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Longy Gets New Structuring, New Debut Series


The conservatory founded in Cambridge by Georges Longy in 1915 has a new name and a new big brother. Hereinafter to be known as Longy School of Music of Bard College, “Longy will stay in Cambridge, but benefit from the resources of the much larger institution,” according to its President, Karen Zorn. “Longy has found an ideal partner in mission and institutional direction in Bard College. Bard is a bold leader in liberal arts education, with a history of socially‐based programming that perfectly embodies Longy’s spirit of educational entrepreneurship and innovation.” Bard President Leon Botstein, added, “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to join with our colleagues at Longy to strengthen the tradition of the conservatory education and to innovate the ways in which the traditions of music education contribute to public.”

As the result of the merger, Longy may be surrendering its independence, but in return it will be gaining access to students from all over the country and also will be able to make more of its advanced-degree programs. Longy’s former trustees now constitute a board of governors, two of whom will also sit on the Bard  board. Karen Zorn, who continues as Longy president, has gained a new title as Bard vice president.

One of the first post-merger pronouncements is of the inauguration of a partnership with Boston‘s Celebrity Series: A Debut Series for Emerging Artists at Longy’s Pickman Hall.

Karen Zorn recently had this to say to BMInt:

Garry Dunning, the head of the Celebrity Series, and I had a brainstorming lunch about getting Longy students to think about what they were going to do after graduation and what would come  next. What developed from the discussions was a unique partnership between the Celebrity Series of Boston and Longy. The Debut Artist Series will annually present five “emerging” artists on our stage at Pickman Hall. In exchange for their concert appearances these artists will offer master classes, discussions, and other mentoring with our students. I feel that performers who are just one step beyond the current students will be well positioned to be credible mentors.

The five artists participating will be pianist Daniil Trifonov, Pacifica Quartet with clarinetist Anthony McGill, violinist Vilde Frang, guitarist Miloš Karadaglic, and soprano Susanna Phillips with tenor Joseph Kaiser. Celebrity Series subscribers will probably not have heard of most the performers scheduled for next season, since they are at early stages in their careers, but the well-known Pacifica Quartet is the exception. We invited them because of their longstanding connections with Longy.

I’m excited about this partnership. Having the Celebrity Series expertise in marketing and promotion is a real benefit all around. There really aren’t a lot of performing opportunities for these artists on the way up, and the Celebrity Series knows how to make sure they’re seen and heard.

One can make the case that these “emerging artists” are already well on the way to established careers, though most have yet to perform in Boston. The first concert of the series will be Pianist Daniil Trifonov, making his Boston debut on Friday October 5, 2012. He recently won medals at three of the most prestigious competitions in the music world: the Chopin Competition in Warsaw (Bronze Medal), the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv (First Prize) and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (Gold Medal). In the 2011-12 season, he is making debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic and Russian National Orchestra.

The Pacifica Quartet will be joined by clarinetist Anthony McGill on Wednesday October 24, 2012. Making its Celebrity Series of Boston debut, the Pacifica Quartet has won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two. McGill, winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, currently serves as principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang is making her Boston debut on January 23, 2013. Highlights among her recent and upcoming engagements include performances with Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and the NHK Symphony in Tokyo.

Making his Boston debut on Wednesday, February 13, guitarist Miloš Karadaglic was awarded a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music where, after graduating with First Class Honors, he completed a Masters degree in Performance and was subsequently made a Meaker Junior Fellow – the first guitarist to be given this accolade at the Academy. In 2010 he signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, and his first recording, The Guitar, was released last spring.

Vocalists Susanna Phillips and Joseph Kaiser are performing on May 1. Phillips, recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, returns to the Met this season as Musetta in La bohème. Other engagements in her 2011-12 season include appearances in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Minnesota Opera; as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona; and as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with the Grand Théatre de Bordeaux. Kaiser has performed at the Metropolitan Opera in an array of roles: Grimoaldo in Händel’s Rodelinda, the title role of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Narraboth in Strauss’s Salome.

Subscriptions for the entire five-concert debut series are on sale starting today, at Tickets for individual concerts will also be offered as part of the Celebrity Series 2012-13 “mix-and-match” offering when subscriptions for the regular 2012-2013 performance season go on sale on April 13, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.

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  1. This may be lovely for Longy. But Pickman Hall is no place for Trifonov to make his Boston debut, for example.

    Comment by Françoise — April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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