Music Academy of the West Welcomes 2014 Concerto Night Soloists Tonight

Music Academy of the West Welcomes 2014 Concerto Night Soloists Tonight

Having bested the field at this year's Concerto Competition Finals, three accomplished instrumentalists will take featured turns as soloists with the Academy Festival Orchestra under the baton of New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Joshua Weilerstein at the Granada Theatre tonight, July 19. Beginning at 8 pm, the concert will conclude with a performance of Tchaikovsky's soaring Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64. Tickets start at $15.

The 2014 Concerto Night soloists are violinist Danbi Um, horn player Trevor Nuckols, and pianist Micah McLaurin. Biographies appear below. All three musicians are attending the Music Academy of the West this summer.

In order, Mr. Nuckols will perform Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 2, Ms. Um will perform the first movement of Walton's Violin Concerto in B Minor, and Mr. McLaurin will perform movements two and three of Chopin's Second Piano Concerto.

A total of 21 Music Academy Fellows took part in the 2014 Concerto Competition Finals on July 2 and 3. This year's distinguished panel of judges included Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal Violist Carrie Dennis, New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill, concert pianist Andrew von Oeyen, and Emmanuel Villaume, music director of the Dallas Opera and chief conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic. The Music Academy Concerto Competition began this year with 55 Academy Fellows auditioning for the opportunity to compete in the finals.

Mr. Weilerstein, who attended the Music Academy in 2007 and 2008, became one of two New York Philharmonic assistant conductors in May 2011, shortly after completing his graduate studies in conducting and violin at the New England Conservatory. As unanimous winner of the 2009 Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen, he received conducting engagements with major Scandinavian orchestras, the first of which was the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in June 2009, marking his professional conducting debut. Since then, Mr. Weilerstein has conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Danish National Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, the Oslo Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, and the Vancouver Symphony, among others. In 2007 the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (SBYO) engaged Mr. Weilerstein as a violin soloist. Shortly after this appearance he was asked to join the first violin section for the orchestra's 2007 American tour with Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, becoming the ensemble's first non-Venezuelan guest member. Mr. Weilerstein, himself a former Academy Concerto Competition finalist (2008), is appearing as part of the Music Academy's new multiyear partnership with the New York Philharmonic.

The Granada is located at 1216 State Street in Santa Barbara. Concerto Night is generously supported by Robert W. Weinman.

The Music Academy's 67th season also will include a new production of Georges Bizet's popular opera Carmen as well as the Academy debut of New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert's 2014 residency will include conducting members of the Academy Festival Orchestra at the Lobero Theatre on July 26. Additional season highlights will include performances by cellist Joshua Roman and pianist Stephen Hough, as well as conducting turns by Thomas Adès and James Gaffigan. Featuring the Academy's exceptionally talented Fellows, together with illustrious guest performers and faculty, the events will be presented in venues throughout Santa Barbara.

For tickets and information, call 805.969.8787 or visit

Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West is among the nation's preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. The Academy provides these promising musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and frequent performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and Fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. Based in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West presents more than 200 public events annually, including performances by faculty, visiting artists, and Fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and fully staged opera. The Music Academy began broadcasting live, high-definition simulcasts by the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera at Hahn Hall in October 2008.

About the Concerto Competition Finalists:

Danbi Um, 24, born in Seoul, began playing the violin at age 2, and at age 10 was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received her bachelor's degree. She later earned an artist diploma at Indiana University. She will join Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's prestigious CMS Two program for the 2015/16 season. Ms. Um has made solo appearances with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra, among others. Her awards include second prize at the 2004 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition, and third prize at the 2009 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Trevor Nuckols, 23, born in San Antonio, is an undergraduate at Juilliard, where he studies with Julie Landsman. He won top honors and the Barry Tuckwell Award at the 2012 International Horn Society Premier Soloist Competition. Mr. Nuckols has performed as a soloist with the Juilliard

Orchestra, the Doctor's Orchestral Society of New York, and the Sarasota Orchestra, and has appeared as principal horn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony. He will perform with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center this fall. Mr. Nuckols attended the Music Academy in 2012.

Micah McLaurin, 19, born in Charleston, South Carolina, studies with Robert McDonald at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has received top prizes in several international competitions, including second prize in the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists and third prize in the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition. Mr. McLaurin has performed concertos with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Montevideo Philharmonic, the South Carolina Philharmonic, and the Hilton Head, Charleston, and Virginia symphony orchestras. He was the youngest of eight pianists worldwide chosen to participate in the Verbier Festival Academy.

Pictured: Micah McLaurin, Danbi Um, and Trevor Nuckols. Photo by David Bazemore.