American conductor Kevin Rhodes has had a career marked by versatility and variety. His work extends from the major opera houses of Europe to the concert stages of the U.S. He has collaborated with such diverse artists as Andre Watts, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, Peter Serkin, and Glenn Dicterow and Lorin Hollander on the concert stage, as well as being a regular guest at the top European opera houses such as the Paris Opera, La Scala and the Vienna State Opera.
In a career spanning several continents and over two decades, Rhodes has proven his expertise in the theater with dramatically diverse repertoire ranging from the operas of Richard Strauss (DieFrau ohne Schatten, Salome, Der Rosenkavalier), Verdi (Aida, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto), Puccini (Tosca, La Boheme), Massanet, Mozart, Smetena and many others to the major ballets of Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella), Bartók (The Miraculous Mandarin, The Wooden Prince), Stravinsky (Le Sacre de Printemps, Firebird), and Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty). On the concert stage his interpretations of Mahler, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Hindemith, Haydn and Dvorák just to name a few, elicit tremendous excitement and enthusiastic praise wherever he conducts.
Director and Principal Conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in Boston after making several appearances with the orchestra.
Since his professional debut in 1991 at the Stadttheater Basel, he has appeared with such illustrious orchestras as the Vienna State Opera Orchestra (the Vienna Philharmonic), the Berlin Staatskappelle, the Orchestra of La Scala, the Verona Opera House Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Delaware Symphony, the Düsseldorf Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Duisburg Philharmonic, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Colonne, the Orchestre of the Paris Opera, the Swiss Chamber Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, the Orchestra of Teatro San Carlo, and the Basel Symphony Orchestra among many others.
From 1991-2001 Rhodes, lived full time in Europe, first serving on the conducting staff of the Basel Stadttheater in Switzerland (1991-96) and later as Kappelmeister at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (1996-2001) in addition to functioning as Principal Ballet Conductor at the Viena State Opera (1995-2001). He also was the Principal guest Conductor of the Basler Festival Orchestra from 1997 to 2002 and Music Director of the Basel Chamber Philharmonic from 1995 to 2001. During that time he led more than 700 performances with more than 20 different orchestras. Since returning to the U.S. in 2001, Rhodes has maintained an active guest conducting schedule in Europe, continuing his activities in Vienna, Milan, and Düsseldorf, as well as making his debut at the Bastille Opera House in 2005, the Verona Opera house in 2006, the Naples Orchestra of Teatro San Carlo in 2007, the Orchestre de Colonne in 2008. In June 2009, he debuted with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Australia. Also noted for his artistry at the piano, Rhodes frequently appears in the dual roles as soloist and conductor playing and conducting Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue from the keyboard in addition to playing solo recitals and collaborating frequently with colleagues from both sides of the Atlantic in chamber music programs.
Kevin Rhodes began his conducting career at the age of 16 in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana. He received his B.M. in Piano Performance from Michigan State University where he studied conducting with Maestro Leon Gregorian, and earned his M.M. in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Illinois under the tutelage of Paul Vermel. He continued his studies with Maestro Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival.
Pianist Alissa Leiser is recognized as both a soloist and collaborative artist of technical skill and interpretive command. Critics have described her playing as having “crystalline articulation,” and “maturity of communication.” Awarded the Ruth N. Rosenman Memorial Scholarship upon her graduation from The Juilliard School, Ms. Leiser has studied with Jane Carlson, William Masselos, Benjamin Kaplan, Carl Schachter and Leon Fleisher. Ms. Leiser’s performances include Alice Tully Hall, the Ravinia Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago. Her orchestral appearances have included the New Jersey Symphony, the New Orchestra of Boston and Orchestra New England. She has been heard on several radio and television broadcasts such as WQXR, WFUV and WAMC in New York. Her CD entitled Sounds of America with flutist Adrianne Greenbaum, was featured on National Public Radio as part of the Presidential Inauguration celebration in 1992. Ms. Leiser is an active teacher and has taught at Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and most recently at Amherst College, where she has taught since 1998.
-is in demand as a soloist, clinician, and teacher throughout North America and abroad. Of his New York debut in Carnegie Recital Hall, Peter G. Davis of the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Klock performed in the most skillful fashion…What impressed one most was how expertly Mr. Klock demonstrated the versatility of the instrument, its potential for weaving smooth legato lines, its flexible dynamic range from delicately whispered pianissimo to forceful dramatic statements without any loss of tonal quality, and its virtuoso ability to clearly articulate even the most rapid figures….Lynn Klock assembled a program that had a considerable amount of expressive variety and sheer musical charm.” He has been a featured soloist in Russia, Eastern Europe, Great Britain, Canada, Singapore, and the British and American Virgin Islands. He has the distinction of being the first saxophonist to be presented on the Warsaw Philharmonic Recital series in Warsaw, Poland, and the first saxophonist to tour with Musicians from Marlboro. His recordings can be heard on on the Albany, CRI, Gasparo, Mark, Open Loop, and Orion Labels.
For more than forty years, Klock has been an enthusiastic participant in new music for the saxophone. He has premiered more than seventy-five compositions written for and dedicated to him, including solo works with piano, band, orchestra, chorus, and mixed chamber ensemble.
As a Selmer Artist and Clinician, he has presented masterclasses at national and international conferences as well as at educational institutions across the United States and overseas. He has been Professor of Saxophone at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1980, and is the saxophonist and bass clarinetist in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Graduates of his program hold positions in the United States Military Bands in Washington, and teaching positions in Great Britain and every level of education in this country. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the Interlochen Arts Academy, his teachers include Larry Teal, Donald Sinta and Jack Kripl.
Hornist Laura Klock has appeared as a guest artist in North and South America as well as in Italy, Taiwan, the American and British Virgin Islands, and the British Isles. At age 22, Ms. Klock was appointed to the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she is Professor of Horn and a member of the Avanti Wind Quintet and the Infinity Brass Quintet. She is also principal horn with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. As a natural horn player, she has performed with the Arcadia Players, Sine Nomine Singers, the Handel and Haydn Society, and la Donna Musicale.
Recent ventures include a CD featuring Charles Bestor’s Horn Concerto, chamber music at the Allerton Barn Music Festival and masterclasses in Santiago, Chile. Ms. Klock can be heard in recording on the Open Loop, Crystal, Albany, and Gasparo labels.
John Thomas, a resident of Longmeadow, MA, and is the baritone soloist at First Church of Christ in Longmeadow for the past decade and a half. John will return as the Baritone soloist in the New Jersey Baroque Chorale’s performance of Handel’s Messiah this December and Springfield’s Boar’s Head Festival in January. In February, John will appear with the Pioneer Valley Symphony in Old Deerfield’s Production of the world premier of the opera, TRUTH, on the life of Sojourner Truth. In that opera, John will play the roles of Baumfree, her father and the abolitionist & orator, Frederick Douglass.
John has performed Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra where the review of those performances described him as a “warm, luminous baritone with impeccable diction”. He has also appeared with the SSO as Benoit and Alcindoro in their production of Puccini’s La Boheme. John performed Elijah with Lyndon Woodside, Director of the Oratorio Society of New York as well as having performed the same work with the Springfield (VT) Community Chorus. He has also performed with New Jersey’s Baroque Chorale, the New Britain Opera, Vermont’s Springfield Community Chorus, Brattleboro’s Messiah Sing and Dartmouth’s Handel Society, Concertato Singers, SummerSing and Chamber Singers.
In appearances with the Springfield Community Chorus he sang the title role in Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” and Puccini’s “Messa di Gloria”. John has organized and performed in benefit concerts for Springfield’s Open Pantry which have raised over $20,000 in donations and matching gifts in the past seven years. He has lead similar benefit concerts for Cellphones for Soldiers, First Church of Christ in Longmeadow and Haiti over the years. John studied voice with the late Ruth Morton and is currently studying with Karen Smith Emerson of Smith College.
John has sung roles from numerous operas and oratorios. He has performed such opera roles as Marcello and Monterone in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Ping in Puccini’s Turandot, Valentine & Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust, Zuniga in Bizet’s Pearl Fishers, Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata, Count Di Luna in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Dapertutto in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, Boris in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Boris Goudonov, and Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. He has performed Oratorio works such as Handel’s Messiah, the Faure Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s B Minor Mass & Christmas Oratorio, C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Creation, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ and as Aeneas in a performance of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and various Bach Cantatas. He has also performed selections from musicals such as Guys & Dolls, South Pacific, Phantom of the Opera, and Kiss Me Kate in various locales in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Gregory Hayes is a busy chamber musician and has performed
on keyboard instruments of various kinds with the
Springfield, Vermont, and Albany Symphony Orchestras and
with Arcadia Players, a regional baroque ensemble. He has
participated often in the New England Bach Festival and
Marlboro Music Festival, and on the Mohawk Trail Concerts
series, and is a member of the New England Piano Quintet.
Mr. Hayes is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College
and the Manhattan School of Music. He has taught piano and
harpsichord since 1991 at Dartmouth College, where he is
Senior Lecturer. He is longtime music director for the
Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. A resident of
Goshen (Massachusetts), he has taught for many summers at
Greenwood Music Camp in nearby Cummington.
violist, is a recent graduate of Princeton University (Phi Beta Kappa), where he studied music composition with Paul Lansky and Dmitri Tymoczko, and viola with Nicholas Cords. Russell is currently studying viola with Kathryn Lockwood at the University of Massachusetts through the school’s new Professional Performance Certificate program. He hopes to attend graduate school for music composition in the near future. A Northampton native, Russell has spent the last ten summers attending and working at Greenwood Music Camp in Cummington, where he developed his love of chamber music.
Ellen Redman received her training with renowned teachers and performers such as John Krell, Carol Wincenc, Harvey Sollberger and Thomas Nyfenger. She has been the piccoloist with the Springfield (MA) Symphony since 1985 and has twice appeared as soloist with them. Miss Redman has also concertized extensively in Italy, including appearances in Rome at the American and British Academies, the American Embassy and the Vatican.
A resident of Westfield, MA she has done free-lance work with various ensembles, including the Boston Symphony, Berkshire Bach, Boston Classical Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony and the Nashua Symphony. She teaches flute and Irish flute at Smith College (where she also directs the Smith College Wind Ensemble), Deerfield Academy and has a thriving private teaching studio. As a performer on the Irish Flute, she qualified to compete in the 2006 and 2007 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Ireland. Miss Redman is the founder and director of The Wailing Banshees at Smith College, teaches Irish flute and tin whistle at the Community Music School of Springfield, and regularly performs with her own band, BlackSheep with guitarist Jerry Noble and Kevin Fontaine on banjo.
Clifton (Jerry) Noble
Composer/pianist Clifton “Jerry” Noble, Jr.
was born in 1961. His father taught him to play piano and guitar at age 5, and encouraged him to write music shortly thereafter. He earned degrees from Amherst (BA 1983) and Smith (MA 1988) Colleges, and has served as the Staff Accompanist at the latter institution for 25 years. His compositions and arrangements include vocal, choral, chamber, and orchestral music and he has been commissioned by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Holyoke Civic Symphony, the Longmeadow Chamber Music Society, the Assabet Valley Mastersingers, the Canticle Singers of Baltimore, saxophonist Lynn Klock, the choral societies of Smith, Amherst, and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, the Mak’hela Chorus and many more ensembles throughout the United States. His choral music is published by Treble Clef Music Press, Warner-Chappell Music Publishing, and Artisttec, Inc. A CD of his sonatas for violin and piano was released by Gasparo records in 2006. The CD “Connections,” containing music he has written for Lynn Klock was recently released by Albany Troy. An avid traditional jazz pianist, Jerry has also recorded 7 CDs with clarinetist Bob Sparkman, improvising their way through the American songbook, and he recently played on Kelson Smith’s “Comfort Zone” CD. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife Kara and their daughter Samantha. Visit him on the world wide web at www.cliftonjnoblejr.com
Thomas Bergeron, Trumpet
A trumpeter, composer/arranger, and music educator in both the classical and jazz idioms, Thomas Bergeron is part of a new breed of emerging 21st century artists.
Critics called Thomas’ debut jazz album, based on the piano music of Claude Debussy, “a first class listening record” that “invites extended listening”.
Thomas is currently a trumpeter with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW
, and is a teaching artist fellow at The Academy
, a program of Juilliard and Carnegie Hall. He is Principal Trumpet with the Springfield Symphony
and has performed with with Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Temptations, the Radio City Christmas Orchestra, and Vampire Weekend, among others. He can be heard on the Daywood Drive
, Koch, and Helicon record labels.
Thomas has held teaching positions at Williams College, Bennington College, Yale, and Amherst College. He holds two degrees from Yale, where he won the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition and received the John Swallow Award for excellence in brass playing. He also holds a business management degree from UMass Amherst.
A strong advocate of the progressive new music movement, Thomas has commissioned and premiered numerous pieces and co-founded of the Reveille Trumpet Collective, which holds an annual competition for trumpet compositions.
The Thomas Bergeron Quintet (www.thomasbergeronmusic.com)
The Thomas Bergeron Quintet is a cutting edge ensemble that combines jazz, classical, and world music in ways never before conceived. Their acclaied debut album, featuring original jazz compositions inspired by the piano music of Debussy, has been feature on NPR and Jazziz Magazine. A follow up album features works inspired by Ravel, Schumann, Messiaen, Scriabin, and Chopin, among others.
Members of the ensemble include Thomas Bergeron, Marcelo Woloski, Jason Ennis, Greg Chudzik, and Vitor Goncalves.
Michael Sussman, clarinet
Michael Sussman is the principal clarinetist of the Springfield Symphony and Professor of Music at UMass in Amherst. His students populate many of the major orchestras in the United Statese. He has performed as principal clarinetist in numerous orchestras in the USA and abroad, with professional quartets, and the Avanti Wind Quintet, and has recoreded many Cd’s for various labels.