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James Austin Smith
Michael Stephen Brown
Flutist and conductor Ransom Wilson has performed in concert with major orchestras the world over. As a flutist, he recently launched an ongoing series of solo recordings on the Nimbus label in the UK. As a conductor, he is starting his fourth season as music director of the Redlands Symphony in Southern California, and he is the Director of Orchestral Programs at Idyllwild Arts. He has led opera performances at the New York City Opera, and was for ten years an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. He has been a guest conductor of the London, Houston, KBS, Kraków, Denver, New Jersey, Hartford, and Berkeley symphonies; the Orchestra of St. Luke's; the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra; the Hallé Orchestra; and the chamber orchestras of St. Paul and Los Angeles. He has also appeared with the Glimmerglass Opera, Minnesota Opera, and the Opera of La Quincena Musical in Spain. As an educator, he regularly leads master classes at the Paris Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Moscow Conservatory, and Cambridge University. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he was an Atlantique Foundation scholar in Paris, where he studied privately with Jean-Pierre Rampal. His recording career, which includes three Grammy Award nominations, began in 1973 with Jean-Pierre Rampal and I Solisti Veneti. Since then he has recorded over 35 albums as flutist and/or conductor. Wilson is a professor at the Yale University School of Music, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society since 1991. He plays exclusively on a hand-made Haynes flute.
A chamber musician praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling,” and “brilliant” performances (New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (New Yorker), James Austin Smith is driven by the communicative nature of live performance. As an oboist and on-stage host he appears regularly at leading national and international chamber music festivals, at Carnegie Hall and on tour as Co-Principal Oboe of the conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and as an artist of the International Contemporary Ensemble. As Artistic and Executive Director of Tertulia Chamber Music he curates intimate evenings of food, drink, and music designed to engage audiences hungry for singular cultural experiences in New York, San Francisco, and Serenbe, Georgia. He mentors graduate-level musicians as a professor of oboe and chamber music at Stony Brook University and the Manhattan School of Music, and as a regular guest at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music and bachelor’s degrees in political science and music from Northwestern University. He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Conservatory in Leipzig, Germany, and is an alum of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect. Born in New York and raised in Connecticut, Smith’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli, and Ray Still.
Violinist Sean Lee has captured the attention of audiences around the world with his lively performances of the classics. A recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is one of few violinists who dares to perform Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices in concert, and his YouTube series, Paganini POV, continues to draw praise for its use of technology in sharing unique perspectives and insight into violin playing. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Israel Camerata Jerusalem, and Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice, and his recital appearances have taken him to Vienna's Konzerthaus, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. As a season artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he continues to perform regularly at Lincoln Center and on tour. Originally from Los Angeles, Lee studied with Robert Lipsett of the Colburn Conservatory and legendary violinist Ruggiero Ricci before moving at the age of 17 to study at the Juilliard School with his longtime mentor, violinist Itzhak Perlman. Lee performs on violins made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz in 1995 and David Bague in 1999, with bows made circa 1890 by Joseph Arthur Vigneron and circa 1910 by W. E. Hill & Sons.
Inbal Segev is “a cellist with something to say” (Gramophone). She has appeared with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony, collaborating with such prominent conductors as Marin Alsop, Stéphane Denève, Lorin Maazel, Cristian Macelaru, and Zubin Mehta. Committed to reinvigorating the cello repertoire, she has commissioned and premiered new cello concertos by Timo Andres, Anna Clyne, Avner Dorman, Dan Visconti, Vijay Iyer, and Victoria Poleva, whose new concerto Segev looks forward to premiering with the Dallas Symphony and the London Philharmonic in the 2023–24 season. Recorded with Alsop and the London Philharmonic, Segev’s 2020 premiere recording of Clyne’s cello concerto, DANCE, was an instant success, topping the Amazon Classical Concertos chart and receiving nine million listens on Spotify. At the start of the pandemic, she launched 20 for 2020, a commissioning, recording, and video project featuring 20 cutting-edge composers, including John Luther Adams, Viet Cuong, and James Lee III. Her discography includes acclaimed recordings of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Romantic cello works, and Bach’s Cello Suites, while her popular YouTube masterclass series, Musings with Inbal Segev, has inspired a generation of cellists. A native of Israel, at 16 Segev was invited by Isaac Stern to continue her cello studies in the US, where she earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School, before co-founding the Amerigo Trio with former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and violist Karen Dreyfus. Segev’s cello was made by Francesco Ruggieri in 1673.
Michael Stephen Brown has been described as “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers” (New York Times). Winner of a 2018 Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program. He makes regular appearances with orchestras such as the National Philharmonic and the Seattle, Phoenix, North Carolina, and Albany symphonies, and recently has made European recital debuts at the Beethoven-Haus Bonn and the Chopin Museum in Mallorca. He has received commissions from many organizations and some of today’s leading artists, and recently toured his own Piano Concerto around the US and Poland with several orchestras. He performs regularly with his longtime duo partner, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and has appeared at festivals worldwide. A prolific recording artist, he has three albums in the works, including Mendelssohn+, featuring world premieres of music by one of Mendelssohn’s muses, Delphine von Schauroth. He was the composer- and artist-in-residence at the New Haven Symphony, and winner of the Concert Artists Guild and Copland House Awards. He holds degrees in piano and composition from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, Robert McDonald, and Samuel Adler. Additional mentors include András Schiff and Richard Goode. An Artist Ambassador for Creatives Care, Brown lives in New York City with his two 19th-century Steinway D pianos, Octavia and Daria.
Recorded live in Alice Tully Hall on March 10, 2019.
Video produced by Ibis Productions.