performing July 3rd
Vadim Gluzman’s extraordinary artistry brings back to life the glorious violinistic tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries. His wide repertoire embraces contemporary music and his performances are heard around the world through live broadcasts and a striking catalogue of award-winning recordings exclusively for the BIS label.
The Israeli violinist appears regularly with major orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, London Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and NHK Symphony; and with leading conductors including Neeme Järvi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Andrew Litton, Marek Janowski, Itzhak Perlman, Tugan Sokhiev, Paavo Järvi, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Hannu Lintu and Peter Oundjian. His festival appearances include Verbier, Ravinia, Lockenhaus, Pablo Casals, Colmar, Jerusalem, and the North Shore Chamber Music Festival in Northbrook, Illinois, which was founded by Gluzman and pianist Angela Yoffe, his wife and long-standing recital partner.
In this 2013-14 season, Mr. Gluzman begins a new collaboration as Creative Partner andPrincipal Guest Artist of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio. As Artist of the Year with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, he performs a series of three concerts with conductor Andrew Litton, which will result in a new album of concertos by Shostakovich and Gubaidulina. In the United States Vadim is making his début with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Tugan Sokhiev, and in the United Kingdom, Gluzman’s highly anticipated Wigmore Hall recital follows last year’s acclaimed Proms début.
Vadim Gluzman has given live and recorded premieres of works by composers such as Giya Kancheli, Peteris Vasks, Lera Auerbach and Sofia Gubaidulina. In recent seasons, he has given the UK premieres of Michael Daugherty’s Fire and Blood concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Kristjan Järvi; and of Balys Dvarionas’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Søndergard.
Mr. Gluzman’s latest CD features Sergey Prokofiev’s Sonatas No. 1 and 2 as well as three transcriptions from Romeo and Juliet. Accolades for his extensive discography under the exclusive contract with BIS Records include the Diapason d’Or of the Year, Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice, Classica Magazine’s esteemed Choc de Classica award, and Disc of the Month by The Strad, BBC Music Magazine, ClassicFM, and others.
Born in the former Soviet Union in 1973, Vadim Gluzman began violin studies at age 7. Before moving to Israel in 1990, where he was a student of Yair Kless, he studied with Roman Sne in Latvia and Zakhar Bron in Russia. In the US his teachers were Arkady Fomin and, at the Juilliard School, the late Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. Early in his career, Mr. Gluzman enjoyed the encouragement and support of Isaac Stern, and in 1994 he received the prestigious Henryk Szeryng Foundation Career Award.
Vadim Gluzman plays the extraordinary 1690 ‘ex-Leopold Auer’ Stradivari, on extended loan to him through the generosity of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
performing July 7th
American soprano Katie Van Kooten’s operatic and concert appearances continue to thrill audiences and earn her praise for using her “powerful, gleaming soprano” to bring vibrancy and life to all of her performances.
The 2014-2015 season will see Ms. Van Kooten make her debut with the Atlanta Opera as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. On the concert stage, she will return to the Baltimore Symphony performing in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony conducted by Nicholas McGegan. She then returns to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra to sing the Marschallin in excerpts from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier alongside Heidi Grant Murphy. She ends the season performing in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Van Kooten began the 2013-2014 season with a return to Oper Frankfurt for her first Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo. She then made her debut with the Florida Orchestra performing in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony under Evan Rogister. During the holidays, Ms. Van Kooten returned to the San Francisco Symphony for Handel’s Messiah led by Ragnar Bohlin. She returned to the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and took the stage as Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème to much critical acclaim. She ended her season with performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Louisville Symphony under the baton of Jorge Mester.
After a highly acclaimed run of performances as Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda opposite Joyce DiDonato at Houston Grand Opera, Ms. Van Kooten returned there to begin her 2012-2013 season as Mimi in John Caird’s new production of La Bohème. Last season also marked a company and role debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Grand Rapids. Notable concert performances of last season include the soprano soloist in A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams with the Sioux City Symphony and performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with both the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra led by Ignat Solzhenitsyn and the Charlotte Symphony with Christopher Warren-Green. In addition Ms. Van Kooten performed in a pops concert with the Baltimore Symphony and returned to her home town to sing in the Bellingham Music Festival alongside Frederica von Stade and Heidi Grant Murphy.
Operatic highlights from past seasons include Liù in Turandot with Opera New Orleans, her return to Oper Frankfurt as Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes in a new production by Neil Armfield at Houston Grand, her house debut in a new production with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and her Oper Frankfurt and role debut as Vitellia in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito. Ms. Van Kooten made her house debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in the acclaimed Nicolas Joël production of La Rondine as Magda and at Houston Grand Opera as Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2004 as Magda in La Rondine and return performances there have included Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann opposite Rolando Villazón and led by Antonio Pappano, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Mimi in La Bohème, and Marguerite in Faust. She made her Japanese debut as Micaëla in Carmen under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, and her United States debut performing Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust with the Metropolitan Opera on the Great Lawn of Central Park.
In concert, Katie Van Kooten returned to San Francisco Symphony for a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and performed in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Tucson Symphony Orchestra. She has sung Mozart’s Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Halle Orchestra led by Edward Gardner. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in a special New Year’s Eve program with Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and made her Minnesota Opera and role debut as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier under the direction of Andrew Litton.
A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Ms. Van Kooten studies voice with Rudolf Piernay. She received her Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Biola University where she studied with Dr. Jeanne Robison and is a graduate and perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute.
performing July 11th
Alexander Hanna was appointed Principal Bass of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Riccardo Muti in the spring of 2012. Prior to his Chicago appointment, he served as Principal Bass of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for four years.
A 2008 graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, Hanna is widely recognized as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He has performed as soloist, chamber musician, teacher, lecturer and orchestral musician throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
His passion for chamber music has led to collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Mitsuko Uchida, Jeremy Denk and Dawn Upshaw among many others. He has performed at several of the world’s finest music festivals including the Ravinia Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Bellingham Festival of Music, where he will be featured as a concerto soloist in the summer of 2015. Additionally, Hanna has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra.
In the summer of 2012 Hanna was chosen to lead the bass section of the All-Star Orchestra in New York City: an orchestra comprised of the finest musicians from America’s greatest orchestras. The performances were broadcast nationwide on PBS.
In addition to classical music, Hanna is devoted to new music and makes frequent appearances on the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series. He has also performed with New Music Detroit.
A dedicated teacher, Hanna serves on the faculty of DePaul University and coaches the bass section of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has taught master classes at many of the country’s finest universities and conservatories including the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Duquesne University and the Peabody Conservatory among many others, including several international conventions and symposia.
Alex’s primary teachers have included Hal Robinson, Edgar Meyer, Scott Haigh, Kay Moore and Virginia Marks.
Calidore String Quartet
Jeffrey Myers, violin
Ryan Meehan, violin
Jeremy Berry, viola
Estelle Choi, cello
performing July 12th
One of the most exciting young ensembles to emerge on the chamber music scene in recent years, the international prize-winning Calidore String Quartet is noted for its fiery brilliance, breadth of musicianship, and palpable energy that engages audiences. Formed at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles in 2010, the Calidore String Quartet has presented recitals across the United States and Europe to great acclaim.
The Calidore String Quartet has been recognized by international juries for its technical mastery and compelling musicianship. They have captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD Munich International String Quartet Competition and the 2012 Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition. As a result, the quartet’s performances and interviews were broadcast on Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich) and Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg). Furthermore, the quartet was featured on German national television as part of a documentary produced by ARD public broadcasting. Nationally, the Calidore String Quartet has won the grand prize in major chamber music competitions, including the 2011 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the 2012 Coleman and Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competitions and the 2013 Yellow Springs National Chamber Music Competition.
Highlights of the quartet’s 2012-13 season included their New York debut on the renowned Schneider Concert Series at Mannes College The New School for Music, and a collaboration with the highly acclaimed Quatuor Ebène presented by the Colburn Chamber Music Society. Other season engagements included a return to the Laguna Beach Music Festival, an east coast tour with recitals throughout New York, Virginia, Maryland and Florida, as well as numerous concerts in Southern California. The quartet is currently a featured Young Artist-in-Residence with American Public Media’s Performance Today.
During the summer of 2013, the Calidore String Quartet will make its debut at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland in a program including a world premiere by Edward Nesbit and a collaboration with Quatuor Ebene. The Quartet also makes its Ravinia Festival debut at the Martin Theater with clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim. Other summer highlights include a residency at The Banff Center and a fellowship to the McGill International String Quartet Academy (MISQA) in Montreal. In the summer of 2012, the Quartet attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as a Fellowship Quartet, and made its European debut at the venerated Emilia Romagna Festival in Italy.
Ardent supporters of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is deeply committed to sharing their passion for chamber music with students and audiences. This has taken the form of pre-concert talks, post-concert Q&A’s, classroom visits, public school assemblies, traditional master classes and multi-day community residencies. The Quartet has held residencies in conjunction with their performances in Arlington, VA, Chicago, IL, Riverside, CA, South Bend, IN, St. Petersburg, FL and at the 2011 and 2012 Laguna Beach Chamber Music Festival. In May 2012, the Quartet partnered with the Bellingham Music Festival and the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra (Bellingham, WA) for a two week residency of over twenty concerts in public schools of Northwest Washington.
The Quartet has collaborated with many esteemed artists and ensembles including Joshua Bell, Menahem Pressler, Angel Romero and the Calder String Quartet and Quatuor Ebene, among others. Teachers and mentors of the Calidore String Quartet include Arnold Steinhardt, Andre Roy, Guillaume Sutre, Paul Coletti, Ronald Leonard, and the Quatuor Ebène.
Using an amalgamation of “California” and “doré”, (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents a reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it has received from its home base in Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.” The Calidore String Quartet aims to present performances that share the passion and joy of the string quartet chamber music repertoire.
For more information about the Calidore String Quartet, please visit www.calidorequartet.com and Facebook.
performing July 15th
Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen has a reputation for astonishing his audiences with the musical authority and blistering virtuosity of his performances. His graceful and unaffected platform manner belies playing of white-hot intensity, intellectual probity, and glittering bravura technique bordering on sheer wizardry. He has performed with the Royal Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome under such leading conductors as Kurt Masur, Yehudi Menuhin and Wolfgang Sawallish.
Long in demand internationally, Mr. Cohen has in the last decade entered a rarefied echelon among performers in America as well. His performances in recent seasons have spanned the United States and Canada geographically, including appearances with major orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recital appearances regularly include important venues in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto, among other music centers.
Arnaldo Cohen came to prominence after winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Piano Competition and making his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. For five years, he was a member of the acclaimed Amadeus Trio and has performed with many string quartets, including the Lindsay and Chilingirian Quartets. He began his musical studies at the age of five, graduating from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with an honors degree in both piano and violin, while also studying for an engineering degree. He went on to become a professional violinist in the Rio de Janeiro Opera House Orchestra to earn his livelihood while continuing piano studies with Jacques Klein, a disciple of the legendary American pianist William Kapell. Cohen pursued further training in Vienna with Bruno Seidlhofer and Dieter Weber.
He is a frequent recording artist, with recent discs including a rendering of the two Liszt Piano Concerti and the “Totentanz” with the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra for BIS Records. His other two critically acclaimed CDs on the same label are an all-Liszt solo disc, and his pioneering CD, “Three Centuries of Brazilian Music.” In 2009, he recorded Rachmaninoff’s 4th Concerto with the Sao Paulo State Symphony with Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting as a part of the complete cycle of the Rachmaninoff Concerti.
Cohen is the recipient of an honorary fellowship awarded by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and until recently held a professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After living in London for many years, he relocated in 2004 to the United States, where he holds a full professorship at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In October of 2013 Arnaldo Cohen was appointed Artistic Director of the Portland International Piano Series, recognized as one of the most important keyboard series in North America.
performing July 15th
Laura Ardan, is Principal Clarinet of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 1982, and has performed with the Atlanta Chamber Players since 1987. A student of Roger Hiller and Stanley Drucker, she attended the Juilliard School of Music on scholarships from the Juilliard School and the Naumburg Foundation. Prior to coming to Atlanta, she spent four years as resident clarinetist and teaching artist for the Lincoln Center Institute and two years with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Ms. Ardan has performed in the Tanglewood, Marlboro and Mostly Mozart Festivals and has appeared as guest artist with “Emanuel Ax Invites…” on the Great Performers Series in New York’s Lincoln Center. The past several summers she has been a featured performer at the Grand Teton Music Festival, as well as chamber music festivals in Highlands-Cashiers, North Carolina and Amelia Island, Florida.
performing July 15th
Richard Roberts has served as Principal Concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 1982. He studied violin with Josef Gingold at Indiana University, chamber music with Janos Starker and William Primrose, and pursued further studies in Geneva, Switzerland with Henryk Szeryng. Prior to his appointment in Montreal, he was Assistant Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra under conductor Lorin Maazel.
Mr. Roberts has also appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout North America, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia in repertoire ranging from the early Baroque to Contemporary music. He has appeared as soloist with the Montreal Symphony on more than sixty-five occasions. As a teacher, Mr. Roberts has served on the faculties of the
University of Minnesota, McGill University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, has given master classes at Indiana University, Oberlin College, the University of California at Los Angeles, and has been a frequent judge for competitions world-wide. He is also an editor for Ovation Press.
Mr. Roberts has been concertmaster of the Bellingham Festival of Music
performing July 15th
Principal flute Christina Smith joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in 1991 at the age of 20. She has appeared as a soloist in many major pieces, including works by Mozart, Vivaldi, Bizet, Rodrigo, Nielsen, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and Kaija Saariaho.
Her summer appearances include the Blossom, Tanglewood, Sunflower, Highlands, Bellingham, and Marlboro Music festivals. Currently on the faculty at Kennesaw State University, Ms. Smith regularly appears in recitals, chamber music, and master classes throughout the country.
A native of Sonoma County, California, Ms. Smith began her flute studies when she was seven. She appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony at 15 and graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, where she won the Academy’s highest honor, the Young Artist Medal.
That same year, Ms. Smith received an award from the NFAA’s National Arts Recognition and Talent Search. In 1989 she entered the Curtis Institute of Music to study with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. She has also studied with Timothy Day and Keith Underwood.
She is the principal flutist for the Bellingham Festival of Music.
performing July 15th
Canadian flutist Todd Skitch joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in September 2013. He is also a member of the Atlanta Chamber Players and is the Artist-in-Residence at Kennesaw State University.
Mr. Skitch started his orchestral career with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in 1997 after completing degrees at the University of Toronto and McGill University in Montreal, where his principal teachers were Timothy Hutchins and Nora Shulman.
Mr. Skitch’s distinguished career as a teacher and symphony musician includes many credits: an original member of the IRIS Orchestra with Michael Stern; Bellingham Festival of Music; Memphis Chamber Music Society; Tanglewood Music Center; Blossom Music Festival at Kent University, where he received the Maurice Sharp Award for outstanding flute applicant; Spoleto Festival USA; and the National Repertory Orchestra.
While in Memphis, Mr. Skitch served as the Chair of the Board of Directors and the Orchestra Manager for the Memphis Youth Symphony. He also specialized in preparing young flutists for All-State competitions and college auditions.
Mr. Skitch has been heard on CBC Radio-Canada, WKNO-Memphis, and as a soloist with the Memphis Symphony and IRIS Orchestra. In 2003 Todd joined the Canadian group Ensemble Noir on a historic, three-nation African tour to Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Richard Clement, tenor
performing July 19th
Richard Clement studied voice at Georgia State University and at the Cincinnati Conservatory. He was a Tanglewood Music Festival Fellow in 1990 and 1991, a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio in the 1991–92 season, and the winner of a 1994 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Jacobson Study Grant. He made his New York City Opera debut as Tamino in The Magic Flute during the 1997–98 season, and his other engagements have included the Vancouver Opera and the Boston Lyric Opera, as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Fenton in Falstaff, Little Bat McLean in Susannah, and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado. In concert in North America, he has sung Mao Tse-tung in John Adams’s Nixon in China (with the Brooklyn Philharmonic conducted by Robert Spano) and Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (with the New York Philharmonic under Sir Colin Davis). He has also appeared with premier orchestras throughout the United States under such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Christopher Hogwood, Neeme Järvi, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Robert Shaw, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Hugh Wolff. Abroad he has sung in Bach’s Mass in B minor with Seiji Ozawa at Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival, and in Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and Symphony no. 2 (Lobgesang) with Kurt Masur and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ilana Davidson, soprano
performing July 19th
The soprano Ilana Davidson made her debut at Lincoln Center with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra in Orff’s Trionfo di Afrodite. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with Leonard Slatkin and the St Louis Symphony in William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Carnegie Mellon University. Ilana Davidson has sung major roles with opera companies including the Stuttgart Opera, Vlaamse Opera, Nationale Reisopera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. She has also performed extensively in oratorio and in a wide-ranging concert repertoire. She made her debut in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw singing Mozart arias, and frequently performs contemporary works, giving first performances of compositions by Bolcom, Ligeti, Rorem, Kurtag, Krenek, and Weill.
Morris Robinson, bass
performing July 19th
Morris Robinson is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most interesting and sought after basses performing today.
A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Mr. Robinson made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in their production of Fidelio. He has since appeared there as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (both in the original production and in the children’s English version), Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the King in Aida, and in roles in Nabucco, Tannhäuser, and the new productions of Les Troyens and Salome. He has also appeared at the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Vancouver Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Australia, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His many roles include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ramfis in Aida, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, Timur in Turandot, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, and Fasolt in Das Rheingold.
Also a prolific concert singer, Mr. Robinson has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Met Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, and at the Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, Verbier, and Aspen Music Festivals. He also appeared in Carnegie Hall as part of Jessye Norman’s HONOR! Festival. In recital he has been presented by Spivey Hall in Atlanta, the Savannah Music Festival, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Mr. Robinson’s first album, Going Home, was released on the Decca label.
This season, Mr. Robinson returns to the Houston Grand Opera in both Otello and Die Zauberflöte, Opera Philadelphia as the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, and the Atlanta Opera in Rigoletto.
An Atlanta native, Mr. Robinson is a graduate of The Citadel and received his musical training from the Boston University Opera Institute.
John Tibbetts, baritone
performing July 19th
Baritone John Tibbetts is fast becoming knowns for his mature voice and sensitive musical interpretations in both opera and concert. Originally from Tifton, Georgia, John currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance at Georgia State University. This April, he performed the role of John Proctor in The Crucible two months after singing Albert in Werther. Other roles with Georgia State University Opera Theater have included Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and John Brooke in Little Women. John has sung with the Atlanta All Saint’s Episcopal Church Choir under the direction of Ray and Beth Chenault. He has been featured as the bass soloist in the Messiah, and various other oratorio works throughout Georgia. In 2012 and 2013 he was the Georgia NATS competition winner in his category.
John was named a ‘Colburn Fellow’ for Songfest 2013 in Los Angeles and in the summer of 2014 was a featured studio artist in Central City, Colorado with Central City Opera.
Maria Valdes, soprano
performing July 19th
American soprano Maria Valdes has been praised for her sophisticated musicianship and natural tonal beauty and ease of singing. While still at the beginning of her career, she has already been heard in music from Haydn and Mozart to living composers Frank Ticheli and John Lane and Allen Otte. Ms. Valdes’s opera roles include The Countess in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Michaela in Bizet’s Carmen, Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, and the title role in Dan Shore’s The Beautiful Bridegroom. Her considerable concert credits include Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Missa Brevis, and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Mendelssohn’s Hör’ mein Bitten, and Schubert’s Mass in G among others. Ms. Valdes has been heard in recital at All Saints Episcopal Church in their Atlanta concert series, at St. Luke’s/St. Anne’s in the outer banks North Carolina, and at Renmin University in Beijing, China. Recently she was a featured soloist in concerts with the Atlanta Chamber Players in their soirée concert series and appeared in Frank Ticheli’s Angels in the Architecture conducted by the composer.
Ms. Valdes graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University where she was a choral scholar and winner of the Brumby Concerto Competition, singing Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 under the baton of Michael Palmer. She won first place in her division in the Georgia National Association of Teachers of Singing vocal competition four years in a row. Currently, she is a member of the voice studio of Richard Clement and has also trained in master classes with Harry Bicket, David Daniels, Joe Rescigno and Dawn Upshaw. In the summer of 2011, Ms. Valdes attended SongFest at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where she appeared in concert with pianists Martin Katz and Graham Johnson and was hand-picked by Jake Heggie to appear in a staged version of his song cycle Facing Forward/Looking Back. Future plans include a residency to study in Venice with Sherman Lowe and in The Hague with Andrew Schroeder.