Met Opera Bass Christian Zaremba Joins GVO For Mussorgsky
The Greenwich Village Orchestra (GVO) presents Defying Death, led by Music Director Barbara Yahr and Associate Conductor Eric Mahl, on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 3:00pm at All Saints Church. The program opens with selections from Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges, led by Eric Mahl. Barbara Yahr leads the orchestra in Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death, featuring bass Christian Zaremba, who also performs with the Metropolitan Opera this season. The concert concludes with Rimsky-Korsakov's iconic Scheherazade.
Future GVO concerts this season include the annual Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 3:00pm; Classical Romantics on Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 3:00pm; Bohemian Rhapsodies on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 3:00pm featuring pianist-presenter Astrith Baltsan in a program of her own design; and Stealing Fire on Sunday, May 2, 2020 at 4:00pm at Peter Norton Symphony Space featuring Pittsburgh Symphony principal clarinet Michael Rusinek and bassoon Nancy Goeres in the NYC premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff's Double Concerto, co-commissioned by the GVO, and the US premiere of Clarice Assad's Saravá. The season also includes two chamber music concerts at the Tenri Cultural Institute.
Whether "stealing the evening ... as the dancing master" (The Washington Post) or "chilling in espousing the theories of Negro management" (Opera News), French-American bass, Christian Zaremba, is intent on leaving a strong impression each time he performs.
Recently, Mr. Zaremba was seen as Angelotti in Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Michigan Opera Theater, Zuniga in Carmen with Austin Opera, and the bass soloist in Verdi's Requiem with the GVO. Recent highlights include the King of Egypt in Aïda with the National Symphony, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, Passagallo in L'Opera Seria, and Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera, Colline in La bohème with Portland Opera and Opera Omaha, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Ashby in La fanciulla del West with Minnesota Opera, and the bass soloist in The Little Match Girl Passion with the Glimmerglass Festival and Portland Opera.
In the 2018-2019 season Mr. Zaremba returned to The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Gianni Schicchi and Tosca before greeting the New Year with a return to Austin Opera as the French General in Silent Night and to Minnesota Opera as Mountain Landis in the world premier of The Fix by Joel Puckett. He then made debuts with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Nouribad in Les pêcheurs des perles and reprised his Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Now in its 33rd season, the GVO is committed to making music at the highest possible level and enriching the lives of both players and audience through emotionally charged, exhilarating performances. The GVO was founded in 1986 by a group of musicians from the New York Metropolitan area. The 70-member community orchestra is made up of accountants, actors, artists, attorneys, carpenters, editors, physicians, professors, photographers, computer programmers, retirees, scientists, students, and teachers, among others. Now in it's 33rd season, the GVO is committed to making music at the highest possible level and enriching the lives of both players and audience through emotionally charged, exhilarating performances.
The GVO regularly performs with internationally acclaimed soloists. In recent years, the orchestra has performed alongside soloists such as violinists Andrés Cárdenes, Itamar Zorman, and Hye-Jin Kim; cellists Edward Arron, Raman Ramakrishnan, David Heiss, and Brook Speltz; soprano Christine Goerke; mezzo-sopranos Jennifer Johnson Cano and Naomi O'Connell; baritone Jesse Blumberg; trumpet soloist Brandon Ridenour; and more.
Now in her eighteenth season with the GVO, Music Director Barbara Yahr continues to lead the orchestra to new levels of distinction. With blockbuster programming and internationally renowned guest artists, the GVO under Barbara's baton, has grown into an innovative, collaborative institution offering a full season of classical music to our local community.
A native of New York, Yahr's career has spanned from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Her previous posts include Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra, Resident Staff Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony under Maestro Lorin Maazel and conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Orchestra. She has appeared as a guest conductor with such orchestras as the Bayerische Rundfunk, Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Frankfurt Radio, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Janacek Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, and the National Symphony in Washington D.C. She has also conducted the orchestra in Anchorage, Calgary, Chattanooga, Columbus, Detroit, Flint, Louisiana, New Mexico, Lubbock, Richmond as well as the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber, Rochester Philharmonic, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony and the Chautauqua Festival Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared in Israel conducting in both Jerusalem and Elat and as an opera conductor, has led new productions in Frankfurt, Giessen, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Minnesota and at The Mannes School of Music in NYC. She has coached the actors on the set of the Amazon Series, Mozart in the Jungle, and last season, conducted the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Yahr is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College where she studied piano and philosophy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Max Rudolf and an MM in Music Theory from the Manhattan School of Music. She was a student of Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine.
Yahr's commitment to finding new ways to reach a broader population with music ultimately led her into the field of music therapy. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist, with an MA in music therapy from NYU and post-graduate certification from the world-renowned Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy in New York City. Her pioneering, community music therapy project, Together in Music, brings orchestral music to the special needs community with uniquely interactive programs. Barbara is married to Alex Lerman and has two adult step-children, Abe and Dania, and a 17 year-old son, Ben.
Eric Mahl is the conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Third Street Music School Settlement, music director of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, artistic director of the Harmony Program Youth Orchestra North and of the New Jersey Young Artists Ensembles, and the GVO's own associate conductor. Mr. Mahl is a musician who believes in the transformative powers of music above all else. His hope is to provide meaningful, enriching and educational musical experiences to as many people as possible. Under the belief that the study of music is essentially an exploration of the human condition, and that classical music is infinitely beneficial for every human, he strives to cultivate an appreciation and understanding of music played with the highest possible level of artistry.
Mr. Mahl's past positions include assistant conductor to the contemporary music ensemble Orchestre 21, in Montreal QC, and Urban Playground Chamber orchestra in New York, New York, Conductor of the Fredonia Symphonia, cover conductor for the Orchard Park Symphony in Buffalo, NY, and assistant to all orchestral and operatic activities at SUNY Fredonia, in Fredonia, NY. He has been invited to guest conduct the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Greenwich Village Orchestra, The Chelsea Symphony, Urban Playground orchestra, and the University Orchestras of the College Conservatory of Music, Orchestra de l'Universite de Montreal, and SUNY Fredonia.
Mr. Mahl's dedication to contemporary music is evident in his many collaborations and commissions with professional and student composers, including the world premieres of fully staged operas, experimental ballet, and countless small and large ensemble pieces of all genres. While assistant conductor with Orchestre 21, Mr. Mahl was selected to act as assistant for the world premiere of Debussy's newly finished opera, Le Diable dans le Belfroi. He was also selected from over one hundred applicants to participate in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary music Conducting Workshop, where he worked closely with Marin Alsop and James Ross. This past January, he was invited by the Chelsea Symphony to conduct the world premiere of Tim Kiah's Song of Zippy, as well as music by Bartók.
Mr. Mahl is a passionate educator, teaching all ages and instruments at a number of schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City, and frequently working with student musicians from underserved communities. He is a firm believer that music can provide a transformational experience for any child regardless of background, and attempts to engage and inspire students from as many cultural and geographic backgrounds as possible through various community engagement activities.
Mr. Mahl received his Bachelors of Music in Education from Ithaca College and continued his studies both at Universite de Montreal and the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he received his master's degree. He has studied with some of the foremost conducting pedagogues in the United States including Marin Alsop, James Ross, Harold Farberman, Neil Varon, Marc Gibson, Larry Rachleff, Don Schleicher, Jean-Francois Rivest, Paolo Bellomia, and Joeseph Gifford. He has participated in workshops and competitions in the United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, at the Eastman School of Music, College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, and Bard College. Mr. Mahl's primary instrument is the trumpet, although he is well-schooled in all the orchestral instruments. He continues to perform in orchestral, jazz, and chamber music settings. Mr. Mahl is an outdoor enthusiast, and accomplished cook, and an avid runner.