December 2017 Concerts
In a recent review, Fanfare Magazine stated that Michael Samis’s playing places him “in the very highest echelon of the world’s living cellists.” He is recognized for his “golden tone and commanding technique (Nashville Scene), “haunting” tone (Cincinnati Post) and “shining and expressive” playing (The Tennessean). In 2013, he gave what was likely the U.S. premiere of Carl Reinecke’s Romantic-era Cello Concerto with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, which set the stage for his debut solo album on the Delos label, released in 2014.
Samis performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 17. Other solo performances have included Bruch’s Kol Nidrei with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Naples Orchestra, Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major with the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra, Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Bryan Symphony and Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestras, and Lalo’s Cello Concerto with the Blue Ash Symphony Orchestra.
He has given recitals around the U.S., including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, Western Slope Concert Series in Colorado, Taft Museum Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Dearborn Highlands Performing Arts Series in Indiana, Blair/Vanderbilt, Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Matinee Musicale Rising Stars Series, and others. He recently performed on Stopping By, a Delos Productions’ CD recorded with tenor Kyle Bielfield and pianist Lachlan Glen. In 2007, he recorded a CD on the Ottimavoce label with soprano Karen Parks, Nobody Knows: Songs Of Harry T. Burleigh. He frequently performs on National Public Radio affiliate WPLN’s Live in Studio C program.
Samis is currently Principal Cellist with the Nashville Opera Orchestra and he was a member of the Nashville Symphony for 15 years. He is also Co-Principal Cellist of the Grammy®-nominated Gateway Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has recorded on Summit Records (Chamber Symphonies, released in 2012).
He has performed in music festivals around the world, including the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, where he sat Principal Cello under the baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas.
Samis graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1999 with the Ellis A. Feiman Award in Cello. In Cleveland, Samis studied with the Cleveland Orchestra’s longtime Principal Cellist, Stephen Geber. He has also studied with Desmond Hoebig, Jerry Grossman (Principal Cellist, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) and Geraldine Sutyak.
Samis was awarded a 2013 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Music for Solo Instrumental Performance. In his parallel career in clinical social work, Samis uses the evocative voice of the cello in psychotherapy to help people connect with their inner path toward healing. He plays an Italian cello made in Naples circa 1850.
Denise Baker who currently serves as concertmaster for half of the NPO concerts is a brilliant soloist. Denise has appeared as soloist with Nashville’s Concerto Orchestra, the NPO and the Western Piedmont Symphony, where she held the position of Concertmaster before joining The Nashville Symphony in 1996. She began playing the violin at age 14. She received her training at the North Carolina School of the Arts with violinist Elaine Richey, where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. She has also performed throughout the United States and Europe as a member of the International Music Program and participated in festivals including the Chamber Music Festival of Saugutuck, Brevard Music Center and Great Music West.
May 2017 Concerts
Joshua Coble is a native of Huntsville, Alabama and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in organ performance at The University of Alabama. Coble earned a Master of Music in church music and organ performance from Samford University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in organ performance from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In 2007 Coble placed first in the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs’ scholarship auditions, and placed second in the 2010 University of Alabama Organ Scholarship Competition. He was also the recipient of the Warren Hutton Endowed Scholarship in Organ. Joshua has participated in national organ competitions including the Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition in Organ Playing and was an Official Competitor in the 2014 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. Joshua has studied organ with Donald Sutherland, Faythe Freese and Daniel Lawhon. He has taught as instructor of organ at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and currently teaches at Belmont University in Nashville as adjunct-instructor of organ. Coble has recently accepted the position as Assistant Director of Music and Organist at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Prior to this appointment he was organist for nine years at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham and also served as Associate Organist at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Nashville.
2017 Concerto Competition Winner Maggie Kasinger studies with Dr. Carolyn Huebl at The Blair School of Music. She has been on a full Myra Jackson Blair Scholarship since 2010. Kasinger is a member of The Curb Youth Symphony and the South Haven Baptist Church Orchestra and has been conductor-assistant for The Repertory Strings Orchestra as well as the assistant to the director at WKU Summer String Institute. She performs at many outreach programs through The Blair School of Music and in her own community. An avid chamber musician since the age of 8, Kasinger has received extensive coaching from The American String Quartet, The Ariana String Quartet, The Jupiter String Quartet, and John Kochanowski, the violist of The Blair String Quartet. Kasinger has participated in music festivals including the Madeline Island Chamber Music and Brevard Music Festival, where she was also concertmaster of The Brevard Concert Orchestra under Maestro Keith Lockhart and Ken Lam. She has played for masterclasses with Mauricio Fuks, Robert Moody, Simone Porter, Peter Winograd, Ara Gregorian, Brenda Brenner, and Jean Montes. Kasinger soloed with the Nashville Summer Orchestra Institute in 2015 and 2016 and will be soloing with the Curb Youth Symphony in the upcoming fall semester. She recently participated in The Nashville Symphony Orchestra Curb Concerto Competition, where she placed as 1st runner-up. She is the current winner of the Young Artist category of the Nashville Philharmonic Concerto and Composition Competition. Kasinger currently plays on a 2014 Keith Hill violin generously loaned and made by Keith Hill himself. Kasinger, age 16, is a 10th-grade homeschooler.
Bass-baritone Joshua Alan Lindsay is a native of Nashville, TN who aspires to sing opera professionally. He most recently returned to his alma mater Austin Peay State University as guest artist to sing the role of Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer. Other recent credits include the dual roles of Keith and the Father in Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking, Tobia Mill in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio, and Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. He has sung in multiple productions with the Nashville Opera Ensemble and in concert as soloist with the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. He is a former member of the Nashville Symphony Chorus and has been a staff bass with St. George’s Choir at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Nashville for the past six years.
Lindsay is a former vocal student of Sharon Mabry’s and is currently studying with Jeffrey Williams. He received his Masters of Music in Vocal Performance in 2016 from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. The following summer, he sang with the Musiktheater Bavaria program in Oberaudorf, Germany, where he performed scenes from Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, and Flotow’s Martha. His undergraduate work was in composition, and he continues to compose art song and chamber works. He is a strong advocate for new music and has happily lent his voice to other young composers to help premiere their works. Lindsay is quite comfortable on stage and has also performed in theatre productions, most recently performing the role of Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest.
Tiange Wu (Tina) was born in Beijing, China. Her compositions have been performed live on stage in Beijing, and this will be the first time her composition “Abduction” will be played on stage in the United States. Her professional orchestration training started in 2006, and since then she has continued to expand that knowledge. In 2008, Tiange entered the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a full scholarship to pursue her passion for multimedia composition. After graduating from Oberlin College, she performed as the principal keyboardist for the Firelands Symphony Orchestra. She currently fills her time working for RocketPunch Game, Inc. creating music and soundscapes for the video game industry. She is also a current piano instructor for Belmont University. While at Belmont, she is also completing her masters degree in music for commercial composition and arranging. Tiange enjoys creating music for multimedia as well as teaching and performing. “A life with music is a life well lived.”
Abduction – some notes from the composer
Abduction is inspired by an urban legend originating in Guangxi, China. The story focuses on an intelligent and beautiful young lady referred to as sister Liu. She is a folk singer from a minority ethnic group called Zhuang. This orchestral piece portrays a scene of the story where the leader of a corrupt organization referred to as the “Huairen Mo” has abducted sister Liu to force her into marriage. Wu uses a folk tune to represent sister Liu and a strong and dissonant sound to portray the Huairen Mo that abducted her.
February 2017 Concerts:
Soprano Kristine Stroupe
December 2016 Concerts:
Christopher Farrell is a violist and has been a member of the Nashville Symphony since 1999. He received a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. As a member of Alias Chamber Ensemble, Christopher can be heard on Alias’ CDs Amorisms, Boiling Point: Music of Kenji Bunch, and the Grammy Nominated album Gabriela Lena Frank: Hilos. In addition to performing with the Nashville Symphony and Alias Chamber Ensemble, Christopher is an active studio musician and can be heard on numerous albums by an eclectic range of recording artists.
Christopher’s compositions have been performed in Alias Chamber Ensemble season concerts at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and Nashville Symphony OnStage performances at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. In 2015, Christopher was awarded a Bonnaroo Works/Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Grant by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission for the creation and recording of Needle and Thread, Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp.
Commenting on the composition of his Violin Concerto with Chamber Orchestra, Farrell said, “Last year, (Jessica) challenged me to write her a concerto. I say ‘challenged’ because I had not written anything for a large ensemble, let alone an orchestra with a solo violin. I decided
to look to my favorite violin concertos for inspiration…(ones) by Sibelius, Barber, and Prokofiev. Each movement of my concerto is in a way inspired by these three great composers. I’m really interested in melody and lyrical music, so each movement is built around a hopefully memorable melody that gives each movement its character.”