This preview has been provided by the Carolina Summer Music Festival.
The Carolina Summer Music Festival closes its 2011 Season by resurrecting an experience of hearing new music in early 20th century Vienna. These unique chamber settings by Arnold Schoenberg include Debussy's "Prelude to an "Afternoon of a Faun," Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (songs of a Wayfarer) and waltzes by Johann Strauss including the "Emperor Waltz" and "Roses from the South."
James Allbritten, conductor
Originally from Louisville, KY, he began his operatic career with Kentucky Opera. While a student in Louisville, he was invited to participate as one of the youngest artists in the San Antonio Arts Festival, where he was apprenticed to Boris Goldovsky. His conducting studies began at Indiana University under Jan Harrington, Robert Porco, and Thomas Dunn. While there he also worked with Glyndebourne Festival Opera conductor Bryan Balkwill, and MET stage directors, Fritz Busch and James Lucas.
He came to North Carolina in 1993 to join the faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts where his duties now include Artistic Director of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute. There he has conducted many performances including Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Donizetti’s Belisario. Composer Kirke Mechem was so pleased with Allbritten’s reading of his Tartuffe, that he asked him to lead the first act of his new opera Pride and Prejudice in a workshop premiere.
As the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for Piedmont Opera, he has led Verdi’s Aida and Un ballo in maschera, as well as Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Of Piedmont Opera’s Un ballo in maschera, Opera News said, “The musical excellence for the entire evening was the work of the conductor, James Allbritten…His tempos were well chosen, attacks were precise, and coordination and balance with the singers was exemplary.”
He has also led performances for Opera Theater of the Rockies, Opera Carolina, and the Winston-Salem Symphony. Allbritten spent four seasons as Music Director for NCSA’s illuminations festival on the Outer Banks, and led the schools Festival Orchestra at Côte Vermeille and for the Flâneries Musicales d’Ete de Reims in France. Recent projects include the Southeastern premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, which was co-commissioned by the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute. Future projects include La traviata and Die Fledermaus for Piedmont Opera and a return as Principal conductor/voice teacher to Opera Theatre of the Rockies Vocal Arts Symposium at Colorado College.
Michael Redding, baritone
Elizabeth Ransom, flute
Elizabeth Holler Ransom, flutist, is known to audiences in the southeastern United States as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra player, and she has also performed on several occasions in Europe. She can be heard performing in the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players, the Ransom-Pecoraro Duo (flute and guitar), The Chamber Music Society of Wilmington (North Carolina), and the American Music Festival. Ms. Ransom currently serves on the music faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts, and she has taught flute at Davidson College, Lenoir-Rhyne College, and the New England Music Camp.
Ms. Ransom currently teaches courses in music career development and musical outreach at the North Carolina School of the Arts and is a member of the Network of Music Career Development Officers. The courses help to prepare undergraduate and graduate music students for the many facets of a career in music, including performance, teaching, community and educational outreach, grant writing and entrepreneurial project management. Ms. Ransom is recognized as a successful presenter of educational and community outreach programs, having served as education director for the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players. She has been awarded numerous arts-in-education grants and has designed and presented outreach programs not only for orchestras but as a chamber musician and soloist. She has also been a member of the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Bolton Woodwind Quintet which received national and international acclaim for its innovative arts-in-education programs.
Ms. Ransom grew up in Bristol, Tennessee, and studied with Philip Dunigan at the North Carolina School of the Arts, with the late Severino Gazzelloni in Siena, Italy, and as a Fulbright scholar with Ingrid Koch at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, Germany. She received an Emerging Artist grant from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and has won several concerto competitions.
John Hammarback, oboe
Ronald Rudkin, clarinet
Ronald Rudkin, saxophonist and clarinetist, is director of the Jazz Program and instructor in Music Theory at the NC School of the Arts. He holds a Master of Music from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music from East Carolina University, where he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award. Mr. Rudkin plays clarinet in the Winston-Salem Symphony and has appeared with the North Carolina, Greensboro, Charlotte, and Western Piedmont symphonies.
An experienced band leader and arranger, he has led groups in performance with numerous celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, pop and jazz. His pops arrangements and compositions for symphony orchestra featuring solo saxophone or saxophone quartet have been performed by regional orchestras as well as orchestras around the United States and abroad. Mr. Rudkin is a recipient of the Jazz Composers Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council, and has toured and performed with legendary jazz drummer Max Roach and drummer Thelonius (T.S.) Monk Jr. in public schools across North Carolina as part of an educational program. As a big band musician he has performed with the orchestras of Glenn Miller, Peter Duchin, and Les and Larry Elgart; the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra; the Atlantic Jazz Orchestra; and his own big band, the Ron Rudkin Orchestra.
An active jazz educator and clinician, Mr. Rudkin has directed the North Carolina School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble in concert at jazz festivals, concert halls and events across the Southeast. He has led student jazz groups on summer tours in Europe as part of NCSA's International Music Program, and each summer he leads an all-star NCSA alumni jazz group at Manteo, N.C., as part of the school's summer festival series. He also conducts workshops in jazz improvisation and jazz ensemble performance at public schools and elsewhere across North Carolina.
Janet Orenstein, violin
Violinist Janet Orenstein has enjoyed an active performing career both in the United States and abroad as a chamber musician, soloist and advocate of contemporary music. She is a founding member of the Guild Trio and has toured with them extensively in Canada, Europe and the United States for over ten years. Her trio career has included residencies at the Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY, the Stony Brook Medical Center, and for five years at the University of Virginia, where she was a performing and teaching member of the faculty.
As winner of the USIA Artistic Ambassador Competition, Ms. Orenstein toured extensively in Africa, giving recitals and master classes with pianist Christina Dahl. As a chamber musician she has apeared in New York's Alice Tully and Merkin Concert Halls, as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Ms. Orenstein has performed at the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival in Nelson, New Hampshire, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont, and the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, England. An advocate of contemporary music, she has premiered works by Sheila Silver, William Bolcom, and Harvey Sollberger, among many others, and performs from a vast repertoire of new music.
Since moving to North Carolina with her husband and two children, Ms. Orenstein has taught violin and chamber music at various times at UNCG, Wake Forrest University and UNCSA. She has appeared numerous times as a guest violinist in concerts with Dimitri Sitkovetsky as part of the Greensboro Symphony's chamber music series and plays frequently with members of the UNCG, Wake Forrest and UNCSA faculties. Ms. Orenstein is currently a member of the Greensboro Symphony.
Fabrice Dharamraj, violin
Fabrice Dharamraj was born in Chartres, France and started playing the violin at the age of 5. He now holds a B.M. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, (UNCSA) where he studied with the late Elaine Richey. He continued his studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) receiving an M.M. with Linda Cerone and has also pursued Doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) with Dr. John Fadial.
Fabrice has performed throughout the United States and Europe but is a particularly active performer and teacher in North Carolina. Performing engagements include Associate Concertmaster of the Greensboro Symphony, Principal Second of the Winston-Salem Symphony, Carolina Chamber Symphony Players and many other ensembles in the region including the North Carolina Symphony.
As a teacher, Fabrice has taught as a Graduate Assistant at (UNCG), a teacher in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Schools, Salisbury Symphony/Rowan County After-School Strings program, Salem College Community Music School, (UNCSA) Community Music School and has been on the faculty at Appalachian State University and Elon University. He now currently teaches at Wake Forest University, St. Mary’s Music Academy in High Point, NC, and the Arts Academy at Grace, in Lexington, NC. Fabrice currently resides in Winston Salem, NC with his wife and violinist Ewa Gondek Dharamraj, and his cat Ziggy.
Simon Ertz, viola
Simon Ertz joined the Degas Quartet in June 2002; before that he was pursuing a doctoral degree in viola performance at Michigan State University. Simon grew up in the north west of Scotland and moved to Manchester to study at Chethams and to have regular lessons at the age of seventeen. After two years there he studied viola at the Royal Northern College of Music with Roger Raphael and Simon Rowland-Jones. Simon was a member of several chamber music groups which won prizes including the Terrence Weil and Leonard Hirsch competitions. He was also awarded the Thomas Barret memorial prize for viola. By the time Simon graduated from the RNCM he was working with orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, Northern Chamber, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
With the quartet Simon has performed throughout the country including for the Chicago Chamber Music Society, as a guest artist at the Aspen Music Festival, and at the Library of Congress on the Library's Tuscan Medici Stradivarius. The quartet also performs and teaches throughout North Carolina, including residencies at Appalachian State University and UNC Wilmington. In the summer the quartet is in residence with the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival.
After two years working in the UK, Simon moved to Michigan to continue his education. As well as completing his Master's degree at Michigan State University, he served as assistant principal viola of the Greater Lansing Symphony and played in the orchestra's string quartet. During his time in Syracuse, Simon was a member of the Syracuse Symphony and played at Carnegie Hall with them in April 2003. He has also made chamber music appearances with members of the orchestra including concerts for the 2003 Geneva festival.
Currently Simon is principal viola of the Winston Salem Symphony and the Oleander Chamber orchestra and also plays regularly with the Greensboro, Charlotte and Charleston Symphonies.
Philip von Maltzahn, cello
Cellist Philip von Maltzahn has been has been praised for his "soaring tone" (Classical Voice of North Carolina) and for performances "brilliantly played" (LA Times). He has been a member of Degas Quartet since 2002, performing in many of the finest concert venues across the United States. Career highlights includes performances at the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, UCLA's Clark Library, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. He has performed solo recitals at the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Furman University, and the University of Texas at Arlington. He was a winner of the International Masterclass Competition at the 2000 Third World Cello Congress in Baltimore, Maryland.
An avid performer of new music, Mr. von Maltzahn has premiered works by Alan Shindler, Joan Tower, Laura Kaminsky, Armando Bayolo, Andrew Waggoner, Matthew Hindson, and Stefan Freund. As an educator, he has taught cello and coached chamber music at the Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Appalachian State University. He currently is Assistant Principal Cello of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and Principal Cello of the Oleander Chamber Orchestra. During the Degas Quartet’s Hickory Metro Residency from 2003 to 2006, he also served as Principal Cello of the Western Piedmont Symphony.
Philip von Maltzahn studied at Indiana University where his prinicipal teachers were Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Janos Starker. Following his undergraduate studies in Bloomington he completed his Masters of Music at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Steven Doane.
Philip von Maltzahn performs on a cello crafted by noted luthier William Whedbee in Chicago in 2001
John Spuller, bass
John Spuller is principal bass with the Greensboro Symphony and performs with the NC Symphony, Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Charleston, SC Symphony and the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players. He is the bass instructor at Wake Forest University. John earned his BM at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Ruskin Cooper, piano
Ruskin Cooper is a native of Savannah, Georgia. His teachers include James Ambrose, Lydia Frumkin, Jacques Abram, Leonard Hokanson, Hartmut Höll and John Salmon. He received a Fulbright Grant for study in Germany, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on the piano music of young Robert Schumann's closest friend, Ludwig Schuncke. Ruskin's study received the Outstanding Dissertation Award at UNCG, and is cited inThe New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. It was published in an English-German version in 1997.
Ruskin is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, clinician, and adjudicator. He has given solo recitals throughout the Southeast, as well as in Germany, Italy, Poland, and Mexico. He has been a frequent guest with chamber groups in North Carolina, including Chamber Music at St. Peter's in Charlotte and the Carolina Chamber Symphony in Winston-Salem. In 2006, he played to large, enthusiastic audiences in Italy, prompting the Corriere Adriatico to write that he "literally drove the audience wild" with a program of American piano music. He recently participated in the world premiere of a trio by North Carolina composer Mary Armistead Jones.
Since 1997, he has taught at Davidson College, having also taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts and at Salem College. He is Past President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the College Music Society, and has served on the board of the North Carolina Music Teachers Association. He has presented papers on the music of Schuncke and Schumann at regional meetings of the College Music Society and the American Musicological Society, and has conducted clinics and judged competitions for the North Carolina Music Teachers Association and many other piano teachers' organizations.
His performances have been broadcast via the internet on Radio Vaticana. Ruskin has recorded for Centaur Records, South German Radio, WFDD-FM and WDAV-FM. A CD featuring American piano music is available on Centaur Records, and has been broadcast on many radio stations throughout the NPR network. Ruskin recently performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Elon University Orchestra, the Northern Neck Orchestra, and the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra.
In his spare time, Ruskin can be found cycling and fundraising for the National MS Society's Tour to Tanglewood or driving and tinkering with antique cars. He uses the long commutes to and from Davidson to brush up on his foreign languages, several of which he speaks with varying degrees of fluency.
Ray Ebert, harmonium
Ray Ebert makes his festival debut this season. He is organist emeritus of Centenary United Methodist Chuch where he served for 40 years. He has served as organist/director at Temple Emanuel and Friedberg Moravian Church. He has degrees from Wake Forest University and Union Theological Seminary (NYC). He is a member of Friedland Moravian Church and has been active in Moravian musical life. His numerous recitals include Piccolo Spoleto Festival and a benefit recital in celebration of his 65th birthday. Mr. Ebert is also a dance musician, carillonneur and accompanies the Wake Forest University Divinity School choir, the Moramus Chorale and the SalemTowne Singers
John Beck, drums
John R. Beck has performed with a wide variety of ensembles in a diversity of musical styles. He joined the artist-faculty at the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1998, and is a percussionist with the Winston-Salem and Greensboro symphony orchestras, Brass Band of Battle Creek, and the Philidor Percussion Group. A former member of the United States Marine Band, he performed regularly with the National and Baltimore symphonies, Washington and Baltimore operas, and the Theater Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center. Beck has toured the United States as a xylophone soloist with the Marine Band, Jack Daniel's Silver Cornet Band, and the New Sousa Band. While living in Washington, D.C., he recorded and performed commercial music on drum set and percussion with touring Broadway shows, jazz and “Top 40” bands.
Mr. Beck served previously on the faculties of the Universities of Utah, Colorado, Nevada and Florida State. He has authored articles for The Instrumentalist, North Carolina Music Educator, Percussive Notes, Yamaha Education Series CD-Rom, and The Zildjian Educator. An active member of the Percussive Arts Society, he serves on the board of directors and the education committee; is a past president of the N.C. Chapter; and has appeared as a clinician at three PAS international conventions. He holds degrees from Oberlin College and the Eastman School of Music. He presents clinics representing Innovative Mallets, Yamaha Percussion and Zildjian Cymbals. His compositions, arrangements and instructional video are published by HoneyRock.
"Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun" by Claude Debussy
"Songs of a Wayfare" by Gustav Mahler
Three Waltz by Johann Strauss Jr.
"Roses from the South"