PORTRAITS OF TIMES AND PLACES – Vivaldi – Respighi
Vivaldi: “Le Quattro Stagioni” (The Four Seasons) – Adrian Sylveen, violin
Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite no. 3 – Connecticut Virtuosi
Sunday, August 9, 7 PM – Courtyard of the St. James Episcopal Church, Farmington
Saturday, August 15, 7 PM – Garden of the First Presbyterian Church of Hartford
BEETHOVEN – Sonatas For Piano And Violin
Brunilda Myftaraj, violin, Blake Hansen, piano
Thursday, August 13, 7 PM – St. James Episcopal Church, Farmington
THE IMMORTALS – Haendel – Bach
Haendel: Organ concertos op. 4, no. 4 & 6 – Blake Hansen, harpsichord
Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in D minor – Adrian Sylveen, Brunilda Myftaraj, violins
Sunday, August 16, 7 PM – Courtyard of the St. James Episcopal Church, Farmington
INTER-CULTURAL DIALOGS – Bach: Partitas for Violin & Percussion
Alber Baseel, percussion, Adrian Sylveen, violin
Thursday, August 20, 7 PM – Courtyard -St. James Episcopal Church, Farmington
Saturday, August 29, 7 PM – Garden of the First Presbyterian Church of Hartford
SACRED MASTERWORKS OF THE BAROQUE – Pergolesi: Stabat Mater
Sarah Callinan, soprano, Rebecca Almeida, alto – Connecticut Virtuosi
Sunday, August 23, 7 PM – Courtyard – St. James Episcopal Church, Farmington
St. James Episcopal Church – (3 Mountain Rd. Farmington)
First Presbyterian Church – (136 Capitol Ave Hartford)
Admission by Donations – Reservations Required
Social distancing – CT State rules apply
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Adrian Sylveen – conductor, violinist, artist, educator
Award-winning musician, Adrian Sylveen enjoys a performing career both in the United States and in Europe. He is a founder and the artistic director of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Connecticut Lyric Opera Company. Under his leadership, both Connecticut Virtuosi and the Connecticut Lyric Opera (funded now with grants from several private foundations, State of Connecticut, and municipal grants) developed into major artistic institutions in the State of Connecticut. Both organizations also continue to develop international partnerships and collaborations. Adrian Sylveen is a winner of prizes at competitions in Poland and in the United States and had participated in several international Festivals such as Weimar, Łancut, and others. He received the American Council for Polish Culture award (“for his eminent performances as conductor and violinist in U.S and Europe”), “Primus Inter Pares” Award given by the President of the Republic of Poland. He was awarded permanent US residence for “Extraordinary Abilities in the Arts”. Sylveen holds Master of Music, and Artist Diploma degrees from the Yale University School of Music, he is also a graduate of the Paderewski Music Academy in Poznan, Poland (diploma with distinction). Since 2012 he is on faculty of the Virtuosi Summer Music Institute at Tunxis College in Farmington, Connecticut, and, since 2015 an Artistic Director of the Greve Opera Academy and Chamber Music Festival in Greve-In-Chianti, Italy. In his career Sylveen has conducted approximately 35 operatic titles, more than 70 symphonies, and numerous concertos and chamber orchestral music works, with special emphasis on the music of Italian and Slavic heritage. He has conducted and performed concerts in the United States, Poland, Italy, Israel, Cuba, Switzerland, Germany, and the former Soviet Union, and worked with such ensembles as Israel Chamber Orchestra, Holguin Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra da Camera di Greve-In-Chianti, Olsztyn Philharmonic, Elbląg Chamber Orchestra, Central Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, and others. From 2011 to 2013 he was a conductor for the Magnum Opus series with the New Britain Symphony – The Connecticut Virtuosi. He is also a founder of the Classical Orchestra of Pila in Poland, and the newly formed, Hartford based Moniuszko Choir (2016). Adrian Sylveen collaborated with many exceptional artists such as Brunilda Myftaraj, Eckart Lorenzen, Luca Rinaldi, Theodore Arm, Jurate Svedaite, Carl Tanner, Jorge Pita Carreras, Michael Wade Lee, Steven Frederiks, Stefan Szkafarowsky, Neal Larrabee, Dmitri Novgorodsky, Rafael Lewandowski, Andre Anweiler, Martin Bresnik, Jadwiga Kotnowska, Marzena Diakun, Grzegorz Dabrowski, Daniel Borowski, Thomas A. Labadorf, Michael Gatonska, Volcan Orhon, Robert DeMaine, Erik Rousi, and many others. He lives with his family in Hartford Connecticut.
Blake Hansen has built a reputation as an active performer and collaborative artist throughout New England. Mr. Hansen has performed in notable venues in the U.S., Europe, and South America, including Steinway Hall in New York City, Teatro Municipal de Niteroi, Brazil, and the Illsley Ball Nordstram Hall in Seattle, WA. As a much sought after accompanist and chamber musician, Mr. Hansen holds the position of rehearsal and performance accompanist for the CT Lyric Opera, Hartford Opera Theater, and the Greve Opera Academy in Italy. Other opera companies he has collaborated with include Opera Theater of Connecticut and Madison Lyric Stage. He also is frequently engaged to perform with choirs throughout CT, including the Hartt School Choirs, CONCORA, Manchester Community College, Griswold Community Chorus, and New Haven Chorale. Mr. Hansen is a staff accompanist for the vocal divisions of both Hartt School and CCSU. As a chamber musician, he collaborates with his wife, pianist and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Batista de Almeida and violin virtuoso Brunilda Myftaraj.
Albanian American violinist Brunilda Myftaraj has drawn enthusiastic accolades from audiences as well as critical acclaim for her masterful musicianship in her native Albania, as well as Italy, Greece, France, Marocco, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Israel and in the United States. The New London Day critic praised her as an “especially fine and beautiful player.” She graduated with the Highest Honors from the renowned Conservatory of Fine Arts in Tirana and has studied throughout Europe and the United States. Her teachers have included some of the world’s finest, Proletare Skenderi, Piero Faulli, Alberto Lissy, Phil Setzer, Eugene Drucker, Rafael Druian and Renato Bonacini. She has been featured as a soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as well as other orchestras. She is an active recitalist, some of the series included Piano and Friends Chamber Music in Tucson Arizona, Mostly Mozart in Napa Valley, the Schubert Club in Minneapolis Westchester chamber music series, Music & friends of Manchester, and many more. Ms. Myftaraj has been featured on radio stations in NY, CT, and MA. She received first prize in the Van Rooy competition, Emerson Quartet competition, Trinity auditions in NY. She was semifinalist and participant in prestigious competitions such as the Young Artist Guild in NY, Indianapolis International Violin Competition, and the Lipizer Competition in Gorizia, Italy. Ms. Myftaraj has produced several recordings with her former Elektra Ensemble and her solo Albums, “Naked violin” and “The American Pie.” Both her latest Albums received the highest reviews from the leading American classical magazine Fanfare magazine. “The American Pie” includes most of the greatest hits of American music. To further mark Bernstein centennial, in 2018, Brunilda performed Serenade after “Plato’s symposium” by L. Bernstein with the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra in New Britain and Hartford. Ms. Myftaraj serves as a concertmaster for the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Connecticut lyric opera, and Greve festival in Italy. She is also the director of the Virtuosi music academy and the CT Virtuosi summer music festival in Farmington, where she also teaches violin. Currently, Ms. Myftaraj is collaborating with pianist Blake Hansen, with whom she is preparing a recording of all Beethoven’s piano and violin sonatas.
Praised for her ‘pure, lustrous voice’ and ‘Lucille Ball-like energy,’ soprano Sarah Callinan has performed a wide variety of roles throughout the US and Europe. Some favorites include Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Gilda (Rigoletto), Amina (La Sonnambula), Valencienne (The Merry Widow) and the title role in La Fille du Régiment. Most recently she portrayed Blonde the Orion Slave Girl in a Star Trek parody of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, she appeared in the Texas premiere of The Hotel Casablanca as Veronique with Abilene Opera and sang the role of Marianne in The New Moon and Helen de Vazquez in Victor Herbert’s Orange Blossoms with Light Opera of New York, which was recently released on the Albany Records label.
Brazilian Mezzo-Soprano Rebecca de Almeida brings an exhilarating presence and transparent energy to the stage. She has been praised by Tribuna CT for her “luscious voice and warm timbre with a soothing, yet penetrating quality.” A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Rebecca has performed a wide variety of roles throughout the US and Europe. Some favorites include Dorabella (Così fan Tutte) with Greve Opera Academy in Italy, Bradamante (Alcina) with East Coast Chamber Orchestra in the USA, and Mercédès (Carmen) with CT Lyric Opera and Giulio Cesare (Giulio Cesare) with CT Virtuosi Summer Institute. An accomplished pianist, as well as opera singer, Rebecca, graduated from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in the class of the prestigious Luiz Senise, and she earned a Masters Degree in Piano Performance with an emphasis in pedagogy from the University of Hartford under the guidance of Luiz de Moura Castro. Since then, she has developed an interest in the Taubman Technique and has had lessons with Edna Golandsky, founder of the Golandsky Institute in NYC. Rebecca Almeida’s achievements include 1st prize at XXVI Concurso Latino Americano Rosa Mística, II Concurso Nacional Jovem Destaque, two times winner of ‘Concurso Villa Lobos’ as well as 2nd prize at 20º Concurso de Piano ArtLivre – Prova Estímulo, performances at renowned venues such as Teatro Municipal de Niterói and CCBB in Brasil, and The Garde at New London, CT. Rebecca de Almeida is the Music Director at the historical Church of the Good Shepherd in Hartford, CT and she is the Administrator of Greve Opera Academy & Music Festival. Rebecca actively performs in New England with CT Lyric Opera, Hartford Opera Theatre, and East Coast Chamber Orchestra, as well as a duo with her husband Blake Hansen. This season Rebecca de Almeida is very excited to be debuting with IBOC premiering the contemporary Opera Tamandua, as well as singing the role of Flora in La Traviata with Opera Theater of Connecticut and the title role of Carmen with Grande Prairie Opera.