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Classical Action’s star line-up for Michael Palm Series, from Feb 10

Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS presents three intimate evenings of star performances in its annual Michael Palm Series of house concerts in New York. The 2012 season opens on February 10 with violinist Leila Josefowicz, a MacArthur “genius,” and pianist-composer John Novacek, in their third Classical Action house concert together and the first in the Michael Palm Series. On March 10, the award-winning baritone Thomas Hampson is joined by his son-in-law, rising star bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, in their first US appearance together, with pianist Carrie-Ann Matheson. On May 17, Christine Brewer, recently named among the BBC’s top 20 sopranos of the 20th century, performs with pianist Craig Rutenberg.
All performances take place at the private loft apartment of Simon Yates and Kevin Roon. Tickets for all concerts in the Michael Palm Series can be purchased online at, or by calling Classical Action at (212) 997-7717.
About the performers
Leila Josefowicz came to national attention in 1994 when she made her Carnegie Hall debut with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and she has since appeared with the world’s most prestigious orchestras and eminent conductors. A regular, close collaborator of leading composers of the day, she is a passionate advocate of new music, for which she was awarded a 2008 MacArthur Fellowship. During the 2011/12 season, Josefowicz appears with the Boston and San Francisco symphonies playing the Salonen concerto under the baton of the composer; and joins the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Moest for a performance of the Adams Violin Concerto at the Lincoln Center Festival. She is the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2011/12 Artist in Residence. 
Pianist John Novacek regularly tours the Americas, Europe and Asia as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity he has presented more than 30 concerti with dozens of orchestras. His performances have been heard in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Wigmore Hall, Musée du Louvre, and major concert halls of Japan. He took top prizes at the Leschetizky and Joanne Hodges international piano competitions.
Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as a recitalist, opera singer, and recording artist, and maintains an active interest in teaching, research, and technology. The American baritone has performed in all of the world’s most important concert halls and opera houses with many renowned singers, pianists, conductors, and orchestras. Praised by the New York Times for his “ceaseless curiosity,” he is one of the most respected, innovative, and sought-after soloists performing today.
Luca Pisaroni was born in Venezuela and bred in Verdi’s hometown of Busseto, Italy. The bass-baritone debuted at the Salzburg Festival at age 26 with the Vienna Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt and undertook another successful run at the U.K.’s Glyndebourne Festival this summer with his role debut as Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo. A highlight of his 2011-12 season was his Metropolitan Opera role debut as Leporello in the new production of Don Giovanni.
Carrie-Ann Matheson is an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and a member of the Met’s select full-time regular music staff, where she works as pianist, prompter, and vocal coach. She has assisted such renowned conductors as James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, Marco Armiliato, Fabio Luisi, and Louis Langrée, and collaborated in recital with Marilyn Horne, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Barbara Bonney, and Ruth Ann Swenson.
Christine Brewer, Grammy Award-winning American soprano, has earned accolades from the New York Times’s Anthony Tommasini (“in her prime and sounding glorious”) and London’s Sunday Times (“she brings a soaring opulence to this music”). Highlights of Brewer’s 2011-12 season included singing Wagner and Beethoven for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s season-opening concert, before returning to Wagner for his Wesendonck Lieder with the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas and Ring cycle excerpts with the San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Craig Rutenberg has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest vocalists and is recognized as one of the most distinguished accompanists on the stage today. Having studied piano and interpretation with John Wustman, Geoffrey Parsons, Pierre Bernac and Miriam Solovieff, Rutenberg has appeared in recital with Denyce Graves, Sumi Jo, Harolyn Blackwell, Susanne Mentzer, Frederica von Stade, Angelika Kirchschlager and Dawn Upshaw, and frequently with Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner and Jerry Hadley as well as Olaf Baer, Simon Keenlyside and Stanford Olsen. He performed with Hampson at the White House under the Clinton administration.
About Classical Action’s Michael Palm Series
Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS was founded in 1993 by Charles Hamlen, who now serves in a dual capacity as director of the charitable organization and chairman of IMG Artists, the performing arts management company he co-founded in 1984. Classical Action became a fundraising program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in 1997. The not-for-profit organization draws upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the performing arts community to raise vitally needed funds for HIV/AIDS service, education, and prevention programs across the country. Funds are raised through special events, private house concerts, recording and merchandising projects, individual donations, and foundation and corporate support. In the 18 years since Classical Action opened its fundraising doors, it has raised more than $8 million. Additional information is available at
Michael Palm was a most generous and enthusiastic supporter of Classical Action. He was also the person who spearheaded the concept of private benefit house concerts, hosting several of them himself at his penthouse apartment 37 floors above Lincoln Center. A supporter of a wide range of performing arts and HIV/AIDS organizations, Michael died in 1998, but his memory thrives in the spirit and name of the Michael Palm Series, to benefit Classical Action.
Classical Action: Michael Palm Series 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Michael Palm Series
Leila Josefowicz, violin
Joseph Novacek, piano
At the home of Simon Yates and Kevin Roon. New York City
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Michael Palm Series
Thomas Hampson, baritone
Luca Pisaroni, bass-baritone
At the home of Simon Yates and Kevin Roon. New York City
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Christine Brewer, soprano
Craig Rutenberg, piano
At the home of Simon Yates and Kevin Roon. New York City
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