September 17, 2022

7:30 PM

Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center
at Temple College
Featuring Finalist #1, David Itkin

Program

Pavane – Gabriel Faure
Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183 – W.A. Mozart
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

David Itkin

The 2022-2023 season marks David Itkin’s 18th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his 15th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music.

During past seasons Maestro Itkin’s career has taken him to 45 U.S. states and 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including concerts and recordings with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenska Filhamonija, the San Diego Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic. Other guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Colorado Philharmonic, the Annapolis Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Illinois Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Cheyenne Symphony, and the Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Reno Chamber Orchestras. During the Summer of 2006 Maestro Itkin appeared once again with the Slovenska Filharmonija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducting the opening concert of the 14th World Saxophone Congress.

Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Maestro Itkin was named Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010. Previously Mr. Itkin served as Music Director & Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Artistic Director and Conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho, and as Music Director & Conductor of the Lake Forest Symphony (Chicago), the Kingsport Symphony, the Birmingham Opera Theatre, and the Lucius Woods Music Festival (Wisconsin).

His second book, The Conductor’s Craft, was published in 2021 by GIA Publications, whereupon notable conductors and pedagogues wrote, “a real breakthrough for anyone studying or teaching conducting,” “I love this book and will be using it in my studio,” and “Bravo to Maestro Itkin.” His first book, Conducting Concerti, was released in August 2014 to considerable critical acclaim. Leonard Slatkin called Conducting Concerti “a valuable textbook for the aspiring Maestro…highly recommended,” and Samuel Adler called it “an invaluable addition to the world of conducting textbooks.”

Mr. Itkin’s first film score (“Sugar Creek”) was recorded in 2006 by the Arkansas Symphony for the film’s 2007 release. His most recent major work, “Exodus”, an oratorio, was premiered in April 2005 in Little Rock, with William Shatner narrating. “Exodus” was released worldwide on CD in 2007.

In May 2009 Maestro Itkin was awarded both an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Lyon College and the Above the Barre award by Ballet Arkansas.

In addition to his professional schedule, Maestro Itkin regularly serves as a guest conductor/clinician, including concerts with the Arkansas All-State Orchestra, the Southern California High School Honors Orchestra, the Maine All-State Orchestra, the Las Vegas Senior Honors Orchestra, and any number of Texas all-region Honors Orchestras.

Fei Fei

October 9, 2022

7:30 PM

Van Cliburn Recital
Presented in cooperation with the CTOS
Mayborn Hall at the Cultural Activities Center
Fei-Fei, Piano

Program

Sonata No. 18 in E♭ major, Op. 31, No. 3 – Ludwig van Beethoven
Suite bergamasque (L. 75) – Claude Debussy
Andante spianato et – Frédéric Chopin
grande polonaise brillante in E-flat major, Op. 22
Moments Musicaux, Op.16 – Sergei Rachmaninoff

Fei-Fei

Winner, 2014 Concert Artists Guild Competition Finalist, 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), pianist Fei-Fei is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She continues to build a reputation for her poetic interpretations, charming audiences with her “passion, piquancy and tenderness” and “winning stage presence” (Dallas Morning News), both in the US and internationally, including her native China.

Fei-Fei’s concert tours have taken her across the globe in concerto performances, recitals and chamber music collaborations alike. Recent projects include artist-in-residence with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic touring in Germany, a Carnegie Hall performance and tour of Spain with the New York Youth Symphony, a 19-city tour of China with her Aletheia Piano Trio, as well as concerto engagements with the Costa Rica National Symphony, Shenzhen Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Amarillo Symphony orchestras. Her 2022-23 season highlights include performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at Lincoln Center with the Pegasus Symphony as well as performances of lesser-represented repertoire such as concertos by Leroy Anderson, Florence Price, Clara Schumann, and Xiaogang Ye.

Additional career highlights include performances with the Fort Worth Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Austin Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, Anchorage Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, and the Juilliard Orchestra. Internationally, she has performed with Canada’s Calgary Philharmonic, Germany’s Rostock and Baden-Baden Philharmonic orchestras, and in China with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and China National Symphony orchestras.

Fei-Fei was showcased prominently as a Cliburn finalist in the documentary film, Virtuosity, about the 2013 Cliburn Competition, which premiered on PBS in August 2015. Deeply committed to sharing her joy for music and connecting with communities, Fei-Fei also engages students and community audiences through frequent school and outreach concerts and masterclasses. Born in Shenzhen, Fei-Fei began piano lessons at the age of 5. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she studied with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky, and is currently pursing Doctoral of Musical Arts degree with pianist Yefim Bronfman at Manhattan School of Music.