AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL
Music - Dance - Theatre - Visual Arts - Film
Gerard Schwarz, Music Director
Julian Schwarz, Cello
Marco Nuñez, Flute
Under the direction of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, the Eastern Festival Orchestra returns to the festival for an afternoon of memorable symphonic music featuring soloists Julian Schwarz, cello, and Marco Núñez, first-prize winner of the 2015 Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists.
The program for July 10 includes:
ANTONIO VIVALDI: Flute Concerto in g minor, RV 439, “La Notte” - Marco Núñez, flute
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK: Cello Concerto in b minor, Op. 104 - Julian Schwarz, cello
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55
2016 marks Gerard Schwarz’s 12th year with the Eastern Music Festival. He joined the festival as music advisor in 2005, became principal conductor in 2006 and music director in 2008.
He also serves as music director of the All-Star Orchestra, an ensemble of top musicians from America’s leading orchestras which includes eight members of the EMF faculty. The All-Star Orchestra is featured in a new television series that has aired throughout the United States on PBS reaching 3.5 million viewers. It is the basis for their Khan Academy education platform. As in baseball, Schwarz created an “all-star” team of top musical athletes who have thus far recorded 12 episodes to encourage a greater understanding and enjoyment of classical music. All 12 programs have been released by Naxos and have been awarded four Emmy Awards and the Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Schwarz is conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony and is a renowned interpreter of 19th century German, Austrian and Russian repertoire, in addition to his noted work with contemporary American composers.
With more than 300 world premieres to his credit, Schwarz has always felt strongly about commissioning and performing new music. As EMF music director he initiated the Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Commissioning Project that has thus far commissioned John Coriglian, Richard Danielpour and Lowell Lieberman. For the 2016 festival, renowned Academy and Grammy Award-winning conductor, composer and pianist Andre Prévin has agreed to create a new work. In all, McElveen-Hunter has committed to 10 new works from American composers.
During Schwarz’s tenure with the festival, he has expanded audiences to the largest in its history, incorporated a composer in residence program, developed three new concert series and added new educational initiatives. The Festival Orchestra has also recorded a critically praised recording of the music of Alan Hovhaness for Naxos.
A prolific recording artist, Schwarz’s total discography numbers over 350. His pioneering cycles of American symphonists such as William Schuman, David Diamond and Howard Hanson have received high critical praise, as have his acclaimed series of Stravinsky ballets, symphony cycles of Robert Schumann, Gustav Mahler and Dmitri Shostakovich as well as orchestral works of Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Rimsky-Korsakov.
More than 50 discs featuring Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony – with works by 54 composers ranging from the Baroque to contemporary periods – were released in the last two years on Naxos, Delos, Artek and Brilliance Audio. Representing the breadth and depth of the conductor’s vast repertoire, the recordings vary in genre, including major 20th century ballets by Stravinsky, Strauss, Bartók, Ravel and Prokofiev, as well as multi-disc cycles of works by Schumann, Strauss, Wagner and Stravinsky. Schwarz’ dedication to the promotion of American music is also represented with recordings featuring the works of 26 American composers.
The Hanson cycle, first released on Delos, was a mainstay on Billboard’s classical music best-selling list for 41 weeks, including six weeks at number three; earned Grammy nominations and was named 1989 Record of the Year by Stereo Review. The new Russian series on Naxos has been acclaimed as “a high point in the extensive Schwarz/Seattle discography” (Classics Today), “very fine” (The Guardian) and “a powerhouse in Russian Romantic repertoire” (Music Web International). In addition to his numerous recordings with the Seattle Symphony, he has also recorded with the Berlin Radio Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, London Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic and, of course, Eastern Music Festival. His most recent release is of Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1st and 3rd Symphonies with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The Maestro’s long-standing commitment to education continues through his partnership with the All-Star Orchestra and Kahn Academy, the ground breaking organization that provides a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. Thus far their educational platform has reached 3.5 million students.
A gifted composer and arranger, Schwarz has expanded his compositional activities in recent years. His Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano was called a work of “sophistication and intelligence” by critic R.M. Campbell. Earlier works include In Memoriam and Rudolf and Jeanette (dedicated to the memory of his grandparents who perished in the Holocaust), both recorded by Naxos; Human Spirit, a composition for children’s choir and orchestra and his duos for violin and cello were called “redolent of the gentle humanism central to much of the music Schwarz loves to conduct” by The Seattle Times. His arrangements of suites from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel as well as many orchestral works are programmed in concerts worldwide. A Journey, a large scale orchestral tone poem, was commissioned by Dave Gannet and received its world premiere at the Eastern Music Festival in July 2012. Schwarz’s work for concert band Above and Beyond was premiered by the United States Marine Band in 2013 and is now available on Naxos. His newest work for that ensemble, a transcription of Rudolf and Jeannette, was premiered in February 2016. His orchestral work A Poem was recently given its first performance by the Hartford Symphony.
A sought-after guest conductor, Schwarz has led the most renowned orchestras throughout the world. He is also known for his operatic performances in addition to his concert work, having appeared with the Juilliard Opera, Kirov Opera, Mostly Mozart Festival, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera (where he has led 21 productions) and Washington National Opera conducting the operas of Wagner, Janáček, Strauss, Mozart, Bizet, Weber, Debussy, Bartók, Stravinsky, Beethoven and Gluck.
Born in America to Viennese parents, Schwarz began studying music at the age of 5 and soon focused on the trumpet. A graduate of both New York City's High School of Performing Arts and The Juilliard School, he joined the New York Philharmonic in 1972 as co-principal trumpet, a position he held until 1977. Schwarz’s numerous previous positions include music director of New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, where he presided over sold-out houses, developed the orchestra’s international touring, maintained a nine-year residency in Japan, considerably expanded its Mozart repertoire and through its televised Live from Lincoln Center appearances earned several Emmy nominations. His tenure as music director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) initiated the long-standing partnership between the orchestra and Classic FM, expanded recordings on the RLPO Live label, initiated a new partnership with Avie records, created the enormously popular Sunday matinee Musically Speaking concert series, led highly acclaimed tours to Spain and Prague and brought the orchestra to National Television in BBC Proms broadcasts. As music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony he expanded concert series and audiences, made award-winning recordings and championed new works. In addition he served as artistic advisor to the Tokyo Philharmonic.
Gerard Schwarz completed his final season as music director of the Seattle Symphony in 2011 after an acclaimed 26 years. During his leadership, Schwarz was instrumental in the building of Benaroya Hall, spearheading efforts that resulted in the acoustically superb new home for the Seattle Symphony. The many legacies of his extraordinary leadership include a critically acclaimed discography of more than 140 recordings; numerous television programs and concert broadcasts resulting in two Emmy Awards; major strides in music education programs including new series and the successful Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center; regular programming of innovative themed festival weeks; in addition to dramatically increased audience attendance and classical subscription weeks. Schwarz’s final season in Seattle was emblematic of the conductor’s passionate dedication and support for contemporary music, with a total of 22 world premieres, 18 of these premieres being a part of the Gund/Simonyi Farewell Commissions, an unprecedented commissioning initiative celebrating his farewell season as music director.
In his nearly five decades as a respected classical musician and conductor, Schwarz has received hundreds of honors and accolades. Over the years, he has received four Emmy Awards, 14 Grammy nominations, eight ASCAP Awards and numerous Stereo Review and Ovation Awards. He holds the Ditson Conductor’s Award from Columbia University, was the first American named conductor of the year by Musical America and has received numerous honorary doctorates, including from his alma mater, The Juilliard School. In 2002 the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored Schwarz with its Concert Music Award and in 2003 the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences gave Schwarz its first IMPACT lifetime achievement award.
Active in music advocacy on a national and state level, he served on the National Council of the Arts and is honorary chairman of the Board of Young Musicians Excelling, an organization in Washington State which supports music education in the Pacific Northwest. Most recently, the City of Seattle recognized his outstanding achievements by naming the street alongside the Benaroya Hall “Gerard Schwarz Place” and the State of Washington gave him the honorary title of “General” for his extraordinary contributions as an artist and citizen.
Born in Seattle into a musical family, Julian Schwarz is recognized as a cellist destined to rank among the finest of the 21st century. In August 2013, he was awarded first prize in the professional cello division of the inaugural Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong.
Schwarz made his orchestral debut at the age of 11 playing the Saint-Saёns Concerto No. 1 with the Seattle Symphony with his father, Eastern Music Festival Music Director Gerard Schwarz, on the podium. Since then, he has appeared with the Seattle, San Diego, Puerto Rico, Columbus (OH), Syracuse, Virginia, Hartford, Grand Rapids, Springfield (MA), Greensboro, Memphis, Sarasota, Grand Rapids, Omaha, Wichita and Modesto symphonies among others and performed recitals at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and in Palm Springs.
Schwarz’s recent performances include concerts with the Charlotte, Des Moines, West Virginia, Toledo, Amarillo and Washington/Idaho symphonies, Louisville Orchestra and Symphony Silicon Valley in San Jose; return engagements with the Hartford and Boca Raton symphonies and the Northwest Sinfonietta; and recitals in Palm Springs, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and Nova Scotia. Internationally, he made his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony in Brisbane as well as his debut in Hong Kong appearing at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival. In 2010, he was one of the featured soloists on a 13-concert U.S. tour with the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In August 2012, Julian Schwarz recorded the Samuel Jones Cello Concerto, which was written for him, with the newly formed All-Star Orchestra which was founded by Gerard Schwarz. The All-Star Orchestra, comprised of orchestral musicians from major American orchestras, taped eight programs at that time, all of which were broadcast on public television in the fall of 2013 and then issued on DVD by Naxos. Schwarz’s previous recordings for Naxos include In Memoriam for the Music of Remembrance series and the Saint-Saёns Concerto No. 1 and Haydn C Major cello concertos with the Seattle Symphony. He has also been heard on NPR’s acclaimed radio program From the Top and on a live recording of his Brahms Double concerto with Caroline Goulding and the Eastern Festival Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Julian Schwarz has performed at the Aspen, Bellingham, Interlochen, California Summer, Encore and Eastern Music festivals. He has been the featured young artist at both the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and the Cape Cod Music Festival and performed at the prestigious Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He performed in Pollack and Weill halls as part of the Montréal International String Quartet Festival and a Carnegie Hall workshop, respectively. In 2013, he premiered a new concerto by Richard Danielpour, A Prayer for Our Time, at the Eastern Music Festival where he has been associate principal cello since 2012.
Schwarz started piano lessons at the age of 5 and began his cello studies the following year with the late David Tonkonogui; subsequent teachers include Toby Saks, Lynn Harrell, Neal Cary and Ronald Leonard. He received his bachelor’s of music degree from The Juilliard School in New York City in May 2014 where he studied with Joel Krosnick and is currently pursuing his master’s of music degree, also at Juilliard. He currently performs on a cello made in Naples by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743.
Flutist Marco Núñez is currently in his second year at Indiana University in the Jacobs School of Music pursuing his master’s degree in music in flute performance under the tutelage of Thomas Robertello. Prior to attending the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Marco earned his bachelor’s of music degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) where he studied with Tadeu Coelho. Before he began his studies at UNSCA, Núñez was a student at the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey, Mexico, studying with Luis Alfredo González. He has played in master classes for world-renowned flutists, including Sir James Galway, Emmanuel Pahud, Michael Hasel, András Adorján, Carol Wincenc, Leone Buyse, Gary Schocker, Robert Dick and Susan Hoeppner, among others.
Núñez recently won the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists and the Jacobs School of Music Woodwind Concerto Competition. He also won the 2014 James and Helen Pellerite Orchestral Excerpts Competition at the Jacobs School of Music, UNCSA’s 2013 Fall Concerto Competition, received second prize at the 2011 Rubén Islas Flute Competition, first prize at the 2011 Raleigh Area Flute Association Review and Contest and was one of the winners of the South Carolina Flute Society Masterclass Competition. Marco is currently the principal flutist of the Indiana University Symphony Orchestra.
Núñez was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. This is his first performance with the Eastern Music Festival.