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Mozart’s sublime Piano Concerto No. 23, performed by award-winning pianist Albert Cano Smit, is one of a quartet of works by composers who dared to defy the norm. Known for his “intensity, enthusiasm, and technical clarity,” Maestro Andrew Grams leads with two great Russian composers: Anton Arensky with his little-known Intermezzo, and Prokofiev’s witty and beloved Classical Symphony. The kaleidoscopic festival sounds of British composer Anna Clyne’s PIVOT will walk us through Edinburgh’s iconic Fringe Festival.
Join us for Colorado Springs Philharmonic Pre-Concert talks. Go behind the curtain and inside the score with these 30-minute pre-concert conversations featuring conductors and guest artists giving their take on the program. Talks begin one hour before performance time.
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With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts, ability to connect with audiences, and long-term orchestra building. He’s the winner of 2015 Conductor of the Year from the Illinois Council of Orchestras and has led orchestras throughout the United States including the Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. Andrew Grams became music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra after an international search in 2013 and recently concluded his tenure there after 8 seasons. His charismatic conducting and easy accessibility have made him a favorite of Elgin Symphony audiences. A frequent traveler, Mr. Grams has worked extensively with orchestras abroad, including the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, the Orchestre National de France, Hong Kong Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, the symphony orchestras of Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and Het Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, Netherlands. He has led multiple performances of New York City Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® and the first performances of the new production of The Nutcracker for the Norwegian National Ballet in Olso. Also an educator, Mr. Grams has worked with orchestras at institutions such as the Curtis Institute of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Roosevelt University, the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland, and the Amsterdam Conservatorium. Born in Severn, Maryland, Mr. Grams began studying the violin when he was eight years old. In 1999, he received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from The Juilliard School, and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Otto- Werner Mueller. He was selected to spend the summer of 2003 studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin and Michael Stern at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and returned to that program again in 2004. Mr. Grams served as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 where he worked under the guidance of Franz Welser-Möst, and has since returned for several engagements. As an accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra from 1998-2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. Additionally, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony.
A musician who has been praised as “a moving young poet”(Le Devoir), Spanish/Dutch pianist Albert Cano Smit enjoys a growing international career on the orchestral, recital, and chamber music stages. Noted for his captivating performances, storytelling quality and nuanced musicality, the First Prize winner of the 2019 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions has appeared as a soloist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, Montréal Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony, Catalonia National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony. Recital highlights have included his Carnegie Hall debut presented by The Naumburg Foundation, his Merkin Concert hall debut presented by Young Concert Artists, recitals at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, Paris’ Fondation Louis Vuitton (the performance was streamed live globally), the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, DC, Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival, and return performances at the Steinway Society in San Jose. He has been in residence at France’s Festival de Musique de Wissembourg for seven years, a piano fellow at Bravo! Vail Music Festival and Tippet Rise Art Center, and has had his recital debut in Asia at Xiamen’s Banlam Grand Theater. Albert has been presented in recital by Festival Bach Montréal, University of Florida Performing Arts, the Krannert Center (Urbana, IL), and Matinée Musicale (Cincinnati, OH). He recently premiered Katherine Balch’s “Spolia” with flutist Anthony Trionfo taking them to the Morgan Library and Carnegie Hall. Recent recitals with Trionfo have included the Alys Stephens Center, Kravis Center, Evergreen Museum & Library, and others. Cano Smit is set to continue touring with violinist William Hagen, with whom he has recorded the CD “Danse Russe.” During the 2022-23 season Albert appeared in recital and
chamber music performances at Merkin Hall (New York, NY), the Cosmos Club (Washington, DC), the Crystal Valley Concert Series (Middlebury, IN), Friends of Music Concerts (Sleepy Hollow, NY), Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL), and Abbey Church Events (Lacey, WA), and participated in the inaugural chamber music ensemble of YCA on Tour. He appeared as a soloist playing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 4 in G Minor with the Seattle Symphony (Seattle, WA), Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Aiken Symphony (Aiken, SC), and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major with the Elgin Symphony (Elgin, IL). An advocate for new music, Albert has premiered numerous solo works on his recital programs, commissioned for him by Stephen Hough, Miquel Oliu, and Katherine Balch. He has given four hand performances with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the Wallis Annenberg Center Hall and Zipper Hall, taken part in the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York and the Bridgehampton Chamber Festival, and performed with such artists as Gary Hoffman, Andrej Bielow, Thomas Mesa, and Lev Sivkov. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such ensembles as the Ebene, Szymanowski, Casals, Cosmos, Gerhard, and Verona Quartets, and has released an album of Austrian viola music for Champs Hills with Emma Wernig. Albert was First Prize winner at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition. Additional special prizes at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions include The Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert Prize for support of his Kennedy Center debut, the Friends of Music Concert Prize (NY), and the Sunday Musicale Prize (NJ). Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Albert recently completed an Artist Diploma with Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the 2020 Rubinstein Prize for Piano. Early on, he studied music at Montserrat mountain’s Escolanía de Montserrat choir, where he sang as an alto. Later, he studied piano with Graham Caskie, Marta Karbownicka, and Ory Shihor. He is an alum of the Verbier Festival Academy and holds a BA in Piano Performance from the Colburn School, as well as a Masters of Music from the Juilliard School. He currently resides in New York City.
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