POUGHKEEPSIE, NY— Beginning on Saturday, June 5, the Vassar Department of Music will offer its 15th annual free summer concert series, held in the acoustically superb (and air-conditioned) Martel Recital Hall of the Skinner Hall of Music on the Vassar College campus.
This series of three concerts will open with an evening of vocal chamber music on June 5 at 8:00pm—performed by soprano Christine R. Howlett and tenor Nathan M. Carlisle, with pianist Sylvia Buccelli—and will continue with concerts on June 16 (baritone Randall Scarlata and pianist Thomas Sauer, 8:00 pm) and July 18 (violinist Joseph Genualdi and pianist Richard Wilson, 3:00 pm).
Established in 1995, each year this summer series offers the Hudson Valley community and beyond an opportunity to hear world-renowned musicians—Vassar faculty members and guest artists—perform together in a relaxed and inviting setting.
About the Concerts:
An Evening of Vocal Chamber Music, June 5
The opening concert on Saturday, June 5, at 8:00 pm will feature soprano Christine R. Howlett, tenor Nathan M. Carlisle, and pianist Sylvia Bucelli performing “Voices of the Past and Present: German, French, and American Music” including Beethoven’s only song cycle, An die ferne Geliebte (1816), and Carson Cooman’s “Gold into Diamonds” (2007).
About the June 5 musicians:
Soprano Christine R. Howlett is the director of choral activities at Vassar College where she conducts the Vassar College Women’s Chorus and Vassar College Choir, and teaches music theory and voice. She is the artistic director of Cappella Festiva, an auditioned choral ensemble with a thirty-five year history of performing in the Hudson Valley. In 2006, she co-founded the Summer Choral Festival at Vassar College and later formed the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir for treble voices ages 10-16. Howlett is active as a soprano soloist and has performed in many works including Bach’s Magnificat, Mass in B minor, St. Matthew’s Passion, Actus Tragicus; Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants; Mozart’s Coronation Mass; Britten’s Ceremony of Carols; Mass by Stravinsky; and most recently, Poulenc’s Gloria. She is a member of Kairos: A Consort of Singers, an ensemble of 16 voices whose members are artists-in-residence at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY.
Texas native Nathan Carlisle has performed across the country in leading operatic tenor roles, including Tamino in The Magic Flute, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, Danillo in The Merry Widow, Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, and Spalanzani and Frantz in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, appearing with such companies as Annapolis Opera, Hudson Opera Theather, VPR Brooklyn Opera, The Yard Opera on Martha’s Vineyard, and Denton Lyric Opera, among others. During his five years with the US Air Force Singing Sergeants, Nathan performed for over 20 White House Dinners, the funerals of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and as a featured soloist for Veteran’s Day 2007 at Arlington National Cemetery. Also a concert soloist, he was featured in Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 “Lobgesang” with the American University Symphony Orchestra, and in Mozart’s C Minor Mass at St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C.
Pianist Sylvia Buccelli is a founding member of several chamber music ensembles in the Northeast as well as a frequent recital partner of instrumentalists and vocalists. An active performer in the Mid-Hudson region, she also has performed at Weill Recital Hall in New York City and extensively throughout New England, where she appeared at the New England Conservatory. She is currently a member of Madera Vox, an ensemble featuring oboe, bassoon, piano, percussion, and voice, and the piano trio Innisfree. Her recordings include the vocal and piano music of Otto Luening, the piano chamber music of Henry Martin, and a recent debut release with Madera Vox. Buccelli is on the faculty of the State University of New York at New Paltz. In the summer she participates in Music on Monhegan, a chamber music series that she originated with colleagues off the coast of Maine.
An Evening of Chamber Music, June 16The second concert, on Wednesday, June 16, at 8:00 pm will feature baritone Randall Scarlata and pianist Thomas Sauer performing “Schumann Celebration,” an all-Schumann program in celebration of the composer’s 200th birth year, including the great song cycle Dichterliebe (Poet’s Love) and works for solo piano.
About the June 16 musicians:
Baritone Randall Scarlata enjoys a lively career encompassing opera, recital, chamber music, and works for voice and orchestra. Past highlights include the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s one-man opera, The Mocking-Bird in Boston; recitals in the United States and Europe with pianist Richard Goode; and solo performances with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and with the National Symphony. With Great Performers at Lincoln Center, he portrayed Siskov in Janacek’s From the House of the Dead. He has appeared in many of the world’s great music festivals, including the Ravinia, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Vienna, Aspen, and Spoleto (Italy). He has recorded for Naxos, CRI, Albany, Gasparo, and Albany records. A gifted and committed teacher, Scarlata serves on the faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at West Chester University.
Pianist Thomas Sauer is highly sought after as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. A member of the Mannes Trio, ensemble-in-residence at the Mannes College of Music in New York City, Sauer also collaborates frequently with the renowned instrumentalists Midori and Colin Carr. Recent appearances include concerto performances with the Quad-City Symphony; solo performances at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall (New York City), and St. John’s College, Oxford; chamber music performances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; and performances at the Marlboro, Portland, Seattle, El Paso Pro Musica, Four Seasons, and Salt Bay Chamber Music Festivals.
An Afternoon of Chamber Music, July 18The final concert, on Sunday, July 18, at 3:00 pm, will feature violinist Joseph Genualdi and pianist Richard Wilson performing works by Bach, Mozart, Wilson, and Beethoven.
About the July 18 musicians:
Violinist Joseph Genualdi has served on the music faculties of DePaul University, where he was first violinist of the Chicago String Quartet, and the University of Oregon, and currently teaches at the North Carolina School of the Arts. He is a founding member and artistic co-director of The Chicago Chamber Musicians and one of chamber music’s most noted violinists. He toured internationally with the Los Angeles Piano Quartet from 1985 –1995. He has appeared with the Marlboro Music Festival and the Muir Quartet, which won the Naumberg Award for Chamber Music, First Prize in the Evian Competition and the Grand Prix du Disque during his tenure as founding first violinist. He has served as associate concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony and as concertmaster of the New York City Opera national tour. He performs as a guest artist with orchestras and in numerous festivals.
A member of the Vassar faculty since 1966, Richard Wilson holds an endowed professorship, the Mary Conover Mellon Professor of Music. A pianist and composer, Wilson has composed over 90 works, ranging in medium from solo tuba to full orchestra, which have been played in major halls around the world. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Creative Arts Award in Music from the City of Cleveland, the Stoeger Award from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and a Guggenheim Fellowship under which he composed his opera Æthelred the Unready. Wilson is also composer-in-residence with the American Symphony Orchestra, where he gives pre-concert lectures.
About the Department of MusicMusic has occupied a place of prominence at Vassar College since its founding, in its curriculum, faculty, student activities, and facilities. Formed in 1865, the Department of Music offers an extensive program encompassing opportunities for majors and non-majors to explore performance, composition, history, and theory in depth. Students are encouraged to gain a broad perspective in several or all of these areas. With a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately eleven to one, and an average class size of fifteen, the department is able to support individual students as they work to realize their full musical potential.
For additional information and details on the summer concert series, please call (845) 437-5370 or visit the website http://www.vassar.edu/summer. The air-conditioned Skinner Hall of Music at Vassar College is wheelchair-accessible. People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Free parking is available at Skinner Hall, and the campus’s adjoining south parking lot.
Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.