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Biographies – Oct. 5, 2012

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Program | Season Listing | Biographies

Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band

Keith Brion

Keith Brion, Music Director of his own New Sousa Band, has appeared as a frequent guest conductor with the nearly all of America’s major symphony orchestras and professional bands. His New Sousa Band, begun in 1979, is a realization of Mr. Brion’s dream to reincarnate the Sousa Band and once again tour America’s towns and cities.

 

Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band have toured extensively in the Eastern, Midwestern and the Southeastern United States. The band made their first overseas tour to Japan in August 1996. In November 1993, the band played its first theatrical engagement with a one week appearance at the Christie Lane Theatre in Branson, MO. They have appeared regularly in every section of the United States. In 2000 they were presented by the Minnesota Orchestra and in May 2002 appeared for an entire week on the Seattle Symphony pops series. The band performed in 2009 for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and in Dec./Jan. 2010-11 toured six major cities in China.


The musicians of the New Sousa Band are chosen for their ability to transmit the original excitement, style, spirit and ensemble sound of the Sousa’s Band. They are selected nationally from major orchestras, military bands, university faculties and freelance musicians. The band wears authentic replicas of the original Sousa Band uniforms. They assemble several times each year to concertize.

The band uses the early 20th century performance style, and inflections of and the special march orchestrations of Sousa’s original band. They have also adopted many of the original period instruments including saxophones from the 1920s, cornets, smaller trombones and baritone horns, the unique upright bell sousaphones used by Sousa’s Band and a period snare drum.

Mr. Brion and his band appeared in a 1986 PBS TV special The New Sousa Band On Stage at Wolftrap, now released as a video and as a laserdisc by Proscenium Entertainment. Excerpts from this show appear from time to time on the Classic Arts Channel. Mr. Brion has also been seen in the PBS-TV special on the American Experience “If You Knew Sousa” and has been seen on BBC TV London in a new show called “Sousa in New York.”

His recordings with his New Sousa Band include The Original, All-American, SOUSA! on Delos Records and the Sousa Legacy for Bainbridge Records, recorded with the Rochester Philharmonic and the New Sousa Band. He has recorded Percy Grainger-To the Fore! with the Michigan State Band for Delos Records and the Wind Music of Alan Hovhaness for Mace with trumpeter Gerard Schwarz. Mr. Brion recorded a second all-Hovhaness recording, “Star Dawn,” with the Ohio State Band and trombonist Christian Lindberg and a third for Naxos with trumpeter John Wallace. A fourth recording with the Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra on Naxos will appear in 2011 for the Hovhaness centennial year. He has also three volumes of Sousa orchestral music as well as CD’s of the music of Percy Grainger and Victor Herbert. Mr. Brion is currently recording the complete band music of Sousa with London’s Royal Artillery Band, and the Royal Norwegian Navy Band, also for Naxos. Ten volumes of the sixteen volume series have already been recorded.

In addition to leading the New Sousa Band, Mr. Brion maintains an active career as an orchestra conductor. He is actively presenting his popular Sousa revival concerts with orchestras such as the Boston Pops, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Utah, Minnesota and Milwaukee symphonies, his overseas orchestral engagements have included the London Concert Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, and the Gothenburg Symphony.

Mr. Brion has been a frequent guest conductor of professional bands among which are the Stockholm Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Royal Swedish Naval Band, Royal Norwegian Naval Band, New York City’s Goldman Band, and the Allentown Band. He has also appeared with most of the major service bands, including the U.S. Marine Band, Army Band, Army Field Band, West Point Band, Coast Guard Band, the U.S. Army Band of Europe in Heidelberg, Germany, etc. University and school band appearances have included Florida State, Michigan State, University of Texas, Ohio State, and the University of Iowa, plus the National Music Camp at Interlochen.

Keith Brion is a former Director of Bands at Yale University, where he led the Yale Band in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and in an all-Ives program at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Prior to coming to Yale, he was the founder and music director of the North Jersey Wind Symphony and a longtime band educator and music supervisor in the New Jersey public schools.

He has published over thirty editions for band, including the music of Charles Ives, Percy Grainger, John Philip Sousa and D.W. Reeves, and is the author of numerous articles. This includes a series of twenty two Sousa publications collaboration with Loras Schissel, curator of the Sousa collection at the Library of Congress and a current series of New Sousa Band Editions.

Mr. Brion’s library and offices are located at Erector Square in New Haven, CT. To contact via e-mail write to WillowBlos@aol.com. The web address for the New Sousa Band is newsousaband.com

Soprano Maribeth Crawford

Photo: Maribeth Crawford

Maribeth Crawford

Maribeth Crawford received her Bachelors in Vocal Performance at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. While at Mississippi College, Mrs. Crawford sang the roles of Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, and Alice Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Mrs. Crawford holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. At the conservatory, she sang the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel and Virginia Poe in the collegiate premiere of Argento’s The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe. She is currently working on her DMA in Vocal Performance at the College Conservatory of Music

As a young artist, Maribeth has worked with Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point where she sang the roles of Musetta in La Boheme, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, and the Princess and the Nightingale in L’Enfant et les Sortileges. She has performed with the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah and with the Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra as Rosalia in Westside Story. She was also a young artist with the Natchez Festival of Music. Most recently, Mrs. Crawford sang the role of Peaches in Jerry Spring the Opera and Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music with Cincinnati’s New Stage Collective. In addition to being an active performer, Mrs. Crawford is a music educator. She is currently a faculty member of Central State University and Cincinnati State Community College. She has worked with Cincinnati Opera’s Educational outreach and is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Mrs. Crawford resides in downtown Cincinnati with her husband.

More information at www.maribethcrawford.com

Ensemble Biography, New York Camber Soloists

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Program | Season Listing | Ensemble Biography | Musician Biographies

Acclaimed as an outstanding ensemble of distinguished virtuosi, performing widely diverse repertoire in creatively programmed concerts, the New York Chamber Soloists have maintained a unique niche in the chamber music world for over five decades. This twelve-member ensemble of strings, winds, and keyboard can increase to as many as twenty with the addition of guest artists, giving it the flexibility to offer many works that are seldom heard due to the unusual instrumental combinations for which they were written.

With more than 250 works in their repertoire, the Chamber Soloists have made a valuable contribution to the musical life of this country, and have helped to expand the audience for chamber music. Their programming innovations have included Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concerti in a single concert; “Paris in the ’20s”; an American Classics program; the complete Mozart horn concerti; and song cycles, cantatas, and operas from Monteverdi to Aitken. They have added substantially to the catalog of 20th century chamber works, with the more than 25 compositions written for them by such significant composers as Gunther Schuller, Mario Davidovsky, Ezra Laderman, and Mel Powell. The group has also commissioned works for children, including Ferdinand the Bull from noted American composer Hugh Aitken, and compositions based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Gerald Fried and Tania French.

The ensemble has compiled an impressive record of repeat engagements in North America and abroad, including eleven European tours, six Latin American tours, and numerous tours of the Far East and South Pacific. In the United States, the Chamber Soloists have appeared frequently in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center, in Washington at the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, the Kennedy Center, and the National Gallery of Art, at major universities across the country from Boston to Berkeley, and at the Mostly Mozart, Sun Valley, and Caramoor Festivals. Recent performances include two at the Casals Festival, as well as the debut of the Chamber Soloists’ new initiative, a large-scale orchestral program featuring luminaries such as Richard Stoltzman, Menahem Pressler, and Anton Kuerti. These programs have been huge successes at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kravis Center, UCLA, and the University of Arizona. The New York Chamber Soloists were in residence at the Vermont Mozart Festival every summer from its inception in 1974 through its last year in 2010.

Musician Biographies, New York Chamber Soloists

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Program | Season Listing | Ensemble Biography | Musician Biographies

CURTIS MACOMBER (violin) is one of the most versatile soloists/chamber musicians before the public today, equally at home in repertoire from Bach to Babbitt. As member of the New World String Quartet from 1982-93, he performed in virtually all the important concert series in this country, as well as touring abroad. He is the violinist of Speculum Musicae and Da Capo, and a founding member of the Apollo Trio. His most recent recordings include a solo recording (“Casting Ecstatic”) on CRI, the complete Grieg Sonatas on Arabesque, an all-Steve Mackey record (“Interior Design”) on Bridge, and the complete Brahms Sonatas, also for Bridge. Mr. Macomber is presently a member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School, where he earned B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees as a student of Joseph Fuchs. He is also on the violin faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and has taught at the Tanglewood, Taos, and Yellow Barn Music Festivals.

EMILY POPHAM GILLINS (violin) has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Korea, and Israel as a soloist and collaborative chamber musician. As first violinist of the Degas String Quartet and a member of the International Sejong Soloists, she has performed at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center. Other collaborations include concerts at the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar and the Aspen, Ravinia and Taos Music Festivals. Emily completed degrees from Indiana University, the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music studying with Miriam Fried, Robert Mann, and Sylvia Rosenberg. She has served as assistant concertmaster of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra and as a faculty member of the Summertrios Music Festival in Pennsylvania. She is currently a member of Ensemble ACJW and performs regularly at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Emily joined the New York Chamber Soloists in 2008.

YNEZ LYNCH (viola), an original member of the New York Chamber Soloists, has been viola soloist with the Musica Aeterna Orchestra and the Festival Orchestra of New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She has also performed with the Festival Winds and appeared as guest artist with the American and Emerson String Quartets and the Paris Piano Trio. She has performed in the chamber orchestra and as viola soloist at the Casals Festival in Prades, France, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ms Lynch toured the United States and Europe as a member of the original cast of New York Pro Musica’s production of The Play of Daniel, which was recorded by Decca. She has also recorded for CRI and Nonesuch, and has made many radio and television appearances in North America and Europe.

ADAM GRABOIS (cello) has a varied career as chamber musician, soloist, teacher, and recording artist, and is the founder of the record label Reflex Editions. About his first recording The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, “Sometimes, the way he plays with the sound of a single note has enough emotional sustenance in it to launch a half-dozen distinct feelings in quick succession.” A second disc, DUOS: Martinu, Ravel, Kodaly, was released to critical acclaim in 2008. Recent appearances include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library in New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He is also the cellist of the Lile Piano Trio and a member of the Finckel Cello Quartet. Past collaborations have included performances with Menahem Pressler and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Educated at Swarthmore College, he studied with David Finckel and has taught as his assistant. He is on the faculty of the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont and the Weston Music Center in Connecticut. His cello was made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz in Brooklyn in 1998 and his bows were made by Ole Kanestrøm in 2004 and 2008.

JENNIFER GRIM (flute) Hailed by The New York Times as “a deft, smooth flute soloist,” Jennifer Grim has performed across the United States as an active solo and chamber musician of both the classic literature and contemporary music. She is a member of the Zéphyros Winds, New York Chamber Soloists, and the Proteus Ensemble. She has also performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, and ensemble 21. As a soloist, she has performed all of the flute concerti of Mozart with the Vermont Mozart Festival. Currently principal flute of the Vermont Mozart Festival, Ms. Grim has performed at the Aspen Music Festival and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. A native of California, Ms. Grim received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and her Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. Ms. Grim is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

MELVIN KAPLAN (oboe), founder/artistic director of the New York Chamber
Soloists and the Festival Winds, has been for more than 40 years one of America’s most influential forces in chamber music, both as a renowned performer and as manager, teacher, lecturer and writer. As a soloist, he has premiered works by Vaughan Williams, Ezra Laderman, Hugh Aitken, Gunther Schuller, Mel Powell, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Jean Francaix. On the faculty of the Juilliard School for 30 years, Mr. Kaplan was also for many years featured regularly as a lecturer/performer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He founded and was Artistic Director of the Vermont Mozart Festival.

ALLEN BLUSTINE (clarinet) is a member of the New York Chamber Soloists and the award-winning new music ensemble Speculum Musicae (of which he is currently the President and Director). An active proponent of new music for the clarinet, he has premiered over 100 solo and chamber works including Milton Babbitt’s “My Ends are My Beginnings,” Donald Martino’s “Triple Concerto,” Elliott Carter’s “GRA (New York premiere),” Pulitzer Prize-winner Wayne Peterson’s “Peregrinations” for solo clarinet and, most recently, Pulitzer Prize-winner Mario Davidovsky’s “Synchronisms No. 12 for clarinet and electronic sounds.” He was principal clarinetist of the Japan Philharmonic in the early 1970s and the Musica Aeterna Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum and has frequently performed with the New York Philharmonic. He is currently on the faculty of Columbia University and is a founding member of the North Country Chamber Players in New Hampshire and the associate director of the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at Mannes College of Music in New York.

Bassoonist ANDREW SCHWARTZ has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Mr. Schwartz has performed solo concertos in some of the world’s great concert halls, including Boston’s Jordan Hall, Alice Tully Hall in New York, and Vienna’s Musikverein. He is a member of the New York Chamber Soloists, The Little Orchestra Society, and the Scandia Orchestra in New York, and has performed regularly with the Metropolitan Opera and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. One of the most prominent musicians playing historical bassoons, Mr. Schwartz is principal bassoon for the leading period instrument organizations: Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, The American Classical Orchestra, Sinfonia New York, Rebel, Concert Royal, Washington, D.C., Bach Consort, and Musica Angelica in Los Angeles. His many recordings include Mozart’s Da Ponte operas and The Magic Flute, as well as the complete works for wind ensemble on the Decca/L’Oiseau Lyre label.

SHARON MOE (horn) is a frequent soloist throughout the U.S. and has performed as a soloist in France, Spain, and South America. Ms. Moe was solo horn for the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and for the premiere of Oliver Messaien’s From the Canyon to the Stars at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Her compositions have received several awards from ASCAP, and have been performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, and at the Aspen, Spoleto, and Miami Festivals. Her work Windows was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

IAN DONALD (horn) is a California native who received a degree in French horn performance from the University of Southern California, where he studied with James Decker. While in Los Angeles, he played on numerous studio recordings for film and television, and performed throughout the area in groups including the San Diego Symphony, the New West Symphony, and the Fresno Philharmonic. Mr. Donald has traveled throughout the United States, performing with classical, pop, and Broadway tours. Since moving to New York City in 2003, he has performed with the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera, as well as many regional orchestras and chamber ensembles. Mr. Donald can frequently be heard in Broadway pit orchestras, having performed in more than a dozen different productions.

ELIZABETH METCALFE (piano, harpsichord) made her solo debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of twelve, and subsequently performed with the Orchestra throughout eastern Canada. Mrs. Metcalfe has appeared as piano and harpsichord soloist and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, in repertoire ranging from 17th-century harpsichord music to contemporary music for both piano and harpsichord. She was a founding member of both the University of Vermont Baroque Ensemble and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. With the New York Chamber Soloists she has been a featured artist at the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Caramoor Festival, the Vermont Mozart Festival, and on tours of France, Spain, and South America.