I will be participating in a concert performance of Béla Bartók’s only opera, Bluebeard’s Castle (A kékszakállú herceg vára) on Wednesday evening, December 11, at 8:30 p.m. at the National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY, with Renée Rapier, mezzo-soprano, and Andrew Potter, bass. I am by no means suggesting a performance with piano instead of orchestra is the ideal way to hear this magnificent work, but it is, to my mind, not performed nearly as often as it should be, and with these excellent singers, it promises to be a worthwhile evening. The opera will be sung in Hungarian.
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.
On Thursday evening, September 5, at 9:15 p.m., I will be performing a concert with violinist David Russell in Alcalá la Real (Andalucía), Spain. It will take place in the Salón de Actos of the Palacio Abacial, and is presented by the Ayuntamiento of Alcalá la Real in conjunction with Master Class Al-Andalus.
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.
On July 13 at 7:00 p.m., I have the honor of participating in a concert in honor of the memory of Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in Virginia. I will be performing with two outstanding string players – violinist Eric Silberger and cellist Daniel Lelchuk – as well as participants of the recent sessions of the Lorin Maazel Castleton Institute in New York. It promises to be quite a special evening.
For more information, visit the Castleton Festival’s website.
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.
I am quite pleased to serve as the faculty coach and pianist for the Lorin Maazel Castleton Institute, which will be holding two master class sessions at the National Opera Center beginning May 1. The first session will be devoted to Italian opera, and the second, Wagner and Strauss. Both sessions will be led by Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, Mo. Michael Recchiuti, and the wonderful Dietlinde Turban Maazel.
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 Thursday, March 14, at 7:00 p.m., I will be performing with violinists Andrés Cárdenes and David Russell in Coral Gables, Florida at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Boulevard. The program includes Spanish and Spain-inspired music, and is sponsored by the Coral Gables Music Club. The proceeds will benefit the Master Class Al-Andalus, a wonderful program, of which I am a faculty member, that takes place in Alcalá la Real (Andalucia), Spain.
There will be music, cocktails, and tapas. and tickets can be obtained here.
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.