2024 Guest Artists

Opening Night | Sunday, June 30th, 7:30pm

WWU Performing Arts Center

Portrait of violinist Sarah Chang in a black dress.

Sarah Chang, Violin

Sarah Chang is recognized as one of the world’s great violinists. Since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 8 she has performed with the most distinguished orchestras, conductors, and accompanists internationally in a career spanning more than two decades.

Highlights from Ms. Chang’s recent and upcoming seasons have included performances with North American orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, and Cleveland Symphony. She has also performed at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Aspen Music Festivals among others. With a career that has blossomed internationally, her European engagements have included performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and all the principal London Orchestras. She performs regularly in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and her engagements in Asia have brought her to audiences in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. As an accomplished recital and chamber musician, Ms. Chang regularly travels the world, performing with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Yefim Bronfman, Leif Ove Andsnes, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Wolfgang Sawallisch and members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In the upcoming season, she performs in Spain, Prague, Brussels and Denmark, as well as tours to Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Ms. Chang’s most recent recording for EMI Classics, performances of Brahms and Bruch violin concertos with Kurt Masur and the Dresdner Philharmonic was received to excellent critical and popular acclaim and was her 20th album for the label.  Her recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons attracted international commendation, with BBC Music Magazine stating: “She has never made a finer recording.”  She has also recorded Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1 and Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 live with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, Fire and Ice, an album of popular shorter works for violin and orchestra with Placido Domingo conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Dvorak concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, as well as several chamber music and sonata discs with artists including pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Lars Vogt.

In 2006, Ms. Chang was honored as one of 20 Top Women in Newsweek Magazine’s “Women and Leadership, 20 Powerful Women Take Charge” issue.  In March 2008, Ms. Chang was honored as a Young Global Leader for 2008 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for her professional achievements, commitment to society and potential in shaping the future of the world.

In 2005, Yale University dedicated a chair in Sprague Hall in Sarah Chang’s name and in 2012 Harvard University gave her the ‘Distinguished Leadership in the Arts Award’. For the June 2004 Olympic games, she was given the honor of running with the Olympic Torch in New York, and that same month, became the youngest person ever to receive the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame award. Also in 2004, Ms. Chang was awarded the Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana Prize in Sienna, Italy. She is a past recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, Gramophone’s “Young Artist of the Year” award, Germany’s “Echo” Schallplattenpreis, “Newcomer of the Year” honors at the International Classical Music Awards in London, and Korea’s “Nan Pa” award.  Ms. Chang has been named the US Embassy’s Artistic Ambassador from 2011.

Saturday, July 6th, 7:30pm

WWU Performing Arts Center

Portrait of composer and pianist Stewart Goodyear smiling with his head in his hand.

Stewart Goodyear, Piano

Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best pianists of his generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished concert pianist, improviser and composer. Mr. Goodyear has performed with, and has been commissioned by, many of the major orchestras and chamber music organizations around the world.

Last year, Orchid Classics released Mr. Goodyear’s recording of his suite for piano and orchestra, “Callaloo” and his piano sonata. His recent commissions include a Piano Quintet for the Penderecki String Quartet, and a piano work for the Honens Piano Competition.

Mr. Goodyear’s discography includes the complete sonatas and piano concertos of Beethoven, as well as concertos by Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Rachmaninov, an album of Ravel piano works, and an album, entitled “For Glenn Gould”, which combines repertoire from Mr. Gould’s US and Montreal debuts. His Rachmaninov recording received a Juno nomination for Best Classical Album for Soloist and Large Ensemble Accompaniment. Mr. Goodyear’s recording of his own transcription of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker (Complete Ballet)”, was chosen by the New York Times as one of the best classical music recordings of 2015. His discography is released on the Marquis Classics, Orchid Classics, Bright Shiny Things and Steinway and Sons labels. His newest recording, Adolphus Hailstork’s Piano Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic under JoAnn Falletta, was released in March 2023 on the Naxos label. His composition for solo cello and piano, “The Kapok” was recorded by Inbal Negev and Mr. Goodyear on Avie Records, and his suite for solo violin, “Solo”, was commissioned and recorded by Miranda Cuskson for the Urlicht Audiovisual label.

Highlights for the 2023-24 season are his performances at Summer for the City (Lincoln Center, NY), Southbank Centre (UK), Schleswig-Holstein Festival, his recital debut at Wigmore Hall, his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and his return with the Milwaukee Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and his Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra.

Tuesday, July 9th, 7:30pm

WWU Performing Arts Center

Photo of the members of the Calidore String Quartet in a busy airport - selective focus.

Calidore String Quartet

Performances of the Calidore String Quartet are renowned for their “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct” (New York Times). Their unique “balance of intellect and expression” (Los Angeles Times) is complemented by the feeling that “four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one” (Washington Post). After over a decade of performances and residencies in the world’s most esteemed venues and festivals, the release of numerous critically acclaimed recordings and lauded with significant awards, the Calidore String Quartet is recognized as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of a vast repertory; from the cycles of quartets by Beethoven and Mendelssohn to works of celebrated contemporary voices like Grygory Kurtag, Jörg Widmann and Caroline Shaw.

In their most ambitious recording project to date, the Calidore are amidst recording the complete cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets for Signum Records. The recording will involve multiple releases beginning in March 2023. The 22-23 season includes debuts in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Prague, Madrid, Vancouver and Key West. Their concert activities also see returns to Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Copenhagen, Florence, Montreal, St. Paul, Houston and Los Angeles. In September 2022, the Calidore performs at Carnegie Hall with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, in a memorial concert honoring the late composer Andre Previn. They also enjoy collaborations this season with the Emerson Quartet, clarinetist Anthony McGill, bassist Xavier Foley, violist Matthew Lipman, harpist Bridget Kibbey and pianists Ivo Kahanek and Sophiko Simisive.

Recipient of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, the Calidore String Quartet first made international headlines as winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition. The quartet was the first and only North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and is currently in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Highlights of recent seasons have included performances in major venues throughout North America, Europe, and Asia including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, Brussels’s BOZAR, Cologne Philharmonie, Seoul’s Kumho Art Hall, and at significant festivals including the BBC Proms, Verbier, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Music@Menlo, Rheingau, East Neuk, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The Calidore has given world premieres of works by Caroline Shaw, Hannah Lash and Mark-Anthony Turnage among others. Its collaborations with esteemed artists and ensembles include Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Marc-André Hamelin, Joshua Bell, David Shifrin, Inon Barnatan, Lawrence Power, Sharon Isbin, David Finckel and Wu Han. The Calidore has collaborated and studied closely with the Emerson Quartet and Quatuor Ébène, and has also studied with Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Günter Pichler, Guillaume Sutre, Paul Coletti, and Ronald Leonard.

As a passionate supporter of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students, and audiences. In 2021 the Calidore joined the faculty of the University of Delaware School of Music and serve as directors of the newly established Graduate String Quartet Residency. Formerly, they served as artist-in-residence at the University of Toronto, University of Michigan and Stony Brook University.

The Calidore String Quartet was founded at the Colburn School in Los Angeles in 2010. Within two years, the quartet won grand prizes in virtually all the major US chamber music competitions, including the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs competitions, and it captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg. An amalgamation of “California” and “doré” (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents its reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it received from its original home: Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.”

Friday, July 12th, 7:30pm

WWU Performing Arts Center

Natasha Paremski, Piano

With her consistently striking and dynamic performances, pianist Natasha Paremski reveals astounding virtuosity and profound interpretations. She continues to generate excitement from all corners as she wins over audiences with her musical sensibility and a powerful, flawless technique.

Natasha is a regular return guest of many major orchestras, including Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Grant Park Festival, Winnipeg Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom she has performed and toured frequently since 2008 in venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and Cadogan Hall. She has performed with major orchestras in North America including Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Houston Symphony, NAC Orchestra in Ottawa, Nashville Symphony. She has toured extensively in Europe with such orchestras as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre de Nancy, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester in Zurich, Moscow Philharmonic, under the direction of conductors including Thomas Dausgaard, Peter Oundjian, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Jeffrey Kahane, James Gaffigan, JoAnn Falletta, Fabien Gabel, Rossen Milanov and Andrew Litton. In addition, she has toured with Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica in Latvia, Benelux, the United Kingdom and Austria as well as appearances with National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in Taipei.

Natasha has given recitals at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Wigmore Hall, Schloss Elmau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Verbier Festival, San Francisco Performances, Seattle’s Meany Hall, Kansas City’s Harriman Jewell Series, Santa Fe’s Lensic Theater, Ludwigshafen BASF Series, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Tokyo’s Musashino Performing Arts Center and on the Rising Stars Series of Gilmore and Ravinia Festivals.

A passionate chamber musician, Natasha is a regular recital partner of Grammy winning cellist Zuill Bailey, with whom she has recorded a number of CDs. Their Britten album on Telarc debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart, remaining there for a number of weeks, in addition to being featured on The New York Times Playlist. She has been a guest of many chamber music festivals such as Jeffrey Kahane’s Green Music Center ChamberFest, the Lockenhaus, Toronto, Sitka Summer Music, and Cape Cod Chamber Music festivals to name a few.

Natasha was awarded several prestigious prizes at a very young age, including the Gilmore Young Artists prize in 2006 at the age of eighteen, the Prix Montblanc in 2007, the Orpheum Stiftung Prize in Switzerland. In September 2010, she was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year. Her first recital album was released in 2011 to great acclaim, topping the Billboard Classical Charts, and was re-released on the Steinway & Sons label in September 2016 featuring Islamey recorded on Steinway’s revolutionary new Spirio technology. In 2012 she recorded Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Fabien Gabel on the orchestra’s label distributed by Naxos. 

With a strong focus on new music, Natasha’s growing repertoire reflects an artistic maturity beyond her years. In the 2010-11 season, she played the world premiere of a sonata written for her by Gabriel Kahane, which was also included in her solo album.

Natasha continues to extend her performance activity and range beyond the traditional concert hall. In December 2008, she was the featured pianist in choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s Danses Concertantes at New York’s Joyce Theater. She was featured in a major two-part film for BBC Television on the life and work of Tchaikovsky, shot on location in St. Petersburg, performing excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto and other works. In the winter of 2007, Natasha participated along with Simon Keenlyside in the filming of Twin Spirits, a project starring Sting and Trudie Styler that explores the music and writing of Robert and Clara Schumann, which was released on DVD. She has performed in the project live several times with the co-creators in New York and the U.K., directed by John Caird, the original director/adaptor of the musical Les Misérables.

Natasha began her piano studies at the age of four with Nina Malikova at Moscow’s Andreyev School of Music. She then studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Music before moving to New York to study with Pavlina Dokovska at Mannes College of Music, from which she graduated in 2007. Natasha made her professional debut at age nine with El Camino Youth Symphony in California. At the age of fifteen she debuted with Los Angeles Philharmonic and recorded two discs with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.

Born in Moscow, Natasha moved to the United States at the age of eight, becoming a U.S. citizen shortly thereafter, and is now based in New York City where she is Artistic Director of the New York Piano Society, a non-profit organization that supports pianists whose professions lie outside of music.

Wednesday, July 17th, 7:30pm

WWU Performing Arts Center

Portrait of Jennifer Bromagen, soprano

Jennifer Bromagen, Soprano

Hailed by the Tacoma News Tribune for her “shining coloratura and brilliant high notes,” Soprano Jennifer Bromagen enjoys performing on opera and concert stages throughout the Pacific Northwest.

She has performed as La Contessa di Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Bellevue City Opera, with Puget Sound Concert Opera as the title role in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, and as the Soprano Soloist in Golijov’s She Was Here with the Northwest Sinfonietta. Recently, Ms. Bromagen performed as Amina in Puget Sound Concert Opera’s production of La Sonnambula, as well as with Pacific Northwest Opera as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, and Violetta in La Traviata.

Ms. Bromagen was an Associate Artist in Residence with Cleveland Opera and performed on their main stage as the First Handmaiden in Turandot, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and as Edith in The Pirates of Penzance. She has also been seen in such roles as Mimi in La Bohème, the title role in Massenet’s Manon, and Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia. She has been a featured soloist in concert halls, temples, and cathedrals throughout the U.S., performing classic solo concert works from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Verdi’s Requiem, as well as such contemporary works as Jenkins’ Cantata Memoriaand Arnesen’s Wound in the Water.  In the 2023-24 season, engagements include a return to Pacific Northwest Opera to perform Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail as well as her Seattle Symphony debut as the soprano soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 7 and the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Great C Minor Mass with the Bellingham Festival of Music.

Portrait of mezzo soprano, Sarah Mattox

Sarah Mattox, Mezzo Soprano

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Mattox has appeared in principal roles with many companies nationally, including Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Eugene Opera, Tacoma Opera and many others.

Favorite roles include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, and the title roles in Cendrillon and Carmen. She received special acclaim for her debut as Feodor in Seattle Opera’s Boris Godunov. The Seattle Times said “…it was newcomer Sarah Elouise Mattox, in the ‘pants role’ of Boris’ son Feodor, who raised eyebrows all over the Opera House with her believable, lifelike acting and her well-schooled voice.” In Cleveland, the Beacon Journal called her “…a rich-toned mezzo-soprano who came to life as Dorabella.” Also at home on the concert stage, Ms. Mattox has made several appearances at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. She has also been a soloist with the Northwest Sinfonietta, Cascade Festival of Music, Sunriver Music Festival, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Eugene Concert Choir and many others. She has made four appearances as a concert soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York. Also a composer, Mattox was a 2014 fellow at the John Duffy Composers Institute for her chamber opera, Heart Mountain, and her song cycle, Rumpelstiltskin and the Falcon King won the OPERA PUPPETS Mainstage Award in the 2013 Boston Metro Opera International Composer’s Competition. For a complete schedule, please visit www.sarahmattox.com
 
Portrait of Tenor, Andrew Etherington

Andrew Etherington, Tenor

Andrew Etherington of Overland Park, Kansas, completed his music undergraduate
studies at Ole Miss and honed his singing and stage skills with Bill Hall’s American
Opera Studio.

Andrew then attended The Peabody Institute in Baltimore, studying both performance and pedagogy, and performed with companies including Baltimore Lyric, Baltimore Concert Opera, and Washington National Opera. He moved to the Seattle area in 2015 and quickly joined the voice faculty of Olympic College in Bremerton, WA where he currently lectures, teaches applied voice, and directs opera productions. Since 2017, Andrew has been a regular opera chorister and is enjoying recent success in covering roles and performing comprimario parts at Seattle Opera, in addition to singing supportive, lead, and title roles with Tacoma Opera, Vashon Opera, Pacific Northwest Opera, Kitsap Opera, and Puget Sound Concert Opera. Recently, Andrew accepted the position of Artistic Director of Kitsap Opera in Bremerton, WA and is proud to help launch their 2023/24 season of Amahl and The Night Visitors this December and Rossini’s La cenerentola (Cinderella) in September of 2024.

 
Portrait of bass Richard Hodges

Richard Hodges, Bass

Season Finale Concert | Sunday, July 21st, 7:30pm

WWU Performing Arts Center

Portrait of guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas

Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, Guitar

Pablo Sáinz-Villegas has been acclaimed by the international press as the successor of Andrés Segovia and an ambassador of Spanish culture in the world. Since his debut with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at the Lincoln Center, he has played in more than 40 countries and invited to play with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philharmonic of Israel, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Orchestra of Spain, making him a benchmark for the symphonic guitar.

Plácido Domingo has described him as “the master of the guitar” and with him he has had the privilege of recording his new duo album, as well as participating in the tribute held in his honor at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium in Madrid to an audience of over 85,000 and also in a concert on a floating stage on the Amazon River, televised for millions of people in the world.

His “… virtuosic playing characterized by irresistible exuberance” (The New York Times) make him

one of the most acclaimed soloists by prestigious directors, orchestras, and festivals. Highlights of his international tours with orchestras include Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the National Orchestra of Spain or the New Zealand Symphony. Last season, Sáinz Villegas made his debut at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival to an audience of 11,000 people and at Praça do Comercio in Lisbon with the Gulbenkian Orchestra.

Pablo has already appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philharmonie in Berlin, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, the Musikverein in Vienna or the National Arts Center in Beijing. The success of his performances translates into repeated invitations from directors such as Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Carlos Kalmar, Juanjo Mena and Alondra de la Parra. Habitual performer in concerts of institutional and business representation, he has had the privilege of playing before members of the Spanish Royal Family as well as other heads of state and international leaders.

Pablo Sáinz Villegas has recorded with the National Orchestra of Spain under the baton of Juanjo Mena the three concerts for guitar and orchestra by Joaquín Rodrigo including the popular Concierto de Aranjuez. He has also recorded for the record label Harmonia Mundi the album “Americano” which is a journey through the musical affluence of the American continent. Currently, Pablo Sáinz Villegas is an exclusive artist of SONY Classical.

A tireless promoter of development of the repertoire for Spanish classical guitar, Pablo Sáinz Villegas has made numerous world premieres among which, ‘Rounds’, the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams, as well as for the composers Tomás Marco, David del Puerto and Sergio Assad.

Pablo Sáinz Villegas has accomplished an impressive collection of over 30 international awards among which include Andrés Segovia, Francisco Tárrega, and Christopher Parkening. Likewise, it has been awarded the “Galardón a las Artes Riojana” and the “Ojo Crítico” Award from Radio Nacional de España, this being the first time that this distinction has been granted to a guitarist. Pablo is a member of the Performing Arts Academy of Spain.

Artist socially committed to the current world, Pablo Sáinz Villegas founded in 2006 the philanthropic project “The legacy of music without borders”, whose mission is to bring music to people as a mean to humanize their environment and promote understanding between different cultures. Thanks to this project he has shared his music with more than 32,000 children and youth in Spain, Mexico, and United States. Pablo Sáinz Villegas was born in La Rioja in Northern Spain and since 2001 he lives in New York City.