Grand Piano Series Presents Manhattan Chamber Players & Milana Strezeva at the Gulf Theater
March 31, 2022 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm$30 – $40
This refined program features music that represents the best examples of music’s most beloved styles: classic and romantic. Mozart, with sublime melodies; Debussy is a spirit of France – with fragrant, sensual sonorities that evoke impressionism in music. The way he handles a formidable challenge of the string quartet proves his mastery not only of the visionary miniatures but also of an epic showpiece. Piano Quintet by Dvorak will give us a truly larger-than-life result, a rich narrative full of passion, tenderness, and romantic ideals.
Mozart: Duo for Violin and Viola No. 1 in G Major, K. 423
Debussy: Quartet in G minor, Op 10
Dvorak: Quintet for Piano & Strings No. 2 in A Major
Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana, the winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, has received international praise as a “rising star” (BBC Music Magazine), an “amazing talent” (maestro Gustavo Dudamel), and “a paragon of delicacy” (San Francisco’s Classical Voice). His playing has been described as “explosive” (Gramophone), “electric and virtuosic” (The Strad). Among the many chamber music engagements on his upcoming schedule, Francisco is a member of The Bowers Program (formerly Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two). Mr. Fullana was honored in 2015 with the Pro Musicis International Award, and in the same year awarded First Prize in the Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition in Japan, along with all four special prizes including the Audience and Orchestra awards. He won First Prize in the 2014 Johannes Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria, while his other awards include First Prizes at the Julio Cardona International Violin Competition and the Pablo Sarasate Competition. Mr. Fullana has taken part in the Marlboro Music Festival and “Musicians from Marlboro” tours. He has joined in prominent chamber series, including Music@Menlo, the Da Camera Society, Perlman Music Program, and Yellow Barn, alongside members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Pacifica, Takacs and Cleveland Quartets. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, studying with Donald Weilerstein and Masao Kawasaki, and is also an Artist Diploma graduate from the USC Thornton School of Music, where he worked with the renowned violinist Midori.
Praised as playing “gorgeously” and with “gracefulness and easy rapport” (The Boston Globe), violinist Emily Daggett Smith has performed as soloist and chamber musician across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. As a soloist, Dr. Smith made her New York concerto debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, and since then has performed concerti with many orchestras including Iris Orchestra, the Festival Mozaic Orchestra and the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. She has given solo recitals across the country at venues including the Kennedy Center and Music in the Loft in Chicago. Dr. Smith is on the violin faculty of Bard College Conservatory Pre-College, has served on the violin faculty of the undergraduate department of Stony Brook University, and is the assistant for Laurie Smukler at Juilliard. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, and as a recipient of the prestigious Staller Scholar Award, a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University. Her teachers have included Soovin Kim, Philip Setzer, Joel Smirnoff, Laurie Smukler, and Donald Weilerstein. She plays on a Johannes Cuypers violin, generously donated by Dr. Marylou Witz.
Praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his “glowing refinement,” violist Luke Fleming‘s performances have been described by The Strad as “confident and expressive…playing with uncanny precision,” and lauded by Gramophone for their “superlative technical and artistic execution.” Festival appearances include the Marlboro Music School and Festival, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festivals, Bravo!Vail, and Festival Mozaic. Mr. Fleming was formerly the violist of the Attacca Quartet and is now the Founding Artistic Director of both the Manhattan Chamber Players and the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Fleming has served on the faculties of the Innsbrook Institute, Renova Music Festival, Festival del Lago, and Houston ChamberFest, and Fei Tian College and is Lecturer-in-Residence for the concert series Project: Music Heals Us. He currently serves on the viola and chamber music faculty of the University of New Orleans. Mr. Fleming holds the degrees of Doctor of Musical Arts, Artist Diploma, and Master of Music from the Juilliard School, a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from Louisiana State University.
Praised for his “fluid virtuosity” and “soulful melodies,” Los Angeles native Brook Speltz has been inspired since childhood by the long tradition of deep musical mastery of artists such as Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Fournier, and the Guarneri String Quartet. Mr. Speltz is the cellist of the internationally renowned Escher String Quartet—Quartet-in-Residence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas–and an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. First Prize winner of the prestigious Ima Hogg Competition, Mr. Speltz has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and International Contemporary Ensemble, among others, and is a regular performer at England’s IMS Prussia Cove and on tour with Musicians from Marlboro. Mr. Speltz studied at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Peter Wiley and at the Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick, after his formative years of study with Eleanor Schoenfeld in Los Angeles.
Praised by the critics for her “technically fluid, dramatically convincing, and sonically full-bodied supportive collaborations” (Boston Globe) – Milana Strezeva is a Moldovan-American pianist. At the age of 11, she began playing chamber music with her clarinetist father and her mother, a renowned soprano. Milana’s love for family collaboration eventually grew into a passionate advocacy of vocal and instrumental chamber music. A founding member of the award-winning Manhattan Piano Trio, Milana has performed with them in over 30 American states, in Australia, South Africa, and Italy, and in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Ravinia Festival. Among the prominent venues in which she has performed are – Carnegie Hall (New York), Jordan Hall (Boston), Kravis Center (West Palm Beach), Gusman Hall (Miami); Shenzhen Concert Hall (China), South Melbourne Town Hall (Australia), Linder Auditorium (South Africa). She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School. Currently, Milana lives in Naples, FL, and is a President and Artistic Director of the Grand Piano Series.