Thu December 7 | 7:30 PM
Mozart and Mendelssohn
We host a family reunion for brother and sister Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. Along with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, it is a feast for your ears.TICKETS
December 7, 2023 7:30 PM
Mozart and Mendelssohn
Spencer Myer, piano
Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel | Overture in C Major
Mozart | Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major
Felix Mendelssohn | Symphony No. 3, "Scottish"
Guest conductor Mélisse Brunet leads a sparkling program that will warm your heart at the start of the holiday season. Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel’s Overture in C Major builds from an idyllic opening into a blazing final flourish. Her younger brother Felix Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony evokes the rolling highlands and stoic castles of Scotland, timeless and romantic. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s captivating and lush Piano Concerto, performed by pianist Spencer Myer, illustrates humanity elevated to soaring heights.
About Mélisse Brunet
French conductor Mélisse Brunet, currently living in Iowa City, IA, is quickly gaining attention on both sides of that Atlantic as a “skilled and polished conductor with panache” (ClevelandClassical.com). In July 2022, she became the fifth Music Director of the Lexington Philharmonic, KY, and the first woman to hold the position, she is also in her third season as the Music Director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, PA. In May 2021, she was named the first woman Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Iowa-School of Music where she is conducting the orchestras in symphonic concerts, operas, and musical theater, as well as teaching orchestral conducting to Master and Doctorate students. Under her guidance, two of her students have already won the Diversity Conducting Fellowship of the Buffalo Philharmonic, NY, and the position Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, WI.
A protégée of Pierre Boulez, Brunet was one of the 14 finalists selected over 200 applicants for the second edition of the International Competition La Maestra in 2022 in Paris. She was one of six conductors selected for the 2018 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, chosen for their “experience, talent, leadership potential, and commitment to a career in service to American orchestras.” In 2017 she was one of six conductors chosen for the international Hart Institute for Women Conductors at the Dallas Opera, selected out of 161 applicants from 33 countries.
As a dynamic advocate of contemporary music, Brunet has collaborated with composers such as T.J. Cole, Steven Stucky, Michael Daugherty, Shulamit Ran, James Barry, Mary D. Watkins, Loren Loiacono, and Jennifer Higdon, among others. In 2014, she was a selected conductor at the prestigious Cabrillo Festival for new music in California.
As an opera and music-theatre conductor, Brunet has conducted Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the Power Center in Ann Arbor; four staged performances of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte; and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus in Boone, NC. In the Spring 2023, she will conduct Verdi’s La Traviata at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts, IA.
A native of Paris, Brunet began her studies on the cello, and also learned to play the trumpet, French horn and piano. She holds six diplomas from the Paris Conservatory (Analysis, Harmony, Counterpoint, Renaissance Counterpoint, Orchestration, and a Masters in Orchestral Conducting), a Bachelor in Music from the Université la Sorbonne, a Professional Studies diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Doctorate in conducting from the University of Michigan. Aside from Pierre Boulez, her mentors have included Kenneth Kiesler, Lawrence Loh, Carl Topilow, Zsolt Nagy, and Joel Smirnoff. Brunet also took part in international workshops where she studied with Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, David Stern, Peter Eötvös, and Jorge Mester. She has studied French, English, German, and Italian lyric diction, and speaks English, French, Italian, Chinese, Hebrew, and German.
About Spencer Myer
Lauded for "superb playing" and "poised, alert musicianship" by the Boston Globe, and labeled "definitely a man to watch" by London's The Independent, American pianist SPENCER MYER is one of the most respected and sought-after artists on today's concert stage.
Spencer Myer’s orchestral, recital and chamber music performances have been heard throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia. He has been soloist with, among many others, The Cleveland Orchestra, Boise, Dayton, Evansville, Louisiana and Rhode Island philharmonic orchestras, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Altoona, Baton Rouge, Bozeman, Canton, Chattanooga, Duluth Superior, Flagstaff, Grand Junction, Indianapolis, Juneau, Knoxville, Longmont, Macon, Missoula, New Haven, Phoenix, Ridgefield, San Juan, Santa Fe, Springfield (MA, MO, OH), Traverse, Tucson and Wyoming symphony orchestras, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Ohio’s ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, New York City’s The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Mexico’s Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, South Africa’s Cape Town and Johannesburg philharmonic orchestras and Beijing’s China National Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with, among others, conductors David Bernard, Nicholas Cleobury, Kayoko Dan, David Danzmayr, Robert Franz, Neal Gittleman, Bernhard Gueller, Jacques Lacombe, Jahja Ling, Dirk Meyer, Elliot Moore, Timothy Muffitt, Maurice Peress, Kyle Wiley Pickett, Arthur Post, Kevin Rhodes, Lucas Richman, Matthew Savery, Alfred Savia, Klauspeter Seibel, Steven Smith, Gerald Steichen, Arjan Tien, Peter Stafford Wilson and Victor Yampolsky. His 2005 recital/orchestral tour of South Africa included a performance of the five piano concerti of Beethoven with the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, followed by return orchestra and recital tours in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2018.
Spencer Myer's recital appearances have been presented in New York City's Weill Recital Hall, 92nd Street Y and Steinway Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center and London’s Wigmore Hall, while many of his performances have been broadcast on WQXR (New York City), WHYY (Philadelphia), WCLV (Cleveland) and WFMT (Chicago). An in-demand chamber musician, he has appeared the past five summers at the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival in Dallas with cellists Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, Amit Peled, Tom Landschoot and Brian Thornton, and has enjoyed a recurring partnership with the Miami String Quartet at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. Other artistic partners include clarinetist David Shifrin, sopranos Nicole Cabell, Martha Guth and Erin Wall, the Jupiter and Pacifica string quartets and the Dorian Wind Quintet.
Spencer Myer's career was launched with three important prizes: First Prize in the 2004 UNISA International Piano Competition in South Africa, the 2006 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship from the American Pianists Association and the Gold Medal from the 2008 New Orleans International Piano Competition. He is also a laureate of the 2007 William Kapell, 2005 Cleveland and 2005 Busoni international piano competitions. He enjoys an esteemed reputation as a vocal collaborator since winning the 2000 Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition. Mr. Myer was a member of Astral Artists' performance roster from 2003-2010.
An enthusiastic supporter of the education of young musicians, Spencer Myer has served as a guest faculty at the Oberlin and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatories of Music, and was a member of the piano faculty at Boston's Longy School of Music of Bard College from 2016 to 2022. He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Spencer Myer's debut CD for harmonia mundi usa - solo music of Busoni, Copland, Debussy and Kohs - was released in the fall of 2007 to critical acclaim by Fanfare and Gramophone magazines. He can also be heard on a composer-conducted Naxos CD in performances of three concerti from Huang Ruo's Chamber Concerto Cycle and in a performance of Ravel's Chansons madecasses, included on "Intimate Masterpieces," a 2013 CD featuring faculty and alumni of the Oberlin Conservatory and issued by Oberlin Music. Since 2017, Mr. Myer has released four recordings on the Steinway & Sons label: Piano Rags of William Bolcom, and three discs with cellist Brian Thornton encompassing repertoire of Brahms, Debussy and Schumann.
Spencer Myer is a Steinway Artist.
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LOCATION: Hult Center for the Performing Arts