Las Vegas Philharmonic Performs A LITTLE ROMANCE, 3/15
The Las Vegas Philharmonic performs its second Spotlight concert of the season, titled "A Little Romance," on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:30 PM in Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts featuring three of the Las Vegas Philharmonic's principal musicians: Janis McKay (bassoon), Bill Bernatis (horn) and Voltaire Verzosa (piano) performing classical works for duet and trio.
McKay and Bernatis selected the title, "A Little Romance" because the music featured in this Spotlight performance is from the Romantic era (late 1800s - early 1900s), and as husband and wife, they've had the opportunity to perform the selections by Ewazen and Brahms together over the years.
The evening begins with a beautiful and lyrical Nocturno for horn and piano by Franz Strauss, followed by Andante in F for horn and piano composed by Franz's son, Richard Strauss in celebration of his parents' silver wedding anniversary. Although the father and son embraced different musical styles, both works are distinctly Romantic in nature with large dynamic contrasts and adventurous harmonies. Next, the ensemble performs one of Camille Saint-Saëns's last completed works before his passing, the charming and light-hearted Sonata for bassoon and piano. To close the Spotlight performance, all three musicians perform a trio by living composer Eric Ewazen, and finish with Brahms's Five Brahms Songs based on a selection of poems originally composed for voice.
Janis McKay is Principal Bassoon for the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and performs Contrabassoon for the Reno Philharmonic. She has performed with numerous orchestras and toured with many notable artists including Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli. McKay is the author of Played Out on the Strip: The Rise and Fall of Las Vegas Casino Bands, published in 2016 by the University of Nevada Press. McKay's new CD, Dark Wind, features the first ever recording of Eric Ewazen's Trio for Bassoon, Horn and Piano.
In addition to his position as Principal Horn for the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Bill Bernatis is Professor of Horn at UNLV, Assistant Director of UNLV Orchestras, and Assistant Principal Horn with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in New York. He also has performed with orchestras and ensembles across the country and recorded soundtracks for video games and motion pictures such as Eulogy, Step Up Revolution, and Mirror, Mirror.
Voltaire Verzosa maintains a dual career as a pianist and vocalist. He is the Principal Pianist for the Las Vegas Philharmonic and has performed in numerous festivals including the International Bamboo Organ Festival, the Las Vegas International New Music Festival and Amherst Early Music Festival to name a few. Verzosa performs as a countertenor and coaches classical vocal repertoire. He has won top prizes at the District Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition. On January 24, 2010, Voltaire made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall as a result of winning first prize in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition.