Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Da Capo Chamber Players will offer a concert featuring seven works by leading contemporary composers on Wednesday, November 19, at Bard College. The program, presented by The Bard Center, is free and open to the public and begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall.

Works to be performed include Elliott Carter’s Esprit rude/esprit doux (1984) for flute and clarinet and his "Enchanted Preludes" (1988) for flute and cello; George Perle’s "Critical Moments 2" (2001); Joseph Schwantner’s "Wind Willow, Whisper" (1980), written for and dedicated to the Da Capo Chamber Players for their 10th anniversary concert; Alla Borzova’s Mother Said (1997), conducted by the composer; Shulamit Ran’s "Mirage" (1990), commissioned by Da Capo; and the debut of Alexander Dmitriev’s "Trio for Belarus" (2003) for violin, cello, and piano, which was written for Da Capo for its performance at the Belarussian Musical Autumn Festival in Minsk, Belarus, this November.

Guest artists include percussionist James Baker, pianist Blair McMillen, violist Maiya Papach, and tenor James Rio, as well as Borzova.

Da Capo is widely acclaimed for its virtuosity, stimulating programs, and openness to a wide spectrum of styles in new music. Its dedication to working with composers is matched by a commitment to rehearsing each piece as a living, moving, breathing entity, rather than as a fixed blueprint. Winners of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1973, Da Capo has become a leader in building a strong heritage of present-day American chamber music and can point with pride to more than 90 chamber music works written especially for the ensemble by Joan Tower, Philip Glass, Harvey Sollberger, and Philippe Bodin, among many others. In April 2003, Da Capo performed at the Moscow Forum International Festival of Contemporary Music. Forthcoming recordings include chamber works by Borzova and Judith Shatin. The Da Capo Chamber Players are flutist Patricia Spencer, clarinetist Meighan Stoops, cellist André Emelianoff, and violinist David Bowlin.

This concert is made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. For further information about the program, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.


Violinist David Bowlin is a 2002 graduate of the Juilliard School, where he studied with Ronald Copes. Having been awarded first prize in violin at the 2003 Washington International Competition for Strings, he will perform a debut recital at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., this season. This marks Bowlins’s first season as a member of the Da Capo Chamber Players; he was appointed in June after performing extensively last season as a guest with the ensemble. He is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, a uniquely structured collective of composers and instrumentalists that performs concerts in Chicago, including an annual weeklong festival in June. The ensemble will also inaugurate a new series this year at the Rosenberg + Kaufmann Art Gallery in SoHo. As a member of the Andros Quartet (a finalist in the 2003 Concert Artists’ Guild competition) he has performed traditional quartet literature in numerous venues around the New York area, including Bargemusic and Alice Tully Hall. Bowlin received a B.M. at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he was a student of Roland and Almita Vamos. Currently he serves as Copes’s teaching assistant at Juilliard.

André Emelianoff has toured throughout North America, Japan, Russia, Austria, and England, and given recitals throughout central Asia and the Mediterranean as an American Ambassador for the Arts, sponsored by the USIA. A cellist with Da Capo Chamber Players since 1976, he is also a member of the Aeolian Chamber Players and has been involved with the Music Today Ensemble. Winner of a 1985 NEA Solo Recitalist Award, he has commissioned works by Aaron Kernis, Joan Tower, George Perle, Richard Wernick, Shulamit Ran, Stephen Jaffe, and Gerald Levinson. He appeared as a guest artist with the Houston Da Camera, New Jersey Chamber Society, and Lincoln Center Chamber Society, among others; as a participant in the Marlboro, Chamber Music West, and Piccolo Spoleto festivals; and as a soloist with the Albany Symphony. He is on the faculty at the Juilliard School, as well as the Round Top (Texas) Festival and the Perlman Program. Emelianoff has recorded for CRI, Opus One, New World Records, Nonesuch, GM Recordings, RCA, Bridge Records, and Pro Arte.

"Patricia Spencer's presence was striking and her playing was extraordinary in its control over minutiae of dynamics, pitch, and timbre, particularly in relationship to the complex, fluid electronic environment that surrounded her. The performance was the tour de force of technique, emotion, and spirituality that the piece requires; it will stand as one of the highlights of the musical season," wrote Richard Dyer in the Boston Globe. Recent high points in Spencer’s career, devoted to new music, include her recital in Moscow for the Alternativa Festival (October 2002); her premiere of Shulamit Ran's flute concerto, Voices, at the 2000 National Flute Association convention; and her premiere solo flute works by Louis Karchin and Eugene Lee at the Sonic Boom Festival in the fall of 2001. An exciting repertoire of pieces has been written for her, including Thea Musgrave's Narcissus and Judith Shatin's Kairos featured on her solo CD, (Neuma Records). An earlier CD, with pianist Linda Hall, features Boulez's Sonatine plus works by Carter, Perle, Korde, Talma, Martirano, Kreiger, and Jaffe. Both CDs received rave reviews from Fanfare and the American Record Guide. Spencer has received awards for her solo recordings and commissioning projects from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. As a recitalist and Da Capo member, she has commissioned more than 80 solo, duo, and chamber works for flute. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Robert Willoughby, Spencer also has studied with Marcel Moyse, John Wummer, and Josef Marx. She teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University.

Clarinetist Meighan Stoops is a member of Da Capo Chamber Players, as well as an active chamber musician, recitalist, and teacher. She has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Key West Symphony Orchestra, Bargemusic, the Con Brio Ensemble, and with the Da Capo Chamber Players on John Schaefer’s New Sounds on WNYC and at MATA (Music at the Anthology). Stoops holds degrees from Northwestern University and Yale University, where she received the Lucy G. Moses Fellowship and the Dean’s Award. Past teachers include Russell Dagon, David Shifrin, and Kalmen Opperman.


Percussionist James Baker has appeared with many of the finest orchestras, as well as many chamber, jazz, pop, and commercial organizations. He plays regularly with the New York City Ballet, American Composers Orchestra, Eos Orchestra, New York Pops, Orpheus, New York Collegium, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, and the Westchester Philharmonic. He has performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York Chamber Symphony, Parnassus, Continuum, and Czech Philharmonic. He has also appeared as a soloist in Carnegie Hall’s "Making Music" series and at the Santa Fe, Moab, June in Buffalo, Bridgehampton, Prague Spring, Lincoln Center, and Pepsico Summer Fare Festivals. Baker has appeared with such artists as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Rosemary Clooney, Branford Marsalis, Dizzie Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, John Hicks, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Astor Piazzola, Jimmy Webb, Carly Simon, and Nine Inch Nails. He has recorded for RCA, Nonesuch, CBA, EMI, and Arista Records and has appeared on NBC, PBS, BBS, and Television France.

Composer and conductor Alla Borzova rapidly sprang to prominence in the West after arriving in the United States from Minsk, Belarus, in 1993. Capturing the first prize in the Delius Composition Contest and winner of the Robert Starer Composition Award, she has also received grants and awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, the Susan Rose Recording Fund for Contemporary Jewish Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Jerome Foundation, and American Music Center. Borzova has been recently invited to Yaddo for a summer residency. Her award-winning scores include Mother Said, a humorous song cycle for tenor and eight instruments, commissioned by the renowned American tenor Paul Sperry, and Majnun Songs, a chamber cantata for tenor, flute, riq, and string quartet. A professor of composition at the Belarussian Academy of Music before her arrival in the United States, Borzova has been on the music faculty at Hunter and Lehman Colleges. She holds a doctorate in composition from Moscow Conservatory, where she studied with Alexander Pirumov. Maintaining an active career as a pianist, conductor, and organist, Borzova lives in Pelham, NY, with her husband, composer Alexander Dmitriev.

Pianist Blair McMillen leads a varied life as soloist, chamber musician, improviser, and teacher. Hailed by the New York Times as "lustrous," "riveting," and "a prodigiously accomplished and exciting artist," he has given concerto appearances in Alice Tully Hall, was soloist on a tour of Japan with the Juilliard Orchestra, and gave a much-heralded New York debut recital in 1998. As a collaborator, he has appeared with tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, Da Capo Chamber Players, Eos Orchestra, New York Woodwind Quintet, Locrian Chamber Players, Avian Orchestra, and New Juilliard Ensemble. Equally at home in both new and traditional repertoire, McMillen is a founding member of the composer/performer collective counter)induction, which holds a residency at Columbia University and will be a featured ensemble at the 2004 MATA Festival. Upcoming engagements include concerto appearances with the American Ballet Theater, and a solo recital juxtaposing the music of Giacinto Scelsi and Luciano Berio on Miller Theatre’s "Piano Revolution" series in February 2004. A past winner of the Sony ES Career Grant, the Juilliard Gina Bachauer Award, and the National Young Artists Competition, McMillen holds degrees from Oberlin College and the Juilliard School. He has recorded for BMG/Catalyst, Koch International, CRI, Albany, and New World.

Tenor James Rio is a Connecticut native whose work encompasses opera, oratorio, musical theater, and theater. Mother Said will be among the works he performs this fall with Da Capo Chamber Players at the Belarussian Musical Autumn Festival in Minsk. Rio performed in the premiere of Borzova’s Majnun Songs at the City University of New York under the conductor’s baton, and has also performed it with Da Capo and at Sonic Boom 2002 in New York City. The work is recorded on Albany Records. Other premieres include the roles of Abe Lincoln in The Other Lincoln, Senator Good in John Grace Rantor (NPR broadcast), and Blumels in George Jolly’s "Life of Martin Luther." He was the tenor soloist in the Jose Limon Dance Company performance of Kodály’s Missa Brevis and was a participant in the premiere of Jon Magnussen’s Psalm at the Cultural Olympiad of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. His European debut was as André in the Hal Prince production of Phantom of the Opera. Rio’s formal training was at Wittenberg University and the Indiana University School of Music, and he was an apprentice at Sarasota Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

A versatile violist, Maiya Papach’s performance career includes a wide variety of solo, orchestral, and chamber music. An experienced orchestral player, she has performed with such ensembles as the Aspen Chamber Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Papach is also a member of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, led by Michael Stern, with whom she has performed as principal viola. A winner of the 2001 Oberlin Concerto Competition, she performed the Bartók Viola Concerto with the Oberlin Orchestra under Paul Polivnick. Papach, a founding member of the Andros String Quartet, is a finalist in the 2003 Concert Artists’ Guild Competition and has performed in such venues as Bargemusic, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Aspen Harris Concert Hall, and at the School of Visual Arts. She is a member, with Bowlin, of the Chicago-based International Contemporary Ensemble. Papach received a B.M. degree from the Oberlin Conservatory, where she was a student of Roland Vamos, and currently she is pursuing a master’s degree from the Juilliard School as a student of Hsin-Yun Huang.

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This event was last updated on 11-24-2003