11-21 Music Academy of the West

Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. The Academy provides these promising musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and frequent performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and Fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. Based in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West presents more than 200 public events annually, including performances by faculty, visiting artists, and Fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and fully staged opera. The Music Academy began broadcasting live simulcasts by the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera at Hahn Hall in October 2008.

Highlights of the 2011 Season

This year’s Music Academy Summer Festival will take place from June 20 to August 13. Faculty member Warren Jones conducts and Bruce Donnell directs this year’s fully staged production of “The Barber of Seville,” one of Rossini’s most beloved operas. The production will be presented by the Academy Voice Program, under the direction of celebrated vocal legend, Marilyn Horne. Guest artists will include New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and conductor Leonard Slatkin, as well as renowned pianists, Valentina Lisitsa and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. A full roster of guest conductors includes Larry Rachleff (Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra), Peter Oundjian (Toronto Symphony Orchestra), Nicholas McGegan (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra), and Daniel Hege (Wichita Symphony Orchestra). The 2011 Festival also offers a variety of chamber music offerings, including performances by The Takács Quartet and Ursula Oppens (piano). As the festival is committed to bringing arts to the public, half of the 2011 concerts – over 90 concerts and masterclasses – can be attended free of charge.

For more information, visit www.musicacademy.org.


Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks (Nicholas McGegan, conductor)
Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20 (Larry Rachleff, conductor)
Mendelssohn: Trio for Piano, Violin, & Cello No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 66
Bernard: Divertissement for Doubled Wind Quintet, Op. 36
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93 (Nicholas McGegan, conductor)

You can listen to the entire program here:

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Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, Oboe – Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida has been principal oboe of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1991. Previously, she served as associate principal oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra for two years. In November 2002, Ms. DeAlmeida’s first solo CD, Classic Discoveries for Oboe, was released on the Boston Records label. Her second solo CD, Mist Over the Lake, was released on the Crystal Record label in 2006. Ms. DeAlmeida has been a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University since 1991, and has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 2002. More

Eli Epstein, Horn - Eli Epstein joined the Cleveland Orchestra in 1987, and became Horn Instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1989. He has appeared several times as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Epstein left Cleveland in 2005, and moved to Boston to devote more time and energy toward educational and creative endeavors. He is on the faculties of New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Music Academy of the West, and the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he has served as Principal Horn of the Aspen Chamber Symphony since 2000. More

David Geber, Cello – David Geber had his early musical training in Los Angeles, where he was raised in a family of professional cellists. He studied at the Eastman School of Music and Juilliard, and has been the recipient of numerous cello and chamber music awards. A founder of the American String Quartet, he played with the group from 1974 to 2002. As a soloist, he has appeared at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Geber serves as dean of faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 2005. More

Richie Hawley, Clarinet - Richie Hawley is a versatile and critically acclaimed artist who ranks among the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. As Principal Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, he has impressed audiences around the world with a wide-ranging talent that blends virtuosity and the velvety, sonorous tone that has become his trademark. Originally from Los Angeles, Mr. Hawley began his clarinet studies with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School of Performing Arts at the age 9. He made his orchestral solo debut at age 13, performing Weber with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the winner of its student stars competition. More

Warren Jones, Piano – Warren Jones is Principal Pianist for the exciting California-based chamber music group Camerata Pacifica, and has often been a guest artist at Carnegie Hall and in Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers Series.” Mr. Jones is a member of the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where highly gifted young artists work with him in a unique graduate degree program in collaborative piano. Each summer he teaches and performs at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. For ten years he was Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and for three seasons served in the same capacity at San Francisco Opera. More

Nicholas McGegan, Conductor - Nicholas McGegan is loved by audiences and orchestras for performances that match authority with enthusiasm, scholarship with joy, and curatorial responsibility with evangelical exuberance. Through nearly 25 years as its music director, Mr. McGegan has established the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) as the leading period performance band in the United States. Born in England, Mr. McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford. He was recently made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to music overseas.” More

Dennis Michel, Bassoon - Dennis Michel is second bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and an ensemble artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He serves on the faculty at Roosevelt University, where he serves as head of woodwinds, and directs the Chicago Chamber Musicians’ Professional Development Program, which seeks to develop young musicians’ performance and business skills. Prior to establishing his career in Chicago, he served as principal bassoon of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for 16 years, and was a founding member of the Arioso Wind Quintet, an ensemble that toured widely and recorded for Koch and International Classics. He has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1988. More

Larry Rachleff, Conductor – Larry Rachleff has served as music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic for 14 seasons. He also serves as music director of Rice University’s Shepherd School Orchestras in Houston and the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, formerly known as Symphony II. A former faculty member at Oberlin Conservatory, where he served as music director of orchestras and conductor of the Contemporary Ensemble, Mr. Rachleff was also conductor of the Opera Theatre at the University of Southern California.  A dedicated advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Rachleff has collaborated with leading composers, including Samuel Adler, the late Luciano Berio, George Crumb, Michael Daugherty, and John Harbison.  More

Kathleen Winkler, Violin – Kathleen Winkler made her solo debut at age 17 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and has since been heard with ensembles throughout North America and Europe. Ms. Winkler was awarded first prize in the First International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition, which led to sponsored debuts in Alice Tully Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, the Kennedy Center, and the Library of Congress. Formerly on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory, Ms. Winkler is currently a professor of violin at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she received the university’s prestigious Julia Mile Chance Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1993. More