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46th Season

David Grandis, Music Director

Featured Guest Artists for 40th season

Gary Sloan, Narrator
September 26, 2010

Gary Sloan has been a professional actor for twenty-five years and performed leading roles in such theatres as the Roundabout, New Dramatists and the Classic Stage Company in N.Y., the Hudson Guild in L.A., the Folger theatre, Arena Stage, Studio theatre, Round House and the Shakespeare theatre in Washington, D.C., the Long Wharf theatre in New Haven, the Alley theatre in Houston, the Huntington theatre in Boston, Actors theatre of Louisville, Hartford Stage, Syracuse Stage, Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Stage West, Virginia Stage Co., the Berkshire theatre festival, Indiana Repertory, a tour with John Houseman’s The Acting Company and seasons with the Oregon, Dallas and New Jersey Shakespeare Festivals. On stage, he has appeared opposite such recognizable names as Tom Hulce, Peter Gallagher, Sigourney Weaver, Pat Carroll, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Mary Beth Hurt, J.T. Walsh, Stacy Keach, Fritz Weaver, Michael Learned, Lynn Redgrave and Hal Holbrook. Television work includes recurring roles on General Hospital, the Guiding Light, As the World Turns, Search for Tomorrow, General Hospital and the recent appearance on the History channel as Alexander Hamilton in “The Duel between Hamilton & Burr with Richard Dreyfuss”.

Gary Sloan is currently an associate professor of drama at The Catholic University of America. Additional teaching experience includes Southern Methodist University, Ball State University, St. Mary’s College, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival touring ensemble and the American Academy of Dramatic Art (L.A. & N.Y.) Courses: Acting I, Acting II, Performance Studio I, II, III and IV.

Diane Frykman, painter
September 26, 2010

Working primarily in oils, Diane Frykman has produced award winning landscapes and still lifes. Her works are colorful and strong, primarily based on realism and have been exhibited in many juried shows. She has recently done some water-based experimentation in abstraction to add to her portfolio.

She holds a BA in English and Elementary Education, an Associate in Illustration from NOVA and a Masters from Virginia Commonwealth University in painting and sculpture. She taught art for many years in the Fairfax County public schools and was selected as Northern Virginia Elementary Art Educator of the Year in 1995 by the Virginia Art Education Association.

David Grandis, Guest Conductor
April 17, 2011

David Grandis studied in several national conservatories in France and began his conducting apprenticeship with Klaus Weise. After receiving a B.M. in Musicology in France, he completed a M.M. in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Donald Schleicher and a G.P.D. at the Peabody Conservatory with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar. He also attended several conducting workshops as a participant in Russia with Misha Kats and in Bulgaria with Gustav Meier.

David Grandis has worked with several conductors such as Klaus Weise, Michel Plasson, Misha Kats, Donald Schleicher, Vincent Monteil, Hajime Teri Murai and Andrea Licata. In 1998, he created the Maeterlinck chamber orchestra and performed several concerts in France. He was appointed guest conductor of the Albert Lance’s Lyric Company for Gounod’s Faust and Puccini’s Il Tabarro.

Music director of the University of Grenoble Symphony Orchestra for the 2003/2004 season, he has also conducted many orchestras including the Philharmonic Orchestra of Nice (France), the National Orchestra of the Capitole of Toulouse (France), the National Orchestra of Bordeaux (France), the Philharmonic Orchestra of Minsk (Belarus), the New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia (Bulgaria), The Peabody Symphony Orchestra and the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra (USA).

In 2007, David Grandis was assistant conductor of the Baltimore Opera and of the Peabody Conservatory Opera for their productions of Tosca and of the Tales of Hoffmann. He was also re-invited to conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra of Nice (France) during next summer for its festival of the young soloist.

David Grandis's web site (will open another browser window)

Willian Neil, organ
April 17, 2011

Well known as organist of the National Symphony Orchestra, William Neil is recognized as one of America’s foremost organists, having received the highest accolades in both Europe and the United States for his virtuoso performances and recordings of Baroque chamber music. From 1998-2000 he served in the prestigious position of University Organist at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago, a post held by some of the world’s most noted organists over the past fifty years. In July 2001 he was appointed organist of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.

Mr. Neil has appeared in solo performances with the National Symphony under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich, Allessandro Siciliani, Christopher Hogwood and Iona Brown, and is featured in recordings on the Philips, Sony, and Newport Classics labels. Mr. Neil is both Music Director and harpsichordist with the Chamber Soloists of Washington, an ensemble comprised of members of the National Symphony Orchestra and other nationally-known specialists in chamber music. He also performs regularly with the Washington Chamber Symphony.

In November 1995 he was organ soloist in the world-premier performance of Samuel Adler’s Festive Proclamation. In 1999 he was soloist with the NSO in performances of Joseph Jongen’s Symphonie Concertante and appeared as organist on the recent Grammy award-winning Naxos CD of Benjamin Brittrn’s War Requiem with Robert Shafer and the Washington Chorus.

Often referred to as the “trumpeter’s organist,” Mr. Neil has also concertized and recorded with internationally-noted brass musicians Don Smithers, Pierre Tibauld, Mark Gould, Edward Carroll and David Bilger. In 2000 he was organ soloist in the National Symphony Orchestra’s Baroque Festival and presented recitals in Philadelphia, Baton Rouge, Washington, DC and New York. This season has included performances of Samuel Barber’s Toccata Festiva with the Jacksonville Symphony, Camille Saint-Saens’s Symphony No. 3 in C Minor with the National Symphony, and Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in Chicago.

Michael Denham, tenor
April 17, 2011

Michael Denham
Michael Denham has been widely acclaimed for his lyrical artistry and interpretation in opera, oratorio, concert and recital. His operatic and musical credits include The Barber of Seville, The Magic Flute, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Gianni Schicchi, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Susannah, The Student Prince, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, and Brigadoon. "Musically and dramatically impressive," wrote Opera Canada, describing his portrayal of the central role of Prince Edmund in Stewart Copeland's Holy Blood and Crescent Moon.

Mr. Denham has appeared as soloist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony of Southeast Texas, the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in Monterrey, Mexico, with The Washington Bach Consort, and with The Cathedral Choral Society in Washington National Cathedral. He has premiered a number of works written for him, including Marc Satterwhite's Painting for the Blind, a cycle of songs for tenor and orchestra nominated for a Prix de Rome.

A graduate of Wheaton College, Mr. Denham earned advanced degrees in both music and theology. He has taught at The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Arlington, and Lamar University. An ordained minister, he has served as Director of Music Ministries at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC since 1997.

Elisabeth Adkins, Violin
May 1, 2011

Elisabeth Adkins
Elisabeth Adkins’ richly varied musical life makes her equally at home in solo, orchestral, and chamber music repertoire. The Associate Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, she is also pursuing a successful career as a soloist and chamber musician.

As a concerto soloist, she has performed many times with the National Symphony, most recently in music from “Schindler's List” by John Williams, and Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending“ at Wolf Trap. She was featured with the Orchestra at the special request of Iona Brown, whom she joined in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins. She has appeared as soloist with the Dallas Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony. Other engagements include performances of concertos by Beethoven, Bruch, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, and Prokofiev. In 2006 she premiered a new concerto by Tom Myron with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Adkins joins her husband, pianist Edward Newman, in a violin/piano duo that is a favorite of Washington audiences. The new radio series Front Row Washington chose the duo's National Gallery recital to inaugurate the series. The two have also been featured at the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, and Strathmore Hall. A founding member of the American Chamber Players, Ms. Adkins has recorded with the group on Koch International Classics. She also serves as concertmaster of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble conducted by her NSO colleague Sylvia Alimena. As solo violinist with the 21st Century Consort, she is a noted interpreter of the contemporary repertoire. In great demand as teacher and coach, Ms. Adkins is on the faculty of the University of Maryland and the Levine School, and her position as a faculty member of the National Orchestral Institute allows her to work with young people interested in pursuing orchestral careers.

Ms. Adkins’ professional life has been enriched by the academic musical world in which she was raised. The daughter of noted musicologists, she began playing the violin at the age of four. By her teens she was performing professionally not only the modern repertoire, but also early music on period instruments. Her family displays the same versatility, and her seven siblings include four violinists, two cellists, and a soprano, and 1994 saw the debut in the Dallas Symphony’s Meyerson Hall of the Adkins String Ensemble. The family chamber group presents a concert series in Dallas, and has been in residency in Colorado at Music in the Mountains. Several CD recordings are now available on the group’s website..

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Last updated: 31 October, 2013......v.4.0