July 11, 2019

The West Coast premiere of Cold Mountain highlights the final weeks of the Music Academy of the West’s 72nd annual Summer School and Festival. The winner of a 2016 International Opera Award, this is the only opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer-in-Residence Jennifer Higdon, who presides over an exclusive new production conducted by TED Fellow Daniela Candillari and directed by Vocal Institute Creative Director James Darrah. The festival’s closing weeks also feature recitals by two of the Academy’s resident Mosher Guest Artists – MacArthur “genius grant” recipients, flutist Claire Chase and double bassist Edgar Meyer – and the festival debut of Baltimore Symphony Music Director Marin Alsop, who helms the Academy Festival Orchestra’s season-closing concert. For details of the full festival, which opened on June 17, launching eight weeks of concerts, recitals, and masterclasses at the Academy’s picturesque oceanside campus and throughout scenic Santa Barbara, click here.

West Coast premiere of Cold Mountain
More than 700 applicants seek the 27 coveted spots in the Academy’s Vocal Institute. As a result, “Music Academy of the West’s annual opera production has long been a reliable showcase for fine young vocalists” (Opera News). Starring a cast of vocal fellows, this season’s offering is the West Coast premiere of Cold Mountain, the sole opera by Composer-in-Residence and 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon. An American odyssey of love, honor and redemption at the close of the Civil War, and based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Charles Frazier, the opera was itself recognized with a 2016 International Opera Award. Directed by Princess Grace Award-winner James Darrah, Creative Director of the Vocal Institute, and featuring the Academy Festival Orchestra under the baton of Daniela Candillari, whose “wondrous music-making” (Chicago Tribune) has been seen at Chicago Lyric Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and more, the Academy’s fully staged and costumed production takes place at the Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara (Aug 2 & 4). The 2019 vocal fellows and vocal piano fellows may also be heard in the annual Marilyn Horne Song Competition (Aug 9; see Competitions and Showcases below).

Marin Alsop leads Academy Festival Orchestra’s season-closing concert
The Academy Festival Orchestra returns to conclude the entire eight-week festival when Marin Alsop, celebrated Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, takes the podium for Mathis der Maler by Hindemith, blue cathedral by Composer-in-Residence Jennifer Higdon, and Dvořák’s mighty Seventh Symphony (Aug 10).

Mosher Guest Artists in Residence: Claire Chase and Edgar Meyer
Generous support from the Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation once again enables the Academy to host four world-class guest artists this year, in brief residences that combine performances, public masterclasses, and private lessons for fellows. Two of this year’s residencies take place during the festival’s final weeks. Composer, flutist, Harvard professor, Avery Fisher Prize-winner, and MacArthur “genius” Claire Chase is “one of the prime movers in the music of our time” (New Yorker). Supported by an ensemble of Academy fellows, she performs PAN, an evening-length conceptual piece for solo flute, live electronics, and ensemble that was written for her by Brazilian-American composer Marcos Balter (July 25). The work is one of those that Chase commissioned for Density 2036, her 23-year commissioning project to revitalize the flute literature, from which she performs additional selections in the Festival Artists Series (July 23). Composer, double bassist, and fellow MacArthur “genius” Edgar Meyer has been called “the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively un-chronicled history of his instrument” (New Yorker). He completes the series with a solo program pairing Americana with classical works by Bach and himself (Aug 1).

Chamber Music: Takács Quartet, Festival Artists, Faculty Artists, and Picnic Concerts
The festival’s final weeks offer a variety of chamber concerts. The first string quartet to be inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame, the Takács Quartet joins cellist David Geber for Schubert’s transcendent String Quintet in C in the Festival Artists Series (July 23). Presenting faculty, fellows, and guest artists in chamber concerts at the Lobero Theatre, the series also features accounts of Brahms’s Piano Trio in B (July 30), and Jennifer Higdon’s Dark Wood (Aug 6).

Faculty artists perform together in a series of sonata recitals, enabling fellows to hear the repertoire they are studying performed by their mentors. Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, is among those taking part in group faculty recital (Aug 7). The Picnic Concert Series, named for the tradition of pre-concert picnicking on the Academy’s Miraflores grounds, presents Academy fellows in eclectic chamber recitals, programmed by the musicians themselves. These popular events are frequently attended by Compeers – community members who champion, and often form life-long friendships with, the fellows (July 26; Aug 8).

Competitions and showcases
One of the most popular events of the summer season, the Marilyn Horne Song Competition (Aug 9) is a showcase for Academy singers and vocal pianists, who compete for the Regina Roney Award, a cash prize and international recital tour. Chosen by a jury led by Honorary Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne (herself an Academy alumna – Class of 1953), past winners include John Osborn (’97), Susanna Phillips (’02, ’03), Isabel Leonard (’05), and Nadine Sierra (’07). This year’s jury also features Metropolitan Opera Musical Advisor Ken Noda and Composer-in-Residence Jennifer Higdon, who has been commissioned to write a work for the winners to premiere on an international tour next year. Likewise, the Academy’s Solo Piano Finale (Aug 5) sees piano fellows compete for the Luria Foundation Award, a cash prize and international recital tour presented in partnership with Steinway & Sons. As in previous years, the fellows will be showcased throughout the summer in a series of special events. During the festival’s final weeks, percussion fellows and faculty will demonstrate their virtuosity on an array of instruments in PercussionFest (July 22) and participants in the String Quartet Seminar, a program conducted by the Takács Quartet, will unveil their new ensembles and share their work in the String Quartet Recital (July 26).

Public masterclasses
The masterclass is one of the hallmarks of the Music Academy experience. All fellows participate in the Music Academy’s extensive masterclass program, which is designed to complement individual private instruction. Marilyn Horne is among those leading vocal masterclasses over the festival’s final weeks, when there will also be solo piano masterclasses led by Conor Hanick and Robert MacDonald and instrumental masterclasses presented by faculty and visiting artists including flutist and Mosher Guest Artist Claire Chase; trumpeter Paul Merkelo; horn player Julie Landsman; collaborative pianist Jonathan Feldman; violinists Pamela Frank, Jorja Fleezanis, and Kathleen Winkler; violist Cynthia Phelps (’79,’83); cellist David Geber; double bassist and Mosher Guest Artist Edgar Meyer; percussionist Michael Werner (’90); and many more. All masterclasses are open to the public, offering a unique behind-the-scenes look at the musical teaching process at its most dynamic and intimate.

Venues
The Music Academy of the West’s fellows, faculty and guest artists perform at its scenic ocean-side campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara, including the historic 1,500-seat Granada Theatre and the recently renovated 600-seat Lobero Theatre. Known as Miraflores, the Academy’s ten-acre campus was originally the estate of John Percival Jefferson. Its spectacular grounds and gardens create a serene place for visitors to stroll and relax before performances in the intimate Hahn Hall, which the Santa Barbara Independent calls an “ultra-luxurious jewel-box venue,” and the Los Angeles Times describes as the “centerpiece of the West Coast’s elite summer music academy, hidden away in a plush neighborhood of Montecito, a block from a glorious coastline. … With 350 seats, it is perfect for chamber music and recitals. The acoustics are unobtrusive; nothing gets between music and the ear.” Additional campus venues include Lehmann Hall, named for founder Lotte Lehmann, and Weinman Hall, a performance space decorated in Andalusian style, for masterclasses.

Lodging, dining and ticket information
Santa Barbara is an easy day trip from Los Angeles, and a memorable destination for travelers seeking cultural offerings in scenic settings. For tickets and further information for all Music Academy of the West events, call the Ticket Office at 805-969-8787, email [email protected], or visit online at www.musicacademy.org. To request a brochure, email [email protected] or write to the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.

The Mosher Guest Artists Recital Series is generously supported by the Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation.

The Academy Festival Orchestra Series is generously supported by Mary Lynn and Warren Staley and exclusive corporate sponsor Montecito Bank & Trust.

The Vocal Masterclass Series is generously supported by Shirley and Seymour Lehrer.

Thank you to the Santa Barbara Public Library for their partnership in screening and hosting book clubs for Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain.

About the Music Academy of the West
The Music Academy of the West advances the development of 21st-century, classically trained musicians and cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences. Founded in 1947, the Academy operates on a ten-acre, oceanside campus in Santa Barbara, California, where its world-renowned eight-week Summer Festival comprises more than 200 events. Programs comprise voice, vocal piano, collaborative piano, instrumental, and solo piano. In 2018, the Academy launched a four-year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, focusing on education and performance on both sides of the Atlantic. For more information, visit musicacademy.org.

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Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, CA
2019 Summer Festival, final weeks: July 22–Aug 10
For details of the full eight-week festival (June 17–Aug 10), click here.

Highlights of festival’s final weeks “at a glance”
July 22: PercussionFest
July 23: Festival Artists Series: Schubert String Quintet; Density 2016 selections
July 25: Mosher Guest Artist Recital: Claire Chase (with Academy fellows)
   Marcos Balter: PAN for solo flute, live electronics, and ensemble
July 26: String Quartet Recital
July 27: Duo Competition Finals
July 30: Festival Artists Series: Brahms Piano Trio
Aug 1: Mosher Guest Artist Recital: Edgar Meyer
   J.S. Bach: Suite No. 1, BWV 1007
Edgar Meyer: Work-in-progress for unaccompanied double bass
Aug 2 & 4: Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain (West Coast premiere)
   Vocal Institute Fellows, Academy Festival Orchestra / Daniela Candillari; James Darrah, director
Aug 5: Solo Piano Finale
Aug 6: Festival Artists Series: Schumann Piano Quintet and Jennifer Higdon’s Dark Wood
Aug 7: Faculty Artists Recital
Aug 9: Opera & Song Series: Marilyn Horne Song Competition
Aug 10: Academy Festival Orchestra Series: Dvořák’s Seventh
   Academy Festival Orchestra / Marin Alsop
Jennifer Higdon: blue cathedral
   Hindemith: Mathis der Maler
   Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 

Final weeks: chronological listing of events

Mon, July 22
Collaborative Piano Masterclass: Jonathan Feldman (Lehmann, 2pm)
PercussionFest: Academy Fellows (Hahn, 7:30pm) 

Tues, July 23
Flute Masterclass: Claire Chase (Weinman, 1pm)
Percussion Masterclass: Michael Werner (Hahn, 3:15pm)
Viola Masterclass: Karen Dreyfus (Weinman, 3:15pm)
Oboe Masterclass: Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida (Yzurdiaga, 3:15pm)
Festival Artists Series: Schubert String Quintet; Density 2016 selections (Lobero, 7:30pm)

Wed, July 24
Cello Masterclass: David Geber (Lehmann, 1pm)
Horn Masterclass: Julie Landsman (Weinman, 1pm)
Vocal Masterclass: Martin Katz (Hahn, 3:15pm)
Bassoon Masterclass: Benjamin Kamins (Lehmann, 3:15pm)
Double Bass Masterclass: Nico Abondolo (Weinman, 3:15pm)

Thurs, July 25
Clarinet Masterclass: Richie Hawley (Hahn, 1pm)
Chamber Music Masterclass: Takács Quartet (Lehmann/Weinman, 1pm)
Trombone & Tuba Masterclass: Ralph Sauer (Weinman, 1pm)
Violin Masterclass: Kathleen Winkler (Lehmann, 3:15pm)
Mosher Guest Artist Recital: Claire Chase with Academy fellows (Hahn, 7:30pm)
Marcos Balter: PAN for solo flute, live electronics, and ensemble

Fri, July 26
Solo Piano Masterclass: Conor Hanick (Hahn, 1pm)
String Quartet Recital: String Quartet Seminar Fellows (Hahn, 3:30pm)
Picnic Concert: Academy Fellows (Hahn, 7:30pm)

Sat, July 27
Duo Competition Finals (Hahn, 2pm)

Mon, July 29
Collaborative Piano Masterclass: Jonathan Feldman (Lehmann, 2pm)
Trumpet Masterclass: Paul Merkelo (Weinman, 3:15pm)

Tues, July 30
Harp Masterclass: JoAnn Turovsky (Lehmann, 1pm)
Flute Masterclass: Jim Walker (Weinman, 1pm)
Percussion Masterclass: Michael Werner (Hahn, 3:15pm)
Viola Masterclass: Cynthia Phelps (Weinman, 3:15pm)
Oboe Masterclass: Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida (Yzurdiaga, 3:15pm)
Festival Artists Series: Brahms Piano Trio (Lobero, 7:30pm)

Wed, July 31
Cello Masterclass: David Geber (Lehmann, 1pm)
Horn Masterclass: Julie Landsman (Weinman, 1pm)
Bassoon Masterclass: Benjamin Kamins (Lehmann, 3:15pm)
Double Bass Masterclass: Edgar Meyer (Weinman, 3:15pm)

Thurs, Aug 1
Clarinet Masterclass: Richie Hawley (Hahn, 1pm)
Chamber Music Masterclass: David Geber (Lehmann/Weinman, 1pm)
Trombone & Tuba Masterclass: Ralph Sauer (Weinman, 1pm)
Violin Masterclass: Pamela Frank (Lehmann, 3:15pm)
Mosher Guest Artist Recital: Edgar Meyer (Hahn, 7:30pm)
J.S. Bach: Suite No. 1, BWV 1007
Edgar Meyer: Work-in-progress for unaccompanied double bass

Fri, Aug 2
Solo Piano Masterclass: Robert McDonald (Hahn, 1pm)
Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain (Granada, 7:30pm)
Vocal Institute Fellows, Academy Festival Orchestra / Daniela Candillari; James Darrah, director

Sun, Aug 4
Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain (Granada, 7:30pm))
Vocal Institute Fellows, Academy Festival Orchestra / Daniela Candillari; James Darrah, director 

Mon, Aug 5
Collaborative Piano Masterclass: Jonathan Feldman (Lehmann, 2pm)
Solo Piano Finale: Academy Fellows (Hahn, 4:30pm)

Tues, Aug 6
Flute Masterclass: Jim Walker (Weinman, 1pm)
Percussion Masterclass: Michael Werner (Hahn, 3:15pm)
Viola Masterclass: Cynthia Phelps (Weinman, 3:15pm)
Oboe Masterclass: Eugene Izotov (Yzurdiaga, 3:15pm)
Festival Artists Series: Schumann Piano Quintet (Lobero, 7:30pm) 

Wed, Aug 7
Cello Masterclass: David Geber (Lehmann, 1pm)
Horn Masterclass: Julie Landsman (Weinman, 1pm)
Vocal Masterclass: Marilyn Horne (Hahn, 3:15pm)
Bassoon Masterclass: Benjamin Kamins (Lehmann, 3:15pm)
Double Bass Masterclass: Nico Abondolo (Weinman, 3:15pm)
Faculty Artists Recital: Higdon, Bottesini, Brahms (Hahn Hall, 7:30pm)

Thurs, Aug 8
Clarinet Masterclass: Richie Hawley (Hahn, 1pm)
Chamber Music Masterclass: Jennifer Higdon (Lehmann/Weinman, 1pm)
Trombone & Tuba Masterclass: Ralph Sauer (Weinman, 1pm)
Violin Masterclass: Jorja Fleezanis (Lehmann, 3:15pm)
Trumpet Masterclass: Paul Merkelo (Weinman, 3:15pm)
Picnic Concert: Academy Fellows (Hahn, 7:30pm)

Fri, Aug 9
Solo Piano Masterclass: Robert McDonald (Hahn, 1pm)
Opera & Song Series: Marilyn Horne Song Competition (Hahn Hall, 4pm & 7:30pm) 

Sat, Aug 10
Academy Festival Orchestra Series: Dvořák’s Seventh/ Marin Alsop (Granada, 7:30pm)
Academy Festival Orchestra / Marin Alsop
Jennifer Higdon: blue cathedral
   Hindemith: Mathis der Maler
   Dvořák: Symphony No. 7

For further information, contact:
Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group: [email protected]; 212-625-2038
Ana Papakhian, Music Academy of the West, Vice President of Marketing and Communications: [email protected]; 805‐695-7907

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© 21C Media Group, July 2019