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John Devlin conductor

Dalí Quartet makes new fans throughout the country with a summer schedule full of debut appearances. Following the release of its latest CD, Voces Latinas (Centaur), the quartet has enjoyed packed houses at the Bravo!Vail Festival, Princeton Summer Concerts and Maverick Concerts Festival, garnering praise in the press from stage to stage: “The Dalí Quartet’s Maverick Concerts debut…delighted from start to finish” writes the Boston Musical Intelligencer (full review). And at Bravo!Vail – “the festival offers stellar chamber music. A highlight of the concert was the ensemble’s relentless vigor and unabashed humor during the jaunty String Quartet No. 2, Magueyes, by Silvestre Revueltas.” (I Care if You Listen). About the quartet’s Shostakovich and Brahms piano quintet CD with Olga Kern, the Canadian press notes “The Dalí is known for its championing of Latin American repertoire… the Dalí Quartet shows itself here to be just as thoroughly at home with European repertoire in these sparkling performances. Truly joyous…” (The Whole Note) Highlights of the Dalí Quartet’s fall season: A return engagement for Portland Friends of Chamber Music and a debut at the Library of Congress!

John Devlin conductor

John Devlin News: The Greenville Symphony Orchestra has announced conductor John Devlin as a finalist for the position of Music Director; and he has just been honored as a 2023 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award recipient. In Greenville, he will conduct a series of Masterworks concerts with the GSO in 2023 featuring works by Caroline Shaw, Dimitri Shostakovich, and the concerto for Beatboxer/Rapper Migrations in Rhythm by Evan Meier and Christylez Bacon, with Bacon as soloist. Devlin is Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, an ardent champion of American music, an innovator of concert design, and a thought leader in the field of classical music. His engagements include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra and the symphonies of Virginia, Hawaii, Columbus, Omaha, Kalamazoo, Princeton, Elgin, the Sarasota Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra and the American Repertory Ballet. Of his debut with the National Symphony and violinist Joshua Bell, Anne Midgette of The Washington Post noted that Devlin “led the evening with flair … and was visibly in his element.”

Rising Tide is on tour. Inspiring audiences to change course. The Crossroads Project confronts a planet under siege and a future in peril. Grounded in science, elevated by art, igniting response. Available as a live performance with residency programming options, the show is also a feature-length cinematic performance fusing compelling science, evocative imagery, and powerful music in an exploration of nature, humanity, and the paths that lie before us. Featuring physicist Dr. Robert Davies and the Fry Street Quartet, Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project confronts a planet under siege and a future in peril – inspiring audiences to change the course.

Acclaimed violinist Eunice Kim will appear at the Cabrillo Festival to premiere the new Duo Concerto for Violin & Double Bass by rising star composer and double bassist Xavier Foley. This superb musician, with her quick mind and a maverick bow arm [link here to her Mendelssohn Violin Concerto video] enjoys an ongoing performance collaboration with Xavier Foley that began when they both attended the Curtis Institute of Music. This season’s performances of Foley’s For Justice and Peace duo concerto included appearances with the Boulder Philharmonic and the Symphonies of Akron, Shreveport, Wheeling and Williamsport. Eunice is looking forward to the new double concerto this summer and to working with Maestro Cristian Măcelaru. In addition to the new Foley concerto, the program includes works by Dan Caputo, Robert Hughes, Kevin Puts, and Anna Clyne. More information about the Cabrillo Festival concert August 13th. The Columbus Dispatch says “Together, the two musicians become much more than a duet” and Foley’s composition “is reflective and wise”. [read the review]

Saxophonist Timothy McAllister (two Grammy nods) welcomes a newly commissioned concerto from the esteemed and beloved American composer Adolphus Hailstork for the 2024/25 season (available following McAllister’s January 2025 premiere). More high profile composers with new concertos lined up for Timothy McAllister include Steven Mackey for 2024/25, Viet Cuong for 2026/27 and, ready for premiere in 2023, the Whimsical Concerto of Fanciful Birds by Canadian composer Vincent Ho. Whimsical Concerto is scored for also saxophone solo and spatialized ensemble of eight saxophones in the hall, drawn from high level students in the community for a special musical and public experience. Saxophonist Timothy McAllister “stood with one foot in the classical world, and the other in jazz” (ArtsAtl.org) in performance with the Atlanta Symphony in the U.S. premiere of Tyshawn Sorey’s Adagio (For Wadada Leo Smith) in 2023. Today’s most celebrated saxophonist, McAllister has premiered concertos dedicated to him by John Adams, John Corigliano and Guillaume Connesson, among others. About the Corigliano Triathlon 2022 premiere: “he gave the piece the knockout performance it deserved” with the San Francisco Symphony (San Francisco Chronicle). More about Timothy McAllister here.

Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and guitarist Jason Vieaux, two internationally acclaimed Grammy-winning artists, premiered the new Andy Poxon arrangement of Michael Tilson Thomas’ Not everyone thinks that I’m beautiful at their San Francisco Performances recital in 2023. The encore crowned “a radiantly beautiful concert that featured music from three centuries and continents” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Available for selected dates, Sasha and Jason have brought their collaboration to the Kennedy Center, Music@Menlo, Round Top and beyond. Their new program focuses on music more naturally suited to the intimate and colorful magic of voice and guitar, by composers including Villa-Lobos, Schubert, de Falla, Jobím, Metheny, Sondheim, Lennon, Jaime Ovalle and Peter Scott Lewis.
Meanwhile, Jason has added the gorgeous new Avner Dorman concerto How to Love to his extensive concerto list. He gives “eloquent and vibrant performances” writes Gramophone Magazine of his Bach Vol. 2 release (Azica). NPR’s #NowPlaying says: “The notes cascade in waterfalls, and in Vieaux’s immaculate, joyful performance you hear all of Bach’s interlocking voices”  More about Jason Vieaux.

Robert Franz accepts an additional post as Music Director of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra. A frequent guest with the orchestra, Franz is an alumnus and in 2023 premiered Permutations by Robert Chumbley with the orchestra and Dimitri Schteinberg at the piano. The award-winning conductor is the Music Director of the Windsor Symphony, Artistic Director of Boise Baroque, and has recently finished ten years as Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony. At home in Windsor (where this US citizen has Canadian permanent residency status) Robert Franz has brought the Windsor Symphony to new prominence. Under his baton the WSO released its first commercial recording in 15 years “Christmas, eh” and given world premieres of new works by Farhad Poupel and Nicole Lizée. Recent and upcoming guest engagements include conducting an ABBA celebration with the Fort Worth Symphony and the premiere of the new saxophone concerto Whimsical Concerto of Fanciful Birds by Canadian Composer Vincent Ho with the Saskatoon Symphony and acclaimed saxophonist Timothy McAllister.

Following an extensive national search spanning two seasons, conductor Michael Butterman has been named Music Director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra.  Butterman remains the Music Director of the acclaimed Boulder Philharmonic, which opened the inaugural SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center, as well as Music Director of the Shreveport Symphony and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, an orchestra uniquely focused on music education. As a guest conductor, Michael Butterman has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Ft. Worth Symphony and Houston Symphony. Butterman, who spent his childhood in Northern Virginia and later earned two degrees from the University of Virginia is delighted to return to the Commonwealth. The Williamsburg Symphony is thrilled to welcome Michael Butterman to the community. Learn more here.

Sean Chen steps out

Sean Chen steps out with a debut at the Allegheny Riverstone Center and returns to the Sunriver Music Festival and the New West Symphony. His double-header with conductor Michael Christie and the New West Symphony features both the Strauss Burleske and the Francaix Concertino. The American pianist is a “thoughtful musician well beyond his years” (The Republic) and is hailed as a rising star with a “million-volt smile” and a “formidable set of fingers” (Dallas Morning News). Sean Chen is a performer of tremendous depth who is also a composer and arranger. This powerful triple-play has  earned him three high-profile awards and an impressive following. In 2013 Chen won the American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative and significant prizes available to an American pianist. As the first American to reach the finals of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1997, he went on to win the Bronze Medal in 2013, and then became the 2015 recipient of the $100,000 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship. Acclaimed for his “penetrating artistic intellect” (Audiophile Audition) and “ravishing tone and cogently contoured lines” (Gramophone), the young American pianist has already appeared as soloist on return engagements with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, made debuts with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra at the Kimmel Center and with the orchestras of Milwaukee, Phoenix, Hartford, Santa Fe, Tucson, North Carolina, San Diego, the New West Symphony and many others in the U.S. and South America (in an extensive concerto repertoire). A collaborative artist, Sean Chen is held in high esteem by such conductors as Gerard Schwarz, who spoke of his Bartok Concerto #2 as “stupendous”. More…

Four Paths of Light written by Pat Metheny for guitarist Jason Vieaux – CD debuts on the Billboard Classical Chart at #1
Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux performs Four Paths of Light Part on Pat Metheny’s latest album Road to the Sun. Upon release in March, it arrived on the Billboard Classical chart at number one — and on the UK and Germany charts at number one as well. Written for and recorded by Jason Vieaux, this expansive four-movement suite is part of a unique recording featuring two major Pat Metheny compositions performed by others. This new genre-defying recording from 20-time Grammy Winning Guitarist/Composer Pat Metheny is his first on Modern Records and includes a new work commissioned by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and Metheny’s performance of Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina.
London Jazz News has this to say: “If anyone’s going to play this suite, Jason Vieaux is the perfect choice.”
“And as well as an obvious love for Metheny’s compositions, Vieaux has a well-matched playing style of meticulous clarity combined with lush romanticism.”
Listen to Jason Vieaux perform Part 2 of Four Paths of Light on YouTube Music.
More information here. 

Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project – Grounded in science, elevated by art, igniting responses
The Fry Street Quartet collaborates with climate physicist and communicator, Dr. Robert Davies in Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project, an evocative performance about global sustainability that weaves art and science together through music, prose, and stunning visual imagery.
Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project is a live performance and is available as a full length film. Sample here.
Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project Feature Film is “a transfixing film that signifies the enlightened intertwining of science, social conscience, music and art…” link to film here.
10th Anniversary, the Artists Reflect:  Sample here.
The Crossroads Project confronts a planet under siege and a future in peril – inspiring audiences to change course.
Educational Outreach components on tour focus on solutions.

John Devlin conductor

Rising-star American conductor John Devlin conducted the premiere of Migrations in Rhythm: A Concerto for Beatbox and Rhyme. This unique project was commissioned by the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and Music Director John Devlin from composer Evan Meier and Grammy-nominated Hip-Hop artist Christylez Bacon, who performed to the sold-out house. The season opener also included cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing the John Williams cello concerto in the all-American composers event. Devlin’s season includes appearances with the symphonies of Elgin, Kalamazoo and Sarasota, as well as return engagements with the Louisville Orchestra. Devlin is an energetic force in the classical music world, winning broad acclaim for inventive performances embraced as “powerhouses of unstoppable momentum … that bring sold-out houses to their feet, cheering.” (Washington Post). An innovator of concert design, he is an ardent champion of American music, and a proponent of cross-genre collaborations. Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, he is one of the nation’s youngest music directors leading a professional symphony orchestra. He has held important positions with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton Symphony, and worked with Christoph Eschenbach, Gianandrea Noseda and Rossen Milanov, among others. Devlin has created such forward-looking concepts as Gourmet Symphony and Go-Go Symphony, and in addition to the National Symphony and Princeton Symphony, has given performances with the symphonies of Hawaii, Columbus, Omaha, and the American Repertory Ballet, among others. Of his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and violin soloist Joshua Bell, Anne Midgette of The Washington Post wrote that Devlin “led the evening with flair… and was visibly in his element.”   More… 

Internationally acclaimed cellist Colin Carr is the complete artist – renowned for his concerto appearances with symphonies worldwide, his many distinguished recordings, his landmark performances of the complete Bach Suites and his long-standing commitment to the chamber music repertoire. Acclaimed for performances that are “unfailingly musical, logically thought through and convincingly argued” (New York Times) he has appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony,  the Philadelphia Orchestra, the symphonies of Chicago, Los Angeles, Montréal, and more. He is currently on a widely celebrated tour of the Bach cello suites through Asia and North America. “His supreme technique gives him the freedom to hold together long complicated phrases that many more mortal cellists can’t manage without breaking their arcs. And with his bouncy, jig-like ebullience, Carr is better than anybody in the final Gigues”. (Boston Musical Intelligencer) Colin Carr is honored with the First Prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, and as winner of the Young Concert Artists competition, among other accolades.  More…


Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux embarks on a new project with Billboard’s top-selling violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. These two internationally acclaimed artists join forces on tour to offer exciting programs featuring works of Bach, Paganini, Corigliano, Bartok, Falla, Glass, Ciupinski, Jobím, Duke Ellington and more. Their duo debut at the Green Music Center received two rave reviews, including these comments in Strings Magazine: “By this point, the audience had grown accustomed to Vieaux’s flawless and seemingly effortless technique. That did not, however, make it any less extraordinary. It was also here that Meyers demonstrated her prowess as a “vocal” musician, making use of texture and vibrato to color her playing as a singer would.” Read the full review   Following their terrific performance at the Eastern Music Festival (where Jason also gave Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor Jose-Luis Novo) the Classical Voice of North Carolina reports that Meyers “wowed the audience” and that “Vieaux is a complete master of the guitar”. Performing John Corigliano’s ‘Lullaby for Natalie’, which was written for Ms. Meyers, the critic also had this to say: “This is indeed a gorgeous piece and a marvelously intimate arrangement….The gentle performance completely mesmerized the audience.” More about Jason Vieaux
Christopher Taylor celebrates the Beethoven 250th anniversary during the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons with performances of the Franz Liszt transcriptions of all the Beethoven 9 Symphonies. Individual works are available, as is the entire set. “What is remarkable is not that it makes the piano sound like an orchestra but that the reduction really sounds like piano music — on a grand scale, but pianistic nevertheless” writes the Boston Musical Intelligencer, which continues: “The way this version of a symphony that everyone knows and loves could best succeed is with dancelike lightness and momentum, and Taylor managed that feature completely, with unfailing and often effortless energy.”
32 Bright Clouds: Beethoven Conversations Around the World  is the creation of pianist Yael Weiss. This global music-commissioning and performing project is born from a need to respond to current social and political environments in the US and worldwide with a personally meaningful and purposeful musical endeavor. Thirty-two newly commissioned short piano works are brought to the stage in performance alongside Beethoven’s cycle of 32 Piano Sonatas. The new works are commissioned from composers in 32 different countries, focusing primarily on countries of conflict and unrest where creative efforts often face insurmountable challenges. More…


Award-winning violinist Eunice Kim spent a week as soloist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in September. Spanning seven concerts in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Stillwater and beyond, Eunice performed the Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso to cheering audiences and great critical acclaim: “Kim gave it all the flair and flamboyance one could desire, with flashy fast fingerings and blinding bowings. Everyone on stage looked as if they were having a great time, and the crowd seemed to, as well, judging from the immediate standing ovation accorded the performance.” (St. Paul Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com) Full Review.  This follow-up to her Beethoven Romance with the SPCO last season showcased again her unique voice and commanding presence. Kim has been proclaimed “just superb” by The New York Times and “a born performer” by Epoch Times. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Astral Award-winning violinist has been featured soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Louisville Symphony, the Seongnam Philharmonic and the Bakersfield Symphony, among others. With the Albany Symphony, she recorded George Tsontakis’s Unforgettable, now released on Naxos Records. More
Everybody Wants to Rule the World!– the latest from Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Julien Labro on accordina. This live performance of the epochal new wave hit by Tears for Fears gets a jazzy turn by these two masters of arrangement and improvisation. “We always try to pick repertoire from different genres, things that you might not expect our combination of instruments to play,” says Julien. And for the Piazzolla lovers, the duo’s arrangement of Escualo with Julien on accordion has been personalized a bit, we’ve come up with a version that touches on Reggae and a little Beyoncé.” More…
Acclaimed violinist Mark Kaplan’s much anticipated 2-CD set of complete solo Bach is released on the Bridge label. Praise for Kaplan’s “extraordinary lyricism” quickly followed. “It is as if every note, every phrase of these monumental works has something to say to Kaplan and, in turn, he has something to say to you about them.” [ArtMusicLounge] Kaplan, who plays a 1685 Stradivarius, is sought after for his Bach performances and lectures at venues as diverse as Indiana University, UCLA, New York’s Bargemusic, Oxford University and the Philharmonie in Cologne. Kaplan enjoys a wide and varied career as a soloist, chamber musician and distinguished educator. He has performed with nearly every major orchestra in the principal cities of Europe, North America, the Far East and Australia. He tours worldwide and records with the Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio, exploring the masterworks of the piano trio repertoire as well as new works by Lera Auerbach, Fred Lerdahl and others. Kaplan’s previous recordings include violin concerti of Paganini, Wieniawski, Bartok, Dohnanyi, Nono, Lalo, Berg and Stravinsky with such esteemed ensembles as the London Symphony and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Read more.
NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts series features Jason Vieaux & Yolanda Kondonassis, guitar & harp. The duo gives lushly detailed performances of gorgeous new works in a twenty-minute live presentation behind Bob Boylen’s desk. Hear Jason & Yolanda create a compelling unity from their two instruments on NPR Music’s iconic and eclectic Tiny Desk series.

Azica Records has released Together, the new CD from Yolanda Kondonassis & Jason Vieaux. The gorgeous CD is comprised entirely of original works for harp and guitar including two world premieres of works commissioned by Jason and Yolanda: Knock on Wood, by Keith Fitch, and Hypnotized, by Gary Schocker. Hear the interview and samples from WRCJ Detroit.


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