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Bramwell Tovey conducts Bernstein and Sibelius

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British conductor Bramwell Tovey leads the BSO in a program that pays tribute to Bernstein as both conductor and composer. First, the orchestra is joined by a cast of outstanding singers-soprano Nadine Sierra, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, tenor Nicholas Phan, baritone Elliot Madore, and bass Eric Owens- for Bernstein's celebratory orchestral song cycle Songfest, composed for the American Bicentennial in 1976. Then, Mr. Tovey leads the BSO in Sibelius's sweeping Symphony No. 2, a staple of Bernstein's conducting repertory.

Featured Performers

Bramwell Tovey, conductor
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GRAMMY and Juno award-winning conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey was appointed Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 2000. Under his leadership the VSO have toured to China, Korea, across Canada and the United States. Mr. Tovey is also the Artistic Adviser of the VSO School of Music, a state-of-the-art facility and recital hall which opened in downtown Vancouver in 2011, next to the Orpheum, the VSO's historic home. His tenure has included complete symphony cycles of Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms as well as the establishment of an annual festival dedicated to contemporary music. In 2018, the VSO's centenary year, he will become the orchestra's Music Director Emeritus.

During the 15-16  season Mr. Tovey's guest appearances include the symphonies of Montreal, Melbourne, New Zealand, and Pacific Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, reprising his programs with both at Bravo! Vail in summer 2016. The summer also includes returns to the Blossom Music Center, Ravinia Festival, and Hollywood Bowl. In the winter of 2016 he will conduct Korngold's Die Tote Stadt with the Calgary Opera.      

In the 14-15 season Mr. Tovey made guest appearances with several US orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Kansas City Symphony. In Europe he performed with the BBC Philharmonic and the Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester and he traveled to Australia on two separate occasions for engagements with the symphonies of Melbourne and Sydney.

In 2003 Bramwell Tovey won the Juno Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull. Commissions include the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Toronto Symphony and Calgary Opera who premiered his first full length opera The Inventor in 2011. A recording of the work by the VSO with UBC Opera and the original cast was made for the Naxos label and will be released this season. In 2014 his trumpet concerto, Songs of the Paradise Saloon, was performed by the LA Philharmonic with Alison Balsom as soloist, and was subsequently repeated by the same soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, in December 2014.  

A talented pianist as well as conductor and composer, he has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras including the New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, St Louis, Toronto, and Royal Scottish orchestras. In the summer of 2014 he played and conducted Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil and in Saratoga with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has performed his own Pictures in the Smoke with the Melbourne and Helsingborg Symphonies and the Royal Philharmonic.   

Maestro Tovey was Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from 1989 to 2001 where he founded the WSO's now celebrated New Music Festival. From 2002-2006 he was Music Director of Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, leading tours of Europe, the USA, China and Korea. He opened Luxembourg's Salle Philharmonie with the world première of Penderecki's 8th Symphony.   

Mr. Tovey is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and holds honorary degrees from the universities of British Columbia, Manitoba, Kwantlen and Winnipeg. In 2013 he was appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada for services to music.
In August 2011 he was described by Musical America as "one of the most versatile and charismatic musicians in the world."

Bramwell Tovey, conductor Nadine Sierra, soprano
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Praised for her vocal beauty, seamless technique, and abundant musicality, Nadine Sierra is being hailed as one of the most promising, young talents in opera today. She was named the Richard Tucker Award Winner in 2017 and was awarded the 2018 Beverly Sills Artist Award by the Metropolitan Opera. Having made a string of successful debuts at the Met, Teatro alla Scala, Opéra national de Paris, and Staatsoper Berlin, she has become a fixture at many of the top houses around the world. On August 24th, 2018, her debut album, There's a Place for Us, will be released under the Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music labels.

For the 2018-19 season, Sierra will return both to the Staatsoper Berlin singing Nannetta in Falstaff and to the Metropolitan Opera as Gilda in Rigoletto. She will also make her house and role debut as Manon at the Opéra national de Bordeaux and perform again as Gilda in a new production at the Staatsoper Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. In concert, she will perform and record Maria in Bernstein's West Side Story with Antonio Pappano at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, appear in Dallas, Prague, Paris, Bordeaux, Baden-Baden and return to Venice for La Fenice's televised Capodanno celebration.

Ms. Sierra's 2017-18 season included appearances at the Opéra national de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera, La Fenice, Chorégies d'Orange, and Staatsoper Berlin. She was named the Richard Tucker Award Winner in 2017 and had the honor of receiving the 2018 Beverly Sills Artist Award from the Metropolitan Opera. Sierra also had the pleasure of releasing her debut album, 'There's a Place for Us,' with the Deutsche Grammophon and Universal Music on August 24th, 2018. Ask her your questions on Instagram: @nadine.sierra.

Nadine Sierra, soprano
Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano
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Highly acclaimed for her "passionate intensity and remarkable vocal beauty," the Grammy Award winning Isabel Leonard continues to thrill audiences both in the opera house and on the concert stage.  In repertoire that spans from Vivaldi to Mozart to Thomas Ades, she has graced the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Salzburg Festival, Bavarian State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, the title roles in Griselda, La Périchole, and Der Rosenkavalier, as well as Sesto in both Mozart's La clemenza di Tito and Handel's Giulio Cesare.

She has appeared with some of the foremost conductors of her time:  James Levine, Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Franz Welser-Möst, Edo de Waart, James Conlon, Andris Nelsons, and Harry Bicket with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Vienna Philharmonic, among others.

Ms. Leonard is in constant demand as a recitalist and is on the Board of Trustees at Carnegie Hall.  She is a recent Grammy Award winner for Thomas Ades' The Tempest (Best Opera Recording) and the recipient of the 2013 Richard Tucker Award.  She recently joined the supporters of the Prostate Cancer Foundation to lend her voice in honor of her father who died from the disease when she was in college.

Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano
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Possessing a voice of uncommon allure, musical sophistication far beyond her years, and intuitive and innate dramatic artistry, the Grammy® Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation.

During the 2016-17 season, the artist's impressive symphonic calendar includes a Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in a program of Brahms, Purcell, and Stravinsky in collaboration with Thomas Adès, Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder with Matthias Pintscher conducting the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as with David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony both at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis and at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with Louis Langrée and the Detroit Symphony and with Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In performances with Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Miss O'Connor sings Mahler's Third Symphony and she assays the role of Erda in concert performances of Wagner's Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert conducting. Also, in the present season, the California native brings her artistry to the recital stage in three distinguished settings: Kelley O'Connor returns to Collaborative Arts Institute Chicago for programs spotlighting the songs of Debussy, Massenet, Chausson, and Canteloube; she joins pianist Louis Langrée for recital programs in Cincinnati featuring songs of Brahms and Ravel; and she is accompanied by her frequent collaborator, Donald Runnicles, at the Grand Teton Music Festival in a program of Brahms and Bernstein.

Recent seasons include performances of John Adams' El Niño under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Ravel's Shéhérazade with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival, Mahler's Eighth Symphony with Jirí Belohlávek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Berio's Folk Songs with Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra, Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony, Stravinsky's Les Noces with David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony, and Elgar's Sea Pictures and Britten's Spring Symphony with Edward Gardner and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

John Adams wrote the title role of The Gospel According to the Other Mary for Kelley O'Connor and she has performed the work, internationally, both in concert and in the Peter Sellars production, under the batons of Gustavo Dudamel and Grant Gershon. She continues to be the eminent living interpreter of Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs and has given this moving set of songs with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra, with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with Robert Spano and the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as with David Zinman and the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich among many others.

Miss O'Connor has appeared numerous times with Gustavo Dudamel, including in performances of Bernstein's "Jeremiah" Symphony on an international tour with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra. With Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra, she has sung excerpts from Roussel's Padmâvatî and given the world premiere of a vocal work written for Miss O'Connor by the legendary Indian musician, Zakir Hussain.

The artist enjoys a rich musical collaboration with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra with whom she has sung Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Mass in C, Bernstein's "Jeremiah" Symphony, staged performances of Falstaff both in Cleveland and at the Lucerne Festival, and Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles.

Operatic highlights include Donizetti's Anna Bolena at the Lyric Opera of Chicago conducted by Patrick Summers and directed by Kevin Newbury, Madama Butterfly in a new production by Lillian Groag at the Boston Lyric Opera and at the Cincinnati Opera under the baton of Ramón Tebar, Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict at Opera Boston, Falstaff with the Santa Fe Opera, and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Canadian Opera Company.

Kelley O'Connor has received unanimous international, critical acclaim for her numerous performances as Federico García Lorca in Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar. Miss O'Connor created the role for the world premiere at Tanglewood, under the baton of Robert Spano, and subsequently joined Miguel Harth-Bedoya for performances of Golijov's piece with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She reprised her "musically seductive, palpably charismatic" (Washington Post) portrayal of Lorca in the world-premiere of the revised edition of Ainadamar at the Santa Fe Opera in a new staging by Peter Sellars during the 2005 season, which was also presented at New York City's Lincoln Center and Madrid's Teatro Real. For her debut with the Atlanta Symphony in Ainadamar, she joined Robert Spano for performances and a Grammy® Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording. Her discography also includes Lieberson's Neruda Songs with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony as well as Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon.

Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
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Appearing regularly in the world's premiere concert halls, music festivals and opera houses, American tenor Nicholas Phan continues to distinguish himself as one of the most compelling tenors performing today. 

Highlights of Mr. Phan's upcoming 2017/2018 season include his debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra for Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo for Britten's War Requiem with Marin Alsop; and returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philharmonia Baroque, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony for Schubert's Mass in E-flat with Riccardo Muti, and the Toronto Symphony for performances as the title role in Bernstein's Candide.  He also serves as artistic director of two festivals next season: Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago's sixth annual Collaborative Works Festival, and as the first singer to be guest Artistic Director of the Laguna Beach Music Festival.

Mr. Phan has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in North America and Europe, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Baroque, Les Violons du Roy, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and the Lucerne Symphony. He has also toured extensively throughout the major concert halls of Europe with Il Complesso Barocco, and appeared with the Oregon Bach, Ravinia, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Rheingau, Saint-Denis, and Tanglewood festivals, as well as the BBC Proms.  Among the conductors he has worked with are Marin Alsop, Harry Bicket, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Alan Curtis, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, Jane Glover, Manfred Honeck, Bernard Labadie, Louis Langrée, Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, John Nelson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Helmuth Rilling, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Masaaki Suzuki, Michael Tilson Thomas and Franz Welser-Möst. 

An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with many chamber musicians, including pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Jeremy Denk, Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Myra Huang and Alessio Bax; violinist James Ehnes; guitarist Eliot Fisk; harpist Sivan Magen; and horn players Jennifer Montone, Radovan Vlatkovic and Gail Williams. In both recital and chamber concerts, he has been presented by Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Atlanta's Spivey Hall, Boston's Celebrity Series, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.  In 2010, he co-founded the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, an organization that promotes the art song and vocal chamber music repertoire of which he is Artistic Director.

Mr. Phan's many opera credits include appearances with the Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Maggio Musicale in Florence,  Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and Frankfurt Opera. His growing repertoire includes the title roles in Bernstein's Candide,  Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex  and Handel's Acis and Galatea, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore,  Fenton in Falstaff,  Tamino in Die Zauberflöte,  Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni,  and Lurcanio in Ariodante. 

Phan's most recent solo album, Gods and Monsters, was released on Avie Records in January. His first three solo albums, A Painted TaleStill Fall the Rain and Winter Words, made many "best of" lists, including those of the New York TimesNew YorkerChicago Tribune and Boston Globe. Phan's growing discography also includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony, the opera L'Olimpiadewith the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Scarlatti's La gloria di Primavera with Philharmonia Baroque, Bach's St. John Passion (in which he sings both the Evangelist as well as the tenor arias) with Apollo's Fire, and the world premiere recordings of two orchestral song cycles: The Old Burying Ground by Evan Chambers and Elliott Carter's A Sunbeam's Architecture.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Phan is the 2012 recipient of the Paul C Boylan Distinguished Alumni Award.  He also studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School, and is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. He was the recipient of a 2006 Sullivan Foundation Award and 2004 Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. 

Nicholas Phan, tenor Elliot Madore, baritone
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Canadian baritone Elliot Madore has been praised for his "movie star quality" (Merkur) and "exceptional" artistry (New York Times).

In the 2017-2018 season, he returns to the San Francisco Opera for the world premiere of John Adams' Girls of the Golden West directed by Peter Sellars and the Zurich Opera as Germano in La scala di seta. He will debut with the Berlin Philharmonic as The Cat/Grandfather Clock in L'enfant et les sortilèges conducted by Seiji Ozawa, with the Bremen Kammerphilharmonie in Pelléas et Melisande conducted by Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing Papageno's arias with Gustavo Dudamel. He returns to the Tanglewood Music Festival to sing Bernstein's Songfest with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In his signature role of Pelléas in Pelléas et Melisande, he made his Bayerische Staatsoper debut in a new production at the Prinzregententehater. He has also sung Pelléas with the Croatian National Opera in Stéphane Braunschweig's famous production, with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra in a fully-staged production by Yuval Sharon, at Opéra-Théâtre de Limoges, and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit. Mr. Madore made his Metropolitan Opera mainstage debut as Lysander in their original baroque fantasy The Enchanted Island conducted by William Christie, as well as singing the Novice's Friend in Billy Budd as a member of Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Since then, he has appeared as Figaro in The Barber of Canadian baritone Elliot Madore has been praised for his "movie star quality" (Merkur) and "exceptional" artistry (New York Times).

In the 2017-2018 season, he returns to the San Francisco Opera for the world premiere of John Adams' Girls of the Golden West directed by Peter Sellars and the Zurich Opera as Germano in La scala di seta. He will debut with the Berlin Philharmonic as The Cat/Grandfather Clock in L'enfant et les sortilèges conducted by Seiji Ozawa, with the Bremen Kammerphilharmonie in Pelléas et Melisande conducted by Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing Papageno's arias with Gustavo Dudamel. He returns to the Tanglewood Music Festival to sing Bernstein's Songfest with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In his signature role of Pelléas in Pelléas et Melisande, he made his Bayerische Staatsoper debut in a new production at the Prinzregententehater. He has also sung Pelléas with the Croatian National Opera in Stéphane Braunschweig's famous production, with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra in a fully-staged production by Yuval Sharon, at Opéra-Théâtre de Limoges, and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit. Mr. Madore made his Metropolitan Opera mainstage debut as Lysander in their original baroque fantasy The Enchanted Island conducted by William Christie, as well as singing the Novice's Friend in Billy Budd as a member of Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Since then, he has appeared as Figaro in The Barber of Seville and Mercutio in the new production of Roméo et Juliette conducted by Gianandrea Noseda which was broadcast worldwide in HD. He made his San Francisco Opera debut as Anthony in Sweeney Todd and returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos under music director Kirill Petrenko with performances in Munich and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He debuted at Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, Florida Grand Opera debut as Reinaldo Arenas in Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls, and at the Santa Fe Opera as Mercutio in a new production of Roméo et Juliette conducted by Harry Bicket. He also debuted at the Dutch National Opera as Prince Hérisson de Porc-Epic in Laurent Pelly's new production of Chabrier's L'étoile which was recorded for DVD.

He made his European operatic debut at the Glyndebourne Festival in a new production of L'heure espagnole as Ramiro and L'enfant et les sortilèges as The Cat/Grandfather Clock directed by Laurent Pelly and conducted by Kazushi Ono. He was also seen in this same Ravel double-bill at the Saito Kinen Festival conducted by Seiji Ozawa and directed by Laurent Pelly which recently won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. He made his Salzburg Festival debut as the Japanese Envoy in concert performances of Stravinsky's Le rossignol with Ivor Bolton and Mozarteumorchester Salzburg. At the Tanglewood Festival, Mr. Madore has been seen as Harlekin and the Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos under the baton of Christoph von Dohnányi. He returned to the Glyndebourne Festival as the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni, a role he also sang at Opera Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and at the Tanglewood Festival with James Levine. Elliot was a member of the ensemble at Opernhaus Zürich where he was seen as Valentin in a new production of Faust, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte under Tomas Netopil, Schaunard in La bohème conducted by Nello Santi, Andrei a new production of Peter Eötvös's Three Sisters, Silvio in Pagliacci, Silvano in Un ballo in maschera and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos under Fabio Luisi.

In concert, he opened the new Philharmonie Hall in Paris with Les Arts Florissants as Adario in Rameau's Les Indes galantes conducted by William Christie. He made his Baltimore Symphony debut with Marin Alsop in Carmina Burana, was heard in concert with Charles Dutoit and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in L'heure espagnole and L'enfant et les sortilèges, and debuted with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in Carmina Burana under music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. He was heard in recital with the Cleveland Art Song Festival and with Music Toronto, which was broadcast on the CBC. Mr. Madore has also recently performed recitals in New York, Winnipeg, and Philadelphia. He made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall as part of Marilyn Horne's The Song Continues series and performed a solo concert with the Edmonton Symphony in a program of opera arias and Lieder. His Canadian recital debut took place at the National Arts Centre in Canada which was recorded and broadcast on the CBC Radio Two's "Next! Canada's Music Future" Series.

In addition to the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mr. Madore was the recipient of the 2010 George London Award for a Canadian Singer from the George London Foundation, a finalist in the 2010 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers in Houston and the recipient of the ARIAS Emerging Young Artist Award from Opera Canada. He was also the winner of the 2009 Palm Beach Vocal Competition. Elliot Madore is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Marlena Malas.

Elliot Madore, baritone
Eric Owens, bass
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Bass-baritone Eric Owens has a unique reputation as an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. Equally at home in orchestral, recital, and operatic repertoire, Mr. Owens brings his powerful poise, expansive voice, and instinctive acting faculties to stages around the world.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. Owens will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to make his role debut as Wotan in David Pountney's new production of Wagner's Die Walküre. He will also sing Filippo II in Verdi's Don Carlo  at Washington National Opera, Don Basilio in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Sivigliaat Houston Grand Opera, Enrico in Donizetti's Anna Bolena  at Canadian Opera Company, and the Forester in Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen at the Glimmerglass Festival, where he will serve as Artist in Residence and Artistic Advisor. Concert appearances include Rossini's Stabat Mater  with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, Verdi's Requiem with both the National Symphony Orchestra led by Gianandrea Noseda and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and Mendelssohn's Elijah with Music of the Baroque. He will also give a recital at the Shriver Center in Baltimore, as well as dual recitals with Susanna Phillips at the Schubert Club in St. Paul and Lawrence Brownlee at the Celebrity Series of Boston.

Eric Owens launched the 2016-17 season with his role debut as Wotan in David Pountney's new production of Wagner's Das Rheingold  at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He sang a trio of operas at the Metropolitan Opera that included the Met premiere of Kaijo Saariaho's L'amour de Loin, a new production of Rusalka under Sir Mark Elder, and a revival of Idomeneo  conducted by James Levine, all of which were broadcast through the Met's Live in HD series. Concert highlights included joining Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic for performances as Wotan in Das Rheingold and of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which he also performed at the Cincinatti May Festival as its Artist in Residence, a gala celebrating the Metropolitan Opera's Fiftieth Anniversary at Lincoln Center, and performances as Orest in Strauss's Elektra at the Verbier Festival and Méphistophélès in Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He also gave a guest recital at the Cleveland Art Song Festival, performed dual recitals with Susanna Phillips at the Washington Performing Arts and Lawrence Brownlee at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and William Jewell College, and appeared with the Chicago Symphony's Negaunee Music Institute to present an interactive recital for incarcerated youth alongside Riccardo Muti and Joyce DiDonato.

The 2015-2016 season featured Mr. Owens in several collaborations with the New York Philharmonic as the Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, including a tribute to legendary African-American singers and their legacy titled In Their Footsteps, a concert of Strauss selections and excerpts from Act 3 of  Die Walküre conducted by Alan Gilbert, and a festive concert celebrating the holiday season. Other orchestral engagements during the season included performances of Bruckner's Te Deum with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Riccardo Muti, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the St. Louis Symphony, as well as with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, Ravel's L'enfant  et  les sortileges with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Bayerischer Rundfunk, Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Dvořák's Stabat Mater with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra. He also joined Music of the Baroque as Simon in concert performances of Handel's Judas Maccabaeus.

Operatic highlights of his 2015-16 season included his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Orest in a new production of Elektra by legendary director Patrice Chéreau, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, which was broadcast on the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Live in HD series. He also hosted the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD broadcast of Otello. He returned to Washington National Opera as Stephen Kumalo in Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, he performed an evening of jazz standards featuring the music of Billy Eckstine and Johnny Hartman, and he will also appear in recital under the auspices of the Oberlin College and Conservatory, Troy Chromatic Concerts, and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Mr. Owens began his 2014-2015 season with the Berlin Philharmonic in Bach's St. Matthew Passion conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and directed by Peter Sellars, with staged performances at the Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, and New York's Park Avenue Armory as part of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival. He returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he is a Community Ambassador, for performances of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Mr. Owens also made his role debuts as the title role in Der  fliegende  Holländer  with Washington National Opera, King Philip II in Don Carlo at Opera Philadelphia, and the title role in Macbeth at the Glimmerglass Festival, where he returned as an Artist-in-Residence.

Symphonic highlights of Mr. Owens' recent seasons included performances of Verdi's Requiem  with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, Ravel's L'enfant  et  les sortileges  with the Swedish Radio Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, both under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. He also performed a duo recital with soprano Susanna Phillips under the auspices of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

Mr. Owens has created an uncommon niche for himself in the ever-growing body of contemporary opera works through his determined tackling of new and challenging roles. He received great critical acclaim for portraying the title role in the world premiere of Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel with the Los Angeles Opera, and again at the Lincoln Center Festival, in a production directed and designed by Julie Taymor. Mr. Owens also enjoys a close association with John Adams, for whom he performed the role of General Leslie Groves in the world premiere of Doctor Atomic at the San Francisco Opera, and of the Storyteller in the world premiere of A Flowering Tree at Peter Sellars's New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna and later with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Doctor Atomic was later recorded and received the 2012 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. Mr. Owens made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut under the baton of David Robertson in Adam's El Niño.

Mr. Owens's career operatic highlights include Alberich in the Metropolitan Opera's Ring  cycle directed by Robert Lepage; his San Francisco Opera debut in Otello conducted by Donald Runnicles; his Royal Opera, Covent Garden, debut in Norma; Vodnik in Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Chicago; the title role in Handel's Hercules with the Canadian Opera Company; Aida at Houston Grand Opera; RigolettoIl Trovatore, and La Bohème at Los Angeles opera; Die Zauberflöte  for his Paris Opera (Bastille) debut; and Ariodante  and L'Incoronazione di Poppea at the English National Opera. He sang Collatinus in a highly-acclaimed Christopher Alden production of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at Glimmerglass Opera. A former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Mr. Owens has sung Sarastro, Mephistopheles in Faust, Frère Laurent, and Aristotle Onassis in the world premiere of Jackie O  (available on the Argo label) with that company. Mr. Owens is featured on two Telarc recordings with the Atlanta Symphony: Mozart's Requiem and scenes from Strauss' Elektra  and Die Frau ohne Schatten, both conducted by Donald Runnicles. He is featured on the Nonesuch Records release of A Flowering Tree.

Mr. Owens has been recognized with multiple honors, including the Musical America's 2017 "Vocalist of the Year" award, 2003 Marian Anderson Award, a 1999 ARIA award, second prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Owens began his musical training as a pianist at the age of six, followed by formal oboe study at age eleven under Lloyd Shorter of the Delaware Symphony and Louis Rosenblatt of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He studied voice while an undergraduate at Temple University, and then as a graduate student at the Curtis Institute of Music. He currently studies with Armen Boyajian. He serves on the Board of Trustees of both the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and Astral Artistic Services.

Eric Owens, bass Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor
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Dima Slobodeniouk is Principal Conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Sibelius Festival. Lauded for his deeply informed and intelligent artistic leadership, Slobodeniouk is also Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, a position, since 2013 that he combines with his more recent post in Lahti, since 2016. Linking his native Russian roots with his musical studies in Finland, he draws on the powerful musical heritage of these countries.

In 2017/18 Dima Slobodeniouk will also make debuts with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks as well as with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Returns include the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Viktoria Mullova and Matthew Barley in a premiere of Pascal Dusapin's "At-swim-two-birds", the Dutch premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's Triple Concerto for violin, cello and bayan with soloists Baiba Skride, Harriet Krijgh and Elsbeth Moser and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also return to Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre National de Lyon.

In Lahti, Slobodeniouk opens next season with the world premiere of Kerkko Koskinen's concerto for two saxophones. On the London Symphony Orchestra's recent Nordic tour, Slobodeniouk made a sensational 'stand in' for an indisposed Michael Tilson Thomas, bringing orchestra and the Lahti audience to its feet after a performance of Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yuja Wang and Nielsen Symphony No. 5. In Galicia he will open next season with Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony followed by a national tour with Ivo Pogorelich. Other soloists in the season include Baiba Skride, Nicolas Alstaedt and Khatia Buniatishvili, Leif Ove Andsnes, Ning Feng and Truls Mørk.

Slobodeniouk's discography comprises works by Lotta Wennäkoski with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Ondine). Maintaining an active collaboration with BIS Records, he has recorded Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and forthcoming CDs for BIS include works of Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Kalevi Aho. 

Moscow-born Dima Slobodeniouk studied violin at the Central Music School under Zinaida Gilels and J. Chugajev, the Middle Finland Conservatory as well as the Sibelius Academy under Olga Parhomenko. He continued his Sibelius Academy studies with Atso Almila also under the guidance of Leif Segerstam and Jorma Panula, and has also studied under Ilya Musin and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Striving to inspire young musicians of the future, Slobodeniouk has worked with students at the Verbier Festival Academy over recent years and furthermore he began a conducting initiative with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, providing an opportunity for students to work on the podium with a professional orchestra. 

Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
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With a career spanning more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era.  An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards and is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize.  Named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, he is the only person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.

In Summer 2017, Bell leads the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in residency appearances at the Edinburgh Festival and the Bravo! Vail Festival.  He performs as soloist at the BBC Proms in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, Tanglewood and the Hollywood Bowl.  In the Fall, he joins the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and partakes in the New York Philharmonic's celebration of Leonard Bernstein's centennial, performing Bernstein's Serenade led by Alan Gilbert.  A nine-city North American recital tour with pianist Alessio Bax includes Chicago's Symphony Center and Washington D.C.'s Strathmore Center.  He makes appearances with the Vienna Symphony and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and performs multiple concerts at London's Wigmore Hall with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

In Spring 2018, Bell continues with the Academy in tours covering the United Kingdom, United States and Asia, with highlights in London, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai.  With pianist Sam Haywood, he performs 10 recitals in Europe and America that take them to the Philharmonie de Paris, Zurich Tonhalle and beyond.

On February 7, 2018, Bell reunites with longtime collaborator pianist Jeremy Denk for a recital broadcast live from Carnegie Hall.  Further season highlights include the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Cristian Măcelaru, Danish National Symphony with Măcelaru, and an all-Beethoven play/direct program with the Orchestre National de Lyon.

Convinced of the value of music as a diplomatic and educational tool, Bell participated in President Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities' first cultural mission to Cuba.  He is also involved in Turnaround Arts, another project implemented by the Committee and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. which provides arts education to low-performing elementary and middle schools. Bell has performed for three U.S. Presidents as well as the President of China and devoted himself to several charitable causes, most notably Education Through Music, which put instruments in the hands of thousands of children in America's inner cities.

On August 18, 2017 Sony released the Joshua Bell Classical Collection, a 14 CD set of Bell's Sony recording highlights from the past 20 years. In September 2016, Sony Classical released Bell's album, For the Love of Brahms  with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk.  Bell's 2014 Sony release was a Bach album recorded with the Academy that coincided with an HBO YoungArts documentary special, Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass. His 2013 release with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, featured him conducting Beethoven's Fourth and Seventh symphonies and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts.

In 2013, Sony released Bell's holiday CD, Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends, featuring collaborations with Chris Botti, Chick Corea, Gloria Estefan, Renée Fleming, Plácido Domingo, Alison Krauss and others.  Other releases include French Impressions  with pianist Jeremy Denk, featuring sonatas by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Franck, At Home with Friends, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons  with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, The Tchaikovsky Concerto  with the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as The Red Violin Concerto, The Essential Joshua Bell, Voice of the Violin,  and Romance of the Violin  which Billboard  named the 2004 Classical CD of the Year, and Bell the Classical Artist of the Year.

Bell received critical acclaim for his concerto recordings of Sibelius and Goldmark, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and the Grammy Award winning Nicholas Maw concerto.  His Grammy-nominated Gershwin Fantasy  premiered a new work for violin and orchestra based on themes from Porgy and Bess.   Its success led to a Grammy-nominated Bernstein recording that included the premiere of the West Side Story Suite  as well as the composer's Serenade.   Bell appeared on the Grammy-nominated crossover recording Short Trip Home  with composer and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, as well as a recording with Meyer of the Bottesini Gran Duo Concertante.   He collaborated with Wynton Marsalis on the Grammy-winning spoken word children's album Listen to the Storyteller and Béla Fleck's Grammy Award winning recording, Perpetual Motion. Highlights of the Sony Classical film soundtracks on which he has performed include The Red Violin which won the Oscar for Best Original Score, the Classical Brit-nominated Ladies in Lavender, and the films, Iris and Defiance.

Seeking opportunities to increase violin repertoire, Bell has premiered new works by John Corigliano, Aaron Jay Kernis, Nicholas Maw, Edgar Meyer, Behzad Ranjbaran and Jay Greenberg.  He also performs and has recorded his own cadenzas to most of the major violin concertos.

Perhaps the event that helped most to transform Bell's reputation from "musician's musician' to household name was his incognito performance in a Washington, D.C. subway station in 2007. Ever adventurous, he had agreed to participate in a Washington Post story by Gene Weingarten which thoughtfully examined art and context. The story earned Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize and sparked an international firestorm of discussion. The conversation continues to this day, and inspired the 2013 children's book The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Dušan Petričić from Annick Press. Just published in 2017 by the same team is The Dance of the Violin which recalls the 12-year-old Bell making a mistake at the Stulberg International String competition and the unexpected outcome which transpired when he was given a second chance.

Bell has reached new audiences from collaborations with artists outside the classical arena and performances on television shows including his 2017 seventh Live from Lincoln Center special: Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba. Appearances on The Tonight Show, Tavis Smiley, Charlie Rose,  and CBS Sunday Morning, Sesame Street and all three seasons of Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle have earned new fans. Joshua Bell with Friends @ The Penthouse, Great Performances Joshua Bell: West Side Story Suite from Central ParkMemorial Day Concert performed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and A&E's Biography also comprise his CV. He has twice performed on the Grammy Awards telecast, playing music from Short Trip Home and West Side Story Suite, and has been a presenter AND a Grammy Award recipient. He was one of the first classical artists to have a music video on VH1 and he was the subject of a BBC Omnibus documentary. Bell has appeared on radio programs worldwide and in publications ranging from The Strad and  Gramophone  to  Time, The New York Times, People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful PeopleUSA TodayThe Wall Street JournalGQ and Vogue among many.

In 2017, Bell connected with the virtual reality tech audience in an exciting collaboration with Sony. The Joshua Bell VR Experience is a live studio performance of Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 1 in full 360-degree VR. The experience which was awarded a Lumiere Prize is available for free download for SONY PlayStation VR.

Bell also collaborated with Embertone, the leading virtual instrument sampling company, to release the Joshua Bell Virtual Violin for producers, artists engineers and composers.

Growing up with his two sisters in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell was an avid computer game player. He placed fourth in a national tennis tournament at age 10, and still keeps his racquet close by. At age four, he received his first violin after his parents, both mental health professionals, noticed him plucking tunes with rubber bands he had stretched around his dresser drawer handles. By 12, he was serious about the instrument, thanks in large part to the inspiration Josef Gingold, his beloved teacher and mentor. Two years later, Bell came to national attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His Carnegie Hall debut, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a notable recording contract further confirmed his presence.

Bell has received many accolades: In 2013 he was honored by the New York Chapter of The Recording Academy; in 2012 by the National YoungArts Foundation, in 2011 he received the Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and the Huberman Award from Moment Magazine. Bell was named "Instrumentalist of the Year, 2010" by Musical America and received the Humanitarian Award from Seton Hall University. In 2009 he was honored by Education Through Music and received the Academy of Achievement Award in 2008. He was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 2007 and was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.

In 2003 Bell was invited to perform at the World Economic Forum for an audience of global leaders and was later recognized by that prestigious organization as a Young Global Leader.  He serves on the artist committee of the Kennedy Center Honors, the New York Philharmonic Board of Directors, and Education Through Music.

Bell served for three years as an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, helping to develop a new line of musical instruments and toys. He currently serves as a senior lecturer at the Jacobs School of Music, his alma mater at Indiana University which has also honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award.  He has been named an "Indiana Living Legend" and is the recipient of the Indiana Governor's Arts Award.

Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and uses a late 18th century French bow by François Tourte.

Joshua Bell, violin
Program Notes Audio
BERNSTEIN - Songfest (40 min, with spoken introductions)
SIBELIUS - Symphony No. 2 (45 min)
Full Program Notes - -
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