For many Sacramento concertgoers the annual Faculty, Alumni, and Friends Gala is the highlight of the New Millennium Series. This year’s gala will highlight virtuoso Flautist Laurel Zucker, who will join forces with pianist John Cozza in a performance of Francis Poulenc’s elegant Sonata for Flute and Piano, which was originally premiered by Jean-Pierre Rampal and the composer. Percussionist Daniel Kennedy will also bring his consummate skill and extraordinary musical range to our concert stage.
Five time Grammy winner Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide celebrity as both a recitalist and performer of opera, with a repertoire spanning 250 years. She has received awards and distinctions accorded to only the most distinguished artists. In 2007 she was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, the first vocal artist to be awarded the organization's five-year “genius” prize, and in 2008 was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She will be joined on the New Millennium Series by her longtime collaborator, the legendary pianist Gilbert Kalish, in a program of songs by Franz Schubert, Bela Bartok, Rebecca Clarke and William Bolcom.
The Grammy award winning Takács Quartet, now entering its forty-third season, is internationaly renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. They are the first string quartet to win the Wigmore Hall Medal. Their touring this season includes stops in Copenhagen, Vienna, Luxembourg, Rotterdam the Edinburgh Festival, the Aspen and Tanglewood Festivals and Carnegie Hall. The first string quartet to win the Wigmore Hall Medal, their inaugural visit to Sacramento will find them performing works by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven’s monumental Opus 131.
The New Esterházy Quartet, recognized as one of the world's top period-instrument string quartets, presents "The Birth of the String Quartet," performing three quartets: Mozart's Quartet in D, K575, Haydn's String Quartet in C, Op. 20 No. 2, and Boccherini's Quartet in A, Op. 8 No. 6. The members of NEQ are internationally-known period-instrument and chamber music specialists Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen.
Continuing our tradition of featuring the world's finest string ensembles, we are proud to present the Grammy award-winning Ying Quartet. The quartet, currently artists-in-residence at the distinguished Eastman School of Music, will present a marvelous and varied program comprising Borodin's D Major Quartet, Prokofiev's F Major Quartet, and Beethoven's powerful masterpiece, Op. 59, No. 3 in C Major "Rasumofsky."
This year's Gala will include performances by alumni cellist Jia-mo Chen and vibrant young french hornist Sadie Glass. Stellar pianist Eric Zivian will team up with faculty members Anna Presler, violinist, and Andrew Luchansky, cellist, for a performance of Felix Mendelssohn's powerful masterpiece, the Trio in D minor, Op. 49.
The multiple Grammy-winning Pinchas Zukerman is equally respected as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue and chamber musician. His musical genius, prodigious technique and unwavering artistic standards have inspired audiences and critics alike over four decades. Mr. Zukerman will be joined by acclaimed pianist Angela Cheng, with the pair performing Mozart’s G Major Sonata, K. 301, Beethoven’s E-flat Major Sonata Op. 12, No. 3 and Brahms’ D minor Sonata, Op. 108.
We are honored to welcome Mexico's most distinguished wind ensemble, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, in their Northern California debut. Currently, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet is in residence at the National Arts Center and has gained critical acclaim for recordings of Mexican quintet literature. Their program entitled, Danzas Latinamericans, will feature a rich array of music including, Astor Piazzolla's Teme de Maria.
The Gala will once again feature this year's AJ and Susana Watson Chamber Music Competition prizewinners as an opening act. We will also be treated to the world premier of Leo Eylar's "Two Klee Sketches" to be performed by percussionists Daniel Kennedy and Artie Storch. And the evening concludes with a performance of Brahms's masterpiece, the Piano Quartet No. 3, Op. 60 by faculty members Anna Presler, Anna Kruger, and Series Artistic Director Andrew Luchansky.
The defining artist of her generation, violinist Hilary Hahn combines technical perfection with an unmatched musical depth. Since her major orchestra debut at the age of 12, she has performed with the world’s leading ensembles, on all of its major stages, and with the greatest of her contemporaries.
Celebrating Sacramento’s musical present and future, the Faculty, Friends, and Alumni Gala will present an outstanding program whose performers stretch across several generations of the our region’s diverse musicians. Featuring the 2015 winners of the Watson Chamber Music Prize, the concert will also include Sean Varah’s propulsive Cello Sextet, performed by an all-star mix of Sacramento State alumni cellists.
Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “revolutionary chamber musicians,” the wind quintet Windsync is internationally recognized for their dramatic and engaging performances. Winners of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the ensemble plays exclusively from memory and incorporates elements of staging and choreography into their performances, allowing them to develop an unmatched rapport with audiences.
For almost forty years the Smithsonian Chamber Players have set the standard for historically- informed performance. Founded in 1976 to explore the great tradition of American music making, the ensemble’s core repertoire has expanded from the masterpieces of the Baroque and Classical eras to encompass the full tradition of Western art music, including the first performances of Brahms’ chamber music on period instruments.