Cyrus Ginwala, guest conductor
Kenton Coe - Ischiana Overture
Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto
Jassen Todorov, violin
Britten – "Letters from a Life" Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell with Narrators Neil Sharp and Drew Poling
About Dr. Cyrus Ginwala, guest conductor
Conductor Cyrus Ginwala has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boca Pops, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, the Aspen Concert Orchestra and the Sewanee Summer Festival Orchestra. He has served as visiting faculty at the Peabody Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2005, he has conducted concerts throughout the region, including during the inaugural season of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony.
Born and raised in Boston, his early training was as singer and pianist. While in high school, he studied at the Tanglewood Young Artist Program, after which he was appointed to the faculty for an additional three years. After completing a B. Mus. in piano at Boston University, he earned Master and Doctor of Music degrees in Orchestral Conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, where he conducted opera productions annually and was the only student in the conservatory’s modern history entrusted with a major production of the Peabody Opera Theater.
From 1989-1996, Dr. Ginwala was Music Director of the Orchestra and the Opera Workshop at Towson University in Baltimore and, from 1994-96, Music Director of the Young Victorian Opera Company.
Music Director of the Symphony of the Mountains from 1996-2005, he conducted more than 100 works in subscription and pops series, while expanding the orchestra’s concert and education programs. During the same period, Dr. Ginwala was Resident Conductor of the Sewanee Summer Music Center, one of the oldest summer orchestral training programs in America.
An outspoken advocate for social and community causes, he was founding member of Equality Tennessee, created following the 2000 March on Washington, and the Kingsport Community Foundation. He lives in Oakland with his husband Dennis and two unreasonably demanding cats..
About Jassen Todorov, violin
Jassen Todorov has distinguished himself as one of the most prominent violinists of his generation. Dubbed “an outstanding violinist…a player to watch” by the British music journal, The Strad, Mr. Todorov has played and taught master classes throughout Europe, Australia, Asia and North America, and garnered much acclaim for his intense, original musicianship. He has performed at venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Melba Hall in Melbourne. He is also an active performer in his native Bulgaria, where he is considered one of the country’s most prized young musicians and his recordings of Bach, Ysaye, Brahms and Beethoven have received high praise. A top prize winner of several national and international competitions, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Harid Conservatory, Florida, and his master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. From 2000 to 2003, he served as the teaching assistant to Professor Oleh Krysa at the Eastman School and held a violin position at the University of Rochester. Mr. Todorov is the recipient of prestigious awards including the Eastman award for excellence in teaching (2002) and the Crystal Lyre for achievements in music (2006). Currently, Mr. Todorov is a Professor of Violin at San Francisco State University and Visiting Professor of Violin at Xinjiang Arts University and Qimingxing School of Music, China. He is also an active pilot and holds a Commercial Pilot’s License and Flight Instructor Certificate. Visit Mr. Todorov on the web at www.jassentodorov.com.
About Kenton Coe, composer
Kenton Coe began his musical training at the Cadek Conservatory in Chattanooga and continued studies in Knoxville before attending Sewanee Academy. He attended Hobart College in upstate New York for two years before entering Yale University, from which he graduated as a History of Music major. He studied composition at Yale with Paul Hindemith and Quincy Porter. He worked privately for three years in Paris with Nadia Boulanger both at the Paris Conservatory and the Fontainebleau School, and received two French Government scholarships at her request. Sponsored by Aaron Copland, Kenton Coe received two fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, where he began his first full-length opera, South, which was premiered in 1965 by the Opera of Marseilles under the direction of conductor Jean-Pierre Marty. A new production of South was given by the Paris Opera with an opening night Gala in the presence of President and Madame Georges Pompidou. A studio recording by the French Radio of this opera was given as a part of their American Bi-Centennial celebration. He has written a one-act comedy, Le Grand Siècle, on a text of Eugène Ionesco, which was premiered by the Opera of Nantes and later recorded for broadcast by the French Radio. Kenton Coe has sketched a second full-length opera, The White Devil, based on the Jacobean play by John Webster and is collaborating with Allen Cargile on a chamber opera based on James Agee's The Morning Watch. In 1989, the Knoxville Opera Company gave, in both Knoxville and Nashville, the highly successful world premiere performances of his third opera, Rachel, based on the tragic love story of Andrew and Rachel Jackson. The libretto was created by fellow-Tennessean and Emmy-Award-winning TV writer, Anne Howard Bailey.
For more info, see www.kentoncoe.com
Part of BARS' LGBTQ Composer and Performing Artist Series, which strives to redefine perceptions of LGBTQ music and increase awareness of the beauty, talents, and accomplishments of fellow LGBTQ individuals and groups.