Manchester Music Festival 2013 Faculty
||Ariel Rudiakov, viola |
Artistic Director, Young Artists Program Director
Ariel Rudiakov has been Artistic Director of Manchester Music Festival since 2001. He is active as both violist and conductor. Among many professional affiliations, he is currently a member of the New York Piano Quartet along with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and piano staff, and is Music Director and conductor of the Danbury (CT) Symphony Orchestra. Rudiakov received degrees from SUNY Purchase and the University of Illinois, and was a scholarship student at Yale University. Among recent activities, he has performed chamber music with the Shanghai quartet, Williams Chamber Players, the Corinthian Trio and was guest conductor for the Antara Ensemble in NYC. Ariel resides in Manchester, VT and Yonkers, NY with his wife, violinist Joana Genova and their two children, Michael and Liliana. He plays a viola made by Geoffrey Ovington in 2000.
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||Joana Genova, violin|
Education Director, Michael Rudiakov Music Academy
Violinist, Education Director of the Manchester Music Festival and Artist Associate at Williams College, Joana Genova has an active career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, teacher and soloist. She began playing violin at the age of six in her native Bulgaria, made her solo debut at the age of twelve with the Plovdiv Chamber Orchestra and is a prizewinner of the National Competition in Bulgaria. Ms. Genova received her Bachelor of Music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and her Master's degree in chamber music at the Rotterdam Conservatory in The Netherlands. Her teachers included Peter Brunt, Ilya Grubert and Prof. Samuel Thaviu. In Holland, Ms.Genova was concertmaster of the Amsterdam Bach Consort and a member of Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
She resides with her husband, violist Ariel Rudiakov, and their two children in Manchester, VT.
Since 2000, Ms.Genova has lived in the US where she is the principal second violin of the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Manchester Chamber Orchestra and a member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. She on the faculty of the Manchester Music Festival and teaches violin at the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy in Vermont. Ms. Genova is active as chamber musician for the Manchester Music Festival and the Williams Chamber Players and frequent guest at other festivals and concert series. Her collaborations include performances with the Shanghai String Quartet, Kalichstein-Laredo Robinson trio, Andres Cardenes, Nathaniel Rosen, Michael Rudiakov,Yehuda Hanani, Ruth Laredo, Davide Cabassi, David Deveau, Adam Neiman and David Krakauer among others. Ms. Genova has performed as soloist with Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan, Rockaway and Danbury Symphonies, Berkshire Symphony and Manchester Festival Orchestra.
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||Amadi Azikiwe, viola|
Young Artists Program
Amadi Azikiwe, violist, violinist and conductor, has been heard in recital in major cities throughout the United States, such as New York, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., including an appearance at the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Azikiwe has also been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Alice Tully Hall in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He has appeared in recital at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, on the "Discovery" recital series in La Jolla, at the International Viola Congress, and at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since then, he has performed throughout Israel, Canada, South America, Central America, India, Japan, Hong Kong, and throughout the Caribbean.
"Violist Amadi Azikiwe is a musician who plays so effortlessly that the listener does not fully appreciate what has been accomplished until reflection after the fact. . He captured perfectly the spirit of the Jewish prayer (Bruch's Kol Nidre, Op. 47) and the technical feats demanded by the Paganini (Sonata per la Grand Viola)"
Raoul Abdul, New York Amsterdam News New York, NY
As a soloist, Mr. Azikiwe has appeared with the Prince George's Philharmonic, Delaware Symphony, Virginia Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Virginia Beach Symphony, Roanoke Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony, Salisbury Symphony, the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, the City Island Baroque Ensemble of New York, the National Symphony of Ecuador, and at the Costa Rica International Music Festival. He has also toured with Music from Marlboro, and performed at the Sarasota, Tanglewood, Aspen, Norfolk, and San Juan Islands Festivals, El Paso International Chamber Music Festival, Salt Bay Chamber Festival, Maui Classical Music Festival, Missouri Chamber Music Festival, Yachats Music Festival, Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Mr. Azikiwe's performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio's "Performance Today", "St. Paul Sunday", on WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, WFMT in Chicago, and the BBC, along with television appearances in South America.
"Most delicious of all were Azikiwe's warm tones and ardent phrasing in the second movement-there was a little master class in rubato here. He then leapt into the finale with some stunning fingerwork."
David Perkins, The News and Observer Raleigh, NC
As a chamber musician, Azikiwe has appeared in concert with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Kandinsky Trio, the Harlem Chamber Players, the Chester, Miro, St. Lawrence, Anderson, Arianna, Harrington and Corigliano quartets. He has also performed extensively and recorded with the Concertante Chamber Players, and the Ritz Chamber Players. Among Mr. Azikiwe's prizes and awards are those from Concert Artists Guild, the North Carolina Symphony, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Epstein Young Artists Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, with whom he still maintains a strong artistic and mentoring association.
Mr. Azikiwe was previously the conductor of the Old Dominion University Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta University Center Orchestra. He was also a visiting faculty member of Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN. Currently, he is on the faculty of James Madison University, and Music Director of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted for the Intercollegiate Music Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association All-Collegiate Orchestra, Third Street Philharmonia, Gateways Music Festival, and Trinity Opera Company.
Mr. Azikiwe has appeared as artist faculty at the Brevard Music Center, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Killington Music Festival, Mammoth Lakes Chamber Music Festival, University of North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Session and the Aria International Academy in London, Ontario.
"Violist Amadi Azikiwe clarified not only the work's structure, but also revealed a depth of power and lyric beauty. A wide, rich palette of tone further enhanced the remarkable young artist's expressive approach to the music."
Sharon McDaniel Democrat and Chronicle Rochester, NY
As an orchestral musician, he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as principal violist of the SHIRA Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra and guest principal violist of Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of conductors Lorin Maazel, James DePriest, Christoph Eschenbach, Gerard Schwarz, Marek Janowski, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Morgan, Pinchas Zukerman, Stanislaw
Skrowaczewski, Sixten Ehrling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, and Leonard Bernstein.
A native of New York City, Amadi Azikiwe was born in 1969. After early studies with his mother, he began his formal training at the North Carolina School of the Arts as a student of Sally Peck. He continued his studies at the New England Conservatory with Marcus Thompson and conductor Pascal Verrot, receiving his Bachelor's degree. Mr. Azikiwe was also awarded the Performer's Certificate from Indiana University, where he served as an Associate Instructor, and received his Master's Degree in 1994 as a student of Atar Arad.
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||Julio Elizalde, piano|
Young Artists Program
Praised by the New York Times for his "catlike ease" at the keyboard and hailed as a "superb pianist" by the Washington Post, American pianist Julio Elizalde is gaining widespread recognition for his musical depth and creative insight. He has given performances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, the John F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. and Jordan Hall in Boston. Mr. Elizalde is equally active as soloist, recital partner and chamber musician. He is the co-artistic director of the
Olympic Music Festival near Seattle, WA.
Mr. Elizalde is the pianist of the New York City based New Trio, with violinist Andrew Wan, co-concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Patrick Jee, cellist of the New York Philharmonic. The New Trio emerged as one of the nation's most promising young ensembles after winning the grand prizes at the 2008 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2007 Coleman National Chamber Music Competition. In 2010, the trio was awarded the Harvard Musical Association's prestigious Arthur W. Foote Prize for outstanding young musicians and ensembles. The New Trio will be releasing their debut album entitled "Russian Tributes" in late 2013, featuring works of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.
Mr. Elizalde made his New York City concerto debut in 2007 performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K. 503 with the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Anne Manson at Lincoln Center. He regularly appears as the US recital partner to violinist Ray Chen, Sony recording artist and winner of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels, Belgium. He has collaborated with violinists Pamela Frank, Donald Weilerstein, Robert Mann, Curtis Macomber, cellists Bonnie Hampton and Nathanial Rosen, baritone William Sharp, and soprano Susan Narucki among others. Dedicated to the music of our time, Mr. Elizalde has worked with composers Stephen Hough, Michael Brown, Mario Davidovsky and Osvaldo Golijov.
He was a featured performer in Academy Award winning film composer Howard Shore's soundtrack for the 2013 film Jimmy Picard. Most recently, Mr. Elizalde performed with world-renowned violinist Sarah Chang in New York City for Park Geun-hye, the current President of South Korea.
Mr. Elizalde has participated at numerous music festivals including the Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall, Taos, Yellow Barn, the Olympic Music Festival, and Caramoor. As an educator, Mr. Elizalde has given piano and chamber music master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's college and preparatory divisions, the Music Institute of Chicago, and served on the faculties of the Manchester Music Festival in Manchester, VT and the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program in Putney, VT. In 2012 he served as a juror for the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, IN.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Elizalde earned his Bachelor of Music degree with honors at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a student of Paul Hersh. In May of 2007, Mr. Elizalde graduated with a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York City, studying piano with Jerome Lowenthal and Joseph Kalichstein. He has studied chamber music with Emanuel Ax, Seymour Lipkin, and Charles Neidich at Juilliard, Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and the Weilerstein Trio at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Juilliard and completed his piano studies with Robert McDonald. In the fall of 2013, Mr. Elizalde will be in residence at the University of Puget Sound as a Visiting professor of piano.
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||Ronald Feldman, cello|
Young Artists Program
Twice winner of the American Symphony League's ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music, Ronald Feldman has achieved critical acclaim for his work as conductor and cellist. He has appeared as guest conductor with major orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, and the Quebec Symphony, as well as many regional orchestras including the Pro Arte Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Albany Symphony, and the Amarillo Symphony. After successful appearances as guest conductor for three consecutive seasons at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony's summer home, composer and Conductor John Williams appointed Mr. Feldman Assistant Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. He served as assistant to John Williams from 1989-1993.
Maestro Seiji Ozawa, Conductor Laureate of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, called Maestro Feldman "an outstanding conductor... I find him to have a deep musical mind which is clearly conveyed through his performances.." John Williams, composer and Conductor Laureate of the Boston Pops Orchestra called Maestro Feldman, "a brilliant conductor, who displays the best leadership qualities... an outstandingly high level of musicianship that imbues his conducting style with strength, taste, and imagination".
Mr. Feldman joined the Boston Symphony at the age of 19. He has appeared as cello soloist with many orchestras performing a wide range of concerto repertoire from Dvorak to Ligeti. His many chamber music affiliations have included performances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Collage New Music Ensemble, the Boston Conservatory Chamber Players, and the Williams Chamber Players. His performances include collaborations with artists Emmanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Gil Shaham, and Yo Yo Ma.
Mr. Feldman currently directs the Berkshire Symphony, a regional orchestra in residence at Williams College. He was formerly the conductor and Music Director of the New England Philharmonic and the Worcester Orchestra. He is on the faculties of Williams College, the New England Conservatory of Music, and The Boston Conservatory of Music. 2012 marks the beginning of his tenure as Music Director of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of Boston's medical community.
Mr. Feldman appears on a compact disk recording of an all-Mozart program with the Bucharest "George Enescu" Philharmonic. This cd received excellent reviews in the March/April 1999 issues of the American Record Guide and Fanfare Magazine. "Feldman secures a polished and alert account of the Mozart Symphony No. 29 K.201".
Bernard Jacobson, Fanfare Magazine
"The Mozart symphony No. 29 is given a dazzling reading, effulgent and scintillating with articulation and note length all in sync".
Steven Ritter, American Record Guide
He also conducts the London Symphony in a recording of music of John Williams and Kevin Kaska. This recording is with virtuoso trumpet player Arturo Sandoval. In 2001 Mr. Feldman left the Boston Symphony Orchestra to pursue other musical interests. He joined the faculty of Williams College where he is Artist in Residence, Lecturer in Music, Chamber Music coordinator, and Conductor of the award winning Berkshire Symphony.
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||Yehuda Hanani, cello|
Young Artist Program
Yehuda Hanani's charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and reengagements throughout Europe, North and South America, the Orient and his native Israel. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Hong Kong Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and Seoul Symphony among others. He has collaborated with prominent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, Itzhak Perlman and members of the Emerson, Vermeer, Muir, Julliard, Lark, Colorado, and Cleveland Quartets and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. This distinguished artist made the first recording ever of the monumental Alkan Cello Sonata, receiving a Grand Prix du Disque nomination, and his other discs have won wide recognition.
Yehuda Hanani is Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and presents master classes internationally in conjunction with concert tours. As Artistic Director of the Close Encounters With Music chamber music series in the Berkshires and in South Florida, her presents an innovative approach to programming that explores the common roots of all the arts. Soloist, chamber musician, master teacher and ambassador of the arts, Mr. Hanani inspires audiences the world over. His studies were with Leonard Rose at the Julliard School and with Pablo Casals.
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||Austin Hartman, violin|
Young Artist Program
Violinist Austin Hartman has distinguished himself as both chamber musician and soloist with performances throughout the United States and abroad. As first violinist and founding member of the Biava Quartet, Mr. Hartman was the winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and has performed to acclaim in important venues throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Baroque Art Hall in Seoul. Other highlights from recent seasons include appearances at the Mostly Mozart, Rockport, Kingston and Aspen Music Festivals, Chautauqua Institution, and Pacific Music Festival in Japan. He has recorded for the Naxos and Cedille labels, has been heard on London's BBC Radio 3, and was featured in String and Strad magazines.
Mr. Hartman has also earned much recognition as a solo violinist having appeared twice with the Philadelphia Orchestra as winner of the Albert Greenfield and Mann Music Center Concerto Competitions. Mr. Hartman was awarded the Gold Medal Prize at the Julius and Esther Stulberg International String Competition in Michigan and also appeared with the Kennett Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, Landsdowne Symphony, Temple University Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra.
As a recitalist, Mr. Hartman has performed solo recitals in Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and was invited to perform as a guest artist at a state dinner for former Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge. Mr. Hartman received a first prize scholarship for musical excellence from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and was most recently awarded a grant from Chamber Music America for continued work in community outreach.
Committed to educating and inspiring audiences of all ages, Mr. Hartman is frequently invited to give masterclasses and lead community and educational programs at schools and conservatories around the country. In recent seasons, Mr. Hartman has served on the faculty of numerous music festivals including the Brevard Music Center, Great Lakes, and San Diego Chamber Music Festivals. He has also taught at the Indiana University String Academy, Innsbrook, David Einfeldt and Heifetz International Music Institutes, as well as the Luzerne Music Center. He has given public classes at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin College, Penn State University, and the Peabody Institute. Currently, he serves on the faculty of the University of Indianapolis as professor of Violin and Director of String Ensembles.
Outside of his life in the Biava Quartet, Mr. Hartman enjoys using his music for community service. In 2003, he traveled with a group of musicians to Zambia as part of a multicultural music outreach. Recently, he piloted a concert initiative called the "Vivaldi Project," the goal of which is to unite professional and community musicians in performances of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons".
Austin Hartman has earned Artist Diplomas from both the Juilliard School and Yale School of Music as well as degrees from the New England Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music. He has served as a teaching assistant for both the Juilliard and Tokyo Quartets and studied with teachers Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, Choong-Jin Chang, and the late Jascha Brodsky.
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||Danwen Jiang, violin|
Young Artists Program
Chinese-American violinist Danwen Jiang gave her premiere recital at age nine before Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and other high government officials at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. A year later, she entered the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and won a top prize in the China National Violin Competition (Junior Division) shortly thereafter. In 1987, Ms. Jiang moved to the United States to further her musical studies. Since then, she has won important competitions and embarked on an international performing career. Ms. Jiang has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Manchester Music Festival Orchestra, SAR Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Everett Symphony, Riverside Symphonia (for which she served as Concertmaster from 1996-2002), Rutgers SummerFest Orchestra, among others. She has toured extensively as a recitalist throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and has performed at renowned concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, La Salle Gaveau in Paris, Beijing Concert Hall and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. As a chamber musician, Ms. Jiang has collaborated with outstanding musicians including Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Samuel Rhodes, Ani Kavafian, Eugene Druker, Sadao Harada, Andre-Michel Schub, Lilian Kallir, Stanley Druker, Regina Carter, the Shanghai String Quartet, the American Chamber Players, and the Soloists of the Pacific Rim. She frequently appears as faculty artist at international music festivals, including the Manchester Music Festival since 1993. Her performances can be heard on Soundset Recordings, China Record Corporation and Eroica labels, as well as on public radio networks.
Ms. Jiang is a professor of violin at Arizona State University School of Music, where she received the Distinguished Teacher Award in 2004, President's Tenured Faculty Exemplar Award in 2008, and the Professor of the Year Special Recognition Award in 2012. She has served as visiting faculty at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and frequently travels to give guest master classes in China, Italy, Germany, Iceland, Canada, and across the United States. She has been a featured concerto soloist and violin master class clinician at the American String Teachers Association National Conferences. Her violin teachers included Taras Gabora, Arnold Steinhardt and Oscar Shumsky. She studied chamber music with Jaime Laredo, Felix Galimir, Michael Tree, Seymour Lipkin, and Zara Nelsova.
Ms. Danwen Jiang performs on a 1727 Antonio Stradivarius violin (the "ex-Ries").
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||Stefan Milenkovich, violin|
Young Artist Program
Awarded as Serbia's Brand Personality of the Year for 2010, Stefan Milenkovich is a unique artist with an extraordinary productive longevity, professionalism and creativity. His musical philosophy as well as lifestyle is a true definition of eclectic, exploring general human, musical heritage and experience, in order to connect directly with the audiences and provide fun, engaging and energetic performances.
Milenkovich's 2012-13 season includes performances with Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo (Naples, Italy) under the baton of Stefano Ranzani, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover Symphony Orchestra (Germany) with conductor Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Izmir and Antalya Symphony Orchestras (Turkey), as well as performances with Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana (Palermo, Italy). Other collaborations this season include performances with Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestra della Fondazione Arena di Verona, Orchestra della Fondazione Pro Musica di Pistoia and Orchestra Camerata Strumentale Pratese.
As a musician of broad stylistic interests, Milenkovich performed with five-time Grammy Nominee rock band Gorillaz in one of the world's most renowned venues - Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City. The critically acclaimed performance was featured live on MTV. Recent collaborations include performances with Grammy Award Nominee lutist Edin Karamazov, as well as an intense musical partnership with guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski and his trio, where Milenkovich explored the realm of improvisation and acoustic-electric violin. Other collaborations include Tango Story project with accordionist Marko Hatlak and Slovenian ensemble Ars Tango, where he performed both as a violinist and a dancer.
Milenkovich's numerous appearances with orchestra include Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Radio-France, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Mexico State Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Estado de Sao Paolo, and the Melbourne and Queensland Symphonies, and has performed under the baton of such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Daniel Oren and En Shao.
An avid chamber musician, he performs frequently with the Jupiter Chamber Music Series in New York City, Manchester Music Festival in Vermont, High Peaks Chamber Music Festival in Catskill Mountains (New York), and Zagreb Chamber Music Festival in Croatia. In 2012 Milenkovich accepted position of the Artistic Director of DoCha Chamber Music Festival in Champaign, Illinois.
Milenkovich started his career at a very young age. He performed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a Christmas concert in Washington, DC, at age 10. The following year, he played for Mikhail Gorbachev in Belgrade, Serbia. At age 14, he played for Pope John Paul II and at age 16, Milenkovich gave his 1000th concert in Monterrey, Mexico. By age 17, he was a prizewinner in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (USA), the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), Hannover Violin Competition (Germany), Tibor Varga Competition (Switzerland), Rodolfo Lipizer Competition (Italy), Paganini Competition (Italy), Ludwig Spohr Competition (Germany), and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition (England).
Deeply committed to international humanitarian causes, in 2002 Milenkovich received the Lifting Up the World With Oneness Heart award for his humanitarian activities, handed to him personally by the guru Sri Chinmoy. In 2003, he received Most Humane Person award in Belgrade, Serbia. He also participated in a number of gala concerts under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris with such artists as Placido Domingo, Lorin Maazel, Alexis Weissenberg, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and was active as the First Child Ambassador during the Balkan wars in early 90'.
Milenkovich's discography includes four commercial releases of the Italian label Dynamic, featuring J. S. Bach Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Complete Music for Solo Violin - Nicolo Paganini 24 Capricci, N. Paganini Recital, and N. Paganini In cuor piu non mi sento. He also released numerous recordings for the Yugoslavian label, PGP. Milenkovich's recent CD release includes a First Recording disc with the Manchester Music Festival of Vittorio Giannini's Piano Trio and Piano Quintet.
Firmly dedicated to pedagogical work, Milenkovich taught in collaboration with Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School in New York City, NY, and Perlman Music Program, before accepting his current position as an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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||Adam Neiman, piano|
Young Artists Program
American pianist Adam Neiman is hailed as one of the premiere pianists of his generation, praised for possessing a truly rare blend of power, bravura, imagination, sensitivity, and technical precision. With an established international career and an encyclopedic repertoire that spans nearly sixty concerti, Neiman has performed as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Belgrade, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Slovenia, Umbria, and Utah, as well as with the New York Chamber Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C. He has collaborated with many of the world's celebrated conductors, including Jiri Belohlavek, Giancarlo Guerrero, Theodor Gushlbauer, Carlos Kalmer, Uros Lajovic, YoŽl Levi, Andrew Litton, Rossen Milanov, Heichiro Ohyama, Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, and Emmanuel Villaume.
A highly-acclaimed recitalist, Neiman has performed in most of the major cities and concert halls throughout the United States and Canada. His European solo engagements have brought him to Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan, where he made an eight-city tour culminating in his debut at Tokyo's Suntory Hall.
An avid chamber musician, Neiman became a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center II in 2004. He frequently participates in the major chamber music festivals of Belgrade, Caramoor, Croatia, Korea, Macedonia, Manchester, Montenegro, Moritzburg, San Diego, Seattle, Skaneateles, Telluride, Tokyo, Vail, Vancouver, as well as New York's Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players series. He has made numerous guest appearances with celebrated string quartets, such as the Miro, the Parker, the Saint Petersburg, and the Ying, and he frequently collaborates with Concertante, a Manhattan-based string ensemble. As a former member of the Corinthian Trio, Neiman toured extensively in the Baltic countries and throughout the United States. He has also appeared as a guest artist on the FleetBoston Celebrity series, Frankly Music series in Milwaukee, San Francisco Performances series, and San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music series.
Neiman's '13-'14 season highlights include a monumental solo recital tour of North America performing Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 and "Hammerklavier" Sonata, Op. 106, and plans are underway to record the complete cycle of the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas over the next several years. He will also premiere his new Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra (commissioned and composed in 2012)with the Manchester String Orchestra and conductor Ariel Rudiakov on tour throughout Vermont and New York.
In addition, Neiman joins the celebrated ensemble Camerata Pacifica for four concert tours throughout Southern California, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players for two concerts in New York City. Festival reengagements include concerts at the Mainly Mozart Festival, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Rockport Music Festival, Telluride MusicFest, and the Manchester Chamber Music Festival.
Recording releases will include the following: Concerto da Camera by Howard Hanson with the Ying Quartet, for Sono Luminus; Dohnanyi's Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano with the 45th Parallel ensemble in Portland, OR; piano quartets of Saint-SaŽns and Faurť with Maria Bachmann, Hsin-Yun Huang, and Edward Arron; and the Bernstein Piano Trio with Stefan Jackiw and Amit Peled for the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
His diverse discography includes three major commercial releases for VAI: a two disc set of Mozart's early keyboard concertos with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, an award-winning two-disc set entitled "Adam Neiman Live in Recital," proclaimed "Critic's Choice" for 2007 and 2008 by the American Record Guide, and a DVD entitled "Adam Neiman: Chopin Recital." He released a critically-acclaimed recording of solo piano works by Anton Arensky for Naxos, and his debut recording on Lyric Records of alive, unedited solo recital at Tokyo's Suntory Hall has recently been re-issued on iTunes.
He has also begun to extensively record chamber music repertoire. Most recently, Sono Luminus released a disc featuring Neiman with the Ying Quartet performing Arensky's Piano Quintet. For Bridge Records Neiman recorded sonatas by Franck, Debussy, and Saint-SaŽns with violinist Maria Bachmann. In addition, Neiman was featured on Naxos's world premiere recording of Jennifer Higdon's Piano Trio, live from the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.
Neiman's live recording presence has extended to the Internet, via his own YouTube channel featuring high-definition video footage from recent concert tours.
Radio and television broadcasts featuring Neiman regularly span international airwaves, and his live performance of the Brahms Rhapsodies, Op. 79, at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival on NPR's "Performance Today" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Chosen as a featured artist by director and Academy Award nominee Josh Aronson, Adam Neiman appeared in the PBS documentary film "Playing for Real," which aired worldwide and continues to air on the Bravo and Ovation networks. He was also featured in Peter Rosen's "In the Key of G," a PBS documentary about the Gilmore Festival.
His affiliation with PBS and the documentary genre has merged with his passion for composition: he wrote the score for "Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate," a film by director and Emmy Award winner Helen Whitney, released on PBS in 2010. His output as a composer encompasses an array of works for solo piano, chamber music, voice, and symphony orchestra. Some of his chamber works have been premiered at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Poisson Rouge in New York City, and at the Festival Cervantinos in Mexico, and he frequently performs his own solo piano music in recital. In 2012 he witnessed the world premiere of his first String Quartet at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and he is currently in the process of finishing his Second Symphony.
Born in 1978, Neiman has captured the attention of audiences and critics alike since his concerto debut at 11 in Los Angeles's Royce Hall. Clavier Magazine wrote, "Adam Neiman gave a performance that rivaled those of many artists on the concert stage today... his playing left listeners shaking their heads in disbelief." His formative years saw him at the helm of many competitions, with top prizes at the MTNA's Junior Baldwin Competition, UCLA's Samick International Competition, the Joanna Hodges International Competition, the Stravinsky Awards International Competition, the Young Keyboard Artists Association International Competition, the California Concerto Competition, and the California State Bartok Competition. At fourteen, he debuted in Germany at the Ivo Pogorelich Festival, and at fifteen, he won second prize at the Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy, the youngest medalist in the competition's history. In 1995, Neiman also became the youngest-ever winner of the Gilmore Young Artist Award. The following year, he won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and went on to make his Washington D.C. and New York recital debuts at the Kennedy Center and the 92nd Street Y. The Washington Post remarked, "A collection of Chopin's Waltzes and Nocturnes danced and stormed, and Prokofieff's Second Sonata enthralled with a dazzling display of inner voices rather than a mere display of muscle. This was playing of wisdom and light befitting an artist in the autumn of his career." Young Concert Artists additionally honored Neiman with the Michaels Award and presented him in a critically acclaimed solo recital at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center.
Two-time winner of Juilliard's Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Neiman received the Rubinstein Award upon his graduation in 1999, the same year in which he received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Neiman's principal teachers have included Trula Whelan, Hans Boepple, Herbert Stessin, and Fanny Waterman, and he has participated in master classes with legendary pianists Emanuel Ax, Jacob Lateiner, and Gyorgy Sandor.
In the fall of 2013, Neiman joins the esteemed piano performance faculty at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. In addition to his rigorous performance schedule he has been teaching private lessons for more than a decade, and he has presented acclaimed master classes throughout the U.S., Europe, and Korea. He regularly serves on the summer chamber music faculty of the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont, and he has taught at the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea.
As an adjudicator, he has presided over the Philadelphia Orchestra Concerto Competition, KING FM Young Artists Competition, and Reno's Youth Music Festival.
Please visit www.adamneiman.com for more information.
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||Nathaniel Parke, cello|
Young Artists Program
Mr. Parke is a member of the Vermont Cello Quartet and the Bennington String Quartet. He has also been a member of the Boston Composers String Quartet with whom he can be heard performing new works by Boston composers on the MMC recording label. He is currently an adjunct teacher of cello at Williams College, a part-time lecturer at SUNY Albany, as well as having served as a faculty member and chamber music coach at the Longy School of Music, Skidmore College, and the Chamber Music Conference & Composer's Forum of the East. He has been heard as a soloist with the Wellesley Symphony and the Sage City Symphony, and has been heard by audiences in other venues in a range of performances. Mr. Parke received his training at the Longy School of Music and Bennington College. He lives in Bennington, and teaches cello privately in the Bennington and Albany area.
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Young Artist Program
In recent years, Vassily Primakov has been hailed as a pianist of world class importance. Gramophone wrote that "Primakov's empathy with Chopin's spirit could hardly be more complete," and the American Record Guide stated: "Since Gilels, how many pianists have the right touch? In Chopin, no one currently playing sounds as good as this! This is a great Chopin pianist." Music Web-International called Primakov's Chopin Concertos CD "one of the great Chopin recordings of recent times. These are performances of extraordinary power and beauty." In 1999, as a teen-aged prizewinner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Primakov was praised by Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "How many pianists can make a line sing as the Moscow native did on this occasion? Every poignant phrase took ethereal wing. Elsewhere the music soared with all of the turbulence and poetic vibrancy it possesses. We will be hearing much from this remarkable musician."
His first piano studies were with his mother, Marina Primakova. He entered Moscow's Central Special Music School at the age of eleven as a pupil of Vera Gornostaeva, and at 17 came to New York to pursue studies at the Juilliard School with the noted pianist, Jerome Lowenthal. At Juilliard Mr. Primakov won the William Petschek Piano Recital Award, which presented his debut recital at Alice Tully Hall, and while at Juilliard, aided by a Susan W. Rose Career Grant, he won both the Silver Medal and the Audience Prize in the 2002 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition. Later that year Primakov won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions. In 2007 he was named the Classical Recording Foundation's "Young Artist of the Year." In 2009, Primakov's Chopin Mazurkas recording was named "Best of the Year" by National Public Radio and that same year he began recording the 27 Mozart piano concertos in Denmark. BBC Music Magazine (November, 2010) praised the first volume of Primakov's Mozart concertos: "The piano playing is of exceptional quality: refined, multi-coloured, elegant of phrase and immaculately balanced, both in itself and in relation to the effortlessly stylish orchestra. The rhythm is both shapely and dynamic, the articulation a model of subtlety. By almost every objective criterion, Vassily Primakov is a Mozartian to the manner born, fit to stand as a role model to a new generation."
Vassily Primakov has released numerous recordings for Bridge Records that include works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Chopin, Dvorak, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Philip Glass, Arlene Sierra and Poul Ruders.
In 2011, Mr. Primakov, along with his duo partner, Natalia Lavrova established a new and vibrant record company, L.P. Classics, Inc. Their first release was Anton Arensky: Four Suites for Two Pianos. Most recently, they released Primakov's Live in Concert album that includes works by Medtner, Schumann, Brahms' Handel Variations and Ravel's La Valse.
In March 2012 Vassily Primakov became a Yamaha Artist.
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||Sophie Shao, cello|
Young Artist Program
At the age of nineteen, cellist Sophie Shao received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and has since performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, the New York Times has applauded her "eloquent, powerful" interpretations of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Crumb.
Highlights of this season includes a thirteen-city tour with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra in performances of the Elgar and Haydn (C Major) concerti, recitals across the country, and her popular "Sophie Shao and Friends" tour of the Northeast. Last season, she premiered Howard Shore's concerto "Mythic Gardens" with the American Symphony Orchestra and returned to the ASO to perform Saint-Saens's "La muse et la poete" at the Bard Music Festival. She performed recitals for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Middlebury College, the complete Bach suites at Union College and in New York City, and presented a "Sophie Shao and Friends" tour including from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ.
Recent performances include Beethoven's Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Tan Dun's Ghost Opera with Cho-Liang Lin in Indianapolis, the world-premiere of Richard Wilson's Concerto for cello and mezzo-soprano, and recital and chamber music appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music Mountain (with the Shanghai Quartet) among many other presenters across the country. She is also a frequent guest at many leading festivals around the country including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Ms. Shao can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (for the Marlboro Music Festival's 50th Anniversary recording), and on Albany Records. Her recording releases in 2009 include Richard Wilson's Brash Attacks on Albany Records and Howard Shore's original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records. She may also be heard on an upcoming release on Koch Records in the music of George Tsontakis.
A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music and plays on a cello made by Honore Derazey from 1860 once owned by Pablo Casals.
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Manchester Music Festival Staff
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Young Artist Coordinator
Donna began her career in public education twenty-nine years ago and currently serves as Principal of Monument Elementary School in Bennington, Vermont. Her affiliation with MMF began in 1998 when her daughter Lauren began violin studies with Joana Genova during Music Discovery week and later continued at the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy. Donna served as the Young Artist Coordinator from 2006-2007 and is pleased to return to the Festival again this season. As a resident of the Manchester community since 1991, she is active in various civic organizations and fills her spare time supporting and enjoying her family.
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Jenny is the Orchestra Manager of the Berkshire Symphony and Visiting Artist Coordinator for the Department of Music at Williams College. Prior to that she spent several years there as the Concert Manager. She originally hails from New York City where she spent several years as a Broadway Stage Manager. Shows include the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof as well as Our Town (with Paul Newman), Cabaret, Chicago, Neil Simon's The Dinner Party (with Henry Winkler and the beloved John Ritter), MacBeth (with Kelsey Grammar), Cats, Rent, Ragtime and Tarzan. She stage managed for the Williamstown Theatre Festival during the 2006, 2007, and 2012 seasons as well as acting as the contractor for various WTF productions with her partner and husband, John Wheeler.
Jenny also spent some time as the office manager/personal assistant to Broadway musical supervisors David Caddick and Kristen Blodgette, as the Assistant to the Marketing Director of the Princeton Review and as the Executive Director of the Broadway Bach Ensemble. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in English Literature and minors in Mathematics and Dance.
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Heidi joined the Manchester Music Festival in 2011. She is originally from Seattle, Washington and attended the University of Washington where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Sociology. She resides in Sunderland, Vermont with her husband Jon and their two sons William and Benjamin. Heidi currently sits on her local school board and is an active member in and around the Manchester area.
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||Jane Krate Duda|
Assistant to the Executive Director
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