Sensational soprano Christina Pier performs Barber’s dramatic Knoxville Summer of 1915, and we hear Society of Composers Region II Conference winning composer Dinah Bianchi’s Chasse Noir. After intermission, acclaimed baritone Tim LeFebvre joins Christina Pier and the Syracuse University Oratorio Society to perform Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace). Premiered in 1936, and utilizing text of Walt Whitman, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem was performed dozens of times in the years leading up to the start of World War II.
In the 2017-18 season Christina Pier was a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in a return to the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and performed Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with Back Bay Chorale, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) and Richard Strauss’ Trio from Der Rosenkavalier in a return to the Winston-Salem Symphony. Other recent engagements include a soloist role in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Indianapolis Symphony, in Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, a concert of Mozart arias with the Tallahassee Symphony, and the role of Donna Anna in a semi-staged production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Kalamazoo Symphony.
A Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, opera highlights for Ms. Pier include the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos with Virginia Opera; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Nashville Opera, and Eugene Opera; Micaëla in Carmen and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Florida Grand Opera; the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Minnesota Opera; Marguerite in Faust with Eugene Opera; and Micaëla in Carmen with the Princeton Festival.
On concert stages, her appearances include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the North Carolina Symphony and Rochester Symphony; Handel’s Messiah with the Indianapolis and Winston-Salem Symphonies; Verdi’s Requiem with the Charlottesville Symphony; Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Colorado Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem with the Charlotte Symphony and Eugene Symphony; Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and selections from Beethoven’s Leonore with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with the Alabama Symphony; and Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Hartford Symphony. She has also performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Roberto Abbado, given recitals under the auspices of the George London Foundation, and concerts with the World Youth Orchestra in Italy and at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York. She appears as a soloist on a recording of Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, with David Hill and the BBC Singers on the Naxos label.
Ms. Pier is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the George London Foundation Award, Sullivan Musical Foundation Award, two Charles A. Lynam Awards, and two Palm Beach Opera Competition Awards. Originally from Flagstaff, AZ, Ms. Pier received a BM and MM in voice at Indiana University where she studied with Virginia Zeani. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Catawba College, and a Guest Lecturer at University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
LeFebvre has appeared in concert with the Jacksonville Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Wichita Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Evansville Symphony, Symphoria (Syracuse), Butler County Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Symphony, Minnesota Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Rochester Bach Festival, Berkshire Choral Festival, New Dominion Chorale, Williamsport Symphony, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Syracuse Chamber Music Society, the Skaneateles Festival and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has also appeared in concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall.
LeFebvre’s frequently performed opera roles include Rigoletto, Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Germont (La Traviata), Count (Le nozze di Figaro), Falke (Die Fledermaus), Marcello and Shaunard (La Bohème), and Father (Hansel and Gretel). His operatic experience includes performances with Central City Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Sarasota Opera, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Syracuse Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Delaware, and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
LeFebvre graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University and Binghamton University.
Mr. Loh’s previous positions include: Music Director of the West Virginia Symphony ...
Mr. Loh’s previous positions include: Music Director of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Syracuse Opera; Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra; Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Associate Conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra.
Mr. Loh is active as a guest conductor, both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to annual concerts in Pittsburgh and Dallas, his recent engagements include the Boston Pops (Tanglewood), North Carolina Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Albany Symphony and the Cathedral Choral Society at the Washington National Cathedral. Past engagements include the National (Washington D.C.), Indianapolis, Tacoma, Utah, Rochester, Naples, Knoxville, Florida, El Paso, San Luis Obispo, Edmonton, Colorado, Charleston (SC), Malaysia, Daejeon (South Korea) and Greater Bridgeport Orchestras. His summer appearances include the festivals of Grant Park, Sun Valley, Bravo Vail Valley, Aspen, Mann Center in Philadelphia, Breckenridge, Las Vegas, Hot Springs, the Kinhaven Music School and the Performing Arts Institute (PA). In the summer of 2016, he made his debut at Tanglewood, conducting Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Orchestra and returned to Tanglewood in 2017 to conduct the Boston Pops.
Having a particular affinity for pops programming, Mr. Loh has been engaged for repeat performances with Chris Botti, Idina Menzel, Ann Hampton Callaway and more. He has assisted John Williams on multiple occasions and conducted numerous sold-out John Williams tribute concerts. He is particularly adept at conducting concerts synchronizing live orchestral music with film, and he has lead Jurassic Park, Pixar in Concert, Disney in Concert, The Wizard of Oz and Singin’ in the Rain, among other concert productions.
Mr. Loh received his Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting from Yale, his Masters in Choral Conducting from Indiana University and his Bachelor of Arts and Certificate of Management Studies from the University of Rochester. Lawrence Loh was born in southern California of Korean parentage and raised in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Jennifer have a son, Charlie, and a daughter, Hilary. Follow him on instagram @conductorlarryloh or twitter @lawrenceloh or visit his website, www.lawrenceloh.com.