News



News - June 2010

June 30, 2010 - Various:


Charlotte Symphony Names Assistant Conductor - Jacomo Rafael Bairos will join Symphony staff in September

June 17, 2010, Charlotte, NC: The Charlotte Symphony and its Music Director Designate, Christopher Warren-Green, announced today the appointment of Jacomo Rafael Bairos as Assistant Conductor. Bairos (pronounced BYE-ros) will join the Symphony conducting staff in mid September, beginning an initial two-year engagement as Assistant Conductor.

Born in Portugal and reared in Miami, Bairos began his career as a tubist, performing with many of world’s great orchestras. He started conducting while serving as Principal Tubist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and has since gone on to study with such conductors as Larry Rachleff, Leon Fleisher, Marin Alsop, and Gustav Meier. In addition to the Singapore Symphony, Bairos has led orchestras in Iceland, Malaysia, and Portugal, as well as the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in Maine.

An advocate for music education, Bairos recently developed and conducted education concerts in Portugal and was named Music Director for the 2010 National Youth Orchestra Festival of Portugal. As Director of Orchestras for the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSFA), he works closely with the Baltimore Symphony’s “OrchKids,” BSFA “Twiggs,” and Peabody’s “Tuned In” programs, creating side-by-sides and education workshops for children in underserved urban communities. Please see his full biography below.

“A fine conductor and a passionate educator, Jacomo will be an outstanding addition to the Charlotte Symphony conducting staff,” said Christopher Warren-Green. “His accomplishments are many, and he is enthusiastic about community engagement, artistic collaboration, and the education of young people. I look forward to working together with him to bring the Symphony to a new level of artistic excellence and community service.”

Bairos was chosen from among 65 applicants for the position. In the upcoming season, he will lead Lollipops family concerts, education concerts for school children, and certain community and run-out concerts. He will also cover all Classics concerts, assuming the podium in the event that a scheduled conductor is unable to lead a concert.

Jacomo Rafael Bairos

Portuguese American Jacomo Rafael Bairos enjoys an international career as a conductor and educator. Recent performances, recordings, and reengagements include the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (ISO), Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), and the National Orchestra of Porto Portugal (ONP) among others. In August of 2009, a CD for Albany Records with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra featuring concertos by North American Composers was released to critical acclaim (Fanfare Magazine). American engagements include performances with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra (2009-2010), as well as assistant-rehearsal conductor with the Baltimore Opera Company in 2008. A cover conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 2007-2010, he has conducted in rehearsals for Marin Alsop, and worked closely with many guest conductors. In his debut with the SSO, featuring Latin-Grammy winner Nestor Torres, the Singapore Straits Times announced "...the musicians and the audience...could feel Jacomo's energy and enthusiasm for the music". In concerts, as part of the MPO 10th Anniversary Subscription Celebrations, The Malaysian New Straits Times stated, "Through his expressive hands and passionate gestures… you can even feel his Latin vibe".

Passionately dedicated to education, outreach, and community engagement, Jacomo recently developed and conducted 13 education concerts for 2300 kids across Portugal with the ONP. He has also been named Music Director for the 2010 National Youth Orchestra Festival of Portugal, to include a European tour in September. As Director of Orchestras for the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSFA), he works closely with the Baltimore Symphony’s “OrchKids,” BSFA “Twiggs,” and Peabody’s “Tuned In” programs, creating side-by-sides and education workshops for children in underserved urban communities. He also created programs for the SSO’s Education and Outreach department, taking music into the community from 2004-2007. Further 2010 concert highlights include the Peabody Conservatory Ensembles, Baltimore All-County Orchestras, Aspen Music Festival Orchestras, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, BSFA Orchestras, and workshops with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Omaha Symphony Orchestras.

As a conducting assistant for the Peabody Institute and for illustrious faculty member Leon Fleisher (2007-2009), he regularly prepared all orchestral and choir ensembles, as well as conducted numerous performances. As part of his dedication to new and contemporary music, he has conducted concerts for the SONAR contemporary ensemble and directed several new composition readings with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. During his two-year tenure as Artistic Director, Conductor, and Host of the SSO Chamber Music Series (2005-2007), he was able to double attendance and create multiple partnerships with local arts organizations.

Discovered while attending the International Conductors Workshop 2007 with Maestro Larry Rachleff, Jacomo was subsequently invited by the eminent teacher Gustav Meier to be his student at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory. Recently invited to be a 2010 fellow with the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, he was also semi-finalist (final 6) for the Eduardo Mata Conductors Competition (2009) and 8th place finisher for the Arturo Toscanini Conductors Competition. (2008)

As a tuba player, Jacomo has given master classes and performed in festivals in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, China, Singapore, and in the U.S. He has performed, toured, and recorded for Telarc with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, and the Seattle Symphony and Opera. He has held principal positions with orchestras in America, Spain, Tenerife, China, and most recently held a principal post with the SSO. His primary mentor and conducting teacher is Gustav Meier. He also studied intensively with Marin Alsop, Leon Fleisher, Jorma Punula, Edward Polochick, Markand Thakar, and Larry Rachleff.
(Press release provided by the Charlotte Symphony.)

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North Carolina Opera Names First General Director - Atlanta Opera Executive Takes the Helm of Recently Formed Company

June 16, 2010,    Raleigh,    NC: The newly formed North Carolina Opera has named Eric Mitchko as its first General Director. He will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations, manage its growth and development, as well as ensure that the company achieves its creative, fundraising, and financial goals. He assumes his new responsibilities July 6.

Mitchko comes to Raleigh from The Atlanta Opera where, as Director of Artistic Administration, he was responsible for the selection of the company’s repertoire and casting, and oversaw all elements of each production. He organized the Atlanta Opera Chorus’s participation in the Opera-Comique’s 2008 production of Porgy and Bess, which started in Paris and then toured elsewhere in Europe. He was instrumental in bringing new repertoire to The Atlanta Opera, including traditional and more contemporary works.

“I am thrilled at the opportunity to guide North Carolina Opera through its first season. I am looking forward to helping bring great performances of opera – the most exciting, passionate, and irresistible art form - to the rich cultural life of the Triangle,” says Mitchko.

Mitchko brings considerable knowledge of the classical music industry to his new position with the Raleigh-based opera company. At Herbert Barrett Management, and later as vice-president of Columbia Artists Management, LLC, both located in New York City, Mitchko managed the careers of a large roster of opera singers, conductors, instrumentalists, and chamber ensembles.

Eric Mitchko is an alumnus of both Princeton University and Columbia University where he studied politics and philosophy. He lectures frequently on opera. Joining the new General Director in his move to the area are his wife Holly and their children Charles and Isabel. The move to Raleigh brings the family closer to his parents, who live in Wake Forest.

North Carolina Opera was formed when The Opera Company of North Carolina and Capital Opera Raleigh merged. For the 2010-2011 season, North Carolina Opera will mount both large-scale and more intimate productions in a variety of venues across the Triangle. Casts will feature the finest singers from the world’s opera stages, as well as emerging talent from across the state. The company will offer programming in area schools and numerous outreach activities and events throughout the region.

North Carolina Opera will raise the curtain on its debut season with Puccini’s “Tosca”, October 15 and 17 in Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh.

(Press release provided by NCO.)

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Appalachian Symphony Orchestra Is Among Finalists for American Prize

June 14, 2010, Danbury, CT: The American Prize is pleased to announce that the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra (and conductor James Allen Anderson) is one of only eight college/university orchestras nationwide advanced to the final round of its spring 2010 competitions. Finalists in orchestral and choral performance and orchestral and choral conducting were selected from applications received from twenty-six states and the District of Columbia. Winners of The American Prize will be announced later in June.

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and will be awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts starting in 2010. Complete information on the website: www.theamericanprize.org

The American Prize was founded from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians.

With the performing arts in America often ignored by many media outlets, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known.

Winners of The American Prize receive cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on submitted recordings of their performances. In addition to monetary rewards and commentary from judges, winners will be profiled on The American Prize website, with video and audio links to winning performances.

David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize.... “Most artists will probably never win a Grammy award, or a Pulitzer, or a Tony, or ever even be nominated,” Katz said, “but that does not mean that they are not worthy of recognition and reward. Quality in the arts is not limited to the coasts, or to the familiar names, or only to graduates of the most famous schools. It is on view all over the United States, if you take the time to look for it. The American Prize exists to encourage and herald that excellence. ”

By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize get world-class bragging rights to use in promotion right at home. “If The American Prize builds local pride, or helps increase the audience, or grows the donor base, or stimulates recruitment for winning ensembles and their conductors, then we have fulfilled our mission,” Katz said.

...The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.

(Press release provided by American Prize.)

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Western Piedmont Symphony Is Among Finalists for American Prize

June 14, 2010, Danbury, CT: The American Prize is pleased to announce that the Western Piedmont Symphony is one of only five professional orchestras nationwide advanced to the final round of its spring 2010 competitions. Finalists in orchestral and choral performance and orchestral and choral conducting were selected from applications received from twenty-six states and the District of Columbia. Winners of The American Prize will be announced later in June.

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and will be awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts starting in 2010. Complete information on the website: www.theamericanprize.org

The American Prize was founded from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians.

With the performing arts in America often ignored by many media outlets, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known.

Winners of The American Prize receive cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on submitted recordings of their performances. In addition to monetary rewards and commentary from judges, winners will be profiled on The American Prize website, with video and audio links to winning performances.

David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize.... “Most artists will probably never win a Grammy award, or a Pulitzer, or a Tony, or ever even be nominated,” Katz said, “but that does not mean that they are not worthy of recognition and reward. Quality in the arts is not limited to the coasts, or to the familiar names, or only to graduates of the most famous schools. It is on view all over the United States, if you take the time to look for it. The American Prize exists to encourage and herald that excellence. ”

By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize get world-class bragging rights to use in promotion right at home. “If The American Prize builds local pride, or helps increase the audience, or grows the donor base, or stimulates recruitment for winning ensembles and their conductors, then we have fulfilled our mission,” Katz said.

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.

(Press release provided by American Prize.)

Updated 7/10: The WPS placed 3rd in this contest. The Lancaster Festival Orchestra (Ohio) was 1st, and the Annapolis SO (Maryland) was 2nd.

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