ABOUT THE EVENT
Musical Director: Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett has distinguished himself as a conductor with major orchestras here and abroad in the symphonic and operatic world. A protégé of Leonard Bernstein, he began his association with the renowned conductor and composer as a student in 1982, later serving as Maestro Bernstein’s assistant conductor from 1985-1990. Co-founder of both the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) and the Moab Music Festival, Michael was previously Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts and the 92nd Street Y in New York, and Chief Executive and General Director of the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY.
Together with his ongoing positions of artistic leadership at the Moab Music Festival and NYFOS, he is currently busily working on the Leonard Bernstein Centennial as a producer, conductor, and pianist.
Pianist: Joseph Thalken
Joseph Thalken is an award-winning composer whose theater and concert works have been performed internationally. His musicals include HAROLD AND MAUDE, book/lyrics by Tom Jones, WAS, book/lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, AND THE CURTAIN RISES, book by Michael Slade, lyrics by Mark Campbell, and BORROWED DUST, book/lyrics by Martin Moran. His concert works include chamber, choral, orchestral, wind and vocal music for a wide variety of artists. As a pianist, conductor and/or arranger, he has worked with Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Polly Bergen, Rebecca Luker, B. J. Ward, Faith Prince, Marin Mazzie, Elizabeth Futral, Anna Bergman, Denyce Graves, Michael Crawford, Barry Manilow, Howard McGillin, Jason Danieley, Nathan Gunn, Brian Stokes Mitchell and many others.
Tony Award Nominee: Tony Yazbeck
Tony Yazbeck is an American actor, singer, and dancer, best known for his work on the Broadway stage including the 2014 revival of On the Town for which he received 2015 Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for lead actor in a musical. Yazbeck is also known for his principal roles on Broadway including J.M. Barrie in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland, Tulsa in Gypsy starring Patti LuPone, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Phil Davis in White Christmas, Al Deluca in A Chorus Line and the original casts of Broadway’s Never Gonna Dance and Oklahoma (2002 revival). In 2014 he appeared in a concert version of Kiss Me, Kate with the John Wilson Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, London as part of that season’s Promenade Concerts.
Soprano: Amy Owens
Amy Owens enjoys a diverse career in concert work, opera, new music, alternative pop, and jazz. She has appeared in concert in venues ranging from Wolf Trap to Carnegie Hall with renowned orchestras across the United States, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic. Her operatic engagements have taken her to Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Utah Opera, Central City Opera, and On Site Opera, and she appears regularly with the New York Festival of Song. Her debut album of original music, a collaboration with producer Howard Wulkan, HAETHOR, was released last year to acclaim in the electronica world, and she recently released an album of Leonard Bernstein songs, including previously unrecorded pieces, with pianist Michael Barrett.
Violinist: Cindy Wu
Praised by the Seattle Times as “Simply marvelous,” violinist/violist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Cindy has collaborated in concerts with renowned artists such as Gary Graffman, Ida Kavafian, Cho-Liang Lin, Anthony Marwood, Midori, Thomas Quasthoff, Yuja Wang, and members of the Alban Berg, Guarneri, Orion, and Tokyo string quartets at prominent venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and festivals such as the La Jolla Summerfest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Cindy is a recipient of many awards including the Milka Violin Artist Prize from the Curtis Institute of Music, and third prize at the International Violin Competition of David Oistrakh. She has taught violin, chamber music, and string pedagogy at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California. She is currently the Artistic Partner of the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles.