MAESTRO LEONARD SLATKIN, CONDUCTOR – FINAL ROUND
Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting and is active as a composer, author, and educator.
Mr. Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy® Awards and 64 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz with the ONL and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams with the DSO. He has also recorded the complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO.
A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, he also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Declaration of Honor in Silver, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.
Mr. Slatkin has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world. He has held posts as Music Director of the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National Symphony Orchestras. He was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
NICHOLAS McGEGAN, CONDUCTOR – SEMIFINAL ROUND
Described by The New Yorker as “an expert in 18th century style,” Nicholas McGegan has served as music director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque, artistic director at the International Handel Festival Göttingen, and principal guest conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.
Active in opera as well as the concert hall, he has been principal guest conductor of the Scottish Opera and principal conductor of Sweden’s 18th Century theatre in Drottingholm, running the annual festival there. He has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed practice beyond the world of period instruments to wider conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston Symphony, Concertgebouw, Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Royal Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hallé and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Montreal and Sydney. Opera companies he works with include Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Washington. He has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, notably at festivals like Edinburgh International and Ravinia.
His discography of over 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna, which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination. Among his other rediscoveries is the first performance in modern times of Handel’s masterly but mislaid Gloria.
Born in England, he was educated at Cambridge and Oxford universities. His awards include an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen, the Hallé Handel Prize, an order of merit of the state of Lower Saxony, a medal of Honour of the City of Goettingen, and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco for two decades of distinguished work with the Philharmonia Baroque. He was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2010.
For more information, please visit: nicholasmcgegan.com
BRENTANO STRING QUARTET– FINAL ROUND
Mark Steinberg, violin
Serena Canin, violin
Misha Amory, viola
Nina Lee, cello
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent; the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism”; the Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase and musical gesture”; and the Times (London) opines, “the Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet…This was wonderful, selfless music-making.”
As of July 2014, the Brentano Quartet succeeded the Tokyo Quartet as Artists in Residence at Yale University, departing from their 14-year residency at Princeton University. The quartet also currently served as the collaborative ensemble for the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and will again in 2017. In recent seasons, the Quartet has traveled widely, appearing all over the United States and Canada, and in Europe, Japan, and Australia. It has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. The Quartet has participated in summer festivals such as Aspen, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Edinburgh Festival, the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, the Taos School of Music, and the Caramoor Festival.
In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. It has performed many musical works pre-dating the string quartet as a medium, among them Madrigals of Gesualdo, Fantasias of Purcell, and secular vocal works of Josquin. Also, the quartet has worked closely with some of the most important composers of our time, among them Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Steven Mackey, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág. The Quartet has commissioned works from Wuorinen, Adolphe, Mackey, David Horne, and Gabriela Frank.
Among the Quartet’s latest collaborations with contemporary composers is a new work by Steven Mackey, “One Red Rose,” which was commissioned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Other new commissions include a piano quintet by Vijay Iyer, a work by Eric Moe (with Christine Brandes, soprano), and a new viola quintet by Felipe Lara (performed with violist Hsin-Yun Huang).
FORT WORTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA– SEMIFINAL AND FINAL ROUNDS
Since its beginnings in 1912, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has been an essential thread in the city’s cultural fabric and the very foundation of Fort Worth’s performing arts. Today, the FWSO is one of the most successful orchestras in the United States, performing an impressive 200 concerts each year for an audience of 250,000 adults and children from all walks of life. Now in his 16th season, Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya has transformed the FWSO into an ensemble that is recognized and admired the world over for its artistic excellence and commitment to community engagement.
As the principal resident company of the acoustically superb Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, the orchestra performs a broad range of symphonic and pops concerts and is admired nationally for the strength and uniqueness of its collaborations with other organizations, including the Fort Worth Opera, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Children’s Education Program of Bass Performance Hall, and various local professional choruses. The orchestra’s annual summer music festival, Concerts in the Garden, has grown to be one of the largest and most successful summer outdoor festivals of its kind in Texas, attracting an annual audience of nearly 45,000.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is also a national leader in music education. Adventures in Music, the orchestra’s education and outreach program, inspires, educates and entertains more than 65,000 children through more than 100 engaging programs each year in Fort Worth and across the state of Texas.