Curtis on Tour in Falmouth, Massachusetts

Curtis On Tour | July 18, 2022 7:00 p.m.

Curtis on Tour returns to Nantucket and New England for an annual festival of performances and presentations. Featuring violist Roberto Díaz, clarinetist David Shifrin and emerging professional artists from Curtis, our program includes works by Mozart, Ellington, and Mendelssohn.


Program
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Clarinet Quintet, K. 581
DUKE ELLINGTON Selections from Ducal Suite, arr. David Schiff
FELIX MENDELSSOHN String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 87
  • July 18, 2022
  • 7:00 p.m.
  • Highfield Hall

Artists

  • A violist of international reputation, Roberto Díaz is president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, following in the footsteps of renowned soloist/directors such as Josef Hofmann, Efrem Zimbalist, and Rudolf Serkin. As a teacher of viola at Curtis and former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Díaz has already had a significant impact on American musical life and continues to do so in his dual roles as performer and educator.

    As a soloist, Mr. Díaz collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia.  He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki—whose viola concerto he has performed many times with the composer on the podium and whose double concerto he premiered in the United States—as well as Edison Denisov, Jennifer Higdon, Ricardo Lorenz, and Roberto Sierra. His recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2018.

    As a frequent recitalist, Mr. Díaz enjoys collaborating with young pianists, bringing a fresh approach to the repertoire and providing invaluable opportunities to artists at the beginnings of their careers. In addition to performing with major string quartets and pianists in chamber music series and festivals worldwide, Mr. Díaz has toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas as a member of the Díaz Trio with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz. The Díaz Trio has recorded for the Artek and Dorian labels.

    Mr. Díaz’s recordings on the Naxos label with pianist Robert Koenig include the complete works for viola and piano by Henri Vieuxtemps and a Grammy-nominated disc of viola transcriptions by William Primrose. Also on Naxos are Brahms sonatas with pianist Jeremy Denk and Jonathan Leshnoff’s Double Concerto with violinist Charles Wetherbee and the Iris Chamber Orchestra led by Michael Stern. Mr. Díaz’s live performance of Jacob Druckman’s Viola Concerto with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra is available on New World Records. He has also recorded the Walton Viola Concerto with William Boughton and the New Haven Symphony for Nimbus Records, and works for viola and orchestra by Peter Lieberson with Scott Yoo and the Odense Symphony Orchestra and for Bridge Records.

    Since founding Curtis on Tour in 2007, Mr. Díaz has taken this successful initiative to North and South America, Europe, and Asia, performing chamber music side-by-side with Curtis students and other faculty and alumni of the school. His tenure as president of Curtis has also seen the construction of a significant new building which doubled the size of the school’s campus; the introduction of a classical guitar department and new conducting and string quartet programs; and the launch of Curtis Summerfest, summer courses open to the public. In the fall of 2013 Curtis became the first classical music conservatory to offer free online classes through Coursera.

    Also under Mr. Díaz’s leadership, Curtis has developed lasting collaborations with other music and arts institutions in Philadelphia and throughout the world and established a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum, supported by a prestigious Advancement Grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Designed to develop the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills of young musicians, this curriculum includes the project-based Community Artist Program (CAP) and the post-graduate Community Artist Fellowship program, which gives recent Curtis graduates the opportunity to dedicate a year of arts-based service to the community.

    Mr. Díaz received an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College and was awarded an honorary membership by the National Board of the American Viola Society. In 2013 he became a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society founded by Benjamin Franklin. As a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he was selected by then-music director Christoph Eschenbach to receive the C. Hartman Kuhn Award, given annually to “the member of the Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of the Philadelphia Orchestra.” He received a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Burton Fine; and a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teacher was his predecessor at the Philadelphia Orchestra, Joseph de Pasquale. Mr. Díaz also holds a degree in industrial design.

    In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he performed the entire standard viola concerto repertoire and gave a number of Philadelphia Orchestra premieres, Mr.  Díaz was principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. He plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.

  • 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.

  • Takumi Taguchi, violin
    Eunice Kim, violin
    Yizilin Liang, viola
    John Lee, cello

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