This preview has been provided by the Eastern Music Festival.

EMF Faculty are joined by guest artists Awadagin Pratt, Mark Kosower, and Elmar Oliveira as they perform chamber pieces including Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major, op.102, no. 1 and Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp.

Guest Artists:

Among his generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras. In 1992 Mr. Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has played numerous recitals throughout the US including performances at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. His many orchestral performances include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, National, Detroit and New Jersey symphonies among many others. Mr. Pratt is currently an Associate Professor of Piano and Artist in Residence at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

An advocate of 20th and 21st century music, Mark Kosower has brought lesser-known contemporary masterworks to international attention. His 2011 Naxos release of the two cello concertos of Alberto Ginastera, with Lothar Zagrosek and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, won widespread critical acclaim His 2008 disc of the complete Ginastera works for cello and piano makes him the first cellist to record the complete catalogue of works for solo cello by the composer. In 2011 Naxos also released Kosower’s performance as the soloist in the world premiere recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Rhapsodie for Cello and Orchestra with the Budapest Concert Orchestra MAV. Other premieres include the world premiere of Cristóbal Halffter’s Klagelied eines verwundeten Vogels for solo cello, and U.S. premieres of Yuri Falik’s Concerto della Passione and Marco Stroppa’s Ay, there’s the rub for solo cello. 

An eloquent orchestral soloist, he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Florida, Grand Rapids, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Phoenix, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Syracuse, and Toledo; the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others. International appearances include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, the Kansai Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic, and the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. With these appearances he has collaborated with prominent conductors such as James DePriest, Christoph Eschenbach, Joanne Falletta, Erich Kunzel, Nicholas McGegan, Anton Nanut, Stefan Sanderling, Gunther Schuller, Gerard Schwarz, Joseph Silverstein, Hugh Wolff, and Lothar Zagrosek.

As a recitalist, Mark Kosower has performed on the Great Performer?s Series at Lincoln Center, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Aspen Music Festival, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He has also given solo performances in some of the world?s most prestigious venues including the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Berlin?s Komische Oper, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, and in New York’s Avery Fisher Hall.

A former member of Chamber Music Two, a two-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Kosower makes frequent appearances at chamber music societies and festivals throughout the United States and abroad, in performances with such esteemed musicians as Robert Mann, Leon Fleisher, and Janos Starker. He has received an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a SONY Grant, and has been a top prize winner in both the Rostropovich and Pablo Casals International Cello. 

In addition to his activities as a soloist, he was named Principal Cello of the Cleveland Orchestra by Franz Welser-Möst, as well as Teacher of Cello at the Cleveland Institute of Music, in 2009.  He began his cello studies with his father at the age of 1 1/2, and later studied with Janos Starker at Indiana University and Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School.

Unsurpassed in his combination of elegance and impeccable artistry, Elmar Oliveira is one of the most distinguished violinists in the world today. He has become a familiar and much-admired figure at the world’s foremost concert venues.

His rigorous international itinerary includes appearances with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the Zurich Tonhalle, to name a few. He has also made extensive recital tours of North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East.

A prodigious recording artist, Elmar Oliveira’s discography on Artek, Angel, SONY Masterworks, Vox, Delos, IMP, Naxos, Ondine, and Melodiya covers a wide range of works from the Baroque period to the present. His best-selling recording of the Rautavaara Violin Concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic (Ondine) won a Cannes Classical Award and has appeared on Gramophone’s ?Editor’s Choice? and other ?Best Recordings? lists around the world. He was also a Grammy nominee for his CD of the Barber Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony. Other recording highlights include the Brahms Concerto and Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 3 with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony (Artek), the Joachim Concerto with the London Philharmonic (IMP), and the Tower Concerto (composed for him) with the Louisville Orchestra (d’Note Records).

The son of Portuguese immigrants, Mr. Oliveira was nine when he began studying the violin with his brother John. He later continued his studies with Ariana Bronne and Raphael Bronstein at the Hartt College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, where Mr. Oliveira also received an honorary doctorate. Other honors include an honorary doctorate from Binghamton University and the Order of Santiago, Portugal’s highest civilian honor. He is a Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida. He remains the only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow’s prestigious Tchaikovsky International Competition and was the first violinist to receive the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. He performs on a 1729/30 Guarneri del Gesu called the “Stretton,” and on several outstanding contemporary violins.

The Eastern Music Festival’s mission is to promote musical enrichment, excellence, professional collaboration, innovation, and diversity through a nationally-recognized teaching program, music festival, concerts, and other programs which will enhance the quality of life, health, and vitality of our region. The Eastern Music Festival and School, founded in 1961 in Greensboro, North Carolina by Sheldon Morgenstern, is an internationally-renowned classical music festival and institute for young musicians that runs for five weeks each summer. The institute accepts students ages 14 through 22 from around the country and the world. The EMF faculty consists of world-class performing artists selected from top orchestras and music schools nationally and internationally.  Led by music director Gerard Schwarz, the Eastern Music Festival and School celebrates its 51st season in 2012.