As individual soloists and chamber musicians appearing in concert halls around the world, Eastman School of Music faculty members are no strangers to the New York City performance scene. But a faculty ensemble playing as representatives of Eastman has not appeared in New York since the early 1980s, when the School presented an annual series in Alice Tully Hall.
That’s about to change as the Eastman Virtuosi, a chamber ensemble of faculty and outstanding student musicians, travel to New York later this month to perform in Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center. Their program will include the New York premiere of Pulse, a 2002 work by acclaimed Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Sebastian Currier.
“An Eastman presence in New York City is crucial,” said Douglas Lowry, Dean of the Eastman School. “Eastman Virtuosi’s March 27 concert represents our official re-entry into the New York area. With Eastman’s venturesome outlook on the training of America’s young musicians, and an influential musical reach that extends worldwide, we look forward to evolving a presence in the nation’s cultural capital that is as stimulating and provocative as our students and alumni.”
Since its founding in 1994, the Eastman Virtuosi have performed two or three free local concerts every year. Each concert is programmed, produced, and performed by different faculty members, showing the depth and breadth of the School’s instrumental and vocal artistry. Concerts have ranged from all-Slavic and all-Baroque programs to recitals that include songs by Richard Rodgers and the Gershwin brothers. The ensemble has presented the world premieres of Jin Jin Luo’s Tiger and Augusta Read Thomas’s Eclipse Musings (Version #2), and performed under such guest conductors as David Effron, Jeffrey Kahane, and David Gilbert.
Artistic co-directors of the ensemble are Bonita Boyd, flute; John Hunt, bassoon; and Nicholas Goluses, guitar. Joining them for the March 27 New York City concert are Ulrika Davidsson, harpsichord; Kathryn Denny, oboe; Steven Doane, cello; Kenneth Grant, clarinet; Richard Killmer, oboe; Mikhail Kopelman, violin; W. Peter Kurau, horn; Barry Snyder, piano; James Thompson, trumpet; and Phillip Ying, viola.
In addition to Currier’s Pulse, the Eastman Virtuosi will perform Telemann’s Concerto in D, Dvořák