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Concert sponsored by Nick Winograd and Barbara Garrison
Series generously underwritten by Rob Diefenbach in loving memory of Ruth DeNoyelles Diefenbach
Chamber Music Series Presents:
Thursday, February 29th 2024
6:30pm Cocktails | 7:30pm Concert
SBDAC’s Grand Atrium
General Admission | $45
General Admission Day Of | $50
*General Admission = First come, first served seating
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Annually the American Virtuosi concerts bring some of the most celebrated musicians in the genre from around the country together for intimate chamber concerts. Now in its 14th season, the American Virtuosi concerts present Southwest Florida with a memorable evening of chamber music
About the Musicians
James Ehnes, violin
James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite 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.
Recent orchestral highlights include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Noseda, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Shelley, San Francisco Symphony with Janowski, Frankfurt Radio Symphony with Orozco-Estrada, London Symphony with Harding, and Munich Philharmonic with van Zweden, as well as his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lincoln Center in spring 2019. In 2019/20, Ehnes is Artist in Residence with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which includes performances of the Elgar Concerto with Luisi, a play/direct programme leg by Ehnes, and a chamber music programme. In 2017, Ehnes premiered the Aaron-Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, and gave further performances of the piece with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Alongside his concerto work, James Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Verbier Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2018 he undertook a recital tour to the Far East, including performances in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. As part of the Beethoven celebrations, Ehnes has been invited to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas at the Wigmore Hall throughout 2019/20. Elsewhere Ehnes performs the Beethoven Sonatas at Dresden Music Festival, Prague Spring Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at Aspen Music Festival (as part of a multi-year residency) and at Bravo Vail Festival during his residency week also including the Violin Concerto and Triple Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Runnicles. In 2016, Ehnes undertook a cross-Canada recital tour, performing in each of the country’s provinces and territories, to celebrate his 40th birthday.
As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Capucon, Lortie, Lugansky, Yo-Yo Ma, Tamestit, Vogler and Yuja Wang. In 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he has performed in Europe at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a Grammy Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’. His recording of the Paganini Caprices earned him universal praise, with Diapason writing of the disc, “Ehnes confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: ‘there is only one like him born every hundred years’.” Recent releases include sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar and Respighi, and concertos by Walton, Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Strauss, as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze, which was released in October 2017 (Onyx Classics).
Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, and made his orchestra debut with L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal aged 13. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.
James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.
Tessa Lark, violin
Violinist Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time, consistently praised by critics and audiences for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, and musical elegance. In 2020 she was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category and received one of Lincoln Center’s prestigious Emerging Artist Awards, the special Hunt Family Award. Other recent honors include a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition. A budding superstar in the classical realm, she is also a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky, delighting audiences with programming that includes Appalachian and bluegrass music and inspiring composers to write for her.
Tessa has been a featured soloist at numerous U.S. orchestras, recital venues, and festivals since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen. She has appeared with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; the Louisville Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic; the Albany, Indianapolis, Knoxville and Seattle symphonies; and has been presented by such venues as Carnegie Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Music Center at Strathmore, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, San Francisco Performances, Ravinia, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Australia’s Musica Viva Festival, and the Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Bridgehampton, and La Jolla summer festivals.
Highlights of her 2021-22 season include debuts at London’s Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; return appearances for recital series such as Cal Performances and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and numerous concerto engagements, including the world premiere of Michael Schachter’s violin concerto, Cycles of Life, with the Knoxville Symphony in April 2022.
Tessa’s debut commercial recording—SKY, a bluegrass-inspired violin concerto written for her by Michael Torke and performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra—earned a 2020 GRAMMY nomination, and Tessa’s discography has been expanding ever since. Recordings include Fantasy, an album on the First Hand Records label that includes fantasias by Schubert, Telemann and Fritz Kreisler, Ravel’s Tzigane, and Tessa’s own Appalachian Fantasy; Invention, a debut album of the violin-bass duo Lark and Thurber that comprises arrangements of Two-Part Inventions by J.S. Bach along with non-classical original compositions by Tessa and her fiancé, Michael Thurber; and a live performance recording of Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, released in 2021 by the Buffalo Philharmonic in honor of Piazzolla’s 100-year anniversary.
Her newest recording, The Stradgrass Sessions, is scheduled for release in 2022 and includes collaborations with composer-performers Jon Batiste, Edgar Meyer, Michael Cleveland, and Sierra Hull; original works by Tessa; and the premier recording of John Corigliano’s solo violin composition STOMP.
Tessa’s belief in music’s power to foster global connection and community across boundaries manifests in her genre-defying collaborations. Along with the Lark and Thurber duo, new projects include a string trio with composer-bassist Edgar Meyer and cellist Joshua Roman and a duo partnership with jazz guitarist Frank Vignola.
In addition to Tessa’s performance schedule, she was recently named Artistic Director Designate of Musical Masterworks, a chamber music presenter in Old Lyme, CT, for the 2021-22 season, and will assume the role of Artistic Director on July 1, 2022. Tessa is also a champion of young aspiring artists and supports the next generation of musicians through her work as Co-host/Creative of NPR’s From The Top, the premier radio showcase for the nation’s most talented young musicians; and as Mentor and board member of the Irving M. Klein International Strings Competition.
Her primary mentors include Cathy McGlasson, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Miriam Fried, and Lucy Chapman. She is a graduate of New England Conservatory and completed her Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg, Ida Kavafian, and Daniel Phillips.
Tessa plays a ca. 1600 G.P. Maggini violin on loan from an anonymous donor through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Molly Carr, viola
“Undoubtedly one of the most interesting interpreters of this instrument today.”
Violist 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 2018 she was named by the Sandi Klein Show as one of America’s leading “Creative Women,” honored at the United Nations and awarded the International Father Eugène Merlet Award for Community Service for her work in prisons and with refugees around the globe as the Founding Director for the nonprofit Project: Music Heals Us.
Ms. Carr is the violist of the Juilliard String Quartet and the Carr-Petrova Duo and is the former violist of the Iris Trio and the Solera Quartet – the first and only American chamber ensemble chosen for the ProMusicis International Award, and the recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2018 Guarneri Quartet Residency Award. She has appeared as both performer and guest faculty in festivals around the world, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Mozartfest, Huberman Course, Hyderabad SOTA Music Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, and the Perlman Music Program. Ms. Carr has collaborated with such renowned artists as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Donald and Alisa Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, and the Miro, Orion and American Quartets, performing in such premier venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the Jerusalem Music Center.
Highlights of recent seasons included the Carr-Petrova Duo’s sold-out debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, praised by the Classical Post as “deeply moving […] categorically astonishing in its beauty, ensemble, artistry, quality of sound, and almost uncanny ability to draw into the music.” Other appearances included recitals in the Smithsonian Museum, Jerusalem Music Center, Malaga’s Sociedad Filarmonica Chamber Music Series, Clarke Arts Center at the Perlman Music Program, and Sala Clemente in Valencia. Future engagements include a tour of China, performances and masterclasses in Germany, Spain, Israel, and the US.
Both the Carr-Petrova Duo and Iris Trio recently released debut albums to international critical acclaim. The Duo’s Novel Voices, released on the Melos label, was immediately chosen by Spain’s Classical Music Magazine Ritmo as one of its “Top 10 CDs of the Month,” praising the Duo’s performance of the Rebecca Clarke Sonata as “the best interpretation of this sonata to date.” Codalario Magazine also gave the album its “Superior Quality” award, named it as their “Top Album of 2020,” and stated, “It would be hard to debut better than this.” Fanfare Magazine listed the album as a “recording to have and hold dear, […] one of the most compelling and successful viola and piano recitals – technically perfect and musically involving.” The Iris Trio’s release of Hommage and Inspiration on the Coviello Classics label was chosen by CBC as one of its “Top 10 Classical Albums to Get Excited About,” and reviewed by Fanfare as “superb […] a five-star stand-out release, writ large with the spirit of chamber music.” Other discography includes the Solera Quartet’s debut studio album Every Moment Present on Contact Point Records, as well as an album of the Viola Sonata and early chamber works of Jennifer Higdon on the NAXOS label in 2012.
Ms. Carr serves on the Viola Faculties of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning non-profit Project: Music Heals Us (PMHU) – an organization which brings free chamber music performances and interactive programming to marginalized populations with limited ability to access the Arts themselves.
While Ms. Carr has had the great honor of performing around the globe in such revered venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, etc., through her work with Project: Music Heals Us she has had the even greater honor and privilege of stepping behind prison walls to witness “hardened criminals” soften and weep at the sound of Beethoven’s string quartets; of standing at the bedside of hospital ICU patients to hold their hands and offer her best in their final minutes of life; of seeing opposing gang members in a federal correctional institution miraculously becoming musical bandmates through composers workshops; and of visiting refugee camps to offer the creative space for traumatized children to dance, sing, smile and freely express themselves for the first time in years.
Ms. Carr resides with her husband Oded Hadar in Harlem, where she is mother to six plants and a crazy oversized pooch named Moochie. She is honored to be the recipient of an instrument loan from an anonymous donor through the Tarisio Trust, performing on the late Michael Tree’s viola, a Domenico Busan dated c. 1750.
Jim Griffith, viola
viola, received his M.M. 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 was a founding member of Chamber Music Palm Beach.
Griffith is a Florida native and returned in 1988. Since then he has managed the creation and development of what has become a premier visual and performing arts organization in Southwest Florida. Working with state and local historic preservation offices and federal, state and local governments, Jim has successfully managed the acquisition, planning, design and restoration of the historic former Federal Building in downtown Fort Myers to become the new premier fine art center now known as the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.
Jim was a founding member of the Naples Philharmonic from 1998 to 2022 and now performs with the Venice Symphony. He was recently appointed Executive Director of New Canaan Chamber Music in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Ani Aznavoorian, cello
The Strad magazine describes cellist Ani Aznavoorian as having “scorchingly committed performances that wring every last drop of emotion out of the music. Her technique is well-nigh immaculate, she has a natural sense of theater, and her tone is astonishingly responsive.” Ms. Aznavoorian has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony, the Boston Pops, and the Juilliard Orchestra. Ms. Aznavoorian is an avid chamber musician and teacher. She is the principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica and has served on the distinguished music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. She performs regularly at the Seattle Chamber Music Society and at the Jupiter Chamber Players series in NY. Her numerous accolades include being the recipient of the prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her outstanding cello playing and artistry, being named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts upon receiving a medal by President Bill Clinton, and being a prize winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition. She is a proponent of new music and she has premiered concertos by Lera Auerbach and Ezra Laderman and continues to expand the chamber music repertoire with commissions and world premiers of works by John Harbison, David Bruce, and Bright Sheng. Ms. Aznavoorian records for Cedille and is just about to release an album of cello and piano music from Armenia, the country of her ancestors. She proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.
Praised for her “artistic, clear and enlightened” performances (BBC Magazine) of “technical brilliance and complete emotional engagement” (Fanfare Magazine), Bulgarian pianist Anna Petrova performs extensively as both soloist and chamber musician around the globe. She has been the recipient of top honors and awards at numerous competitions internationally, including the Queen Elisabeth and Jose Roca Competitions, MAW Alumni Enterprise Award, and the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture among many others.
Anna Petrova, piano
Petrova serves as the Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and Visiting Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at Musical Arts Madrid in Spain. She enjoys offering regular masterclasses around the world at institutions from the Beijing Central and Tianjin Conservatories in Asia, to the Jerusalem Music Center and Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in the Middle East, Musical Arts Madrid and FORUM Festival in Spain, Meadowmount School of Music and Manhattan School of Music in the US, and Memorial University in Canada.
In 2018, Petrova was honored at the United Nations for her work with refugees around the globe through the Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project. Currently, she co-directs the Novel Voices Distance Learning branch of the musical non-profit Project: Music Heals Us, bringing weekly virtual lessons, masterclasses, and workshops to underserved students in Kenya, El Salvador and the Middle East.
As a soloist Petrova has appeared with the Virginia Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Manhattan Chamber Sinfonia, Louisville Orchestra, the Iasi and Timisoara Philharmonics, Valencia Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Wallonia, as well as all of the major orchestras in her native Bulgaria. She has collaborated with numerous world-renowned conductors including Paul Goodwin, JoAnn Falletta, Philippe Entremont, Roderick Cox, Jonathan Rush, Jonathan Pasternack, Max Bragado-Darman, Bruno Aprea, Ramón Tébar, Francisco Valero–Terribas, and Horia Andresecu.
Highlights of recent seasons include several highly-acclaimed solo and concerto appearances including a return engagement with the Monterey Symphony Orchestra in which Petrova was praised for “the vitality in her crisp playing… [brought out] an impetuous excitement that stirred the audience to its feet!” Other memorable performances include the Karel Husa Concertino for Piano and Wind Ensemble at the Žofín Palace in Prague, Czech Republic; the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Louisville and Port Angeles Orchestras; solo recital tours of China and Chile; the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto and the Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini, Prokofiev First and Third Piano Concertos, Beethoven’s Fourth and Triple Concertos. Petrova has appeared in recitals in such revered venues as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Jerusalem Music Center, the Oslo Concert Hall, the Auditorio Ciudad de Leon in Spain, and the Palau de la Musica in Valencia, Spain.
A passionate chamber musician, Petrova has appeared as both a performer and teacher at festivals around the world, including Mozartfest, Musc@Menlo, Music Academy of the West, Virginia Arts Festival, Malaga Clasica, and the Holland Music Sessions among others. She has collaborated with such renowned artists as Andre-Michel Schub, Jinjoo Cho, Alexander Sitkovetsky, as well as members of the Dover, Escher and Juilliard Quartets. She is a member of two award-winning ensembles: the viola-piano Carr-Petrova Duo with violist Molly Carr and the clarinet-viola-piano Iris Trio with clarinetist Christine Carter and violist Zoë Martin-Doike.
Petrova’s debut album, Slavic Heart, released by the German label Solo Musica (2022,) received five-star reviews by Spain’s Ritmo Magazine which commented, “One would think this is an album for a virtuoso, but this Slavic Heart is also full of dreamy moments where the pianist is a narrator and a poet.” Fanfare Magazine also labeled the recording as “superb, a marvelous showcase for Petrova’s splendid pianism and artistry” and giving the “highest recommendation.”
Additionally, the Carr-Petrova Duo’s debut album Novel Voices, released on the Melos label in 2018, was immediately chosen by Spain’s Classical Music Magazine Ritmo as one of its “Top 10 CDs of the Month,” praising the Duo’s performance of the Rebecca Clarke Sonata as “the best interpretation of this sonata to date.” Codalario Magazine also gave the album its “Superior Quality” award, named it as their “Top Album of 2020,” and stated, “It would be hard to debut better than this.” The Iris Trio’s 2019 release of Hommage and Inspiration on the Coviello Classics label was chosen by CBC as one of its “Top 10 Classical Albums to Get Excited About,” and reviewed by Fanfare as “superb […] a five-star stand-out release, writ large with the spirit of chamber music.” Other discography includes recording of Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the Virginia Symphony and conductor JoAnn Falletta (NAXOS, 2016).
Andrew Armstron, piano
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, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic.
Andrew’s orchestral engagements across the globe have encompassed a vast repertoire of more than 60 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 and in chamber music concerts with the Ehnes, Elias, Alexander, American, and Manhattan String Quartets, and as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi, Boston Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and the JupiterSymphony Chamber Players.
Andrew’s upcoming 2023-24 season looks especially fun: solo recitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland and in Norwich, England; concerts with the Barbican String Quartet in the UK & EU; violin recitals with James Ehnes at London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as Cambridge, Oxford, and at Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan; more violin recitals with Arnaud Sussmann in Hong Kong; Chamber Music in Halifax, NS & Portland, ME; Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the South Carolina Philharmonic; release of Andrew’s solo album featuring Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Julia Perry, William Grant Still, and Aaron Jay Kernis; and a new recording session for the album “Home-Away-Home.”
The last two seasons have taken Andy throughout Europe with performances in Glasgow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, London at Wigmore Hall, Geneva at the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve and at the Dresden Music Festival. He crisscrossed Canada with concerts in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Scotia Fest, Montreal at the Festival Musique de Chambre and Vancouver at the Vancouver Chamber Music Society. And after joining James Ehnes to perform the complete Beethoven Violin Sonata cycle within Melbourne, Australia as well as a duo recital in Sydney, Andy stopped by Singapore for a solo recital.
In addition to his performance activities, Andrew serves as Artistic Director of several flourishing chamber music series: Fabbri Chamber Concerts in New York City at the Fabbri Mansion’s 17th century Renaissance library; in Connecticut, New Canaan Chamber Music, which he founded in 2020; and in South Carolina, USC Beaufort’s Chamber Music Series and the Columbia Museum of Art’s Chamber Music on Main. Adding to these efforts in building communities of chamber music appreciation, Andrew will direct two concerts for Chamber Music Charleston and one for Music Worcester (MA) this 23-24 season.
Andrew’s debut solo CD featuring was released to great critical acclaim: “I have heard few pianists play [Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Sonata], recorded or in concert, with such dazzling clarity and confidence” (American Record Guide). He followed that success with a disc on Cordelia Records of works by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, and the world premiere recording of Bielawa’s Wait for piano & drone. He has released several award-winning recordings with his longtime recital partner James Ehnes — most recently Beethoven’s Sonatas Nos. 7 & 10, to stellar reviews.
In addition to his many concerts, his performances are heard regularly on National Public Radio, WQXR, New York City’s premier classical music station, and stations across the country.
Andrew Armstrong lives happily in Massachusetts, with his wife Esty, their three children Jack (16), Elise (11, and Gabriel (5), and their two dogs Comet & Dooker.
Rohann De Silva, piano
Pianist 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.
Among De Silva’s awards are the best accompanist special prize at the ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He performed at the White House in 2007 for President George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth, and in 2012 with Perlman for President Barak Obama and Shimon Peres. He has also appeared on television on The Tonight Show with Midori; and on radio stations WQXR, WNYC, and WNCN, as well as the Berlin Radio, Japan’s NHK, and CNN’s Showbiz Today, Millenium Grammy’s 2000. De Silva has recorded on the DGG, CBS/Sony Classical, Collins Classics, and BMG labels.
De Silva holds BM and MM degrees from Juilliard where he studied piano with Martin Canin and chamber music with Felix Galimir. He earned an associate degree from the Royal Academy of London in 1992 and was the recipient of the first President’s Fund scholarship from his home country to study at Juilliard. He also studied piano with Hamish Milne while attending the Royal Academy of Music from 1975 to 81. De Silva has been on the faculty at Juilliard since 1991.