Mozart in the Afternoon
November 11, 2017
Concert Time: 2:30 pm
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 8 in C Major
Samantha Beresford, piano
Beethoven orch. Schumann/Segal - Sonata Op. 30 No. 2 in C Minor
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor
Laura Melton, piano
In our Festival of 88, we highlight the 88 keys of Mozart’s instrument in a new afternoon concert format. Each of the four concerts features one of his most popular concerti, paired with a TSO premiere!
The soloists for this performance are made possible through generous support from James and Sanda Findley and the firm of Findley Davies, in memory of John Stockwell.
From 2014-2017, conductor, composer, and violinist Yaniv Segal was the assistant conductor to Andrey Boreyko at the Naples Philharmonic, and music director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Yaniv leads the Naples Philharmonic in nearly twenty different programs per season, encompassing a wide variety of styles including classical, educational, and pops programming. In December of 2016, he shared the stage with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman in a concert that the Naples Daily News called “off the charts.”
Yaniv recently made his debuts with the Toledo Symphony and Orlando Philharmonic, and served as a cover conductor for Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. A versatile musician, the New York Times praised his performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Chelsea Symphony as an “earnest, vibrant account,” and Esquire Magazine profiled him as a rising star that is “redefining classical music.”
During the 2015-2016 season, Yaniv released a CD entitled Joy and Sorrow that features all-new music by David Chesky performed by the Chelsea Symphony with soloists Artur Kaganovskiy, Ethan Herschenfeld, Moran Katz and Kristina Reiki Cooper. Recorded using the latest binaural technology, the album was called “a winner” by Fanfare Magazine. Yaniv also recorded David Chesky’s score to the animated film The Mice War, an opera geared towards teaching children the folly of war.
In the spotlight from a young age, Yaniv’s first public performance was as an eight year old violinist. He later was a soloist several times with the Yonkers Philharmonic, and performed chamber music with members of the New York Philharmonic on both violin and viola. As an eight year old boy soprano, Yaniv joined the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus and sang both in the choir and as a soloist with great conductors such as James Levine, Valery Gergiev and Georg Solti, sharing the stage with leading singers Samuel Ramey, Luciano Pavarotti, and Dawn Upshaw, among others. Yaniv continued to perform as a singer and actor when he toured the USA and Japan as Colin in The Secret Garden, which he performed alongside Tony award winner Audra McDonald.
In 2013, Yaniv finished his graduate degrees in conducting and composition at the University of Michigan, where he was in the studio of renowned conductor and pedagogue, Kenneth Kiesler. Yaniv also had the opportunity to study with preeminent conductors Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lorin Maazel, and Gustav Meier. His principle composition teachers have included Tristan Murail, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, and Kristin Kuster.
The child of Polish and Israeli immigrants, Yaniv grew up speaking three languages in a multi-cultural household. In support of his education, achievements, and contributions to American Society, he was one of thirty-two recipients of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2009.
Samantha (Biniker) Beresford is a Michigan based collaborative pianist who is proud to have been born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She grew up with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, first attending young people’s concerts as a homeschool student, then performing side by side with them as a percussionist and keyboardist in the Toledo Youth Orchestra, and eventually winning the Young Artist Competition and performing a concerto movement with them early in High School. Since then, she’s been given several opportunities to return as a soloist. Samantha always counts it a privilege to make music in Toledo.
After graduating high school, Samantha went on to earn her Undergraduate Degree in Piano Performance with Logan Skelton from the University of Michigan and her Masters Degree in Collaborative Piano with Anita Pontremoli from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Other former private teachers include: Barbara Foote, Robert Bell, Frances Renzi, Martin Katz, and Elizabeth DeMio. Samantha has twice been invited to perform in the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has been on the faculty at Belvoir Terrace Summer Girls Camp, the CODA Mountain Music Academy, and the Masterworks Festival. While a student, Samantha worked seriously with two different piano trios, advancing in the MTNA Chamber Music Competition and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
She has served as a staff piano accompanist at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The University of Michigan, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Oakland University. Her extensive collaborative experiences have been varied and include positions as an orchestral and band keyboardist, choir accompanist, vocal coach, church pianist, chamber musician, and duo partner. Samantha and her husband John reside in Canton, MI and just welcomed a second baby boy to their family in August.
Laura Melton, Professor of Piano and Chair of Music Performance Studies at Bowling Green State University, has performed in Asia, Europe, South America and throughout the US. A prizewinner in several major international competitions, Melton has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Freiburg Musikhochschulorchester in Germany, the San Francisco Chamber Players, and the International Chamber Orchestra in California. She has been featured on Südwestfunk Radio (Germany), Kol Israel, Radio Nacional de España and National Public Radio's Performance Today in celebration of the birthday of composers, John Corigliano and Samuel Adler.
Melton received rave reviews for her Naxos American Classics Series CD, Solo Piano Works of Sebastian Currier. Gramophone hails her as “an artist who can tame formidable technical beasts and bring colorful delineation to a multiplicity of moods and textures. The New York Times praises her playing as “expressive and with dexterous flair.” Additional recordings include solo piano and chamber music works by Samuel Adler for Naxos, and Currier’s violin and piano works for Albany Records with violinist, Yehonatan Berick. She has recently recorded a CD of violin/clarinet/piano trios with violinist, Stephen Miahky and clarinetist, Kevin Schempf including works by Blake, Currier, Dietz, and Hartke.
Melton is an avid chamber musician and has appeared in several US summer festivals including Ravinia, Aspen, and Sarasota, as well as European festivals in Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Greece. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, where she was a student of Nelita True; a master's degree from the University of Southern California, under John Perry; and a doctorate from Rice University, where she was a graduate fellow and teaching assistant to John Perry. As a student of Robert Levin, she spent three years in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, earning the Solistendiplom while studying at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg.
Melton’s students have won numerous competitions and awards, and have been accepted into such prestigious programs as the Curtis Institute, Juilliard, Eastman, Oberlin, Peabody and the New England Conservatory. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and student of Michael Coonrod, Melton taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp for 12 summers. Prior to her BGSU appointment in 1999, Melton was on the faculty of the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California.
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