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ABOUT THE STUDENTS
Flutist Sandy Hughes is a native of Portland, OR. She has attended several prestigious music festivals including the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. This coming summer Sandy will tour Europe with Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. She has performed in master classes for Sir James Galway, Emmanuel Pahud, Elizabeth Rowe, and Mark Sparks, among others. Now a Fulbright Grant recipient and a New World Symphony finalist, Sandy’s merits also include top prizes in the Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, the Miami String Quartet Competition, and the Paranov Concerto Competition.
Currently in pursuit of her Master of Music Degree in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music, Sandy is a member of the Manhattan School's distinguished Orchestral Performance program. Sandy holds both a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Hartford and the Hartt School of Music, respectively. Her principal teachers include Robert Langevin and John Wion.
Julianne Skones is currently enrolled in the Orchestral Performance degree at the Manhattan School of Music. She has performed with a wide variety of ensembles at school as well as in New York and abroad, including touring throughout the United States and Mexico with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, subbing for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and participating in the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Recently, Julianne performed in a sold-out concert in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Maestro Valery Gergiev with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. Through the Manhattan School of Music, she has had the opportunity to study with Joseph Robinson and Robert Botti in her undergraduate degree, and now studies with Liang Wang in her graduate degree.
Jason Smoller is a first-year Master’s degree candidate in the Orchestral Performance program at Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Stephen Taylor. He recently performed in Carnegie Hall with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas under Valery Gergiev. Jason graduated from Brown University in May 2009 with degrees in French and Music. Selected as a 2008 Winner of the Brown University Concerto Competition, Jason performed the Martinu Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra with the Brown University Orchestra in December 2008. He spent his junior year in Paris, where he studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with David Walter and played in the Orchestre de la Sorbonne. When he’s not practicing or working at his reed desk, Jason enjoys baking elaborate confections.
David Stech is currently a graduate student at the Manhattan School of music, pursuing a Professional Studies degree in Vocal Accompanying. For a decade, he was an active conductor, accompanist, vocal coach, baritone and piano teacher in Chicago. He served as music director of the American Opera Group, Chicago Choral Artists, and the United Church of Hyde Park. Stech served on the faculties of DePaul University, Roosevelt University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Truman College, and was a frequent adjudicator and clinician for Chicago Public Schools. An active orchestral and opera conductor, he has conducted the Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, the Northwestern University Philharmonia, the North Shore Chamber Orchestra, and the Sherwood Symphony Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia, Bulgaria) and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic (Czech Republic). In 2003, David received the Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship to study at Tanglewood. His teachers include Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Gustav Meier, and Rossen Milanov.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
American baritone Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular career as a recitalist, opera singer and recording artist, and maintains an active interest in teaching, music research and technology. He has performed in all of the world’s most important concert halls and opera houses with many of today's most renowned singers, pianists, conductors and orchestras; he is one of the most respected, innovative and sought after soloists performing today.
Hampson has won worldwide recognition for his thoughtfully researched and creatively constructed programs that explore the rich repertoire of song in a wide range of idiomatic styles, languages and periods. He is one of the most important interpreters of German romantic song, especially the works of Schumann, Mahler and Wolf, and with his ongoing “Song of America” project he is the "ambassador" of American song. Through the Hampsong Foundation, founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.
Much of Hampson’s 2009/10 season is devoted to the "Song of America" project, which this year commemorates the 250th anniversary of what is recognized as the first song written by an American (“My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free”, composed in 1759 by Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence). Collaborating with the Library of Congress, Hampson is performing recitals and presenting master classes, educational activities, exhibitions and broadcasts across the country and through a new interactive online resource, www.songofamerica.net. As part of the project, he has just released a new album, Wondrous Free – Song of America II, on his own label Thomas Hampson Media.
This season Hampson becomes the New York Philharmonic’s first Artist in Residence. As well as performing three programs with the orchestra, and going on tour in Europe under the Philharmonic’s new music director, Alan Gilbert, Hampson will give a recital in Alice Tully Hall, master classes at the Juilliard school, and three lectures entitled “Listening to Thought” in the orchestra’s “Insight” series. Other 2009/10 engagements include performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah under Kurt Masur in Leipzig; Verdi’s Ernani and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with the Zurich Opera; La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera; solo recitals throughout the United States and in many European capitals; and appearances at the galas of the Vienna State Opera and the new Winspear Opera House in Dallas.
Last season’s highlights included Hampson's anticipated role debut as Scarpia in Tosca at the Zurich Opera, and his notable portrayals of Athanaël in Thaïs at the Metropolitan Opera and Germont in La traviata at the Royal Opera House – the latter two opposite Renée Fleming. He also took part in the gala opening nights of both the Metropolitan Opera, broadcast live in HD worldwide, and Carnegie Hall, broadcast nationally on PBS.
Raised in Spokane, Washington, Hampson has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. His discography of more than 150 albums includes winners of a Grammy Award, two Edison Prizes and the Grand Prix du Disque. Hampson holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, Whitworth College, WA, and the San Francisco Conservatory, and he is an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France. He was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honor in Arts and Sciences in 2004, and in 2005 he received the Edison Life Achievement Award. In 2008 he was named Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America by Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. Hampson received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington DC.
For more information please visit www.thomashampson.com.