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Manhattan Chamber Players

March 5, 2024

Concert begins at 7:30 pm.
Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)
Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 (1887)

Intermission

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 (1864)

Cited by critics for “lighting up the stage” and “flooding the hall with their joy of performance,” the Manhattan Chamber Players return to Sanibel Music Festival to launch the 2024 season.

“MCP is a collective of New York-based musicians who share the common aim of performing the greatest works in the chamber repertoire at the highest level,” says founding artistic director and award-winning violist Luke Fleming. “We are all musicians from the tradition of great music making such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Steans Institute at Ravinia, Perlman Music Program, and the Chautauqua Institution.”

MCP’s last concert on Sanibel Island in 2020 was enthusiastically received and included a Haydn Piano Trio, Mozart Clarinet Quintet and Brahms Piano Quintet.

Fellow performers Francesca DePasquale on violin, Katie Hyan on violin, Michael Katz on cello, Adam Golka on piano, and Mark Dover's clarinet are all acclaimed award-winning musicians in the US and abroad. They are former students of the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Peabody Institute, The program has been carefully crafted by the Festival’s music committee and The Manhattan Chamber Players and will be listed here as soon as available. Their last concert in 2020 was enthusiastically received and included a Haydn Piano Trio, Mozart Clarinet Quintet, and Brahms Piano Quintet.

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Avery Gagliano

March 9th. 2024

Concert begins at 7:30 pm.
Avery Gagliano returns to Sanibel Music Festival after a stunning all-Chopin performance in the 2020 season, demonstrating a mix of sensitivity and ferocity belying her youth and earning a standing ovation and multiple curtain calls. Gagliano prevailed over 25 competitors to rise to international acclaim as the First Prize and Best Concerto Prize winner of the 2020 National Chopin Piano Competition. Sanibel Music Festival was her first concert following this victory. 

Ms. Gagliano went on to be the only American semifinalist at the 18th International Chopin Competition in 2021 and made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 2020. Today 21-year-old pianist Avery Gagliano is an artist with ‘distinctive young talent’, cited for bringing the sincerity, emotional depth, and exquisite voicing, alongside a thoughtful and intriguing spirit to the stage.

Initiated in 1975 and held every five years, the National Chopin Piano Competition offers performance opportunities and financial support to young American pianists. 

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Boston Trio

March 12, 2024

Concert begins at 7:30 pm.
Mozart C-major Trio #5, K.548

Schumann D-minor Trio #1, Op. 63

Ravel Trio

Renowned for their brilliance and virtuosity, the Boston Trio returns to Sanibel Music Festival with Pianist Heng-Jin Park, violinist Irina Muresanu, and cellist Jonah Ellsworth. Boston Trio is acclaimed for their superb sense of ensemble and balance, yet each musician is distinguished in their own right on the international stage.

Pianist Heng-Jin Park, founding member of the Boston Trio, has been heralded as a “pianist of unusual artistry and musical imagination,” by the Washington Post and “a centered musician… who plays boldly with a full spectrum of colors,” by the Boston Globe. Ms. Park made her solo debut with the Boston Pops at the age of fifteen and is now renowned globally for her versatility as a soloist, chamber musician, pedagogue, and music director. Ms. Park is the new artistic director of Halcyon Music Festival. 

Violinist Irina Muresanu is described as “not just a virtuoso, but an artist” by the Boston Globe and praised for “musical luster, melting lyricism, and colorful conception” by the Los Angeles Times. Ms. Muresanu is the winner of numerous top prizes and awards including the Montreal International, Queen Elisabeth International, UNISA International String, Washington International, the Schadt String Competition, the prestigious University of Maryland Creative and Performing Arts Award, a Pro Musicis International Award, the Presser Music Award, and the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association. 

Cellist Johan Ellsworth has been hailed as one of the greatest of his generation and cited as “a player to watch,” by the Boston Globe and “fearless…with a complete range of expressive richness” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer. Mr. Ellsworth has won critical acclaim for his solo performances with the Boston Symphony, Akron Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, and New Bedford Symphony, among others.

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Viano String Quartet

March 16th. 2024

Concert begins at 7:30 pm.
Praised by the Boston Globe for their “virtuosity, visceral expression, and rare unity of intention,” the Viano Quartet is one of the most sought-after performing young ensembles today. The quartet will be in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Bowers Program until 2027. Since winning First Prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, they have traveled to nearly every major city globally, captivating audiences in New York, London, Berlin, Vancouver, Paris, Beijing, Toronto, Lucerne, and Los Angeles.

The quartet was named the inaugural June Goldsmith Quartet-in-Residence for the Music in the Morning series in Vancouver until 2025, where their focus will be to commission new works and lead extensive community engagement initiatives. The quartet has also held residencies at the Curtis Institute, Colburn Conservatory, Northern Michigan University, and Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.

The name “Viano” was created to describe the four individual instruments in a string quartet interacting as one. Each of the four instruments begins with the letter “v”, and like a piano, all four string instruments together play harmony and melody, creating a unified instrument called the “Viano”.

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David Finckel and Wu Han

March 19, 2024

Concert begins at 7:30 pm.
Saint-Saens Sonata #1 in C-major, Op. 32

Mendelssohn Sonata #2 in D-major, Op. 58

Grieg Sonata for Cello and Piano in A-minor, Op. 36

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han are the recipients of Musical America’s Musicians of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed by the organization. They enjoy a multi-faceted musical life that encompasses performing, recording and artistic direction at the highest levels. Their concert activities have taken them from New York’s stages to the most important concert halls in the United States, Europe, and Asia. They regularly perform a wide range of music that includes the standard repertoire for cello and piano, commissioned works by living composers, and virtually the entire chamber music literature for their instruments.

Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004, they recently led the 53-year vanguard organization through two pandemic seasons, conceiving and producing over 270 digital events which sustained chamber music communities across the country. A 2022 contract extension positions them to become the longest serving artistic directors in the Society’s history.

Ms. Han currently serves as Artistic Advisor for Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music at the Barns series and for Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts, and in 2022 was named Artistic Director of La Musica in Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Finckel was the first American student of Mstislav Rostropovich and went on to become the cellist of the Emerson String Quartet, which, during his 34-season tenure, garnered nine Grammy Awards and the Avery Fisher Prize. David is a professor at both the Juilliard School and Stony Brook University.

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Opera Theater of Connecticut

March 23rd. 2024

Concert begins at 7:30 pm.
Opera Theater of Connecticut returns to Sanibel Music Festival by popular demand with the delightful music of Gilbert and Sullivan, punctuated by Artistic Director Alan Mann’s knowledgeable commentary. The concert will feature hits from well-known comic operas such as The Mikado, H.M.S Pinafore, and The Pirates of Penzance. The wit and sense of irony of Gilbert and Sullivan’s lyrics delivered by the expressive OTC ensemble is anticipated to have the audience laughing out loud.
General Director Kate Ford brings an impressive Opera Theater of Connecticut team to SWFL every year, headed by Artistic Director Alan Mann, who also serves as Executive Director of the Hartford Chorale and is a renowned guest speaker known for “Opera Talks”.
Music Director Eric Trudel is a celebrated solo pianist, award-winning vocal coach, and conductor. Mr. Trudel is resident pianist for the Wall Street Chamber Players, associated with the New Haven Symphony. Faculty appointments include the Banff Centre for the performing Arts, Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec, Montreal Opera, Universite du Quebec, and Yale University’s School of Music. Mr. Trudel is currently on faculty at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music and Southern Connecticut State University.

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