Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

John Corigliano Leads SoBe Arts American Masterworks String Festival

For six extraordinary days, internationally acclaimed composer John Corigliano will join fellow international classical music superstars, cellist Matt Haimovitz, violist Kim Kashkashian, violinists Anastasia Khitruk and Lara St, John in the inaugural SoBe Arts American Masterworks String Festival to be presented, Monday, December 5 through Saturday, December 10 at the SoBe Institute of the Arts, it was announced by Executive Artistic Director Dr. Carson Kievman. "To bring SoBe Arts into national prominence has been my vision since we opened our doors six years ago," says Dr. Kievman. "The passion, artistry and distinctive sound of these internationally acclaimed musicians playing vibrant American repertoire will be a once-in a lifetime experience for South Florida audiences. With Corigliano as composer-in-residence along with such brilliant performing artists as Haimovitz, Kashkashian, Khitruk and St. John on campus, rarely will our community be offered the opportunity to hear such brilliant artists in performance in addition to participating in one-on-one lecture demonstrations and master classes." Most festival events will take place at the SoBe Arts campus, 2100 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. Performances and demonstrations will be open to the general public for free or low-cost admission. The Festival will conclude on December 10th at the Colony Theater, Lincoln Road, with a pre-concert talk by Academy and Grammy Award winning composer, John Corigliano (The Red Violin) and a Festival Concert with all the guest artists performing. Complete schedule and ticket information for all events is available online at

A limited number of advanced string students and young professional players from across the country are invited to participate and attend daily master classes. For information visit: American composer John Corigliano continues to add to one of the richest, most unusual and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has created over the last forty years. His numerous scores-including three symphonies and eight concerti among over one hundred chamber, vocal, choral, and orchestral works-have been performed and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world.

Recent scores include Conjurer (2008), for percussion and string orchestra, commissioned for and introduced by Dame Evelyn Glennie; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: The Red Violin (2005), developed from the themes of the score to the François Girard's film of the same name, which won Corigliano the Oscar in 1999; Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan (2000) for orchestra and amplified soprano, the recording which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition in 2008; Symphony No. 3: Circus Maximus (2004), scored simultaneously for wind orchestra and a multitude of wind ensembles; and Symphony No. 2 (2001: Pulitzer Prize in Music.) Other important scores include String Quartet (1995: Grammy Award, Best Contemporary Composition); Symphony No. 1 (1991: Grawemeyer and Grammy Awards); the opera The Ghosts of Versailles (Metropolitan Opera commission, 1991, International Classical Music Award1992); and the Clarinet Concerto (1977.)

One of the few living composers to have a string quartet named for him, Corigliano serves on the composition faculty at the Juilliard School of Music and holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York, which has established a scholarship in his name.

Renowned as a musical pioneer, cellist Matt Haimovitz has inspired classical music lovers and countless new listeners by bringing his artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses, any place where passionate music can be heard. Through his visionary approach - bringing a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, championing new music and initiating groundbreaking collaborations, innovative recording projects, a tireless touring schedule as well as mentoring an award-winning studio of young cellists at McGill University's Schulich School of Music in Montreal - Matt is re-defining what it means to be an artist for the 21st century. He made his debut in 1984, at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17 he made his first recording with James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Matt has since gone on to perform on the world's most esteemed stages, with such orchestras and conductors as the Berlin Philharmonic with Levine, the New York Philharmonic with Mehta, the English Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra with Kent Nagano. He made his Carnegie Hall debut when he substituted for his teacher, the legendary Leonard Rose, in Schubert's String Quintet in C, alongside Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Mstislav Rostropovich.

The solo cello recital is Matt's trademark, both inside and outside the concert hall. In 2000, he made waves with his Bach Listening-Room Tour, when he took Bach's beloved cello suites out of the concert hall and into clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Matt's 50-state Anthem tour in 2003 celebrated living American composers, and featured his own arrangement of Jimi Hendrix's Star-Spangled Banner. He was the first classical artist to play at New York's infamous CBGB club, in a performance filmed by ABC News for Nightline UpClose.

Matt's recording career encompasses more than 20 years of award-winning work, including two albums nominated for Juno Awards: After Reading Shakespeare and Mozart the Mason. In Figment, he explores the musical riches and diversity of his two home countries, the US and Canada, and AKOKA, a live recording reframing Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time with works by klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer and hip-hop artist Socalled. Ongoing collaborations include a series of concerto commissions with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony, string quartets with Mark O'Connor, Ida Kavafian, and Paul Neubauer, and chamber music with Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Michael Tree, as well as McGill colleagues violinist Jonathan Crow and violist Douglas McNabney.

In 2006, Matt received the Concert Music Award from ASCAP for his advocacy of living composers and pioneering spirit, and in 2004, the American Music Center awarded him the Trailblazer Award, for his far-reaching contributions to American music. Born in Israel, Matt has also been honored with the Avery Fisher Career Grant (1986), the Grand Prix du Disque (1991), the Diapason d'Or (1991) and he is the first cellist ever to receive the prestigious Premio Internazionale "Accademia Musicale Chigiana" (1999). Matt studied at the Collegiate School in New York and at the Juilliard School, in the final class of Leonard Rose, after which he continued his cello studies with Ronald Leonard and Yo-Yo Ma. In 1996, he received a B.A. magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University. Matt Haimovitz plays a Venetian cello, made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller.
Kim Kashkashian has established herself as one of the most accomplished violists of this generation. Inspiring world-wide critical acclaim, she has been hailed by The San Francisco Chronicle as "an artist who combines a probing, restless musical intellect with enormous beauty of tone." The New York Times has praised her "rich, mellow timbre and impressive artistry." In recent seasons, Kim has appeared in solo recitals or with major orchestras in New York, Berlin, London, Munich, Tokyo, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cleveland and Los Angeles. Kim's quest for new directions and forms, which she obtains through intense and continuous work with composers, is an active part of her musical life. As a result of these relationships she has extensively enlarged the repertoire for solo viola. Her commitment to chamber music, which began during years of participation at the Marlboro Music Festival, continues through appearances at the Salzburg, Marlboro and Lockenhaus Festivals. She has made guest appearances with the Tokyo, Guarneri, and Galimir Quartets and toured with a unique quartet which included violinists Gidon Kremer and Daniel Phillips and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Kim's recordings give an index of the range of her activities. Her recording, with Robert Levin, of the Brahms Sonatas won the Edison Prize in 1999. Her June 2000 recording of concertos by Bartók, Eötvös and Kurtág won the 2001 Cannes Classical Award for a premiere recording by soloist with orchestra. After earlier recordings of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Divertimento KV 563, her extensive discography includes the complete Viola Sonatas of Hindemith, the Shostakovich Sonata Op. 147 (Robert Levin, piano), the solo concerti from Britten, Penderecki, Kancheli and Schnittke as well as works by Linda Bouchard and Paul Chihara for viola and percussion (Robyn Schulkowsky), the Bach Sonatas for viola da gamba and cembalo (Keith Jarrett), music from Eleni Karaindrou for the film Ulysses' Gaze by Theo Angelopoulos, and a chamber music CD with works of Kurtág and Schumann together with Eduard Brunner, clarinet and Robert Levin, piano. In January 2002, she released Voci, her recording of two large works by Luciano Berio. The album comprises the title work for viola and orchestra as well as Naturale, a related work for viola and percussion (Robyn Schulkowsky), and archival field recordings of Sicilian folk music. Hayren and Monodia, released in 2003 and 2004, respectively, focus on her work with the Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian. Born in Detroit, Michigan, of Armenian descent, Kim graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she studied with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle. Her extensive teaching activities have included professorships at the University of Indiana in Bloomington and at Conservatories in Freiburg and Berlin, Germany. In September 2000, she began teaching viola and chamber music at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Internationally celebrated and Grammy nominated violinist Anastasia Khitruk is a champion of rarely performed works. Through her World Premieres, concert performances and recordings of both historic and contemporary composers she has gained a superb reputation as a masterful interpreter of older works from a modern perspective and a strong advocate for new voices, all of which she performs with passionate and intense musicality. The Strad has called her, "...unquestionably a talent of the first rank." has said she is a "remarkable artist," with "flashy, fiery style and impeccable technique." Anastasia, a laureate of the "Premio Paganini," has performed in festivals and as a soloist with internationally acclaimed orchestras in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Dubai, France, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, the United States, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland. She earned a 2007 Grammy nomination for her performance of Miklos Rozsa's Violin Concerto and Sinfonia Concertante with conductor Dmitry Yablonsky and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. This CD was honored with a nomination for Best Solo Performance with Orchestra. She also premiered and collaborated in the creation of a new live music score accompanying the first Oscar-winning silent film Wings. Anastasia comes from a musical and artistic family. Her talent was immediately recognized when she made her orchestral debut at the age of eight. After immigrating to America, Ms. Khitruk continued the violin studies that she had begun at Moscow's Central Music School with Dora Schwartzberg, Zinaida Gilels, and Dorothy DeLay at Mannes College and The Juilliard School.

Violinist Lara St. John has been described as "something of a phenomenon" by The Strad and a "high-powered soloist" by the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times has written, "St. John brings to the stage personal charisma, an unflagging musical imagination and genuine passion." She has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras including Cleveland, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and the Boston Pops. In Europe, she has played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony (Hanover), Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Bournemouth Symphony, and the Amsterdam Symphony, among others. In Asia, solo appearances have included the Hong Kong Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, China Philharmonic in Beijing, Guangzhou Symphony and the Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra. Lara has also performed in Australia and Turkey. Lara has made eight recordings. Her most recent recording Mozart, featuring her brother Scott St. John and The Knights, won the 2011 Juno Classical Album of the Year for Soloist with Large Ensemble. Her recording with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and conductor Eduardo Marturet VIVALDI- The Four Seasons and Piazzolla - The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires reached No. 2 on the iTunes charts on its first day. When her third recording, Bach: the Concerto Album, was released on iTunes, it immediately reached No.1 in the classical category! Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old. She made her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age four, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon when she was 10. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute at 13, and spent her first summer at Marlboro three years later. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus. She performs on the 1779 "Salabue" Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto
About SoBe Institute of the Arts: The mission of SoBe Institute of the Arts, a nonprofit organization, is to promote excellence, creativity, and accessibility of the arts through performance events and arts instruction of the highest quality, in music and related artistic disciplines. Since its founding six years ago, SoBe Arts has established a unique arts complex in the historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse and adjoining Little Stage Theater, located in a park-like setting between the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens and the Miami City Ballet.

The 2011/12 season is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the City of Miami Beach, the Cultural Arts Council of Miami Beach, the Leroy Schecter Foundation, the Firestone Family Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Trust, The J.A. & H.G. Woodruff Jr. Charitable Trust and the Horowitz Family Foundion.

Related Articles View More Miami Stories

More Hot Stories For You