Tara Helen O’Connor, flute
Randall Ellis, oboe
Alan R. Kay, clarinet
Frank Morelli, bassoon
David Jolley, horn
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Created in 1994 by five eminent woodwind soloists, WINDSCAPE has won a unique place for itself as a vibrant, ever-evolving group of musical individualists, an "unquintet", which has delighted audiences throughout the North America. Windscape's innovative programs and accompanying presentations are created to take listeners on a musical and historical world tour--evoking through music and engaging commentary, vivid cultural landscapes of distant times and places.
As Artists-in-Residence at the Manhattan School of Music, the members of Windscape are master teachers, imparting not only the craft of instrumental virtuosity, but also presenting a distinctive concert series hailed for its creative energy and musical curiosity. The series offers the perfect setting for the ensemble to devise new, sometimes startling programs and to experiment with new arrangements and repertoire combinations. Popular programs that have emerged from this process in recent seasons include "The Roaring 20s," "The Fabulous 50s," "The Young Titan: Beethoven comes to Vienna," "East Meets West: The Music of Japan and the Impressionists," and "All-American."
Windscape launched its first Manhattan School-wide Composer Commission Competition in 2009 and was delighted to present Kyle Werner's Riverside, the winning work, in several concerts. In the group's second Competition, held in 2013, three MSM student composers were chosen: Qin Ding, Xinyang Wang and David Sepulveda. Their works, written especially for Windscape, were premiered over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. Highlights of Windscape's 2015 - 16 season include residencies at Skidmore College and Penn State University, in addition to several programs throughout New York City. The ensemble also records Paul Lansky's wind quintet for Bridge Records. Recent tours have taken Windscape to California, Colorado, Connecticut and New York.
In addition to Windscape's performances and residencies throughout the United States, they continue to collaborate regularly with the Orion String Quartet on the late flutist Samuel Barron's brilliant transcription of Bach’s The Art of Fugue. This collaboration originally appeared on the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center series in New York City and was recorded by Deutsche Grammophon for digital release. Performances at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Tuesday Evening Concert Series in Charlottesville, VA, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Duke University in North Carolina, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, and Yale University are highlights of the last few seasons. Extended residencies including collaborative performances with students or faculty have taken the group's sparkling performances and highly regarded teaching skills to Baylor University in Texas, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, and the Clarice Smith Center at the University of Maryland.
Additional highlights have included performances at The Kennedy Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra, and the Tisch Center at the 92nd Street Y, Town Hall in New York City , The Caramoor Festival in Katonah, NY, Wolftrap in Vienna, VA, Bach Festival Society in Winter Park, FL, and the Mainly Mozart Festival Series in San Diego, CA. Windscape has also given concerts and masterclasses in Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Portland, OR, in addition to other venues around the US.
Ensemble highlights include tapings for Public Radio’s "Performance Today" and "St. Paul Sunday", a performance "Live From Glenn Gould Studio" for CBC-Toronto, and performances in Mexico and New Zealand. Esteemed chamber musicians with whom they have collaborated include the late Eugene Istomin, André-Michel Schub, John Kimura Parker, Jeremy Denk, Anne-Marie McDermott and the Orion String Quartet.
Windscape's most recent CD release is of Ursula Mamlok's "Quintet" on Bridge Records. Other critically acclaimed releases include Bach’s The Art of Fugue recorded with the Orion String Quartet for Deutsche Grammophon, The Music of Maurice Ravel, and an All-Dvorak CD with guest artists Jeremy Denk and Daniel Phillips, both on the MSR Classics label. A broadcast of their complete “Roaring 20s” performance at The Festival International Cervantino in Mexico was selected to air on Mexican television. The group's residency with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit culminated in a family concert based on their "East Meets West: A Floating World - Japan and the Impressionists" which was webcast live, and has been accessed by thousands of K-12 students in southeast Michigan. For more information, visit windscape5.com or facebook.com/windscape.
The members of Windscape:
TARA HELEN O’CONNOR, flute
Tara Helen O’Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique, and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a two-time Grammy nominee, she is now a season artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, Ms. O’Connor regularly participates in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Banff Centre, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. A much sought after chamber musician and soloist, Ms. O’Connor is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble, a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape and the legendary Bach Aria Group. She has premiered hundreds of new works and has collaborated with the Orion String Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet and Emerson Quartet. Ms. O’Connor has appeared on A&E’s “Breakfast for the Arts”, Live from Lincoln Center, and has recorded for Deutsche Gramophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Bridge Records. She is associate professor of flute, head of the wind department and coordinator of classical music studies at Purchase College Conservatory of Music. Additionally, she is on the faculty of Bard College Conservatory and the contemporary program at Manhattan School of Music. Her yearly summer flute master class at the Banff Centre in Canada is legendary.
RANDALL ELLIS, oboe
Principal oboist of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Windscape oboist Randall Ellis received his Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and his Master of Music degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he studied with Ronald Roseman. He is principal oboist of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he also serves on the faculty. He received two Grammy® nominations as principal oboist of the New York Chamber Symphony, including one for his recording of Howard Hanson’s Pastorale. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and the Florida Orchestra and toured extensively as a guest artist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Ellis has concertized and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been a soloist with the New England Bach Festival, the International Bach Festival of Madeira, the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, and Chamber Music at the 92nd Street Y. Mr. Ellis has freelanced with the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, Orchestra at St. Luke’s, the New York Philomusica and the Orchestras of the Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and the American Ballet Theatre dance companies. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Sunday Morning, and many times on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center. His performances have been heard on National Public Radio, European radio, and NHK Radio and TV in Japan. Mr. Ellis has recorded for EMI/Angel, Columbia, Sony, RCA, Vox, Nonesuch, CRI, Pro Arte, Delos, and Deutsche Grammophon. Mr. Ellis has performed with Winton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center and on Broadway in the orchestra for the musical Wicked. He is on faculty at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.
ALAN R. KAY, clarinet
Clarinetist Alan R. Kay is Co-Principal Clarinetist and a former Artistic Director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and serves as Principal Clarinet with New York’s Riverside Symphony and the Little Orchestra Society. He also performs as principal with the American Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mr. Kay’s honors include the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award, Juilliard’s 1980 Competition, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the sextet Hexagon later featured in the prizewinning documentary film, “Debut.” Mr. Kay is a founding member of Windscape and Hexagon; he appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His summer festivals include the Yellow Barn and Skaneateles Festivals, and his innovative programming at for the New York Chamber Ensemble is a feature of the Cape May Music Festival. Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany in 2004 and teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University. He has served on the juries of the International Chamber Music Festival in Trapani, Italy, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. A virtuoso of wind repertoire, Mr. Kay has recorded with Hexagon, Windscape, the Sylvan Winds, Orpheus and numerous other ensembles. His arrangements are available at Trevco Music Publishing and International Opus.
DAVID JOLLEY, french horn
David Jolley has thrilled audiences throughout the world with his "remarkable virtuosity" (New York Times), and has been hailed as a "soloist second to none" by Grammophone Magazine. A chamber artist of unusual sensitivity and range, Mr. Jolley has collaborated with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson and Beaux Arts trios, the American, Guarneri and Orion string quartets, Musicians from Marlboro, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among others. Mr. Jolley is currently a member of Windscape, Trio Valtorna, and the New York Brass Art Trio (NYBAT). For five years Mr. Jolley performed as a member of the Fleisher-Jolley-Tree-O with Leon Fleisher and Michael Tree. He also was a founding member, now emeritus, of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured widely and made over two dozen recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon label. A frequent soloist with orchestra, Mr. Jolley recently performed Joseph Swenson's horn concerto, The Fire and the Rose, with the Netherlands Symphony. Mr. Jolley's keen interest in enlarging the solo horn literature has led to the composition of many new works for him, including Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Concerto which he premiered with Orpheus at Carnegie Hall. John Harbison, George Tsontakis, George Perle and Lawrence Dillon are among the composers of memorable works. Summer festival appearances include Aspen, Caramoor, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Music Academy of the West and Sarasota, to name just a few. Mr. Jolley has six solo recordings on Arabesque, including Mozart and Strauss Concerti with the Israel Sinfonietta. He is on the faculties of Mannes College of Music, Queens College, SUNY Stonybrook, and recently was appointed Chair of the Brass department at Manhattan School of Music.
FRANK MORELLI, bassoon
Frank Morelli, Manhattan School of Music graduate and former student of Stephen Maxym, holds the distinction of being the first bassoonist to be awarded a doctorate by The Juilliard School. He has more than 150 recordings to his credit on major labels including Deutsche Grammophon. The Orpheus recording "Shadow Dances", which featured Mr. Morelli, won a 2001 Grammy award. He has released four solo CDs on MSR Classics: "Baroque Fireworks," Bassoon Brasileiro," "Romance and Caprice" and "From the Heart." Heard as a soloist in Carnegie Hall on nine occasions, he has also appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center numerous times, including at the White House for the last state dinner of the Clinton presidency, and has performed at the 92nd Street Y and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as the Marlboro, Spoleto, Caramoor, Sarasota, Mostly Mozart and Norfolk festivals. He is also a member of Festival Chamber Music. Mr. Morelli serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Yale and Manhattan Schools of Music, SUNY Stony Brook and the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. He is principal bassoonist of Orpheus and recently retired as principal bassoon of the New York City Opera Orchestra after 27 years. He is editor of Stravinsky: Difficult Passages for Bassoon, a landmark excerpt book for bassoon and contra bassoon published by Boosey & Hawkes, and has several transcriptions for bassoon, woodwind quintet and other ensembles to his credit, published by Trevco Music. For more information visit MorelliBassoon.com.