2023 Guest Artists

July 1, 2023

Portrait of Soprano Andriana Chuchman

Andriana Chuchman, Soprano

Canadian soprano Andriana Chuchman has earned much acclaim for her performances in a wide range of repertoire including the heroines of Mozart and Handel, 20th Century masterpieces, and the premieres of new operas and orchestral works.

This season, Ms. Chuchman made two important role debuts: Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Opera Omaha and Gilda in Rigoletto at Opera San Antonio. She also appeared in concert with both the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Recent opera engagements have included Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Miranda in The Enchanted Island, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow at the Metropolitan Opera; the title role in a new production of Orphée et Eurydice, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, and Valencienne at the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Mary in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life at the San Francisco Opera; her house and role debut as Pat Nixon in Nixon in China and Michal in Handel’s Saul at the Houston Grand Opera; Micaëla in La tragédie de Carmen at the San Diego Opera; Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera.

In concert, Ms. Chuchman has appeared in Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival in staged performances of the Pegolesi Stabat Mater, and has also appeared at the Cincinnati May Festival in a performance of the Bach B minor Mass, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in performances of the Brahms Requiem, the Rhode Island Philharmonic in performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, and the Ravinia Festival as a guest on the Prairie Home Companion radio show.

In her native Canada, Ms. Chuchman recently sang the premiere of Larysa Kuzmenko’s Golden Harvest with the Winnipeg Symphony. She made her debut at the Canadian Opera Company as Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and most recently returned as Musetta in La bohème.

Born in Winnipeg, Ms. Chuchman received her Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from the School of Music at the University of Manitoba. She is also an alumna of the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. Ms. Chuchman’s awards include the San Francisco Opera’s 2019 Emerging Star of the Year, Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ 2017 Mabel Dorn Reeder Award, and prizewinner at the Finals of the 2009 Neue Stimmen Competition in Germany.

July 6, 2023

Portrait of Blake Pouliot, Violin

Blake Pouliot, Violin

Described as “immaculate, at once refined and impassioned,” (ArtsAtlanta) violinist Blake Pouliot has established himself as “one of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime” (Toronto Star).

Pouliot’s 2021/22 season included debuts with the Boise Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, Plano Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra and Winnipeg Symphony; return engagements with the symphony orchestras of Vancouver, Naples, Nova Scotia, and Tallahassee; recitals in Sarasota, Miami and his Philadelphia debut; and touring the works of Beethoven as returning Artist-in-Residence with NPR’s Performance Today throughout Europe.

In past seasons, the violinist was the Artist-in-Residence at Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, deepening his relationship with the orchestra’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, across a series of concerts and recorded projects. He was also seen in performance with the Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He curated and led chamber music programs presented by the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and Artis-Naples and made his return to La Jolla Music Society SummerFest. A prolific recitalist and chamber musician who has performed in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Rockport, and Toronto, Pouliot was joined by pianist Hsing-I Huang at McGill University, University of Toronto, and the new RISE series in Miami.

 Pouliot’s debut album, released on Analekta Records in 2019, features the works of Ravel and Debussy, and earned a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine as well as a 2019 Juno Award nomination for Best Classical Album. Adding to his accolades that year, Pouliot won both the Career Development Award from the Women’s Club of Toronto and the Virginia Parker Prize Career Grant from the Canada Arts Council. He has been featured twice on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series and was NPR’s Performance Today Artist-in-Residence for the 2017-18 season in Minnesota and the 2018-19 season in Hawaii. In 2016, he was awarded the Grand Prize at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition.

Pouliot performs on a 1729 Guarneri del Gesù, on generous loan from an anonymous donor.

July 10, 2023

Portrait of pianist Conrad Tao

Conrad Tao, Piano

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer and has been dubbed “the kind of musician who is shaping the future of classical music” by New York Magazine, and an artist of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times. He is the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and was named a Gilmore Young Artist—an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation.

As a composer, he was also the recipient of a 2019 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award, for Outstanding Sound Design / Music Composition, for his work on More Forever, his collaboration with dancer and choreographer Caleb Teicher.

In the 2022-23 season, Tao returns to perform Mozart with the New York Philharmonic, also curating a program for the orchestra’s Artist Spotlight series that will feature collaborations with vocalist Charmaine Lee and The Westerlies wind ensemble. He will return to the San Francisco Symphony both as a soloist in Gershwin’s Concerto in F major at Davies Symphony Hall, and as a curator for their Soundbox series. In Washington, DC, he will make his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra performing Shostakovich with Dalia Staveska. He returns to the Atlanta Symphony (where, in 2021, his Violin Concerto was premiered by with Stefan Jackiw) as soloist with the orchestra performing Ravel with Ryan Bancroft. Tao will also re-unite with Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu to perform Tchaikovsky with the Naples Philharmonic, as well as return to Finland to open the season with the Tampere Philharmonic and Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

In his first collaboration with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra this Fall, Tao will curate and lead a program of music by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Gesualdo, CPE Bach, Feldman, and Mozart. Other upcoming collaborations include ongoing performances of Counterpoint  with dancer Caleb Teicher, and  performances of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Orchestra of St Luke’s, as part of Paul Taylor Dance Company’s season at Lincoln Center. The season will also include a multi-city tour with the Junction Trio, which includes the group’s Celebrity Series of Boston debut, alongside performances in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, and more.

Tao was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1994. He has studied piano with Emilio del Rosario in Chicago and Yoheved Kaplinsky in New York, and composition with Christopher Theofanidis.

July 10, 2023

Alexi Kenney, Violin

Violinist Alexi Kenney is forging a career that defies categorization, following his interests, intuition, and heart. He is equally at home creating experimental programs and commissioning new works, soloing with major orchestras in the USA and abroad, and collaborating with some of the most celebrated musicians of our time. Alexi is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.

In the 2021/22 Season, Alexi appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Indianapolis Symphony, Virginia Symphony, California Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, Eugene Symphony, Princeton Symphony, and New Haven Symphony, and in recital and chamber music at Wigmore Hall, Princeton University Concerts, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He also performed duo concerts with harpist Bridget Kibbey, and as a member of Owls, a new quartet collective with violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Gabe Cabezas, and cellist-composer Paul Wiancko.

Alexi has performed as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and in a play-conduct role as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has played recitals at Wigmore Hall, on Carnegie Hall’s ‘Distinctive Debuts’ series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Phillips Collection, 92nd Street Y, Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition, Alexi has been profiled by Musical America, Strings Magazine, and The New York Times, and has written for The Strad.

Chamber music continues to be a major part of Alexi’s life, regularly performing at festivals including Bridgehampton, Caramoor, ChamberFest Cleveland, Chamber Music Northwest, Festival Napa Valley, Kronberg, La Jolla, Ojai, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Seattle, and Spoleto, as well as on tour with Musicians from Marlboro and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

In 2021, Alexi released a recording of Paul Wiancko’s X Suite for Solo Violin—a piece he commissioned and premiered in 2019—accompanied by a visual album that pairs each of the movements of X Suite with seven contemporary sculptures, filmed at the Donum Estate in Sonoma, California.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received an Artist Diploma as a student of Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein. Previous teachers include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong. He plays a violin made in London by Stefan-Peter Greiner in 2009 and a bow by François-Nicolas Voirin.

Outside of music, Alexi enjoys hojicha, modernist design and architecture, baking for friends, and walking for miles on end in whichever city he finds himself, listening to podcasts and Bach on repeat.

July 10, 2023

Portrait of pianist Michelle Cann

Michelle Cann, Piano

A compelling, sparkling virtuoso” (Boston Music Intelligencer), pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral  debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras  including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

A champion of the music of Florence Price, Ms. Cann performed the New York City premiere of the composer’s Piano Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra in February 2021, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “exquisite.”

Highlights of her 2021–22 season included debut performances with the Atlanta, Detroit, and St. Louis symphony orchestras, as well as her Canadian concert debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. She also received the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, and the 2022 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. Embracing a dual role as both performer and pedagogue, her season includes teaching residencies at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and the National Conference of the Music Teachers National Association.

Ms. Cann regularly appears in solo and chamber recitals throughout the U.S., China, and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and the Barbican (London). She has also appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top.

An award winner at top international competitions, in 2019 she served as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s MAC Music Innovator in recognition of her role as an African-American classical musician who embodies artistry, innovation, and a commitment to education and community engagement.

Ms. Cann studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.  During her time in Philadelphia, where she resides, she has served as the choir director of two, 30-member children choruses in the El-Sistema inspired program Play On Philly (PMP). Michelle joined the PMP community in 2009 as a participant of the Chamber Music Workshop.