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Orchestral Excursions

The Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1935 in Warsaw by conductor-composer Grzegorz Fitelberg, was reformed in 1945 in Katowice. The list of conductors and soloists who have worked with the orchestra includes Artur Rubinstein, Leonard Bernstein, Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Isaac Stern and Maurizio Pollini. The Symphony has made more than 200 recordings for EMI, Decca, Newport Classics, CRI, Naxos and Leonarda.

Joel Eric Suben, a frequent guest conductor of major Central European orchestras, has led first performances and commercial recordings of nearly 350 works by American and European composers, among them Pulitzer Prize winners Roger Sessions and Leslie Bassett. He made his debut with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1998. Since that time, he has repeatedly conducted archival recordings of the symphonic works of Karol Rathaus and other Polish composers at the invitation of the Polish Radio. His work is represented on some 30 commercially released CDs.

Suben studied conducting with Jacques-Louis Monod, Witold Rowicki, Otmar Suitner and Sergiu Celibidache. While still a student, he led the first Boston performances of Service Sacré by Darius Milhaud with members of the Opera Orchestra of Boston. As a finalist in the 1976 Hans Haring Conducting Competition of the Austrian Radio at Salzburg, Suben was called back three times by the jury to prepare a performance of Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6, by Anton Webern. After his 1977 debut with the American Symphony Orchestra in New York, He won a Fulbright scholarship for advanced study in Poland, where he devoted all of 1978 to organizing performances of American music. His activities as a composer encompass some 60 published works.

Renata Artman Knific's international career began in London when she joined the English Chamber Orchestra. Tours of Europe, North and South America and Asia followed. Professor of Music and Chair of the String Department at Western Michigan University, Ms. Knific has also taught at the Encore School for Strings, Cleveland Institute of Music, Interlochen Arts Academy and the Lancut Festival in Poland. As violinist of the Merling Trio, Knific performs 20 to 40 concerts annually throughout North America, including appearances at Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Banff Center for the Arts. She has released two CDs with the Trio and has premiered many works written for the group. The Trio was a finalist for the Naumburg Foundation Chamber Music Award in 1994. Knific has also appeared in chamber music festivals throughout Europe, the United States and Canada.

Pamela Frame has appeared in many major concert halls in the United States and Europe. She was honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Grant and has presented more than 300 concerts in residencies in Texas, South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York. Ms. Frame toured and recorded in the United States and Europe with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from 1985-1989 and was a member of the Eastman School of Music faculty from 1989-2000.

She has frequently participated as a chamber musician and teacher at festivals in thirteen European and Asian countries as well as in American festivals including the Manchester Music Festival; the Quartet Program; the Skaneateles, Algonquin and Marlboro Festivals and Festival Casals. Her CD of music by Rebecca Clarke and Amy Beach is available on the Koch label. Ms. Frame teaches privately and in the Pittsford, New York schools. She studied with Ronald Leonard, Bernard Greenhouse and Mistislav Rostropovich.

Robert Weirich leads an extremely active career as a pianist, teacher, author, composer and artistic director. As a pianist he has performed in musical centers throughout the country, including Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center and Chicago's Orchestra Hall, and at such summer festivals as Tanglewood, Ravinia and Marlboro. The winner of several prizes in several important competitions, Weirich received a Solo Recitalist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was one of the first winners of the Pope Foundation Music Awards, a substantial cash prize to support innovative music projects.

In 1998, Weirich joined the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, where he holds the Jack Strandberg Missouri Endowed Chair in Piano. He previously taught at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and at Northwestern, Tulane and Syracuse. He has given numerous recitals and master classes across the United States, and was the artistic director of the Skaneateles Festival in New York's Finger Lakes District from 1991-1999; during that time the Festival received three Adventuresome Programming Awards from ASCAP and Chamber Music America and attendance more than doubled.

Gilbert Sabitzer studied clarinet at the Carinthian Provincial Conservatory and saxophone at the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1988 he became a member of the Carinthian Saxophone Quartet, heard in this recording. Other members of the Quartet are Gerhard Lippauer, Rudolf Kaimbacher and Günter Lenart. In addition to nuerous concert appearances in Austria, the Quartet has appeared in Egypt, Turkey, Bosnia, Poland, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Luxemburg and the United States. The group has also and collaborated with various musical and theatrical groups, and has recorded for radio, television and several record labels.




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