The Lorin Maazel Castleton Institute will be holding its fall master class sessions beginning October 7 in New York City, and I am pleased to once again be serving as the faculty coach and pianist. The first session, running from October 7 – 13, will be German Repertory Immersion – the Operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. The second session, running from October 16 -22, will be Performing Italian Opera: Tradition and Practice. Both sessions will be led by the peerless Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, Mo. Michael Recchiuti, and Dietlinde Turban Maazel.
In addition, Jeremy Gerard, Chief Engineer of Gurari Studios, an engineer with over twenty-five years of professional experience, will give a class on the critical skills of how to optimize a singer’s experience in the recording studio, and will engineer “before and after” videos of the class performances.
For my admittedly old-fashioned sensibilities, these classes constitute the best source of the widest range of information a young singer can receive in New York these days. I am honored to be a part of it. And when I use the word “peerless” to describe my colleagues, I mean it in its most literal sense: they are truly without peer of any kind, and the very best in their respective fields.
The final concerts at the end of each session will take place in Scorca Hall at the National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY. The first will be on October 13, at 7:00 p.m., and the second will be on October 22 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free, and open to the public.
The program will include the Sonata No. 3 for violin and piano, Op. 25 (“dans la caractère populaire roumain”) by George Enescu, as well as works by Schubert, Sarasate, de Falla, and Frolov. Also assisting will be pianist Kyle Linscheid.
After a substantial hiatus, the New York International Opera Project (NYIOP) has once again engaged me to play for their European auditions. The first set will take place in the Theater Erfurt (Erfurt, Germany) from June 17-19, followed by Kraków, Poland, from July 1-3, at the Akademia Muzyczna w Krakowie. Both sessions will entail playing for over 100 singers from all over the world, making the journey in order to sing for twenty or so representatives of opera theaters from the United States and Europe, and I will be the only pianist playing for all of them. I don’t think it’s overstating things to say that this confirms my status as one of the leading opera audition pianists in the world, and I am looking forward to some intensive music-making.
Now, I’ve been around a while, and I am satisfied there is no more extraordinary trio of master teachers in the world than Elizabeth, Michael and Dietlinde. And anyone who was present for the classes we all did at Lauren Flanigan’s Music and Mentoring House last year knows that I am not exaggerating.
In addition, the participants will receive invaluable advice from the legendary music publicist Mary Lou Falcone. And Jeremy Gerard of Gurari Studios – at this point, a bona fide New York institution – will offer a seminar on how to get the most out of a professional recording session, and will engineer “before and after” videos of the class performances
I am thrilled to be taking part in a program of such outstanding quality, and with such peerless colleagues.
On Saturday, November 17, I have the tremendous honor of contributing the musical portion of a program honoring Annette Michelson (1922-2018), which will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, New York, NY. Annette Michelson was a pioneer in film studies and the avant-garde, and a longtime N.Y.U. faculty member. I feel very fortunate to be part of this tribute to a great thinker that influenced so many creative minds.
I have been asked to perform works by two of her favorite composers: Une page d’éphéméride (2005) by Pierre Boulez and, with flutist Alex Sopp, Le merle noir (1952) by Olivier Messiaen.
On Sunday, July 1, I will be performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Olympia, Washington, with violinist Dillon Welch, cellist Casey Felt, and the SOGO Festival Orchestra under the baton of Maestro John Welsh.
The concert will take place at 5:00 p.m. at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Performing Arts, 2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia, Washington 98512. Admission is free.
From May 19 to May 28, I will be in Alcalá la Real (Andalucía), Spain, accompanying the violin master course Master Class Al-Andalus. It’s the brainchild of my friend and colleague from my Cleveland days, David Russell, and the faculty this year includes Andrés Cárdenes, a titan in the violin world. There are classes and public concerts, and the music-making will be of the highest level.
The Hudson Valley Philharmonic holds their string competition every year on the campus of Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York. This year, I will serve as one of the official accompanists. The competition will take place on March 17 and March 18, and all rounds are free and open to the public. The level of artistry is usually very high, and many of its past winners have gone on to major international careers.