Directed by Robert Koenig, the UCSB Chamber Players will present an evening of chamber music favorites on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm in Karl Geiringer Hall. The program will include works by Messiaen, Smetana, Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven, Villa-Lobos, Barber, and Ibert. The concert will double as the Spring Quarter UCSB Chamber Music Competition, with guest adjudicators Ani Aznavoorian (cello) and Robert Cassidy (piano). Winners of the competition will perform on the first half of the UCSB Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Players concert on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 7:30 pm in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall in the Music Building.
Photo by Lisa Mazzucco
Ani Aznavoorian, Cello
The Strad magazine describes cellist Ani Aznavoorian as having “Scorchingly committed performances that wring every last drop of emotion out of the music. Her technique is well-nigh immaculate, she has a natural sense of theater, and her tone is astonishingly responsive.”
Ms. Aznavoorian has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the International Sejong Soloists, and the Juilliard Orchestra. She has also appeared as recitalist and chamber musician in over 20 countries spanning 5 continents.
Ms. Aznavoorian is an avid chamber musician and teacher. She is the principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica, one of the premier chamber music organizations in Southern California and she appears regularly at chamber music festivals around the globe. She has also served on the distinguished music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, and has spent summers as faculty of the Great Mountains Music Festival and School in South Korea.
Her numerous accolades include being the recipient of the prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her outstanding cello playing and artistry, being named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and being a top prize winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition. She is a proponent of new music and she has premiered concertos by Lera Auerbach and Ezra Laderman and continues to expand the chamber music repertoire with commissions from David Bruce, Bright Sheng, and John Harbison. This season highlights include debut appearances at music festivals in Canada, Northern Ireland, and England, and a special benefit concert in Armenia, the country of her ancestors. Ms. Aznavoorian records for Cedille Records and she proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.
Robert Cassidy, Piano
Celebrated pianist, Robert Cassidy, has received widespread critical acclaim for his performances and recordings of both solo piano repertoire and chamber music. About his eponymous solo recording, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s review praised him, remarking, “Cassidy demonstrates a keen grasp of varied styles on his new recital disc, which spans three centuries…with delicate and expressive sensitivity, savoring the magical atmospheres.”
Cassidy has appeared in hundreds of concerts as a soloist and chamber musician in the US, Canada, and Europe; and has been featured on radio stations WFMT in Chicago, WRUW, WCLV and WCPN in Cleveland, WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and WNYC in New York.
Cassidy has premiered solo and chamber works, as well as concerti by the American composers David Noon and Keith Fitch. For eight years, from 2008-2016 Cassidy was the pianist in the Cleveland-based Almeda Trio, with whom he concertized and recorded. He also has performed chamber music and presented recitals with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Camerata Pacifica.
A dedicated pedagogue and chamber music coach, Dr. Cassidy is in demand for master classes, workshops and lectures, private teaching, and adjudication. A former member of the faculty at Cleveland State University, Dr. Cassidy currently teaches at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and is Director of Piano Chamber Music for Santa Barbara Strings.
Dr. Cassidy is the Artistic Director of the Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series.
For more information please visit: Robertcassidypianist.com