Palm Beach Atlantic University presents the second annual Distinguished Artists Series, an unparalleled concert experience featuring internationally acclaimed guest artists and University faculty performing in PBA’s Helen K. Persson Recital Hall in Vera Lea Rinker Hall, 326 Acacia Road, West Palm Beach.
|Chamber Music Palm Beach|
Seating is limited to 150, providing a rare concert setting similar to the private salons of Europe. The series finale concert will be held in the University’s DeSantis Family Chapel with seating limited to 400. The chapel is at 300 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.
Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students with ID. To purchase tickets, call Palm Beach Atlantic University Ticket Central at (561) 803-2970, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pba.edu/das-calendar. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
The series, which runs from November through April, kicks off on Nov. 8 with a performance by Chamber Music Palm Beach sponsored by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. Karen Fuller Dixon is principal flute of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 1989, and has just been appointed principal flute of Miami City Ballet. She is also principal flute of Orchestra Miami. Michael Ellert is principal bassoon of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony (Fort Myers), Boca Raton Symphonia, Firenze and newly appointed principal bassoon of the Opus One Orchestra (Miami City Ballet). Michael Forte is principal clarinet of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony and is a member of the Boca Raton Symphonia.
Wayne Bergeron with Roget Pontbriand and Friends will give a big band performance with a Latin flair on Dec. 6. Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most active players in the world, with studio dates, international touring, jazz concerts, guest soloist appearances and clinics. In 1986, Bergeron landed the lead trumpet position with the Maynard Ferguson Band. He has worked on 300-plus TV and motion picture soundtracks. Bergeron’s first solo effort “You Call This a Living?” earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble as well as rave reviews from fans and press worldwide. His latest recording, “Plays Well With Others,” was released on the Concord Jazz label in 2007 and met with similar acclaim. Pontbriand is assistant professor of popular music at PBA and directs the University’s jazz ensemble. He is a composer and musician who has toured with the Grammy-nominated group Wild Cherry, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Bullet and other pop bands.
Tenor John Matz will appear on Jan. 17 in a performance sponsored by Northern Trust. Matz joined the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the age of 22. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in a gala performance in 2001, and in 2002 the Washington National Opera engaged Matz to learn and understudy the tenor lead of Samuel Barber’s seldom heard opera “Vanessa.” Fewer than two weeks later, he made his auspicious Washington debut opposite Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and took over the entire run of performances. He made his operatic debut in Europe as Rodolfo in “La Boheme” at the Den Norkse Opera in Oslo followed by Alfredo in “La Traviata” at the Opera National de Bordeaux, Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly” and Rodolfo in “La Boheme” for the Staatsoper in Hamburg. In 2006 and 2008 he sang the role of Pinkerton at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan. He has sung at Carnegie Hall, at the Washington National Cathedral and for the Los Angeles Opera. His overseas work includes Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta in Tel Aviv.
|Omer String Quartet|
The Omer String Quartet will present an evening of string music on Feb. 28. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the Omer String Quartet was formed in 2009 and consists of violinists Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violist Joseph LoCicero and cellist Alex Cox. Praised by the Cleveland Classical for being a “lean and resonant ensemble” with “committed and vivid” interpretations, the Omer String Quartet has been named the 2013 Grand Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 40th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. As part of their award, they toured the Midwest in October and will head for the Emilio Romagna region of Italy in the summer of 2014. The quartet recently completed chamber music studies as the Apprentice String Quartet and was awarded the Levine Chamber Music Award. Cox grew up in West Palm Beach and is a graduate of Palm Beach Public as well as Bak and Dreyfoos schools of the arts.
|Rachel Barton Pine|
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine will be featured in a March 21 performance sponsored by Mrs. Kathleen Ford. Pine will present an evening of Franck and Prokofiev sonatas as well as some heartfelt lullabies from her latest CD. Pine has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras. She also has been featured on “Saint Paul Sunday,” “Performance Today,” “From the Top,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and NBC’s “Today.” Her 16 critically acclaimed albums for the Cedille, Dorian and Cacophony labels include “Brahms and Joachim Violin Concertos” with Carlos Kalmar and the Chicago Symphony, “Scottish Fantasies” with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and “Beethoven and Clement Violin Concertos” with José Serebrier and the Royal Philharmonic. She holds top prizes from the J.S. Bach (gold medal), Queen Elisabeth, Paganini, Kreisler, Szigeti and Montreal international competitions, and has twice been honored as a Chicagoan of the Year. She plays a priceless instrument made in 1743, the Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu, also known as the “ex-Soldat,” on generous loan from her patron.
|Claudio Jaffé||Patrick Clifford|
The series will conclude with the Brahms Double Concerto performed by violinist Patrick Clifford and cellist Claudio Jaffé together with the PBA Symphony on April 25. Hailed by The New York Times as “an elegant and accomplished artist” of “taste, technique, musicianship, and a contagious youthful enthusiasm,” Jaffé fascinates his audiences with his colorful and passionate virtuosity. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Jaffé has performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls around the world. Clifford is professor of violin and viola at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where his position includes being first violinist in Quartetto Stringendo, the quartet-in-residence at the University, the concertmaster of the Palm Beach Atlantic Symphony as well as the director of the school’s preparatory department. His role as a performer and teacher has taken him throughout the United States, South and Central America and Asia. He performs on the ex-Mischakoff violin labeled Matteo Goffriller 1720.