Sunday, September 24, 2023 - 3:00pm
1901 23rd St, Vero Beach, FL 32960
SCOTT Fanfare G.A.F: An American Overture
FUCHS Point of Tranquility SOUTHEAST U.S. PREMIERE
BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
GERSHWIN Variations on I Got Rhythm (Alessandro de Fonseca, piano)
ELLINGTON Three Black Kings
Kevin Scott, guest composer
Kenneth Fuchs, guest composer
Alessandro de Fonseca, piano
Opening this all-American program is Kevin Scott’s Fanfare G.A.F: An American Overture, a brilliant and optimistic romp for orchestra. The orchestra welcomes back Grammy winner, Kenneth Fuchs to present the Southeast U.S. Premiere of Point of Tranquility. Fuchs, a favorite of conductor Aaron Collins, is one of the world’s leading composers and has been hailed as an “exemplar of the recovery of American music.” The work is inspired by the painting of the same name by abstract artist Morris Louis. “The coloristic freedom and shape” suggested by the painting were the inspiration from which Fuchs developed this powerful work. Celebrated pianist Alessandro de Fonseca makes his debut with your SCSO to dazzle audiences with a performance of George Gershwin’s unforgettable Variations on I Got Rhythm, brimming with youthful energy, captivating rhythms, originality, and a sense of musical exploration. Aaron and the orchestra will also perform Leonard Bernstein’s legendary Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, a lively score featuring the musical’s most memorable moments—from shouts of “Mambo!” to the wistful final chords of “Somewhere.” The concert is rounded out with Duke Ellington’s Three Black Kings, which brings together kings of old and recent history, telling the stories of Balthazar, King Solomon, and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This magnificent work is a rich symphonic tapestry that weaves jazz, gospel, and classical influences together, the past and the present uniting.
Praised for his colorful contrasts and fiery playing, Dr. Alessandro Fonseca has been recognized as a “musician that seeks the inner message of every note played and aims to deliver a sound both passionate and intense, but also delicate and refined.” Dr. Fonseca has won several prizes in piano competitions in South America and also international prizes, such as 1st place in the 2019 Vienna Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition and the 2nd Prize in the Piano Section, from the 2021 Medici International Competition, Professional category. During his career, Fonseca has participated in many international festivals such as the “Liszt and Russia” festival in Los Angeles, where he—alongside other performers—played Lyapunov’s Transcendental Etudes. As a member of the American Liszt Society, he has also performed many concerts, including Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes, opera and song paraphrases, transcriptions, the b minor sonata and many others. Dr. Fonseca won the University of Oregon 2021 Concerto Competition playing the Khachaturian Piano Concerto. Recent performances include solo recitals playing Liszt’s b minor sonata and Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto with the DSC Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, Dr. Fonseca was awarded Second Prize at the Red Maple International Music Competition, at the Professional Musician Category. He was also awarded the Audience Prize Winner in the Concerto Competition, for his rendition of the Khachaturian Piano Concerto and M. Balakirev’s Islamey. Dr. Fonseca works as Faculty at the Daytona State College and he is teaching piano and working as an accompanist for the music school. Originally from Brazil, Dr. Fonseca currently maintains an active career performing solo and chamber music recitals. As a chamber musician, Dr. Fonseca has performed numerous concerts in different formations. One important project is his Duo Alarte, a violin-piano collaboration with Ana Zivkovic, an active duo that performs many concerts in South America. Dr. Fonseca is also the pianist for the Bel Canto Singers of Daytona. Alessandro initiated his piano studies and musical training in his hometown, Campo Belo, MG, in Brazil when he was 10 years old, with Gil Eliazar. Further finished his Undergraduate course under the guidance of Professor Miriam Bastos, at the Minas Gerais State University. Later he finished his Master’s in Piano Performance under the guidance of professor Alexandre Dossin, at the University of Oregon and also received an award with his degree: the Outstanding Graduate Student Keyboard Player. Alessandro had studied also with Dr David Riley, at the University of Oregon, working on chamber music repertoire. In 2021, Alessandro was awarded the Doctorate in Musical Arts, at the University of Oregon, under the guidance of Alexandre Dossin and David Riley. At the UO, Alessandro worked for 6 years, as a collaborative pianist, doing studio accompaniment for vocalists and instrumentalists. Dr. Fonseca also worked as a piano instructor, teaching applied piano lessons, and class piano.
Kenneth Fuchs’s fifth Naxos recording with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta won the 2018 GRAMMY® Award in the category Best Classical Compendium. He has composed music for orchestra, band, voice, chorus, and various chamber ensembles. With Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, Fuchs created three chamber musicals, The Great Nebula in Orion, A Betrothal, and Brontosaurus, which Circle Repertory Company originally presented in New York City. Fuchs’s operatic monodrama Falling Man (text by Don DeLillo, adapted by J. D. McClatchy) was presented at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of 9/11. His music has achieved significant global recognition through performances, media exposure, and digital streaming and downloading throughout North and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Australia. The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, has recorded five albums of Fuchs’s music for Naxos American Classics, which have earned four GRAMMY® Award nominations. Kenneth Fuchs serves as Professor of Composition at the University of Connecticut. He received his bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of Miami (cum laude) and his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in composition from The Juilliard School. Fuchs’s composition teachers include Milton Babbitt, David Del Tredici, David Diamond, Vincent Persichetti, and Alfred Reed. His music is published by Bill Holab Music, Hal Leonard Corporation, Edward B. Marks Music Company, Theodore Presser Company, and Yelton Rhodes Music, and it has been recorded by Albany, Cala, and Naxos Records.
A native New Yorker who grew up in Harlem and The Bronx and a resident of the lower Hudson Valley region since 1999, the music of Kevin Scott has been played by many leading American orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Houston, Shreveport and St. Louis under such notable conductors as Leonard Slatkin, JoAnn Falletta, Leslie Dunner, Yoel Levi, Shui Lan and Andre Raphel. His Praeludium in Aeternia from Ben-Hur was the recipient of the 1992 Detroit Symphony/Unisys African American Composers’ Forum award. Scott’s interest in composition was aroused while he was attending Christopher Columbus High School in The Bronx, ameliorating himself in composition that ensued in readings of his first compositions by the school’s orchestra and band. Upon graduation in 1974, Scott began formal lessons in composition with John Corigliano and Ulysses Kay at Herbert H. Lehman College in the Bronx, and continued his studies at the Mannes College of Music with Christine Berl and David Tcimpidis, in addition to conducting with Yakov Kreizberg. In 1984, Scott emerged on the national scene when JoAnn Falletta conducted the world premiere of his Fanfare G.A.F.: An American Overture, leading to a series of commissions from the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Queens Symphony orchestras through the New York State Council on the Arts. In 1989, Scott was appointed resident composer for the RAPP Arts Center in Manhattan, writing scores for various theatrical productions, including Thomas A. Ditsch’s Ben-Hur and new adaptations of Chekov’s The Sea Gull and Uncle Vanya. In addition to his works for orchestra and the theatre, Scott has also composed works for chorus, wind ensemble, chamber ensemble and voice, as well as producing underscores for various independent films. His sixth string quartet from 1995 was the product of the first William Grant Still Memorial Commission, sponsored by St. Augustine’s College and Duke University and premiered by the Ciompi Quartet. Scott has also established himself as a conductor, tirelessly advocating new, unknown or unjustly neglected composers and has appeared as a guest with assorted orchestras, choruses and wind bands throughout the greater New York area and in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Varna, Bulgaria, where he made his European debut in 2000. In addition to his studies with Kreizberg, Scott also studied with Edward Cruz-Carrion and has participated in various conducting workshops led by Kenneth Kiesler, Rossen Milanov, Gustav Meier, Donald Hunsberger, Mark Davis Scatterday, Michael Votta and Mallory Thompson. In 1985 he founded the Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 1990 to 2001 he served as music director or resident conductor of numerous organizations in the New York City area, including the Doctor’s Orchestral Society of New York, the Schubert Music Society, the Central City Chorus, and the Bronx Symphony Orchestra. From 2006 to 2014, Scott served on the faculty of SUNY Orange County Community College, where he was the director of that institution’s band program, and recently served as music director of the Maybrook Wind Ensemble. In conjunction with his conducting is Scott’s long-standing contributions to the field of musicology, focusing on all eras of music with a special attentiveness for the concert music of African-American composers and the work of numerous film composers. He has written has written liner notes for new recordings of film scores by Bernard Herrmann and Max Steiner for the California-based Tribute Film Classics label and preface notes to the orchestral and chamber works of Hugo Kaun for Musikproduktion Jürgen Höflich in Munich. From 1995 to 1998 Scott served on the music panel of the New York State Council on the Arts, and for the past decade has served as an adjudicator for The American Prize. Scott has also been invited to participate on numerous discussion panels sponsored by the Detroit and New Jersey Symphony orchestras, and has given lectures on his compositions and orchestral repertoire at Bard College, Duke University and St. Augustine’s College. Scott’s thoughts as a composer and conductor are reflected in William Banfield’s book Musical Landscapes in Color: Conversations with Black American Composers, published by Greenwood Press.