Viva Villa-Lobos! Artists for February 26
Brazil’s greatest composer, Villa-Lobos mined the rich exotic sound world of his native country’s folk music. Argentina’s Ginastera followed suit and also inspired a young Piazzolla, who played the tango accordion (bandoneón) to follow his muse as the father of “new tango.” Come early for tango dancing in the lobby!
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Orli Shaham, Piano and Host
A consummate musician recognized for her grace and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire.
The New York Times called her a "brilliant pianist," The Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean” in a performance with the Chicago Symphony and London's Guardian said Shaham's playing at the Proms was "perfection."
Shaham’s performance schedule brings her to concert halls from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House and most of the major venues in between, for recitals, chamber music and concertos. Shaham has performed with nearly every major American orchestra, as well as many in Europe, Asia and Australia. A frequent guest at summer festivals, her appearances include Tanglewood, Ravinia, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, La Jolla, Music Academy of the West and Aspen. Devoted to the intimate genre of chamber music, Shaham continues to serve as the artistic director for Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series, a position she has held since 2007. She is a featured performer on each of the chamber recitals in the series.
Shaham’s acclaimed 2015 recording, Brahms Inspired, is a collection of new compositions alongside works by Brahms and his compositional forefathers. Other recordings include John Adams' Grand Pianola Music with the pianist Marc-André Hamelin and the San Francisco Symphony, with the composer conducting, American Grace, a CD of piano music by John Adams and Steven Mackey with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, David Robertson conducting, and Nigunim—Hebrew Melodies, recorded with her brother, the violinist Gil Shaham.
Driven by a passion to bring classical music to new audiences, Orli Shaham maintains an active parallel career as a respected broadcaster, music writer and lecturer. On radio, she has hosted the nationally broadcast Dial-a-Musician and America’s Music Festivals series, and served as artist in residence on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Inspired by her enthusiasm for introducing young children to the pleasures of music, Shaham created Baby Got Bach, a series of interactive classical concerts for young children which has had a devoted following in New York, St. Louis and other locations since 2010.
Héctor Del Curto, Bandoneon
Praised by The New York Times as a "splendid player," Argentinean bandoneonist Héctor Del Curto's career, spanning for more than 25 years, has encompassed the traditional tango, new tango, jazz, classical and world music.
As one of the most sought-after bandoneonists, he has performed with luminaries across many musical genres including the tango legends Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese, Latin jazz giant Paquito D'Rivera, jazz violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Joe Lovano, violinist Cho-Liang Lin and appeared with prestigious orchestras such as Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, St Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Mobile Symphony and Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra.
Born into a family of bandoneon players, Del Curto was introduced to the world of tango and bandoneon by his grandfather, Héctor Cristobal. By the age of 17, he had won the title "Best Bandoneon Player Under 25" in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese, the "Last Giant of Tango." In 1999, Del Curto received the Golden Note Award from the Italian-American Network in recognition of his artistic achievements.
As a music director, he directed the spectacular show Forever Tango on Broadway and founded the Eternal Tango Orchestra, a 10-piece ensemble.
Since the Lincoln Center debut in 2003, the Eternal Tango Orchestra (now the Hector Del Curto Tango Orchestra) returned to Lincoln Center for three more engagements and performed at other various venues including the Skirball Center for Performing Arts. Del Curto recently produced and released his second album, Eternal Piazzolla, featuring his quintet with a sold-out CD release concert at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. He was featured along with his first CD, Eternal Tango, on BBC News which was televised nationally and internationally and on Public Radio International's The World.
Benjamin Smolen, Flute
Benjamin Smolen was appointed principal flutist of Pacific Symphony in September 2011, where he occupies the Valerie and Hans Imhof Chair. He has won top prizes at the Haynes International Flute Competition, James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition, National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition.
He has given solo performances in Russia, Japan, Belgium, France and as concerto soloist with Pacific Symphony, Princeton University Orchestra, Charlotte Civic and Youth Orchestras, and Gardner Webb Symphony Orchestra. Smolen’s performances have been featured on NPR (Performance Today and From the Top), WGBH-Boston, WDAV-Charlotte, French National Radio, and the Naxos and Mode record labels.
Additionally, he can be heard on the soundtracks for movies such as Monsters University, Planes, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Night at the Museum and the 2015 movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He recently released his debut album, Bach to Beaser, with guitarist Jerome Mouffe.
Smolen studied at Princeton JUniversity, the Moscow Conservatory, the New England Conservatory and the University of Michigan. His primary teachers include Paula Robison, Michael Parloff and Aleksandr Golyshev. He is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade, custom-crafted Haynes 14-karat gold flute.
Jessica Pearlman Fields, Oboe
Jessica Pearlman Fields currently holds the position of principal oboe for Pacific Symphony. Fields moved to Southern California after completing her master of music degree in 2009 at The Juilliard School. While in New York, she performed and toured with some of the city’s most esteemed ensembles, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera.
As a soloist Fields has been featured with the San Jose Chamber Symphony, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival and the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra (Ohio) where she also served as principal oboe during the 2005-06 season. An avid chamber musician, Fields tours regularly with her innovative New York-based chamber group “Shuffle Concert.”
Intrigued by both science and music, Fields earned two bachelor’s degrees in both oboe performance and neuroscience from Oberlin College as a pre-med student. Her summer research in brain tumor models was presented at the 2006 conference of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Fields is an adjunct faculty member at Long Beach City College in addition to maintaining a private teaching studio.
Joseph Morris, Clarinet
Joseph Morris became Pacific Symphony’s principal clarinet in the summer of 2016 and he currently holds The Hanson Family Foundation Chair. Previously, Morris had been the principal clarinet of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, where he was featured as soloist in performances of Copland’s Clarinet Concerto in September 2015. Other recent engagements as soloist include performances with the Burbank Philharmonic, Downey Symphony Orchestra, West Los Angeles Symphony, Middleton Community Orchestra and with the Colburn Orchestra in a performance of John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons directed by the composer.
A laureate of numerous competitions, Morris has been awarded first prize in the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts Competition, the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition, the Downey Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Music Teacher’s National Association Solo Competition and concerto competitions at the Music Academy of the West, the Thornton School of Music and the National Repertory Orchestra. He was a semifinalist in the Fifth Carl Nielsen International Competition in Odense, Denmark in 2013.
Morris received a Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn Conservatory of Music in 2014 where he studied with the renowned professor Yehuda Gilad. He graduated from the USC Thornton School of Music in May 2012.
Rose Corrigan, Bassoon
Rose Corrigan is currently the principal bassoonist of Pacific Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Pasadena Symphony, and a former member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied with Michael O’Donovan, a teacher whose pedagogy included exposure to great cinema, literature and restaurants. She returned to the university as an adjunct professor, teaching bassoon from 1993 until 2011.
Corrigan has played bassoon and contrabassoon on the soundtracks of over 500 motion pictures, working with composers such as Michael Giacchino, Patrick Doyle, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Powell, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, James Horner, Michel Legrand, Michael Kamen and William Ross.
A few of the films that include her playing are Ice Age, Life of Pi, Bolt, Despicable Me, Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, Aladdin, The Lion King, Cars, Enchanted, WALL-E and Pirates of the Caribbean. Her bassoon solos are prominent in March of the Penguins, one of the only movies to list a bassoonist in its closing credits. She has also performed on hundreds of records for stars like Paul McCartney, Tony Williams, Barbra Streisand and Natalie Cole.
Paul Manaster, Violin
Paul Manaster has been the associate concertmaster of Pacific Symphony since 1998. He is almost a native Californian, having grown up in San Diego from a young age. Manaster has performed with a variety of groups in the Southern California area, including the San Diego Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He has performed as concertmaster of the Riverside Philharmonic and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra.
Prior to his move to Orange County, Manaster lived in Texas for eight years, playing with the San Antonio Symphony. He received a bachelor of music degree from Northwestern University. In addition to performing, Manaster teaches violin privately and has served on the faculty of Trinity University and other institutions. Manaster lives in Irvine with his actress/oboist wife Dianne, their daughter Stephanie and three cats.
Timothy Landauer, Cello
Timothy Landauer was hailed “a cellist of extraordinary gifts” by The New York Times when he won the coveted Concert Artists Guild International Award in 1983. Landauer is the winner of numerous prestigious prizes and awards, among them the Young Musicians Foundation’s National Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Cello Award, the Samuel Applebaum Grand Prize of the National Solo Competition of the American String Teacher’s Association and the 1984 Hammer-Rostropovich Scholarship Award.
Landauer’s extensive engagements include his highly acclaimed recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall, the Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, the Orford Arts Center in Montreal, the City Hall Theatre in Hong Kong and in Hannover, Germany. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras across three continents: they include the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Taiwan National Symphony, the Beijing Symphony, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. In the United States, Landauer has also appeared with the Maryland Symphony, the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra and Pacific Symphony.
Landauer was the recipient of “The Outstanding Individual Artist Award 2004” presented by Arts Orange County, and currently holds the Catherine and James Emmi Chair. He is also an avid radio control modeler in the areas of fast electric race boats and air crafts.
Steven Edelman, Bass
Steven Edelman has served as principal bass for Pacific Symphony since 1983. Born in Hollywood, his first significant musical opportunity came when he joined the American Youth Symphony led by conductor Mehli Mehta. At 18, he joined the Pasadena Symphony under the esteemed maestro, Hans Werner Lert. At 19 he began a trilogy as assistant principal with the Phoenix Symphony under Maestro Eduardo Mata, section performer with the Kansas City Symphony under Jorge Mester and section performer with San Diego Symphony.
Back in Los Angeles, at 23, he worked for Los Angeles Master Chorale with Roger Wagner, Valley Symphony with Elmer Bernstein, San Gabriel Symphony with Giora Bernstein, Glendale Symphony with Carmen Dragon, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey and Bolshoi Ballets to name a few, and too many Broadway shows to mention. Elmer Bernstein gave him an opportunity in the studios by seating him with a bassist who was a member of Arturo Toscanini's famous NBC Symphony Orchestra. Edelman speaks of this as “trial by fire.”
Edelman is fortunate to have a long track record working on hundreds of movies, records and all sorts of commercial recordings. In addition to the recordings, he was an original member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under John Mauceri, and he spent 20 years with Opera Pacific’s acclaimed John DeMain. Edelman is most proud of his work on more than a dozen movies with John Williams who was instrumental in bringing us our own Carl St.Clair.