July 17–24, 2019
Curtis on Tour returned to New England in July 2019, with a series of special performances and lectures on Nantucket. Concert programs explored works through the ages that show the influence of popular song or performance. The musicians included Curtis President Roberto Díaz (’84), a violist who enjoys an international performing career, as well as alumni Joshua Smith ('90), principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra; guitarist Jordan Dodson ('13); and violinist Maria Ioudenitch ('18). They were joined by cellist Albert Seo, who currently studies at Curtis.
The ensemble opened the Kingston Chamber Music Festival on July 24 to great reviews, including this one from the Providence Journal, which characterized the concert as a “virtuosic showdown,” adding that “Piazzolla’s “Histoire du Tango” came to life magnificently” and “[Joshua] Smith gorgeously dispatched the Mozart.”
Firmly established as one of America’s outstanding flutists, Joshua Smith is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He was appointed the Cleveland Orchestra’s principal flute at age 20, joining the ensemble in 1990, and appears regularly as a soloist with the orchestra. In September 2014, he was featured with the orchestra on tour in Europe, playing Jorg Widmann’s flute concerto, commissioned by the orchestra and written for Smith, premiered the work in May 2011.
Mr. Smith’s recordings include Grammy-nominated Telarc recording, Air, as well as two discs with harpsichordist Jory Vinikour of the sonatas of J.S. Bach, a Live from the Marlboro Music Festival recording, and 100 Cleveland Orchestra recordings.
Intrigued by exploring new ways of connecting with audiences, Smith leads the innovative chamber group Ensemble HD which performs in concert halls and nontraditional venues. Ensemble HD released its first double vinyl album in May 2013, Live at the Happy Dog, recorded at The Happy Dog, a tavern in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District. Smith was invited to speak to the National Endowment for the Arts Council about the community engagement efforts spearheaded by Ensemble HD.
Mr. Smith appears as a chamber musician throughout the United States, including recent and ongoing appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, at the Marlboro and Santa Fe chamber music festivals, and with the Israeli Chamber Project. He has also performed in collaborative concerts with the Pensacola Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, and at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Mr. Smith serves on the flute faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is a Powell Artist and performs most often on a new grenadilla Powell and on an old Rudall Carte. A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, he worked closely with renowned pedagogue Frank Bowen before attending Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner.
“One of the top young guitarists of his generation” (Performance Today), Jordan Dodson was a winner of Astral’s 2013 National Auditions and is an active soloist and chamber musician based in New York and Philadelphia. He has also received awards from the 2011 Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, the 2010 Indiana International Guitar Competition, and the 2008 American String Teachers Association Competition. In 2013, he was a Young Artist in Residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today.
Mr. Dodson’s recent performance and teaching schedule has taken him across the U.S. and abroad to venues such as Le Poisson Rouge (New York City), Roulette (Brooklyn), the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), and the Museo Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá); and to such music festivals as the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Festival Daniou (France). An advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Dodson has commissioned and premiered dozens of pieces internationally, including works by Lewis Nielson, Elliot Cole, Robert Sirota, and Gabriella Smith. He performs in several New York City chamber ensembles, including Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Marcel, and Ensemble sans maître. He has recently collaborated with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Anne-Marie McDermott, Ransom Wilson, and Contemporaneous. He can be heard on the album Subject on Tzadik Records.
In the fall of 2011, Mr. Dodson was one of two students selected to inaugurate the Curtis Institute of Music’s classical guitar studio, helping bring to the school not only a new instrument, but also new repertoire and new possibilities for music-making. He holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and his teachers have included Clare Callahan, David Starobin, and Jason Vieaux. He plays a Gary Lee guitar.
Maria Ioudenitch was born in Balashov, Russia, and moved with her family to Kansas City when she was three years old. An American with a Russian heart and soul, she began her violin studies surrounded by the sounds of the piano, played by both of her parents. Her teachers have included Gregory Sandomirsky and Ben Sayevich. She studied with Pamela Frank and Shmuel Ashkenasi at the Curtis Institute of Music and is pursuing her master’s degree at the New England Conservatory with Miriam Fried.
Ms. Ioudenitch has taken part in multiple summer festivals and academies, including Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, the International Summer Academy at Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, and the International Music Academy in the Principality of Liechtenstein. She attends the Marlboro Music Festival in the summer of 2020.
Recent solo engagements include performances with the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the Signature Symphony at TCC, the National Orchestra of Uzbekistan, and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, working with conductors Andrey Boreyko, Andrés Franco, Michael Stern, and Pavel Smelkov, among others.
Recent chamber music engagements include Curtis on Tour performances in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile with Roberto Díaz, acclaimed violist and president of the Curtis Institute of Music; and performances in Chicago, New York, Connecticut, and Boston with renowned violinist and pedagogue Miriam Fried.
Maria served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra for in 2016–17, ending the season with a European tour featuring Strauss's Ein Heldenleben.
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 soloist, Mr. Díaz collaborates with leading conductors of our time on stages throughout the world. He has also worked directly with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki—whose viola concerto he has performed numerous 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.
A frequent recitalist, Mr. Díaz enjoys collaborating with young musicians, bringing a fresh approach to the repertoire and providing invaluable opportunities to artists at the beginning of their careers. In addition to performing with major string quartets and pianists in chamber music series and festivals worldwide, he is a member of the Díaz Trio. His recordings include a Grammy-nominated disc of viola transcriptions by William Primrose for Naxos, as well as releases on the Artek, Bridge Records, Dorian, Nimbus, and New World labels.
In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Díaz was also principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, and was a member of the Boston Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he continues to serve on the faculty, holding the James and Betty Matarese Chair in Viola Studies and the Nina von Maltzahn President's Chair. Mr. Díaz plays the ex-Primrose Amati viola.
Albert Seo, from Vancouver, B.C., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2016 and studies with Carter Brey, principal cello of the New York Philharmonic, and Peter Wiley, former cellist of the Guarneri Quartet. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Seo is the Nellie Lee Bok Fellow.
Mr. Seo is the recipient of numerous awards, including first prizes at the Vancouver Women's Musical Society Scholarship Competition and the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. He won the senior division of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music Future of Excellence, gaining a chance to perform with the VSO; and received the Loyal Protestant Association Scholarship at the 22nd Annual Bjorn and Lori Hareid Senior Secondary Competition. In 2015, Mr. Seo was a finalist at the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players and was a semifinalist at the Stulberg International String Competition, where he also won the Bach Award.
Mr. Seo has performed as a soloist with the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he was part of the winning ensemble at the Friends of Chamber Music Scholarship Competition and the 2014 Kelowna Kiwanis Festival.
Mr. Seo has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Domaine-Forget Academy in Quebec. He has participated in master classes with Lluis Claret, Phillipe Muller, Raphael Wallfisch, Paul Watkins, Paul Marelyn, Roman Borys, and Maximilian Hornung.
Mr. Seo began cello lessons at age seven. His previous teachers include Cristian Markos, Joseph Ellsworthy, Ariel Barnes, and Sung Yong Lin.
Les folies d’Espagne
Learn more about Curtis on Tour in Nantucket
Performances at Siasconset Casino, Nantucket Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, Nantucket Dreamland, and Nantucket Atheneum
July 22 at 7 p.m. at Highfield Hall
Presented by Highfield Hall
July 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island Fine Arts Center, Concert Hall
Presented by Kingston Chamber Music Festival