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Music Academy Announces 75th Anniversary Season

The season runs June 15–Aug 6.

Music Academy Announces 75th Anniversary Season

The Music Academy of the West celebrates its milestone 75th anniversary season with eight weeks of live events at its picturesque Miraflores campus and throughout scenic Santa Barbara, California this summer (June 15-Aug 6).

Featured artists include Augustin Hadelich, Susanna Phillips, Sō Percussion and composers Tom Cipullo, Robyn Cee Kay Jacobs, Molly Joyce and Jessie Montgomery, who will all be in residence; Sasha Cooke, who makes a special appearance; and Isabel Leonard, who headlines the anniversary signature benefit concert.

Known for their infectious energy, this season's Academy Festival Orchestra concerts are led by Teddy Abrams, Musical America's 2022 "Conductor of the Year"; three-time Diapason d'Or-winner Stéphane Denève; Hannu Lintu, making his festival debut; returning favorite Larry Rachleff, who helms the annual Community Concert; and Speranza Scappucci, who draws the entire summer season to a close. New Principal Opera Conductor Daniela Candillari takes the podium for a fully staged production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and visionary Creative Producer of Special Projects James Darrah directs the world premiere presentation of Hahn Hall 1922-2022, an original new cabaret event.

New commissions from Cipullo, Joyce and Jacobs also receive world premieres, and the return of the Innovation Institute's Fast Pitch awards underscores the Academy's commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and expert mentoring. Presenting the Academy's talented young fellows and outstanding faculty artists in a wealth of chamber concerts, public masterclasses and competitions under the galvanizing leadership of President & CEO Scott Reed, the landmark anniversary season sees the annual Summer School and Festival back at full strength for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The Academy hosts four world-class Mosher Guest Artists in residencies that combine public performances and masterclasses with private lessons for fellows. Sō Percussion, the percussion quartet known for its "exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam" (New Yorker), joins Academy fellows for the world premiere of a new Music Academy of the West commission from Composer-in-Residence Robyn Cee Kay Jacobs, who has been called "a talented composer ... of the most remarkably individual music I have ever encountered" (Louder Than War), alongside 21st-century works by Angélica Negrón, Kendall Williams and ensemble member Jason Treuting (July 9).

In the x2 series, which pairs fellows and teaching artists in side-by-side chamber concerts, Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich, Musical America's 2018 "Instrumentalist of the Year," performs Ravel's Second Violin Sonata on a program with Loeffler's Trio for Oboe, Viola and Piano and Dvořák's beloved quintet, "The American" (July 12). Susanna Phillips, a 2002 and 2003 alumna who went on to win the Metropolitan Opera's 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, returns for a vocal recital with the Academy's Director of Music, John Churchwell, at the piano (July 25). Academy fellows perform a program of chamber music by Jessie Montgomery, with the composer in attendance (Aug 4). Currently serving as Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Montgomery is a laureate of both the Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the ASCAP Foundation's Leonard Bernstein Award, and her "personal yet widely resonant music" is helping to paint "a new portrait of American sound" (New York Times).

Mosher Guest Artists-in-Residence: Sō Percussion, Hadelich, Phillips & Montgomery

The Academy hosts four world-class Mosher Guest Artists in residencies that combine public performances and masterclasses with private lessons for fellows. Sō Percussion, the percussion quartet known for its "exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam" (New Yorker), joins Academy fellows for the world premiere of a new Music Academy of the West commission from Composer-in-Residence Robyn Cee Kay Jacobs, who has been called "a talented composer ... of the most remarkably individual music I have ever encountered" (Louder Than War), alongside 21st-century works by Angélica Negrón, Kendall Williams and ensemble member Jason Treuting (July 9). In the x2 series, which pairs fellows and teaching artists in side-by-side chamber concerts, Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich, Musical America's 2018 "Instrumentalist of the Year," performs Ravel's Second Violin Sonata on a program with Loeffler's Trio for Oboe, Viola and Piano and Dvořák's beloved quintet, "The American" (July 12). Susanna Phillips, a 2002 and 2003 alumna who went on to win the Metropolitan Opera's 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, returns for a vocal recital with the Academy's Director of Music, John Churchwell, at the piano (July 25). Academy fellows perform a program of chamber music by Jessie Montgomery, with the composer in attendance (Aug 4). Currently serving as Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Montgomery is a laureate of both the Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the ASCAP Foundation's Leonard Bernstein Award, and her "personal yet widely resonant music" is helping to paint "a new portrait of American sound" (New York Times).

Special guest appearances: Leonard & Cooke

Two further special appearances enrich the Academy's 2022 guest star lineup. The 75th-anniversary signature benefit event features Academy alumnae Isabel Leonard, the two-time Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano featured in no fewer than three Metropolitan Opera productions this season, and Georgian pianist Nino Sanikidze, Head Coach of LA Opera's Young Artist Program, in a performance under the stars. The festive evening also sees Leonard receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Academy's highest honor (June 18). Next, in the x2 series, Lehrer Vocal Institute visiting artist Sasha Cooke - another two-time Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano, whose performances offer "equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness" (Opera News) - joins Chuchwell for the world premiere of a new Music Academy of the West commission from Composer-in-Residence Tom Cipullo, "one of New York's favorite song composers" (New Yorker). This shares the program with Academy fellows' accounts of Brahms's First Piano Trio and Debussy's Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp (June 28).

Composers-in-Residence Cipullo & Joyce; plus Muhly

Two more composers will also be in residence this summer, as featured in the Academy fellows' Showcase Series, which spotlights the music of Composers-in-Residence Tom Cipullo (July 1) and Molly Joyce (July 20) respectively. The winner of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, Cipullo (also featured on June 28) impressed the American Academy of Art and Letters with the "inexhaustible imagination, wit, expressive range and originality" of his music, while Joyce, whose work explores disability as a creative source, has been hailed as one of the "most versatile, prolific and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome" (Washington Post). The program dedicated to her music will feature the world premiere of her new composition for solo voice, toy organ and string quartet. Composer Nico Muhly, the recipient of commissions from the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and others, will also attend the festival, presiding over the performance of his chamber work No Uncertain Terms (July 19) and giving a solo piano masterclass.

Academy Festival Orchestra: Rachleff, Abrams, Lintu, Denève & Scappucci

Introducing some of the world's foremost conductors to the next generation of artists, the Academy Festival Orchestra concerts represent a highlight of the festival each year. Returning favorite Larry Rachleff, Professor of Orchestral Conducting at Rice University and "a take-charge maestro who invests everything he conducts with deep musical understanding" (Chicago Tribune), leads this summer's annual Community Concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, with a program of Prokofiev and Márquez that opens with Beethoven's iconic Fifth Symphony (June 25). Next, Teddy Abrams, now in his eighth season as Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and just named Musical America's 2022 "Conductor of the Year," pairs new works by himself and by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw with 20th-century classics by Prokofiev and Milhaud (July 11). A rising star in the firmament of brilliant Finnish conductors, Finnish National Opera Chief Conductor Hannu Lintu makes his highly anticipated Academy debut with The Oceanides by his compatriot Sibelius followed by Mahler's "Titan" Symphony (July 2). Stéphane Denève, who serves as Music Director of both the Brussels Philharmonic and St. Louis Symphony as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, takes the podium for Rachmaninoff, Guillaume Connesson and Ravel's second Daphnis et Chloé Suite (July 30). Finally, 1996 Academy alumna Speranza Scappucci, who looks forward to making her Metropolitan Opera debut next season after making history as the first female Italian conductor at La Scala, leads the season-closing concert: a program of Rossini, Respighi and more (Aug 6).

Opera & more: Eugene Onegin, original cabaret & opening night concert

Marking the highpoint of the Lehrer Vocal Institute's summer, fully staged opera returns to the Granada Theatre with a new production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Anchored by the Academy Festival Orchestra, this features the Lehrer Vocal Institute fellows in an original staging by Peter Kazaras, Director of Opera UCLA, under the leadership of Daniela Candillari (July 15 & 17). Now in her inaugural season as the Academy's Principal Opera Conductor, it was Candillari who led its West Coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain in 2019. Also newly appointed as Principal Conductor of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Matthew Aucoin's Eurydice earlier this season.

The Lehrer Vocal Institute also presents the Opening Night concert, when vocal fellows will perform their favorite arias and songs (June 16) and the premiere presentation of Hahn Hall 1922-2022: An Original Cabaret, an evening of music theater that transports audiences to 1922 in an original story inspired by Berlin cabaret culture in the Weimar Republic (July 28). Collaboratively created by Grammy-winning music director Craig Terry and Princess Grace Award-winning director James Darrah, the Academy's Creative Producer of Special Projects, the production takes full advantage of the Hahn Hall's newly enhanced video and lighting technology. Darrah, the visionary director behind 2019's Cold Mountain, who recently inaugurated a new position as Artistic Director and Chief Creative Officer of Long Beach Opera, has been credited with "expanding the boundaries of the operatic form" (Wall Street Journal).

Fast Pitch Awards: inspiring new innovation

The 2022 festival marks the return of the Fast Pitch competition (July 22). Designed by the Academy's trailblazing Innovation Institute to inspire new enterprises in classical performance, presentation and audience development, the awards give fellows the opportunity to pitch entrepreneurial ideas for cash prizes, mentorship and support in bringing those ideas to fruition. By providing access to technology, media training and expert mentors, the competition nurtures experimentation and risk-taking, fueling future disruptors of the music industry.

London Symphony Orchestra musicians in residence

Five members of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will be in residence to coach and audition orchestral fellows for the chance to perform in London this fall with the legendary British orchestra and its Principal Guest Conductor, Gianandrea Noseda. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity concludes the Academy's momentous four-season LSO partnership, which reached new heights in March when the entire orchestra traveled to Santa Barbara to perform three sold-out programs under the leadership of its Music Director, Sir Simon Rattle.

Young people's choral concert: Sing! & Young People's Chorus of New York City

Four years ago, the Academy launched Sing!, its free, after-school choral program for local elementary students. This summer, the Music Academy Sing! Children's Chorus joins forces with the YPC National Lab and Studio of the Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC) under the direction of MacArthur award-winning YPC founder Francisco J. Nuñez for a young musicians' and conductors' workshop, culminating in a special joint performance in Hahn Hall (July 23).

Competitions, chamber concerts, masterclasses and more

One of the most popular events of the summer season, the Marilyn Horne Song Competition (Aug 3) is a showcase for Academy singers and vocal pianists, who compete for a cash prize and the opportunity to premiere a new commission from current Composer-in-Residence Tom Cipullo in 2023. Chosen by jury, past winners include John Osborn (1997), Susanna Phillips (2002, 2003), Isabel Leonard (2005) and Nadine Sierra (2007). Likewise, the Academy's Solo Piano Competition (June 24) and Duo competition (Aug 1) both see instrumental fellows compete for cash prizes and the chance to premiere new commissions from Juno nominee Stewart Goodyear and Pulitzer Prize finalist Christopher Cerrone, respectively.

As in previous years, the summer season offers a wealth of chamber concerts. As the result of a new chamber curriculum that pairs Academy artists with fellows for intensive coaching sessions, there will be five programs of new music and favorite masterworks in the intimate x2 series. In addition to the concerts featuring Sasha Cooke (June 28), Augustin Hadelich (July 12) and Nico Muhly (July 19), series highlights include a performance of Mendelssohn's Octet featuring the longtime festival favorite, the Takács Quartet, the first string quartet to be inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame (June 23). Academy fellows also collaborate on a special performance with another festival favorite Jeremy Denk, one of America's foremost pianists, whose string of honors includes the Avery Fisher Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship (June 30).

The public masterclass is one of the hallmarks of the Music Academy experience. All fellows participate in the Music Academy's extensive masterclass program, which is designed to complement individual private instruction. Over the course of the eight-week festival, more than 70 public masterclasses will be presented by faculty and guest artists in voice, solo piano, and the instrumental series. All masterclasses are open to the public, offering a unique behind-the-scenes look at the musical teaching process at its most dynamic and intimate.

Venues

The Music Academy of the West's fellows, faculty and guest artists perform at its scenic ocean-side campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara, including the historic 1,500-seat Granada Theatre and the recently renovated 600-seat Lobero Theatre. Known as Miraflores, the Academy's nine-acre campus was originally the estate of John Percival Jefferson. Its spectacular grounds and gardens create a serene place for visitors to stroll and relax before performances in the intimate Hahn Hall, which the Santa Barbara Independent calls an "ultra-luxurious jewel-box venue," and the Los Angeles Times describes as the "centerpiece of the West Coast's elite summer music academy, hidden away in a plush neighborhood of Montecito, a block from a glorious coastline. ... With 350 seats, it is perfect for chamber music and recitals. The acoustics are unobtrusive; nothing gets between music and the ear." Additional campus venues include Lehmann Hall, named for founder Lotte Lehmann, and Weinman Hall, a performance space decorated in Andalusian style, for masterclasses.

Lodging, dining and ticket information

Santa Barbara is an easy day trip from Los Angeles, and a memorable destination for travelers seeking cultural offerings in scenic settings. For tickets and further information for all Music Academy of the West events, call the Ticket Office at 805-969-8787, email ticketoffice@musicacademy.org, or visit online at www.musicacademy.org. To request a brochure, email festival@musicacademy.org or write to the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.

About the Music Academy of the West

Music Academy of the West is a performance-based training center and incubator that empowers musicians to impact society positively. The Academy welcomes everyone from across all generations, cultures and backgrounds to experience the transformative power of music. Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Academy presents the preeminent full-scholarship Summer School and Festival for classically trained fellows ages 18 to 34. The fellows study and perform with more than 50 exceptional faculty and teaching artists, while forging close connections with the local community. The Academy's commitment to long-term collaborations and exchanges with leading orchestras and opera companies results in unparalleled mentorship and career-advancing prospects. The Innovation Institute spearheads entrepreneurial training and ventures through seminars, residencies and the Alumni Enterprise Awards, substantial grants given annually for a wide range of creative projects. Launched in 2018, Sing! - a free, after-school choral program for local elementary students - inspires personal growth and expression. For more information, visit musicacademy.org.


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