Gabriela Martinez, piano
Versatile, daring and insightful, young Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez is establishing a reputation on both the national and international stages for the lyricism of her playing, her compelling interpretations, and her elegant stage presence. An artist equally at home with both established and contemporary repertoire, by composers ranging from Beethoven and Rachmaninoff to Mason Bates and Adam Schoenberg, she has performed throughout the United States as well as in Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, and Venezuela.
Gabriela Martinez splits her 2015-16 season between solo recitals and orchestral engagements throughout the United States. Among the works she performs this season are Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, and Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain. Future highlights include the release of Ms. Martinez’s debut solo album on which she collaborated with Grammy Award-winning producer David Frost. The CD includes Szymanowski's Variations in B flat minor Op.3, as well as the world premiere of Dan Visconti's Amplified Soul, commissioned by Ms. Martinez, which she will also release in a YouTube video later this season.
Respected for her inspiring performances and ability to clearly present the essence of a work, Gabriela Martinez has given world premieres of works by such contemporary composers as Mason Bates, Samuel Zyman, and Liduino Pitombeira.
Recent performance highlights have included debuts with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Delaware and Jacksonville symphony orchestras. Orchestral engagements have included the Houston, Tucson, Pacific, West Michigan, Stockton, and Texarkana symphony orchestras, the National Philharmonic, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic in the United States; with Canada’s Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and with the Costa Rica National Symphony. Recital venues included Canada’s Glenn Gould Studio; South Carolina’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts; and both Merkin Concert Hall and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York. As a chamber musician she has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth, the El Paso Pro Musica Series, and the Kansas City Harriman-Jewell Series, to name a few.
As an orchestral soloist, Ms Martinez has played with numerous distinguished organizations including the San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, New Jersey, Tucson, and Fort Worth symphonies; Germany’s Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, MDR Rundfunkorchester, and Nurnberger Philharmoniker; and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela. Among the conductors whose baton she has performed under are Gustavo Dudamel, James Gaffigan, James Conlon, Marcelo Lehninger, and Guilllermo Figueroa. Ms. Martinez has performed at such esteemed venues as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Alice Tully Hall; Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus; Dresden’s Semperoper; Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens; and Paris’s Palace of Versailles. As a chamber musician, she regularly performs in recitals and festivals. Among the musicians and ensembles with whom she has collaborated are violinists Itzhak Perlman and Elena Urioste, cellist Carter Brey, the Diaz Trio, and the Takács and Calder quartets. Her festival credits include the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, and Rockport festivals in the United States; Italy’s Festival dei Due Mondi (Spoleto); Switzerland’s Verbier Festival; the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier; and Japan’s Tokyo International Music Festival.
First Prize winner of the Anton G. Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Dresden and a semifinalist at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where she also received the Jury Discretionary Award, Gabriela Martinez began her piano studies in Caracas with her mother, Alicia Gaggioni, and made her orchestral debut at age 7. She emigrated to the United States to attend The Juilliard School, where she earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees as a full scholarship student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. Ms. Martinez was a fellow of Carnegie Hall’s The Academy, and a member of its celebrated Ensemble ACJW, while concurrently working on her doctoral studies with Marco Antonio de Almeida in Halle, Germany. Ms. Martinez resides in the United States with her family.
Amit Peled, cello
From the United States to Europe to the Middle East and Asia, Israeli cellist Amit Peled, voted by Musical America as one of the most Influential Music Professionals of 2015, is acclaimed as one of the most exciting instrumentalists on the concert stage today. At 6'5" tall, Peled started life as a basketball player and was called "larger than life" when he enveloped his cello and "Jacqueline du Pré in a farmer's body." Peled often surprises audiences with the ways he breaks down barriers between performers and the public, making classical music more accessible to wider audiences. Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun reflected on a recent performance: “Peled did a lot of joking in remarks to the audience. His amiable and inviting personality is exactly the type everyone says we’ll need more of if classical music is to survive.”
During the 2015/16 season, Mr. Peled will continue sharing with audiences around the world the sound of the historic cello of Pablo Casals. Mrs. Marta Casals Istomin, the widow of Maestro Casals, personally handed him the instrument, a Goffriller ca. 1733. Some of the upcoming highlights with this historic cello include the culmination of a 20 city U.S. recital tour at the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington D.C., a recording of the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Washington Chamber Orchestra, an extensive tour with his two chamber music groups, The Tempest Trio and the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio, and return engagements with the Tucson Symphony and Phoenix Symphony. As a continuing advocate for new music this season, Mr. Peled will be premiering a work written especially for him by composer, Lera Auerbach, entitled La suite dels ocells. He will also be collaborating with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with a new music recital series created by composer, Mason Bates, titled KC Jukebox.
Mr. Peled has performed as a soloist with many orchestras and in the world’s major concert halls such as: Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, New York; Salle Gaveau, Paris; Wigmore Hall, London; Konzerthaus, Berlin; and Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium. Following his enthusiastically received Alice Tully Hall concerto debut playing the Hindemith cello concerto, the New York Times stated: “Glowing tone, a seductive timbre and an emotionally pointed approach to phrasing that made you want to hear him again.”
As a recording artist, Amit recently released his fourth Centaur Records CD, “Collage” which will be closely followed by his recording of the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Washington Chamber Orchestra. These records follow three immensely successful installments, “The Jewish Soul,” “Cellobration,” and “Reflections.” As an active chamber musician, Peled is a founding member of the famed Tempest Trio with pianist, Alon Goldstein and violinist, Ilya Kaler. Their Dvorak CD on Naxos has been described as “The best ‘Dumky’ on disk ever!”
Mr. Peled is also a frequent guest artist, performing and giving master classes at prestigious summer music festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Newport Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, Schleswig Holstein and Euro Arts Festivals in Germany, Gotland Festival in Sweden, Prussia Cove Festival in England, The Violoncello Forum in Spain, and the Mizra International Academy and Festival in Israel.
Amit Peled has been featured on television and radio stations throughout the world, including NPR’s “Performance Today,” WGBH Boston, WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, Deutschland Radio Berlin, Radio France, Swedish National Radio & TV, and Israeli National Radio & TV.
One of the most sought after cello pedagogues, Mr. Peled is a Professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University.
Philippe Quint, violin
Philippe Quint, whose mother Lora is a noted composer and whose uncle Mischa is an established cellist, was born during the 1970s (he does not publish the precise year) into the rich musical culture of Leningrad. He studied at Moscow’s Central Music School for Gifted Children with Andrei Korsakov, making his orchestral début at the age of nine with Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Quint emigrated to the USA aged seventeen, attending The Juilliard School where he received instruction, as did many from this period, from Dorothy DeLay, along with Cho-Liang Lin, Maseo Kawasaki and Felix Galimir. He also participated in masterclasses with Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman and Arnold Steinhardt.
Quint has become known as a champion of American composers: in 2005 he gave the première of a violin concerto dedicated to him by Lera Auerbach, and his discography includes Grammy®-nominated recordings of Bernstein’s Serenade and violin concertos by William Schuman and Erich Korngold. His disc of John Corigliano’s Red Violin Caprices is a world première recording. He has appeared with numerous orchestras (many in the USA) and several of his performances have been broadcast. In 2005, he featured on the soundtrack of David Grubin’s film Marie Antoinette and more recently, having studied acting with Sondra Lee, has taken a lead rôle in another Grubin film Downtown Express (2011), playing a young Russian violinist who studies at The Juilliard School. Although there is a long tradition of performers appearing on the big screen as themselves or famous violinists of the past, Quint’s rôle is the first lead played by a classical musician.
His playing is representative of the Juilliard School’s best alumni of this period. A bright tone in the higher registers is unified with a warm vibrato, making the sound in lower reaches of the instrument full and resonant. As might be expected, his left-hand technique is superb, and stylistically his playing fits the mould established by many prominent players of the current age.
Recordings selected here include a buoyant Bériot Violin Concerto No. 5 (2006), which includes many expressive uses of vibrato and portamento. Paganini’s ‘La campanella’ finale (2008) uses the kinds of regular, small-scale manipulations of tempo that not only respond to the different possibilities afforded by a violin and piano arrangement, but also point to a natural and supple musicianship. Bernstein’s Serenade (2005) integrates instrumental agility with beauty of sound, especially at the opening of the first movement (‘Phaedrus’). A dark, sensuous tone is created in Rózsa’s Duo, Op. 7 (2007), counterpoised by vitality and accuracy, whilst the tense energy of Rorem’s large-scale Violin Concerto (2005) is delivered with conviction and is an excellent example of Quint’s enthusiasm for works by American composers.