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Ballet Jörgen photo Saturday, 20 September 2014, 7:30 PM

Ballet Jörgen

Bengt Jörgen, Artistic Director


Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Photo: Kamal Daid

Ballet Jörgen's Cinderella is an innovative take on the classic fairy tale. Bengt Jörgen's choreography balances the fairy tale elements of the story with a contemporary treatment of Cinderella and her family relationships. Returning to the original Russian tradition of having women perform the roles of the stepsisters, Jörgen builds a more realistic and human look at Cinderella and her circumstances, and then uses these scenes to both counterpoint and highlight the magical aspects of the story.

Bengt Jörgen is the current Artistic Director Producer of Ballet Jörgen Canada and George Brown Dance. He is a winner of the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award and has created over 30 ballets for numerous ballet and opera companies including the National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the American Ballet Studio Company, the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Hamilton and the Hong Kong Ballet.

His critically acclaimed version of Romeo & Juliet led to the development of Coppélia, an international co-production between the Hong Kong Ballet and Ballet Jörgen Canada that will rotate between the two companies for a ten year period.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Bengt Jörgen is a graduate of the Royal Swedish Ballet School. He moved to Canada to further his studies at the National Ballet School of Canada, and from 1982-1985 he was a member of the National Ballet of Canada where he began to choreograph for the company's choreographic workshops.

In 1987 he co-founded Ballet Jörgen Canada, with real-life partner Susan Bodie.

His commitment to creating original work coupled with his demonstrated choreographic and artistic vision continues to lead his company, school and work to local, national and international acclaim.

Ballet Jörgen Home Page

Program Notes for the Evening's Concert.

Gomez photo Kholodenko photo Friday, 14 November 2014, 7:30 PM

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

José Luis Gomez, Conductor
Vadym Kholodenko, Piano

R. Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"

The young Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez was catapulted to international attention when he won First Prize at the International Sir Georg Solti Conductor's Competition in Frankfurt in September 2010, securing a rare unanimous decision from the jury.

Gomez's electrifying energy, talent and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor, a post created especially for him by Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition.

Gomez started his musical career as a violinist, and by the age of 11 he was Concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra of Zulia State - part of El Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela. He graduated in music and violin from the Manhattan School of Music in New York before embarking on a European orchestral career. Deciding to follow his dream to have more creative input and influence on musical direction he took conducting lessons from Lu Jia, Muhai Tang and John Nelson. After just six months of studying conducting he went on to win the Georg Solti competition.

Since then he has worked with the RTVE National Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, Houston Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Hamburg Symphony, and many others. Currently, José Luis Gomez is the Principal Conductor of the orchestra of the Teatro Sociale di Como.

In June 2013 Vadym Kholodenko became the recipient of the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Since then it has been a busy and exciting time for the young pianist with extensive touring throughout Europe, Asia and the USA to great critical acclaim. His recent debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra led to Daniel Webster of the Philadelphia Enquirer praising Kholodenko's "absorbing melodic shadings, glittering passage work, and a sense of sound that erased any fears about the stereotype of the competition winner."

Prior to his Van Cliburn win, Kholodenko has played in recital and as soloist with orchestras throughout the Ukraine, Russia, USA, China, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and Israel.

Not restricted to solo recitals and playing as a soloist with orchestra, Vadym is a dedicated performer of chamber music and, in addition to the Cliburn's gold medal, he won the competition's prize for best chamber music performance with César Franck's piano quintet. Vadym wowed the Cliburn audience and jury with his impressive cadenzas to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, written especially for his competition performance, which  were described by Scott Cantrell, music critic of the Dallas News, as "replete with witty side-steps of melody and harmony."

Vadym Kholodenko was born in 1986 in Kiev, Ukraine. The first musician in his family, in 1994 he enrolled at Kiev's Mykola Lysenko Special Music School under Prof. Natalia Grydneva and Prof. Borys Fedorov. At the age of just 13, Vadym made his first appearances in the USA, China, Hungary and Croatia. In 2004 Vadym was awarded the Russian Youth National Prize "Triumph" and in 2005 moved to Moscow to study at the Moscow State Conservatoire under the tutelage of the Honoured Artist of the USSR, Professor Vera Gornostaeva.

The Rochester Philharmonic Home Page

Program Notes for the Evening's Concert.

NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players Saturday, 7 February 2015, 7:30 PM

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players

I've Got a Little TWIST

Albert Bergeret, Artistic Director

Including Gilbert & Sullivan's: I am the very model of a modern Major-General (The Pirates of Penzance), Patter trio (The Mikado), A wand'ring minstrel I (Ruddigore), I've got a little list (The Mikado), I'm called Little Buttercup (H.M.S. Pinafore), and many, many more, as well as: I'm Getting Married in the Morning (Lerner & Loewe, My Fair Lady) I Hate Men (Cole Porter, Kiss Me Kate), Cabaret (Kander & Ebb, Cabaret), Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little (Meredith Willson, The Music Man) and more!

I've Got a Little TWIST is where The Mikado meets The Music Man. Where the HMS Pinafore sets sail for Brigadoon. Where The Pirates of Penzance take shore leave On the Town. It's I've Got a Little Twist—a one-of-a-kind show that proves the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire is as fun, fresh, and full-of-life as, well, three little maids from school! See for yourself as New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players celebrates the legacy of Gilbert & Sullivan in American musical theater, featuring favorites from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bernstein, Sondheim, Lerner & Loewe, Meredith Willson, and Jerry Herman. Life is a cabaret and so is this show—and as we all know, it's always more entertaining when you add a little twist. So here's a little intro to I've Got a Little TWIST.

Albert Bergeret (founder & artistic director) has made a professional specialty of Gilbert & Sullivan, having sung, conducted, directed, or designed every opera in the G&S canon over the past forty years, with professional companies, community groups, and college organizations. He has been hailed as "the leading custodian of the G&S classics" by New York magazine, and his work as both stage and musical director has been widely acclaimed in the New York press as well as on tour throughout the United States.

Mr. Bergeret co-founded the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP) in 1974 and has served as its Artistic Director/General Manager ever since, conducting and directing all of the company's repertory of thirteen G&S productions, as well as Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing. His boundless energy and clear understanding of the G&S genre have helped to shape the company's artistic output and to develop a loyal following for its annual performances at New York City Center in Manhattan as well as in other communities where NYGASP has toured.

Mr. Bergeret is a resident stage director with New York Grand Opera, specializing in such seldom seen Verdi operas as Stiffelio, Aroldo, Un Giorno di Regno, and Ernani. Mr. Bergeret is also an accomplished performer with extensive church choir experience and numerous supporting roles in grand opera to his credit. He appears frequently as a singer with NYGASP's "Wand'ring Minstrels" as well as in children's performances.

The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Home Page

Program Notes for the Evening's Concert.

Hege photo Hadelich photo Friday, 6 March 2015, 7:30 PM

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Daniel Hege, Conductor
Augustin Hadelich, Violin

Smetana: Three Dances from The Bartered Bride
Dvořák: Violin Concerto
Diamond: (100th anniversary) Symphony No. 4
Copland: Billy the Kid Suite

Consistently cited in the press for his "gorgeous tone" (New York Times), "poetic communication" (Washington Post) and "fast-fingered brilliance" (The New Yorker), Augustin Hadelich has confirmed his place in the top echelon of young violinists. Following stellar debuts with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood and his subscription debut with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, he made equally acclaimed debuts with the San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic/Manchester and the SWR Orchestra in Stuttgart. He has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the New York Philharmonic at Vail, Britt Festival Orchestra, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and La Jolla's SummerFest.

Hadelich premiered mystery sonatas, a new solo violin work by David Lang, at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in April 2014. The same month at Kennedy Center, Mr. Hadelich (with guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas and pianist Joyce Yang) premiered an originally-conceived multimedia recital, Tango Song and Dance, based on and named after André Previn's work for violin and piano.

The 2006 Gold medalist of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Mr. Hadelich is the recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award (2012), an Avery Fisher Career Grant (2009) and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in the UK (2011).

Born in Italy in 1984, the son of German parents, Augustin Hadelich holds an artist diploma from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Joel Smirnoff. He plays on the 1723 "Ex-Kiesewetter" Stradivari violin, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society.

The 2014-2015 season marks Daniel Hege's fifth as Music Director and Conductor of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Hege is just the seventh music director in the Orchestra's 68-year history. He has been widely recognized as one of America's finest young conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming. Hege was recently appointed as the Stevenson Professor of Practice at Syracuse University.

Following a nationwide search, Mr. Hege was named Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in April, 1999, a post he held until 2011. In June 2001, he completed a five year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony where he held the titles of Assistant, Associate and Resident Conductor and led the orchestra in subscription, family and run-out concerts. Mr. Hege has also served as Music Director of the Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, Music Director of the Encore Chamber Orchestra in Chicago and Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony where he was twice honored by the American Symphony Orchestra League for innovative programming.

Daniel Hege has previously guest conducted the Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Indianapolis, Oregon, Colorado, San Diego, Columbus and Phoenix symphonies; the Rochester, Buffalo and Calgary Philharmonics; and at the Grand Teton and Aspen Music Festivals. International engagements include leading the Singapore Symphony and the St. Petersburg Symphony at the Winter Nights Festival.

Daniel Hege received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1987 from Bethel College, Kansas where he majored in music and history. He continued his studies at the University of Utah, receiving a Master of Music degree in orchestra conducting and also founding the University Chamber Orchestra and serving as Assistant Conductor of the University Orchestra and Music Director of the Utah Singers. He subsequently studied with Paul Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival and in Los Angeles with noted conductor and pedagogue Daniel Lewis.

In May 2004, Mr. Hege was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Le Moyne College in Syracuse for his contributions to the cultural life in central New York State.

The Rochester Philharmonic Home Page

Program Notes for the Evening's Concert.

Seaman photo Nakamatsu photo Friday, 1 May 2015, 7:30 PM

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Christopher Seaman, Conductor
Jon Nakamatsu, Piano

Elgar: In the South
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2
Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947)

Since his dramatic 1997 Van Cliburn Gold Medal triumph, Jon Nakamatsu's brilliant but unassuming musicianship and eclectic repertoire have made him a clear favorite throughout the world both on the concert circuit and in the recording studio. He has performed widely in North America, Europe, and the Far East and has collaborated with such conductors as James Conlon, Philippe Entremont, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Michael Tilson Thomas and Osmo Vänskä. His extensive recital tours throughout the United States and Europe have featured appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Paris, London, and Milan.

Mr. Nakamatsu maintains a very active touring schedule with orchestra performances, chamber collaborations and solo recitals. In April of 2011 Mr. Nakamatsu made his debut at the prestigious Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

In past seasons, Mr. Nakamatsu has been soloist with many leading orchestras including those of Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, Tokyo and Vancouver. In February of 2010, he was the featured soloist for the highly acclaimed American tour of the Berlin-based Philharmonie der Nationen, conducted by Justus Franz, performing Brahms' First Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto in twelve cities nationwide. Numerous summer festival engagements have included appearances at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Caramoor, Vail, Sun Valley, and Britt festivals. In 1999, Mr. Nakamatsu was invited to the White House to perform for President and Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Nakamatsu records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa, which has released nine CDs to date. His recent all-Gershwin recording with Jeff Tyzig and the Rochester Philharmonic featuring Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F rose to number three on Billboard's classical music charts, earning extraordinary critical acclaim.

Jon Nakamatsu studied privately with the late Marina Derryberry from the age of six, and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. Mr. Nakamatsu is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in German Studies and a master's degree in Education.

British conductor Christopher Seaman has a reputation for inspirational music making. Having relinquished his post as Music Director to the Rochester Philharmonic in 2011, he was subsequently bestowed the title of Conductor Laureate. His 13-year tenure was the longest in the orchestra's history and attracted much attention for raising the orchestra's artistic level, broadening its audience base and creating a new concert series - a contribution that was recognized in the form of a programming award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In May 2009, the University of Rochester made Christopher an Honorary Doctor of Music, acknowledging his outstanding leadership in music as a renowned conductor, accomplished recording artist, gifted teacher and community performing arts partner. In the US, he has also held the positions of Music Director to the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra (Florida), Conductor-in-Residence with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor of the San Antonio Symphony.

Highlights of the 2013/14 season and beyond include his debuts with Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, and returns to Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Naples Philharmonic, and the Orquestra Nacional do Porto. As a guest conductor in North America, Mr. Seaman has had recent engagements with the symphony orchestras of Phoenix, Utah, Houston, and San Francisco. He has previously conducted the orchestras of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, and Toronto, among others. Abroad, Mr. Seaman appears regularly with such orchestras as the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic, and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has also enjoyed, in recent seasons, return visits to Australia where he has conducted the Sydney and Melbourne symphony orchestras. In the United Kingdom, Mr. Seaman has worked with all of the London orchestras, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, and the various BBC orchestras.

Seaman's diverse musical interests are reflected in his range of repertoire and he is particularly well noted for his interpretations of early 20th century English music, Bruckner, Brahms and Sibelius. He makes a point of encouraging young talent and has held the post of Course Director of the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program for many years, devoting a number of weeks each year to teaching and directing training programs for young conductors. He has also had a long association with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

His recordings include performances with the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Recently, he has released a recording of works by Tchaikovsky with pianist Olga Kern, as well as a recording of works by Rachmaninov with Jon Nakamatsu, both for the Harmonia Mundi label.  Both of these recordings were performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and received considerable critical acclaim.

The Rochester Philharmonic Home Page

Program Notes for the Evening's Concert

Williams logo HWS logo Wyckoff logo GC logo This series is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Williams Family Foundation, by a continuing subscription from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, by a grant from the Wyckoff Family Foundation, and by the friends of Geneva Concerts.