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Robert Schumann’s mercurial artistry produced works that stand at the pinnacle of the Romantic tradition.
Given to spontaneous flights of fancy, he composed for whatever combination of instruments moved his spirit. A delightfully eclectic first half precedes one of the classic piano trios of the literature, which shows the versatile Schumann reimagining the Classical style to express unrestrained passion.
Fantasiestücke (Fantasy Pieces) for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 73(1849)
Adagio and Allegro in A-flat major for Horn and Piano, Op. 70(1849)
Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tales) for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, Op. 132(1853)
Andante and Variations for Horn, Two Cellos, and Two Pianos, WoO 10(1843)
Trio No. 1 in D minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 63(1847)
For over 25 years Anne-Marie McDermott has played concertos, recitals, and chamber music in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. She also serves as artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Music and Ocean Reef Music festivals, as well as Curator for Chamber Music for the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego. Recent performance highlights include appearances with the Colorado Symphony, Florida Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, New World Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Mexico National Symphony, and Taipei Symphony. She also returned to play Mozart with the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin at the Bravo! Vail Festival. She has performed with leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Seattle Symphony, National Symphony, and Houston Symphony. Her recordings include the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas, Bach’s English Suites and partitas (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone), Gershwin’s complete works for piano and orchestra with the Dallas Symphony (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone), and, most recently, the Haydn piano sonatas and concertos with the Odense Philharmonic in Denmark. McDermott studied at the Manhattan School of Music, has been awarded the Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women and an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and won the Young Concert Artists auditions.
Alessio Bax catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions. He has appeared with more than 150 orchestras, including the London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, and Sydney Symphonies, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden. He released his 11th Signum Classics album, Italian Inspirations, whose program was also the vehicle for his solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y as well as on tour. He and his regular piano duo partner, Lucille Chung, have given recitals at Lincoln Center and were featured with the St. Louis Symphony and Stéphane Denève. This season he makes his debut with the Milwaukee Symphony, and will return for the fourth time for two recitals at the historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Last summer he made return appearances at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival with the Dallas Symphony and Fabio Luisi conducting. At age 14, Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe, he moved to the United States in 1994. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila. He is a former member of CMS’s Bowers Program and on the faculty at the New England Conservatory.
Violinist/violist Ida Kavafian recently retired after 35 successful years as artistic director of Music from Angel Fire, the renowned festival in New Mexico. She leaves a legacy of over 40 world premieres commissioned by the festival. Her close association with The Curtis Institute continues with her large and superb class, the endowment of her faculty chair by former Curtis Board President Baroness Nina von Maltzahn, and the awarding of the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, which is presented in recognition of outstanding service in stimulating and guiding Curtis students. In addition to her solo engagements, she continues to perform with her piano quartet, OPUS ONE and Trio Valtorna. Co-founder of those ensembles as well as Tashi and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival (which she ran for ten years), she has toured and recorded with the Guarneri, Orion, Shanghai, Harlem, and American string quartets (as violist); as a member of the Beaux Arts Trio for six years; and with such artists as Chick Corea, Mark O'Connor, and Wynton Marsalis. A graduate of The Juilliard School, where she studied with Oscar Shumsky, she was presented in her debut by Young Concert Artists with her long time chamber music partner, pianist Peter Serkin. Kavafian and her husband, violist Steven Tenenbom, have also found success outside of music in the breeding, training, and showing of champion Vizsla dogs, including the 2003 Number One Vizsla All Systems in the US, the 2007 National Champion, and a recent Gold Grand Champion as well as a master hunter. She has performed with the Chamber Music Society since 1973.
Violinist Daniel Phillips enjoys a versatile career as a chamber musician, solo artist, and teacher. A graduate of Juilliard, his major teachers were his father Eugene Phillips, Ivan Galamian, Sally Thomas, Nathan Milstein, Sandor Végh, and George Neikrug. Since winning the 1976 Young Concert Artists Competition, he has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Pittsburgh, Houston, New Jersey, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Yakima symphonies. He appears regularly at the Spoleto USA Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Chesapeake Music Festival, the International Musicians Seminar in England, Marlboro Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, where he is co-artistic director. He has served on the faculty of the Heifetz Institute and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar at Stanford. He was a member of the renowned Bach Aria Group and has toured and recorded in a string quartet for Sony with Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, and Yo-Yo Ma. A judge in the 2022 Leipzig Bach Competition and 2018 Seoul International Violin Competition, Phillips is a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Bard College Conservatory, and the Juilliard School. He lives with his wife, flutist Tara Helen O'Connor, and their two dachshunds on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, cellist Estelle Choi began her music studies at the age of five. She garnered top prizes as a soloist and as a chamber musician in the Canadian Music Competition, the Alberta Music Festival, and the Calgary Concerto Competition. She has gained international recognition as a founding member of the Calidore String Quartet, an ensemble celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020. Praised by the New York Times for its “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct” and by the Los Angeles Times for its balance of “intellect and expression,” the Calidore made international headlines when they won the Grand Prize of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition. As a member of the Calidore, Ms. Choi is an Avery Fisher Career Grant winner, BBC 3 New Generation Artist, recipient of the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist award, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust recipient. The Calidore recently completed their third year as members of CMS’s Bowers Program. Internationally, Ms. Choi was a prize winner in the ARD Munich competition as well as the Hamburg Chamber Music competition. She studied with John Kadz for 13 years and went on to work with Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music and Ronald Leonard at the Colburn Conservatory. She holds a bachelor’s degree and artist diploma from the Colburn Conservatory and a masters from the Yale School of Music. She teaches and performs at the University of Delaware and University of Toronto.
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.
A Yale University faculty member since 1987, clarinetist David Shifrin is artistic director of Yale’s Chamber Music Society, the Yale in New York concert series, and the Phoenix Chamber Music Festival. He has performed with CMS since 1982 and served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004, inaugurating CMS’s Bowers Program and the annual Brandenburg Concerto concerts. He was the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, from 1981 to 2020. Winner of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant (1987) and the Avery Fisher Prize (2000), he is also the recipient of a Solo Recitalist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A top prize-winner in the Munich and Geneva competitions, he has held principal clarinet positions in numerous orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra and the American Symphony under Leopold Stokowski. His recordings have received three Grammy nominations and his performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review. His most recent recordings are the Beethoven, Bruch, and Brahms clarinet trios with David Finckel and Wu Han on the ArtistLed label, a recording for Delos of works by Carl Nielsen, and an album of Poulenc’s music for clarinet. His 2012 Delos recording of Ellen Taaffe Zwillch’s Clarinet Concerto was chosen as culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant by the National Recording Preservation Act by the Library of Congress in 2023. Shifrin performs on clarinets made by Morrie Backun in Vancouver, Canada, and Légère synthetic reeds.
Nathaniel Silberschlag was appointed principal horn of The Cleveland Orchestra in May 2019, and took up the position in August prior to the start of the 2019–20 season. He previously served as assistant principal horn of the Washington National Opera/Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, where he was the youngest member ever to win a position with the ensemble, at the age of 19.
Born in Leonardtown, Maryland, in the Chesapeake region, he comes from of a family of sixteen professional musicians across several generations. These include former principal players of the New York Philharmonic, Italian National Orchestra RAI, and Jerusalem Symphony. He made his debut in Italy at age 9, with news of the performance appearing on the front page of Italy’s newspaper La Stampa.
As soloist, Nathaniel has performed with the Juilliard Orchestra, Bulgarian Philharmonic, Romania State Symphony, New York’s Little Orchestra Society, and the Chesapeake Orchestra. He has also played concerts with a variety of ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
At the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, he became a graduate of the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship program under the tutelage of Sylvia Alimena as part of her "Brass of Peace" scholarship program. He also spent two summers in the Kennedy Center’s Summer Music Institute. He was a fellow at the Music Academy of the West in the summers of 2017 and 2018, and in 2018 was named one of ten Zarin Mehta Fellows to perform with the New York Philharmonic as part of their 2018 Global Academy.
In 2015, he was the first recipient of the Edwin C. Thayer / Laurel Bennert Ohlson award for artistry and excellence in horn performance. Since 2007, he has been a full participant fellow at Italy's Alba Music Festival, and also attended the Eastern Music Festival in 2016. He is also a member of the New York Festival Brass Quintet.
Silberschlag completed his bachelor of music degree from New York's Juilliard School in May 2019, where he was a student of Julie Landsman and recipient of the Kovner Fellowship.