[Editor's note: The following information was provided in a press release.]
The Westport Arts Center (WAC) announced this month the launch of its Performing Arts Season. The season comprised of Jazz and Chamber Music concerts begins this fall, and will run from September 29, 2013 to May 4, 2014. Performers that dazzled audiences from Lincoln Center, Yale School of Music, and the Zagat Rated Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in Harlem will make their debut in Westport.
Leading off of last season’s success of the Juilliard String Quartet, WAC continues to bring world-renowned acts like the Orion String Quartet to Westport for all to enjoy. Widely acclaimed by prominent publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian (London), La Presse (Montreal), the performers in the Westport Arts Center’s 2013 - 2014 line-up will bring the stellar music known throughout the Chamber Music and Jazz worlds to Fairfield County.
There will be five Jazz performances, including two Jazz Jams, and five Chamber Music concerts. The Westport Arts Center is honored to have curators Brian Torff and Russell Platt lead the season again this year. Brian Torff is the head of the Music Department at Fairfield University and is also a bassist, composer, and author. Russell Platt, a Westport native, is a composer and a senior editor for classical music at The New Yorker.
The Chamber Music season features classical guitarist Eliot Fisk, whose teacher and mentor, classical guitarist Andrés Segovia was known for establishing the guitar as a classical concert instrument.
"I consider Eliot Fisk as one of the most brilliant, intelligent and gifted young musical artists of our times, not only amongst guitarists but in all the general field of instrumentalists,” Andrés Segovia said.
Pianist Janina Fialkowska, the up-and-coming Voxare String Quartet, and renowned New York ensemble Orion String Quartet will bring sensational performances to Westport. Young pianist Michael Brown is noted by The New York Times as “a young piano visionary” with a "powerful technique and a vivid imagination.” Gramophone writes, "Soloist Michael Brown play[s] with great confidence and rhythmic flair….” The New Haven Register says, “Brown is a brilliant young talent.”
The Westport Arts Center is honored to have acclaimed Jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates perform the music of Miles Davis and Gil-Scott-Heron. The Hartford Courant says, "Giacomo Gates, Jazz troubadour, worldly wise and grand master of scat and Vocalese, is one of the Jazz world's finest living exemplars of true grit."
The Jazz season will also feature the ‘Art of the Jazz Piano Trio;’ featuring Nick Sanders, piano, Brian Torff, bass and Kurt Leon drums; Jim Clark Jazz Saxophone Giants, and New Duke - Fairfield University Jazz Professors.
Learn about season ticket rates on the Westport Arts Center website.
2013- 2014 Chamber Music Concert Season:
Sunday, October 6, 2013, 3 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center Gallery
America's pre-eminent classical guitarist, Eliot Fisk is renowned all over the world for his continuation of the tradition of his great teacher, Andrés Segovia. A work by the Pultizer and Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano (who spent much of his childhood in Westport) headlines his program, in addition to music by Bach and Britten and pieces from the Spanish tradition.
November 3, 2013, 3 p.m. at the Pequot Library
The pianist Janina Fialkowska, a longtime Fairfield Country resident and a distinguished international artist, delighted our audience with her poetic renditions of Chopin and Liszt at the Pequot Library during the Westport Arts Center's 2011-12 season. Prior to moving to Germany, she will return to offer us a farewell recital, focusing on favorite repertory by Schubert, Chopin, and Grieg.
2013 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition
Semi-Finals: Nov. 23, 2013, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Free
Finals: Nov. 24, 2013 at Westport Town Hall, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., $20
The Connecticut Alliance for Music and the Westport Arts Center present the annual Heida Hermanns International Piano competition for talented young artists. This will be the 41st annual Heida Hermanns competition, which alternates between Voice and Piano each year.
“This competition attracts contestants from all over the United States, including many foreign musicians studying or working here. Pianists Andrew Armstrong, Max Levinson, and Christopher O’Reilly; clarinetists Charles Neidich and Todd Palme; baritone Christopheren Nomura; flutist David Fedele, and the Alexander Quartet are all winners who have gone on to important careers. Distinguished musicians who have judged for the Competition include Licia Albanese, Nina Beilina, Anton Coppola, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, Jerry Hadley, Theodore Lettvin, and Seymour Lipkin, Stephen Mosteller.” - Connecticut Alliance for Music.
Voxare String Quartet
February 9, 2014, 3 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center Gallery
The up-and-coming group, the Voxare String Quartet, a vibrant and lyrically driven Russian-American ensemble. In a first for the Westport Arts Center, there will be an all-American program, timed to coincide with "On the Wire," a photo exhibition of the work of the Westport Arts Center's daring and brilliant photojournalists Tyler Hicks, Lynsey Addario, and Spencer Platt. The Voxare will perform Barber's Adagio for Strings, Ned Rorem's String Quartet No. 4 (commissioned by the Emerson String Quartet) in honor of the great composer's 90th birthday, the Duo for Violin and Cello by the acclaimed opera composer Daron Hagen, and to close the beloved "American" Quartet by Dvorak.
Orion String Quartet
April 13, 2014, 4 p.m. at the Seabury Center
Last season WAC hosted a quartet of greatness: the Juilliard String Quartet in an appearance that no one who attended will forget. Now we bring in another renowned New York ensemble, the Orion String Quartet, long the resident quartet of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a fixture in the city's musical life for twenty-five years. Their unmissable program will feature Schubert's Quartet No. 14, "Death and the Maiden," along with music by Schumann and Beethoven.
Sunday, May 4, 2014, 4 p.m. at the Pequot Library
The final concert of the season is the annual young artist showcase. This year it is a recital by the brilliant pianist Michael Brown, acclaimed by the New York Times in his New York recital debut for his brilliance at the keyboard and for composition. He will perform music by Beethoven, Copland, the entrancing Catalan master Federico Mompou, and himself.
2013- 2014 Jazz Concert Season:
Art of the Jazz Piano Trio
Sunday, September 29, 2013, 3 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center Gallery
A concert that features the works and styles of the major pianists in Jazz history. The performance will feature Nick Sanders, piano, Brian Torff, bass and Kurt Leon, drums.
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 7 p.m., Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center Gallery
Jam sessions will mix professionals, and semi-professionals with up and coming Jazz students in a fun, informal, and free-wheeling jam session lead by WAC Jazz Director, Brian Torff
Giacomo Gates- the music of Gil- Scott Heron and Miles Davis
Sunday, November 10, 2013, 3 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center Gallery
Acclaimed Jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates will perform selections from his two most recent recordings. This concert will feature Gates and an all-star group performing the music of Miles Davis and Gil-Scott-Heron.
Jim Clark Jazz Saxophone Giants 1940-50
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 3 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center Gallery
Jim Clark will bring his band to the Westport Arts Center in a performance that will feature the renowned and important Jazz saxophonists of the 1940-1950 period.
New Duke - Fairfield University Jazz Professors
Sunday, March 2, 2014, 3 p.m. at the Pequot Library
Brian Torff leads an eight-piece band comprised of Fairfield University Jazz faculty that will feature his updated arrangements of Duke Ellington’s music. Ellington’s music will be heard in connection with modern styles such as funk, hip-hop, reggae, and world music styles.
Tribute to Dave Brubeck
Sunday, April 6, 2014, 3 p.m. at the Pequot Library
The late, great pianist, composer, humanitarian, and Wilton resident Dave Brubeck will be honored in this concert that will feature his most well-known compositions. This concert will feature Tim Moran, alto sax, Donn Trenner, piano, Brian Torff, bass, and Warren Odze, drums.