Jeanne Backofen Craig Performs
Local award-winning pianist Jeanne Backofen Craig will play a recital on Sunday April 15, 2018 at 4 pm at Bethany United Methodist Church, co-presented by Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) and the Church. Works on the program will include: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C major, WTC II; Joseph Haydn’s Sonata in E-flat major, Hob. XVI:52 (Allegro, Adagio, Presto); Frederic
Chopin’s Ballade in G minor, Op. 23; Edvard Grieg’s Notturno, Op. 54, No. 4;
And two pieces by Franz Liszt, Vallée d'Obermann; and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11.
Jeanne is a trained classical pianist who has been performing in public since the age of 7. She spent much of her youth traveling around the country for piano competitions, and made her orchestral debut with the Cincinnati Symphony at the age of 12. That same year, she represented the United States along with 14-year-old violinist Joshua Bell in “Music, Joy of Youth,” broadcast on public radio in the U.S. and Europe. She earned her B.A. in Piano Performance from Virginia Tech in 1991, and then a Master of Elementary Education degree from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, in 1992.
After 25 years away from performing virtuoso-level repertoire, Jeanne began practicing again and was accepted as one of 72 contestants (from 20 countries) in the 2016 Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. Jeanne spent a week in Fort Worth, Texas, performing for a jury of world-class pianists, including former Cliburn Professional gold medalists Olga Kern and André-Michel Schub. Jeanne performed three times, advancing to the semifinal round of 12, and was a favorite of local and online viewers. She followed her success in Fort Worth with a trip to the Washington (DC) International Piano Artists Competition 6 weeks later, where she was awarded 2nd prize.
She also won additional special awards by capturing the hearts of the audience and press jury. Jeanne made her European debut in March 2017, performing a solo recital at the Gasteig, in Munich, Germany. In May 2017, she made her Carnegie Hall debut as the adult amateur winner in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. She also performed a solo concert at Sweet Briar College.
Since November 2000, Jeanne has served Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in Bedford as Music Minister and, from 2007-2017, as the Director of Music and Liturgy. She returned full-time to the Bedford County School System in the Fall of 2017 as the Music and Choral Director of Forest Middle and Jefferson Forest High Schools.
Jeanne has performed locally in 2-piano, 8-hand concerts with Gustavo Romero, Richard Wroncy, Naomi Amos, Noémi Szigeti Lee and Anna Billias, sponsored by Forte Chamber Music, and in May 2017, performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Jefferson Forest High School Wind Symphony. Jeanne is in demand as a soprano soloist, although she has never had formal vocal training. She prefers to accompany herself when she sings (mainly since she doesn’t know what else to do with her hands!)
In her spare time, Jeanne serves on the board of the Lynchburg Symphony Youth Orchestra, and as Secretary of the Jefferson Forest Band Boosters. She also enjoys long-distance running, web design, and learning languages. She qualified for and ran the 2011 Boston Marathon. Jeanne is married to Eddie, a mechanical engineer for Simplimatic, Inc., permanent deacon of Holy Name of Mary, and amateur winemaker. As the proud mother of Billy, Andy, and Carrie, she is a big fan of the J.F. Marching Cavaliers and the LSYO. As a family, they enjoy hiking, water sports, camping, and the Lynchburg Hillcats.
LIYA STRING QUARTET TO PLAY “PSYCHO,” “MISHIMA” AND SHOSTAKOVICH
AT BOWER CENTER ON APRIL 21
Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc, (AGAR) and the Bower Center for the Arts Will present the LIYA STRING QUARTET at the Bower Center, 305 North Bridge Street, Bedford, VA 24523 on April 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm. The concert is an exciting mix of 20th Century works. Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 10 in A-flat major, op. 118, was composed in 1964, and was premiered by the Beethoven Quartet. Mishima String Quartet #3 was composed by Philip Glass as the soundtrack to a 1985 film, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. Finally, Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho Suite is a string quartet arrangement of music from the classic horror film, Psycho.”
The recently formed LIYA String Quartet consists of Christi Salisbury and Yevgeniy Dovgalyuk, violins; Domenico Luca Trombetta, viola; and David Feldman, cello. Three of the members of the group, Christi Salisbury, Domenico Luca Trombetta and David Feldman, previously played together in the James String Quartet. The four musicians playing on the current concert first played together for AGAR in January, 2018 at Emanuel United Methodist Church.
Mr. Dovgalyuk is the recently appointed concertmaster of the Lynchburg Symphony and is an assistant Professor of Violin at Liberty University. He also serves as a substitute violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra. LIYA String Quartet is named for his late sister, Liya.
BIOGRAPHY OF TODAY’S MUSICIANS
Yevgeniy Dovgalyuk (Violin) a native of Riga, Latvia, began studying violin at the age of six. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin
Performance from the University of Maryland as well as Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from George Mason University. His teachers have included UMD professor Dr. James Stern and NSO violinists Peter Haase and Pavel Pekarsky. Winner of numerous performance awards, Dr. Dovgalyuk, has served as Concertmaster with many orchestras throughout his career. Most recently he has accepted the Concertmaster position with the Lynchburg Symphony. Yevgeniy is a regular substitute with the National Symphony Orchestra and joined the NSO on their Russia Tour in March of 2017. He also performs with the Fairfax Symphony, National Philharmonic, and Alexandria Symphony, among others.
He is actively involved with Liya Music Camp International in
USA and Ukraine where he serves as the Music Director, as well
as Liya Christian Ministry, in memory of his sister. He has
performed throughout the USA and Europe, including Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Latvia, and Russia. He is an assistant violin professor at Liberty University.
David Feldman (cello) performs frequently as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. He holds multiple cello performance degrees, studying under Alan
Weinstein of the Kandinsky Trio at Roanoke College, and Brian
Hodges at Boise State University, for whom he was a teaching
assistant. He is an alumnus of the Castleman Quartet Program,
Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Chautauqua
Institution, completing additional studies under Peter Rejto, David Ying, and Steven Doane. Mr. Feldman has been a member of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and has performed as a concerto soloist with the Boise State University Orchestra, theNew River Valley Symphony, and the Shenandoah Conservatory Orchestra. His popular music ventures include appearances with Charles Billingsly, D.J. Spooky, Liza Minnelli, Art Garfunkel, and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, where he was a featured soloist in 2011.
Mr. Feldman also remains active as a recording studio musician, having worked with artists both nationally and internationally. In addition to performing and recording, Mr. Feldman has served on the faculty at Ferrum College (VA) and as a resident artist with the James String Quartet at Lynchburg College (VA). Additionally, he has been a guest lecturer at the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts. Mr. Feldman is a winner of both the Virginia Music Teachers Association and the Boise State University Concerto Competitions. As a chamber musician, he has won the Virginia MTNA chamber music competition and the Boise Chamber Music Society’s String Quartet Competition. In 2013, Mr. Feldman became one of the first resident artists at Carilion Clinic (Roanoke, VA) through the Dr. Robert L. A.Keeley Healing Arts Program. Mr. Feldman currently serves as Assistant Professor of Cello at Liberty University in January of 2015. He performs on a cello by J.B. Vuillaume generously on loan from Elizabeth Krebbs.
Christi Salisbury (violin) holds a Bachelor of Music in violin (2006) from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University; pursued violin studies at the Eastman School of Music (1997-2000) with Mitchell Stern and Ilya Kaler; and studied privately with Manhattan School of Music violin teacher Burton Kaplan (2002-2003.) She was a violin teacher on faculty at the Monmouth Conservatory of Music in Red Bank, New Jersey (2001-2007) while working with mentor and noted teacher Irina Kowalsky.
Now in Lynchburg since 2007, Christ is active as a teacher and
performer. She is an adjunct teacher at Lynchburg College and has private studios in Lynchburg and Charlottesville, Virginia. She is concertmaster of the James Chamber Players and 1st violin in the James String Quartet and performs regularly with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, was concertmaster of the Lynchburg Symphony in May of 2015 and continues to freelance with various ensembles and churches throughout central-southwest Virginia. In June 2017 Christi entered the world of historically informed music practice by studying Baroque performance at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and has since performed with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra on Baroque violin.
Christi is thrilled to be a founding member of the James String
Quartet Summer Music Academy and is looking forward to their
2018 14-day festival to be held this June at Lynchburg College.
From 2007-2013 Christi was co-owner of the stringed instrument
rental and sales business Salisbury & Heer Stringed Instruments
and additionally was founder of Flying Carpet Music, an
organization devoted to promoting classical , jazz and world
music, and was artistic and executive director for their annual
festivals Feast or Flower (2008) and Saudade (2009.)
Domenico Luca Trombetta (viola) is a native of Catania, Italy. He was admitted into the Istituto Musicale V. Bellini of Catania after a few years of private music instruction. He transferred his studies to the Conservatory of St. Cecilia, Rome,
to complete his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Viola Performance with highest honors under the instruction of Margot Burton. During this time, he was also a student at the Perosi Academy of Biella (Italy) studying with Simonide Braconi, the principal viola of La Scala Theater of Milan. Before completing his Master’s Degree he studied with Bruno Giuranna, at the Lugano Conservatory (Switzerland). Luca has appeared as the featured soloist in solo concerts and recitals and has performed around the world with numerous chamber ensembles, orchestras, and world renowned conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Yuri Temirkanov, Marc Soustrot, Ennio Morricone, Nicola Piovani (Music of Life is Beautiful), Lu Ja, and Steven White. He has appeared in concerts with Uto Ughi, Boris Belk in, Robert Cohen, Luisa Castellani, Andrea Bocelli, and Yo-yo Ma. Luca holds a D.M.A. from James Madison University and is currently Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of the String Programs at Liberty University. In addition to his performances with James String Players and Liya String Quartet, Luca is also a frequent performer with Opera on the James and in concert with his wife, American soprano Adelaide Muir Trombetta.
AGAR in Romania "Around the World"
AGAR European Premiere, Aaron Garber's "Romania: Revolution 1989,"
Romanian National Opera House Timisoara in December 2017
On December 13, 2017 Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. co-presented with Rotary-Opera Timisoara at the Romanian National Opera House in Timisoara, Romania, the European Premiere of Aaron Garber's Chamber Opera "Romania: Revolution 1989." The opera was commissioned by AGAR in 2014 and AGAR produced and presented the premiere in collaboration with St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Clifford, VA on April 26, 2015. Performances followed in Moneta, Lynchburg and Roanoke in Spring 2015.
The original cast included Timisoara-born and educated Melia Garber as one of the duo pianists, along with pianist Noemi Szigeti Lee, born in Cluj, tenor Scott Williamson, and baritone Philip Bouknight. The opera was set to slides of scenes from the 1989 revolution, in which Communist Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown. The slides were compiled by Lynn Kable and Deirdre Serio with assistance from the Memorialul to the Revolution in Timisoara and photographer Emmanuel Tanjela.
In 2017 Mr, Garber and later AGAR were contacted by Rotary-Opera Timisoara, who had seen video of the project featuring Melia Garber. They invited AGAR and Garber to Timisoara to perform at the Opera House in December 17, 2017. Aaron Garber conducted the performance. Scott Williamson reprised the tenor role, as did Melia Garber on piano.
The remaining cast members were from Timisoara. Accompanying the project to Romania were also Salem Rotary Club's Joseph Ferguson, and Amherst Rotary Club's Father James Hubbard, who was priest at St. Mark's Episcopal Church when the opera premiered. Lynn and Ned Kable represented AGAR, with Lynn directing the slides and Ned documenting the project.
The Rotary-Opera Timisoara Club has asked Mr. Garber to expand his opera to include more characters, a chorus and an orchestra for performance at the Romanian National Opera House Timisoara in 2019 -- the thirtieth anniversary of the uprising that began in Timisoara. The are also trying to involve U.S. and other international Rotary Clubs in establishing a program for extraordinarily talented young opera singers of Timisoara to be able to work with international and stylistically diverse, Mr. Williamson in his role as Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke, has agreed to explore exchange possibilities between Timisoara and Roanoke. AGAR is exploring international funding for the next stage of the project, which will culminate in 2021, when Timisoara will be cultural capital of Europe.