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Music Academy of the West Selects Five Concerto Night Soloists

Having bested the field at this year’s Concerto Competition Finals, five accomplished instrumentalists will take featured turns as soloists with the Academy Festival Orchestra at the Granada Theatre on Saturday, July 20. Conducted by Tito Muñoz, this year’s Concerto Night concert will take place at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

The 2013 Concerto Night soloists are violinists Matous Michal and Yuqing “Sissi” Zhang, clarinetist Joseph Morris, bassoonist Keith Buncke and pianist Alan Woo. All five musicians are attending the Music Academy of the West this summer.

Michal will perform the first movement of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, Zhang will perform the first movement of Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Morris will perform Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, Opus 57, Buncke will perform the first movement of Hummel’s Concerto in F Major and Woo will perform the first movement of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The program order will be announced later.

A total of 17 Music Academy Fellows took part in the 2013 Concerto Competition Finals on July 6. This year’s judges were Bill Williams, former principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony; renowned pianist Daniel Pollack; cellist and Brooklyn Rider co-founder Eric Jacobsen; Los Angeles Philharmonic Concertmaster Martin Chalifour; and Matthew VanBesien, who was recently named executive director of the New York Philharmonic. The Music Academy Concerto Competition began this year with 50 Academy Fellows auditioning for the opportunity to compete in the finals.

Increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted and versatile conductors of his generation, Tito Muñoz was recently appointed music director of Le Poisson Rouge’s Ensemble LPR, the flagship ensemble of New York’s celebrated multimedia performance venue, dedicated to the fusion of popular and art cultures in music, film, theater, dance and fine art. He also serves as music director of the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy.

Previous appointments include a three-year tenure as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, and assistant conductor positions with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. An alumnus of the National Conducting Institute, Muñoz made his professional conducting debut in 2006 with the National Symphony Orchestra. That same year, he made his Cleveland Orchestra debut at the Blossom Music Festival at the invitation of David Zinman.

Muñoz has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Alabama, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Columbus, Eugene, Hartford, Houston, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Kitchener-Waterloo, Phoenix and San Antonio, among others. Other recent and upcoming engagements include return performances with the Detroit Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, and Toledo Symphony, as well as subscription debuts with the Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony.

The Granada is located at 1216 State St. in Santa Barbara. Concerto Night is generously supported by Robert Weinman.

The Music Academy of the West’s 66th season also will include an ambitious new production of Mozart’s beloved opera The Magic Flute, as well as performances by violinist Midori and pianist Jeremy Denk. The academy is presenting more than 200 events over the course of this year’s Summer School and Festival, which concludes Aug. 10. Additional highlights will include conducting turns by Leonard Slatkin, James Gaffigan, Nicholas McGegan and Warren Jones. Featuring the academy’s exceptionally talented Fellows, together with illustrious guest performers and faculty, the events will be presented at the academy’s scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara.

For tickets and information, call 805.969.8787. Information is also available online by clicking here.

— Tim Dougherty is the communications manager for the Music Academy of the West.

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