THE WOODSTOCK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA WILL PERFORM AT BARD COLLEGE ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16 Soloists Melissa Sweet, flute, and Kathleen Wychulis, harp, are featured in all-Mozart program
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Center presents an all-Mozart program featuring the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra (WCO) at the College on Wednesday, April 16. The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Admission is $12 for adults; $6 for non-Bard students; and free for children 12 and under.
Works to be performed include Mozart's Symphony No. 31 in D, "Paris"; Concerto for Flute and Harp, with flutist Melissa Sweet and harpist Kathleen Wychulis; and Symphony No. 35 in D, "Haffner." (This program will also be offered at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Kingston; and at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 13, at the Reformed Church of Saugerties.)
"The Mozart works chosen for this concert are energetic and beautiful, and also reflect this season's focus on programming compositions by young artists," says Luis Garcia-Renart, artistic director of the WCO. "Mozart was always young, as he died at age 35. We chose these two symphonies (in the same key) to open and close the concert as they involve all members of the WCO. The very talented Kathleen Wychulis, who performed with the orchestra a few years ago, was received with such enthusiasm that the audience requested an encore performance."
Kathleen Wychulis, the principal harp of the Lincoln (Nebraska) Symphony, has performed nationwide as an orchestral soloist and harpist, chamber musician, and recitalist. She is a native of Omaha who began her musical education at age four with Suzuki violin lessons, and continued her studies of piano, viola, and double bass for 14 years. She holds a master's degree in music from Rice University, and received a bachelor's degree in music (cum laude) from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her principal teachers include Patrice Lockhart, Alice Chalifoux, Yolanda Kondonassis, and Paula Page. A 2001 recipient of a Fulbright Foundation grant, Wychulis recently returned from Australia where she studied with Alice Giles at the Australian National University in Canberra. For five years, she has been a faculty member of the Rocky Ridge Music Center, a program for young musicians located outside of Estes Park, Colorado, where she is also a regular performer in the Music in the Mountains chamber concert series. Wychulis has also taught at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, as well as in the Omaha public schools.
In addition to being principal flutist with the WCO, Melissa Sweet is an active chamber musician who has played in the Woodstock Chamber Players, Flutations, and Le Grande Ecurie (on baroque flute); and now performs, with guitarist Gregory Dinger, in the duo Cantilena. She also was the principal flutist with the Hudson Valley Opera Company. Sweet began her flute studies with John Oberbrunner at Syracuse University, and later studied with Joseph Mariano at the Eastman School of Music. Her other teachers include Claude Monteaux, Murray Panitz, John Solum, and Patricia Spencer. Sweet was chosen to participate in several of Robert Willoughby's master classes at the University of New Hampshire and in Spencer's Now and Present Flute Seminar at Bard. At her home in Saugerties, Sweet maintains an active teaching studio for students at all levels.
WCO artistic director Luis Garcia-Renart's "supreme gift as a conductor is his ability to inspire and elicit depth of expression from all his musicians, whatever their level of technical ability," wrote music critic Kitty Montgomery in the Daily Freeman. This is Garcia-Renart's 12th year as artistic director of the WCO. He is a professor of music at Bard College and also serves on the faculties of Vassar College, the Piatigorsky seminars at the University of Southern California, and Yale University's summer programs in chamber music. He was born in Barcelona, Spain, and studied at the Music School of the National University and the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico. From 1951 until 1956, his cello studies were supervised by Pablo Casals. Until 1960 he studied directly with Casals in France and Puerto Rico. That same year he won a scholarship to study at the Conservatory of Moscow with Mstislav Rostropovich and Aram Khachaturian. Garcia-Renart attended music conservatories in Bern and Basel, Switzerland, and Trossingen, Germany, where he was a pupil of Sándor Veress and Sándor Vegh. Garcia-Renart has won awards at the Casals International Contests in Paris in 1956, Xalapa in 1959, and Israel in 1961. He also received the Harriet Cohen Cello Prize in London in 1959. In addition to conducting, Garcia-Renart has been an active soloist in Europe, the Soviet Union, Israel, and North and South America.
The WCO, formed in 1980 by musicians from the Woodstock area, has expanded over the years and now comprises 38 professional musicians from the entire Hudson Valley area. The WCO regularly commissions and performs music by local and regional composers. Each season it gives approximately 14 performances in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, and at Bard College.
These concerts are made possible in part with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. For further information or to order tickets, call the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra at 845-246-7045.
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