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony and Atlantic Classical Orchestra.

Julian Schwarz
Born in Seattle into a musical family, twenty year old cellist Julian Schwarz is already being recognized as a young musician with great talent and even greater potential. Mr. Schwarz made his orchestral debut at the age of 11 playing the Saint-Saens Concerto No. 1 with the Seattle Symphony with his father, Gerard Schwarz, on the podium. Since then he has appeared as soloist with many of the Seattle area orchestras and in the winter of 2010 he was one of the featured soloists on an extensive US tour with the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra, performing 13 concerts on the East and West coasts. Recent and upcoming performance highlights include concerto appearances with the Seattle, Columbus (OH), Syracuse, Virginia, Hartford, Sarasota, Grand Rapids, Omaha, Springfield MA and Greensboro NC symphonies and recitals at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and in Palm Springs. Julian Schwarz has performed as a chamber musician at the Aspen, Interlochen, Eastern, California Summer and Encore music festivals. In summer 2009 he was the “Featured Young Artist” at both the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and the Cape Cod Music Festival and attended and performed at the prestigious Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He returned to the Eastern Music and Cape Cod festivals in summer 2010 for chamber music performances and performs the Brahms Double at the Eastern Music Festival and the Bellingham Festival of Music in summer 2011.

Susan Graham
At home and abroad, mezzo soprano Susan Graham has sung leading roles from the 17th to 20th centuries in the great opera houses of the world, including Milan’s La Scala, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Dresden’s Semperoper, and the Salzburg Festival, and she has appeared with many of the world’s leading conductors and orchestras. Dubbed “America’s favorite mezzo” by Gramophone magazine, Graham captivates audiences with her expressive voice, tall and graceful stature, and engaging acting ability in both comedy and tragedy. Graham is a leader in the international Christoph Gluck opera revival. She has sung the title role of Iphigénie en Tauride in a new production staged for her by the Metropolitan Opera, and at Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Graham has also been in several recent operas- she created the part of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking for San Francisco Opera, and created leading roles in two Metropolitan Opera world premieres: An American Tragedy by Tobias Picker and The Great Gatsby by John Harbison.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Electrifying performances, fearless interpretations and musical depth have established violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as one of the leading violinists of our time. In addition to her solo career, she leads the New Century Chamber Orchestra as the group’s music director. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s professional career began in 1981 when she won the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. In 1983 she was recognized with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 1988 was Ovations Debut Recording Artist of the Year. In 1999 she was honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded to instrumentalists who have demonstrated “outstanding achievement and excellence in music.” In May of that same year, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was awarded an honorary Masters of Musical Arts from the New Mexico State University, the first honorary degree the University has ever awarded. An American citizen, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome and emigrated to the United States at the age of eight to study at The Curtis Institute of Music. She later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School.