Jeffrey Myers, violin
Ryan Meehan, violin
Jeremy Berry, viola
Estelle Choi, cello
The Calidore String Quartet – violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry, and cellist Estelle Choi – has been described by Gramophone as “the epitome of confidence and finesse,” and praised by the Los Angeles Times for its balance of “intellect and expression.” David Finckel of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center calls the Calidore a “dynamic and intelligent ensemble who have already demonstrated skill and maturity beyond their collective years, showing seemingly endless potential.” That potential has clearly come to fruition with recent accolades including the 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award and the 2016 and inaugural M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition Grand Prize, the largest prize for chamber music in the world.
The 2016-17 season is the first of the Calidore’s three years in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s prestigious CMS Two program. In 2016, the quartet also became the first North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and was named BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists, an honor that brings with it recordings, international radio broadcasts and appearances in Britain’s most prominent venues, including London’s Wigmore Hall.
In 2016 the quartet was named Visiting Guest Artists at the University of Delaware and will serve as Visiting Artists-in-Residence at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance. The Calidore String Quartet regularly performs throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has debuted in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, Seoul’s Kumho Arts Hall, Schneider Concerts (NYC) and at many significant festivals, including Verbier, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Rheingau, East Neuk and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
In addition to winning the M-Prize, the Calidore String Quartet won grand prizes in virtually all the major U.S. chamber music competitions, including the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs competitions and captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD Munich International String Quartet Competition and Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition.
As protégés of the Emerson Quartet, the Calidore String Quartet was featured in a performance of Mendelssohn’s octet with the Emerson Quartet presented be the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to commemorate the Emerson’s 40th anniversary season. Other highlights of the 2016-17 season have included the quartet’s Chinese debut in Hong Kong as well as debuts on major series in Berlin, New York, Chicago, Houston, Portland and Ann Arbor, a world-premiere of a quartet by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw at SOKA University and collaborations with David Shifrin, Anne-Marie McDermott as well as members of the Emerson, Borodin and Vogler String Quartets.
Summer 2016 included a return to the East Neuk Festival (UK) where the quartet performed the entire Mendelssohn String Quartet cycle. Additionally, the quartet made its debut at Music@Menlo and the Encore Chamber Music Festival and performed the closing concert of the McGill International String Quartet Academy. The quartet returned as quartet-in-residence for a third summer at both the Innsbrook Music Festival and the Bellingham Festival of Music.
In July of 2016, Hortus released the Calidore String Quartet’s second studio recording: SERENADE: THE MUSICIANS & THE GREAT WAR 2, featuring music for String Quartet by Hindemith, Milhaud and Stravinsky, along with the world-premiere recording of Jacques de la Presle’s Suite en sol, and the second recording ever of Ernst Toch’s Serenade. In February 2015, the Calidore String Quartet released its critically-acclaimed debut recording of quartets by Mendelssohn and Haydn. The Calidore were featured as Young Artists-in-Residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today and their performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Korean Broadcasting Corporation, Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich), Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg), and were featured on German national television as part of a documentary produced by ARD public broadcasting.
The Calidore String Quartet has collaborated with many esteemed artists and ensembles, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Joshua Bell, Inon Barnatan, Paul Coletti, Ronald Leonard, Paul Watkins, Raphael Merlin and the Quatuor Ebéne, among others. Formed in 2010 at the Colburn School of Music, the Calidore has studied closely with such luminaries as the Emerson Quartet, David Finckel, Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Günther Pichler, Gerhard Schulz, Heime Müller, Guillaume Sutre, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Paul Coletti, Ronald Leonard, Clive Greensmith, Martin Beaver and the Quatuor Ebène.
As a passionate supporter of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is deeply committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students and audiences. From 2014-16 the Calidore served as Artists-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. The Calidore String Quartet has conducted master classes and residencies at Princeton, Stanford, the University of Michigan, UCLA and Mercer University. The Calidore was previously on the faculty of the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute at the Colburn School.
Using an amalgamation of “California” and “doré” (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents a reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it received from its home of origin, Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.” The Calidore String Quartet aims to present performances that share the passion and joy of the string quartet chamber music repertoire.
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performing July 1, 2017
Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme by Paganini
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin is ranked among the elect of world pianists for his unrivalled blend of musicianship and virtuosity in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – in concert and on disc.
He begins the 2016/17 season with summer festival appearances at the Schubertiade, Verbier, Lofoton, Salzburg, and recitals at Tanglewood, Domaine Forget, Aspen, and La Jolla, where the La Jolla Music Society commissioned Hamelin to write a piano/cello sonata for himself and cellist Hai-Ye Ni.
Mr. Hamelin’s orchestral engagements this season include weeks with the Montreal (Ravel and Shostakovich with Nagano) and Minnesota (Vanska) orchestras; the Indianapolis Symphony in a reprise of the Haydn Concerto in D Major with Bernard Labadie, per their recent recording; the Bayerische Staatsorchester with Kirill Petrenko; the NDR Hanover, and the symphony orchestras in Gothenburg, Oregon, Bologna, Montpellier, and the Warsaw Philharmonic in concerto repertoire including Brahms 1 and 2, Medtner 2, and Mozart K. 453.
Recitals include those at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonic, The Gilmore Festival, the 92nd St Y in New York, and in Cleveland, Chicago, Toronto, et al. He also ventures to China for a set of recitals at the Shanghai Concert Hall.
Special events of 2016/17 include duo recitals with Leif Ove Andsnes at Wigmore Hall in London, in Rotterdam, Dublin, Italy, and in Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, Beverly Hills, and at Symphony Center in Chicago and Carnegie Hall in New York. He tours with the Pacifica Quartet, playing the world premiere of his own string quintet, commissioned by the Segerstrom Center in Orange County, CA, and concludes the season as a juror at the Cliburn Piano Competition, for which he has been commissioned to write the obligatory solo work for the contestants.
Marc-André Hamelin is a frequent recitalist for Chicago Symphony Presents, the Cliburn, Spivey Hall, Montreal Pro Musica, Music Toronto, WPA in Washington, the Boston Celebrity Series and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Princeton University, San Francisco Performances, and in all the major concert halls in New York. Recitals in Europe include regular appearances at the Wigmore Hall in London, Munich, DeSingel in Antwerp, the Concertgebuow in Amsterdam, Moscow State Philharmonic Society, Perugia, the Heidelberg Festival and the Salzburg Mozarteum, as well as a recent three-concert residency at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.
He has appeared repeatedly with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, New York, Boston, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. At the last of these, he played the American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Piano Concerto (written for him) with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. In his 2014 debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in Haydn’s D Major Piano Concerto his playing was praised as “the very paragon of Classical purity, a fount of crisp, sparkling passages” (Cleveland Plain-Dealer, May 1, 2015).
In recognition of his remarkable discography, Mr. Hamelin was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame in June 2015. Also awarded the 2006 lifetime achievement prize by the German Record Critic’s Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Mr. Hamelin has recorded some 70 CDs for the Hyperion label, most recently a double disc of Mozart Sonatas and two recordings with the Takács Quartet featuring the piano quintets by Shostakovich and Leo Ornstein. Further highlights of Mr. Hamelin’s recent discography include a CD devoted to Schumann’s Kinderszenen and Waldszenen and Janáček’s On the Overgrown Path, which was listed as CD of the Month in both Gramophone and BBC Music magazines. His recording of Busoni’s Late Piano Works received the 2014 Echo Award of “Instrumentalist of the Year (Piano)” and “Disc of the Year” by two leading French journals, Diapason and Classica. Mr. Hamelin’s discography ranges from the neglected masterpieces of Alkan, Ives, Medtner and Roslavets to brilliantly received performances of Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, and Debussy. A series of recordings of Haydn sonatas and concertos was particularly well-received, putting Mr. Hamelin on “the shortlist of most revelatory Haydn interpreters on record” (BBC Music Magazine, June 2015).
n 2010 Mr. Hamelin joined the ranks on CD of noted composer-pianists by releasing his own highly inventive “12 Etudes in all the minor keys” on the Hyperion label and with publication by Edition Peters. Mr. Hamelin has since performed his own compositions around the world, to great critical acclaim. His Pavane variée was commissioned for the ARD Music Competition in Munich, where it was the obligatory piece for the 2014 piano competition.
Winner of the 1985 Carnegie Hall Competition, Marc-André Hamelin was born in Montreal. He began to play the piano at the age of five, and by the age of nine had already won a top prize in the Canadian Music Competition. Mr. Hamelin’s father, a pharmacist by trade who was also a gifted amateur pianist, had introduced him to the works of Alkan, Medtner and Sorabji when he was still very young. Mr. Hamelin’s principal teachers included Gilles Hamelin, Yvonne Hubert, Harvey Wedeen and Russell Sherman; he studied at the École Vincent d’Indy in Montreal and then at Temple University in Philadelphia. An Officer of the Order of Canada since 2003 and a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec since 2004, Mr. Hamelin is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada and features prominently in the book The Composer-Pianists: Hamelin and the Eight by Robert Rimm, published by Amadeus Press. Mr. Hamelin makes his home in the Boston area.
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performing July 8, 2017
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists – an artist The New York Times hails as someone “you want to hear no matter what he performs.” Winner of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year award, he returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and has appeared at the BBC Proms with Michael Tilson Thomas. In the US, he has recently performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as toured with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
In 2016-17, Denk embarks on a recital tour of the UK, including tours to Wigmore Hall, and he will make his debut at the Philharmonie in Cologne. He appears on tour in recital throughout the US, including Chicago Symphony Hall and at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival in a special program that includes a journey through seven centuries of Western music. He also tours with The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to New York, and returns to the National Symphony and St. Louis Symphony. He will release a solo recording, The Classical Style, of music by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, and joins his long-time musical partners, Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis in a recording of Brahms’ Trio in B-major. Future projects include a US tour of the Ives Violin Sonatas with Stefan Jackiw, and a new Piano Concerto commissioned by The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
In 2014 Denk served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a comic opera. The opera was later presented by Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Festival. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK. Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives.
In 2012, Denk made his Nonesuch recording debut with a pairing of masterpieces old and new: Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, Op. 111, and Ligeti’s Études. The album was named one of the best of 2012 by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post, and Denk’s account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas featured in many “best of the year” lists. In March 2012, the pianist was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to appear as soloist in the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks festival, and he recorded Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Having cultivated relationships with many living composers, he currently has several commissioning projects in progress.
Denk has toured frequently with violinist Joshua Bell, and their recently released Sony Classical album, French Impressions, won the 2012 Echo Klassik award. He also collaborates regularly with cellist Steven Isserlis, and has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Italian and American Spoleto Festivals, and the Verbier, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen Music, and Mostly Mozart Festivals.
Jeremy Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City.
Tim Fain, violin
performing July 13, 2017
Concerto in A minor, Op. 53
With his adventuresome spirit and vast musical gifts, violinist Tim Fain has emerged as a mesmerizing presence on the music scene. The “charismatic young violinist with a matinee idol profile, strong musical instincts, and first rate chops” (Boston Globe) is seen and heard in the film Black Swan, and gives “voice” to the violin of the lead actor in the hit film 12 Years a Slave, as he did with Richard Gere’s violin in Fox Searchlight’s feature film Bee Season. Most recently, Fain collaborates with Google on a virtual reality (VR) music and film project RESONANCE that introduces VR capability for YouTube to the world.
Launching his career with Young Concert Artists and an Avery Fisher Career Grant, he went on to electrify audiences at debuts with the Baltimore Symphony with conductor Marin Alsop, at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Fain has also appeared with the Mexico City, Tucson, Oxford (UK), and Cincinnati Chamber Symphonies; Brooklyn, Buffalo and Hague Philharmonics; the National Orchestra of Spain; and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in a special performance at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. In addition, he was the featured soloist with the Philip Glass Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in a concert version of Einstein on the Beach, which he performed again this season in South Korea, and he continues to tour the US and Europe in a duo-recital program with Philip Glass.
His multi-media evening Portals premiered to sold-out audiences in New York, Los Angeles, at its mid-western debut at Omaha’s KANEKO, and at Australia’s Melbourne Festival and Le Lieu Unique in France, with continued interest and success world-wide. The centerpiece of the evening is Partita for Solo Violin, a new work written especially for him by Philip Glass; the production also features collaborations with Benjamin Millepied, Leonard Cohen, and filmmaker Kate Hackett, with radio personality Fred Child appearing on screen.
Highlights of the 2015-16 season include solo performances for Pro Musica in Mexico, the Pittsburgh and Tallahassee Symphonies, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra. He also appears with pianist Timo Andres at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, where he’ll premiere a new multi-media work by Randall Woolf and filmmakers Mary Harron (American Psycho) and John C. Walsh on the Composers Concordance Eclectic Virtuosi Series. Other appearances include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston for Paola Prestini’s Labyrinth Installation Concertos project, and with the PostClassical Ensemble and pianist Michael Boriskin in a concert of works by Lou Harrison at the Indonesian Embassy in DC. Recent engagements include the Cabrillo, Chautauqua, and McCall Music Festivals; the Buffalo Philharmonic; and a reprise of his soloist role with the National Orchestra of Spain conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
A dynamic and compelling performer of traditional works, he is also a fervent champion of 20th and 21st century composers, with a repertoire ranging widely from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to Aaron Jay Kernis and John Corigliano; as the Los Angeles Times recently noted, his career “is based, in part, on new music and new ways of thinking about classical music.” Fain’s discography features River of Light (Naxos), which showcases modern virtuosic short works for violin and piano by living American composers; Arches, which combines old and new solo works and reflects Fain’s inquisitive passion and intellect; The Concerto Project IV with the Hague Philharmonic featuring Philip Glass’s Double Concerto for violin and cellist Wendy Sutter, and Tim Fain Plays Phillip Glass (both on Orange Mountain Music); and most recently First Loves (VIA Records), a collection of quintessential violin masterpieces which first inspired him to be a violinist.
Fain has collaborated with such luminaries as Pinchas Zukerman, Richard Goode, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Mitsuko Uchida, and Jonathan Biss, and has appeared with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Seán Curran Company, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. In addition, he performed onstage with the New York City Ballet alongside the dancers in the acclaimed premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s “Double Aria.” Never limited by genre, Fain has also worked with jazz pianists Billy Childs and Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus), Joanna Newsom, Bryce Dessner (The National), guitarist Rich Robinson (Black Crowes), Matchbox Twenty singer-songwriter Rob Thomas (in an appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center), James Blake, and rappers Das Racist and Rahzel.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Tim Fain is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Victor Danchenko; and The Juilliard School, where he worked with Robert Mann. He performs on a violin made by Francesco Gobetti, Venice 1717, the “Moller,” on extended loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
performing July 16
Haydn: Concerto in C Major
Zuill Bailey is a distinguished soloist, recitalist, artistic director and teacher. His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today. A consummate concerto soloist, Mr. Bailey has been featured with symphony orchestras worldwide, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Indianapolis, Dallas, Louisville, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Nashville, Toronto, Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, Israel, Cape Town, and the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, Austria. He has collaborated with such conductors as Itzhak Perlman, Alan Gilbert, Andrew Litton, James DePriest, Jun Markl, Carlos Kalmar, Andrey Boreyko, Krzysztof Urbanski, Jacques Lacombe, Grant Llewellyn and Stanislav Skrowaczewski. He also has been featured with musical luminaries Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, the Juilliard String Quartet, Lynn Harrell and Janos Starker.
Mr. Bailey has appeared at Disney Hall, the Kennedy Center, the United Nations, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd St. Y and Carnegie Hall, where he made his concerto debut performing the U.S. premiere of Miklos Theodorakis’ “Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra.” In addition, he made his New York recital debut in a sold out performance of the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bailey also presented the U.S. premiere of the Nico Muhly Cello Concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. World premieres include works by composers such as Lowell Lieberman, Phillip Lasser, Roberto Sierra, Benjamin Wallfisch and Michael Daugherty.
His international appearances include notable performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in its 50th anniversary tour of Russia as well as concerts in Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, Israel, Spain, South Africa, Hong Kong, Jordan, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. Festival appearances include Ravinia, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Manchester Cello Festival (UK), Wimbledon(UK), Consonances- St. Nazaire ( France), Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Deia Music Festival- Mallorca (Spain), Montreal (Canada), Santa Fe, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Bravo!, Vail Valley, Maverick Concert Series, Brevard, Cape Cod and the Music Academy of the West. In addition, he was the featured soloist performing the Elgar Cello Concerto at the Bard Festival in the World Premiere of the Doug Varrone Dance Company performance of “Victorious.”
Zuill Bailey is highly regarded recording artist. His “Bach Cello Suites” and recently released Britten Cello Symphony/Sonata CD’s immediately soared to the Number One spot on the Classical Billboard Charts. Other critically acclaimed recordings include his live performances with the Indianapolis Symphony of the Bloch Schelomo, Muhly Cello Concerto (World Premiere), Elgar and Dvorak Cello Concertos, described by Gramophone magazine as the new “reference” recording and one that “sweeps the board.” In addition, the Dvorak Cello Concerto CD is listed in the “Penguin’s Guide,” as one the Top 1000 Classical Recordings of all time. Zuill Bailey’s other releases include “Brahms” complete works for cello and piano with pianist Awadagin Pratt, and “Russian Masterpieces” showcasing the works of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Mr. Bailey is featured on the chart topping Quincy Jones-produced “Diversity,” with pianist/composer Emily Bear. Other releases include his innovative “Spanish Masters” CD for Zenph Studios, where he forms a unique duo blending with recordings of composer Manuel de Falla and an all American recital program with pianist Lara Downes on the Steinway and Sons label. His discography also includes a debut recital disc for Delos, Cello Quintets of Boccherini and Schubert with Janos Starker, Saint-Saens Cello Concertos No. 1 and 2 “Live,” and the Korngold Cello Concerto with Kaspar Richter and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz for ASV.
Zuill Bailey was named to the 2014 Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumni and was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation Award for 2006 and 2007 for Beethoven’s complete works for Cello and Piano. The highly touted two disc set with pianist Simone Dinnerstein was released on Telarc worldwide. In celebration of his recordings and appearances, Kalmus Music Masters has released “Zuill Bailey Performance Editions,” which encompasses the core repertoire of cello literature.
Network television appearances include a recurring role on the HBO series “Oz,” NBC’s “Homicide,” A&E, NHK TV in Japan, a live broadcast and DVD release of the Beethoven Triple Concerto performed in Tel Aviv with Itzhak Perlman conducting the Israel Philharmonic, and a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico City. Mr. Bailey is also featured in the televised production of the Cuban premiere of Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with the National Orchestra of Cuba. He has been heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Tiny Desk Concert,” “Performance Today,” “Saint Paul Sunday,” BBC’s “In Tune,” XM Radio’s “Live from Studio II,” Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Virtuoso Voices,” the KDFC Concert Series, KUSC, Minnesota Public Radio, WQXR’s “Cafe Concert”, WFMT and RTHK Radio Hong Kong.
Mr. Bailey received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. His primary teachers include Loran Stephenson, Stephen Kates and Joel Krosnick. Mr. Bailey performs on the “rosette” 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In addition to his extensive touring engagements, he is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica(Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival(Washington), guest Artistic Director of the Mesa Arts Center (Arizona) and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.
performing July 21, 2017
Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie enjoys a dynamic and multi-faceted career. While appearing as soloist with the world’s foremost orchestras, he can also be found sharing the stage with Gregg Allman and Chuck Leavell in “Midnight Rider,” with actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith in Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” or playing Bach for Memphis Jook dancer Li’l Buck. Philip Glass dedicated his Second Violin Concerto, “The American Four Seasons,” to Mr. McDuffie. Mike Mills of the iconic band R.E.M. is currently composing a concerto for violin and rock band for him. Robert McDuffie is the founder of both the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia.
Robert McDuffie has appeared as soloist with most of the major orchestras of the world, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; the Chicago, San Francisco, National, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Montreal, and Toronto Symphonies; the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota Orchestras; the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the North German Radio Orchestra, the Düsseldorf Symphony, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Hamburg Symphony, Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria; and all of the major orchestras of Australia.
His recent appearances abroad have been at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Cologne, the Seoul and Daejeon Arts Centers in Korea, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Brucknerhaus in Linz, the Musikhalle and the Staatsoper in Hamburg, and at the National Theater in Santo Domingo.
Mr. McDuffie gave the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 2, The American Four Seasons in 2009 with the Toronto Symphony. He completed a thirty-city U.S. tour with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, pairing the Glass Four Seasons with the Vivaldi Four Seasons. He has also played the Glass with the National Symphony of Mexico, the Düsseldorf Symphony, the Hamburg Ballet; the Nashville, Louisiana, San Diego, Dallas, San Antonio, and Colorado Symphonies; the Poznan Philharmonic of Poland, the Prague Philharmonia at the Prague Spring Festival, the Scottish Ensemble in Glasgow, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta in Holland and Belgium, at the Belgrade Music Festival, at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado; and, paired with the Vivaldi Four Seasons, with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the Zurich Tonhalle, at the St. Christopher Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania, and with the Israel Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv.
Robert McDuffie recorded The American Four Seasons with the London Philharmonic and Marin Alsop on Philip Glass’ Orange Mountain Music label. His acclaimed Telarc and EMI recordings also include the violin concertos of Mendelssohn, Bruch, Adams, Glass, Barber, Rózsa, Bernstein, William Schuman, and Viennese violin favorites. He has been profiled on NBC’s Today, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS’s Charlie Rose, A&E’sBreakfast with the Arts, and in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
He has recently performed The American Four Seasons with the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings Ensemble in New York City at (Le) Poisson Rouge and returned to Hamburg for additional performances with the Hamburg Ballet. Future plans include additional appearances with actor/playwright Anna Deavere Smith, a return to Korea and his annual visit to the Aspen Music Festival. He will perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic. On June 17, 2016 he will perform the world premiere of Mills Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and Orchestra with the Toronto Symphony. This will be followed by performances of the Mills Concerto at the Rome Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and a three week U.S. tour in fall 2016. In 2017, he will tour the U.S. with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, alternating the Barber Violin Concerto with the Glass American Four Seasons.
As founder of the Rome Chamber Music Festival, Robert McDuffie has been awarded the prestigious Premio Simpatia by the Mayor of Rome in recognition of his contribution to the city’s cultural life. He served for ten years on the board of directors of the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City where he was chairman of the artistic and education committee. Mr. McDuffie holds the Mansfield and Genelle Jennings Distinguished University Professor Chair at Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia. He plays a 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, known as the “Ladenburg”, This instrument is owned by a limited partnership formed by Mr. McDuffie. Robert McDuffie lives in New York City with his wife, Camille. They are proud parents of Eliza and Will.