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Giancarlo Guerrero is a six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor now in his tenth season as Music Director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero is also Music Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal. Guerrero is widely praised for his instinctive musicianship and for bringing to the podium “not only vitality and insight but also an appealing physical dynamism” (The Plain Dealer).
A passionate proponent of new music, Guerrero has championed the works of America's most respected composers through commissions, recordings, and world premieres. Guerrero’s advocacy has helped make Nashville a destination for contemporary orchestral music. He has presented nine world premieres with the Nashville Symphony, including the 2016 performance and recent GRAMMY®-winning recording of Jennifer Higdon’s All Things Majestic and the 2018 premiere and recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4 “Heichalos,” written for the Nashville Symphony’s Violins of Hope initiative, which featured a collection of restored instruments that survived the Holocaust. As part of his commitment to fostering contemporary music, Guerrero developed and guided the creation of Nashville Symphony’s Composer Lab & Workshop initiative, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis.
Fall of 2018 brings the Naxos release of John Harbison’s monumental Requiem with the Nashville Symphony and Chorus. The release marks both Guerrero’s first choral recording and the first time the work will be heard on record since its premiere by the Boston Symphony in 2003. In the spring of 2019, Naxos will release Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony’s recording of Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4. Recent seasons have also seen the release of new albums with Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony dedicated to the music of Terry Riley, Michael Daugherty and Richard Danielpour, as well as a collection of wind concertos by Frank Ticheli, Brad Warnaar, and Behzad Ranjbaran. With the Harbison and Leshnoff releases, Guerrero’s rich discography with the Nashville Symphony will number 17.
Outside of Nashville, Wrocław and Lisbon, Guerrero enjoys relationships with orchestras around the world. His 2018/19 engagements will include the Dallas Symphony, Chicago Symphony, NDR in Hannover, OSESP São Paulo and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia.
Maestro Guerrero has appeared with prominent North American orchestras, including those of Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montréal, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He has developed a strong international guest-conducting profile and has worked in recent seasons with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Deutsches Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Queensland Symphony and Sydney Symphony in Australia.
Guerrero made his debut with Houston Grand Opera in 2015 conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Early in his career, he worked regularly with the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and has conducted new productions of Carmen, La bohème, and Rigoletto. In 2008 he gave the Australian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's one-act opera Ainadamar at the Adelaide Festival.
Guerrero previously held posts as the Principal Guest Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami (2011-2016), Music Director of the Eugene Symphony (2002-2009), and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (1999-2004).
Guerrero was born in Nicaragua and immigrated during his childhood to Costa Rica, where he joined the local youth symphony. He quickly proved to be a promising young percussionist and came to the United States to study percussion and conducting at Baylor University in Texas and at Northwestern. Given his beginnings in civic youth orchestras, Guerrero is particularly engaged with conducting training orchestras and works regularly with the Curtis School of Music, Colburn School in Los Angeles, and Yale Philharmonia, as well as with the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program, which provides music education to promising young students from underrepresented ethnic communities. In recent years, he has developed a relationship with the National Youth Orchestra (NYO2) in New York, created and operated by the Weill Institute of Music at Carnegie Hall.
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
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Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time: his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master. The Grammy Award-winner, also named Musical America's "Instrumentalist of the Year," is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors, and regularly gives recitals and appears with ensembles on the world's great concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals.
Highlights of recent years include the acclaimed recording and performances of J.S. Bach's complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin. In the coming seasons in addition to championing these solo works he will join his long time duo partner pianist, Akira Eguchi in recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Appearances with orchestra regularly include the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and San Francisco Symphony as well as multi-year residencies with the Orchestras of Montreal, Stuttgart and Singapore. With orchestra, Mr. Shaham continues his exploration of "Violin Concertos of the 1930s," including the works of Barber, Bartok, Berg, Korngold, Prokofiev, among many others.
Mr. Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, earning multiple Grammys, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d'Or, and Gramophone Editor's Choice. Many of these recordings appear on Canary Classics, the label he founded in 2004. His CDs include 1930s Violin Concertos, Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar's Violin Concerto, Hebrew Melodies, The Butterfly Lovers and many more. His most recent recording in the series 1930s Violin Concertos Vol. 2, including the Prokofiev's Violin Concerto and Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2 was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Mr. Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971. He moved with his parents to Israel, where he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music at the age of 7, receiving annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981, he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic, and the following year, took the first prize in Israel's Claremont Competition. He then became a scholarship student at Juilliard, and also studied at Columbia University.
Mr. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008, received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In 2012, he was named "Instrumentalist of the Year" by Musical America. He plays the 1699 "Countess Polignac" Stradivarius, and lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.
Gil Shaham, violin
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"A young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both
traditional and contemporary music have earned her international
recognition, … Weilerstein is a consummate performer, combining
technical precision with impassioned musicianship." So stated the
MacArthur Foundation when awarding Alisa Weilerstein a 2011
MacArthur "genius grant" Fellowship, prompting the New
York Times to respond: "Any fellowship that recognizes
the vibrancy of an idealistic musician like Ms. Weilerstein …
deserves a salute from everyone in classical music." In
performances marked by intensity, sensitivity, and a wholehearted
immersion in each of the works she interprets, the American cellist
has long proven herself to be in possession of a distinctive
musical voice. An exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics
since 2010, she is the first cellist to be signed by the
prestigious label in more than 30 years.
To launch the 2014-15 season, Weilerstein joined the Milwaukee
Symphony and Edo de Waart for the Elgar concerto, which is also the
vehicle for engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas
Symphony, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, the Stuttgart Symphony,
the Netherlands Philharmonic, and Tokyo's NHK Symphony. She plays
Dvorák with the New York Philharmonic and Christoph von Dohnányi;
Haydn on a German tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra; and
Shostakovich with England's Hallé Orchestra, the Warsaw
Philharmonic, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall; and
collaborates with the Orchestre de Paris, Zurich's Tonhalle
Orchestra, Berlin's Konzerthausorchester, the Montreal Symphony,
the Czech Philharmonic, Denmark's Aalborg Symphony, Spain's
Orquesta de Valencia, and the Luxembourg Philharmonic. Upcoming
recital highlights include appearances in Boston, Aspen, and
London's Wigmore Hall, where Weilerstein showcases repertoire
from Solo, her 2014 Decca compilation of
unaccompanied 20th-century cello music. The album's centerpiece is
Kodály's Sonata, a signature work that she also performs on the
soundtrack of If I Stay, a 2014 feature film starring
Chloë Grace Moretz, in which the cellist makes a cameo appearance
For her first album on the Decca label, Weilerstein recorded the
Elgar and Elliott Carter cello concertos with Daniel Barenboim and
the Staatskapelle Berlin. The disc was named "Recording of the Year
2013" by both Norman Lebrecht and BBC
Music magazine, which featured the cellist on the cover
of its May 2014 issue. On her second Decca disc, released in early
2014, she plays Dvorák's Cello Concerto with Jirí Belohlávek and
the Czech Philharmonic.
Weilerstein's major career milestones include an emotionally
devastating account of Elgar's concerto with the Berlin
Philharmonic and Daniel Barenboim in Oxford, England, for the
orchestra's 2010 European Concert, which was televised live to an
audience of millions worldwide, and subsequently released on DVD by
EuroArts. She and Barenboim reunited in 2012-13 to play Elliott
Carter's concerto on a German tour with the Berlin Staatskapelle.
In 2009, she was one of four artists invited by Michelle Obama to
participate in a widely celebrated and high profile classical music
event at the White House, featuring student workshops hosted by the
First Lady and performances before guests including President Obama
and the First Family. A month later, Weilerstein toured Venezuela
as soloist with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra under Gustavo
Dudamel. She has since made numerous return visits to teach and
perform with the orchestra as part of its famed El
Sistema music education program. Other highlights of
recent seasons include her debuts at the BBC Proms in 2010, and
with England's Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which she
joined in 2013 for a 16-city U.S. tour.
Committed to expanding the cello repertoire, Weilerstein is an
ardent champion of new music. She gave the New York premiere of
Matthias Pintscher's Reflections on
Narcissus under the composer's own direction during the
New York Philharmonic's inaugural 2014 Biennial, and has worked
extensively with Osvaldo Golijov, who
rewrote Azul for cello and orchestra (originally
premiered by Yo-Yo Ma) for her New York premiere performance at the
opening of the 2007 Mostly Mozart Festival. Weilerstein has since
played the work with orchestras around the world, besides
frequently programming the Argentinean composer's
Omaramor for solo cello. At the 2008 Caramoor
festival, she gave the world premiere of Lera
Auerbach's 24 Preludes for Violoncello and
Piano with the composer at the keyboard, and
the two have subsequently reprised the work at the
Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Kennedy Center, and for San
Francisco Performances. Joseph Hallman, a 2014 Grammy Award
nominee, has also written multiple works for Weilerstein, including
a cello concerto that she premiered with the St. Petersburg
Philharmonic in 2008.
Weilerstein has appeared at major music festivals throughout the
world, including Aspen, Bad Kissingen, Delft, Edinburgh, Jerusalem
Chamber Music, La Jolla SummerFest, Mostly Mozart, Salzburg,
Schleswig-Holstein, Tanglewood, and Verbier. In addition to her
appearances as a soloist and recitalist, Weilerstein performs
regularly as a chamber musician. She has been part of a core group
of musicians at the Spoleto Festival USA for the past eight years
and also performs with her parents, Donald and Vivian Hornik
Weilerstein, as the Weilerstein Trio, the trio-in-residence at
Boston's New England Conservatory.
The cellist is the winner of both Lincoln Center's 2008 Martin E.
Segal prize for exceptional achievement and the 2006 Leonard
Bernstein Award. She received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000
and was selected for two prestigious young artists programs in the
2000-01 season: the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organization)
"Rising Stars" recital series and the Chamber Music Society of
Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two.
Born in 1982, Weilerstein discovered her love for the cello at
just two and a half, when her grandmother assembled a makeshift set
of instruments from cereal boxes to entertain her while she was ill
with chicken pox. Although immediately drawn to the Rice Krispies
box cello, Weilerstein soon grew frustrated that it didn't produce
any sound. After persuading her parents to buy her a real cello at
the age of four, she developed a natural affinity for the
instrument and gave her first public performance six months later.
At 13, in October 1995, she played Tchaikovsky's "Rococo"
Variations for her Cleveland Orchestra debut, and in March 1997 she
made her first Carnegie Hall appearance with the New York Youth
Symphony. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland
Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss, the
cellist also graduated in May 2004 with a degree in History from
Columbia University. In November 2008, Weilerstein, who was
diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine, became a
Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research
Last updated October 2014.
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Alisa Weilerstein, cello