Jason C. Tramm Conducts 2018 Ocean Grove Summer Stars Classical Concert Series Finale
The stars align on August 2nd at the Ocean Grove Great Auditorium for an evening of spectacular music making as noted American conductor Jason C. Tramm leads the 65-member MidAtlantic Opera Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera tenor Ronald Naldi, and renown musician soloists, organist Gordon Turk and violinist Byung Kook Kwak in a concert which promises to be nothing less than stellar. "Grand Orchestra Finale" concludes the acclaimed Ocean Grove classical concert series "Summer Stars" which runs throughout July and early August with its traditional orchestral show stopper.
With the 2018 Summer Stars "Grand Orchestra Finale" Tramm conducts a lush concert of both rare and beloved repertoire in celebration of the 45th Anniversary of both tenor Ron Naldi and organist Gordon Turk's long association with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, reflected in homage to the musical history of Ocean Grove.
"Our concert opens with Marco Enrico Bossi's Grand Concerto in A Minor and will later feature Félix-Alexandre Guilmant's Symphony No.1 - both works written for organ and orchestra and eminently suited to the virtuosity of Gordon Turk and his command of the exquisite sound of the historic Hope Jones Organ with more than 12,000 pipes and 194 ranks" said Tramm. "While the instrument was remarkable in 1908 when the legendary organ maker Robert Hope-Jones installed what is now viewed as his most famous instrument, under Gordon's renovation and stewardship the Great Auditorium's organ is one of the largest and most famous working pipe organs in the country. It is recognized for its unique tonal subtlety as well as its massive sonority - qualities Gordon showcases in his performance. It's a privilege to conduct these works with Gordon Turk at the console and to have had the opportunity to witness both his musicianship and devotion to his art over the years" said Tramm.
Continuing Ocean Grove's longstanding tradition of grand opera performance "Grand Orchestra Finale" will feature internationally renowned lyric tenor Ronald Naldi singing "Cielo e mar" from the opera La Gioconda by Ponchielli, "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot and "Vesti la giubba" from the opera I Pagliacci by Leoncavallo. "Ronald Naldi has always had my admiration" said Tramm. "In addition to his performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Ron has made enormous contributions to New Jersey's musical heritage in concerts here at Ocean Grove and in New Jersey State Opera productions in collaboration with our mutual colleague and mentor Alfredo Silipigni. I'm looking forward to Ron's interpretation of "Vesti la giubba," which of course has historical echoes for the Great Auditorium as Enrico Caruso frequently sang the aria in his Ocean Grove appearances."
Completing the stars who align in the "Grande Orchestra Finale" summer constellation is violin soloist Byung Kook Kwak, who will be performing two works by Fritz Kreisler, "Schone Rosmarin" (Lovely Rosemary) and "Liebes Freude (Love's Joy).
" It's always a pleasure to play with Byung Kook Kwak - he's the consummate musician and among his many accomplishments, founder of the acclaimed Solisti Ensemble which has garnered a following in Ocean Grove, appearing July 12th in the 2018 Summer Stars Series," said Tramm. The orchestrated renditions of the selections performed by Byung Kook Kwak were originally written for violin and piano by the composer as encores. Taken from Kriesler's "Alt-Wiener Tanzweisen" (Old Viennese Melodies in German) they were composed as set of three short pieces, now usually performed or heard separately.
The Summer Star's "Grand Orchestra Finale" will take place in Ocean Grove's historic Great Auditorium constructed in 1894 and remains mostly unchanged. The wooden building rests on bridge-like steel trusses laid on stone foundations. Aside from the trusses. It features numerous "barn door" entrances with colored glass, dormers, and panels that open for ventilation. Originally the Auditorium could accommodate an audience of almost 10,000, before many sections of smaller, wooden seats were replaced in later years with cushioned, theater-style seating having armrests; at present it can seat 6,250 persons.
RONALD NALDI is an internationally acclaimed lyric tenor who has performed with the Metropolitan opera, Verona Opera, Opera da Camera of Rome, L'Opera Francais, New Jersey State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Salzburger Landestheater. With St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble he has sung over 200 performances of Haydn, Mozart, Offenbach, Rieti, Bakst, Fioravanti, and Rossini. He has performed with over 25 symphony orchestras and has an extensive repertoire of more than 30 oratorios. Mr. Naldi has worked under the baton of the world's most famous maestri and has been a colleague with such artists as Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. He studied with Charles Kullman, Margaret Harshaw, Licino Francardi, Luigi Ricci, Carol Bayard and William Riley; has a BM and MM in voice from Indiana University; and was a Fulbright scholar in Rome. He is the tenor soloist and artist-in-residence at OGCMA, where he is completing his 45th consecutive season.
Organist-In-Residence GORDON TURK has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Russia, Ukraine, and Japan in concert halls, cathedrals, and universities in both solo performances and with orchestras. His collaborations with other musicians in chamber music concerts include principal instrumentalists from the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and other distinguished musicians. He has won awards for performances of J.S. Bach and in the national AGO Improvisation Competition. Dr. Turk is Organist-in Residence at the historic Ocean Grove Great Auditorium and Artistic Director of Ocean Grove's Chamber Music Series, "Summer Stars." Turk is a devoted champion of the pipe organ; a consultant for the building of new pipe organs and the restoration of historic ones; and is a frequent adjudicator of organ competitions. He is also the Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Dr. Turk studied with two legendary teachers, Alexander McCurdy at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and Mc Neil Robinson at the Manhatan School of Music in NYC.
BYUNG-KOOK KWAK enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He has received critical acclaim for his performances with orchestras such as Baltimore Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, American Symphony, and the Los Angeles Chamber Symphony. In Europe, he has appeared as a soloist with Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Cologne Radio Orchestra, Bamberger Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and French National Orchestra.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Kwak is a member of the Sea Cliff Chamber Players. He is also very active as a concertmaster and appears in that capacity with virtually every major symphony orchestra around the Metropolitan New York area.
Jason C. Tramm is in his 12th season as Director of Music Ministries at OGCMA and regarded as one of the most dynamic young conductors on the podium today. He serves as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the NJ-based MidAtlantic Opera, with which he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015 and at NJPAC in 2017. He also serves as Music Director of Teatro Lirico D'Europa; Guest Conductor of the Palmetto Opera (SC) and Opera New Hampshire; and Music Director of the Morris Choral Society. An accomplished educator, he serves as Director of Choral Activities at Seton Hall University, where he leads the University Chorus, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, and teaches voice and conducting. In 2017, Seton Hall named him University Faculty Teacher of the Year. From 2008-2012, he served as Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Opera , where collaborated with some of the finest voices in opera, including Samuel Ramey, Vladimir Galouzine, Angela Brown, Gregg Baker, and Paul Plishka. His 2009 HDTV broadcast with PBS affiliate NJN of "Verdi Requiem: Live from Ocean Grove," garnered a regional Emmy Award nomination.
Summer Stars Classical Concert Series, "GRAND ORCHESTRA FINALE"
Thursday, August 2 at 7:30pm in the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove
Tickets $17.00 (General Admission) and can be ordered online at www.oceangrove.org or by phone at 800-590-4064.