The Chelsea Symphony to Continue 11th Season with Vasks English Horn Concerto and SONG OF ZIPPY

The Chelsea Symphony to Continue 11th Season with Vasks English Horn Concerto and SONG OF ZIPPY

On January 28, 2017, at 7:30PM, The Chelsea Symphony will present the continuation of its 11th season, "Flight Paths," with a concert featuring the New York premiere of P?teris Vasks' English Horn Concerto and the world premiere of Tim Kiah's Song of Zippy, paired with J. Strauss's Overture to Die Fledermaus, Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances, and Sibelius's Finlandia.

Featured soloists on the program include The Chelsea Symphony's English horn player Jason Smoller in the Vasks concerto and Resident Composer Aaron Dai and oboist Phil Rashkin in the Kiah premiere; and the works will be conducted by Matthew Aubin, Eric Mahl, Tristan Rais-Sherman, and Matthew Dell.

"Flight Paths" features music written by composers who have visited or immigrated to the United States of America. The season celebrates the diversity of musicians who have been inspired by, and made their mark on, the U.S.

The performance of the Vasks English Horn Concerto is generously supported by grants from the American Latvian Association Cultural Foundation, the Council of Latvian Organizations of New York, the International Double Reed Society, the Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, and the Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations.

"It is an extraordinary honor to be able to give the New York premiere of the Vasks concerto," said English horn soloist Jason Smoller. "The music is filled with beauty and grace, with anguish and heartache, and all the while, it manages to tell a compelling story. The opportunity to play this piece with an orchestra of my peers is so meaningful, and I cannot wait to share this important work. I hope our performance will inspire others to program it in the coming years."

A graduate of Columbia University and Mannes College of Music, AARON DAI is a pianist and the resident composer of The Chelsea Symphony. His The Night Before Christmas for Narrator and Orchestra was recently performed by actress Caroline Rhea and The Chelsea Symphony, and his commissioned choral work december 1 (text by American poet Ted Kooser) was premiered by the New York City Gay Men's Chorus at The Town Hall last month. Mr. Dai lives and teaches in New York City.

PHIL RASHKIN, a Los Angeles native, performs dynamically as a conductor, symphonic, and solo musician and maintains an active schedule as a coach with Face the Music, as a conductor with Opera Upper West, and as an oboist with The Manhattan Symphonie and The Chelsea Symphony. Mr. Rashkin is a member of the shifting landscape of classical music: as a musical director and conductor/pianist for Opera Upper West's immersive, real-time performances of Le nozze di Figaro, La voix humaine, and The Telephone; as a recipient of The Marin Alsop Entrepreneurial Award with the ensemble A Closer Look; as a teacher and coach at the Kaufman Center's innovative Special Music School and The Horace Mann School. Mr. Rashkin recently toured with Josh Groban for his album Stages. Artists with whom Mr. Rashkin has worked include Wycliffe Gordon, Sasha Cooke, and Mark O'Connor. Mr. Rashkin attendEd Mannes College The New School for Music, where he received a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Music Performance. Mr. Rashkin's musicianship has been described as "particularly ravishing" (The Observer) and "choice, tersely delivered moments from Phil Rashkin.." (Lucid Culture).

JASON SMOLLER (oboe and English horn) maintains an active freelance performance career in New York City, where he has performed with The Chelsea Symphony, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, Apotheosis Opera, the Handel Festival Orchestra, and The Dream Unfinished. In addition to performances in many of New York's most iconic venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, he has performed with orchestras around the United States and in China, France, and the Dominican Republic. He has performed alongside Joshua Bell, Philippe Entremont, and Itamar Zorman and under the batons of Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, and Daniel Barenboim. He holds an MM degree in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied oboe with Stephen Taylor and Robert Botti and English horn with Tom Stacy, and a BA in French and music from Brown University. Jason plays a 1969 Laubin English horn. By day, he is the Associate Director of External Affairs for The New York Pops orchestra.


Founded in 2005 by young conductors Yaniv Segal and Miguel Campos Neto, The Chelsea Symphony has established a reputation as one of the most innovative ensembles in the New York metropolitan area. Shortly after its inception, the orchestra was featured in WNYC's "Salute to the Arts" Initiative, and Steve Smith of The New York Times praised the ensemble for its "earnest, vibrant" playing. The Chelsea Symphony has collaborated with many noteworthy artists, including Clay Aiken, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Tony Award winner LiLlias White, Broadway composer Seth Rudetsky, the Irish Tenors, and fashion designer Malan Breton. The orchestra's annual holiday concert has featured guest celebrities Richard Kind, David Hyde Pierce, Ana Gasteyer, Charles Busch, Andrea Martin, Rachel Dratch, Mo Rocca, Victor Garber, BD Wong, and Seth Rudetsky narrating The Night Before Christmas by Aaron Dai.

A champion of new music, The Chelsea Symphony has given the first performance of more than fifty compositions and presented many regional premieres. Nearly every one of the orchestra's concerts features a work by a living American composer. In 2009, the ensemble presented open rehearsals of Séance on a Wet Afternoon, the new opera by legendary Wicked composer and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, in advance of the work's premiere by Opera Santa Barbara. In 2013, the orchestra gave the New York City premieres of the Americana Symphony and The Improvised Violin Concerto by Grammy Award-winning violinist and composer Mark O'Connor-a performance that was featured in The Wall Street Journal. The Chelsea Symphony's debut studio recording, Joy and Sorrow, a collection of world premiere compositions by renowned composer David Chesky, was released in September 2015. In the 2014-2015 season, the orchestra initiated a composition contest for early-career composers adjudicated by Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony and music director of the All-Star Orchestra Gerard Schwarz, now in its third year.

While maintaining its home base in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, the orchestra has broadened its reach in recent years. The ensemble made its Lincoln Center debut in 2011, and has presented concerts at the United Nations, Bargemusic, Symphony Space, New York Fashion Week, Central Park, Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall (then Avery Fisher Hall), Merkin Concert Hall, and The DiMenna Center for Classical Music. In 2013, the orchestra launched an educational programming initiative and has collaborated with the Harmony Program, the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights, and the Brooklyn Music School. The Chelsea Symphony performed at the premiere event for the pilot of the Amazon Original Series "Mozart in the Jungle" in December 2014 at Alice Tully Hall. Members of TCS can be seen in all three seasons of the show.

The Chelsea Symphony is proud to be a member of the Chelsea Cultural Partnership/Destination Chelsea.

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