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Following its highly acclaimed 2004 debut in Boston, the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo began extensive tours featuring appearances on chamber music’s most prestigious stages, including the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival and Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art.
The Duo’s first harmonia mundi recording of Brahms’ Clarinet Sonatas was selected by the New York Times as among its top classical releases for 2008. Subsequent recordings include premières of John Novacek’s Four Rags for Two Jons, Paquito D’Rivera’s The Cape Cod Files, and chamber music of Weber, Beethoven and Brahms.
In 2011, the Duo recorded both Brahms’ Clarinet and Piano Quintets, issued in 2012 as the Tokyo Quartet’s final CD. Individually, both Jons have developed vast repertoires and lengthy discographies. Their hundreds of performances include concerto engagements, recitals and chamber music collaborations worldwide.
VOCE is a prestigious competition for vocalists, strings, winds/brass, and chamber music. The program is named for Vocalists, Orchestral instrumentalists, and Chamber Ensembles. This recital is a collection of performances from first place winners of the State Finals competition.
The music of American composer Bruce Stark reflects the varied elements of his musical upbringing: early studies in percussion, jazz piano, and classical composition. He completed a masters degree in composition at the Juilliard School in 1984 as a student of Roger Sessions and Vincent Persichetti. Thereafter for more than twenty years he resided in Tokyo, producing a collection of works that reveal a compelling musical voice, drawing from a multiplicity of disciplines and sensibilities. In 2013 he returned to the U.S. and joined the music faculty of DigiPen Institute of Technology (Seattle area) as professor of composition and theory.
Stark’s performances as pianist/arranger can be heard on many recordings (Victor Entertainment, Meister Music, ALM Records, Nami Records, MA Recordings and various independent labels). While living in Tokyo he appeared as soloist, group leader and ensemble player in major concert halls throughout Japan as well as Shanghai’s Grande Theatre, Kennedy Center, and a six-country tour of South America sponsored by the Japan Foundation for Cultural Exchange. In 2013 he won First Prize in the solo jazz piano division of the Wild Flower Music International Recording Competition for his performance of Body and Soul.
The MTAC Piano Concerto Competition gives students a chance to thrive at what they do best. The students competing in this event are the first place winners from the Regional Competition held this past spring in both Northern and Southern California. The finalists perform a concerto movement before a panel of judges in a highly competitive setting. Winners are selected in each age category, and all finalists receive prize monies underwritten in part by Steinway and Sons.
The Young Artist Guild (YAG) represents the most gifted musicians in the Certificate of Merit® program. Acceptance to YAG is one of the highest honors for Certificate of Merit® students. Students are granted membership in the Guild for five years upon recommendation by a panel of adjudicators. This concert serves as a debut for newly selected members.
Alan Chapman is an educator, radio host (Classical KUSC, Los Angeles), composer/lyricist and pianist. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he earned a Ph.D. in music theory from Yale University. He was a longtime faculty member at Occidental College and is currently a member of the music theory faculty of the Colburn Conservatory.
Well known as a pre-concert lecturer, Dr. Chapman has been a regular speaker on the L.A. Philharmonic’s “Upbeat Live” series since its inception in 1984 and developed the popular series of “Music 101” multimedia evenings at Walt Disney Concert Hall. He has been heard globally as programmer and host of the inflight classical channels on United and Delta Airlines.
Dr. Chapman’s songs have been performed and recorded by many artists around the world and have been honored by ASCAP and the Johnny Mercer Foundation. He frequently performs with his wife, soprano Karen Benjamin. They made their Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 and performed at Lincoln Center in 2006.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice is a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. From January 2005-2009, Dr. Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States. Prior to serving as America’s chief diplomat, she also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005.
Dr. Rice began formal music lessons at three when her Grandmother Ray noticed her granddaughter’s keen interest in music. In Dr. Rice’s book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People, she recounts: “I don’t remember learning to read music, so today it is like a native language for me. This made it much easier to master sight-reading, something that I do well to this day.” Dr. Rice continued to take piano lessons through childhood and perform at various school, church, and community events. At age fifteen, she performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D minor with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, her prize for winning a student competition. The same year, Rice entered the University of Denver as a music major though she soon switched to political science, a move that drastically changed the course of Rice’s life.
In 1993, while provost at Stanford University, she turned her attention again to the piano and started lessons with faculty member, George Barth. Musical highlights include a 2002 performance with Yo-Yo Ma at Constitution Hall, a 2008 recital for the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace, and a 2010 fundraiser with Aretha Franklin in Philadelphia’s Mann Music Centre.