Balance

Saturday, October 8, 2022 • 7:30 p.m.
First Free Methodist Church (3200 3rd Ave W)

Harmonia Orchestra & Chorus
William White, conductor
Rachel Lee Priday, violin
Ellaina Lewis, soprano
Darrell J. Jordan, baritone


Program

Gian Carlo Menotti (1911–2007)
Amelia al ballo Overture

Samuel Barber (1911–2007)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14

— intermission —

Huntley Beyer (*1947)
World Out of Balance [world premiere]


About the Concert

This concert — and our season — opens with the work of two composers very much in dialogue with one another: Gian Carlo Menotti and Samuel Barber, who began a lifelong personal and creative partnership when they were teens at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Menotti’s Amelia al ballo and Barber’s Violin Concerto were written within three years of each other, in part when the two men were primarily based in Switzerland, living as common-law spouses.

Huntley Beyer’s epic new oratorio, World Out of Balance, was composed during the lockdown period of the pandemic in collaboration with the work’s sponsors, Doug and Dana Durasoff. The text sources range widely, but the piece is structured as a dialogue between movements such as “Racism Asks” and “Love Answers.” This piece is both powerful and honest, but also optimistic and life-affirming.


Health & Safety

Harmonia musicians are all fully vaccinated and those performing without masks undergo testing prior to each performance. We ask that in-person audience members be fully vaccinated and request that they wear masks while in our performance spaces. (These policies are subject to change throughout the season based on local health guidelines and mandates, as well as the policies of the venues at which we perform.)


About the Soloists

Rachel Lee Priday

A consistently exciting artist, renowned globally for her spectacular technique, sumptuous sound, deeply probing musicianship, and “irresistible panache” (Chicago Tribune), violinist Rachel Lee Priday has appeared as soloist with major international orchestras, among them the Chicago, Houston, National, Pacific, St. Louis and Seattle Symphony Orchestras, Boston Pops Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic and Germany’s Staatskapelle Berlin. Her distinguished recital appearances have brought her to eminent venues, including Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series, Paris’s Musée du Louvre, Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and Switzerland’s Verbier Festival.

Passionately committed to new music and creating enriching community and global connections, Rachel Lee Priday’s wide-ranging repertoire and multidisciplinary collaborations reflect a deep fascination with literary and cultural narratives. Recent seasons have seen a new violin sonata commissioned from Pulitzer Prize finalist Christopher Cerrone and the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s The Orphic Moment in an innovative staging that mixed poetry, drama, visuals and music. She has collaborated often with Ballet San Jose, and was lead performer in “Tchaikovsky: None But the Lonely Heart” theatrical concerts with the Ensemble for the Romantic Century at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Her work as soloist with the Asia America New Music Institute promoted cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, combining premiere performances with educational outreach in the U.S., China, Korea and Vietnam.

This season, Ms. Priday performs in recital with pianist Bryan Wallick at the University of Washington and Colorado State University. Upcoming concerto engagements include the Springfield Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Topeka Symphony and Verde Valley Sinfonietta, while recent appearances have included the Pacific Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic, Stamford Symphony and Bangor Symphony.

Rachel Lee Priday began her violin studies at the age of four in Chicago before moving to New York to study with the iconic pedagogue Dorothy DeLay; she continued her studies at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division with Itzhak Perlman. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MM from the New England Conservatory, where she worked with Miriam Fried. In 2019, she joined the faculty of the University of Washington School of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin. Ms. Priday has been profiled in The New Yorker, The Strad, Los Angeles Times and Family Circle. She performs on a Nicolo Gagliano violin (Naples, 1760), double-purfled with fleurs-de-lis, named Alejandro.


Ellaina Lewis

Soprano Ellaina Lewis demonstrates an extensive range of vocal and dramatic ability. Originally from Washington, D.C., she now makes her home in Seattle. In addition to Seattle Opera, where she sang the role of Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess, she has performed with Puget Sound Opera, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Choral Company, Everett Philharmonic, Sammamish Symphony, ArtsWest, Northwest New Works Festival, NOISE (Northwest Opera in Schools, Etc.), Ladies Musical Club, Cascade Symphony and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ms. Lewis has sung Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, the title role in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Erzulie in Flaherty’s Once on This Island, Pamina in The Magic Flute and Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel. Concert engagements include Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. Ms. Lewis has on many occasions blended her love of singing and her passion for dance, collaborating with S.D. Prism Dance Theater and contributing vocal improvisations as dancers interpret the choreography of the company’s founder, Sonia Dawkins. Among her premieres are the title role in Sally Hemings, an opera and film production by Garrett Fisher, and the role of Simona in Night Flight with Book-It Repertory Theatre.


Darrell J. Jordan

Baritone Darrell J. Jordan has been praised for his “shining, beautiful voice” (Broadway World), “expressive baritone and facial expressions” (The SunBreak), and as “the star of the show” (Columbia Heart Beat). He holds a B.A. in both Psychology and Music and a M.M. in Voice Performance from the University of Missouri, and a D.M.A. in Voice Performance from the University of Washington. Before matriculating at the UW, he served on the faculty at the University of Missouri, Swinney Conservatory of Music, Columbia College and Stephens College. This season he sings Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos with Barn Opera, Montano in Otello and Don Fernando in Fidelio with Pacific Northwest Opera, Carmina Burana with Tacoma City Ballet, and Bach’s Magnificat with Harmonia. Recent engagements include Tacoma Opera, Wilmington Concert Opera, Missouri Symphony, Southside Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Thalia Symphony and Olympia Chamber Orchestra. He can be heard on the album St. Lawrence Psalter as well as two upcoming albums from the Seattle Art Song Society, and is a member and co-artistic director of the nationally recognized, award-winning professional vocal chamber ensemble Vox Nova.