Curtis on Tour: Soprano and Piano Trio

In Fall 2022 an all-alumni ensemble from Curtis tours Europe with a program featuring soprano and strings. Called “a singer to watch” (Opera News), Sarah Shafer performs Canti della Natura (Songs of Nature), which Curtis commissioned for this tour from composition faculty member Richard Danielpour. This exciting new work sets sonnets penned by Antonio Vivaldi, written to accompany Le quattro stagioni (Four Seasons). Recently appointed as concertmaster of the famed Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Andrea Obiso joins fellow alumni Timotheos Petrin and George Xiaoyuan Fu to perform Ravel’s brilliant and colorful Piano Trio in A minor.

 

Artists

Sarah Shafer, soprano

Sarah Shafer regularly appears on leading operatic and concert stages. Among her recent roles are Azema in Rossini’s Semiramide for her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with San Diego Opera, the title role of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Cincinnati Opera, Virginia in Scarlatti’s La caduta de’ Decemviri at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Cupid in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis with Opera Lafayette. She has starred in several San Francisco Opera productions, including two world premieres: Marco Tutino’s Two Women and Nolan Gasser’s The Secret Garden. Her numerous appearances with Opera Philadelphia include leading roles in operas by Handel, Donizetti, Verdi, and Osvaldo Golijov.

Ms. Shafer has appeared in concert with the Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, San Antonio, and Utah symphonies; the Louisiana Philharmonic; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; the Chamber Orchestra of New York; and the Oregon Bach Festival. In Europe she has performed with the Bergen Symphony Orchestra (Norway), the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, and the Glyndebourne Festival.

An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. Shafer enjoys an active collaboration with legendary pianist Richard Goode, with whom she has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Marlboro Music Festival, among other venues. She has also collaborated with pianists Martin Katz and Mitsuko Uchida; guitarist Jason Vieaux; and clarinetists Anthony McGill and Richard Stoltzman. She was a resident artist at the Marlboro Music Festival for five summers, and appears regularly on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series. Other recent recital venues include the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bard Summer Music Festival, the Mozart and Handel Académie européenne de musique in Aix-en-Provence, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, among others.

Ms. Shafer holds degrees in voice and opera from the Curtis Institute of Music.

Andrea Obiso, violin

Andrea Obiso is the concertmaster of the Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. His appointment was announced a few months after his graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied violin with Midori and the late Aaron Rosand.

Mr. Obiso’s competition prizes include the ARD International Violin Competition in Munich, where he also received the prize for the best performance of a contemporary work, written by Avner Dorman for the competition. He also won the Prix Ravel in 2017. Participating in international competitions has given Mr. Obiso the opportunity to appear as soloist with several important orchestras and to play chamber music and teach seminars around the world. He has appeared with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and the Bayerische Rundfunk Symphonie Orchester, among others. He has also performed in live recorded concerts in Moscow, Tokyo, Shanghai, and many German cities.

Mr. Obiso began studying the violin with his father at age six. He studied with Boris Belkin at the prestigious Accademia Musicale Chigiana and at the Maastricht Conservatorium. At Curtis, in addition to his violin studies, he took courses in conducting, improvisation and the aesthetics of music.

Andrea Obiso plays on a “Joseph Guarneri del Gesù 1741” violin, graciously loaned by NPO Yellow Angel, and uses a bow made by E. Pajeot, on loan from Nippon Violin Co. Ltd.

Timotheos Petrin, cello

Greek cellist Timotheos Petrin is quickly garnering an international reputation for his distinctive voice. He gained international recognition as a top-prize winner at the prestigious International Paulo Cello Competition in Finland, where he was praised for “a great and passionate soloist style: expressive, vibrant singing lines, sparkling rhythm” and “an interesting, original personality” (Helsingin Sanomat).

In 2016 Mr. Petrin made his U.S. solo debut with the Kansas City Symphony under the direction of Robert Spano. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Susanna Mälkki; the Tapiola Sinfonietta; the Israel Camerata; NEC Philharmonia; and the Athens, Thessaloniki State, and Lahti symphony orchestras. In 2017 he was named Young Artist in Residence of Performance Today, the most listened-to classical music program in the U.S.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Petrin has collaborated with such artists as Noah-Bendix Balgley, Jonathan Biss, Roberto Díaz, Miriam Fried, Alexey Goribol, Yura Lee, Meng-Chieh Liu, Plamena Mangova, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, and Miri Yampolsky. He has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Chamberfest Cleveland, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars, the Moritzburg Festival Academy, and the Dimitria Festival.

In addition to his concert appearances, Mr. Petrin is an advocate for charity and philanthropic causes. In Spring 2016, in collaboration with the non-profit organization 'Podari.Life' and the renowned Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova, he appeared in performances aiming to raise funds for children diagnosed with oncological and hematological diseases.

 

Born into a family of musicians in Thessaloniki, Greece, Mr. Petrin studied with Dimitris Patras at the Thessaloniki State Conservatory, with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley at the Curtis Institute of Music, and with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory.

George Xiaoyuan Fu, piano

Described by the Boston Music Intelligencer as a “heroic piano soloist” with “stunning virtuosity,” Chinese-American pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu is establishing a reputation as a captivating performer with distinctive intelligence and sensitivity. Mr. Fu has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra; and collaborated with conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Stefan Asbury, Kensho Watanabe, Vinay Parameswaran, and Jonathan Berman. He has appeared at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, and Seiji Ozawa Hall, while his live performances and interviews have been featured on public television and radio broadcasts around the world, including In Tune on BBC Radio 3, Performance Today on National Public Radio, and On Stage at Curtis in Philadelphia.

Passionate about the creation of new work, Mr. Fu is an active composer and performer of contemporary music, having collaborated with composers Krzysztof Penderecki, Harrison Birtwistle, George Lewis, Unsuk Chin, Matthew Aucoin, and Freya Waley-Cohen. Interested in collaborative work, he has performed in various capacities, from conducting ensembles, to performing with duo partners and chamber ensembles around the world, to collaborating with choreographers in interdisciplinary dance productions.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, Mr. Fu studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Jonathan Biss and Meng-Chieh Liu, and at the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton and Joanna MacGregor. He has also worked intensively with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, specifically on the music of Messiaen and Debussy. Mr. Fu is currently the piano fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.

 

 

Repertoire

MESSIAEN        Thème et variations
   
DANIELPOUR Canti della Natura (Songs of Nature)
   
SHOSTAKOVICH   Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8
   
RAVEL Piano Trio in A minor
   
  *Debussy’s Sonata in G minor is offered as alternative to the Messiaen work

 

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