Four students have been chosen to give individual performances representing the Eastman School of Music in the prestigious Conservatory Project at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Percussionist Tomasz Arnold, soprano Rebecca Farley, saxophonist Doug O’Connor, and pianist Zhang Zuo perform in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 3, as part of the concert series that showcases outstanding young musicians from around the country. The semi-annual event presents talented artists in classical music, jazz, musical theater, and opera from the nation’s leading conservatories and music schools.
The Eastman School was one of eight founding participants of the Kennedy Center Conservatory Project when it was launched in 2004, and student musicians have represented the school in front of Washington, D.C., audiences every year since then.
Arnold is a freshman studying with Michael Burritt. He is from Krakow, where he attended the Frédéric Chopin School of Music. He has won first prize in numerous Polish and international marimba and percussion competitions, most recently in November 2009 at the International Marimba Competition in Paris. At the Kennedy Center, Arnold will perform two works, Emmanuel Séjourné’s “Nancy” and Joseph Schwantner’s “Velocities,” on the marimba.
Farley is a master’s degree student in the studio of Carol Webber. She is the recipient of the School’s 2009 Renée Fleming Award presented to an exceptional soprano and was a prize winner in the 2009 Friends of Eastman Opera Competition. Farley will sing “Senza Mamma” from Puccini’s one-act opera Suor Angelica and three pieces by Richard Strauss. Farley’s accompanists will be Eastman students Lyndon Meyer, piano, and Markiyan Melnychenko, violin.
O’Connor has won top prizes in numerous international and national competitions and performed in Europe, the United States, and Asia, and will be appearing as a soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra in the upcoming season. He was featured as a 2007 Emerging Artist in American Symphony Orchestra League magazine. At Eastman, he is pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone performance as well as a Master of Arts in theory pedagogy. His teachers include Ramon Ricker and Chien-Kwan Lin. O’Connor will perform “Chaconne” from J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin.
Zuo started her early musical training at the age of five and has been an active performer from the age of 10. She has won top prizes in many national and international competitions and given solo recitals to critical acclaim in cities worldwide. She has collaborated with various orchestras and was a last-minute substitute for pianist Lang Lang in a performance as soloist with an orchestra in Berlin. She is a Liberace Scholar at Eastman, where she studies with Nelita True. For the Conservatory Project concert, she will perform Chopin’s “Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise Brillante.”
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