Eastern Festival Orchestra
Festival Orchestra Series
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin
Largo e piano
Largo – Allegro
Adagio – Allegro moderato – Poco adagio
Allegro moderato – Presto – Maestoso – Allegro
André Lash, organ
Passion, excitement and innovation are the hallmarks of internationally acclaimed violinist NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG’s artistry. Praised for her compelling performances, daring interpretations and electric stage presence, she is renowned for her work on stage and in the recording studio.
Having served as Resident Artist at Loyola University, College of Music and Fine Arts, New Orleans to great success for the last two seasons, Salerno-Sonnenberg now adds the official title of Extraordinary Faculty/ Director of Chamber Orchestra to her storied career. Salerno-Sonnenberg has expanded her career over the past three seasons to share her experience and knowledge as a performing musician in guest residencies at universities throughout the country, building on her recent acclaimed nine-season tenure as music director of the San Francisco-based New Century Chamber Orchestra. At Loyola, she continues her work with The Loyola Strings, the new conductor-less string orchestra she introduced in her first year of Residency, as well as on/off campus teaching and performances with Loyola students and faculty.
A powerful and creative presence on the recording scene, Salerno-Sonnenberg continues to add to the offerings of her own record label, NSS Music, which she started in 2005. In addition to her over 20 releases on the EMI and Nonesuch labels, Salerno-Sonnenberg has also made several recordings for NSS MUSIC, featuring both concerto and chamber pieces. Her latest release, From A To Z, is an all-commissions CD featuring violin concertos by Clarice Assad, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, all commissioned by New Century since Salerno-Sonnenberg joined the ensemble.
Salerno-Sonnenberg’s exceptional artistry is paired with great musical intelligence which, along with her unique personality, have served her well in numerous environments – she has hosted the Backstage/Live from Lincoln Center program for PBS, appeared in the PBS/BBC series The Mind, and with Big Bird on Sesame Street. She was the subject of the 2000 Academy Award-nominated film, Speaking in Strings, an intensely personal documentary on her life, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was released in theaters nationwide, and subsequently premiered on HBO’s Signatures channel in 1999. On the publishing front, Salerno-Sonnenberg: On My Way, her autobiography written for children discussing her experiences as a young musician building a career, was published by Crown Books in 1989. Salerno-Sonnenberg has appeared in numerous publications ranging from The Strad, Gramophone and Strings to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post.
Salerno-Sonnenberg’s professional career began in 1981 when she won the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. Among her recent honors is having Saturday, May 20, 2017, declared Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Day by the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco in honor of contributions to “the vitality of our City and the dedicated work” she carried out as music director of New Century Chamber Orchestra, and New Orleans Magazine declared her one of its Top Female Achievers in its June 2017 issue. Other recognitions include a 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and being named 1988 Ovations Debut Recording Artist of the Year. In 1999, Nadja was honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded to instrumentalists who have demonstrated “outstanding achievement and excellence in music.” In May of that same year, she was awarded an honorary Master of Musical Arts from the New Mexico State University, the first honorary degree the university has ever awarded. An American citizen, Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 8 to study at The Curtis Institute of Music. She later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School.
With varied experience as a recitalist, teacher, church musician and academician, André Lash, organ, brings to UNCG a wealth of musical viewpoints. A finalist in organ competitions in both France and the United States, in addition to standard repertoire of all periods he has extensive experience with rarely performed works of the Spanish Baroque, which he studied with José-Luis Gonzalez Uriol in Zaragoza, Spain. He holds the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where his teacher was Russell Saunders; his dissertation topic was “The Facultad Orgánica of Francisco Correa de Arauxo: Certain Aspects of Theory and Performance”. Earlier, he earned the Master of Music degree in Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; undergraduate studies were at Pittsburg State University. He also studied privately for two years under Arthur Poister, with extensive masterclasses under Anton Heiller and Marie-Claire Alain. He continues to research and publication in 17th-century Iberian organ music. Dr. Lash previously held positions at the University of Georgia as teaching faculty in Music Theory and as a staff accompanist. Earlier he taught Music Theory, Organ and Harpsichord at Oklahoma Baptist University. He is currently organist at Christ United Methodist Church in Greensboro. Lash has performed at numerous solo venues in the United States, Russia and the Republic of Korea, and has presented for Music Teachers National Association, regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and for Festival Internacional de Música de Tecla Española. He has contributed articles on Spanish repertoire and interpretation for The Organ and Early Keyboard Journal, and recently contributed a comprehensive list of current editions of Iberian organ music for the national website of the American Guild of Organists, in which he has long been active as a chapter Dean and state and regional officer.
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past twenty-five years the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was previously the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and received a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. In 2017, the Pacifica Quartet was appointed to lead the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002, the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center’s The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), and in 2006, was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Also, in 2006, the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list. And in 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.
The Pacifica Quartet has carved a niche for itself as the preeminent interpreter of string quartet cycles, harnessing the group’s singular focus and incredible stamina to portray each composer’s evolution, often over the course of just a few days. Having given highly acclaimed performances of the complete Carter cycle in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Houston; the Mendelssohn cycle in Napa, Australia, New York, and Pittsburgh; and the Beethoven cycle in New York, Denver, St. Paul, Chicago, Napa, and Tokyo (in an unprecedented presentation of five concerts in three days at Suntory Hall), the Quartet presented the monumental Shostakovich cycle in Chicago, New York, Montreal and at London’s Wigmore Hall. The Quartet has been widely praised for these cycles, with critics calling the concerts “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “gripping,” and “breathtaking.” In the 2018-19 season, the Pacifica Quartet continues its exploration of the Beethoven cycle at the National Arts Centre (Ottawa) and for the Portland Friends of Chamber Music and the Shostakovich cycle for Chamber Music San Francisco and Skidmore College.
Other season highlights include performances at Shriver Hall with Marc-André Hamelin, a Florida tour together with Sharon Isbin, and appearances on North America’s major chamber-music series, including concerts in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City, and Vancouver.
An ardent advocate of contemporary music, the Pacifica Quartet commissions and performs many new works including those by Keeril Makan and Shulamit Ran, the latter in partnership with the Music Accord consortium, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. The work – entitled Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory – had its New York debut as part of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center series.
In 2008, the Quartet released its Grammy Award-winning recording of Carter’s quartets Nos. 1 and 5 on the Naxos label; the 2009 release of quartets Nos. 2, 3, and 4 completed the two-CD set. Cedille Records recently released the third of four volumes comprising the entire Shostakovich cycle, along with other contemporary Soviet works, to rave reviews: “The playing is nothing short of phenomenal.” (Daily Telegraph, London) Recent projects include recording Leo Ornstein’s rarely-heard piano quintet with Marc-André Hamelin with an accompanying tour, the Brahms piano quintet with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler, and the Brahms and Mozart clarinet quintets with the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinetist, Anthony McGill.
The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Bloomington, IN, where they serve as quartet-in-residence and full-time faculty members at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Prior to their appointment, the Quartet was on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign from 2003 to 2012, and also served as resident performing artist at the University of Chicago for seventeen years.
The Pacifica Quartet is endorsed by D’Addario and proudly uses their strings.
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