Mozart - The Final Concertos
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Joseph Morris, clarinet
Benjamin Pasternack, piano
Yllary Cajahuaringa and Mark Peng, vocalists
Principal clarinetist Joseph Morris won first prize in the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition and the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition. Benjamin Pasternack entered the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of thirteen and was the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural World Music Masters Piano Competition held in Paris and Nice in July 1989.
Joseph Morris is the principal clarinet of Pacific Symphony. Previously, he has held the positions of principal clarinet with the Sarasota Opera Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Orchestra (Wis.), where he was featured as soloist in performances of Copland’s Clarinet Concerto in September 2015. Morris has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with the Utah Symphony and Opera, Kansas City Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and New World Symphony. Morris received a professional studies certificate from The Colburn Conservatory of Music in 2014 where he studied with the renowned professor Yehuda Gilad. He graduated from the USC Thornton School of Music in May 2012.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Taiwanese baritone Mark Peng found himself in Southern California studying and performing. He has performed the role of Betto in Gianni Schicchi and Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro as well as partial roles in Roméo et Juliette, Carmen and Die Fledermaus.Collaborating with Pacific Symphony, he has appeared in their Family productions of "Cinderella, Opera for Kids" and "Pirates of Penzance, Opera for Kids". He is a graduate of Chapman University where he recently performed as the baritone soloist in Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. He teaches and works as a freelance musician in both Southern and Northern California.
Among the most experienced and versatile musicians today, the American pianist Benjamin Pasternack has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician on four continents. His orchestral engagements have included appearances as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the SWR Orchestra of Stuttgart, the Bamberg Symphony, and the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra. Among the many illustrious conductors with whom he has collaborated are Seiji Ozawa, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, Gunther Schuller, Leon Fleisher, and Carl St. Clair. He has performed as soloist with the Boston Symphony on more than a score of occasions, at concerts in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, in Athens, Salzburg, and Paris on their European tour of 1991, and in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Caracas on their South American tour of 1992. He has been guest artist at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest, the Festival de Capuchos in Portugal, and the Festival de Menton in France, and has been featured as soloist twice on National Public Radio’s nationally syndicated show SymphonyCast. A native of Philadelphia, Benjamin Pasternack entered the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of thirteen, studying with Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Rudolf Serkin. He was the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural World Music Masters Piano Competition held in Paris and Nice in July 1989. Bestowed by the unanimous vote of a distinguished panel of judges, the honor carried with it a $30,000 award and engagements in Portugal, France, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States. An earlier competition victory came in August 1988 when he won the highest prize awarded at the Fortieth Busoni International Piano Competition. After fourteen years on the piano faculty of Boston University, he joined the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in September 1997.