L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale)
A thrilling tale of trickery and magic, Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat comes to life through an ensemble of musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music. “One of the world’s leading music academies” (BBC Culture), Curtis’s performers team up with beloved actor and narrator John de Lancie, who voices the characters; award-winning performer David Shifrin (Clarinet ’71); and prominent soloist and chamber musician Soovin Kim (Violin ’99).
The program, designed for audiences in North America, also features a new work by Nick DiBerardino (Composition, ’18) commissioned specifically for this tour, plus pieces from Poulenc and Curtis alumnus Viet Cuong (Composition, ’19).
John de Lancie has had an eclectic career as an actor, director, producer, writer, educator, and comedian. In addition to the iconic role of Q on the Star Trek series The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space 9, and Picard, he has appeared in numerous television shows including Breaking Bad, CSI, The West Wing, Sports Night, Judging Amy, and Legend.
His film credits include The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Taking Care of Business, Fearless, Multiplicity, Woman on Top, Good Advice, Pathology, and The Last Session. He has performed in many stage productions, and has been a member of the American Shakespeare Center, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Old Globe.
The son of renowned Philadelphia Orchestra oboist John de Lancie, Mr. de Lancie grew up in a musical household. Over his career, Mr. de Lancie has performed as narrator with a number of major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire includes Peer Gynt, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and Peter and the Wolf, among many others.
He has written and directed ten symphonic plays produced with the Milwaukee Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the LA Philharmonic, and Pasadena Symphony. Mr. de Lancie wrote, directed, and hosted “First Nights,” a concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the LA Philharmonic that explored the lives and music of Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mahler, Schumann, and Prokofiev. Mr. de Lancie has also directed the operas Tosca and Cold Sassy Treein Atlanta, Madame Butterfly in San Antonio, and Cinderella in Sacramento.
Mr. de Lancie is a graduate of Kent State University and The Juilliard School. When time permits, he is also an avid sailor.
Learn more at johndelancie.com.
Soovin Kim enjoys a broad musical career regularly performing Bach sonatas and Paganini caprices for solo violin, sonatas for violin and piano ranging from Beethoven to Ives, Mozart and Haydn concertos and symphonies as a conductor, and new world-premiere works almost every season. When he was 20 years old, Mr. Kim received first prize at the Paganini International Violin Competition. He immersed himself in the string quartet literature for 20 years as the first violinist of the Johannes Quartet. Among his many commercial recordings are his “thrillingly triumphant” (Classic FM Magazine) disc of Paganini’s demanding 24 Caprices, and a two-disc set of Bach’s complete solo violin works to be released in 2022.
Mr. Kim is the founder and artistic director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival (LCCMF) in Burlington, Vermont. In addition to its explorative programming and extensive work with living composers, LCCMF created the ONE Strings program through which all third through fifth grade students of the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington study violin. The University of Vermont recognized Mr. Kim’s work by bestowing an honorary doctorate upon him in 2015. In 2020, he and his wife, pianist Gloria Chien, became Artistic Directors of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Kim devotes much of his time to his passion for teaching at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
William McGregor, from Ann Arbor, Mich., first entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2018 and received a Bachelor of Music in 2022. He is now pursuing a Master of Music, studying double bass with Harold Hall Robinson and Edgar Meyer. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. McGregor is the Shaun F. O’Malley Fellow.
Mr. McGregor has won several competitions, including the 2017 Stulberg International String Competition, the 2012 and 2016 Juilliard Pre-College Open Competitions, the 2013 Salome Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and the 2012 Ensemble 212 Young Artist Competition. He has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. In 2018–19, he appears with the Baltimore Chamber Symphony and the Grand Rapids Symphony.
In 2018, Mr. McGregor was named a National YoungArts Finalist and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He studied in the Juilliard School Pre-College Division for nine years and was a fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has performed in master classes with Timothy Cobb, John Kendall, Eugene Levinson, Ranaan Meyer, David Murray, and Anthony Stoops.
Mr. McGregor began studying the double bass at age two. His other teachers have included Derek Weller and Albert Laszlo. In his spare time, he enjoys sports and collecting baseball cards.
Winner of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Avery Fisher Prize, David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator.
Mr. Shifrin has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, Fort Worth, Hawaii and Phoenix symphonies, among many others in the United States; as well as with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. He has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City; and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
An accomplished chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Guarneri, Tokyo, Emerson, Orion, Dover and Miró String Quartets; as well as Wynton Marsalis, André Watts, Emanuel Ax, and André Previn. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, Mr. Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He also served as artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest from 1981 through 2020, and is currently artistic director of the Phoenix Chamber Music Festival.
Mr. Shifrin was the recipient of a Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2016 Concert Artists Guild Virtuoso Award. He was given an honorary membership by the International Clarinet Association in 2014 in recognition of lifetime achievement, and, at the outset of his career, he won the top prizes at both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions. In recent years he received the Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Music Academy of the West, and a Cultural Leadership Citation from Yale University. He was recognized with the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award at the 2018 Chamber Music America Conference and in 2019 was awarded the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music.
Mr. Shifrin performs on a Backun “Lumière” cocobolo wood clarinet made by Morrie Backun and Légère premium synthetic reeds. He is represented by CM Artists New York.
Luis Marquez Teruel, from Maracaibo, Venezuela, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2019 and studies with Daniel Matsukawa, principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Marquez Teruel is the William Curtis Bok Bassoon Fellow.
Mr. Marquez Teruel began his musical studies at age nine, and one year later performed with Sir Simon Rattle and the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela on an Austrian tour. He also performed with Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra on their 2016 European tour.
As a soloist, Mr. Marquez Teruel was a concerto competition winner at both the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Interlochen Arts Camp. He has been featured on NPR’s From the Top at Carnegie Hall, also receiving the show’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. He has also appeared as soloist with numerous Venezuelan orchestras.
Before starting his studies at Curtis, Mr. Marquez Teruel studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy. His previous teachers include Antonio Aray, Martha Davila, and Eric Stomberg.
James Vaughen, from Champaign, Ill., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2018 and studies trumpet with David Bilger. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and James is the Stanley and Bertha Rogasner Fellow.
James has soloed with the East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Illinois Sinfonia da Camera. In 2018 James was chosen to attend the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, performing in Tokyo, Hiroshima, and throughout Sapporo. James has placed first in numerous national and international competitions, most notably taking first in all three divisions in the 2021 International Trumpet Guild Ryan Anthony Memorial Competition’s Solo, Orchestral Excerpts, and Wind Band divisions and winning the 2020 Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition.
Most recently James placed 3rd in the 2021 Ellsworth-Smith International Trumpet Competition, was a 2021 Tanglewood Music Center fellow, spent 4 months on tour with Canadian Brass, and just arrived back from a principal trumpet trial period with the London Symphony.
James began studying the piano at age six and the trumpet at age ten. His other teachers have included Thomas Rolfs, Ronald Romm, Nathan Mandel, Sal Percoco, and Aaron Romm. Prior to his studies at Curtis, James spent a year working as an AmeriCorps Intern for Spring Initiative, a nonprofit transformative after-school program in the Mississippi Delta.
Derek Gullett of Uniontown, Ohio, has established himself as one of the world’s most accomplished up-and-coming young trombonists. Mr. Gullett entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2019 and studies trombone with Nitzan Haroz and Matthew Vaughn. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Gullett is the Edwin B. Garrigues Fellow.
It was at age 12 that he began his studies on the trombone. It wasn’t until he was age 15 that he had his first trombone lesson with James Albrecht, now principal trombonist of the Reno Philharmonic. During his studies at Lake High School in Uniontown, Ohio, Derek was a part of the school’s marching band, concert band, and jazz orchestra. Outside of school hours, he was the principal trombonist of numerous youth ensembles such as the Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra, Akron Youth Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, and Ohio All-State Orchestra. Halfway through high school, he began to study trombone under Richard Stout, second trombonist of the Cleveland Orchestra. In addition to being a part of many youth ensembles, he also had professional engagements, such as being the principal trombonist of both the Akron Civic Theater Orchestra and the Freedom Brass Band of Akron, Ohio.
Following high school, Derek enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music to further his studies with Nitzan Haroz and Matthew Vaughn, principal, and co-principal trombonists of the Philadelphia Orchestra, respectively. Partway into his studies at Curtis, he began to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra and can be heard in numerous video and recording projects of theirs. He has also appeared with many other Philadelphia-based orchestras as a freelancer. Starting in 2022, he was appointed a substitute trombonist with the New World Symphony. In the summer of 2022, he joined the National Repertory Orchestra and also served as the principal trombone of the Breckenridge International Festival of the Arts Chamber Orchestra. It was in that same summer that he also made his Bravo! Vail Music Festival debut on a program presented by the New York Philharmonic. Also, at the start of his third year at Curtis, he began to work on bass trombone with Blair Bollinger, bass trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Another major influence in his development as a trombonist is Joseph Alessi, principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic. Currently, Derek is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Curtis, where he is a recipient of the Edwin B. Garrigues fellowship.
Over the course of his career thus far, Derek has had the opportunity to tour the world with numerous ensembles and has performed in coveted halls such as Verizon Hall, Severance Hall, Stift St. Florian, Musikverein Wien, and Carnegie Hall. He has also had the pleasure of collaborating with many world-renowned conductors such as Vinay Parameswaran, Franz Welser-Möst, Teddy Abrams, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern, Andrew Grams, and Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
In addition to being a passionate performer, Derek is equally at home in a teaching environment. Over the years, he has maintained a studio of brass students of all levels and ages, many of whom have seen their own personal successes.
Tae McLoughlin, from South Orange, N.J., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2021 and studies timpani and percussion with Don Liuzzi, Eric Millstein, and Ji Su Jung. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. McLoughlin is the Carol Coe Conway Memorial Fellow.
Mr. McLoughlin was a finalist at the Great Plains International Marimba Competition in 2017 and was awarded the Sabian/Robert Zildjian Memorial Percussion Scholarship for all four years of his undergraduate study. He has attended Eastern Music Festival.
Prior to entering Curtis, Mr. McLoughlin earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. His previous teachers include Christopher Lamb, Duncan Patton, Kyle Zerna, and She-e Wu. He began studying piano at age five and percussion at age seventeen. In his spare time, he is an avid tennis player and coffee lover.
Micah Gleason, from Chapel Hill, N.C., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2022. As a conducting fellow, she works closely with Curtis mentor conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Gleason is the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow.
Ms. Gleason has been recognized for her diverse performance abilities as a conductor, vocal soloist, and chamber musician. Interdisciplinary collaboration and community building are at the core of her music-making. She is curious about the most effective ways to disrupt the stasis and comfort of the modern concert hall; to examine how the disciplines of music research, performance, and perception can grow more aware of each other, and how artists across disciplines, activists, and researchers can most effectively collaborate. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and Master of Music degrees in conducting and vocal arts from the Bard College Conservatory of Music.
An alumna of several notable training programs, including the Aspen Music Festival and the Conducting Institute at Oxford, Ms. Gleason was one of eight inaugural vocal fellows at the Crested Butte Music Festival. Her output as a vocal soloist ranges from concert appearances, including alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem, multiple operatic roles, and an extensive song and chamber music repertoire. She also served as the alto artist in residence at the University of Chicago for two years, where she was a regularly featured soloist. As a conductor, Ms. Gleason has led notable ensembles such as The Orchestra Now and the Eastern Festival Orchestra.
While obtaining her degrees at Bard College Conservatory of Music, studying under James Bagwell and Stephanie Blythe respectively, she served as the assistant conductor of the Bard Symphonic Chorus, conductor of the Bard Opera Workshop, and the assistant conductor of the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program’s main stage production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, in collaboration with The Orchestra Now. In July 2022, Ms. Gleason served as the music director for the world premiere of the opera The Final Veil during its residency at The Cell Theater in New York City.
Alongside mezzo-soprano Joanne Evans, she is a co-founder of Loam, an artistic partnership presenting semi-immersive musical works. Current projects include co-conceiving, producing, and performing as a featured singer in The Fragile Femme, collaborating with director George Miller and choreographer Matilda Sakamoto.
Ms. Gleason was named a 2021 conducting fellow at the Eastern Music Festival, where she studied with Gerard Schwarz, received the 2021 Emerging Conductor Award from The Gena Branscombe Project, and was named a National Finalist for The American Prize in Conducting.
Friday, March 10
Musical Instrument Museum
Presented by Phoenix Chamber Music Society
Saturday, March 11
Irvine Barclay Theater
Presented by Philharmonic Society of Orange County
Tuesday, March 14
Alberta Rose Theatre
Presented by Chamber Music Northwest
Saturday, March 18
White Plains, NY
White Plains High School
Presented by Friends of Music Concerts, Inc
Sunday, March 19
New York, NY
Kaufmann Concert Hall
Presented by 92nd Street Y, part of Curtis at 92NY
Tuesday, March 21
Philadelphia Film Center
Presented by Curtis Institute of Music
Friday, March 24
McKnight Center for the Performing Arts
Presented by McKnight Center for the Performing Arts
Sunday, March 26
Overland Park, KS
Polsky Theatre, Midwest Trust Center
Presented by Midwest Trust Center
Programs include Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), Nick DiBerardino’s Darmok & Jalad, commissioned specifically for this tour, Poulenc, and more.
FROM THE COMPOSER
Darmok & Jalad is an unabashedly nerdy piece of music. Fellow nerds may recognize that the title refers to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In that episode (one of my favorites), Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard encounters a spacefaring civilization called the Tamarians. We quickly learn that it isn’t possible for humanity to communicate with these intelligent aliens – a strange and concerning fact, since the “universal translator” in the ship’s computer magically solves this problem most of the time. The first words the Enterprise crew hear from the Tamarians are: “Rai and Jiri at Lungha. Rai of Lowani. Lowani under two moons. Jiri of Umbaya. Umbaya of crossed roads. At Lungha. Lungha, her sky gray.” These phrases are as meaningless to the crew as they are to you and I, though I’ll admit that I very much enjoyed the feeling of near-comprehensibility I experienced when first listening to this strange, partially translated speech.
After some spacefaring adventure, the problem with translating Tamarian becomes clear: the Tamarians speak almost exclusively with proper nouns. Without knowing the stories that surround the names and places of the Tamarian language, it isn’t possible to understand its meaning. For example, saying “Romeo and Juliet” might mean something like “star-crossed love” for you and I, but that’s only true if we’ve both read Shakespeare. Ian Bogost writes a compelling article in The Atlantic in which he argues that to think like a Tamarian, “we would have to meditate on the logics in everything, to see the world as one built of weird, rusty machines whose gears squeal as they grind against one another.” In other words, the Tamarian way of thinking doesn’t reference the characters in mythological narratives. Instead, it uses those referents to convey the actual process by which a story unfolds, the same way a line of computer code might stand in for a complete underlying procedural algorithm.
Darmok & Jalad is music that obsesses over some of the “weird, rusty machines” underlying the vocabulary of tonal composers. This piece atomizes and twists standard grammar from Mozart and Beethoven, revealing once-familiar patterns as slightly strange, only partially translated bits of musical material. A delightful squealing of gears, even – music that is made of a mashing up of familiar moves. I hope the slinking, slithering result brings you some of the same suspenseful enjoyment the Tamarian language first brought me.
You might also like to know that “Darmok and Jalad” is a phrase from Tamarian. The full thought is “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra,” or “Darmok and Jalad on the ocean.” These phrases convey something like “cooperation,” or “new friendship.” As Captain Picard translates it, “Darmok and Jalad” means “that a danger shared might sometimes bring two people together.”
 Bogost, Ian. “Shaka, When the Walls Fell.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, June 18, 2014. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/06/star-trek-tng-and-the-limits-of-language-shaka-when-the-walls-fell/372107/.