Ensemble LPR

Ensemble LPR

Ensemble LPR

David Handler, Artistic Director,

Lara St John, violin :


Jessie Montgomery
, (1981-), Starburst (2012)

Ralph Vaughan Williams, (1872-1958), The Lark Ascending (1920) arr, Arman
Lara St John, violin

Matthew Hindson, (1968-), Maralinga (US Premiere)
Lara St John, violin

INTERMISSION

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Concerto in E-flat, “Dumbarton Oaks” (1937-38)

Benjamin Britten, (1913-76), Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 (1936)
I. Introduction and Theme
II. Variation 1: Adagio
III. Variation 2: March
IV. Variation 3: Romance
V. Variation 4: Aria Italiana
VI. Variation 5: Bour é e classique
VII. Variation 6: Wiener Waltz
VIII. Variation 7: Moto perpetuo
IX. Variation 8: Funeral March
X. Variation 9: Chant
XI. Variation 10: Fugue and Finale


**
The performance of Ensemble LPR has been made possible by a generous anonymous grant**


WQXR HOST: Paul Cavalconte

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Ensemble LPR

Named after and headquartered at the acclaimed New York City venue Le Poisson Rouge, Ensemble LPR is an assemblage of New York’s finest musicians. The group personifies the venue’s commitment to aesthetic diversity and artistic excellence.

Ensemble LPR performs an eclectic spectrum of music—from works by the finest living composers, to compelling interpretations of the standard repertoire—and collaborates with distinguished artists from classical and non-classical backgrounds: Timo Andres, Simone Dinnerstein, San Fermin, Daniel Hope, Taka Kigawa, Jennifer Koh, Mica Levi, David Longstreth (of Dirty Projectors), John Lurie, Ursula Oppens, Max Richter, André de Ridder, Christopher Rountree and Fred Sherry, to name a few.

In January 2015, Ensemble LPR made its Deutsche Grammophon debut with Follow, Poet, featuring the music of Mohammed Fairouz and the words of Seamus Heaney and John F. Kennedy. Ensemble LPR’s acclaimed Central Park performance followed in June, part of the 110th Anniversary of the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts.

In 2008 Le Poisson Rouge changed the classical music landscape, creating a new environment in which to experience art music. In doing so, Le Poisson Rouge expanded classical music listenership. The New York Times has heralded Le Poisson Rouge as “[a] forward-thinking venue that seeks to showcase disparate musical styles under one roof” and “[the] coolest place to hear contemporary music.” The Los Angeles Times raves, “[The] place isn’t merely cool…the venue is a downright musical marvel.” Le Poisson Rouge Co-Founder David Handler brings this same ethos to Ensemble LPR, of which he is Founding Executive & Artistic Director.

Lara St. John

Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by The New York Times.

She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and with the Boston Pops, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Amsterdam Symphony, Brazilian Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony, China Philharmonic, Hong Kong Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, and the orchestras of Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland among many others.

The Los Angeles Times wrote Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava. She has technique to burn and plays at a constant high heat.”

Her world premeire recording of Matthew Hindson’s Violin Concerto prompted Gramophone to write: “It’s the sort of work that should get audiences running, not walking, back to concert halls on new-music nights.”

She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto.


PROGRAM NOTES

The first half of the evening’s music is quintessentially programatic, taking us from the cosmos to the air to the earthly perils of human weakness and destruction, a subject all too relevant today.  The second half features two 20th century masters tipping their hat to the style and form of earlier times, with some of the most exquisitely crafted and – in the case of the Britten – too little known work in the repertoire.  [David Handler]
We’re delighted to be working with the supremely talented Lara St John who will play two pieces originally composed for violin and piano (the latter in the program, specifically for her), tonight with string orchestra.  [David Handler]


Starburst
, a brief one-movement work for string orchestra, is a play on imagery of rapidly changing musical colors. Exploding gestures are juxtaposed with gentle fleeting melodies in an attempt to create a multidimensional soundscape. – Jessie Montgomerey

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending is one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire. The piece was inspired by the 122 line poem of the same name, written by Williams’ countryman George Meredith about the song of the skylark. Originally composed for violin and piano in 1914, the piece was not premiered until 1920, the same year it was re-scored for violin and orchestra in what would become the more frequently performed version of the piece. The notoriety of the piece has far surpassed that of the poem, and the all-string version you will hear this evening was orchestrated by Nurhan Arman, Music Director of the Sinfonia Toronto. The lark’s distinctive song is represented by the solo violin, opening and closing the piece with two extended lyrical cadenzas based on the same melody over a continuous and hushed string harmony. A shorter cadenza brings on the contrasting middle section in which two British folk melodies are introduced. In the end, serenity prevails with the solo violin lifting the listener upward until its song fades into silence.

Maralinga is a place in the South Australian desert, and was the site for secret British nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s. Not a happy place in Australian history for either the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area, nor the Australian service personnel who were unwittingly used as guinea pigs for the effects of radiation. The site and its history remains a stain upon Australia’s historical record. This piece makes reference to the long Aboriginal history at Maralinga as well as more recent events and attitudes. Maralinga was written for Lara St. John, who premiered the piece on 20 March, 2009. It was commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. – Matthew Hindson

Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10, is the work that brought Benjamin Britten to international attention. The piece is dedicated “to F.B. A tribute with affection and admiration”. In 1932 Britten began writing a set of variations on a theme by Frank Bridge, with whom he studied from 1927. It wasn’t until 1937 that Boyd Neel, having been invited to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, commissioned Britten to write a piece for string orchestra. Neel had previously conducted Britten’s film score for Love From a Stranger. For a theme, Britten took the second of Bridge’s Three Idylls for string quartet, Op. 6, No. 2. Each variation is a representation of a specific quality in Bridge’s personality as understood by Britten: the Adagio represents Bridge’s “integrity”; the March, his “energy”; the Romance, his charm; the Aria Italiana, his humour; the Bourrée, his tradition; the Wiener Walzer, his enthusiasm; the Moto perpetuo, his vitality; the Funeral March, his sympathy; the Chant, his reverence; the Fugue, his skill (containing references to other works by Bridge); and their mutual affection appears in the Finale. These connections were made explicit on the score Britten presented to Bridge, but they do not appear in the printed score. Britten also imitates the styles of a number of composers such as Gioachino Rossini, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky. Paul Kildea writes of the piece: “Though the theme is played in the opening section, it is done so rather whimsically, and it is only at the end of the piece that it is spelled out with weight and clarity. When it arrives it makes sense of everything that has gone before it, demanding that we start again from the beginning, hearing the work once more, this time with our ears alert.”

Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto in E-flat, subtitled Dumbarton Oaks 8-v-1938 (1937–38) is a chamber concerto named for the Dumbarton Oaks estate of Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss in Washington, DC, who commissioned it for their 30th wedding anniversary. Composed in Stravinsky’s neo-classical period, the piece is one of Stravinsky’s two chamber concertos and is scored for a chamber orchestra of flute, B♭ clarinet, bassoon, two horns, three violins, three violas, two cellos, and two double basses. The three movements – Tempo giusto, Allegretto, and Con moto – are performed without pause. The commission was brokered by Nadia Boulanger who conducted the May 8, 1938 private premiere in the music room at Dumbarton Oaks, while the composer was hospitalized with tuberculosis. The piece was the last Stravinsky completed in Europe. The composer writes: “My Concerto in E-flat… was begun almost immediately upon my return to Europe after Jeux de cartes, in the spring of 1937. I had moved from Paris to Annemasse in the Haute Savoie to be near my daughter Mika [Ludmila] who, mortally ill with tuberculosis, was confined to a sanatorium there. Annemasse is near Geneva, and [conductor] Ernest Ansermet was therefore a neighbor and also a helpful friend at this, perhaps the most difficult time of my life. [Ludmila died in 1938.] I played Bach regularly during the composition of the Concerto, and was greatly attracted to the “Brandenburg” Concertos. Whether or not the first theme of my [first] movement is a conscious borrowing from the third Brandenburg, however, I do not know.”

 

Pablo Ziegler, Lara St. John with Andrew Roitstein, Claudio Ragazzi & Héctor Del Curto Celebrate the 25th Anniv. of Astor Piazzolla’s 1987 Central Park Concert

Program

Pablo Ziegler, piano and Lara St. John, violin with Héctor Del Curto, bandoneón, Claudio Ragazzi, guitar, and Andrew Roitstein, acoustic bass, Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Astor Piazzolla’s 1987 Central Park Concert in the Naumburg Bandshell

“Mr. Ziegler’s tango is even more nuevo-especially as played by his current quartet… At various points, the quartet’s music is as baroque and driven by counterpoint as anything by Bach, and at the same time it also makes extensive use of jazz-style improvised solos.” [Wall Street Journal]

St. John “is captivating in the seductive scenes of the Piazzolla as she is crisp, caressing and colorful in Vivaldi’s atmospheric paeans to nature.” [Audiophile Audition]


PROGRAM

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Michelangelo (P)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Muerte del Angel (P)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Introduccion del Angel

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Tanguedia (La Camorra) (P)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Mumuki (P)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Fuga y Misterio

Pablo Ziegler (1944- ) Milonga del Adios

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Escualo

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Adios Nonino (P)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Lunfardo (P)

Pablo Ziegler (1944- ) Muchacha de Boedo

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Libertango
(P) indicates works performed at the 1987 Central Park

Midge Woolsey of WQXR – Host

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ARTISTS:

Héctor Del Curto, bandoneón, is praised by the New York Times as a “splendid player”. Argentinean born, he has captivated the audiences around the world as a soloist and chamber musician, sharing the stage with the world–renowned tango legends Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese, pianist Pablo Ziegler, clarinetist Paquito D´Rivera, and numerous Symphony Orchestras among many others.

At the age of 17 Del Curto won the title of “Best Bandoneón Player under 25”. The same year he joined the legendary orchestra of Osvaldo Pugliese, becoming the youngest player in the history of that orchestra. As conductor, he directed the spectacular show “Forever Tango” on Broadway and founded the “Eternal Tango Orchestra” a ten-piece ensemble.

Héctor Del Curto released a critically acclaimed album, Eternal Tango and is soon to release his new record Eternal Piazzolla. Del Curto has participated throughout his career in more then 50 recordings which include performances with Osvaldo Pugliese, Astor Piazzolla, Pablo Ziegler, Paquito D’Rivera, for labels such us BMG, Sony, Nonesuch and many others.

Claudio Ragazzi, guitar, both performs and composes award winning music for film and television, scoring hundreds of projects and performing with some of today’s most respected musicians at renowned concert halls in the world.

Claudio attended Berklee College of Music where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, a winner of the prestigious Duke Ellington Master’s Award and the Boston Music Awards, Claudio went on to compose music for feature films, documentaries and television commercials as well as undertaking commissioned works for plays and ballets. Claudio currently teaches Film Composition at Berklee.

In 1998 he scored Brad Anderson’s hit film Next Stop Wonderland produced by Miramax, featuring Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto. The CD reached Billboard’s top ten chart for more than twelve consecutive weeks. Other production credits include scoring the music for the award winning film, The Blue Diner and a unique collaboration with fellow composer Mason Daring working on the music for John Sayle’s film Casa de los Babys. Claudio’s work can also be heard in Something’s Gotta Give starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves. Recent films and collaborations include working with fellow Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov on Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro.

Claudio has scored hundreds of TV productions for the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Telemundo, Univision and PBS, including American Experience, NOVA and the children series Sesame Street, Arthur, and Postcards from Buster. Claudio’s live performances include those at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, The Blue Note Jazz Club, and The Lincoln Center and in theatres around the world. He has performed with some of today’s most influential and respected musicians, including Gary Burton, Yo-Yo Ma, Randy Brecker, Danilo Perez, saxophone legends Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett and Paquito D’Rivera.


Andrew Roitstein
, bass, is a native of Valencia, California. He has been featured in chamber music concerts in New York’s Zankel Hall and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, and has performed with the New York Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He is a founding member of the award-winning Toomai String Quintet, an ensemble that has been appeared in chamber music series at Carnegie Hall and the 92nd St. Y, among others. Roitstein has recorded for artists such as Joanna Newsom (Drag City) and Jessica Pavone (Tzadik Records). In 2007, he won second prize in Juilliard’s Double Bass Concerto Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2011 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. He has participated in the Lucerne, International Ensemble Moderne Academy, Aspen, and Sarasota music festivals. A Cuban-American, Roitstein also concentrates in Latin-American music, performing with Toomai String Quintet and Argentinian Tango greats Hector Del Curto and Pablo Ziegler.

A dedicated educator, he serves as faculty of the New York Philharmonic’s School Partnership Program and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. As an arranger, his works have been performed by the Toomai String Quintet and by members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Roitstein received his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees at the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Eugene Levinson.


Lara St. John
, violinist, has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times.

Canadian born, she has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minnesota, Seattle, Brooklyn, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and with the Boston Pops, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Bournemouth Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, the Belgrade Symphony, the Amsterdam Symphony, and the Akbank Chamber Orchestra in Turkey, among many others.

The Los Angeles Times wrote Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava. She has technique to burn and plays at a constant high heat.”

A prolific recording artist, her recording Mozart featuring the Sinfonia Concertante and Concerti Nos. 1 & 3, with her brother Scott St. John & The Knights, won the 2011 Juno Classical Album of the Year for Soloist with Large Ensemble.

Of Lara St. John’s recording with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and conductor Eduardo Marturet Vivaldi – The Four Seasons and Piazzolla – The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, The Cleveland Plain Dealer said, “Lara St. John is as captivating in the seductive scenes of the Piazzolla as she is crisp, caressing and colorful in Vivaldi’s atmospheric paeans to nature”

Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old. She made her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age four, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon when she was 10. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute at 13, and spent her first summer at Marlboro three years later. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus.

She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto.

Pablo Ziegler, piano, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A Latin GRAMMY winning pianist, Ziegler artfully blends classic tango rhythms with jazz improvisations, adding a new voice to the tango lexicon. Howard Reich of The Chicago Times writes, “There’s no question that Ziegler takes the tango to levels of sophistication and refinement probably undreamed of by Piazzolla”, and Eric Salzman of Stereo Review, writing of Ziegler’s CD, Tango Romance, affirms that the CD “solidifies his [Ziegler’s] claim to be the outstanding representative of the nuevo tango in his generation.” In addition to this critical acclaim, Ziegler’s 2005 release Bajo Cero won the 2005 Latin Grammy Award for Best Tango album of the year.

In 1978, Mr. Ziegler was invited to join Astor Piazzolla’s New Tango Quintet, and for over the next ten years, he performed with this group throughout Europe, Japan and North America.

Ziegler formed his own Quartet for New Tango in 1990 and has been touring extensively throughout the world with his trio, quartet and quintet. In 1996 he recorded Los Tangueros, his two piano arrangements of the music of Piazzolla, with Emanuel Ax, produced by Ettore Stratta for Sony. Performances in recent seasons have included Carnegie Hall as part of the JVC Jazz Festival with guest artists Paquito D’Rivera, Joe Lovano and Gary Burton; and the Miami International Piano Festival for which he created the evening Beyond Tango. For 11 years Ziegler’s quartet performed annually at the Jazz Standard in NYC in the Tango Meets Jazz series produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Strata, with guest artists including Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Branford Marsalis, Nestor Torres and others. This summer was their second season at Birdland. In November, 2011 Pablo Ziegler and Paquito D’Rivera celebrated The Music of Astor Piazzolla at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Music of the Masters series. In the upcoming season Pablo Ziegler will be the featured artist at the La Jolla Music Festival and the Laguna Beach Music Festival.

Pablo Ziegler is exclusively represented by Bernstein Artists, Inc. www.bernsarts.com


MUSICAL NOTES:

In 1954, Astor Piazzolla, like many brilliant young musicians of our century, had migrated to Paris to study with the world-famous Nadia Boulanger. His tangos having been rejected as “too radical” and “too serious” by Argentine colleagues, he was attempting to find another outlet for his creative energies in writing European-style art music – only to encounter more frustration. “’Throw it away. This is no good. I can’t find Piazzolla in this classical concert music.’ She wanted to know what I really did in life for a living. I was very much ashamed to tell her that I played tango and above all I wouldn’t dare say to Nadia, ‘I play the bandoneón’….[but] she wanted to know about my tangos, and she took my two hands together and she said, “This is Astor Piazzolla. Don’t ever leave it.” 1
Piazzolla took Boulanger’s wise counsel to heart, and ended up making musical history with his nuevo tango, an intriguing synthesis of the diverse musical styles he had grown up with. The records of traditional tango which his father had wept over. The Bach fugues and Gershwin tunes he had learned to play on his infernally difficult, accordion-like instrument, bought as a birthday present in a Brooklyn pawnshop. The Bartók and Stravinsky scores he had pored over in the bandrooms of Buenos Aires cabarets. All thoroughly assimilated, firing his imagination and giving him the determination to persist until his music had captured the hearts of music lovers of all kinds, in his native argentina and around the world. [Taken directly from Steve Sacks cover notes to the CD Astor Piazzolla, The Central Park Concert ]
1 – Schnabel, Tom: Stolen Moments, pp. 120-121, Acrobat Books, LA, CA.

A Brother and Sister Join to Perform in the Open Air

On Tuesday evening at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, Ms. St. John was joined by her older brother, Scott St. John – a violinist, violist and member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet – for a spirited performance of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor (BWV 1043). The work concluded an excellent concert by the Knights, a dynamic young chamber orchestra.

— Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times
June 25, 2009
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The Knights with Lara St. John

Program

The Knights

Lara St. John, violin

Scott St. John, violin

Andrea Griminelli, flute

***

Heinrich Franz von Biber (1644-1704)

Battaglia for strings & continuo

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major, (c. 1720) BWV 1042
Lara St. John, violin

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
Alex Sopp, flute; Colin Jacobsen, violin; Steven Beck, harpsichord

INTERMISSION

At intermission of the performance the first 750 children in attendance with a parent will be given a free compact disc of Bach in celebration of the opening performance of the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts season

J.S. Bach, (1685-1750)

Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, (1717) BWV 1067
Andrea Griminelli, flute

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Concerto For Two Violins, Strings & Continuo in D Minor, (c. 1720) BWV 1043
Lara St. John & Scott St. John, violins

Additional Information

The Knights are a fellowship of young musicians of diverse and accomplished backgrounds who come together for the shared joy of musical exploration. The New Yorker says they are ‘a little orchestra of some of New York’s best strings-about-town.’Lara St. John, violin – returns to the Naumburg Concerts after her well received and much enjoyed performance of Vivaldi and Piazzola’s Four Seasons, on July 25th 2007, with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Critics have recently written about Lara -“Canadian Lara St John really gave herself to the piece and produced as fine a performance, occasionally throwing caution to the wind, as I have ever heard. The slow movement was meltingly beautiful and the finale full of fireworks. The wind section must be mentioned here for it was magnificent throughout.” – Seen & Heard International, November 2008

Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by The New York Times .

She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Seattle, Brooklyn, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the Boston Pops and many more in North America. In Europe, she has played with the NDR Symphony (Hanover), Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Bournemouth Symphony and the Amsterdam Symphony, among others. In Asia, solo appearances have included the Hong Kong Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, China Philharmonic in Beijing, Guangzhou Symphony and the Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra. Lara has also performed with the Queensland Orchestra in Australia.

The Los Angeles Times has written, “St. John brings to the stage personal charisma, an unflagging musical imagination and genuine passion.” Recitals in major concert halls have included New York, Boston, San Francisco, Ravinia, Washington DC, Prague, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal and in the Forbidden City.

Lara’s sixth recording, Hindson – Corigliano – Liszt/Kennedy/St. John was released in 2008 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, featuring two world premiere works; the Matthew Hindson Violin Concerto and the Martin Kennedy/ St. John arrangement of Totentanz by Franz Liszt, as well as The Red Violin Suite by John Corigliano. In writing of his impressions of the recording, John Corigliano commented: “I’m thrilled to be included in a new recording by the brilliant and always surprising Lara St. John. She is a real maverick, as a performer and in her choice of repertoire. An opulent and virtuosic new violin concerto and my Red Violin suite are coupled with a newly arranged version of a 19th century pianistic tour de force in her latest stunning release.”

Lara’s fifth recording, Bach: The Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, described as “awe-inducing” by The Toronto Star, and “wild, idiosyncratic, and gripping” by The Los Angeles Times, was released in the autumn of 2007 where it climbed to No. 2 and was the year’s best selling double album on iTunes.

Her third recording, Bach: the Concerto Album appeared in the “strongly recommended” section of Gramophone, which stated, “It is difficult to argue with such a technically dazzling and unfailingly musical interpretation.” In June of 2005 the recording was released on iTunes where it immediately became No. 1 in the classical category. Lara has also recorded for Sony Classical.

Her debut CD, Bach: Works for Violin Solo, has sold over 50,000 copies and received resounding acclaim. The Chicago Tribune described Ms. St. John as having “superb technique and an irresistible vitality,” while US News and World Report called the recording “an exquisite performance.” Her second album, Gypsy, was described as “a sizzling display” by Gramophone, and The Strad called her “an electrifying player, as deeply satisfying in Bach as she is bewitchingly seductive in Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy.”

She has been featured in People, US News and World Report, on CNN’s Showbiz Today, NPR’s All Things Considered, Fox News, CBC and a Bravo! Special: Live At the Rehearsal Hall.

Highlights of the 2008-2009 concert season included Lara’s London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and her Wolf Trap recital debut with pianist Martin Kennedy.

Lara began playing the violin when she was 2 years old. She made her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age 4, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon when she was 10. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute at 13, and spent her first summer at Marlboro three years later. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir, David Takeno, and Joey Corpus.s.

She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto.
Scott St. John, violin/viola – “Mr. St. John played with endearing grace and rich tone. With either of his two instruments, violin and viola, he is a distinctive musician – strong, poised and musically intelligent.” – The New York Times

Canadian-born Scott St John has captured the attention of the musical world through his riveting and virtuosic performances on the violin, viola and electric MIDI violin.

An outreach enthusiast, St John will devise workshop, masterclass and community activities with audiences of any age. St John’s “Chamber Music Company” launched a new series of concerts including world premieres and varied collaborations in New York’s Merkin Hall. Served as founder and former Artistic Director of Millenium.

Prizewinner of the 1992 Munich International Violin Competition; winner of the Young Concert Artists Award; First Prize winner of the Alexander Schneider Violin & Viola Competition in 1987.

Bringing a superb technique, and captivating musicianship to his performances here is an artist many want to invite back. Impressive debut performances with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra/Keith Lockhart and Toronto Symphony/Jukka-Pekka Saraste have both resulted in reinvitations. Recent and forthcoming orchestral performances also include the Boston Pops and Philadelphia Orchestras, Flemish Radio, Cincinnati, New Hampshire, Toronto, Utah and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra.

Andrea Griminelli, fluteAcclaimed by critics and audiences for his sensitive interpretations and astonishing technique, The New York Times called Andrea Griminelli “one of the eight top emerging artists of the nineties”.

He began playing the flute at the age of ten and studied with legendary flutists Jean-Pierre Rampal and Sir James Galway. Sir James has described him as “the greatest flute player who has come to the forefront of the musical scene for many years”.

During his studies with Jean-Pierre Rampal at the Paris Conservatory he won music competitions in Stresa and Alessandria, Italy. In 1983 and 1984 he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Paris.

In 1984, at the age of 25 he was invited by Luciano Pavarotti to perform in Pavarotti’s now famous concert in New York’s Madison Square Garden. This was the beginning of a longstanding collaboration with the great tenor that led to unforgettable performance at London’s Hyde Park in 1990, New York’s Central Park in 1993, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Red Square, Moscow.

Throughout his career Griminelli has travelled extensively, performing tours in Europe, Japan, South America and United States. He has played most of the prestigious theatres and concert halls including La Scala and Carnegie Hall, together with artists such as Pretre, Giulini, Mehta, Norrington, Krivine, Bashmet, Luisada, Sutherland, Bonynge, Rampal, Rojdestvenski, Levine, Lu-Ja, Ughi, Sado and Semkov. He has worked with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony, the Munchner Rundfunkorchester, the London Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Turin Rai Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In 1991 Griminelli received a knighthood from the President of the Italian Republic and in 2003 was made Officer of Merit of the Italian Republic.

A champion of new work, he has given the world premieres of compositions for flute and orchestra by many composers including Carlo Boccadoro, Fabrizio Festa, Ennio Morricone and Shigeaki Saegusa.
His work on behalf of charitable causes has led to frequent collaborations with artists from popular culture including Elton John, James Taylor, Sting, Branford Marsalis and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

Andrea Griminelli has recorded extensively. His work includes flute concertos by Vivaldi and Mercadante on the Decca label with the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Rampal and the Rossini wind quartets (Decca). Decca has also released a disc entitled Andrea Griminelli’s Cinema Italiano featuring sound tracks from the world of Italian cinema arranged by Bacalov and Morricone and interpreted by Sting, Luciano Pavarotti, Lucio Dalla, Deborah Harry and Filippa Giordano.
During the 2005 – 2006 concert season, Griminelli was very active in creating new recordings with Decca. Work from this time includes Mozart’s complete concerti for flute with the Camerata Salzburg conducted by Sir Roger Norrington, a selection of early 19th century Italian music together with guitarist Filomena Moretti and music for flute and piano by Beethoven and Schubert with pianist Gianluca Cascioli.

Highlights of 2006, included a Decca release of the Mozart quartets for flute and strings with the Keller Quartet, tours of Latin America with Italian guitarist, Emanuele Segre and performances in Caracas with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

In September 2007 he was appointed President of the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “A. Peri” of Reggio Emilia, Italy and in January 2008 President of the Istituto Musicale “C. Merulo” of Castelnovo ne’ Monti (R.E.), Italy.
In 2008 Griminelli appeared with the Orchestre Symphonique du Nancy; with the harpist Luisa Prandina; at the Hanoi Opera Hause in the Hennessy Concert Series; with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Savona; in a Pavarotti Tribute concert in Petra broadcast by Retequattro and in an Andrea Bocelli Concert in the Plebiscito Square, Naples. He also recorded Boccherini Quintetts with the Quartetto di Cremona for Decca.

Next concert season includes tours of Latin America, the United States, recitals with the Virtuosi Italiani, performances in Japan with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and a world tour with Andrea Bocelli. In recital, he will appear with Emanuele Segre in Europe, with the Quartetto di Cremona and as soloist with a number of European orchestras. (October 2008)

Brooklyn Philharmonic

Program

Pre-Concert Talk 7:00 PM by Dr. James Lentini

Alexander Platt, Conductor

Lara St. John, violin
***

Four Seasons – Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Four Seasons of Buenos Aires – Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)

Lara St. John, soloist

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Additional Information

Dr. James Lentini is a composer and classical guitarist with expertise in computer-based technology in music and the arts. He will begin his position as the Dean of Fine Arts at Miami University on July 1. His compositions have won national and international awards. They have been performed and recorded in international venues by both leading solo artists and ensembles. Dr. Lentini’s particular interests include the role of technology in the fine arts and the need to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. He was extremely active in building a diverse learning community in his former role as dean of the School of Art, Media and Music at The College of New Jersey.

Dr. Lentini received a bachelor of music in composition from Wayne State University, a master of music in composition from Michigan State University and a doctor of musical arts in composition from the University of Southern California.