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Music Academy of the West’s 2015 Season Presents New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert; Rossini’s Cinderella; Leon Fleisher, Jeremy Denk, Osmo Vänskä, Christoph von Dohnányi, Takács and JACK Quartets, and More

Eight-Week Festival of Classical Music on “America’s Riviera” Runs June 15–Aug 8


The Music Academy of the West, whose annual summer festival in scenic Santa Barbara, CA is often described as “classical music on America’s Riviera,” returns with a compelling lineup of events at its 2015 Summer School and Festival, opening on June 15 and running through August 8. Highlights of this 68th season include the debut performance at the historic Santa Barbara Bowl of the New York Philharmonic under its music director Alan Gilbert; and a new production of Rossini’s comic opera Cinderella, overseen by Marilyn Horne, a Music Academy alumna (’53) and Director of the Voice Program. Additional highlights include performances by pianists Jeremy Denk and Leon Fleisher, the Takács and JACK quartets, cellist Alban Gerhardt, and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, as well as orchestral concerts led by Christoph von DohnányiCourtney LewisNicholas McGegan, Larry Rachleff, and Osmo Vänskä. Throughout its 2015 Summer Festival, the Academy will showcase the music of living composers, including Thomas AdèsKalevi AhoMason BatesPierre BoulezPierre JalbertCarter PannSteve Reich, and Caroline Shaw. Featuring the Academy’s talented fellows, faculty and distinguished guest performers, some 200 events – including more than 80 that are free – will be presented at the Academy’s beautiful ocean-side campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara.

“We are tremendously proud of the program we have assembled for the 2015 Festival, which brings together outstanding classical musicians from near and far, providing unparalleled training opportunities for our fellows,” said Music Academy President Scott Reed. “This season’s unique programs will once again enable Festival attendees to engage, absorb, and celebrate classical music at its finest.”

Community Access Initiatives
The Music Academy has announced four initiatives to foster greater community involvement during its 2015 Summer Festival. Anchoring the effort are $10 Community Access tickets, a portion of which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for all Festival events. Community Access seats will be located in premium sections of each Summer Festival venue: Hahn Hall, Lehmann Hall, and Weinman Hall on the Music Academy campus; the Lobero and Granada theatres in downtown Santa Barbara; and the Santa Barbara Bowl. Additionally, young people ages 7 to 17 accompanying ticketed adults will be admitted free to all events; more than 25 performances and masterclasses will be streamed live on the Internet; and the Music Academy will host a free, all-day community event on June 24.

“Transforming our audience by increasing it is critical to our mission,” said Music Academy Board Chair Margaret Cafarelli. “We are fiercely dedicated to introducing more people to classical music, and earning more fans. Thanks to the incredible philanthropy of our supporters, we’ll be able to present performances and learning opportunities for more people in Santa Barbara’s finest venues, in their own homes, or wherever they are.”

New York Philharmonic Debut at the Santa Barbara Bowl
In the second summer of its innovative four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, the Music Academy will present the Philharmonic in its debut performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Monday, August 3. Led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, the world-famous orchestra will perform an all-American program, including music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Soprano Julia Bullock and tenor Ben Bliss, a 2012 alumnus of the Music Academy, will join the Philharmonic as soloists in West Side Story Concert Suite No. 1.

“Thanks to our generous supporters, we have secured substantial funding to enable us to offer astonishingly affordable tickets for this special event,” said Scott Reed. “More than 4,000 tickets will be available for $10 each. Our ongoing partnership with the New York Philharmonic allows us to bring one of the world’s greatest orchestras to inspire our fellows and engage with our community. This exceptional performance under the stars, overlooking the ocean, will be a highlight of the summer for Santa Barbara.”

Under terms of the New York Philharmonic’s partnership with the Music Academy, up to five Philharmonic musicians will serve as guest faculty for one week each summer to train fellows in collaboration with Academy faculty, including masterclasses, chamber music coachings, private lessons, and lectures. Filling the residencies this summer will be Acting Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Principal Cello Carter Brey, Principal ClarinetAnthony McGill, Principal Tuba Alan Baer, and Associate Principal Percussion Daniel Druckman.

Music Academy of the West is the first American partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, customized collaborations with partners worldwide that offer intensive training of pre-professional musicians by New York Philharmonic members, often alongside regular performance residencies by the full Orchestra.

Mosher Guest Artist Residency Program
Generous support from the Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation will once again enable the Music Academy to host four stellar guest artists over the course of this year’s Summer Festival. Ranging in duration, their residencies will include public masterclasses, performances, and private interaction with Academy fellows. The Academy’s 2015 Mosher Guest Artists are tenor Anthony Dean Griffey (in residence June 22-27), cellist Alban Gerhardt (July 6-10), pianist Leon Fleisher (July 13-19), and the JACK Quartet (July 19-22). Griffey, who has garnered critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert, and recital stages around the world, will perform with Music Academy faculty artist John Churchwell (piano) in Hahn Hall on June 25. Gerhardt, who has been praised by The Guardian as “one of finest cellists around – expressive, unshowy, and infinitely classy” – will perform with Music Academy faculty artist Natasha Kislenko (piano) in Hahn Hall on July 9. Fleisher, who at 86 years young continues to sustain a thriving career as a conductor, soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, and masterclass mentor, will appear with piano duo partner Katherine Jacobson Fleisher in Hahn Hall on July 15. And the award-winning JACK Quartet, whose members include Music Academy alumnus Ari Streisfeld (violin, ’01-’03), will perform in Hahn Hall on July 20. All four concerts will begin at 8 pm.

Luria Foundation Artists in Residence
New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, pianist Jeremy Denk, and performance psychology specialist Bill Williams will serve as inaugural Luria Foundation Artists in Residence for the 2015 Summer Festival. The Luria Foundation Artist in Residence Program is designed to bring noted industry innovators to the Music Academy each summer to teach and perform in multiple areas and disciplines, inspiring creativity and fresh thinking among fellows.

Opera: Rossini’s Cinderella
The Music Academy Voice Program will present a fully staged production of Rossini’s Cinderella at the Granada Theatre on July 30 and August 1. Jayce Ogren, former music director of the New York City Opera, will conduct the Academy Festival Opera Orchestra. David Paul, a faculty member at Juilliard and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program who oversaw the Academy’s productions of The Rake’s ProgressThe Magic Flute, and Carmen in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively, will return to direct. “Rossini’s bel canto style of opera is difficult to perform, but beautiful to hear,” said Marilyn Horne, who has directed the Music Academy’s renowned Voice Program since 1997. “Everyone will enjoy the vocal fireworks and the charming libretto.” The Academy’s fellows who will perform in the production – chosen from among more than 550 applicants as part of the program’s competitive audition process – represent some of today’s finest young singing talent. The production also will include 45 instrumental fellows from the Academy Festival Orchestra.

Academy Festival Orchestra Concerts
The Academy Festival Orchestra will present seven concerts this season, including five at the historic Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara. Larry Rachleff, who serves as music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Rice University’s Shepherd School orchestras, will conduct the season’s first two orchestra concerts at the Granada Theatre on June 20 and 27. In its opening appearance of the 2015 Festival on June 20, the orchestra will perform Mason Bates’s Ode before teaming up with Academy Voice Program fellows and the Santa Barbara Choral Society for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The following week, Rachleff will conduct Ravel’s perennially popular Boléro and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances on June 27. Osmo Vänskä, who serves as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, will conduct Kalevi Aho’s Gejia (Chinese Images for Orchestra) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 at the Granada Theatre on July 11. New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Courtney Lewis, who was also recently appointed music director of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, will take up the baton for this year’s Concerto Celebration, featuring winners of the Music Academy’s 2015 Concerto Competition, at the Granada Theatre on July 18. And the legendary Christoph von Dohnányi, universally recognized as one of the world’s most distinguished conductors, will lead the orchestra in a performance of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 to close out the 2015 Festival at the Granada Theatre on August 8.

Jeremy Denk, one of America’s most thought-provoking, multi-faceted, and compelling artists, will appear as a pianist and leader in a performance by members of the Academy Festival Orchestra along with Voice Program fellows at the Lobero Theatre on July 3. The concert will feature an all-Mozart program curated by Denk exclusively for the Music Academy. And Nicholas McGegan, the effervescent music director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, will conduct members of the Academy Festival Orchestra in selections from Handel’s Italian opera Orlando, also featuring Academy Voice Program fellows, as well as Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony, at the Lobero Theatre on July 25.

Chamber Music & Solo Recitals
Formerly known as Tuesdays @ 8, the Music Academy Festival Artists Series will move to the Lobero Theatre for seven outstanding chamber ensemble concerts featuring Academy faculty, fellows, and guest artists in 2015. Guest artists this coming season will include violinists Stephen Bryant and Alexander Treger; New York Philharmonic Acting Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, and Philharmonic Associate Principal Percussion Daniel Druckman; conductor/composer/pianist Thomas Adès, who will perform his Piano Quintet with the JACK Quartet (July 20); pianists Jeremy Denk and Martin Katz; and Baroque and Classical specialist Nicholas McGegan, who will perform on harpsichord in a program of Brandenburg Concertos (July 28).

The Picnic Concert Series, named for the tradition of pre-concert picnicking on the Academy’s Miraflores grounds, features Academy fellows in seven eclectic chamber music concerts, programmed by the musicians themselves. Performances take place at 7:30 pm in Hahn Hall. This year’s Picnic Concert dates are June 19, 26; July 10, 17, 24; and August 6. Seating for these popular events is limited.

This year’s Concerto Competition Finals, in which Academy solo pianists and other instrumentalists vie for the honor of performing with the Academy Festival Orchestra as part of the annual Concerto Celebration (July 18), will take place over consecutive evenings in Hahn Hall. String fellows will compete on July 1; winds, brass, percussion, and solo piano fellows will compete on July 2. Performances will begin at 7 pm both days. This year’s eminent jury will be announced soon.

The Marilyn Horne Song Competition, one of the most popular events of the summer season at the Music Academy, is a showcase for Academy singers and vocal pianists. Top awards, presented in memory of longtime Music Academy vocal accompaniment faculty member Gwendolyn Koldofsky, are given to the Academy singer and vocal pianist who demonstrate both excellence in the performance of song repertoire and an exceptional gift for audience communication. Winners receive full underwriting from the Music Academy for recital appearances, $2,500 Regina Roney Prizes, and individual consultations with New York-based communications firm 21C Media Group. This year’s competition will take place from 10 am to 5 pm on July 18 in Hahn Hall.

String Quartet Seminar
Recently inducted into Gramophone’s Hall of Fame – the only string quartet to be so honored to date – the Takács Quartet will also once again oversee the Academy’s innovative String Quartet Seminar, which provides 16 string fellows with intensive ensemble coaching over the course of seven days. The seminar will culminate in a public recital by participating fellows (forming four quartets) at Hahn Hall on June 19 – the season’s first Picnic Concert.

Unique Educational Programs
Under the direction of faculty artist Glenn Dicterow, the Music Academy’s String Leadership Program for violin fellows offers specialized training for concertmaster and principal second positions in orchestras, including intensive study through masterclasses, private lessons, and coachings. All violin fellows are invited to audition for and participate in the classes, through which select Fellows will be offered leadership positions for Academy Festival Orchestra concerts and other performances.

Once again the Music Academy will offer “The Path to Optimal Performance” series of workshops, lectures, and interactive coaching sessions designed to provide Academy fellows with the opportunity to develop their performance skills in an experiential environment. Series leader Bill Williams is recognized internationally for his work as a musician, performance coach, and educator, having served as principal trumpet for the San Francisco Symphony and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, among others, and having taught performance techniques at the New World Symphony, Juilliard, the Curtis Institute of Music, and DePaul University.   

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. Throughout the eight weeks, more than 100 public masterclasses will be presented by faculty and guest artists. Among those leading vocal masterclasses will be Marilyn HorneAnthony Dean GriffeyJeremy Denk, and Martin Katz. Weekly masterclasses will also be presented by members of the string, woodwind, brass, percussion, voice, and piano faculty, including flutists Timothy Day and Jim Walker; horn player Julie Landsman; pianists Jonathan Feldman and Jerome Lowenthal; violinists Kathleen WinklerPeter Salaff, and Glenn Dicterow; violists Karen DreyfusDonald McInnes, Cynthia Phelps, and Richard O’Neill; and cellists David Geber and Alan Stepansky. Visiting artists such as Thomas Adès and Alan Gilbert will also give masterclasses. The public is invited to attend these classes, which provide unique insight into the music teaching process at its most dynamic and intimate.

CABARET, the Music Academy’s signature gala benefit, will take place this year on August 7 at 6 pm at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. One of the most anticipated benefits of the year, the event will feature cocktails, a gourmet dinner, a live auction, and a performance by Academy Voice and Instrumental Fellows.

Full scholarships for the Academy’s Fellows
Admission to the Music Academy of the West is strictly merit-based, and all of its gifted, pre-professional classical musicians receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). For the 2015 Summer School and Festival, 140 fellows from seven countries and sixteen states were accepted from a record pool of 1,838 applicants. The fellows range in age from 18 to 33, with an average age of 23. The top schools represented are Juilliard (19 fellows), Manhattan School of Music (9), University of Southern California (9), New England Conservatory (8), Rice University (8), the Colburn School (8), and Northwestern University (7). The Music Academy presents its fellows with a model of living a well-balanced life through its innovative “Live Well, Perform Well” wellness curriculum.

Festival Dedication
This year’s Festival is dedicated to longtime Academy supporters Pat and Joe Yzurdiaga. “The Yzurdiagas personify everything a nonprofit arts presenting organization could hope for in its benefactors – enthusiasm, generosity, collaborative spirit, and grace. We are proud to honor them in this way,” stated Scott Reed.

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. The Academy’s nine-acre campus of lush gardens, known as Miraflores, 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 taking place in the intimacy of Hahn Hall. The Los Angeles Times calls Hahn Hall 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.”

Lodging, Dining & Ticket Information
Santa Barbara is an easy day trip from Los Angeles, and a memorable destination for travelers seeking cultural offerings in scenic settings. The Music Academy recommends a number of area hotels and restaurants on its website, Visit the site for the full schedule of concerts, opera, masterclasses, special events, and guest artists appearing during the 2015 summer festival, which runs from June 15 through August 8.

For tickets and further information for all Music Academy of the West events: call the Box Office at 805-969-8787, email [email protected]; or visit online at To request a brochure, email [email protected] or write to the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.

About the Music Academy of the West
The Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly based on merit, and fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). The Academy’s distinguished faculty roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, and current Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for Academy fellows, and Summer Festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians.

The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually, nearly half of them free of charge. These include performances by faculty, visiting artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. The 2015 Summer School and Festival will take place from June 15 to August 8 at the Academy’s scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara. For more information, visit

“For eight weeks each summer,” states the Santa Barbara News-Press, “the Music Academy blithely and blissfully takes over our town, presenting a thicket of classical music for our listening pleasure, spoiling us with a high caliber of music and celebrated visitors.”

High-resolution photos may be downloaded here, and a PDF of the Music Academy’s 2015 season brochure may be downloaded here.



Music Academy of the West
2015 Summer Festival: June 15–August 8
Santa Barbara, CA

Festival highlights “at a glance”
June 16:
Takács Quartet in concert
June 20:
Larry Rachleff w/ Academy Festival Orchestra
June 25:
Tenor Anthony Dean Griffey in concert
June 27:
Larry Rachleff w/ Academy Festival Orchestra
July 3:
Jeremy Denk w/ with members of the Academy Festival Orchestra
July 6, 8:
July 9:
Cellist Alban Gerhardt in concert
July 11:
Marilyn Horne Masterclass
July 11:
Osmo Vänskä w/Academy Festival Orchestra
July 15:
Pianists Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobson Fleisher in concert
July 18:
Courtney Lewis w/ Academy Festival Orchestra – “Concerto Celebration”
July 18:
Marilyn Horne Song Competition
July 20:
JACK Quartet in concert
July 25:
Nicholas McGegan w/members of the Academy Festival Orchestra
July 30, Aug. 1: Rossini’s Cinderella (Jayce Ogren, conductor; David Paul, stage director)
Aug 1:
Aug 3:
Alan Gilbert w/New York Philharmonic at Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug 7:
Cabaret, the Academy’s Signature Gala
Aug 8:
Christoph von Dohnányi w/Academy Festival Orchestra


Chronological listing of events
Note: Instrumental Masterclasses weekdays at 1 pm and 3:15 pm

June 15
Piano Masterclass: Jerome Lowenthal

June 16
Takács Quartet in concert
Haydn, Beethoven, Carter, Pann

June 17
Vocal Masterclass: Intro to Voice Program Fellows

June 19
Picnic Concert: String Quartets

June 20
Academy Festival Orchestra; Larry Rachleff, conductor
Mason Bates: Ode
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

June 22
Piano Masterclass: Jerome Lowenthal
Masterclass Sampler

June 23
Festival Artists chamber ensemble concert

June 25
Mosher Guest Artist Recital: Anthony Dean Griffey, tenor

June 26
Vocal Masterclass: Anthony Dean Griffey
Picnic Concert: PianoFest

June 27
Academy Festival Orchestra; Larry Rachleff, conductor
Ravel: Boléro
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

June 29
Piano Masterclass: Jeremy Denk

June 30
Festival Artists chamber ensemble concert

July 1
Vocal Masterclass: Jeremy Denk
Concerto Competition Finals: Strings

July 2
Concerto Competition Finals: Winds, Brass, Percussion, Piano

July 3
Vocal Masterclass: Martin Katz
Members of the Academy Festival Orchestra; Jeremy Denk, piano, leader
Voice Program Fellows
All-Mozart program

July 6
Piano Masterclass: Jerome Lowenthal
OperaFest: Academy Voice Fellows
John Churchwell, Christopher Ocasek, conductors
Bruce Donnell, director

July 7
Festival Artists chamber ensemble concert

July 8
OperaFest: Academy Voice Fellows
John Churchwell, Christopher Ocasek, conductors
Bruce Donnell, director

July 9
Mosher Guest Artist Recital: Alban Gerhardt, cello 

July 10
Vocal Masterclass: Fred Carama
Picnic Concert: Chamber Ensembles/Soloists

July 11
Marilyn Horne Masterclass: Academy Voice Fellows
Academy Festival Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Kalevi Aho: Gejia (Chinese Images for Orchestra)
Mahler: Symphony No. 5

July 13
Piano Masterclass: Leon Fleisher

July 14
Festival Artists chamber ensemble concert

July 15
Vocal Masterclass: Martin Katz
Mosher Guest Artist Recital: Leon Fleisher & Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, piano

July 16
BrassFest; Mark Lawrence, conductor

July 17
Vocal Masterclass: John Churchwell and John Fisher
Picnic Concert Series: Chamber Ensembles/Soloists

July 18
Marilyn Horne Song Competition: Academy Vocal Fellows and Pianists
Academy Festival Orchestra; Courtney Lewis, conductor
Music Academy Concerto Competition Winners
Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

July 20
Piano Masterclass: Thomas Adès
Mosher Guest Artist Recital: JACK Quartet

July 21
Festival Artists chamber ensemble concert

July 22
Vocal Masterclass: Cinderella Covers in Concert

July 23
An Evening of Vocal Chamber Music: Academy Instrumental and Voice Fellows

July 24
Picnic Concert: Chamber Ensembles/Soloists

July 25
Members of the Academy Festival Orchestra; Nicholas McGegan
Voice Program Fellows
Handel’s Orlando (selections)
Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony

July 27
Piano Masterclass: Robert McDonald

July 28
Festival Artists chamber ensemble concert

July 30
Rossini’s Cinderella
Academy Festival Opera Orchestra
Voice Program Fellows
Jayce Ogren, conductor
David Paul, director
Sandra Goldmark, designer
Marilyn Horne, Voice Program director
(Sung in Italian with English supertitles)

July 31
Picnic Concert: Chamber Ensembles/Soloists

August 1
PercussionFest with Ted Atkatz and Michael Werner, faculty artists
Rossini’s Cinderella
Academy Festival Opera Orchestra
Voice Program Fellows
Jayce Ogren, conductor
David Paul, director
Sandra Goldmark, designer
Marilyn Horne, Voice Program director
(Sung in Italian with English supertitles)

August 3
Piano Concerto Masterclass: Alan Gilbert,
Luria Artist in Residence
New York Philharmonic debut at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Alan Gilbert, conductor
All-American program, including
Copland’s Appalachian Spring
Bernstein’s Suite from West Side Story

August 4
Festival Artists chamber ensemble concert
New York Philharmonic Musicians:
Sheryl Staples, violin; Cynthia Phelps, viola; Carter Brey, cello;
Anthony McGill, clarinet; and Alan Baer, tuba
Music Academy of the West Faculty:
Richie Hawley, clarinet; Michael Werner, percussion;
Conor Hanick, Natasha Kislenko, and Margaret McDonald, pianos

August 5
Vocal Masterclass: Marilyn Horne 

August 6
Picnic Concert: Chamber Ensembles/Soloists 

August 7
CABARET, The Academy’s Signature Gala
Marilyn Horne, creative director 

August 8
Academy Festival Orchestra; Christoph von Dohnányi
Brahms: Symphony No. 2



For further information, contact: 

Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group: [email protected]; 212-625-2038

Tim Dougherty, Music Academy of the West Communications Manager: [email protected]; 805-695-7908



© 21C Media Group, April 2015

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