On Friday, September 27, 2019, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented the first concert of the season ‘Poems and Dumky.’ It featured Victoria Luperi, clarinet, Solomiya Ivakhiv, violin, Laura Metcalf, cello, and Milana Strezeva, piano. Please see the full program HERE.
VICTORIA LUPERI was appointed associate principal clarinet and principal E-flat clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony by Manfred Honeck in 2016, having previously held the position of principal clarinet with the Fort Worth and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras. Since 2014, she has performed in the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. Luperi premiered “Fantasía sobre Yma Sumac,” a work for solo clarinet and orchestra written for her by John B. Hedges, with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. She has been a featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Madison Symphony, Signature Symphony in Tulsa, Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles, Philharmonia of Kansas City, Córdoba Symphony, Córdoba Chamber Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
A devoted chamber musician, Luperi has collaborated with members of the Emerson, Vermeer and Guarneri Quartets, and performed at the Marlboro, Mainly Mozart and Mimir Festivals, the Académie musicale de Villecroze in France, the Oregon Bach Festival, Chicago’s Latino Music Festival and the Jackson Hole Chamber Music Series. Luperi has served as lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, adjunct faculty at Texas Christian University and has been on faculty at Brandon University in Canada, the New York Summer Music Festival, the Filarmónica Jóven de Colombia and the Buffet Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.
Luperi is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Donald Montanaro. She began her music education in her native Argentina with Oscar Gieco, and later studied with Richard Hawkins and Yehuda Gilad. Distinctions include the First Prize in the Pasadena Instrumental Competition, the Interlochen Fine Arts Award and the Banco Mayo Award of Buenos Aires. She has appeared in concert broadcasts on NPR’s Performance Today, WRR 101.1, WFMT and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Luperi is a Vandoren Artist and Clinician, and a Buffet Crampon USA Performing Artist. She proudly served in the research and development team of Buffet Crampon’s new clarinet model, the Tradition. Victoria is married to Andrés Franco, Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Cellist LAURA METCALF, renowned worldwide as a passionate solo and chamber musician, has been acclaimed for her “brilliant” playing (Gramophone Magazine) and described as “a cellist whose passion for music is as evident as her artistry and talent” (I care if you listen). She has performed in nearly all 50 states and on six continents, including South Africa, Nepal, Argentina, Qatar, Mongolia, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, and Australia. Laura’s debut solo album, First Day, on the Grammy-winning label Sono Luminus, debuted at #7 on the Billboard Classical Charts. She followed up that release with “Boyd Meets Girl” (2017) a duo album with her husband, guitarist Rupert Boyd, which reached #3 on the Billboard Charts. Laura is the cellist of groundbreaking string quintet Sybarite5. Winner of the prestigious Concert Artists Guild competition, Sybarite5 has given hundreds of concerts worldwide, at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress and many others. Laura also performs regularly with the wildly popular cello-percussion quartet Break of Reality, recently selected for an ongoing world tour as musical ambassadors of the US State Department. Laura is founder and co-artistic director of GatherNYC, a revolutionary weekly Sunday morning concert series in Manhattan. She has appeared onstage with artists including Adele, John Legend, Cher and Nas. Laura lives in New York City with her husband and young son Milo.
Violinist SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV, hailed by critics for her “crystal clear and noble sound” (Culture and Life, Ukraine), enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, North America, and China. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, CBC Glen Gould Studio, Curtis Institute Field Concert Hall, Italian Academy in New York City, Pickman Hall in Cambridge, MA, San Jose Chamber Music Society, Old First Concerts in San Francisco, Astoria Music Festival (Portland), Tchaikovsky Hall (Kyiv), and at UConn’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Ms Ivakhiv has made solo appearances with the International Symphony, Istanbul State Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China, the AACC, and the Bach Festival Orchestra. Her album, Ukraine-Journey to Freedom, released on Labor Records with NAXOS of America was featured among the top five classical albums on iTunes. Three new upcoming albums will be released during the fall of 2019: Mendelssohn Concertos with pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi, conductor Theodore Kuchar and Slovak National Symphony, by Brilliant Classics; Haydn and Hummel Concertos with pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi, conductor Theodore Kuchar and Slovak National Symphony by Centaur; and Poems and Rhapsodies with cellist Sophie Shao, Volodymyr Sirenko, conductor and National Symphony of Ukraine by Centaur.Ms. Ivakhiv is currently Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola and Head of Strings at the University of Connecticut and Professor of Violin at the Longy School of Music. Solomiya Ivakhiv graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and the late Rafael Druian. During this time she was concertmaster of both Curtis and Tanglewood Center Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Ivakhiv holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University where her principal teachers were Philip Setzer and Pamela Frank.
Praised by critics for her “technically fluid, dramatically convincing, and sonically full-bodied supportive collaborations” (Boston Globe) – MILANA STREZEVA is a Moldovan-American pianist. At the age of 11, she began playing chamber music with her clarinetist father and her mother, a renowned soprano. Milana’s love for family collaboration eventually grew into a passionate advocacy of vocal and instrumental chamber music.Milana is a Grand Prize winner of the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition; Australian Broadcasting Corporation Listeners Choice Award in Melbourne, IBLA International Competition as a vocal collaborator, and Arts Recognition and Talent Search Award. Among the prominent venues in which she has performed are – Carnegie Hall (New York), Jordan Hall (Boston), Kravis Center (West Palm Beach), Gusman Hall (Miami); Shenzhen Concert Hall (China), South Melbourne Town Hall (Australia), Linder Auditorium (South Africa).As a founding member of the Manhattan Piano Trio, whom the Washington Posthas described as “impressive” and “outstanding,” Milana has performed with the trio in over 30 American states, in Australia, South Africa and Italy, and in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Ravinia Festival. The trio’s CD of Schumann and Chopin trios, in honor of the composers bicentennials, was released on the Marquis Classics label in 2009. Some of the internationally acclaimed artists with whom Milana has concertized include members of the former Vermeer Quartet – Schmuel Ashkenasi, Mathias Tacke, Marc Johnson; flutist Eugenia Zukerman, clarinetists Franklin Cohen and Alexander Fiterstein, Amernet Quartet, violists Karen Dreyfus and Michael Klotz, cellists Sophie Shao and Dmitry Kouzov, and new music ensemble in Miami – Nu Deco Ensemble.