Thursday, February 2

Americana Virtuosi at Davis Art Center 26

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American Virtuosi returns to the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center’s 2022 Chamber Music Series for its 19th season.

On Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and Thursday, Feb. 24 for a concert and dinner at the Silver King Ocean Brasserie being held at the Luminary Hotel, the world’s leading chamber musicians will join SBDAC executive director and violist Jim Griffith and descend on downtown Fort Myers for some extraordinary performances. Experience world-class chamber music from violinists James Ehnes, Peter Winograd, Emerson Millar, Caterina Szepes, violist Molly Carr, cellists Ani Aznavoorian and Wolfram Koesseland, pianists Rohan de Silva (Itzhak Perlman’s personal accompanist) and Andrew Armstrong. Enjoy two separate unforgettable evenings of live classical music from some of the world’s leading concert artists.

The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District.

Annually the American Virtuosi concerts bring some of the most celebrated musicians in the genre from around the country together for intimate chamber concerts performing the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Gershwin and much more. Now in its 19th season, the American Virtuosi concerts present Southwest Florida with a memorable evening of chamber music. Thursday’s ticket purchase includes dinner at the Silver King Ocean Brasserie restaurant located at the Luminary Hotel and a special performance in the Workshop Culinary Theater.

About the American Virtuosi:

James Ehnes is gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favorite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Denève, Elder, Ivan Fischer, Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Mena, Noseda, Robertson and Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK and Vienna Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia and DSO Berlin orchestras.

Emerson Millar is originally from Ithaca and is a graduate of the Colburn School in Los Angeles and is the new co-concertmaster of the Naples Philharmonic. Originally from Ithaca in upstate New York. As an orchestral musician, Emerson has appeared as concertmaster of the New World Symphony and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. As a lover of chamber music, she has worked with Roberto Díaz, Ronald Leonard and Paul Colletti, as well as members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Tokyo, Miró and Emerson String Quartets. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Colburn Conservatory of Music where she studied with Robert Lipsett.

Caterina Maria Szepes was born in Berlin, Germany, into a musical family. Her father was an opera singer and her mother a violinist. She studied at the Karlsruhe Conservatory of Music with Prof. Ulf Hoelscher 1985-1991 and the Cleveland Institute of Music with Donald Weilerstein 1991-1993. Her recital debut on RIAS Berlin Radio in 1987 was followed by concerto performances and recitals throughout Europe, Australia and the U.S. Ms. Szepes has performed at the Taos, Marlboro, Kingston and Aspen Music Festivals and has collaborated with many artists, including members of the Juilliard and American String Quartets, Lynn Harrell, Hillary Hahn and Andres Diaz among others. She was featured on a recording for the Karlsruhe Conservatory performing the Kurt Weill Violin Concerto and in the Marlboro Music festivals 50th Anniversary CD. Since 1997 C. Szepes has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Peter Winograd joined the American String Quartet, Artists in Residence at Manhattan School of Music, in 1990. He gave his first solo public performance at the age of 11, and at age 17 he was accepted as a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. Winograd was a top prizewinner in the 1988 Naumburg International Violin Competition. He then made his New York debut to critical acclaim and has since appeared as a guest soloist with numerous orchestras and in recitals across the country and abroad. Mr. Winograd has been a member of the violin and chamber music faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music School (where the American is Quartet in Residence) since 1990.

Molly Carr enjoys a diverse musical career as recitalist, chamber musician, educator, and artistic director. Hailed as “one of the most interesting interpreters of the viola today” (Codalario Spain) and praised for her “intoxicating” (New York Times) and “ravishing” (STRAD) performances, she has been the recipient of numerous international prizes and awards from the Primrose International Viola Competition, Chamber Music America, ProMusicis Foundation, Davidson Institute, Virtu Foundation, MAW Alumni Enterprise Awards, ASTA, and ARTS among many others. Her performances have taken her across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and been broadcast on BBC World News, CNN, Forbes, PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio in the US, as well as on Canadian, Bulgarian, Israeli, Argentinian and Hungarian National Television and Radio. In October 2018, Ms. Carr was honored at the United Nations for her work with refugees around the globe through the Carr-Petrova Duo’s Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project; she was also chosen as one of America’s leading “Creative Women” – subsequently appearing on the Sandi Klein Show “Conversations With Creative Women.”

Jim Griffith received his Masters of Music degree from the Juilliard School. He also received his undergraduate degree from the Manhattan School of Music and attended Florida State University. He is a former member of the Hudson String Quartet in New York, faculty member of Point Counterpoint Chamber Music Camp in Vermont and director of the New Arts Festival in Fort Myers. He formerly served as principal violist of the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the New York Virtuosi and is the founder and executive director of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.

Andrew Armstrong is praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique, pianist Andrew Armstrong has delighted audiences across Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic. Andrew’s orchestral engagements across the globe have seen him perform a sprawling repertoire of more than 50 concertos with orchestra. He has performed with such conductors as Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman, Günther Herbig, Stefan Sanderling, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and has appeared in solo recitals in chamber music concerts with the Elias, Alexander, American, and Manhattan String Quartets, and also as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi, Boston Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. The 2019-2020 Season takes Andrew across the globe with concerts in London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Bergen, Dresden, Copenhagen, Prague, and across the US, Canada, and Australia. Also this season, Andrew and violinist James Ehnes team up to release the complete cycle of 10 Beethoven Violin Sonatas to celebrate the master’s 250th birthday in 2020. The duo performs the cycle in cities around the world this year. On top of his performance activities, Andrew serves as Artistic Director of Columbia Museum of Art’s Chamber Music on Main series in South Carolina, and enters his third year as Director of the Chamber Music Camp at Wisconsin’s Green Lake Festival of Music.

Rohan De Silva was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Anne Akiko Meyers, Kurt Nikkanen, Gil Shaham, Kyoko Takazawa, Vadim Repin, and Midori. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, the 92nd St. Y, Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Philadelphia Academy of Music, Ambassador Theater, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, London’s Wigmore Hall, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and Milan’s La Scala. He has also appeared at the festivals of Aspen, Interlochen, Manchester, Ravinia, Schleswig-Holstein, Pacific, and Wellington.

Ani Aznavoorian has appeared as soloist with orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, and the Boston Pops. Aznavoorian is an avid chamber musician and teacher. She is the principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica, and she appears regularly at chamber music festivals around the globe. She has also served on the music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, and has spent summers as faculty of the Great Mountains Music Festival and School in South Korea. She is the recipient of the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her playing and artistry, has been named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and is a prize winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition. She is a proponent of new music and has premiered concertos by Auerbach and Laderman and the chamber music repertoire by Harbison, Bruce, and Sheng. Aznavoorian records for Cedille Records and she proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.

Wolfram Koessel has embarked on a diverse career as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, performing internationally in the world’s most distinguished concert halls. STRAD magazine wrote of “the exceptionally attractive cello playing of Wolfram Koessel” who has established himself as a sought-after musician, performing concertos with the Jupiter Symphony, the New York Metamorphoses Orchestra (which he co-founded in 1994), Jerusalem Symphony, the Osaka Symphony, the Mannes Orchestra and symphony orchestras in Stuttgart, Cordoba, Mendoza, Costa Rica, Iowa, and New York.

For tickets and info, visit www.sbdac.com

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