As BroadwayWorld notes, Meirson is “perhaps the preeminent expositor of the Russian vocal repertoire in America, and he does that through the annual Russian Opera Workshop programs."
A long-time faculty member at both the Academy of Vocal Arts and Curtis Institute of Music, “Ghenady Meirson has been the go to-master for two decades in Philadelphia for authentic Russian operatic repertoire” (Huffington Post).
In 2011, Meirson founded Russian Opera Workshop, a private and independent young artists program in summer residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA), and “has become one of the treasures of the Philadelphia summer season” (Broad Street Review).
Selected by a competitive audition process, participating artists have come to Russian Opera Workshop from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. All artists receive Russian language training, vocal coaching, and vocal and professional development master classes. Some of the master class faculty have included Metropolitan Opera stars Stephen Costello, Angela Meade, Florence Quivar and Benita Valente. At the end of each training session all artists perform complete Russian operas and Russian Romances concerts.
Russian Opera Workshop repertoire includes Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame), Romeo & Juliet (Fragment), The Maid of Orleans, and Mazepa; Rachmaninoff's Aleko and Francesca da Rimini; Anton Rubinstein's The Demon, Alexander Dargomyzhsky's Rusalka, and Borodin's Prince Igor.
Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Ghenady Meirson graduated from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied piano with Seymour Lipkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and accompanying with Vladimir Sokoloff.
Tim Ribchester is active in Philadelphia as conductor, pianist, coach, broadcaster and lecturer, currently serving on the faculties of the Academy of Vocal Arts (Il tabarro, Des contes d'Hoffmann, Don Giovanni, L'elisir d'amore, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Quichotte, Eugene Onegin, Un ballo in maschera), Russian Opera Workshop at AVA (The Queen of Spades, Francesca da Rimini), the Bryn Mawr Conservatory, and as a Music Director for Delaware Valley Opera Company (La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel, Le nozze di Figaro). Guest music director engagements include Don Giovanni for Opera Libera and Apple Blossoms for Concert Operetta Theater. A music historian and specialist in the Nuevo Tango music of Astor Piazzolla, he is known for his support of Philadelphia composers and has given many premieres in the area as conductor and pianist, including the award-winning commercial release recording and New York premiere of Melissa Dunphy's song cycle Tesla's Pigeon.
Trained in Oxford, London, Paris and Buenos Aires, Tim has appeared in duo with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia principal singers, and with New York's foremost tango musicians at the Bryant Park Fall Festival, Five Boroughs Music Festival, and Usdan Center. He participated in the 2012 Cleveland Art Song Festival, and assisted with music preparation for Opera Philadelphia (Romeo et Juliette), Center City Opera Theater (Dido and Aeneas, L'elisir d'amore), and Opera at Florham, NJ (L'elisir d'amore), as well as debuting with Baltimore Concert Opera as pianist for Carmen this season. He has served as a panel judge for the New Jersey State Opera, Philadelphia Lieder Society, and the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia chapter, is the assistant video director for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and was the founding music director of the Eakins Vocal Consort, a select chamber choir, from 2006-2009.
Composer Daron Hagen giving a talk on Tchaikovsky's "The Queen of Spades" (Pique Dame) | Russian Opera Workshop 2012
UPenn Prof. Ilya Vinitsky will give a public lecture on Pushkin's "The Gypsies" and the story of Rachmaninoff's opera "Aleko" - Russian Opera Workshop Artists will sing a Rachmaninoff Songs recital | June 25, 2012 - 7:30 PM - AVA Warden Theater. (Photo © 2011 L. C.
In 2013, Brad Cawyer returns for his third season with Russian Opera Workshop, leading the program's Russian language course.
Brad Everett Cawyer is emerging as a passionate and solid conductor following extensive training in Russia. Praised for the deep-founded musicianship that is evident in his clear and engaging style, his affable approach to working with orchestras inspires an atmosphere uplifting to
performers and audience alike.
A native of Dallas and a graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Cawyer conducts opera and symphonic orchestra, also premiering new works for ensemble and for chamber orchestra and
collaborating with composers of many cultures. In 2010, he created the Contemporary East & West International Music Festival (St. Petersburg) to
foster transnational collaboration in that multicultural city. His debut at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic led to an invitation to be the conductor for the
Saint Petersburg-based new music ensemble SOUNDWAYS.
In the 2011-12 season, Cawyer was assistant conductor for Houston Symphony's production of Wozzeck and also worked with Orchestra of New
Spain in a staged production of Duròn's Las nuevas armas de amor.
Additionally, he has conducted the St. Petersburg Philharmonic's Academic Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Conservatory Opera, and Kapubandi of Helskinki's
Sibelius Academy. Cawyer holds diplomas from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where his teacher was Alexander Alexeev, and has studied with David Hayes, Jorma Panula, JoAnn Falletta, Markus Lehtinen, Kenneth Kiesler, and Gennady
In July, Cawyer will appear in the Discovery Concert Series for the Oregon Bach Festival, and he has been selected to participate in the 6th International
Prokofiev Competition in Conducting, to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia in October 2013.
I am very excited that my Curtis Institute of Music colleague, opera and voice coach, Don St. Pierre will help us on preparation of Eugene Onegin during June 2011. I can see many opera singers smiling. - Ghena
Mr. Stone will offer a master class for participating opera singers in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.
William Stone has sung extensively in the major opera houses of Europe and especially in Italy, having twice opened the May Festival in Florenceas Wozzeck and as Orestes, in Gluck'sIphigénie en Tauride under Riccardo Muti. His creation of the role of Adam for the Lyric Opera of Chicago's world premiere of Penderecki's Paradise Lost, was followed by his debut at La Scala in its European premiere and a performance at the Vaticanfor Pope John Paul II. With Sir Georg Solti, he toured with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in the role of the Count in Le nozze di Figaro.
His North American opera engagements include the Metropolitan Opera (Moses und Aron, Wozzeck, La traviata, Sly, Die Fledermaus, Romeo et Juliette, Lucia, Madama Butterfly), and title roles for over a decade at the New York City Opera, notably as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro in a Live from Lincoln Center telecast and the title role in new productions of Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, and Busoni's Doktor Faust.
As a concert artist, Stone has appeared with every major orchestra in the country, including the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur and the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Seiji Ozawa conducting the premieres of Takemitsu's My Way of Life, and Kirchner's Of Things Exactly as They Are. His long relationship with Robert Shaw resulted in acclaimed performances of the monumental choral works and over a dozen recordings, including the two Grammy Award recordings of Hindemith's When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd, and Walton's, Belshazaar's Feast, and an Historic Live Performance Edition of Ein Deutches Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra . Other recordings include The Songs and Arias of Robert Ward, and DVDs of Carnegie Hall's Performance Series of Hindemith's When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd, and Verdi's Falstaff with Jose van Dam.
Equally at home on the recital stage, Stone considers his many performances of Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch with Benita Valente and David Golub among the most memorable. In addition to his performing career, Mr. Stone is Professor Emeritus of Voice and Opera at Temple University, and currently is teaching on the Voice Faculty at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
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