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This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.
Completing a trilogy of live recordings featuring cellist Zuill Bailey, the North Carolina Symphony and Music Director Grant Llewellyn welcome violinist Philippe Quint and pianist Awadagin Pratt to perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, as well as the Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra by Johannes Brahms. The first performance will be in Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall, Thursday April 14 at 7:30 pm; on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 at 8:00 pm, the performances will be recorded for CD release.
Zuill Bailey's collaborations with Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony
Mr. Bailey's first live recording in Meymandi Concert Hall, for which he played Benjamin Britten's Cello Symphony in February 2013, reached No. 1 on the Billboard classical chart and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times classical chart. In the "ArtsBeat" blog, the Times heralded the CD at the top of their review of new releases: "An exciting new recording — a live performance in vivid sound — couples the brilliant, searching American cellist Zuill Bailey with the fine conductor Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony."
At The Huffington Post, critic Sean Martinfield wrote of the same recording: "The performance is an artistic triumph for Zuill Bailey and a marvel of engineering by the recording team of Five/Four Productions."
The same team returned with Mr. Bailey to Raleigh last year to record the Sinfonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra by Sergei Prokofiev. The recording is scheduled for release May 13; pre-release copies will be available for sale at this weekend's concerts.
Mr. Bailey is in constant demand as a soloist for chamber music as well as for concerts with orchestras in the United States and abroad; he also serves as Artistic Director of multiple music festivals. He performs on a 1693 Matteo Gofriller cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet.
Philippe Quint and Awadagin Pratt
Violinist Philippe Quint, who will perform in both works for these concerts, is known for reimagining traditional works, rediscovering neglected repertoire and commissioning works by contemporary composers. In addition to acclaimed performances with orchestras around the world, Mr. Quint has received multiple Grammy nominations for his past recordings. He also played the lead role in the 2012 independent film Downtown Express. Mr. Quint has performed jazz with his Quint Quintet, as well as playing in a trio with Mr. Bailey and pianist Navah Perlman (Ms. Perlman will perform with the North Carolina Symphony this summer in the Beethoven Festival, part of UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest at the Booth Amphitheatre in Cary). Mr. Quint plays the magnificent 1738 "Senhauser" Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu violin, on loan to him through the generous efforts of The Stradivari Society.
Pianist Awadagin Pratt will perform in the Beethoven Triple Concerto. Performing both in solo recitals and with the world's great orchestras, including four tours of Japan, Mr. Pratt has also been a great proponent of music education. In addition to broadcast appearances from National Public Radio's Performance Today to Sesame Street, Mr. Pratt's honors include winning the Naumberg International Piano Competition and three performances at the White House, as well as being named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony Magazine's 50th Anniversary Issue. He has conducted orchestras in the United States and Japan, and has appeared on numerous recordings. Mr. Pratt has previously performed with Mr. Bailey in a duo recital and in a recording of Brahms.
The recording team
Five/Four Productions, founded in 2009 by specialists in recording classical music who were veterans of the Telarc label production team, will be recording the North Carolina Symphony in Meymandi Concert Hall for the third time. Producer and recording editor Thomas C. Moore has four Grammy Awards, as well as an active career as a professional oboist. Robert Friedrich, recording engineer and producer, is the winner of three Grammy Awards and has served since 2011 as an Audio Preservation Specialist for the Library of Congress.
Special events, sponsors and ticket information
In addition to performing, Zuill Bailey will be holding a master class for five young musicians on Sunday, April 10. The event will be hosted at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Due to limited space, this event is not open to the public, but the North Carolina Symphony Education Department has invited guests to watch and learn at no charge.
The Symphony will also present a Pre-concert Talk by a local academic on Thursday, April 14 at 6:30 pm in Gerrard Hall, prior to the Memorial Hall concert next door at 7:30 pm. Meymandi Concert Hall's West Pavilion will also be the site for a 6:30 pm Meet the Artists event on Friday April 15 at 6:30 pm, before the 8:00 pm concert that evening.
The concert on Saturday, April 16 at Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall will be preceded by a "Meet the Artists" event in the West Pavilion of the lobby, with all three guest soloists in attendance: cellist Zuill Bailey, pianist Awadagin Pratt, and violinist Philippe Quint will talk about the masterpieces on the concert program and the recording process. The event will begin at 6:30, hosted by Catherine Brand of North Carolina Public Radio WUNC. Tickets are still available for the 8:00 concert to follow (as of Friday afternoon).
This series of concerts, featuring three of the finest soloists on their respective instruments, has received the generous support of Chip and Judy Anderson. The April 14 concert is made possible in part by the E.T. Rollins, Jr. and Frances P. Rollins Foundation Fund, and the April 16 concert is made possible in part by the Betty Lou Fletcher Goodman Guest Pianist Fund.
Tickets to the Chapel Hill and Raleigh performances range from $18 to $56. Student tickets are $10. For more information, visit the North Carolina Symphony's website at www.ncsymphony.org, or call 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.
Memorial Hall is located on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill at 114 East Cameron Avenue. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh.
About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony gives more than 175 performances annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 66 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, and Associate Conductor David Glover.
Based in downtown Raleigh's spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington — as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year — and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.