Janáček & Schumann
Orli Shaham, piano and host
Dennis Kim, violin
Bridget Dolkas, violin
Meredith Crawford, viola
Benjamin Smolen, flute
Jessica Pearlman Fields, oboe
JANÁČEK: Violin Sonata
TBA: World Premiere for Flute, Oboe and Piano
SCHUMANN: Piano Quintet in E-flat major
Composed in 1914 by one of the most important Czech composers, Janáček’s Violin Sonata is one of his rare works for violin. With his Piano Quintet, Schumann invented a new musical genre by adding the piano to the classic string quartet. Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the intimate Samueli Theater as host and Orli Shaham guides you through the program.
A consummate musician recognized for her grace and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The New York Times called her a "brilliant pianist," The Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean” in a performance with the Chicago Symphony and London's Guardian said Shaham's playing at the Proms was "perfection."
Shaham has performed with nearly every major American orchestra, as well as many in Europe, Asia and Australia. A frequent guest at summer festivals, her appearances include Tanglewood, Ravinia, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, La Jolla, Music Academy of the West and Aspen. Shaham’s acclaimed 2015 recording, Brahms Inspired, is a collection of new compositions alongside works by Brahms and his compositional forefathers. Other recordings include John Adams' Grand Pianola Music with the pianist Marc-André Hamelin and the San Francisco Symphony, with the composer conducting, American Grace, a CD of piano music by John Adams and Steven Mackey with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, David Robertson conducting, and Nigunim - Hebrew Melodies, recorded with her brother, the violinist Gil Shaham.
Dennis Kim is the new concertmaster of Pacific Symphony. A citizen of the world, Mr. Kim was born in Korea, raised in Canada and educated in the United States. He has spent more than a decade leading orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia. Most recently, he was concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. He was first appointed concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22. He then served as the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, before going on to lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland.
As guest concertmaster, Mr. Kim has performed on four continents, leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Montpelier Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Navarra. He served as guest concertmaster with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on their 10-city tour of the United Kingdom and led the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in their BBC Proms debut in 2014.
After making his solo debut at the age of 14 with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Kim has gone on to perform as a soloist with many of the most important orchestras in China and Korea. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Yale School of Music, Mr. Kim's teachers include Jaime Laredo, Aaron Rosand, Peter Oundjian, Paul Kantor, Victor Danchenko and Yumi Ninomiya Scott. He plays the 1701 ex-Dushkin Stradivarius, on permanent loan from a generous donor.
Bridget Dolkas (Pacific Symphony Principal Second Violin, Elizabeth and John Stahr Chair) is a passionate and vibrant member of the Southern California musical community. As first violinist and founding member of the California Quartet, she co-founded the Connections Chamber Music Series (connectionsmusic.com), of which Tim Mangan of the Orange County Register wrote, “a worthy series.” Since the year 2000, the California Quartet has performed in Europe and the United States to great acclaim.
Dolkas has performed world-wide since the age of 10. In recent years, she has performed as soloist with South Coast Chamber Orchestra and Poway Symphony. She performed for eight years in the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera Orchestra. Studying chamber music under such masters as Joseph Silverstein, Kim Kashkashian, Fred Sherry, Toby Appel, as well as the Juilliard, Alexander and Miro Quartets, it has made a tremendous musical impact on Dolkas.
As a student of Alice Schoenfeld, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California, continuing her studies with Isaac Malkin and completing a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She is near completion of a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from UCLA, where she studied with Mark Kaplan. Dolkas resides in the beautiful town of Carlsbad with her husband Sean (a trombonist) and two wonderful children, Miles and Ruby.
Violist Meredith Crawford, a Maine native, studied under the tutelage of Professor Peter Slowik at Oberlin College and Conservatory. She graduated in 2009 after completing Oberlin’s double-degree program with both a B.M. in Viola Performance and a B.A. in English Literature. After being inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda honor society, she received the prestigious Prize for Musicianship, awarded to students judged to be “the most outstanding of those elected to Pi Kappa Lambda.” Crawford was the first-prize winner of the Ohio Viola Society’s annual competition in 2007, the 2009 Skokie Valley Symphony Annual Young Artist Competition and the 2009-10 Oberlin Conservatory Competition—the first win for a violist in over a decade.
At the age of 22—before the completion of her senior year at Oberlin Conservatory—she won her first orchestral audition and a seat with Pacific Symphony. In September 2012, she was awarded the position of assistant principal viola and five years later, she won her current position with the orchestra as principal viola, Catherine and James Emmi Chair. Additionally, she has been performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic since April 2010, and more recently with the Riverside Philharmonic (as principal viola), the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Irvine’s Mozart Classical Orchestra. Crawford is also an active chamber musician, performing frequently with the L.A.-based Salastina Music Society, the Historic Portsmouth Chamber Music Series in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the High Desert Chamber Music series in Bend, Ore. Crawford is also on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, where she is assistant principal viola of the faculty orchestra under the baton of Gerard Schwarz. She currently resides in beautiful Belmont Shore (where her neighbors include Pacific Symphony’s principal flutist Benjamin Smolen and principal oboist Jessica Pearlman) with her two cats, Twinkie and Rahula.
Benjamin Smolen was appointed principal flutist of Pacific Symphony in September 2011. Since beginning his studies at the age of 10 in Charlotte, North Carolina, he has won top prizes at the Haynes International Flute Competition, the James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition and the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition. He has also given solo performances with the Princeton University Orchestra, Charlotte Civic and Youth Orchestras, Gardner Webb Symphony Orchestra, and on National Public Radio’s From the Top with pianist Christopher O’Riley. His performances have been featured on NPR, WGBH-Boston, French National Radio, and the Naxos and Mode record labels.
Smolen completed his undergraduate studies in the Music and Slavic departments at Princeton University, during which time he also completed a Performance Diploma at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He subsequently earned a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the New England Conservatory and a Performance Certificate from the University of Michigan.
Jessica Pearlman Fields
Jessica Pearlman Fields currently holds the position of principal oboe for Pacific Symphony. Fields moved to Southern California after completing her master of music degree in 2009 at The Juilliard School as a student of Elaine Douvas, Nathan Hughes and Pedro Diaz, all of the Metropolitan Opera. While in New York, she performed and toured with some of the city's most esteemed ensembles, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera. She was a member of the Verbier (Switzerland) Festival Orchestra from 2007-2009, participating in two international tours led by Charles Dutoit and Ludovic Morlot and working in the summer under such conductors as Valery Gergiev and Kurt Masur. As a soloist Fields was featured with the San Jose Chamber Symphony, a performance MetroActive described as "extraordinary… [she] dazzled through the overlapping melodies and 32nd-note runs of a bravura show-off piece by Antonino Pasculli…[a] barrage of acclamation followed her tour de force…" An avid chamber musician, Ms. Fields has performed with Orli Shaham on the Pacific Symphony’s prestigious Café Ludwig Chamber Music Series and tours regularly with her innovative New York-based chamber group “Shuffle Concert.”