Intersections Festival 2020: Misto di Voci Ensemble
Mysticism, Music & Celebration
SOUND | CLASSICAL
FEB 29 | 3:00 PM
The Misto di Voci Ensemble explores mysticism and music of the spheres in a multimedia presentation of Alan Hovhaness’ Saturn. Written for soprano, clarinet and piano in cantata form, set to mystical text by the composer, and accompanied by NASA’s images of space, each movement is a unique and ethereal journey. The program concludes with The Klezmer’s Wedding; a fusion of classical and klezmer style in a jubilant celebration of life. With post show artist talk-back.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Paula Hickey and David Yarbrough
Translated as ‘mixed voices’ from Italian, Misto di Voci describes the complementary timbres of the ensemble and the cultural heritages of its’ members. Founded in 2009 by three seasoned musicians, all graduates of the Peabody Conservatory, the Misto di Voci Ensemble presents our rich genre of music in creative performances.
Paula Hickey graduated from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor’s degree in Recording Arts and Clarinet Performance and a Master’s degree in Clarinet Performance. At the Conservatory, she was a student of Steve Barta and Loren Kitt. Paula was awarded a residency at the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta Canada and received the Stoudt Award for exceptional musicianship from Louisiana State University. Ms. Hickey won the Creative Arts Award to study with David Harris at Kent State University and continued her studies with Dennis Nygren receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance and Theory. She also studied with Ted Johnson and performed in master classes with Larry Combs. Paula has extensive performance experience as a recitalist and has performed with numerous music ensembles including the Prince Georges Philharmonic, Capital City Symphony, and the NIH Philharmonic. She has appeared as soloist with the KSU sinfonia. Paula is a founding member of the Misto di Voci Ensemble, which performs a varied repertoire of chamber music. As a recording engineer, Ms. Hickey has worked with the late John Eargle and at National Public Radio. Paula has recorded the Houston Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera and currently works for the Voice of America in Washington D.C. as their Digital Media Coordinator. She is a member of the Audio Engineering Society.
Violinist David Yarbrough earned his D.M.A from the Peabody Institute of Music where he studied with Herbert Greenberg. He received a fellowship for his M.M. from the State University at Stony Brook, where he studied with Lasar Gozman and holds a B.M from the New School of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with Jasha Brodsky and Linda Sharon Cerone. Dr. Yarbrough has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Philadelphia Opera Company and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. He is an active recitalist, performing solo recitals, chamber music recitals and lecture-recitals throughout the Northeast. He is currently the concertmaster of the Prince Georges Philharmonic and is a founding member of the Misto Di Voci Ensemble, a chamber ensemble which performs a variety of genres of chamber repertoire. He was a founding member of the Amistad String Quartet, an ensemble which not only performed traditional repertoire, but had researched and performed the chamber works of African American composers. His participation in international music festivals include the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy, the Colour of Music Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, the Waterloo Festival in New Jersey, and the Gateways Festival in Rochester, New York. He spends his summers performing and teaching at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. Presently David is the Orchestral Director at Eleanor Roosevelt high School in Greenbelt Maryland where he conducts four ensembles. Prior to this he was the Assistant Director of the Baltimore Talent Education Center, a preparatory string instrument music program for the Baltimore City Public School System. Previous teaching associations include the Peabody Institute of Music, Morgan State University and Towson University.
Guest Artists : Ariel Francisco Dechosa and Erica Marie Ferguson
Acclaimed by the Washington Post for his “solid playing”, Maryland based pianist Ariel Francisco Dechosa has established himself as one of the most distinguished Filipino pianists of his generation. Critics praised his “incrediblyclean articulation at a breakneck tempo” (Washington Chronicle Scene), “emotive and sensitive phrasings throughout as his fingers flew effortlessly across the keys…brought out the royal heart of the work…showed infectious passion in the Rondo” (SeattleTacoma News), “palette of colors was extremely rich” and “rapturous performance” (Philippine Daily Inquirer), and “a poet of the piano…his playing released unabashed abandon, torrents of sheer romantic lyricism and pure passion.” (Manila Standard). The live CD recording of his Filipino Artists Series performance received great critical acclaim. A recipient of numerous awards, prizes, and scholarships, Mr. Dechosa won Third Prize in the 1996 Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, Third Prize in the 1994 Santa Barbara Symphony International Piano Competition, First Prizes in the 1993 Five Towns National Competition and the 1991 Great Neck Symphony Young Artists Competition. As an active soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Dechosa has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Maurice Abravanel Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, among others. He made his orchestral appearances as soloist with the Northwest Sinfonietta and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. He has collaborated with operatic singers Stefka Evstatieva and Dolora Zajick, and violinist Bin Huang. He has performed at the La Schola Cantorum Piano Series in France and the Merano Festival in Italy. He has appeared on WQXR, King FM in Seattle, National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., and German Radio in Munich. Mr. Dechosa began his piano studies at the age of ten under Jose Alvarez and later with Carmencita Sipin-Aspiras. After winning a prize in the National Music Competition for Young Artists in Manila (NAMCYA) at age thirteen, he earned a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees under the tutelage of Arkady Aronov. Upon graduation, he was awarded the prestigious Harold Bauer Award. He continued his studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University with Boris Slutsky where earned a Graduate Performance Diploma. While at Peabody he was given the coveted Sarah Zierler Award. Mr. Dechosa served as an associate piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and music director of the Inter-Atlantic Music Foundation. He is currently the Chair of the Music Department and a member of the piano faculty at Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland.
Rising soprano, Erica Marie Ferguson, has been praised for her “grace, beauty and operatic power.” (P.G. Sentinel) In her 2019-2020 season, Erica performs Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante and the Rooster and Woodpecker in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with the Maryland Opera Studio. She also makes her debuts with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra in their “Holiday Joy” concerts and the Prince George’s Philharmonic as the soprano soloist in Fauré’s Requiem. Recent operatic roles include the title role in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida, Contessa d’Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, the title role in the world premiere of Elisabeth Mehl Greene’s Hajar, and Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. Erica is currently completing her M.M. at the University of Maryland as a member of the Maryland Opera Studio.