Rolf Schulte, violin & James Winn, piano
The duo of Rolf Schulte, violin and James Winn piano, old friends of our series, open the 2014-15 season with a program of Beethoven’s Sonata in Eb, op. 12, no.3, Schumann’s Adagio & Allegro and the Sonata, op. 18 of Richard Strauss.
Rolf Schulte maintains an active career as a soloist and chamber music performer in the U.S. and abroad. He has given the premières of new concertos and other works and made a series of important recordings, including Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto and performed the complete violin works of Igor Stravinsky at the Berlin Festwochen.
His long-time colleague, James Winn, is professor of piano and composition at the University of Nevada, Reno, and has performed widely in North America, Europe, and Asia. With his duo-piano partner, Cameron Grant, he was a recipient of the top prize given in the two-piano category of the 1980 Munich Competition. He has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, and a member of the New York New Music Ensemble. He is the pianist and resident composer of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, and a frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
A specialist in new music, he has been involved in numerous world premieres and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, including 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. Winn is featured in more than three dozen CDs as soloist, chamber musician, and composer.
We welcome the Neave Trio, Anna Williams, violin, Mikhail Veselov, ‘cello and Toni James, piano, for its de Blasiis Series debut recital.
Hailed by critics as ”absolutely stunning”, an “up-and-coming ensemble”, praised for its “heart on-sleeve performances” and nominated by the Boston Phoenix as the “Best of Boston”. The trio, whose members hail from the United States, Scotland and Russia, was named the first ever Fisch/Axelrod Trio-in-Residence at San Diego State University in the Fall of 2012.
Graduates of the Eastman, Manhattan and Longy Schools of Music and the Chopin Academy in Moscow, the Neave Trio has enjoyed international success at recital and festival performances in the United States, Canada, South America, UK and Europe, performing in some of the world’s finest concert halls.
All rising young soloists, they have enjoyed international concert and competition success spanning four continents, with recent notable performances in Guatemala, Belgium and Russia, as well as a recital appearance at the British Embassy in Oslo, Norway. Trio members have studied with artists Natalia Gutman, Terry King, Barry Snyder, Victor Rosenbaum, Patinka Kopec, Irina Muresanu and Laura Bossert, among others.
Teresa Walters, piano
The de Blasiis series welcomes the renowned pianist Teresa Walters for her first appearance on our stage! Ms. Walters’ mesmerizing performances on today’s international concert stages inspire unanimous praise. Hailed as “The International First Lady of Piano”, she is described by Austrian National Television as “that rare musical phenomenon” and “one of the world’s most significant pianists.” Her prestigious invitations to perform in honor of the 2011 Liszt Bicentennial included Copenhagen’s Hungarian Embassy and Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall.
Her biography could be written from the headlines alone: “Teresa Walters Plays Piano on Grand Scale” (The Cincinnati Inquirer); “Her Hands Create Cascades of Luminescence” (The Washington Post); “A Liszt of Very Fine Performances” (The Budapest Sun); “Concert Extraordinaire” (Bucharest Stagiunea); “Bright Shining Star in Recital” (El Norte, Mexico); “Teresa Walters Holds Keys to Audience’s Hearts” (The Record).
In recent years, she has performed as recitalist and orchestral soloist on six continents and in most of the 50 United States at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, the Salle Cortot in Paris, Moscow’s Great Hall, Australia’s International Conservatorium and Jerusalem’s Concert Hall.
Ashu, classical saxophone
Many people have never heard the saxophone in “classical” music, Ashu is working to change this. He says, “It’s really an incredible instrument. It can play with such emotional intensity, sing like a voice, and effortlessly project in the largest of halls. It’s capable of a lot of really beautiful things.” He has established an extraordinary ability to communicate with audiences around the world through his charismatic and emotive performance style. While his virtuosity continues to thrill listeners, his artistry reaches far beyond this, demonstrating a unique personality and musical voice. He has repeatedly defied conventions by winning major international competitions traditionally won by pianists and violinists.
Ashu’s concerto appearances last year included major halls throughout Russia, South Africa, Great Britain, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Singapore, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Canada, and the USA, with venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Zurich’s Tonhalle, and Singapore’s Esplanade. Other recent solo tours have taken him throughout Vienna, Lisbon, Munich, France, Switzerland, Norway, and the French West Indies.
Ensemble Vivant - Catherine Wilson, Sybil Shanahan, Stephen Sitarski, Norman Hathaway
Ensemble Vivant, hailed as “Canada’s Chamber Music Treasure” (Toronto Star), is an outstanding group that has been in demand touring various parts of the globe for over 20 years. Since its inception, Ensemble Vivant has been a pioneer in the piano chamber music world, championing an exciting and innovative genrediverse repertoire ranging from classical to Latin and other jazz persuasions. The group receives accolades internationally in both the classical and jazz worlds, and its 12 recordings, have become classics which are heard on radio around the world.
Led by the group’s founder, pianist and artistic director Catherine Wilson, Ensemble Vivant is comprised of sensational performers who bring rich lyricism, passionate depth of artistry and sensuous, virtuosic playing that is truly enchanting. This is the highest-level chamber music-making, and as jazz great Rick Wilkins, C.M. said: “No matter the genre, there is magic in Ensemble Vivant’s music-making”. Some other comments… “To my heart, your rendition of ‘Oblivion’ is the most touching I have ever heard. Bravo!” François Paré, Radio Classique, Montréal, “Catherine Wilson and this wonderful group of musicians have totally captured the romance and passion of Astor Piazzolla’s music...truly beautiful...” Don Thompson, O.C., musician, composer, arranger, and “...thoroughly enjoyable...” - Boston Herald, U.S.A.
Trio 826 was created in 2011 by three friends to explore ideas for innovation in the performance of classical music. The members of the trio have vast experience as orchestral and chamber musicians, soloists, and educators. “The mission of Trio 826 is to be an agent of change in the classical arena. We hope to be curious about our audience, take on risk in new presentations, and bring classical music to life as we perform new and standard repertoire, in a variety of venues, from formal concerts to shows in intimate, informal, and unusual settings. We are committed to expanding the repertoire for string trio through the commission and performance of new works.” For 2012, the trio commissioned a work entitled Soneando by UNI Faculty Composer Robert Washut, and we look forward to premiering more such new and exciting works in future seasons.
The trio’s members are, Susanna Klein, violin, Julia Bullard, viola and Hannah Holman, violoncello. All are seasoned soloists, orchestral and chamber musicians as well as educators.
This is the trio’s second appearance on our stage, having opened our 2012-13 season with a highly successful concert, which included guest pianist Réne Lecuona.
Since the trio’s de Blasiis debut their busy schedule has included two residencies at the University of Northern Iowa, performances for the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival The Castle Series at Wartburg College, at Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Ambrose University, the Ardeche Festival, France and in Porto Alegre, Brazil.