Jason Tramm To Lead Collaborations, Commissions And Premieres In 2018 Tri State Summer Performances
Nearly a decade ago a story ran in NJ's most widely circulated print newspaper which opened with the statement "New Jersey doesn't have a state music director, but it would seem that Jason Tramm is out to create the position... as he leads opera, choral and orchestral concerts from Morris County to Ocean Grove." Prescient in their observations, The Star Ledger's 2009 article provided a snapshot of Tramm at the beginning of his career. In spirit, the image resonates today, albeit with a decidedly expanded geographic reach.
Currently in his 12th Summer Season as Director of Music at Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association Tramm is 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's Prudential Hall 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. Tramm has merited critical acclaim in conducting engagements abroad and has had the distinction of conducting the premiere of the long banned American opera the Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" in Tirana, Albania at the request of the US Embassy.
Collaborations, commissions and premieres are the hallmark of Tramm's 2018 summer season long underway, and continuing throughout August and September in quintessential summer venues from Glen Cove, Long Island to Monmouth County New Jersey's Great Auditorium at Ocean Grove; and in performances with the Axelrod Performing Arts Center and the Count Basie Center for the Arts.
Returning to the Morgan Park Music Festival on August 19 in Glen Cove, New York Tramm leads the Long Island Concert Orchestra in "Music from the Stage and Screen" with soloists Claire Leyden, Soprano and Jordan Weatherton Pitts, Tenor. The concert celebrates Broadway and Hollywood with some of the most unforgettable music ever composed for the stage and screen. Included are works by George Gershwin; movie scores by John Williams; medleys from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, Bock and Harnick's Fiddler on the Roof and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera; themes from the 007 and Rocky films and from Mission Impossible.
With "The White Bird of Poston" on August 25 in two performances, a joint venture between the Count Basie Center for the Arts and The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, Tramm once again collaborates with Los Angeles Opera composer and director Eli Villanueva, and librettist Leslie Stevens in the opera's East Coast premiere. Set during World War II in a Japanese internment camp, The White Bird of Poston tells the story of a Japanese teenage girl who forms a bond with a Native American boy while living at the Poston Internment Camp, located on the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Arizona. Through their friendship, they help each other rediscover their cultural traditions and history.
August 26 will find Tramm conducting the annual Sacred Masterwork Concert at the historic 6,500 seat Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. The concert "Music of the Spirit" will feature the Great Auditorium Choir and Solo Quartet, MidAtlantic Brass Ensemble and Organ in works by acclaimed contemporary choral composer Gwyneth Walker and John Rutter. Gwyneth Walker's composition "Songs of Faith" was commissioned by Tramm in 2011 and delayed in its premiere and performance at the Great Auditorium by hurricane Irene.
On August 30th and 31 at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal New Jersey Tramm conducts the famed orchestral score of Mendelssohn in the premiere of choreographer and director Gabriel Chajnik's spirted ballet "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Chajnik's production boldly launches the resident Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater, featuring the company's professional dancers and showcasing exceptional students in a new work with ballet libretto by Sarah Joy Stone, based on the classic comedy by William Shakespeare.
Tramm returns to the Axelrod Performing Arts Center September 14-16 to conduct New York Opera Collaborative's production of Bizet's Carmen underscores Tramm's ongoing collaboration with director Andrea DelGiudice, with whom he debuted New York Opera Collaborative's new production of Verdi's La Traviata last year at the Axelrod PAC, immediately following its critically acclaimed premiere at the Narnia Festival in Italy. Gabriel Chajnik choregraphs DelGiudice's Carmen animating DelGiudice's edgy interpretation of Bizet's operatic masterwork.
As a footnote to Summer, on September 29th Tramm will guest conduct the opening concert of the Adelphi Orchestra's 65th Anniversary Season, dedicated to the future of classical music with a spotlight on young classical musicians. Adelphi Orchestra's Young Persons Concert will feature violinist Keila Wakao in Saint-Saëns: Havanaise for Violin and Orchestra in E major, Op. 83 and Rossini's Overture to Barber of Seville, Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67 with Geoffrey Cantor (Narrator) and Anderson: The Typewriter.