|Keyboard Concerto in E Major, BWV 1053||J.S. Bach
Fr. Seán Duggan
|Piano Concerto in A Major, K.414
|Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra, Op. 35 No. 1
|Concerto for 4 Pianos in A minor, BWV 1065||J.S. Bach
Ilya Itin, Fr. Seán Duggan
Sakura Myers, Nathan Grabow
MARK LAYCOCK, conductor
Mark Laycock made his conducting debut at age 21 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Since then he has conducted more than 2000 works with a waide array of orchestras and opera companies in Asia and Europe, as well as Israel and North and South Americas.
Maestro Laycock appears regularly with the Wiener KammerOrchester, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Orquesta Naçional de Costa Rica, and the Georges Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, among others. This season he appeared on two different occasions with the English Chamber Orchestra, and made a highly acclaimed return to the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Mark Laycock's productions with Opera New Jersey included Don Pasquale, The Barber of Seville, and H.M.S. Pinafore, all of which received sparkling response from audiences and critics alike. Additionally, a concert of Mendelssohn's rarely performed Symphony No. 2 ("Lobgesang") with the combined forces of Opera New Jersey and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra excited an enthusiastic review in the New York Times.
Mark Laycock was music director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years, transforming that entity from a small chamber ensemble into a fully and critically acclaimed professional symphony orchestra. Under his direction, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra was awarded Citations of Excellence for two consecutive years from the State Arts Council of New Jersey for "exhibiting the highest standards of artistic excellence." He was also associate conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2003, and has developed a reputation for stepping in to conduct without rehearsal, including performances of Ein Heldenleben, Carmina Burana, Brahms symphonies, and a complete production of Carmen in Weimar, all to great acclaim.
As a published composer, he has just completed a Flute Concerto for the recent principal flute of the Wiener Symphoniker, which will be premiered by the Buffalo Philharmonic in 2014 and performed by the Wiener KammOrchestra in the Vienna Konzerthaus in the 2015-16 season. Mr. Laycock is currently working on a new commission for orchestra, chorus, and soprano, based on the Via Dolorosa.
FR. SEÁN BRETT DUGGAN, OSB, piano
Seán Duggan, OSB, pianist, is a monk of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, Louisiana. Father Seán's extraordinary affinity for the music of Bach was recognized early in his career when he won first place, on two separate occasions, in the International Bach Competition in Washington, D.C. In 2000 he performed the complete cycle of Bach's keyboard works eight times in various American and European cities. For seven years he hosted a weekly program, Bach on Sunday, on the New Orleans NPR station. He is currently in the midst of recording the complete cycle of Bach's keyboard (piano) music, which will comprise 24 CDs.
Father Seán obtained music degrees from Loyola University in New Orleans and Carnegie Mellon University, and received a master's degree in theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. From 1988 to 2001 he taught music, Latin, and religion at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana and was director of music and organist at St. Joseph Abbey.
Before he joined the Benedictine order, he was pianist and assistant chorus master for the Pittsburgh Opera Company for three years. Father Seán has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Baroque Soloists, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the American Chamber Orchestra, and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia.
Currently an associate professor of piano at SUNY Fredonia, Father Seán was a visiting professor of piano at the University of Michigan from 2004 to 2010 and at Eastman School of Music during the fall term of 2008. He has been a guest artist and adjudicator at the Chautauqua Institution for several summers and is also a faculty member of the Golandsky Institute. He continues to study the Taubman Approach with Edna Golandsky in New York City.
SAKURA MYERS, piano
"There is clearly something distinct - almost novel - in the way she communicates with and through the keyboard." ~Peter Ingle, Charleston Today
Described by Cornell West as an artist with "hands of steel, a heart of lava, and courage of a lion," Sakura is an emerging concert artist who has captivated audiences throughout the United States Europe, and Asia. She has performed in many distinguished venues, including Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, and the Goethe Institute.
Recently, Sakura placed second in the Josef Suk International Piano Competition in Prague, Czech Republic, Piccolo Spoleto Festival USA, Teatro Piu Piccolo della Concordia, in exclusive music salons in New York City, and in a concert featuring the music of Marian Harrison. Sakura's appearances with orchestra have included performances with Sinfonia Perugina under the baton of Enrico Marconi, the College of Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and the Charleston Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Ricardo Muti.
Sakura was guest artist on the "Ebony and Ivory Recital Series" for the inaugural season of "The Colour of Music Festival" in Charleston, South Carolina, and was resident artist and guest lecturer at North Carolina Central University. Other performances have included opening for "Three Mo 'Tonors'" in New York City, appearing at the "Women of Classical Music" Gala Concert in Nashville Tennessee, playing with singer Sumayya Ali for the debut collection of designer Nzinga Knight at New York's Fashion Week, and performing at the ceremony for Cornell West's induction onto the faculty of Union Theological Seminary. Sakura's multifaceted performances have also included acting alongside Clarke Peters and Colman Domingo in Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer (2012). This year, Sakura will be honored by the Thomas Study Music Guild with the Rising Star award for her artistic excellence and creative merit as a concert pianist.
A native New Yorker, Sakura was featured, as a high school sudent at The Dwight School, on ABC's Good Morning America. She is a two-time national gold medal winner of the NAACP's ACTO-SO competition (classical instrumental category), representing the Westchester region. An alumna of Spelman College, Sakura obtained her bachelor of music degree at the College of Charleston as a student of Enrique Graf and her master of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Philip Kawin. While in graduate school, Sakura was msuical director for Basic Black, a collaborative performance with The Juilliard School that explored the evolution of the American musical identity. Last summer Sakura was among a select group of pianists studying at the prague Music Performance Institute and Gijón International Piano Festival, where she had the privilege of working with Paul Badura-Skoda and Andrei Gavrilov. She has also participated in master classes given by Awadagin Pratt, Illana Vered, Jorge Luis Pratts, and Jue Wang. She is currently a student of Robert Durso and works closely with her mentor, Ramon Reeberg.