2019 The SPSV Music Festival Masters
Cello Professor at Oberlin Conservatory of Music
The critics have praised Vladimir Valjarevic for his “caressing legato,” “silk-on-velvet seductiveness” (Fanfare Magazine), “beautiful lyricism and . . . wide variety of tones and colorings, perceptively applied with care” (All Music Guide). He has also been called “an outstandingly responsive partner and superb tonalist” (The Strad). He has distinguished himself as performer, educator, and administrator – a result of his diverse interests and versatility. Some of Valjarevic’s solo and chamber performances include appearances at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Sumida Triphony Chamber Hall in Tokyo, Leiszhalle in Hamburg, Conservatory Hall in Geneva, Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche in Berlin, Concert Hall “Bulgaria” in Sofia, Conservatory of Music in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Manchester Music Festival in Vermont, Southwest Virginia Festival for the Arts, and the French and Swiss Embassies in Washington, D.C. In New York, he has performed at Bargemusic, “Concerts at One” at Trinity Church, the “Meet the Virtuoso” at the 92nd Street Y, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall, the Yamaha Salon, The United Nations, and the New School’s Tishman Auditorium, among others. Committed to exploration of the contemporary repertoire, Valjarevic has worked under the direction of various composers and has taken part in numerous world premieres. In addition, he appeared in the European premiere of Cage’s dance drama “Four Walls” in Berlin and then Hamburg.
Piano Professor at Mannes School of Music
Elizabeth Futral is one of the world’s leading sopranos. With her stunning vocalism and vast dramatic range, she has embraced a repertoire that ranges from the Baroque to world premieres. She has collaborated with the great conductors of our time, including Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Charles Mackerras, Loren Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Sir Neville Marriner. She has been acclaimed for her performances in the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Theatre an der Wien. Futral has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, Hannover Band, Boston Symphony, Munich Radio Orchestra, and many others.
Futral appears as Elvira in Kasper Holten’s film Juan a modern retelling of Don Giovanni. Other DVD releases include Tan Dun’s The First Emperor on EMI and A Streetcar Named Desire on Image Entertainment.
Voice Professor at Peabody Institute of Music
Award-winning violinist Wendy Sharp performs frequently as a recitalist and a chamber musician. In demand as a teacher and chamber music coach, she is on the faculties of the Yale School of Music and California Summer Music, and maintains a private studio.
For nearly a decade, Ms. Sharp was the first violinist and a founding member of the highly acclaimed Franciscan String Quartet. As a member of the quartet she toured the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and was honored with many awards including first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Press and City of Evian prizes at the Evian International String Quartet Competition.
A native of the San Francisco Bay area, she attended Yale University, graduating summa cum laude with distinction in music, and received her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sharp has served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Dartmouth College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Choate Rosemary Hall, and has participated in the Aspen, Tanglewood, Chamber Music West, Norfolk, Britten-Pears, and Music Academy of the West festivals. Ms. Sharp is currently the director of chamber music at the Yale School of Music, where she has also served on the violin faculty since 1997. Ms. Sharp lives with her husband and their two children in North Haven, Connecticut.
Violin Professor at Yale School of Music
Internationally acclaimed pianist Silvan Negruţiu has performed concerts around the world, from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to Ireland’s National Concert Hall, the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He appeared as soloist with prestigious orchestras including the Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, Alicante Philharmonic, George Enescu Philharmonic and Dublin Symphony Orchestra. Some of his concerts have included live television and radio broadcasts. He is a laureate of numerous international competitions, including the “Roma 2000” and Salerno “Beethoven e i classici” in Italy; the “Seiler” in Sofia, Bulgaria; the “Feis Ceoil” in Dublin, Ireland; and the “Konzerteum” in Pireas, Greece. Mr. Negruţiu has completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance degree at Shenandoah University in Virginia, under the guidance of internationally acclaimed pianist and pedagogue John O’Conor. At Shenandoah he was a piano instructor between 2010-13. He currently resides in Decatur, Illinois, where he holds the position of Assistant Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Millikin University School of Music.
Piano Professor at Millikin University School of Music
Russian-American pianist and pedagogue Misha Namirovsky has been praised as a “master of his art” (The Norderstedter Zeitung – Hamburg), and a “lyrical poet” (Die Rheinpfalz – Frankfurt); his playing hailed as “incredibly musical and sensitive, yet at the same time transparent and precise (Klassik.TV).” His vivid and sensitive performances are appreciated by critics and audiences alike–following a recent recital in Paris, French pianist and musicologist Eric Heidsieck wrote of Namirovsky’s “colors and clarity” and “extreme virtuosity and controlled passion.”
Misha Namirovsky holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University and Munich Musikhochschule. He completed his D.M.A at the New England Conservatory with a dissertation focusing on the piano works of British composer Frank Bridge. Namirovsky will present several lectures on the same topic in the near future. Namirovsky is currently professor of piano at the Soochow University in Suzhou, China.
Piano Professor at Suzhou University School of Music
Dr. Zhao Xiaoyang, a lyric baritone singer, graduated from Northeast Normal University College of Music in 2001 and later learnt vocal music from professor Nan Christie, soprano singer of Royal Opera House at University of London. In 2003, he taught lessons at Art College of Xiamen University after getting his Master’s drgree from the University of London. He learnt vocal music at Music College of San Diego State University with full scholarship from professor Mary Mackenzie, a world-renowned vocal music educationist, vice president of the American Association of Vocal Music Teachers, and also an alto singer at Metropolitan Opera in 2005 and acquired his Artist Diploma in Opera Performance in 2007. In 2008 he was admitted to Shenandoah College of Music, one of the earliest music institutes in America to study under PH.D. program of vocal music performance and meanwhile he taught the undergraduates vocal music. In this period, he learnt from professor Michael Forest, tenor at the United States Metropolitan, also a PH.D. advisor. He got the Doctor’s degree in vocal music performance at Shenandoah College of Music in 2012.
China’s famous lyric baritone singer
Dan Zhang graduated from Central Conservatory of Music of China, taught by the viola professor Wang Changhai. In 2007, in the first National Viola Competition, she won the best performance prize with superb skills and unique music performance charm. In 2009, Dan Zhang was awarded with full-scholarship and went to the United States to receive further education. She was taught by the famous US viola educator Doris Lederer, and obtained the diploma of violist. During the school time, she had won the first prize in the concerto competition held by the school, and performed the viola concerto of Bartok with the orchestra. In 2011, Dan Zhang was admitted by Yale University with full scholarship, majored in viola performance and awarded with full scholarship, and was taught by the famous Italian violist Ettore Causa living in the United States. Now, she receives further education at Benjamin T. Roman School of Music in Washington, for Doctoral Degree. She has founded a music studio at Virginia, and has engaged in music education for several years. Besides, several of her students have been admitted by the U.S. state orchestra, made outstanding achievements in competitions, and served as the chief position of the school orchestra.
US-BASED VIOLA SOLOIST, CHAMBER MUSICIAN, MUSIC DIRECTOR OF MTSY STUDIO
MUSIC MASTERS OF THE PREVIOUS EVENTS
Hailed by the New York Times as “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” as one of the piano’s “brilliant stars,” pianist Blair McMillen has forged a busy musical life that is unbounded by convention. He is well-known for his advocacy of living composers and contemporary music, as well as championing very early keyboard music and more recent neglected masterpieces.For the past 15 years, McMillen has divided his time as soloist, chamber musician, music festival director, and educator.
McMillen has performed in all the major concert venues in New York City, throughout the United States, and around the world. Recent appearances include concertos with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, solo appearances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Albany Symphony, and a 3-week solo tour of Brazil sponsored by the US State Department. He is a member of several prominent ensembles, including the American Modern Ensemble, the Bardian Ensemble, the six-piano “supergroup” Grand Band, and the Perspectives Ensemble, among others. For 12 years he was pianist for the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players.
Praised by the Italian press as being “one of the most interesting talents of her generation”, and described as having “a beautiful phrasing, brilliant virtuosity and a legato worthy of a great singer” by The Flutist Quarterly, Ginevra Petrucci has performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls throughout Europe (Sala Accademica di Santa Cecilia and Villa Medici, Rome; Teatro La Fenice, Venice; Sala Maffeiana, Verona; Villa Pignatelli, Naples; Salle Cortot, Paris; Liszt Academy, Budapest; Chopin Academy, Warsaw), America (Carnegie Hall, New York; Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.), Japan (Ohji Hall, Tokyo), South America and Middle East.She performs regularly with artists such as Bruno Canino, Rocco Filippini, Paolo Carlini, Luca Vignali, Boris Berman, David Radzynski, Emmanuel Ceysson, Jory Vinikour and with the ensembles I Virtuosi Italiani, I Pomeriggi Musicali, I Musici di Roma, and the Kodály Quartet. Her recordings include Giulio Briccialdi’s four flute Concerti with I Virtuosi Italiani, Friedrich Kuhlau’s quintets with the Kodály Quartet, Haydn’s flute Duets, the recital CD “The World of Yesterday” with Bruno Canino, Dupuy and Büchner’s Concerti with I Pomeriggi Musicali, the first CD entirely dedicated to the flauto d’amore and an all-Muczynski album with Ensemble Accendo.
Described as “brilliant” by the San Francisco Classical Voice, pianist Allegra Chapman is dedicated to engaging with new audiences as performer and presenter. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed at Alice Tully Hall, in the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, and at festivals including New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival and Bard Music Festival. Her performances have been featured on WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, and KALW San Francisco. Allegra performs regularly with local San Francisco ensembles and has collaborated with musicians Blair McMillan, Ian Swensen, and members of International Contemporary Ensemble and the Orion String Quartet. In addition to her performing career, Allegra enjoys a thriving teaching studio and has coached chamber music ensembles at many insitutions, including San Francisco State University and the Bryanston School in England. She is also founder and Artistic Director of Bard Music Festival West, an innovative new branch of Bard Music Festival that will explore the life and influences of a single 20th-century or contemporary composer each year. BMF West will open in San Francisco in 2017.
Prize winner of international piano competitions and a Bösendorfer Concert Artist, pianist Ivo Kaltchev has enjoyed a successful performing career as recitalist, soloist with orchestras, chamber musician, and recording artist. “Formidable technique” (Piano Journal, England), “possesses the genius of rubato” (Diapason, France), “distinctive and original” (Soviet Culture, Russia), “impressive” (Frankfurter Neue Presse, Germany), “most beautifully and idiomatically played” (International Record Review, England), “glittering,” “big technique” (WashingtonPost, U.S.), “a master of the whole range of pianistic attacks and coloristic effects” (The Star Ledger, U.S.)—these are some of the words that music critics have used to describe Dr. Kaltchev’s artistry.Currently, Dr. Kaltchev is Professor of Piano and Head of the Piano Division at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is co-director and co-founder of the Washington International Piano Festival, as well as the Artistic Director of the Bulgarian Music Society Concert Series at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, DC. He has taught as a Visiting Piano Professor at the Beijing China Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music.
As a member of the Audubon Quartet since 1976, Doris Lederer has performed extensively throughout the world and given master classes at Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Shanghai and Beijing Conservatories, Yale School of Music, The Chautauqua Institute, as well as the Audubon Quartet’s annual String Quartet Seminar.
In 1981, Doris Lederer visited Mainland China in a ground-breaking tour as a member of the Audubon Quartet, the first American string quartet to be so honored. Performing and giving masterclasses in Beijing and Shanghai, Ms. Lederer helped open the door wider to other Western musicians worldwide. Since her first visit as an artist, teacher and cultural ambassador, Ms. Lederer has returned to China on subsequent visits, not only as an artist-teacher, but as a distinquished representative of Shenandoah University Conservatory.
Sharon Christman has soloed and debuted in almost every Lincoln Center venue. She made her Alice Tully Hall debut singing Pergolesi’s Orpheus Cantata with the New York Chamber Orchestra. Immediately following she was engaged with New York City Opera and Opera Orchestra of New York in Carnegie Hall with Maestra Eve Queler. Ms. Christman continued her collaboration with Ms. Queler including a farewell concert with Carlo Bergonzi. For her Metropolitan Opera debut Ms. Christman performed the role of the” Queen of the Night” in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote – a role she has performed with more than twenty opera companies and symphonies across the United Stated, Canada and South America. She may be seen on video with Canadian Broadcasting Company’s production with L’Opera de Montreal, a Maurice Sendak production. Recent engagements include a fifth performance in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall- this time performing the soprano solos in Carmina Burana as part of the fifty year gala anniversary celebration of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. Ms. Christman is the Head of the Vocal Division and Opera at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America.
Ji Lin is an associate professor of cello from Orchestral Instruments Department at Xing Hai Conservatory of Music, also the secretary genreal of the Cello Institute in Guangdong Province. Ji Lin earned her Master’s degree of Cello Performing at Musikhochschule Köln and was recommended by the China Scholarship Council as a visiting scholar to Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles in 2014. Ji Lin studied at Musikhochschule Köln in 1999 and learnt from professor Claus Kanngiesser, dean 0f Musikhochschule Köln, also a famous cellist and an educationist. She also learnt chamber music from professor Harald Schoneweg, a renowned viola performer, and orchestra art from Christian Brunnert, chief cellist at Bonn philharmonic. Ji Lin enjoyed great success with her solo concerts at Xing Hai Conservatory of Music in 2004 and 2008. In January 2006, she went to Hong Kong to attend the charity concert themed “Butterfly Lovers’ Music for People’s Health” and performed with Song Fei and He Zhanhao. Since August 2006 she was invited to guide the Youth Symphony Orchestra members in Macao. In 2008 she gave lectures at Yunnan Arts University and was hired as a guest professor. Her students have won awards at national competitions and worked at professional orchestras and higher institutions after graduation.
Russian born pianist Anna Nizhegorodtseva holds her BM from Nizhny Novgorod College of Music and MM from Nizhniy Novgorod Glinka State Conservatory. Some of the awards in piano and chamber music competitions include the 1st Prize in the International Piano Competition of Kiev, Ukraine (2005), 2nd prize in Moscow Chamber Music Competition (2009), 1st place in MTAC, Los Angeles (2010). She has been finalist in the International piano contest in Malaga, Spain (2008) and in the First American Paderewski Piano Competition in Los Angeles, California (2010). In 2010 Anna obtained 2nd place in the Los Angeles Liszt International Piano Competition. She was a winner of Beverly Hills Auditions in Los Angeles and took part in the Beverly Hills concert series (2012). Anna attended master-classes with well-known pianists such as Dina Yoffe, Natalia Trull, Leonel Morales, and Edward Volanin. In 2012 she obtained the Artist Certificate at Azusa Pacific University (Los Angeles, CA) under the direction of the professor Roza Yoder. . In October 2013 Anna performed both as a soloist and collaborative pianist in a Weill (Carnegie) Recital Hall as a part of La Gesse Foundation. In March 2014 she was awarded 1st price for the Louisville Lake Symphony International Piano Competition in Texas and performed with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra in September 2014.
A native of the Czech Republic, violinist Barbora Kolářová is a recent laureate of the New York International Artist Association Competition and the Vadim Repin Master class Scholarship Competition in New York City. Winner of numerous international competitions such as the Remember Enescu and Telemann, she is also a two time winner of the Prague Junior Note and the Grand prize winner of the Michigan ASTA Solo Competition. She appeared numerous times as a soloist with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra all over Europe and USA and has also performed solo concertos with the Czech Radio Symphony, the Czech National Theatre Orchestra, the West Bohemia Symphony Orchestra, and the Limoges Orchestra. She was invited to perform at the Haydn Music Festival and the Young Prague and gave a presentation on “Czech Music of the 60’s” in the National Arts Gallery in Washington DC as part of the 2012 Miloš Forman Festival.
Miss Kolářová holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. Her major teachers include Pavel Prantl, Charles Avsharian, Ida Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt and Ani Kavafian. Barbora is a visiting performing artist of the Czech Philharmonic and a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She is a co-founder, artistic director and general manager of the Lake George Music Festival.