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Rebecca Jo Loeb, mezzo-soprano

Rebecca Jo Loeb
Photo by Ralph Rühmeier

Appearing in the concert The Key of Dreams, which will be performed on March 22, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Rebecca Jo Loeb debuts with Los Angeles Opera and Beth Morrison Projects as Lumee in the world premiere of Ellen Reid’s Prism in the 2018-19 season. She also returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for a staged production of Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Frasquita in Carmen, and to the New York Festival of Song to reprise Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles on tour to Boston and New Hampshire this season. Last season, she debuted with the Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Gymnasiast/ein Groom in Lulu) and Theater Freiburg (Susan in Love Life) and returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Zweite Magd in Elektra) and New York Festival of Song (Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles) on tour.

Ms. Loeb spent five seasons as an ensemble member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Hamburgische Staatsoper, where her performances included Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Siebel in Faust, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, and the Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen. Following her performances of Bellante in Handel’s Almira in Hamburg, she reprised the role at the Innsbrucker Festwochen der alten Musik.

Other recent engagements include joining the Metropolitan Opera (Flora in La traviata); Oper Köln (Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen); Dutch National Opera (Eine Theater Garderoberie/Gymnasiast/ein Groom in Lulu); Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Second Angel/Marie in Written on Skin); and Dallas Opera (Fyodor in Boris Godunov).

Spring 2019

Philip Cokorinos, bass-baritone

Philip Cokorinos
Photo by Sarah Shatz

Appearing in the concert The Key of Dreams, which will be performed on March 22, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Philip Cokorinos was winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1985 and went on to sing his debut during the Metropolitan Opera’s 1987–88 season. Since then, he has appeared in more than 400 performances of 40 operas at the Metropolitan Opera, including “Live from The Met” telecasts of Don Giovanni; the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles; and The Met’s premieres of SlyCyrano de Bergerac, The Gambler, and Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk. He has also appeared in their productions of ToscaLa bohèmeLa fanciulla del WestLa traviataAdriana LecouvreurLa rondine, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Macbeth, ManonDon Carlo, Tosca, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Manon Lescaut, and Le Nozze di Figaro.

His recent appearances include several The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD broadcasts including ManonLa fanciulla del WestThe NoseWertherManon Lescaut, Le Nozze di Figaro, La bohème and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. This season, Mr. Cokorinos returns to the Metropolitan Opera for productions of La bohème and Adriana Lecouvreur, and to perform Billy Jackrabbit in La fanciulla del West, Amantio in Gianni Schicchi, and Sacristan in Tosca. He will also perform as 2nd Nazarene in Salome with the Spoleto Festival USA.

Spring 2019

Kevin Burdette, bass

Kevin Burdette
Photo by Simon Pauly

Appearing in the concert The Key of Dreams, which will be performed on March 22, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Recent highlights include Stefano in Adès’ The Tempest with the Metropolitan Opera (Deutsche Grammophon DVD, 2014 Grammy Award); Beck Weathers in Talbot’s Everest, Eric Gold/Bazzetti’s Ghost in Heggie’s Great Scott, and Ob in Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus, all world premieres with The Dallas Opera; multiple roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose with the Metropolitan Opera; Doktor in Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra; Scattergood in The Last Savage, Général Boum in La grande-duchesse de Gérolstein, Sulpice in La fille du régiment, and Stobrod/Blind Man in Higdon’s Cold Mountain (world premiere) with Santa Fe Opera; Leporello in Don Giovanni with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Sulpice with Washington National Opera; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with San Diego Opera; and Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Stobrod/Blind Man and Dulcamara with Opera Philadelphia.

Mr. Burdette’s upcoming engagements include performances with the Metropolitan Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera, Central City Opera, Dallas Opera, Austin Opera, and San Diego Opera.

Spring 2019

Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano

Raehann Bryce-Davis
Photo by Jessica Osber

Appearing in the concert The Key of Dreams, which will be performed on March 22, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Raehann Bryce-Davis is a recipient of the 2018 George London Award. In the 2018-19 season she returns to Opera Vlaanderen for a role debut of Ms. Alexander in Satyagraha and a world tour of Unknown, I Live With You. She also sings Kristina in The Makropulos Affair at the Janáček Brno Festival, makes her role debut as Leonora in La Favorita with Teatro Massimo Palermo, sings Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, Verdi’s Requiem with Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.

Upcoming engagements include her role debut as Eboli with Opera Vlaanderen. Last season included her first performances of Wellgunde in Die Ring-Trilogie (Theater an der Wien), Madeline Mitchell in Three Decembers (Opera Maine), Elgar’s Sea Pictures (Musikverein Vienna), the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road (Carnegie Hall, Oratorio Society of New York), and Verdi’s Requiem (Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica and the Greenwich Village Orchestra). While a member of the ensemble of Opera Vlaanderen, Ms. Bryce-Davis sang Nezhata in Sadko, Kristina in The Makropolus Affair, and Mary in Der fliegende Holländer.

Ms. Bryce-Davis is the 1st Place and Audience Prize-winner of the Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino competition, a Prize Winner of the 2016 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and Winner of the 2016 Richard F. Gold Career Grant.

Spring 2019

Tichina Vaughn, mezzo-soprano

Tichina Vaughn

Appearing in the concert The Key of Dreams, which will be performed on March 22, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Tichina Vaughn began her career as a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Program of the Metropolitan Opera and debuted in Europe as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff at Staatsoper Stuttgart, where she was awarded the title of Kammersängerin. Ms. Vaughn sings regularly with Semperoper Dresden, Teatro alla Scala, Spoleto Festival, the Arena di Verona, and the Metropolitan Opera. Her repertoire includes roles such as Klytämnestra in Elektra, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Amneris in Aida, Herodias in Salome, Fricka in Die Walküre, Waltraute in Die Götterdämmerung, Brigitta in Die tote Stadt, and La madre in Il Prigioniero. Future performances include Mother of Aida/Ritual singer in Caruso a Cuba (Dutch National Opera) and Mère Jeanne in Dialogues des Carmélites (Metropolitan Opera).

Spring 2019

David Cangelosi, tenor

David Cangelosi
Photo by Ken Howard

Appearing in the concert The Key of Dreams, which will be performed on March 22, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

David Cangelosi made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2004 as Mime in Das Rheingold. He has returned in multiple principal roles and Der Ring des Nibelungen-related assignments over the past twelve years.

Recent highlights include a multi-year performance/recording project of the Ring with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, his company debut with Houston Grand Opera (Tosca, Eugene Onegin), his role debut of the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and reprising his signature role of Mime for the Ring with the Washington National Opera and Boston Wagner Society. Other notable Ring highlights include a recording of the Forging Scene (Siegfried) with Placido Domingo for EMI Classics’ Scenes from the RingSiegfried and full Ring productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago; and the San Francisco Opera, where he reprised both Mime roles in 2018.

Recent performances include The Cunning Little Vixen with the Cleveland Orchestra and Mime in Das Rheingold with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood and the Opéra de Montreal. Mr. Cangelosi sang his role debut of Shuisky in Boris Godunov with the Dallas Opera in 2012 and has returned to the company for Moby Dick and Madame Butterfly. This summer, he makes his debut with Bard SummerScape as the Blind Judge in Das Wunder der Heliane, conducted by Leon Botstein.

Spring 2019

Sara Jakubiak, soprano

Sara Jakubiak
Photo by Ashley Plante

Appearing in the concert The Key of Dreams, which will be performed on March 22, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

In 2018, Sara Jakubiak created the role of Heliane in Christof Loy’s Das Wunder der Heliane at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Other recent highlights include Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bavarian State Opera, Agathe in Der Freischütz at the Semperoper Dresden, and portrayals of Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Marta in The Passenger in new productions with the Frankfurt Opera. Other roles have included Marie in Wozzeck at the English National Opera, Polina in The Gambler at the Dutch National Opera, Marietta in Die Tote Stadt at the Hamburg State Opera, Elsa in Johannes Erath’s production of Lohengrin at the Graz Opera, and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with the Israeli Philharmonic.

In the 2018–19 season, Ms. Jakubiak will sing Marietta in a new production of Die Tote Stadt at the Komische Oper, directed by Robert Carsen. She joins the Bavarian State Opera in a reprise of her role as Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. Other concert performances include Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Hallé Orchestra and Erwartung with the Bergen Philharmonic. She will also make a studio recording of Erwartung with the Chandos label.

Ms. Jakubiak was a member of the ensemble at the Frankfurt Opera between 2014 and 2018, and performed as Prima Donna in Ariadne auf Naxos, Marie in Die Tote Stadt, Lina in Stiffelio, Polina in The Gambler, Marie in Der Diktator, Alice Ford in Falstaff, the Goose Girl in Königskinder, and Freia in Das Rheingold.

Spring 2019

Composers, Teachers, and New York

by Leon Botstein

Written for the concert Sounds of the American Century, which was performed on January 25, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

This concert is exemplary of the original and ongoing mission of the ASO. The four composers on the program are all American, and they represent a thirty-year period, from Pearl Harbor to the Vietnam War, that witnessed unprecedented growth in the concert and classical music world of this country. These composers enjoyed enormous recognition and success in their lifetimes.

With the passage of time, however, memories fade and tastes change. Major figures are remembered largely as names in history books, and perhaps then only with a passing mention or a footnote. Their music is now more widely recorded and low resolution postings of performances can be found on the internet. Such a legacy, however, becomes academic, literally and figuratively.

Live performances of the music of the once central figures who have passed into history become rare, and not because the music falls short. Books can be reissued and paintings from the past taken out of storage and sold, downloaded, and hung in public gallery spaces more easily than music, especially music written for large forces, can be put on the stage. And music must be heard live and with an audience to be realized.

Music in the classical field deals with its history as if it were a winner-take-all proposition. But this is wrong because it distorts history and we rarely get the chance to change our minds. This concert of music by Mann, Fine, Druckman, and Schuman could catch someone’s eye because of the name Schuman, only to realize that it is not Robert, nor spelled the same way. The remaining three are not well enough known to be recognized by the audience we should be reaching. The ASO fights against these trends. We are determined to advocate for the unfairly neglected from the past and to push against the winds of fashion.

All these composers overlapped with one another and knew one another. They were centered, for a great part of their careers, in New York City, although some, like Fine, migrated to New York. And all of them taught. They were profoundly influential. Vivian Fine was a legend at Bennington. She, like Schuman, was a tireless organizer and performer in New York. This concert is a journey to our own past, to a different time, with different cultural ambitions and conflicts, and a time of great excitement, energy, confidence, growth, and faith in future generations of musicians and listeners.

It is a particular honor to perform a work by the late Robert Mann, the legendary violinist, quartet leader, and teacher. He was a fine composer and a great advocate of the new music of his time. Dimitri Mitropoulos, the fabulous conductor and music director of the New York Philharmonic, and also a partisan of the new, was himself a composer. Earlier this month I had the privilege of conducting the first performance of a new edition of a Concerto Grosso by Mitropoulos in Athens. Mitropoulos recognized Mann’s gifts and premiered his Fantasy for Orchestra, which opens tonight’s concert. Years ago Mann mentioned the work to me, in passing and all too modestly. The ASO dedicates this performance to Robert Mann’s memory. I would like to think he would be pleased to see the work revived and performed again in Carnegie Hall.

William Schuman is the best-known composer on this program, and his Symphony No. 3 is the one work being performed tonight to approximate a repertory staple. This symphony is a contender for the status of one of the major American symphonies of the twentieth century. We hope that it is brought back regularly, and that more of Schuman’s music gets played. Schuman, like his contemporary Leonard Bernstein, was a man of many talents. He was, like Fine, a terrific organizer and institutional leader, somewhat in the mold of musicians who devoted their time and energy to creating and leading institutions designed to sustain music. He headed Juilliard and Lincoln Center. If Rimsky-Korsakov and Gabriel Fauré could manage it, why not William Schuman?

Jacob Druckman was a widely admired composer until his untimely death in 1996. He taught for many years at Bard and two of his students later became famous as members of Steely Dan. He then moved to Juilliard, where he remained. In his lifetime he won many prizes and was noted for the subtlety, refinement, and distinctiveness of his structures and sonorities.

Vivian Fine was not only a great teacher and an avid performer, but mentor to many generations of American composers. She exemplifies the spirit of this program: a conviction in the potential of new music in America, great craft and ambition, a determination to reach the public, and an abiding belief in how important musical culture is to this city and the nation.

Robert Mann, Fantasy for Orchestra

by Matthew Mugmon

Written for the concert Sounds of the American Century, which was performed on January 25, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Born July 19, 1920, in Portland, Oregon
Died January 1, 2018, in New York City
Composed in 1957
Premiered on February 23, 1957 at Carnegie Hall, with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos
Performance Time: Approximately 13 minutes

A celebrated violinist who died last year at 97, Robert Mann was an outsize figure in the world of chamber music performance. He spent more than 50 years, from 1946 to 1997, as the renowned Juilliard String Quartet’s founding first violinist. By the time Mann’s Fantasy for Orchestra appeared on a New York Philharmonic program in 1957, he was a composer of some note. The Fantasy came about because Dimitri Mitropoulos, the orchestra’s music director, caught wind of some of Mann’s music and asked him for an orchestral work.

The New York Philharmonic never again performed the Fantasy after its premiere—or any of Mann’s other works, for that matter. Nor are commercial recordings available. But program notes for the premiere highlighted the straightforward multipartite structure of this single-movement work; it begins with “a slow introduction, in a somewhat reflective vein,” followed by a fast, bustling section, a return of the introduction’s sensibility, and, finally, “a brief allusion” at the work’s conclusion to the faster material.

Even if the Fantasy faded from view after its premiere, Mann’s stature as a musician in New York certainly lent weight to the event; Harold C. Schonberg, in his review in The New York Times, wrote that Mann “blossomed out as a composer” with the work, which was dedicated to the memory of the distinguished patron Alma Morgenthau (1887–1953). Although Schonberg found the Fantasy to be more of a technical than a “personal” expression, he praised Mann’s orchestration, linked its “rhythmic devices” to American compositional trends, and offered an (admittedly backhanded) compliment about its cinematic quality (“One could easily imagine it as the background music of a very expensive grade A film”). In calling it “an elaborate mood piece with, possibly, a hidden program,” Schonberg hinted at the work’s potential to move audiences with its stirring soundscapes, characterized by what the critic described as pervasive dissonance.

Matthew Mugmon is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Arizona.

Vivian Fine, Concertante for Piano and Orchestra

by Matthew Mugmon

Written for the concert Sounds of the American Century, which was performed on January 25, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Born September 28, 1913, in Chicago, Illinois
Died March 20, 2000, in Bennington, Vermont
Composed in 1943–44
Premiered in 1944
Performance Time: Approximately 17 minutes

Vivian Fine’s multifaceted output as a composer included vocal, chamber, orchestral, and theater works. Fine was also a highly regarded pianist, and her Concertante reflects her deep attachment to the keyboard. The work is readily connected to neoclassicism—a term that suggests a strong interest in forms and styles of the baroque and classical periods. A number of significant twentieth-century musical figures were associated with neoclassicism, including Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland. Both Copland and Stravinsky wrote piano concertos, but Fine’s term “concertante” suggests something subtly different: it points to the work’s heritage in compositions that featured multiple soloists. In Fine’s piece, the piano is obviously the highlighted soloist, complete with a cadenza in the second (and final) movement. But the title “concertante” invites us to hear the piano and orchestra as existing on a more equal footing than they might in a typical classical or romantic concerto. In fact, Fine said that the work was “modeled after the concerti grossi” of baroque composers. Following the spirit of such works, Fine’s Concertante eschews extended passages for the soloist in favor of a more extensive interplay among instrumental forces.

For Fine, its heritage in baroque music meant that the musical language of the Concertante was tonal—“deliberately” so, as Fine said, “while most of my other pieces, while not atonal, are freely atonal and freely tonal at the same time.” The Concertante begins with a study of contrasts: forceful, declamatory orchestral declarations yield to songlike piano passages. This alternation quickly gives way to a more fluid interaction between soloist and orchestra, but the basic sense of division—sometimes jarring and sudden—between sweeping and delicate melodies, on the one hand, and gritty, even strident passages, on the other, characterize the wide-ranging and dramatic opening movement. A faster and more playful second movement rounds out the work. Here, rhythmic energy and verve suggest a swirling dance between piano and orchestra. One highlight, though, is a brief, tender woodwind passage that temporarily interrupts the movement’s defining buoyancy. A lively piano cadenza flows into a jovial conclusion for piano and orchestra.

Matthew Mugmon is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Arizona.