DVOŘÁK’S “NEW WORLD”
Saturday, February 11, 2023, 7:30 pm
Diane Wittry, Conductor
Mimi Stillman, flute
Frances Duffy, harp
P R O G R A M
WILLIAM GRANT STILL Ennanga for Harp and Orchestra
Frances Duffy, harp
ZHOU TIAN Flute Concerto
Mimi Stillman, flute
— I N T E R M I S S I O N —
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
Adagio — Allegro molto
Scherzo: Molto vivace
Allegro con fuoco
Flutist Mimi Stillman is an internationally acclaimed solo, chamber, and recording artist hailed by the New York Times as “not only a consummate and charismatic performer, but also a scholar. Her programs tend to activate ear, heart, and brain.” Praised for her “exquisite purity of sound and depth of emotion” (Diario de Yucatán), she has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras and as recitalist and chamber musician at prestigious venues throughout the United States and internationally. Renowned for her virtuosity, insightful interpretation, and adventurous programming, she has appeared as soloist with orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Marine Chamber Orchestra of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Bach Collegium Stuttgart, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán; and at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Symphony Space, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Sawdust, Roulette, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, La Jolla Music Society, Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Kol HaMusica (Israel), on Curtis On Tour's virtual Latin American tour 2021 in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. In May 2022, she gave the world premiere of Grammy-nominated composer Zhou Tian's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, written for her, with the Marine Chamber Orchestra and Director Col. Jason K. Fettig. The work was commissioned with a consortium of seven American orchestras, with which she will perform the concerto over the next two seasons.
Mimi Stillman is the founding Artistic Director of the popular Dolce Suono Ensemble (DSE), performing Baroque to new music in Philadelphia and on tour, in programs with high intellectual content setting music in its broadest cultural context. Some of DSE's outstanding projects include Mahler 100 / Schoenberg 60; Women Pioneers of American Music; and A Place and a Name: Remembering the Holocaust. “All programs should have this much to say, and say it so well.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). A Spanish speaker, Ms. Stillman created DSE’s award-winning Música en tus Manos (Music in Your Hands) project to engage Philadelphia’s Latino communities in the chamber and popular music of Latin America. DSE has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, William Penn Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and other prestigious institutions, and enjoys a partnership with the Washington National Opera at the invitation of Plácido Domingo.
Stillman's artistic diversity makes a unique mark on the music world - winning the Bärenreiter Prize for Best Historical Performance, engaging Latino communities through her Música en tus Manos project, and reaching a global audience as masterclass teacher and Livestream and media host. She is the host of "Tea with Mimi," her Livestream series initiated early in the Covid pandemic. A leader in the new music field contributing important new works to the repertoire for her instrument, Stillman has given 60 world premieres in 17 seasons with Dolce Suono Ensemble.
Mimi Stillman has won numerous competitions and awards including Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Astral Artists Auditions, and the Philadelphia Women in the Arts Award. A Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician, she has taught masterclasses and done residencies for universities throughout the United States and internationally, including Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), École normale de Musique de Paris, Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Chile), and conservatories in Milan, Puerto Rico, Buenos Aires, and Bogotá. She is on faculty at Temple University and Music for All National Festival.
Mimi Stillman made the leap from child prodigy to inimitable artist. At age 12, she was the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with the legendary Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner and earned her Bachelor of Music degree. She holds an MA in History from the University of Pennsylvania, and has written on music and history for publications including the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World and the Journal of the Mozart Society of America.
Ms. Duffy is Principal Harp of the Wheeling and Allentown Symphony Orchestras and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and also performs as second harp for the American Ballet Theatre orchestra at Lincoln Center. Most recently she finished a seven month engagement as harpist for the Broadway production of Wicked-the untold story of the Witches of Oz. Ms. Duffy has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, the Albany Symphony and the Hartford Symphony under conductors including Keith Lockhart, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, and Lorin Maazel. She is an active free-lancer in the NY Metropolitan area, having served as harpist for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and playing Broadway shows such as My Fair Lady, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, Beauty and the Beast, and The Fantasticks (both the original Sullivan St. Playhouse Production and the 2006 revival at the Snapple Theater in Times Square). In addition Ms. Duffy has served as harpist with the Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh Opera and Civic Light Opera and has also performed as Acting Principal harpist of the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra. As a soloist Ms. Duffy has performed concertos with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Wheeling Symphony, Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Sinfonia, the Altoona Symphony and the Lyric Orchestra. Career highlights include appearances as the first-ever harp soloist with the acclaimed River City Brass Band on their home subscription series and solo recitals in the NY metropolitan area at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and the Trinity Concert Series at Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan. Ms. Duffy has toured the USA with the River City Brass Band in addition to performing with the Charleston Symphony and in the NYC area as a bass trombonist. She maintains teaching studios in her home and at the Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly, NJ and has been on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. In addition to teaching, Ms. Duffy is in demand as a chamber music collaborator and works with several chamber music groups including her Pittsburgh based group Trio Delevan, Linaria ensemble and harp and saxophone duo Magia with Christopher Creviston. Ms. Duffy received BFA and MM degrees in music performance from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She recently received her DMA under the direction of André Tarantiles at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Her teachers have included Kathleen Bride, Anne-Marguerite Michaud and Sarah Bullen. At the 50th Anniversary Conference of the American Harp Society in July, 2012 Ms. Duffy premiered a new work for harp and saxophone in New York City with saxophonist Christopher Creviston. Having served as president or officer for several local chapters, recent activities with the American Harp Society including judging the Anne Adams Scholarship Awards and being elected to the American Harp Society Foundation Board of Directors.
Grammy-nominated Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian (JOH TEE-en) seeks inspiration from different cultures and strives to mix them seamlessly into a musically satisfying combination for performers and audience alike. His music — described as “absolutely beautiful…utterly satisfying” (Fanfare), “stunning” (the Cincinnati Enquirer), and “a prime example of 21st-century global multiculturalism” — has been performed by leading orchestras and performers in the United States and abroad, such as Jaap Van Zweden, Yuja Wang, the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Dover Quartet, Chanticleer, and Shanghai Symphony, where he served as the Artist-in-Residence for the 2019/20 season. His Concerto for Orchestra—commissioned and recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony and Music Director Louis Langrée—earned him a GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2018. His new work “Transcend,” commissioned by 13 American orchestras commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s completion, has been performed across the US and received warm critical acclaim. In 2019, Beijing Music Festival named him “Artist of the Year.” Born in 1981, Zhou came of age in a new China marked by economic reforms, and was in the United States by his 19th birthday. Trained at the Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School and University of Southern California, he studied with some of America’s finest composers, such as Jennifer Higdon, Christopher Rouse and Stephen Hartke. He is associate professor of composition at Michigan State University College of Music. (ZhouTianMusic.com)