NEW ARTIST OF THE MONTH

MusicalAmerica.com's New Artist of the Month spotlights an important emerging talent. If you haven't heard his or her name before, we predict you will soon!
July 2016
Conductor/Pianist Craig Terry
Craig Terry—music director of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center and arranger and collaborative pianist for the likes of Joyce DiDonato, Patricia Racette, and Stephanie Blythe—experienced the diva-fueled limelight early. “In elementary school I was already playing for singers,” says Terry, who grew up in Tullahoma, TN, a town of approximately 18,000 in south central Tennessee with a vibrant, homegrown performing arts scene. “There were these two wonderful young African-American women who were slightly older than I was. Their mother was a brilliant singer, a brilliant gospel pianist, so she would coach me. I played for those two girls all over the place, at every possible civic event in Tullahoma.
June 2016
Conductor Kah Chun Wong
When 29-year-old Kah Chun Wong conducted extracts from Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Mahler Competition last month, it was his first performance of a work by the composer. “In the musical life of a conductor, I am still fairly a baby,” said the Singapore native in an interview after winning first prize in the competition, hosted by the Bamberg Symphony and held every three years.
May 2016
Verona Quartet
“At first it was just a quagmire of unknowns.” Violist Abigail Rojansky of the Verona String Quartet is describing Milton Babbitt’s complex Second Quartet (1954), which the group performed at the Juilliard School’s week-long Focus! festival in January. “We couldn’t really see the hidden correlations and references he nestles into the score until we’d played through it many, many times and allowed ourselves to be open to the humor that he wrote into it and the little conversations that he builds among the four voices. It really is a masterpiece.”
April 2016
Percussionist Simone Rubino
The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, as part of its "Deutschlandradio Kultur Debut" series last February, brought together three promising young artists in a meaty program beginning with Ligeti and ending with Stravinsky. Performing Friedrich Cerha's Percussion Concerto (2007/8), Italian native Simone Rubino made a rare impression. Whether on snare drum or marimbaphone, he responded to the subtlest orchestral moments with sensitivity and imagination, producing phrases of unusually rich dynamic shading with elegant, but never showy, virtuosity. Despite the technical challenges of the piece, which he played from memory, he seemed to relish every moment onstage, flashing smiles toward both the conductor, Aziz Shokhakimov, and the audience.
March 2016
Composer Michael Gilbertson
The annual Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute introduced seven young composers, but one in particular stood out. Michael Gilbertson is a Juilliard grad currently working on his PhD in composition at Yale, where he counts Aaron Jay Kernis and Martin Bresnick among his teachers. His Sinfonia, based, as he describes it, on “motives and themes from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons” and excerpted for the purposes of the Institute, combines multiple harmonic strains, in the early 20th-century jazz/impressionist vein, with a solid rhythmic core. Its canvas is vast, enriched with full-but-never-overblown orchestral color. Lines are lyrical, subtly interwoven. Small wonder that Music Director Osmo Vänskä chose it to close the program that bore the fruits of the week’s work.
February 2016
Choreographer Pam Tanowitz
Let’s hear it for late bloomers with unconventional career paths. Unlike almost every American choreographer of her generation being presented in prestigious venues, the New York-based dance maker Pam Tanowitz, age 46, did not begin her career with a renowned company. While her peers who began as performers developed an instant network and a professional identity, Tanowitz labored in near obscurity for ten years, making dances wherever she could after graduating from Ohio State University (BFA dance, 1991). “It actually was a great thing for me to be anonymous for the first part of my career,” she says, “because I could make work and not worry about what anyone thought. I could mess up. I could do little shows. I could get better. I’m grateful for all that time when no one noticed me, even though it was really hard.”
January 2016
Baritone Tobias Greenhalgh
Tobias Greenhalgh possesses all the classic qualities of an emerging opera star. His rich baritone is mature and unforced enough to capture a range of emotion while still hinting at future growth in volume and power. He commands the stage with his youthful charisma and strapping physique without chewing the scenery. As one of seven finalists at the Hilde Zadek International Voice Competition in Vienna last spring, he captured the wit of As Much As You Can, a song by Dutch composer Robert Nasveld with just the right amount of thespian gesture and vibrant word painting.
December 2015
Director James Darrah
Finding a suitable label to encompass James Darrah’s artistic practice is not easy. He has directed operas in more or less conventional spaces, yet this represents only one sliver of his work. You’re also likely to experience Darrah’s art in the concert hall. Indeed, seeing the multimedia staging of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis this past June by the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas brought me one of the year’s most lasting revelations.
November 2015
Composer Rene M. Orth
Rene Orth’s music is whimsical, spikey, sometimes showbiz-y, always dramatic, reflective, rarely predictable, and often electronic. She prefers to write for the voice, and her opera, Empty the House, is soon to have its fully staged premiere at the Curtis Opera Studio; the four-night run (Jan. 21-24) is sold out, but will be streamed live. The description on the Studio website: “An intimate, poignant exploration of the complex nature of forgiveness from the rising young Curtis composer Rene Orth and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Mark Campbell, in its world-premiere production.”
October 2015
Double Bassist Sam Suggs
Sam Suggs is a 25-year-old DMA candidate at Yale, pursuing studies in double bass, yet boasting a range of interests that go far beyond mere regurgitations of the standards. Competition chairman Paul Sharpe described the attributes that ultimately tipped the scales in Suggs’ favor. “It was his innovation in both repertoire and programming that engaged the audience and then kept our full attention for the duration. Artistry by itself is great. But, innovation and artistry together create momentum and progression.”
September 2015
Conductor Mirga Grazinyté-Tyla
The latest in the line of young conductors making their initial splash at The Los Angeles Philharmonic is Mirga Grazinyté-Tyla, who was 28 when she made her debut at the Hollywood Bowl last year. She has since conducted at Walt Disney Concert Hall (March 1) and again at the Bowl on Aug. 20. Each time, she has left a vivid impression.
August 2015
Tenor Tansel Akzeybek
With a piercing lyric tenor and an easy facility with directors’ zaniest demands, Tansel Akzeybek stands out as one of the Komische Oper ensemble’s strongest, not to mention funniest, members. In his role debut as Paris in Offenbach’s Belle Hélène in February, he cavorted about with equal finesse as everything from an accordion-playing cowboy to a Catholic priest, high notes darting out unforced and solidly rooted in the situation at hand.
July 2015
Conductor Christopher Allen
At a Cincinnati Opera outdoor park concert in early June, a lithe, self-assured conductor navigated the program of operatic chestnuts and orchestral favorites with an easy, natural flair. It was a performance that was at once supportive, unassuming, and richly musical..
June 2015
Tenor Joseph Dennis
As a former high school basketball player, Joseph Dennis knew something about fast breaks. Nothing on the court, though, had prepared him for last summer at the Santa Fe Opera when, after a last-minute cancelation, the second-year apprentice suddenly went from playing First Prisoner in Fidelio to the title role in Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
May 2015
Trumpeter Mark Grisez
Listening to Mark Grisez play, you might think he was decades into his career. The trumpeter’s combination of dynamic assurance and tonal sheen suggest a seasoned professional; but Grisez is just 21, currently completing his final year of training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. That hasn’t stopped him from accepting posts as principal trumpet with the California Symphony, and, earlier this season, acting principal with the San Francisco Symphony.
April 2015
Bass Sava Vemic
NEW YORK—In Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, the role of Sir Walter Raleigh is a bass cameo, unlikely to be singled out for review. But when Sava Vemic sang it with Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall last spring, reviewers sat up and took note. A sampling: “Alarmingly powerful.” “Thundering bass had the audience scrambling for programs.” “Truly surprising and very exciting.” “Somebody give this guy an aria.” Plus “stunning” and “adorable”—probable firsts for that role.
March 2015
Violinist Aleksey Semenenko
BERLIN—The tension was high at the first International Boris Goldstein Violin Competition in Bern last January. As it turned out, all but one of the winners were students of Zakhar Bron, himself a living legend for having trained soloists such as Vadim Repin and Daniel Hope. (At least one pundit found this scandalous, since Bron was on the jury.) But there was one player who, at least for this listener, blew the others out of the water in terms of musical sensitivity. In an afternoon of only Mozart Violin Concertos, Aleksey Semenenko managed to make the Fifth fresh and exciting.
February 2015
Soprano Nina Minasyan
I first heard Nina Minasyan two years ago, when American conductor Constantine Orbelian brought a group of young soloists from seven former Soviet republics to Carnegie Hall. The date was Dec. 12, 2012, the program was called “New Stars for a New Century.”
January 2015
Pianist Francesco Piemontesi
“I suppose I am by nature a curious person,” says Francesco Piemontesi. “I want to know.”It’s a quality that the young pianist makes apparent on more than one front. In recital at the Konzerthaus Berlin last spring, he performed works by Débussy, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert with a combination of meticulous technical assurance and nearly philosophical introspection.
December 2014
Tenor Juan Francisco Gatell
I first heard tenor Juan Francisco Gatell as Ferrando in a 2005 production of Così fan tutte at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Sienna. His pure tone and assured approach left no doubt that he would move on to the world’s great stages. Two years later, he was at the Pentecost Festival in Salzburg as the title character in a concert production of Cimarosa’s Il Ritorno di Don Calandrino under Riccardo Muti, his sound piercing through the Festspielhaus.
November 2014
Conductor Speranza Scappucci
It is the first orchestra rehearsal for Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia, set to open the the Juilliard Opera season Nov. 19 in a new production by Brian Zeger. Perched on a stool on the podium, in rehearsal room 309, is a freckle-faced young woman dressed in a pink and gray tunic-style blouse (plenty of arm mobility) sporting a huge mound of curly, strawberry-blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. Speranza Scappucci is preparing the Juilliard Orchestra for what will be her New York conducting debut.
“When I first got on the podium,” she tells me later, “I thought, ‘I auditioned here!’ There was a moment when I pictured the jury over there and me at the piano. Those eight minutes changed my life.”
October 2014
Soprano Julie Adams
It’s been a whirlwind year for Julie Adams. In March, the California soprano was one of five winners in the Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Last summer, she spent 12 weeks in San Francisco as a young artist in the Merola Opera Program, where she sang the role of Blanche DuBois in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. She capped that residency with a dazzling turn during the Merola Grand Finale; joining tenor Casey Candebat in the Cherry Duet ("Suzel, buon di…Tutto tace") from Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz, Adams sang with the power, assurance, and luxuriant tone of a seasoned professional. Now, she’s back in San Francisco, as part of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship Program.
September 2014
Conductor Isaac Selya
Conductor Isaac Selya, 28, is turning heads in Cincinnati for his remarkable talent, relentless enthusiasm, and entrepreneurial spirit.
In November, I was among dozens of opera lovers who traveled up a winding road to a small Art Deco theater on the edge of Cincinnati for Selya’s revival of L’amore dei tre re, (The Love of Three Kings) by Italo Montemezzi. It was the second project by the Queen City Chamber Opera, which Selya co-founded two years ago.
Read Profile
August 2014
Violinist Simone Porter
Simone Porter made her Pasadena Symphony debut at Ambassador Auditorium on March 29. Usually, a performer can count on having to play through distractions--a cell phone ringing or someone texting in the front row, but as Porter was about to make her entrance in the central Adagio of Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, an earthquake hit.
July 2014
Baritone Takaoki Onishi
For lovers of great singing there are few thrills equal to hearing a truly important voice for the first time. The young Japanese baritone Takaoki Onishi has been providing that thrill a lot this past year, especially in New York City, where he is pursuing an Artist Diploma at Juilliard while generating a considerable—and growing— amount of excitement in the music world.
June 2014
Conductor Omer Meir Wellber
Only a few years ago, the name Omer Meir Wellber mostly came up in connection with Daniel Barenboim. As the conductor’s assistant at the Staatsoper Berlin and La Scala, his precocious abilities were on display in everything from Verdi to Liszt, allowing me to catch a performance of Puccini’s Tosca at the Schiller Theater in 2010, in which the orchestra’s swelling phrases and attention to harmonic detail easily recalled the touch of his mentor.
May 2014
Mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell
Putting aside her intriguing Old English forename for the moment, the most prominent characteristics of the rising, attractive mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell are her astounding versatility and moxie, which have been on display in Southern California since 2009, when she made her professional solo debut as the Fox in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen with Long Beach Opera.
April 2014
Mezzo-soprano Katarina Bradić
I first saw mezzo-soprano Katharina Bradic in Stefan Herheim’s regie production of Handel’s Xerxes at the Komische Opera. I was impressed with her fearless humor, sharp musicianship, and seductive charm in the role of Amastre, the Persian King’s spurned fiancé. It was at the Deutsche Oper, however, that I was able to catch a glimpse of her artistry in more depth: first in a “dramatic fantasy” called Mahlermania, where her soulful delivery of Mahler songs transcended the antics onstage, then in a recent revival of Otello in which she sang the role of Emilia, the title character’s innocent wife, alongside Barbara Frittoli.
March 2014
The Dover Quartet
Musicians in their 20s are often described as “emerging.” For the Dover Quartet, currently the Curtis Institute’s first graduate quartet-in-residence, forget “emerging.” These smart, sparkling string players cut a swath at Banff’s 2013 International String Quartet Competition, winning prizes in every category from old music to new. The Florida Times-Union recently wrote, “The patron next to me mouthed ‘Wow!’ before the end of the first piece.” That about sums it up.
February 2014
Violinist Francesca Rose dePasquale
Much of the fun of student concerts is in spotting future stars of the concert stage. A light bulb went on last November 25 when Vladimir Jurowski, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic, led the Juilliard Orchestra in an all-Shostakovich concert at Alice Tully Hall. A glance at the players’ roster elicited an instant spotlight of recognition: Francesca Rose dePasquale Concertmaster.
January 2014
Pianist Maria Perrotta
Pregnant pianist plays tonight at the Teatro Rossini "-- ran the huge teasers scattered all over in Lugo di Romagna, by Ravenna, on January 12, 2012. Pianist Maria Perrotta was in the ninth month of her pregnancy, so a fully staffed ambulance remained parked nearby for the full 100 minutes of the concert, featuring Bach's Goldberg Variations plus a substantial encore, standing ovations, and a thankful speech from the Mayor. All without intermission.
December 2013
Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja
The first time I saw violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja perform, it was at Volkswagen's Gläsener Manufaktur in Dresden. She was standing beneath a row of half-built sedans with their engines exposed, playing a program of gypsy-inspired music ranging from Ravel to Bartók. With her mother on violin and her father on cimbalom, she offered a welcome distraction in the sterile setting, even as they tapped their feet to variations on the Balkan dance melody Hora Staccato.
November 2013
Mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez
Mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez started the fall season tormenting an old fat man. This month, she’s turning herself into a lost boy. By season’s end, she’ll have been a loyal servant and an angry, vengeful daughter. Chavez welcomes the challenge. A rising star on the Bay Area opera scene, her facility in a variety of roles has already earned accolades.
October 2013
Violinist Chad Hoopes
Chad Hoopes was 13 when he won first prize in the Young Artists Division of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 2007. He made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra the same year playing Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, and he’s since performed with orchestras around the world. Until fairly recently, the phrase “child prodigy” described him perfectly.
September 2013
Violinist Sarah Silver
At the opening concert of Tanglewood’s annual Festival of Contemporary Music, first violinist Sarah Silver introduced Elliott Carter’s String Quartet No. 1 from a stage microphone. “The worst part of performing this piece,” she lamented, “is that we’ve rehearsed it so much, and fallen in love with it, and now there won’t be any rehearsal tomorrow.”
August 2013
Baritone Ben Connor
It was when I first saw Ben Connor in his underwear that I knew he had star quality. (It’s not what you think.) It was in an updated production of La bohème at Theater an der Wien in der Kammeroper starring its Young Artists ensemble. Connor played Marcello as a grungy, spoiled brat, master of his domain, and entirely comfortable padding around his apartment in his skivvies. This wasn’t the Ben Connor I had seen as the comic relief in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio, or in smaller roles at Theater an der Wien.
July 2013
Pianist/Conductor Kit Armstrong
Pianist Alfred Brendel has described Kit Armstrong as “the most extraordinary talent” he has ever encountered. After a few minutes in the presence of the pianist and composer, only 21, it becomes clear that this is not hyperbole.
June 2013
Conductor Yoel Gamzou
Three years ago, Yoel Gamzou premiered his own version of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony at a synagogue in Berlin. Members of his International Mahler Orchestra (IMO) crowded onstage as the lanky conductor, then only 23, led them through the restless score, unleashing a sense of adventure that, to these ears, made the standard reconstruction of Mahler’s sketches by Deryck Cooke and Berthold Goldschmidt seem tame by comparison.
May 2013
Violinist Thomas Gould
In the seven years since violinist Thomas Gould graduated from the Royal Academy of Music he has quietly built the model career. He got off to an early start with lessons with Sheila Nelson at the age of three, then entered the Academy on a scholarship with György Pauk as his principal teacher.
April 2013
Mandolinist Avi Avital
It’s not often that the mandolin takes centerstage in the classical concert hall, but don’t tell Avi Avital that. The Israeli native, 34, has performed about 70 world premieres, 13 of which were concertos.
March 2013
Cellist Gabriel Cabezas
Chicago is known for its blues musicians, like Muddy Waters, or rap artists, like Kanye West. But classical cellists? Probably not. Not yet anyway. At just 20, Gabriel Cabezas, who named his 1934 Chicago-made cello Starbuck, may be about to change that.
February 2013
Composer Dylan Mattingly
Last December at Zellerbach Hall, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra gave the premiere of a new orchestral work by Dylan Mattingly. “Invisible Skyline,” a restless 30-minute opus, is a beguiling work of serene vistas and arresting rhythms. Mattingly, 21, is a Berkeley native, and many in the audience had heard his music in performances of shorter pieces. But this was a premiere to make you sit up and take notice....
January 2013
Apollon Musagète Quartett
Last November, I attended a concert at New York’s Weill Recital Hall by a quartet of which I knew little except that it had a French name that meant “Apollo, leader of the Muses” (the same as the final section of Stravinsky’s ballet, Apollo), and all the members were Polish. But the performances I heard of Haydn, Szymanowski, Josef Suk, and Janácek soon made it plain that the Apollon Musagète Quartett would not long remain little known....
December 2012
Soprano Daniela Fally
A few years ago, I noticed Daniela Fally always seemed to singing wherever I went: Anna in Weill’s Die sieben Todsünden given by Neue Oper Wien in a tiny Jugendstil theater on the far edge of the city; singlehandedly saving a dreary new production of Die Zauberflöte at Volksoper Wien with her vivacity in the tiny role of Papagena;...
November 2012
Conductor Lin Daye
Until recently, Lin Daye had not been much of a presence on the competition circuit. The last time he reached the finals was in 2006, in a local competition in Shenzhen. He only placed fourth, but the city’s orchestra thought he was the best and unanimously approved him as their new resident conductor. “I lost the competition,” he says, smiling, “but I got the job.”...
October 2012
Ariel String Quartet
In their debut concert in Cincinnati this fall, the players of the Ariel String Quartet surprised and delighted listeners when they took their seats without music or music stands, and performed Haydn’s Quartet in E flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2, The Joke, entirely from memory. It was a daring feat, exhilarating to hear and fun to watch....
September 2012
Conductor Evan Rogister
Evan Rogister’s distinctive musical gifts, combined with a restless intellect, have made him one of the music world’s fastest-rising podium artists. In performances in Europe and the U.S. the young American conductor...
August 2012
Violinist Tessa Lark
Tessa Lark turned 23 during the first round of the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition in New York in June. Soon thereafter, on June 12, the Kentucky-born musician had real cause for celebration ...
July 2012
Bartione Yunpeng Wang
If there was a single trait that helped baritone Yunpeng Wang sweep up three awards last month at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in Beijing—more than his smooth, flexible technique or his prowess in a variety of vocal styles—it was his ability to pick up the phone and respond at a moment’s notice ...
June 2012
Soprano Anna Prohaska
Anna Prohaska dashes into a café in the Prenzlauerberg area of Berlin wearing jeans and a leather jacket, her long, black hair tied back into a knot. Her unassuming demeanor would hardly betray that she has just returned from performing Handel Motets under Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Musikverein ...
Cellist/composer Zoë Keating: May 2012
Read Profile
View Video
Conductor Marcello Di Lisa: April 2012
Read Profile
Tenor Yi Li: March 2012
Read Profile
Violinist Nigel Armstrong: February 2012
Read Profile
View Video
Soprano Corinne Winters: January 2012
Read Profile
View Video
Pianist Behzod Abduraimov: December 2011
Read Profile
View Video
Conductor Ward Stare: November 2011
Read Profile
View Video
Tenor Antonio Poli: October 2011
Read Profile
View Video
Composer Nathan Davis: September 2011
Read Profile
View Video
Pianist Daniil Trifonov: August 2011
Read Profile
Dancer Davide Dato: July 2011
Read Profile
Cellist Sebastian Bäverstam: June 2011
Read Profile
Composer Du Yun: May 2011
Read Profile
Bass-Baritone Shen Yang: April 2011
Read Profile
Young Concert Artists: March 2011
Read Profile
Tenor David Lomeli: February 2011
Read Profile
NYCB Principal Dancer Robert Fairchild: January 2011
Read Profile
Violist David Aaron Carpenter: December 2010
Read Profile
Tenor Sean Panikkar: November 2010
Read Profile
Trombonist Massimo La Rosa: October 2010
Read Profile
Baritone Andrei Bondarenko: September 2010
Read Profile
View Video
Soprano Leah Crocetto: August 2010
Read Profile
Soprano Marina Bartoli: July 2010
Read Profile
Choreographer Kyle Abraham: June 2010
Read Profile
Baritone Quinn Kelsey: May 2010
Read Profile
Cellist Hans Kristian Goldstein: April 2010
Read Profile
Pianist Tamara Stefanovich: March 2010
Read Profile
View Video
Composer Tristan Perich: February 2010
Read Profile
View Video
Heldentenor Paul McNamara: January 2010
Read Profile
Violinist Caroline Goulding: December 2009
Read Profile
View Video
Composer Angel Lam: November 2009
Read Profile
View Video
Conductor Perry So: October 2009
Read Profile
View Video
Conductor Ilyich Rivas: September 2009
Read Profile
Cellist Joshua Roman: August 2009
Read Profile
View Video
Countertenor Valer Barna-Sabadus: July 2009
Read Profile
Composer Mason Bates: June 2009
Read Profile
View Video
Pianist Di Wu: May 2009
Read Profile
Vew Video
Conductor Lionel Bringuier: April 2009
Read Profile
View Video
Cellist Soo Bae: March 2009
Read Profile
View Video
Bass-baritone Adam Plachetka: February 2009
Read Profile
View Video
 

NETWORK

ADVERTISEMENT

»

Updates to artist manager rosters

»

RENT A PHOTO

Search Musical America's archive of photos from 1900-1992.

 

»BROWSE & SEARCH ARCHIVE

PROFESSIONAL
   GROWTH

ADVERTISEMENT

»