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William Bolcom

Composer/pianist WILLIAM BOLCOM was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1938. Exhibiting musical talent while still very young, he began (at age 11) private composition studies with John Verrall and piano lessons with Berthe Poncy Jacobson at the University of Washington. He continued to perform extensively in the Seattle area and throughout the Northwest.

Bolcom earned his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1958, studied with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in California and at the Paris Conservatoire de Musique, and earned a doctorate in composition in 1964 from Stanford University, where he worked with Leland Smith. Returning to the Paris Conservatoire, he won the 2e Prix in Composition in 1965. While in Europe he began writing stage scores for theaters in West Germany, continuing at Stanford University, in Memphis, Tennessee, at Lincoln Center/New York, and the Yale Repertory Theater.

Various awards throughout his career include:

a BMI award (1953), two Guggenheim fellowships (1965 and 1968), several Rockefeller Foundation awards, several NEA grants, the Marc Blitzstein Award (1966) from the Academy of Arts and Letters (for Dynamite Tonite, an opera for actors written with his long-time collaborator, Arnold Weinstein), two Koussevitzky Foundation Awards (1976 and 1993) for the First Piano Quartet and the Lyric Concerto for Flute and Orchestra - written for James Galway, the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano, the 1977 Henry Russel Award (the highest academic prize given by the University of Michigan) followed 20 years later by the prestigious Henry Russel Lectureship (awarded to a senior faculty member) in March 1997 at the U of M, the Michigan Council for the Arts Award the Governors Arts Award from the State of Michigan the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano, investiture in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992, honorary doctorates from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Albion College, and the New England Conservatory, and the New School University/New York the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award from the University of Washington in 2003, the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for Songs of Innocence and Of Experience.

Commissions have come from:

Orchestras: Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Saint Paul, Saarbrucken (Germany), Vienna (Philharmonic), Baltimore, National/Washington, DC, Pacific Symphony, Boston, The MET Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra and from organizations: the American Music Theater Festival of Philadelphia, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Western Wind, Orpheus Chamber Players, Chamber Music Northwest, Aeolian Chamber Players, Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet and numerous soloists and chamber music organizations worldwide.


American Composers Orchestra

American Composers Orchestra is the world's only orchestra dedicated to the infinite variety of American music. ACO performs at Carnegie Hall. Founded in 1977 by composers Francis Thorne and Nicholas Roussakis, Music Director Dennis Russell Davies, and Resident Conductor Paul Lustig Dunkel, ACO has played works by 500 composers, including over 100 world premieres and commissions, generating more new American symphonic works than any other orchestra. Among the notable artists who have collaborated with the American Composers Orchestra are: Leonard Bernstein, Keith Jarrett, André Watts, Emanuel Ax and Itzhak Perlman. The ACO discography includes 22 recordings on the ARGO, ECM, MusicMasters, CRI, Point, Tzadik, New World and Nonesuch labels. ACO concerts are broadcast on Public Radio International, National Public Radio, and Voice of America. Among the honors the Orchestra has received are special awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Broadcast Music, Inc. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers has awarded ACO its prize for adventuresome programming in each of the last 26 years, recognizing ACO as "the orchestra that has done the most for new American music in the United States." In addition to its concerts, commissions, recordings, and reading sessions, ACO has offered Sonidos de las Américas, an annual festival of Latin American music; Coming to America, examining music of immigrant composers; and Orchestra Tech, an initiative to develop new works employing new technologies. ACO also offers Music Factory, an education program that places composers in New York City schools to explore the process of creating music.


Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

A masterful and innovative force in classical music, Dennis Russell Davies is considered among todays most inventive conductors at the forefront of the orchestral, chamber and operatic worlds. A modern, articulate and versatile artist revered for his command of both traditional and contemporary music, Mr. Davies is also recognized as an accomplished pianist and as an acclaimed collaborator, sought out by orchestras, composers and artists alike for his interpretive skills.

American-born Mr. Davies has lived abroad since 1980, but maintains an active presence on the North American music scene as a regular guest conductor with the major orchestras and opera houses of New York and Chicago. In addition to his ongoing duties as Chief Conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum, Mr. Davies is Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and Chief Conductor of the Linz Opera. In January 2002, he was appointed to a 5-year term to the Board of Directors of the esteemed Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University

A champion of contemporary music, his support of modern works, particularly American, is legendary. His close personal friendships with some of the 21st centurys greatest composers, including Luciano Berio, William Bolcom, John Cage, Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Hans Werner Henze, and Francis Thorne (with whom he formed American Composers Orchestra), have been an important catalyst for enriching concert and operatic repertory around the globe. Recently, Mr. Davies concluded his tenures as Chief Conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (1996-2002), and as Music Director of the pre-eminent American Composers Orchestra (1975-2002). He continues his affiliation with American Composers Orchestra, which he co-founded 26 years ago, as Conductor Laureate. Mr. Davies has had successful tenures as the General Music Director of the City of Bonn (Germany), Principal Conductor/Classical Music Program Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Principal Conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Music Director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Music Director of the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, California. In addition to his North American orchestral guest conducting appearances, Davies has guest conducted some of the most prestigious orchestras in Europe including the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Dennis Russell Davies was born in Toledo, Ohio, and graduated from The Juilliard School where he studied piano with Lonny Epstein and Sasha Gorodnitski and conducting with Jean Morel and Jorge Mester.


Sergiu Luca, violin

Described in the Washington Post as a "a fiddler´s fiddler," he is a concert personality who has enjoyed a worldwide career. He combines an unparalleled diversity of repertoire with inspired virtuosity as a soloist with orchestras and in annual recitals at major music centers around the world. A native of Rumania, Luca made his debut with Israel´s Haifa Symphony at the age of nine. Following his studies in England and Switzerland, he came to the United States to study with the legendary pedagogue Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute. Soon after his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1965, he was chosen by Leonard Bernstein to play the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic for a special CBS television network tribute to the Finnish composer. He has subsequently performed with many of the world´s leading orchestras in Europe, Israel, Latin America, and the U.S., including the Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, and National Symphony Orchestras and the Israel Philharmonic, New Philharmonia of London, and the Zurich Tonhall Orchestra.

Sergiu Luca´s many recordings attest to his sensitivity for varied styles and periods of music. He made a sensation with his recordings of the complete unaccompanied works of J.S. Bach, the first rendering on an original instrument. Subsequent recordings of music by Bartók, Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Tartini, Janacek, and William Bolcom, as well as orchestral recordings with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony and David Zinman and the Rochester Philharmonic, earned international acclaim. As a recitalist, Sergiu Luca has performed in Europe, Mexico, Japan, and throughout North America. He has collaborated with such keyboard artists as Emanuel Ax, Albert Fuller, Anne Epperson, Joseph Kalichstein, Peter Serkin, and Malcolm Bilson. He is the Dorothy Richard Starling Professor of Violin at the Shepherd School of Music.


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