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Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is celebrated for his versatility and originality. He has been honored with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 2016 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, and top prizes in the Naumburg and Geneva competitions, and has performed alongside world-renowned orchestras like the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, San Francisco Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg. He has performed recitals and chamber music at venues including Ravinia, Tokyo’s Musashino Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Lucerne Festival, Bravo! Vail, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Music@Menlo. An advocate of contemporary music, he has premiered compositions in the United States and Europe, collaborating closely with composers Jörg Widmann, Heinz Holliger, Anthony Cheung, and George Benjamin. Recent milestones in his career encompass a performance of Carlos Chávez’s Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium with The Orchestra Now, a debut at Mostly Mozart, and a critically acclaimed recording of Richard Strauss and Kurt Leimer’s music with the Bern Symphony Orchestra and Mario Venzago for Schweizer Fonogramm. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Columbia University and a master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Vonsattel is Professor of Piano at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is on the faculty at Bard College Conservatory of Music.
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura, and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s Pioneer Press writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you'll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener.” A thrilling musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, he has recently appeared as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony and the New World Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has performed at the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel, London’s Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. He has been presented in recital in Omaha on the Tuesday Musical Club series, in New Orleans by the Friends of Music, and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He has also given concerts at the OK Mozart, Moritzburg, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, La Jolla SummerFest, Mainly Mozart, Seattle Chamber Music, Chamber Music Northwest, and Moab Music festivals. He has performed with many of today’s leading artists including Itzhak Perlman, Menahem Pressler, Gary Hoffman, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Wu Han, David Finckel, and Jan Vogler. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, Sussmann is Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach and Co-Director of Music@Menlo’s International Program, and teaches at Stony Brook University. In September 2022, Sussmann was named Founding Artistic Director of the Boscobel Chamber Music Festival.
Violist Paul Neubauer has been called a “master musician” by the New York Times. He recently made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut with conductor Riccardo Muti. He also gave the US premiere of the newly discovered Impromptu for viola and piano by Shostakovich with pianist Wu Han. In addition, his recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia was released on Signum Records, and his recording of the complete viola/piano music by Ernest Bloch with pianist Margo Garrett was released on Delos. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras. He has premiered viola concertos by Bartók (revised version of the Viola Concerto), Friedman, Glière, Jacob, Kernis, Lazarof, Müller-Siemens, Ott, Penderecki, Picker, Suter, and Tower, and has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morning and A Prairie Home Companion as well as in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. A two-time Grammy nominee, he has recorded on numerous labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal, and Sony Classical, and is a member of SPA, a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Neubauer is the artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey and is on the faculty of the Juilliard School and Mannes College.
Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a remarkably varied and distinguished career as soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. He is the Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and in 2019 he was appointed Professor of Cello at the Yale School of Music. He has performed as concerto soloist with prestigious orchestras throughout the world under eminent conductors including Bernard Haitink, Paavo Berglund, Leonard Slatkin, Sakari Oramo, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Andris Nelsons, Edo de Waart, Hannu Lintu and Vasily Petrenko. A dedicated chamber musician, Paul was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 until 2013, when he joined the Emerson String Quartet. With the Quartet he has travelled extensively, performing at major international festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Ravinia, Edinburgh, Berlin, and Evian, and has collaborated with artists such as Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Evgeny Kissin, Renée Fleming, and Barbara Hannigan. He is a regular guest artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
He took first prize in the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition, and has held the positions of Music Director of the English Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra. In recent seasons he made his conducting debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Omaha Symphony. His extensive discography as a cellist includes more than 70 recordings, including 18 solo albums for Chandos. His first recording as a conductor, of the Britten and Berg violin concertos with Daniel Hope, received a Grammy nomination.
Paul’s future plans include solo performances and recordings with, among others, Alessio Bax, Anthony Marwood, Lawrence Power, Leila Josefowicz, Edward Gardner, and Sir Andrew Davis. He is also in demand as a visiting teacher and has residencies this season at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.
Recorded live in Alice Tully Hall on April 15, 2016.
Video produced by Ibis Productions.