Las Vegas Philharmonic Forms American German Cultural Exchange Fellowship

By: Oct. 17, 2016
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Through a generous gift by German philanthropist Dorothee Hennings-Holtmann, the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Brandenburg State Theater Orchestra, Cottbus are pleased to announce the American German Cultural Exchange Fellowship (AGCEF). This new and unique fellowship partners the Las Vegas Philharmonic with the Cottbus State Theater Orchestra in Cottbus, Germany and will give both organizations the opportunity to exchange guest artists with their respective orchestras.

The first two recipients of the AGCEF are German violinist, Tobias Feldmann, and American violinist, Alexi Kenney. Feldmann will perform Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major with the Las Vegas Philharmonic on November 5, 2016 at The Smith Center and Kenney will perform Barber's Violin Concerto November 18 - 20, 2016 with the Brandenburg State Theater Orchestra, Cottbus.

A key supporter of the arts in Cottbus, Dorothee Hennings-Holtmann, not only graciously offered to underwrite the AGCEF but was the person who suggested the creation of the cross cultural exchange between the two countries and orchestras.

"We are grateful to Ms. Hennings-Holtmann for her vision and support of this cross cultural fellowship program," says Jeri Crawford, President & CEO of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. "The opportunity to exchange and showcase extraordinary artists like Alexi Kenney and Tobias Feldmann mark an exciting time for our orchestra; underscoring our commitment to support dedicated young professionals in their music career and introduce our audience to talent from around the globe who are making their mark on the world of music."

"It is heartwarming for me that this cultural bridge will be formed between my orchestra in Germany and my former 'home-philharmonic' in Las Vegas," shares Evan Christ, Music Director of the Brandenburg State Theater Orchestra, Cottbus. "I had the privilege once of playing with the Las Vegas Philharmonic as Oboist and also was Assistant Conductor for one season a few years ago. My mother, Lyndl Miller, was Principal Violist of the Philharmonic and my ties to Las Vegas are still close to my heart. I am grateful to my colleague and friend, Donato, and of course to Ms. Hennings-Holtmann for making this unique exchange possible."

"Evan and I have known each other since we were high school students, connecting through our shared passion for music and conducting," says Donato Cabrera, Music Director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. "It is particularly gratifying to me that, through the generous gift by Ms. Hennings-Holtmann, we are able to continue sharing this passion through showcasing the next generation of German and American musicians with our orchestras and communities."

As the partnership develops over time, both organizations believe that this unique collaboration will expand to include emerging composers and conductors.

About Dorothee Hennings-Holtmann:

The AGCEF was established in the memory of Claus Holtmann, CEO of the Eastern Savings Bank Organization. Mr. Holtmann was a very talented Entrepreneur and connoisseur of the Arts. He particularly enjoyed American Music and west coast culture. The AGCEF mission is to support young German and American artists.

About Tobias Feldmann:

At only 24 years of age, Tobias Feldmann is already considered one of the foremost, promising talents currently touring the world's concert stages. He shifted his focus to the violin at the age of eight and was admitted to the gifted learner class of the Musikhochschule Würzburg. He later moved to Berlin to study and earned his degree at the Hanns Eisler School of Music. Feldmann became known in classical music circles through his performances at numerous international competitions where he demonstrated his musical finesse and garnered a long list of distinctions. These included, among others, the renowned 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, the 2012 International Joseph Joachim Competition in Hanover and the 2012 German Music Competition. He also earned awards at eleven international violin competitions. Feldmann has captivated audiences in performances with numerous internationally renowned orchestras such as the Münchner Kammerorchester, the Utah Symphony Orchestra, the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nürnberger Symphoniker, the Bilkent Orchestra Ankara and the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover.

In April 2014, he released his debut CD featuring works by Beethoven, Ysaÿe, Bartók and Waxman under the GENUIN label, which immediately attracted widespread praise and attention from the international press and critics alike.

Since February 2013, Feldmann has played a violin crafted by Antonio Stradivari (Cremona 1703) - on loan from the deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

About Alexi Kenney:

The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been praised by the New York Times for "...immediately drawing listeners in with his beautifully phrased and delicate playing." His win at the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition at the age of nineteen led to his critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut recital at Weill Hall.

Kenney's 2016-17 season began this summer with unaccompanied recitals at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival at David Geffen Hall, and at Festival Napa Valley (formerly Festival del Sole). Concerto highlights this season include his third annual performance with the Santa Fe Symphony (Brahms) as well as debut performances with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (Sibelius), the Orchestra of the Staatstheater Cottbus, Germany (Barber), NYC's Riverside Symphony (Piazzolla's Four Seasons), and California's Tulare Symphony (Edgar Meyer Violin Concerto). He also appears with violinist Stefan Jackiw in a special duo concerto appearance with the chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, at Boston's Jordan Hall.

He has given recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Jordan Hall and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Napa's Festival del Sole, Chicago's Dame Myra Hess series, and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and he has been featured on Performance Today, WQXR-NY's Young Artists Showcase, WFMT-Chicago, and NPR's From the Top. Recent concerto engagements include the Santa Fe Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic and Roswell Symphony in New Mexico, the Hofheim Academy Orchestra in Bad Soden, Germany, and the NEC Philharmonia at Symphony Hall in Boston.

A passionate chamber musician, Kenney has performed at Caramoor, "Chamber Music Connects the World" at the Kronberg Academy, ChamberFest Cleveland, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, Ravinia, Yellow Barn, and on tour with Musicians from Ravinia's Steans Institute, collaborating with artists including Pamela Frank, Miriam Fried, Gary Graffman, Steven Isserlis, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, and Christian Tetzlaff. He has an upcoming tour with Musicians from Marlboro in 2017.

He is the recipient of top prizes at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition (2012), the Mondavi Center Competition (2010), and the 2013 Kronberg Academy master classes. He was praised by Strings magazine for his "beautiful, aching tone" for a performance of the Sibelius Concerto with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing during the Menuhin Competition.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Kenney received his Bachelor's of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he is currently the only violinist in its selective Artist Diploma program.

Alexi plays on the "Joachim-Ma" Stradivari of 1714, the violin used by Joseph Joachim for the premiere performance of the Brahms Concerto, through the generosity of the New England Conservatory.

About the Las Vegas Philharmonic
The Las Vegas Philharmonic, led by Music Director, Donato Cabrera, established its presence in Southern Nevada in 1998. The mission of the organization is to perform music that enriches and educates, helping to build a vibrant, culturally rich community. A proud resident company of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the Las Vegas Philharmonic brings a valued cultural dimension to the city, providing over 16,000 children each year with vital access to a music education program and showcasing local talents alongside stellar nationally and internationally known guest artists on the magnificent Reynolds Hall stage. At the orchestra's core are 76 contracted professional musicians, many of whom are esteemed educators who also perform in other professional productions in Las Vegas, bringing depth and variety to the organization.

As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Philharmonic's community, education and artistic programs are made possible by the generous donations and support of individuals and corporations. To join us in our mission or learn more, visit or call 702.258.5438.

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About the Brandenburg State Theater Orchestra:

The Brandenburg State Theater Orchestra looks back at a rich musical history. The orchestra, founded in 1912, has performed the entire standard Opera and Symphonic repertoire, including Richard Wagner's The Ring and Gustav Mahler's complete symphonies. Currently the orchestra gives approximately 170 opera and orchestral performances a year with numerous world premieres, several CD productions, and various European tours.


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