2019 Guest Artists

Opening night June 29, 2019

George Li, Piano

Performing Prokofiev Piano Concerto #3 in C Major, Op.26

A bracing, fearless account…Mr. Li’s playing combined youthful abandon with utter command.
– New York Times

Praised by the Washington Post for combining “staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression,” pianist George Li possesses an effortless grace, brilliant virtuosity and poised authority far beyond his years. Since winning the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Li has rapidly established a major international reputation and performs regularly with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors such as Gergiev, Dudamel, Honeck, Petrenko, Tilson Thomas and Long Yu.

Artist Bio

Recent and upcoming concerto highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Sydney Symphony and St Petersburg Philharmonic. In 2018/19, Li makes his debut with the London Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Tokyo Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, embarks on a 11-city recital tour of China and is the soloist on the Russian National Orchestra’s major US tour with Mikhail Pletnev. He frequently appears with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, including performances at the Paris Philharmonie, Luxembourg Philharmonie, New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, Graffenegg Festival and in various venues throughout Russia.

In recital, Li performs at venues including Carnegie Hall, Davies Hall in San Francisco, the Mariinsky Theatre, Munich’s Gasteig, the Louvre, Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo’s Asahi Hall and Musashino Hall, NCPA Beijing, Shanghai Poly Theater and Amici della Musica Firenze, as well as appearances at major festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival, Ravinia Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Montreux Festival.

An active chamber musician, Li has performed alongside James Ehnes, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Benjamin Beilman, Kian Soltani, Pablo Ferrandez and Daniel Lozakovich and future plans include collaborations with Daniel Hope, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Lawrence Power. Li is an exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, with his debut recital album released in October 2017 which was recorded live from the Mariinsky.

Li gave his first public performance at Boston’s Steinway Hall at the age of ten and in 2011, performed for President Obama at the White House in an evening honoring Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among Li’s many prizes, he was the recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, a recipient of the 2012 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and the First Prize winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In summer 2018, Li graduated from the Harvard University / New England Conservatory joint program, where he studied with NEC’s Wha Kyung Byun.

July 6, 2019

Benjamin Beilman, Violin

Performing Mozart Violin Concerto #3 in G Major, K.216

Benjamin Beilman has won praise both for his passionate performances and deep rich tone which the Washington Post called “mightily impressive,” and The New York Times described as “muscular with a glint of violence.” The Times has also praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence,” and the Strad described his playing as “pure poetry.” In a 2018 feature in The Boston Globe, David Weininger remarked that Beilman’s “playing already has its own sure balance of technical command, intensity, and interpretive finesse.”

Artist Bio

In the 2017-18 season, Beilman appeared as a soloist with the Detroit, Houston, Oregon, North Carolina and Indianapolis Symphonies and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.  He also did a multi-city tour of California with the New Century Chamber Orchestra in a program which he both programmed and play-directed. Abroad, Beilman made his Australian concerto debut with the Sydney Symphony, and debuted with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Trondheim Symphony.

In the spring of 2018, Benjamin Beilman and pianist Orion Weiss premiered Demons, a new sonata written for the pair by Frederic Rzewski, and commissioned by Music Accord. Beilman and Weiss performed the work, which is dedicated to the political activist Angela Davis on recital programs presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston, Shriver Hall Concert Series, Parlance Chamber Music, Gilmore Festival and Grand Teton Music Festival. The duo will continue to perform the work in recital during the 2018-19 season both in the US and abroad. The violinist will also team up with pianist Jeremy Denk for recitals at Philadelphia’s Perelman Theater, Carnegie Hall and on tour with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

In 2018-19 Beilman will play-direct the Vancouver Symphony, make his debut at the Philharmonie in Cologne with Ensemble Resonanz, perform The Four Seasons with the Cincinnati Symphony and Richard Egarr, return to the City of Birmingham Symphony, and debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He will perform concertos by Brahms, Bernstein, Prokofiev and Higdon, among others in orchestral engagements with the Berkeley, Greenville and Portland Symphonies; Rhode Island and Colorado Springs Philharmonic; along with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Iceland Symphony and Nagoya Philharmonic in Japan.

Beilman garnered worldwide attention following his First Prize wins in the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions –where he was also recipient of YCA’s Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship and a People’s Choice Award –and the 2010 Montréal International Musical Competition. His other honors include a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a London Music Masters Award, and an exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics. Beilman released his critically acclaimed first disc for the label in 2016, titled Spectrum and featuring works by Stravinsky, Janáček and Schubert.

Beilman began playing violin at the age of five and went on to study with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy.

He plays the “Engleman” Stradivarius from 1709 on generous loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

July 10, 2019

Pepe Romero, Guitar

Performs Rodrigo Concierto Aranjuez

There are very few true living legends in the world of classical music, few who have sustained greatness and grown throughout their lives. Pepe Romero is such an artist. He has been honored by kings, heads of state, and major institutions-the encomiums continue to pour in. But to Romero, his most important contribution has been reaching the common man. He has communicated the richness and beauty of the classical guitar to millions of people throughout the world. He has, indeed, become an ambassador of classical music, and, correspondingly, of the classical guitar.

Artist Bio

But this gift did not just appear out of nowhere. Pepe is the second son of one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived—Celedonio Romero. And he is brother to two more musical phenoms—Celin and Angel Romero.

Pepe was born in Málaga, Spain, in 1944. In those days, following the devastating Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and during the Second World War, Spain was in desperate economic straits.  Basic survival was the primary challenge. Yet, despite this, Celedonio Romero and his remarkable wife, Angelita, instilled in all three of their children a love of music that transcended the profound misery surrounding them.

By age seven, Pepe set foot on the concert stage for the first time, at the Teatro Lope de Vega in Sevilla. And now, more than sixty years later, he continues to mesmerize audiences throughout the world. During that time, he has given literally thousands of concerts worldwide, many with the remarkable Romero Quartet, and many as a solo instrumentalist. He has worked with almost every major conductor and has to his credit more than 60 recordings (among which are 20 concerto recordings with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, with both Neville Marriner and Iona Brown).

Pepe Romero has premiered works by some of the finest composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Always a champion of music by composers in earlier periods of music history, he has also delved into rare archives to re-explore many lost pieces.

In the United States, he has appeared with leading symphony orchestras in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles, as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble and Boston Pops. European ensembles with which he has appeared include the Academy of St-Martins-in-the-Fields, Dresden Philharmonic, London Symphony, la Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, I Musici, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Hungarica, Solisti di Zagreb, Hungarian State Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, Spanish National Radio Television Orchestra, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Hamburg Philharmoniker, L’Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, New Moscow Chamber Orchestra, American Sinfonietta, and Bournemouth Symphony—among many others.

Pepe Romero has always felt, along with his father and brothers, that the sharing of one’s art is a personal responsibility. Mr. Romero has served as Professor of Guitar at the University of Southern California, University of California at San Diego, Southern Methodist University, and the University of San Diego. Every summer at the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute, currently held at Oklahoma City University, the Romeros conduct an intensive guitar workshop including master classes, private lessons, student concerts and a final concert featuring the students performing with the Romeros. Pepe has conducted master classes at the Salzburg Summer Academy, Córdoba Guitar Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. In 2004 he was appointed Distinguished Artist in Residence at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

July 12, 2019

Calidore String Quartet

with Marc-André Hamelin

Program including Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34

The Calidore balance intellect and expression in such a way as to make them a pleasure to hear…Keep your ears out for these young musicians.
– Los Angeles Times

Jeffrey Meyers, Violin
Ryan Meehan, Violin
Jeremy Berry, Viola
Estelle Choi, Cello

Artist Bio

The Calidore String Quartet has been praised by the New York Times for its “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct” and by the Los Angeles Times for its balance of “intellect and expression.” After their Kennedy Center debut the Washington Post proclaimed that “Four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one…The grateful audience left enriched and, I suspect, a little more human than it arrived.”

Founded in 2010 at the Colburn School, the Calidore String Quartet has enjoyed an impressive number of accolades, including a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award. The ensemble made international headlines as winner of the $100,000 Grand-Prize of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition, the largest prize for chamber music in the world. The quartet was also the first North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and was named BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists, an honor that brings with it recordings, international radio broadcasts and appearances in Britain’s most prominent venues and festivals. The 2018-19 season marks the Calidore’s third year in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two).

In 2018 -19 season the Calidore returns to Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center and will make its debut on major series in Munich, Copenhagen, the Netherlands, Atlanta, Toronto, San Francisco and Denver. They continue to collaborate in concerts with the Emerson String Quartet as well as artists such as the pianists Inon Barnatan, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Pavel Kolesnikov, Anne-Marie McDermott and Michael Brown, violinists Arnaud Sussmann and Elena Bushka, violist Matthew Lipman and oboist Cristina Gómez Godoy. They presented the world premiere of Pulitzer-prize winner Caroline Shaw’s newest string quartet “Three Essays” at the BBC Proms and will continue to perform it throughout the season in Washington D.C., Portland, Toronto and the University of Delaware. They also perform the world-premiere of a new work by Marc-Anthony Turnage at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.


Resilience, the Calidore String Quartet’s debut album for Signum Records was released October 2018 and includes quartets by Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Janáček and Golijov. The ensemble’s other commercial recordings include quartets by Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, recorded live in concert at Music@Menlo Festival; Serenade: Music from the Great War, featuring music for String Quartet by Hindemith, Milhaud and Stravinsky, Ernst Toch  and Jacques de la Presle on the French label Editions Hortus; and the quartet’s acclaimed 2015 debut recording of quartets by Mendelssohn and Haydn. The Calidore were featured as Young Artists-in-Residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today and their performances have been broadcast on stations both domestically and abroad.

The Calidore have given world-premieres of works by Caroline Shaw, Hannah Lash and Benjamin Dean Taylor. It has also collaborated with many esteemed artists and ensembles, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Joshua Bell, David Shifrin, Inon Barnatan, Paul Coletti, David Finckel, Wu Han, Paul Neubauer, Ronald Leonard, Paul Watkins, and the Emerson and Ebène Quartets, among others.

As a passionate supporter of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students and audiences. The Calidore serves as Artists-in-Residence at the University of Delaware, University of Toronto and the University of Michigan. The Calidore has conducted master classes and residencies at Princeton, Stanford, Stony Brook University, UCLA and Mercer University. Previously, the Calidore served on the faculty of the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute at the Colburn School.

July 14, 2019

Marc-André Hamelin, Piano

Performing Brahms: Piano Concerto #1 in D Minor, Op. 15and Brahms: Piano Concerto #2 in Bb Major, Op. 83

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin is known worldwide for his unrivaled blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – in concert and on disc.

Artist Bio

Mr. Hamelin performed last summer at the Nohant Chopin Festival, Klavier Festival Ruhr, La Roque d’Anthéron, Montreux, the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, The Edinburgh Festival, and with Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Festival de Lanaudière playing Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

The 2018-19 season features Mr. Hamelin’s return to Carnegie Hall for a recital on the Keyboard Virtuoso Series plus recitals in Montreal, Seattle, Berlin, Florence, Salzburg, Wigmore Hall, Istanbul, among others. In repertoire from Haydn and Mozart to Ravel and Rachmaninoff, Hamelin appears with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles, Stuttgart and Moscow State Philharmonics, the Vancouver, Cincinnati, and Oregon Symphonies, and tours in Europe with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta.

He was a distinguished member of the jury of the 15th Van Cliburn Competition in 2017 where each of the 30 competitors in the Preliminary Round were required to perform Hamelin’s ‘Toccata on L’Homme armé’ which marked the first time the composer of the commissioned work was also a member of the jury. Although primarily a performer, Mr. Hamelin has composed music throughout his career; the majority of his works are published by Edition Peters.

Mr. Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records. His most recent releases are a disc of Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B Flat Major and Four Impromptus, a landmark disc of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Concerto for Two Pianos with Leif Ove Andsnes, Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus, and Medtner Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski. His Hyperion discography of over 60 recordings includes concertos and works for solo piano by such composers as Alkan, Godowsky, and Medtner, as well as brilliantly received performances of Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann and Shostakovich.

He was honored with the 2014 ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of Year (Piano) and Disc of the Year by Diapason Magazine and Classica Magazine for his three disc set of Busoni: Late Piano Music; and an album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Études, which received a 2010 Grammy nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critics’ Association. The Hamelin études are published by Edition Peters.

Mr. Hamelin makes his home in the Boston area with his wife, Cathy Fuller. Born in Montreal, Marc-André Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critics’ Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

July 19, 2019

Jamie Barton, Mezzo-soprano
& the BFM Chrous

Performing Favorite Opera Arias and Choruses

American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has swept the top prizes of the most prestigious international vocal competitions including the 2017 Beverly Sills Artist Award, 2015 Richard Tucker Award, and the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, as well as being a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Grammy nominee. Given such accomplishments, The Guardian described her as “a great artist, no question, with an imperturbable steadiness of tone, and a nobility of utterance that invites comparison not so much with her contemporaries as with mid-20th century greats such as Kirsten Flagstad.”

Artist Bio

Ms. Barton’s 2018/19 season includes appearances as Azucena in Il trovatore at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Bayerische Staatsoper, a Renée Fleming Voices recital at the Kennedy Center, the Verdi Requiem at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and a role debut as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking at her hometown company, Atlanta Opera. She opens her season with a role debut as Sara in Roberto Devereux at San Francisco Opera, opposite frequent collaborator Sondra Radvanovsky, and returns to SFO as Jezibaba in Rusalka in 2019. Ms. Barton brings her acclaimed Fricka to the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring cycle, with a Met Live in HD performance of Die Walküre simulcast to cinemas in over seventy countries.

Ms. Barton’s operatic engagements have included appearances with many of the world’s most-important opera houses. In addition to her role debut as Léonor de Guzman in Donizetti’s La favorite at Teatro Real Madrid, she has recently performed as Adalgisa (Norma) with the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and San Francisco Opera; Fricka, Waltraute, and 2nd Norn (Wagner’s Ring cycle) at San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Washington National Opera; Princess Eboli (Don Carlo) at Washington National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena) at the Met and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) at Oper Frankfurt; Jezibaba (Rusalka) at the Met; and Fenena at Seattle Opera and Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

The winner of a 2014 International Opera Award and 2014 Marian Anderson Award, Ms. Barton has appeared in concert with many of the major American and European orchestras in music from Handel to Mahler to Bernstein to Verdi and Jake Heggie (world premiere of The Work at Hand).

Praised by Gramophone as having “the sort of instrument you could listen to all day, in any sort of repertoire,” Ms. Barton has appeared with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax at Tanglewood, and in recital across the U.S. and U.K., including tours with pianists Kathleen Kelly, Bradley Moore, and James Baillieu.

Winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award, Ms. Barton’s debut solo album, All Who Wander, featuring songs by Mahler, Dvorak, and Sibelius, was also shortlisted by the International Classical Music Awards and Gramophone Classical Music Awards.

Ms. Barton is proud to serve as a mentor with Turn The Spotlight, a foundation working to identify, nurture, and empower leaders – and in turn, to illuminate the path to a more equitable future in the arts. Turn The Spotlight offers mentorship by and for exceptional women, people of color, and other equity-seeking groups in the arts.