New Millennium Series

The New Millennium Series opens on Friday, February 6 with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, featuring harpsichordist Kenneth Slowick with violinist Ian Swensen, cellist Elisabeth Reed, and soprano Christine Brandes. Admission is $20 general, $15 senior, and $5 for students.

As Artistic Director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, Kenneth Slowik first established his international reputation primarily as a cellist and viola da gamba player. He has been a soloist and/or conductor with numerous other orchestras, including the National Symphony, the Baltimore, Vancouver, and Québec Symphonies, the Filharmonia Sudecka, the Pleven Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Ian Swensen is one of the very few musicians to have been awarded top prize in both the International Violin Competition and the International Chamber Music Competition. Swensen studied at the Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay and at the Eastman School with Donald Weilerstein, and has taught at the Longy School at Cambridge, Florida State University, and Oberlin Conservatory. Elisabeth Reed is co-director of the Baroque Ensemble at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she also teaches baroque cello and viola da gamba. A member of the American Bach Soloists, she is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University's Early Music Institute. Noted for her crystalline voice and superb musicianship, soprano Christine Brandes has sung in principal roles for the following opera houses: San Francisco, Seattle, Washington National, Houston Grand, Minnesota, New York City Opera, Philadelphia, Glimmerglass, Portland, and Arizona. She has recorded for EMI, BMG/Conifer Classics, Dorian, Harmonia Mundi USA, Virgin Classics, and Koch International.

The Series continues with the Houston based wind quintet, Windsync, on Tuesday, March 10. Admission is $20 general, $15 senior, and $5 for students.

Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “revolutionary chamber musicians,” WindSync has distinguished itself among classical music ensembles as North America’s foremost emerging wind quintet. The ensemble is recognized internationally for dramatic and adventurous programming. Winner of the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh International Competition, WindSync also received the Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize and numerous performance prizes from the CAG competition, including the ensemble’s New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Chautauqua Institution, Washington Performing Arts Society’s Music in the Country series, and the Music in the Park Series of The Schubert Club (St. Paul, MN).

Members include Garrett Hudson, flute; Erin Tsai, oboe; Jack Marquardt, clarinet; Tracy Jacobson, bassoon; and Annie Hochhalter, horn.

The annual Faculty Gala will take place on Friday, April 10. Admission is $20 general, $15 senior, and $5 for students. More details to follow.

The Series closes on Friday, April 17 with two-time Grammy award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn. Admission is $35 general, $25 senior, and $10 for students. Hahn will be accompanied by pianist Cory Smythe in a program that will feature Schumann's Sonata in A Minor, Debussy's Sonata in G Minor, and Bach's Partita No. 3 in A Major.

A Baltimore native, Hahn will open the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-2015 season with Beethoven and go on to perform with the New York Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. Recording since the age of 16, she has released 15 albums on the Deutsche Grammophon and Sony labels, in addition to three DVDs, an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack, an award-winning recording for children, and various compilations. Admitted to the Curtis Insitute of Music at the age of 10, Hahn completed her university requirements at the age of and was already a full time touring violinist by the age of 19. In 2001 she was named “America’s Best Young Classical Musician” by Time Magazine. In January 2010 she appeared as guest artist, playing Bartók and Brahms, on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Composer Jennifer Higdon wrote a concerto for her which was released in 2010 and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, Hahn and pianist Cory Smythe released In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores. The recording was the culmination of a multi-year project to renew the encore genre. Hahn commissioned 26 composers from around the world to write short-form works. For the 27th encore, she held an open contest that drew more than 400 entries. The international premiere tours, from 2011 to 2013, were met with wide critical and audience acclaim.