Denison's Vail Series Hosts Pittsburgh Orchestra, Violinist Sarah Chang and Alumnus Daniel Meyer
Posted: November 11, 2005
The next concert in the Vail Series at Denison University will bring together on stage an outstanding orchestra, a virtuoso violinist and a rising young conductor. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Sarah Chang as soloist and Denison alumnus Daniel Meyer as conductor will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 29) in Swasey Chapel. A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public at $15 each. Contact the Vail Hotline at (740) 587-6557 for information on ticket availability and how to order.
This Vail concert will include Antonin Dvorak's "Carnival Overture," Jean Sibelius' "Concerto in D minor for Violin and Orchestra" and Sergei Prokofiev's "Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major."
Meyer is a 1994 graduate of Denison earning his bachelor's degree in musicsumma cum laude. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded a President's Medal, the University's highest and most prestigious award. "I'm thrilled to return to the site of my orchestral conducting debut and an environment in which I ultimately decided to become a conductor," says Meyer. "I am so proud to bring the Pittsburgh Symphony toto celebrate what my mentors and teachers have meant to me in my own personal development."
Meyer earned his master's degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. As a doctoral student at Boston University, he earned the Orchestral Conducting Honors Award. He also studied conducting at the Hochschule fÃ¼r Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
This season is Meyer's fourth with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) where he serves as resident conductor and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. He will conduct more than 50 performances this season, including pops, community and education concerts. He was recently appointed music director of the Asheville (N.C.) Symphony, becoming only the fourth conductor to hold that position in the orchestra's history.
Meyer led the PSO's "Symphony with a Splash," an innovative series of concerts designed for professionals, as well as a Sunday matinee series for families called "Popular Classics." Committed to music education and young audiences Meyer also has developed a new series of Tiny Tots concerts based on popular children's books to promote music and literacy.
Meyer has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as the Utah, Forth Worth, San Antonio, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Mansfield, Northeastern Pennsylvania and Wheeling symphonies. He was featured at the American Symphony Orchestra League's 2003 National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony, and will return this season to Tallahassee and make his debut with symphonies in Santa Barbara, Lansing and Beijing, China.
Violin soloist Chang has matured into a young artist whose musical insight, technical virtuosity and emotional range continue to astonish. She has collaborated with most major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. She has worked with many esteemed conductors including James Levine, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta and Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1999 Chang received the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given to instrumentalists.
This season, Chang will appear with the New York Philharmonic and the symphonies of San Francisco and Montreal. Her performance of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with the PSO last February was described in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as "scorchingly brilliant" and "mesmerizing."
Chang began her violin studies at age four and promptly enrolled in the Julliard School of Music, where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay. Within a year she had already performed with several orchestras in the Philadelphia area. Her early auditions, at age eight, for Zubin Mehta and Ricardo Muti led to immediate engagements with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. She received "Newcomer of the Year" honors at the International Classical Music Awards in London.
The PSO has been a vital part of Pittsburgh's heritage for more than 100 years. The orchestra, which calls Pittsburgh's elegant Heinz Hall home, offers 22 weeks of subscription concerts annually. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette voted the musicians of the PSO its number one cultural force in Pittsburgh for 2004 in its list of the top 50 cultural forces in the city. The PSO has had 29 international tours and played under such internationally recognized conductors as Victor Herbert, Otto Klemperer, Fritz Reiner, Andre Previn and Lorin Maazel.
The Vail Series was founded in 1979, when Foster and Mary McGaw made an extraordinary gift to Denison University in memory of Mrs. McGaw's daughter, Jeanne Vail, a 1946 alumna. That bequest became Denison's distinguished Vail Program in the Arts, making possible not only the Vail Series, but also a wide range of artistic presentations, which have greatly expanded opportunities and experiences for students and the larger community. Through the organizing and generous support of Jeanne Vail's brother, the late James D. Vail III, his wife, Margaret, and sons James IV and John, the Vail Program continues to reflect this family's commitment to Denison University and the arts.
More information about the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Sarah Chang and Daniel Meyer '94 can be found at http://www.pittsburghsymphony.org
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Vail Series presents the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with violinist Sarah Chang and Daniel Meyer, Denison class of '94, as conductor; 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Nov. 29), Swasey Chapel. A limited number of tickets may be available for the public for $15 each. For ticket availability, call the Vail Hotline at (740) 587-6557.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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