Colorado MahlerFest XXXI
Chamber Concert I
Wednesday – May 16, 2018 – 7:30pm
Gordon Gamm Theater – The Dairy Center – Boulder, CO
Reserved Seat Tickets are $24 (adult), $18 (senior) and $10 (student)
R. Strauss: Sextet for Strings from Capriccio, Op. 85
J. McCabe: Sextet for Strings ‘Pilgrim’ (U.S. Premiere)
— Intermission —
J. Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in b, Op. 115
Daniel Silver– Clarinet
Jorja Fleezanis – Violin
Karen Bentley Pollick – Violin
Erika Eckert – Viola
Lauren Spaulding – Viola
Parry Karp – Violoncello
Andrew Brown – Violoncello (in Capriccio)
Kenneth Woods – Violoncello (in ‘Pilgrim’)
Daniel Silver, professor of clarinet at CU, is a versatile performer and teacher whose career encompasses a full range of musical activities from recitals and solo appearances, to chamber music, teaching and orchestral playing. His performing has garnered critical acclaim across the country. Praised for his “sense of freedom and extraordinary control,” (Washington Post) Silver served as principal clarinet of the Baltimore Opera Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. His festival credits include Tanglewood, Aspen and Interlochen Arts Camp. His students occupy top positions in orchestras and musical institutions internationally, and include recent prizewinners at the International Clarinet Competition. As a chamber music performer, he has been featured often on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. He has collaborated with the Cavani, Maia and Takacs String Quartets, and in recent years appeared in Italy, Costa Rica, China, and at the major clarinet festivals around the world. He has performed with the Baltimore Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, including Carnegie Hall concerts with David Zinman and Lorin Maazel. He has appeared under many of the major podium figures of the last four decades, including Andre Previn, Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, and Gerard Schwarz.
Jorja Fleezanis was concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1989 to 2009—the longest-tenured concertmaster in the orchestra’s history and only the second woman in the U.S. to hold the title of concertmaster in a major orchestra when appointed. Prior to Minnesota, she was associate concertmaster with the San Francisco Symphony for eight years and a member of the Chicago Symphony. Ms Fleezanis joined the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music in 2009 and holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin and is Head Coach and Creative Director in Orchestral Studies.
A devoted teacher, Fleezanis became an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota’s School of Music in 1990. She has also enjoyed teaching roles with other organizations: as teacher and artist at the Round Top International Festival Institute in Texas (1990-2007); artist-in-residence at the University of California, Davis; guest artist and teacher at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she served on the faculty from 1981 to 1989; artist and mentor at the Music@Menlo Festival (2003-2008); teacher and coach at the New World Symphony (1988-2008), and a visiting teacher to the Boston Conservatory, The Juilliard School, and Interlochen Academy and Summer Camp.
Fleezanis has had a number of works commissioned for her, including by the Minnesota Orchestra with the John Adams Violin Concerto and Ikon of Eros by John Tavener, the latter recorded on Reference Records. Her recording of the complete violin sonatas of Beethoven with the French fortepianist Cyril Huvé was released in 2003 on the Cyprés label. Other recordings include Aaron Jay Kernis’ Brilliant Sky, Infinite Sky on CRI, commissioned for Fleezanis by the Schubert Club, and, with Garrick Ohlsson, Stefan Wolpe’s Violin Sonata for Koch International.
Fleezanis studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Karen Bentley Pollick joined the Paul Dresher Electro-Acoustic Ensemble in 1999 and champions a wide range of solo repertoire and styles on violin, viola, piano and Norwegian hardangerfele. A native of Palo Alto, California, she studied with Camilla Wicks in San Francisco, and with Yuval Yaron, Josef Gingold and Rostislav Dubinsky at Indiana University, where she received both Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees in Violin Performance with a cognate in Choral Conducting. Her recordings of original music include Electric Diamond, Angel, Konzerto and Succubus and Ariel View, for which she has received three music awards from Just Plain Folks, including Best Instrumental Album and Best Song. On her own record label Ariel Ventures she has produced Dancing Suite to Suite, <amberwood>, Homage to Fiddlers, Russian Soulscapes, Bebop for Beagles, Estadio and Peace Piece, and filmed Dan Tepfer’s Solo Blues for Violin and Piano. She has also recorded for CRI, Sony, RCA and Camel Productions, as well as the Bridge, Albany, Mode, Numinous, Innova, Tzadik, NEOS and Blue Coast Records labels.
Concertmaster of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie Kammerorchester and the New York String Orchestra, Karen has also participated in the June in Buffalo and Wellesley Composers Conferences, and the Olympic Music, Tanglewood, Amelia Island, Next Generation, Canberra, Permainu Muzika, and Bowling Green State Contemporary Music Festivals. She has toured with the New York Philharmonic, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, the Bolshoi Ballet and Barbra Streisand, and has recorded with the Dave Matthews Band and Evanescence as well as numerous film scores at Skywalker Ranch. She was a guest artist with the contemporary music group Opus Posthumous from Moscow, Seattle Chamber Players in their Icebreaker II: Baltic Voices Festival, and Ensemble for the Romantic Century in New York. She performs frequently with Valse Cafe Orchestra in Seattle.
She premiered Swedish composer Ole Saxe’s Dance Suite for Violin and Orchestra with Redwood Symphony and has performed concertos with the Alabama Symphony and orchestras in Panama, Russia, Alaska, New York and California. Karen has presented recitals with Russian pianist/composer Ivan Sokolov at the American Academy of Rome, Seattle, New York City, Alabama, Louisiana and Colorado and throughout the Czech Republic; with cellist Dennis Parker at the American Spring Festival in Brno; and in England at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Along with choreographer Teri Weksler and percussionist John Scalici, she received a Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham 2008 Interdisciplinary Grant to Individual Artists towards the creation of Quips and Cranks. Karen was awarded a grant from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for her March 2010 Solo Violin and Alternating Currents concerts in Birmingham, Seattle and at Music Olomouc 2011. She launched Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity with New York video artist Sheri Wills in April 2012 at Evergroove Studio and has since performed the program featuring sixteen videos projected onto the violinist in Brooklyn, Seattle, Colorado Springs, Klaipeda and New York. With pianist Lisa Moore and the Paul Dresher Double Duo she toured Australia in May 2013 and the US in fall 2014. While residing in Vilnius, Lithuania she debuted Resonances from Vilna with pianist Jascha Nemtsov in May 2014, Nothing is Forever with actor Aiste Ptakauske in December 2015, and premiered David A. Jaffe’s violin concerto How Did It Get So Late So Soon? with the Lithuanian National Opera & Ballet Theatre Orchestra in August 2016. Karen performs on a violin made by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in 1860 and a viola made in 1987 by William Whedbee.
Karen received a Seed Money Grant for Disseminated Performances from New York Women Composers towards solo concerts with electronics in Seattle and Stanford University’s CCRMA in spring 2018. She is represented on two tracks of Dorothy Hindman’s “Tightly Wound”, released on Innova and winner of #1 Gold Medal in the Fall 2017 Global Music Awards.
Violist Erika Eckert is currently Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Colorado at Boulder and has been a member of the faculty there since 1994. She has also been a summer faculty member of the Brevard Music Center since 2011. Previously, Ms. Eckert served on the faculties of The Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin Wallace College, and the Chautauqua Institution in New York.
As a member of the Eckert-McDonald Duo, formed in 2004, she has performed a number of recitals throughout the United States, including performances in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee. As colleagues on the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder, the Duo has had the opportunity to present Colorado premieres of works by a number of composers, including Luis Jorge González, Richard Toensing, Carter Pann, Daniel Kellogg, Chen Yi, Libby Larsen, and Peter Seabourne. The Duo can be heard on the Meridian Label performing Luis Jorge González‘s Sonata Elegiaca. They also recorded the viola and piano sonatas of Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, and Margaret Brouwer with Azica Records in May 2017 and anticipate a release date later in 2018. The Eckert-McDonald Duo made their first international appearance in Cremona, Italy at the International Viola Congress in October 2016 performing the viola and piano sonatas of Libby Larsen and Margaret Brouwer. They also performed at Palazzo Tornabuoni in Florence, and presented a recital and masterclasses at the Johann Sebastian Bach Musikschule in Vienna, Austria.
As co-founder and former violist of the Cavani String Quartet, Ms. Eckert performed on major concert series worldwide, and garnered an impressive list of awards and prizes, including first prizes at both the Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition and the Cleveland Quartet Competition. In recent seasons, Ms. Eckert has performed as guest-violist with the Takacs String Quartet, appearing with them in Canada, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Washington. She has also performed on numerous faculty recitals at the University of Colorado as well as soloing with the Music in the Mountains Purgatory Festival Orchestra, Four Seasons Chamber Orchestra, the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Boulder Bach Festival, and the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. Other performing engagements have included the 400thGalileo Anniversary at the American Academy in Rome, El Paso Pro Musica International Chamber Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Garth Newell Music Festival, Vail Bravo!, Music in the Mountains Chamber Music Festival, Sitka Summer Music Festival Autumn Classics, Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, and Fontana Chamber Arts. Ms. Eckert has also performed chamber music recitals at the International French Horn, Flute and Double-Reed Conventions and solo performances at SEAMUS and ICMC electronic music national and international conferences.
Teaching engagements have included presenting viola and chamber music pedagogy sessions, and coordinating the chamber music program at the American String Teachers Association International Workshops in Brisbane, Australia and Stavanger, Norway; presenting viola master classes at Juilliard, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Arizona State University, University of Minnesota, Governors School of South Carolina, Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee, Bowling Green State University, University of South Carolina, University of Georgia, and University of North Carolina; serving on the faculties of Perlman Music Program, Quartet Program, Takacs String Quartet Seminar, and the North American Viola Institute at the Orford Center for the Arts in Quebec, Canada; and coaching chamber music at the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc. Ninth Conference, the International School for Musical Arts, Chamber Music Connection, Interlochen Arts Academy, Chamber Music Wyoming Young Artist Program, Britt Institute Chamber Strings, and the Madeline Island Music Camp Adult Chamber Music Program. Ms. Eckert served for three years as an adjudicator for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) Arts Recognition and Talent Search, the exclusive nominating agency for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and appeared in their Academy Nominated Documentary, Rehearsing a Dream.
Lauren Spaulding (viola), a Texas native, received her BM in Viola performance under the tutelage of Professor Peter Slowik at the Oberlin Conservatory, received her MM at CU Boulder as TA for Erika Eckert, and completed an orchestral certificate with Colorado Symphony’s Principal violist, Basil Vendryes.
Currently, Spaulding holds the titled position of Assistant Principal in the Cheyenne Symphony, won in December of 2014, but also performs as Principal of the annual Colorado MahlerFest, section member in the Fort Collins Symphony and as a regular with the Greeley and Boulder Philharmonics.
Spaulding performed for four years in the Oberlin formed Ektos Quartet across the Northeast and at the White House in 2012, and since moving to Colorado, Spaulding continues to perform with many local chamber ensembles including the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Pro Musica, the Laramie Chorale, as a CD recording studio violist for UI Sound productions, and with Sphere, an up and coming cross-over inspired chamber ensemble.
Cellist Parry Karp is Artist-in Residence and Professor of Chamber Music and Cello, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is director of the string chamber music program. He has been cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet for the past 42 years, the longest tenure of any member in the quartet’s over 100 year history.
Parry Karp is a active solo artist, performing numerous recitals annually in the United States with pianists Howard and Frances Karp, and Eli Kalman. Mr. Karp has played concerti throughout the United States and gave the first performance in Romania of Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo with the National Radio Orchestra in Bucharest in 2002. He is active as a performer of new music and has performed in the premieres of dozens of works, many of which were written for him, including concerti, sonatas and chamber music. As a solo recording artist, he has recorded the solo cello works of Ernest Bloch, and works of Frank Bridge, Rebecca Clarke, Ernest Chausson, Edward Collins, Georges Enesco, John Ireland, Alberic Magnard, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Miklos Rosza, and Richard Strauss. Unearthing and performing unjustly neglected repertoire for cello is a passion of Mr. Karp’s. In recent years he has transcribed for cello many masterpieces written for other instruments. This project has included performances of all of the Duo Sonatas of Brahms, as well as compositions of Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Hindemith, Strauss, Schumann, Stravinsky and Szymanowski. He is presently in the process of transcribing all of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas for Cello. Parry Karp performs annually in summer music festivals throughout the United States.
As cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet he has performed over 1000 concerts throughout North, Central and South America, Europe, and Japan. His discography with the group has been extensive and includes the complete string quartets of Ernest Bloch, Miklos Rosza, and Karol Szymanowski . Many of these recordings received awards from Fanfare and High Fidelity Magazines. Other composers whose string quartets or string quintets the Pro Arte Quartet has recorded during his tenure include: Beethoven, Luís de Freitas Branco, Martin Boykan, Tamar Diesendruck, Dvorak, Brian Fennelly, Andrew Imbrie, Fred Lerdahl, Walter Mays, Mendelssohn, Karol Rathaus, Samuel Rhodes, Roger Sessions, and Ralph Shapey. As a member of the Pro Arte Quartet he has recorded the Piano Quintets of Ernest Bloch, Johannes Brahms and Armando José Fernandes with pianist Howard Karp. Guest artists with the Pro Arte during his years have included: the Emerson Quartet, Denes Koromzay, Leon Fleischer, Sidney Harth, Nobuko Imai, Gunnar Johansen, Gilbert Kalish, Jerome Lowenthal, Robert Mann, Samuel Rhodes, Robert Silverman, Christopher Taylor, Laszlo Varga and Tamas Vasary. Gunther Schuller conducted the group in the premiere of his String Quartet Concerto which he wrote for the Pro Arte Quartet. The Pro Arte Quartet was one of five finalists (the others were the Juilliard, Tokyo, and Emerson Quartets, and the Beaux Arts Trio) for the First Annual Arturo Toscanini Award in the Chamber Music Category
Parry Karp’s chamber music discography outside of the Pro Arte Quartet includes the three piano trios of Joel Hoffman, as well as works of Britten, Fauré, Martinu, Mozart and Pierné. Mr. Karp had a visiting professorship at the University of British Columbia, and has been a visiting fellow at Princeton University. Former students of Mr. Karp’s are members of professional string quartets, major orchestras, and teachers in the United States. In 2012 he was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the spring of 2016, Parry Karp was named a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy.
Mr. Karp received early training in Vienna, Austria and studied cello with Lee Duckles, David Kadarauch, Peter Farrell, Gabriel Magyar and Gabor Rejto. Inspirational chamber music teachers included Gabriel Magyar, Howard Karp, Lorand Fenyves and Zoltan Szekely.
Coloradoan cellist Andrew Brown has served as the principal cellist of The Longmont Symphony, MahlerFest, Aspen Music Festival’s Opera, and collaborated with The Playground Ensemble and Takács Quartet’s Geraldine Walther. Dr. Brown is the 1st prize winner of the 2016 Ekstrand Competition at CU Boulder and has previously been awarded 1st place in the Lamont Chamber Competition and was Lamont’s Best Senior in Performance. As part of his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Brown published a recording of unaccompanied compositions for cello by American composers.
In addition to his music degrees from The University of Denver, The Cleveland Institute of Music (where he earned a double-master’s degree in Cello Performance and Cello Suzuki Pedagogy), and The University of Colorado, Boulder, Dr. Brown holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration-Finance degree from The University of Iowa.
He has acted as viticulture-manager for an organically grown nursery of Petite Sirah, and enjoys hiking, baking, cooking, and brewing kombucha with his wife, Madoka Asari. As a hobby, he has converted waste vegetable oil from restaurants into biodiesel and has also acted as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. on behalf of the biodiesel community.
Hailed by Gramophone as a “symphonic conductor of stature,” conductor, cellist, composer, rock guitarist and author Kenneth Woods has worked with the National Symphony Orchestra (USA), Royal Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and English Chamber Orchestra. He has also appeared on the stages of some of the world’s leading music festivals such as Aspen, Scotia and Lucerne. In 2013, he took up a new position as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, succeeding Vernon Handley. In 2015, Kenneth became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Colorado MahlerFest with his inaugural concerts as part of MahlerFest XXIX in 2016.
Gustav Mahler’s music has been a lifelong source of inspiration for Kenneth Woods, who has conducted acclaimed performances of the symphonies and songs across the Americas and Europe. In 2011, Somm Records released Woods’ first recording of the music of Gustav Mahler, Schoenberg’s chamber ensemble versions of Das Lied von der Erde and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, which won the coveted IRR Outstanding rosette from International Record Review.
Off the podium, Woods is also much in demand as an essayist and speaker on Mahler’s life and music. He has given talks and participated in panel discussions on Mahler for the BBC and multiple festivals and orchestras, and was the official blogger of The Bridgewater Hall’s Mahler in Manchester series in 2010-11.
Kenneth Woods was Principal Guest Conductor of the Stratford-upon-Avon based Orchestra of the Swan from 2009-13. He and the orchestra have recorded the first complete cycle of the symphonies of Austrian composer Hans Gál, paired with those of Robert Schumann for Avie Records. This series has been among the most widely praised classical recording projects in recent years, highlighted in National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Performance Today, BBC Radio 3, the Sunday New York Times, the Sunday Telegraph, Washington Post and was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone. Other recordings include “Spring Sounds, Spring Seas” (for MSR), a MusicWeb ‘Record of the Y ear’. Recent CD releases include orchestral music of Philip Sawyers (another MusicWeb Record of the Year in 2014) for Nimbus, music of Brahms and Schoenberg for Somm, a disc of new works for violin, cello and narrator and another of string trios by Schnittke, Penderecki, Kurtág and Weinberg for Avie, and Signum have just released a disc of contemporary trumpet concerti by John McCabe, Robert Saxton and Deborah Pritchard with trumpeter Simon Desbruslais. Kenneth is active as a cellist and is a founding member of the string trio, Ensemble Epomeo, whose debut CD was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Though his solo repertoire ranges from Haydn to Chen Yi, he is happiest playing chamber music and unaccompanied Bach.
A widely read writer and frequent broadcaster, Woods’ blog, A View from the Podium, is one of the 25 most popular classical blogs in the world. Kenneth lives in Penarth, Wales with his wife, the violinist Suzanne Casey, and their two children, Samuel and Esther.