Lyra festival artists are among the best classical musicians in the world today.

MEET OUR DISTINGUISHED 2017 FESTIVAL ARTISTS

 

SPENCER MYER, PIANO

July 9, 2017 Smith College Sage Hall
10:00am     Piano Masterclass
4:00pm      Guest Artist Recital

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 includes in his 2016-17 season debuts with the Evansville Philharmonic, Macon Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus and Symphony of the Redwoods, as well as return engagements with the Traverse, Springfield (MA and OH), Bozeman and Wyoming Symphonies and the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, in addition to recital appearances in Connecticut, Houston, Washington and Idaho. 

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 The Cleveland Orchestra, the Boise, Dayton, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestras, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Baton Rouge, Indianapolis, Knoxville, New Haven, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Springfield and Tucson Symphony Orchestras, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Mexico's Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco and Beijing's China National Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with, among others, conductors Nicholas Cleobury, Leslie B. Dunner, Robert Franz, Bernhard Gueller, Jacques Lacombe, Jahja Ling, Timothy Muffitt, Kevin Rhodes, Lucas Richman, Klauspeter Seibel, Steven Smith 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 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015.

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 four summers at the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival in Dallas with cellists Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, Amit Peled 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 in the fall of 2015, he was appointed Artist-Teacher of Piano and Collaborative Piano at Boston's Longy School of Music of Bard College.  

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. Mr. Myer's most recent recording -- "Bolcom: Selected Rags" -- is scheduled for release in January of 2017 on the Steinway & Sons label.


ALEXI KENNEY, VIOLIN

July 7, 2017 Smith College Sage Hall
1:30pm      Violin Masterclass
7:30pm     Guest Artist Recital

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The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been called "a talent to watch" by the New York Times, which also noted his "architect's eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.” His win at the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition at the age of nineteen led to a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut recital at Weill Hall.

In the 2016-17 season Alexi appears as soloist with the Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Riverside, Santa Fe, Northwest Arkansas, and Tulare County symphonies, as well as A Far Cry and the Staatstheater Orchester in Cottbus, Germany. Recent recitals include those at Caramoor, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. He has been profiled by Strings magazine and the New York Times, written for The Strad, and has been featured on Performance Today, WQXR-NY’s Young Artists Showcase, WFMT-Chicago, and NPR’s From the Top.

A passionate chamber musician, Alexi has performed at festivals including ChamberFest Cleveland, Festival Napa Valley, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove (UK), Ravinia, Yellow Barn, and on tour with Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute and Musicians from Marlboro, collaborating with artists including Pamela Frank, Miriam Fried, Gary Graffman, Steven Isserlis, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, and Christian Tetzlaff.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi is completing his Artist Diploma at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he also received his bachelor's degree studying with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. Previous teachers include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong.


DEBORAH PAE, CELLO

July 14, 2017 Smith College Sage Hall
1:30pm    Cello Masterclass
7:30pm   Guest Artist Recital

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “exceptionally gifted” and “breathtaking," cellist Deborah Pae is captivating audiences with her “superb tone...high level of interpretative intelligence” (Transcentury Blog) and "sophisticated technique" (San Diego Story). She has been admired for her “focused intensity and extraordinary musicianship" (San Diego Union Tribune) and "novel vitality” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). 

Debuting at sixteen with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Korean-American Pae has since played concertos with Sinfonia Varsovia of Poland, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Ensemble Orchestral de Bruxelles, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, and the Westchester Philharmonic under the batons of Vassily Sinaisky, Thomas Wilkins, Christian Arming, Augustin Dumay, and Itzhak Perlman. Ms. Pae has also played solo recitals at the Neue Galerie, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Van Wezel Foundation’s Young Artists Series, and in 2005 debuted in Europe at the Musée du Louvre and has since been invited to perform at Palais des Beaux-Arts, Flagey Radio Hall, and Musée de Grenoble. Many of her performances have been broadcast internationally on television and radio, most notably the 2003 Grammy Awards and the 75th Anniversary of the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth. In 2016, Outhere Music Label in partnership with Musiq3 Radio will release Ms. Pae's live recital recording on Series Prestige on their new series Digitale

A devoted chamber musician, Ms. Pae is the cellist of the critically acclaimed Formosa Quartet (winners of the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the 2006 International London Quartet Competition) and founder of Trio Modetre (winners of the 2016 Tarisio Trust Young Artist Grant and Silver Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition). She has been a featured artist at festivals including Marlboro (including the 2016-2017 Musicians at Marlboro Tour), Ravinia, Kneisel Hall, Crans-Montana Classics, Festival Les Musicales de Colmar, and the Amsterdam Cello Biennale. Ms. Pae has shared the stage with artists including Itzhak Perlman, Pamela Frank, Charles Neidich, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Mendelssohn, Johannes, Pro Arte, Takács, and Cleveland String Quartets. 

Ms. Pae enjoys performing new and seldom-played works. Her debut recording released in 2013 by Zig-Zag Territoires, features Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 2 in D minor with conductor Christian Arming and the Liège Royal Philharmonique. In 2017, Trio Modetre’s debut recording Tribute to Frank Bridge: Masterpieces Among Peers will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bridge’s death and revive his second piano trio. Furthermore, American composer Jeffrey Mumford is currently writing a concerto of radiances blossoming in expanding air, which will be premiered by Ms. Pae in London with the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO) and with Boston-based ensemble, Phoenix, in 2018. Pae has also given world premieres of Fantasia Festa by Jonathan Crehan, Le Dormeur du Val by Roberto Kalb, and Song Recollections by Lei Liang. 

In September 2016, Ms. Pae began her appointment as Professor of Cello at Eastern Michigan University. She has served as Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at Académie et École Anglicorde in France, Visiting Guest Artist at Columbia University’s Music Performance Program, and Chamber Music Mentor at the Juilliard Pre-College Division, New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. She has also served as artistic manager of Music for Food Boston benefit concert series, and founder and curator of the WLP Lunchtime Series in Boston (2010-2012). 

Beginning at four on a bricolage cello made of a Cheerios box wound with strings, three years later, Ms. Pae became the youngest cellist accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the New England Conservatory and is a former Artist-in-Residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium. Her mentors include cellists Gary Hoffman, Laurence Lesser, and Joel Krosnick as well as violinists Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Sylvia Rosenberg, and violist Kim Kashkashian. Recognized for her artistic versatility, Ms. Pae has received major awards from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund, Belgian American Educational Foundation, DoMusica Foundation, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. 

Ms. Pae plays a Vincenzo Postiglione cello (c. 1885) generously on loan from the Arts and Letters Foundation.