CelloNation 2016: Bach to Bachianes

TCA Abu Dhabi Classics & NYUAD Music Program presents the Young French Star Cellist Yan Levionnois accompanied by pianist Guillaume Bellom and Soprano Rachel Mills with the 24 members of the NYUAD Cello Ensemble under the direction of Gwyneth Bravo in a Program of Solo and Chamber Music Works ranging from Vivaldi to Piazzola and Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasilieiras No.5 for 8 Celli & Soprano. 

F. Mendelssohn – Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58                                                                                            
Chopin – Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65                                                                                                      
J.S Bach – Bach Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008                                                                              

(“Prelude,”  “Allemande,”  “Sarabande” & “Gigue”)



Yan Levionnois
Yan Levionnois obtained the first prize at the André Navarra and In Memoriam Rostropovitch international competitions, and was awarded two special prizes at the last Rostropovitch Competition, including that for the most remarkable personality. He is the Adami 2013 classical revelation, and the prize winner of the Banque Populaire and Safran Foundations. He has given solo performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Orchestre National de France and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse under conductors such as Daniele Gatti, Dimitry Sitkovetsky, Jacek Kaspszyk, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Heinrich Schiff and Arie Van Beek. 
His first solo cd, “Cello Solo”, was released in February 2013 for Fondamenta, and obtained the prestigious ffff of Télérama magazine. His discography also includes a recording of Rachmaninov's second Elegiac Trio with Renaud Capuçon and Denis Kozhukhin, in the “Martha Argerich and Friends” festival, for EMI classics, as well as “Pierrots Lunaires”, a violin and cello duets cd with violinist Mélanie Clapiès, released in 2014 for Fondamenta. He has many chamber music partners, notably Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Augustin Dumay, David Grimal, Antoine Tamestit, Gérard Caussé, Nicholas Angelich, Frank Braley, Brigitte Engerer, David Guerrier, Emmanuel Pahud, Richard Galliano and the Ebène Quartet. Yan Levionnois began studying the cello with his father before continuing in Paris with Marc Coppey and Philippe Muller, Oslo with Truls Mørk, and New York with Timothy Eddy. He also attended master-classes with Gary Hoffman, Heinrich Schiff, Natalia Gutman, Frans Helmerson, Steven Isserlis, and Natalia Shakhovskaïa. He plays a cello made for him by Patrick Robin in 2005, and a bow made for him as well by Yannick Le Canu in 2009.

Guillaume Bellom
Bellom was born in 1992 and started his musical studies both for the piano and the violin at the age of 6 at the Regional School of Music in Besancon, France. In 2008 he passed his final piano, violin and chamber music exams with distinction.
In 2009 he was unanimously admitted at the National High School of Music of Paris in the class of the pianists Nicholas Angelich and Romano Pallottini. He also took lessons with Franck Braley, Marie- Francoise Bucquet, Dominique Merlet, Leon Fleisher and Jean-Claude Pennetier among others.
In 2016 he obtained his doctorate in the class of Hortense Cartier-Bresson.In 2011 he was unanimously admitted in the violin class of Roland Daugareil at the National High School of Music of Paris. His great interest in chamber music lead him into joining various ensembles such as those performing at the Deauville Festival of Music. He has been a permanent pianist at the Singer-Polignac Foundation in Paris since 2012 and he is often invited to perform there. He also played at the Arcs Festival (in the French Alps), at the Jacobins Piano Festival in Paris, at the Keyboard Festival in Bel-Air, Chambery, at the Ravel Festival in Montfort-l'Amaury, at the Palazzeto Bru Zane in Venice, Italy, at the Chopin Festival in Nohant, at the Spring Music Festival of Essaouira, Morocco, at the Haydn Festival in la Roche-Posay.
In 2014 he performed in the Animal Carnival by Saint-Saens at the Champs-Elysees concert hall in
Paris, and won a prize at the Rhine Gold Foundation. In 2015 he won the first prize at the international piano competition of Epinal, France, where among other works he played the Schumann piano concerto with the French National Orchestra of Lorraine under the conductor Jacques Mercier. The same year he was finalist at the Clara Haskil international piano competition in Switzerland and won there the Modern Times prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work. In 2016 he won the first prize of the Thierry Scherz competition in Gstaad, Switzerland. He has so far recorded two CDs with the pianist Ismael Margain under the Aparte label, one with four- hand piano works by Schubert (it was awarded by the Telerama magazine) and the second one with works by Mozart. His first solo album will be on sale in the spring of 2017 under the Swiss Claves label.

Rachel Mills
Rachel is an American soprano currently residing in Abu Dhabi. She has sung in operatic performances in the United States, United Kingdom, and Oman, and is also a passionate vocal instructor. She will be making her United Arab Emirates debut in December, singing Villa Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras with the NYUAD Cello Ensemble and French cellist Yan Levinnois.  In 2015, Rachel made her debut with Welsh National Opera singing the role of First Boy in The Magic Flute. She was the soprano soloist in Janacek's The Diary of One Who Disappeared with tenor Adrian Thompson and pianist Michael Pollock as part of the Cardiff Singer of the World week, which was performed at the Dora Stoutzker Hall. Excerpts from the program were also performed on the BBC 3 radio program In Tune with Sean Rafferty. In 2013, Rachel sang Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne with The Comic Intermezzo in a collaborative project with Ravinia for inner city schools in Chicago. She also travelled with Castleton Music Festival in their 2012 production of La Boheme, conducted by the late Lorin Maazel at Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. Rachel holds a Master of Arts in Opera Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, a Master of Music in Voice from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre from Arizona State University.

NYUAD Cello Ensemble
Gwyneth Bravo

Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Music, & Cello Ensemble Director, NYUAD
Dr.Bravo is Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi and active as a musicologist, music educator, and cellist. Her research explores intersections between music, war, and politics in 20th century contexts with a focus on German and Czech music, opera, nationalism, exile, aesthetics, media studies, and music pedagogy. A Fulbright Scholar to Germany, Dr. Bravo worked and published with the University of Hamburg research group Exilmusik. Her current book projects include a monograph on operatic works by Erwin Schulhoff and Viktor Ullmann, as well as the edited volume Music and War: Global Perspectives, which examines music and conflict within emerging transnational configurations of power after 1945.
Dr. Bravo’s work has served as the basis for cultural exchanges, outreach concerts, workshops, radio broadcasts, guest lectures, and partnership projects and productions with numerous cultural institutions in the United Arab Emirates, Germany, and the United States. As Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi, Dr. Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching. In addition to offering academic classes in diverse programs at NYUAD, she teaches applied cello classes and is the director of the NYUAD Cello Ensemble. Active as a cellist and teacher in Los Angeles for over ten years before joining NYUAD in 2013, Dr. Bravo's principle cello teachers were Yehuda Hanani at Peabody Conservatory as well as Janet Horvath and Tanya Remenikova. Her students have been winners and finalists at numerous competitions, including the Kiwanis, the Los Angeles Cello Society Competition, Los Angeles Philharmonic Young Artist Competition, and the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

NYUAD Cello Ensemble:
Maya Adams, Charlotte de Bekker, Margarita Bicec, Tanya Bansal, Aron Braunsteiner, Garreth Chan, Peter Chen, Max Bruno Eckert, Mariya Miles-Flynn, Peter Hadvab, Lily Innis,  Gloria Jansen, Raghav Kedia, Rick Kim, Chaeri Lee, Nils Lewis, Elham Al Marzooqi, Tayla Jade McHardie, Taiki J Sugita, Luis Carlos Soto, Carrisa Tehputri, Marius Vygantes & Steven Yu.

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  • 10 Dec 2016
  • 20:00 - 21:30
  • NYUAD Arts Center Foyer, NYUAD Campus – Saadiyat Island
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General Admission 30 AED
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