Boston Court Pasadena's 2019 Emerging Artists Series

Boston Court Pasadena's 2019 Emerging Artists Series

Boston Court Pasadena continues its mission of fostering new musical talent with the 3rd Annual Emerging Artists Series, May 30 June 9, 2019. The series will feature up-and-coming pianists, as well as vocalists who have been through a rigorous mentoring curriculum with some of Los Angeles' most prominent musicians and coaches including Mark Robson, Gloria Cheng, Lisa Sylvester, Vicki Ray, Brent McMunn and Paul Floyd.

The series is curated by Boston Court Artistic Director Mark Saltzman, and features pianist Kaileigh Riess (Soprano), David Castillo (Baritone), So-Mang Jeagal (Pianist), James Hayden (Bass-Baritone), David Kaplan (Pianist), Alina Roitstein (Soprano) and Todd Moellenberg (Pianist). The pianists are presented in collaboration with Piano Spheres.

2019 marks the third year that Boston Court Pasadena is presenting the Emerging Artists Series. The Series not only gives audiences the opportunity to hear these talented musicians who are on-the-rise, but it also provides the young musicians with a platform to develop and hone their professional recital repertoire and performance skills. The concert pianists are part of the ongoing Piano Spheres Satellite Series, and are presented with their mentor in a pre-show conversation to give the audience a more in-depth look at the mentoring process, as well as the repertoire that will be heard in the concert that follows.

The Emerging Artists Series is an exciting addition to our season, said Boston Court Pasadena Artistic Director Mark Saltzman. It enables these extraordinarily talented musicians to have the exceptional opportunity to learn from the collective wisdom and experience of some of the most brilliant professionals in the field. The pi ce de resistance is the culmination of the learning process in these public performances that present the young artists as they emerge into very promising careers.

The Emerging Artists Series speaks to a core piece of Boston Court Pasadena's mission to develop new work and nurture young artists, providing them a platform to grow, experiment, and pursue projects that they are passionate about. The Series is made possible through generous support from the Lazy L Foundation.

Tickets are $10 and free to students. Free student tickets provide student musicians the chance to witness their peers perform in an intimate, professional setting. Tickets are available by visiting or calling 626.683.6801.

Schedule and About the Emerging Artists

Thursday, May 30 at 8pm
Kaileigh Riess (Soprano) is a Massachusetts native seen most recently as La Contessa in USC Thornton's production of Le nozze di Figaro. She has spent two summers as a studio artist with Central City Opera where she was called "the engaging singer and actor [who] plays enthusiastically off the others" for her performance as Lola in Douglas Moore's Gallantry (Daily Camera, 2017).

Other operatic roles include Morgana (Alcina), Laurie Moss (The Tender Land), Blanche de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Silver Dollar (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Trio Soprano (Trouble in Tahiti) and Elaine O'Neill in the Chicago Premiere performance of John Musto's Later the Same Evening. At Northwestern University, where Kaileigh received a BM in Voice Performance and a BA in English, Kaileigh sang Francis Poulenc's La voix humaine in a fully staged recital and performed in master classes with soprano Susanna Phillips and composer Jake Heggie.

At Central City, Kaileigh won the Young Artist Award for Excellence in 2016 and the Dorsey Family Award in 2017. She spent last summer in Israel covering the role of Adina in L'elisir d'amore. After completing her Master of Music at USC, Kaileigh will pursue a performance certificate at the prestigious Boston University Opera Institute.

Friday, May 31 at 8pm
David Castillo (Baritone) is a New Orleans native and an inaugural Company Member of The Industry and Hopscotch, Bonnie and Clyde, Galileo, Nimbus. With the LA Philharmonic, he performed in Bernstein's Mass with Gustavo Dudamel, the world premieres of Theatre of the World and War of the Worlds, and John Cage's Europeras 1 & 2. In the dance world, David partnered with Luminario Ballet for a danced production of Schubert's Winterreise, the American Contemporary Ballet in Le Fate In Italia, Mojacar Flamenco for Romance Sonambulo, and in the LA Dance Project residency as Narrator and Co-producer of Jay Carlon's FLEX. Highlights include The Cleveland Orchestra for Pell as et M lisande, New Orleans Opera in Carmen, Paris for Schubert's Winterreise, two episodes of America's Got Talent, return Off-Broadway for Figaro! (90210), and in the recent Double-CD release of David Rosenboom's Deviant Resonances on Ravello Records. As a producer, he created Seven Deadly Sins and Innervisions:revisted, and produced William Nedved and recent Project Runway winner Kentaro Kameyama's fashion opera (in development) The Passion of McQueen, also starring as Lee Alexander McQueen, here at Boston Court Pasadena. He graduated with honors from USC and Loyola New Orleans.

Saturday, June 1 at 8pm
So-Mang Jeagal (Pianist) performed in many international music festivals and concert series at major concert halls, such as Salzburger Schloss Konzerte, Konzerthaus(Germany), La Madeleine(France), Seoul Arts Center, J. F. Kennedy Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Mr. Jeagal won First Prizes at the Washington International Piano Competition and Liszt International Music Competition in 2014. As a winner of the competition, Mr. Jeagal presented solo recitals of the music of Liszt at the prestigious Liszt Ferenc Museum and Research Center in Budapest and the Hungarian Cultural Center in London. He was also invited to give a solo recital at the Newport Music Festival in Rhode Island.

Mr. Jeagal was born in Daegu, South Korea. He began studying the piano at the age of five and gave his debut recital at the age of eleven. He received the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees with highest honors from the Seoul National University. He graduated Artist Diploma at the Thornton School of Music of USC as a full scholarship student under the tutelage of Professor Kevin Fitz-Gerald. Mr. Jeagal has participated in Masterclasses with eminent concert pianists Leon Fleisher, Murray Perahia, John O'Conor, Klaus Hellwig, Hiroko Nakamura and Hae-sun Paik.

Thursday, June 6 at 8pm
James Hayden (Bass-Baritone) grew up in a household where the living room speakers pumped out either Placido Domingo or Led Zeppelin depending on which parent had control of the remote. This upbringing influenced his time at the University of Southern California, where he trained with choral, operatic, and pop ensembles in pursuit of his Vocal Arts degree. James has developed a particular fondness for unusual performances, learning how to sing and ride a penny-farthing bike as the Basso Buffo in the LA Phil's production of John Cage's Europeras, and portraying a cowardly crooner in the world premiere of Annie Gosfield's War of the Worlds. Other notable engagements include the ongoing worldwide tour of the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Lagrime di San Pietro, two appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and two performances with the Rolling Stones on their 50th Anniversary Tour. His voice can be heard on movie and video game soundtracks, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Minions, The Hangover Part III, and League of Legends. When not embodying villains or wise priests on the operatic stage, he performs with the new-music vocal sextet Hex and writes award-winning pop a cappella charts for ensembles across the U.S.

Friday, June 7 at 8pm
David Kaplan (Pianist), has been called excellent and adventurous by The New York Times, and praised by the Boston Globe for grace and fire at the keyboard. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Britten Sinfonia and Das Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, and has performed recitals at the Ravinia Festival, Sarasota Opera House, Washington's National Gallery, Music on Main in Vancouver, and Strathmore in Baltimore.

Kaplan's New Dances of the League of David, a recital infusing Schumann's Davidsb ndlert nze with 16 new works by composers including Augusta Read Thomas, Marcos Balter, Caroline Shaw, and Andrew Norman was cited among the Best Classical Music Performances of 2015 by The New York Times. For 2020, he commissions renowned composers Anthony Cheung and Christopher Cerrone for two works based on music written by one another, to be programmed with Beethoven's Diabelli Variations.

Balancing solo performances with meaningful collaborations, Kaplan has played with the Attacca, Ariel, Enso, Hausman, and Tesla String Quartets. As a core member of Decoda, the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, he performs frequently in New York's most exciting venues, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to National Sawdust, as well as creating innovative residencies as far away as Abu Dhabi, Mexico, and Scotland. He is a veteran of numerous distinguished chamber music festivals and series, such as the Seattle Chamber Music, Bard, and Mostly Mozart Festivals, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Barge Music. He is an alumnus of Tanglewood and the Ravinia-Steans Institute, and performs regularly as an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, including with Itzhak Perlman at Miami's Arscht Center. He serves as Co-Artistic Director of Lyrica Chamber Music, a community series in Morris County, NJ currently in its 31st season.

Kaplan has recorded for Naxos, as well as with Timo Andres in the acclaimed disc, Shy and Mighty (2010), for Nonesuch. Kaplan's distinguished mentors over the years include the late Claude Frank, Walter Ponce, Alfred Brendel, Richard Goode, and Emanuel Ax. He studied conducting at the Universit t der K nste Berlin with Lutz K hler, under the auspices of a Fulbright Fellowship from 2008-2010. The recipient of a DMA from Yale University in 2014, Kaplan also graduated from UCLA, where he has also served on the faculty since 2016.

David is proud to be a Yamaha Artist, and when at home in New York City, he enjoys practicing on his childhood piano, a 1908 Hamburg Steinway model A. Away from the keyboard, he loves cartooning and cooking, and is mildly obsessed with classic cars.

Saturday, June 8 at 8pm
Alina Roitstein (Soprano) is a Los Angeles native known for her beautiful voice and equally beautiful presence (El Nuevo Herald). Her career spanning opera and art song, jazz and Latin music, chamber music and contemporary works, and choral music has taken her to venues all over the world, including Japan's Symphony Hall in Osaka, South Korea's Seoul Arts Centre Concert Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, Scotland's Royal Conservatoire, Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert Series, Chicago's Poetry Foundation, and Los Angeles' REDCAT and Disney Hall. One of Alina's passions is performing new works, and she has premiered pieces by Juhi Bansal, Thomas Kotcheff, Gregory Uhlmann, Allen Menton, David Rentz, Trevor Anderies, David Roitstein, and others. She also premiered the role of Emily in The Discord Altar, the first of OperaWorks' Arts for Social Awareness Project, a groundbreaking musically improvised opera created to bring awareness to current social issues.

Roitstein's recording credits include Trevor Anderies Quintet's Promise of a Tree (Orenda Records), River Song Quintet's Monarchs, and Toomai String Quintet's recent release, Cuerdas Cubanas. A committed educator, Roitstein is on the voice faculty at Pasadena City College and Los Angeles Pierce College, and has performed workshops and master classes at universities throughout the United States.

Sunday, June 9 at 2pm
Todd Moellenberg (Pianist) is a performance artist and poet based in Los Angeles. Notable performances include the work of Julius Eastman with Monday Evening Concerts, Ligeti's Piano Concerto with the Palimpsest Ensemble, Grisey's Vortex Temporum with the What's Next? Ensemble, and Claude Vivier's Shiraz at the Darmstadt Courses for New Music. His performance of Stockhausen's Kontakte with People Inside Electronics was praised by the Los Angeles Times for its striking virtuosity and theatricality. A founding member of the performance artist collective The Family Room, Todd's creative work encompasses durational performance, public intervention, lyric poetry, and automatic text. His recent work involves musical transcriptions of automated voices, with recent commissions from Autoduplicity and percussionist Ryan Nestor, and an upcoming exhibition at Cal State Northridge. He received his BM in piano performance from UT Austin, where he studied with Dr. Betty Mallard. He recently completed his MA and DMA in contemporary piano performance at UC San Diego, where he studied with Aleck Karis. His dissertation demonstrates how the work of Ravel and Jean Barraqu can generate poetic forms and structures for durational performance. Todd is currently a Teaching Artist with the Young Musician's Foundation.

About the Mentors/Accompanists

Pianist Gloria Cheng has long been devoted to creating collaborations that explore meaningful interconnections amongst composers. She has been a recitalist at the Ojai Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, William Kapell Festival, and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and has been recognized with both a Grammy and an Emmy Award. Cheng has commissioned, premiered, and been the dedicatee of countless works, including Esa-Pekka Salonen's Dichotomie, John Adams' Hallelujah Junction for two pianos, and the late Steven Stucky's Piano Sonata. In duo-piano recitals with the composers, she premiered Thomas Ad s's 2-piano Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face and Terry Riley's Cheng Tiger Growl Roar. Cheng won a Grammy Award for her 2008 disc, Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, andLutos awski, and a nomination for her next recording, The Edge of Light: Messiaen/Saariaho. Her film,MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano (2016), documenting the recording of the eponymous CD (harmonia mundi usa) of works composed for her by Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman, and John Williams, aired on PBS SoCal and was awarded the 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy for Independent Programming. Cheng has been a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta and Pierre Boulez, and on its Green Umbrella series under Esa-Pekka Salonen and Oliver Knussen. She received her B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and earned graduate degrees in performance under Aube Tzerko and John Perry. She now teaches at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where she has initiated courses and programs that unite performers, composers, and scholars. She served as 2012 Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.

Paul Floyd trained as a classical pianist with performance degrees from the University of Southern California, The Eastman School of Music and the University of Colorado, Boulder. He worked with some of the best teachers in the country including Nelita True, Robert Spillman, and James Bonn. During his studies, he also fell in love with vocal chamber music and opera. His career as an opera coach began in the summers with festivals in Aspen and Central City, Colorado and for ten summers in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He made his living for sixteen years as an Assistant Conductor with the Los Angeles Opera. While working in the field of opera, he collaborated daily with many of the world's finest opera singers and conductors. He is now conducting opera both at Chapman University and in the summers, at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
Brent McMunn is conductor/music director of USC Thornton Opera and assistant professor of vocal arts. His professional operatic conducting debut was with the New York City Opera National Touring Company in La fille du regiment. Shortly after, he made his Lincoln Center debut with the New York City Opera in Les contes d 'Hoffmann, and subsequently conducted in four separate seasons for that company. McMunn came to opera after an established career as a pianist, known especially for his collaborations with a number of eminent string players, including Lynn Harrell, Cynthia Phelps, and Ronald Copes, now of the Juilliard Quartet, appearing at the major Southern California venues as well as the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Carnegie Hall. His work in and love for opera began when he joined Grant Gershon as one of two pianists at the Los Angeles Opera in its early days. Concurrently, he was made director of opera at California State University, Long Beach, where he began conducting and produced a wide repertory of operas. After his New York conducting success, he went on to guest conduct at a number of North American companies, such as Arizona Opera, Calgary Opera, Lake George Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera New Jersey and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, and spent several years as co-artistic director of the Ridgefield Opera Company in Connecticut. In addition to his conducting, his work as assistant and cover conductor at LA Opera, New York City Opera, and six seasons at the Santa Fe Opera, has given him a repertoire of over 70 operas, including those by Handel, Mozart, Puccini, the major Strauss operas, and a number of new works and premieres, with a special emphasis on the Bel Canto repertoire. He has continuously enjoyed working with young singers in the young artist programs of the major companies, as a coach at the Juilliard School, and as a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival.

Described as phenomenal and fearless, Grammy nominated pianist Vicki Ray is a leading interpreter of contemporary piano music. Known for thoughtful and innovative programming which seeks to redefine the piano recital in the 21st century, Vicki's concerts often include electronics, video, recitation and improvisation. As a founding member of Piano Spheres, an acclaimed series dedicated to exploring the less familiar realms of the solo piano repertoire, her playing has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for displaying that kind of musical thoroughness and technical panache that puts a composer's thoughts directly before the listener. As a pianist who excels in a wide range of styles Vicki Ray's numerous recordings cover everything from the premiere release of the Reich You Are Variations to the semi-improvised structures of Wadada Leo Smith, from the elegant serialism of Mel Powell to the austere beauty of Morton Feldman's Crippled Symmetries. Recent releases include David Rosenboom's Twilight Language on Tzadik Records and Feldman's For Piano and String Quartet with the Eclipse Quartet on Bridge Records. Her 2013 recording of Cage's The Ten Thousand Things on the Microfest label was nominated for a Grammy. Vicki has been heard in major solo roles with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the German ensemble Compania, and the Blue Rider Ensemble of Toronto, with whom she made the first Canadian recording of Pierrot Lunaire. She is currently head of the piano department at the California Institute of the Arts, where she has been on the faculty since 1991. In 2010 she was awarded the first Hal Blaine Chair in Music Performance. For the past eight years she has served on the faculty at the Bang on a Can summer festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Vicki Ray is a Steinway Artist.

Mark Robson has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a pianist with one of the great techniques, an inquiring mind and a performer capable of evoking an exquisite engulfing pastel haze, and he continues to impress with his multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Mr. Robson is equally comfortable in styles ranging from early music played on the harpsichord and organ to the great Romantic repertoire and beyond to contemporary piano works demanding theatrical participation from the performer. As a collaborative artist with singers and instrumentalists, he commands the respect of his peers in both the recital and chamber settings. He presents an annual recital for the LA series Piano Spheres and has performed for Jacaranda on numerous occasions. As an organist, he has also appeared as a soloist in the Minimalist Jukebox at Disney Hall and has performed on the organ in Mahler's 8th Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl in their 2008 season. After completing conservatory and university training, Mr. Robson amplified his musical studies with extensive study in Paris-where he was a pupil of Yvonne Loriod, widow of composer Olivier Messiaen-and through his work as an assistant conductor and assistant chorus master for the Los Angeles Opera. During this time he worked with renowned international singers and conductors, gaining great insight into the lyric art. He has also been a musical assistant at the Salzburg and Spoleto (Italy) festivals. As a composer, Robson has been programmed on concerts in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Barcelona and Paris. The Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra has premiered two of his orchestral works, Apollo Rising and Christmas Suite. Soprano Patricia Prunty has recorded his song cycle A Child of Air and the same piece was presented by Sari Gruber at the winter Ravinia Festival. The recipient of several scholarships and awards (including the Certificate of Excellence from the Corvina Cultural Circle for artistic contributions to Hungary), Mark Robson has received degrees from the University of Southern California and Oberlin College. He has worked as a vocal coach for the faculties of USC, Chapman University, the California Institute of the Arts and Cal State Fullerton. Among his formidable musical projects has been the performance in eight concerts of the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven andnumerous performances of Messiaen's massive cycle, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-J sus.

Lisa Sylvester coach/pianist/conductor, is vocal coach and teaches courses in Diction, Vocal Repertoire and Accompanying on USC Thornton's Vocal Arts Faculty. She is also faculty coach at OperaViva!, a summer training program for young singers in Verona, Italy. Sought after as coach and recital collaborator, Ms. Sylvester has also given presentations at the conventions and symposiums of the National Opera Association, National Association Teachers of Singing, Classical Singer, and the Song Collaborators' Consortia. She has long been associated with the acclaimed Long Beach Opera where she has served as assistant conductor/orchestral pianist in their main stage productions of works by John Adams, Philip Glass, Leos Janacek, Osvaldo Golijov, among others. She also serves as Music Director for LBO's Educational outreach production of the Diary of Anne Frank by Grigori Frid. An advocate for new vocal music, Sylvester has been on the creative teams for several new works. She conducted scenes from Julia Adolphe's So Donia Speaks on Chamber Music Palisades, and was Music Director/Conductor for Teresa Levelle's aLtered sTates on the RealNewArts Foundation series. She served as assistant conductor for two world premieres produced by First Look Sonoma: Caliban Dreams by Clark Syprynowicz and Daughter of the Red Tsar by Lisa Scola Prosek. She has also performed on several seasons of unSUNg, a summer concert series in Los Angeles sponsored by Lauri Goldenhersch, of Lauri'sList dedicated to vocal works uncommon and new.

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