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BPOnDemand | Dvořák’s Serenade
This performance replaces Debussy & The Mermaid, originally scheduled Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9.
A colorful interplay of BPO musicians Nikki Chooi, Roman Mekinulov, Henry Ward, and Glenn Einschlag, performing solo as well as in duos and quartets, highlight Haydn’s delightful and witty sinfonia, his only effort at the genre. The theatrical, spirited work counters the serenity of Still’s heartwarming rhythms reminiscent of a lullaby, and the angelic, enchanting tone of Dvořák’s dream-like serenade.
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Nikki Chooi, violin
Roman Mekinulov, cello
Henry Ward, oboe
Glenn Einschlag, bassoon
STILL Mother and Child
HAYDN Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major, H. I:105
DVOŘÁK Serenade for Strings in E major for String Orchestra, Op. 22
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About Nikki Chooi
Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi, praised for his passionate and poetic performances, has established himself as an artist of rare versatility. Described as “vigorous, colorful” by the New York Times, he has received critical acclaim in recent engagements at the Harris Theatre in Chicago, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Carnegie Hall and Kauffman Center in New York, Koerner Hall in Toronto, Place des Arts and Salle Bourgie in Montreal, as well as appearing as soloist with orchestras across Canada including the Montréal Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, and internationally with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, National Orchestra of Belgium, Auckland Philharmonia, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He has been featured at many international festivals with performances at the Marlboro Festival, Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Vancouver Recital Series, Moritzburg Festival, Kammermusik Utrecht, Dresden Music Festival, Olympus Festival in Russia, and Fundación Beethoven in Chile.
Nikki has also delved into the orchestral repertoire, having served as Concertmaster of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2016/2017 while working closely with singers and conductors including Renee Fleming, Elīna Garanča, Eric Owens, Fabio Luisi, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. His solos can be heard through The Met: Live in HD broadcasts in productions of Verdi’s La Traviata, Janacek’s Jenufa, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Strauss’ Rosenkavalier released on the Decca Label. He has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and Houston Symphony.
A passionate educator, Nikki has presented masterclasses at the San Francisco Conservatory, Morningside Music Program at the New England Conservatory, Sphinx Academy at the Curtis Institute of Music, Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the University of Auckland. A recipient of prizes at the Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikovsky Competitions, Nikki was the 1st Prize Winner of the Montreal Symphony’s Standard Life Competition, the Klein International Strings Competition, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition. He released his debut album of works by Prokoﬁev, Ravel, and Gershwin on the Atoll Label.
About Roman Mekinulov
A native of Leningrad, Russia, Roman Mekinulov began cello studies at the age of five at the Leningrad Music School. At age 12 and 14, he was a winner of the Young Artists Competition of Leningrad. In 1985, he was presented in the Winner’s Showcase Series at Leningrad’s Great Philharmonic Hall. At age 16, Mekinulov entered the Rimsky-Korsakov College where he studied with Georgy Ginovker. As a chamber musician, he performed with various ensembles, and in 1988 was awarded First Prize in the Leningrad Chamber Music Competition.
In 1989, he immigrated to the United States and continued his studies at the Juilliard School in New York, where he has successfully accomplished Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees under scholarship in the class of Professor Harvey Shapiro. As a result of winning the 1992 Young Artists International Auditions Cello Award, Roman presented his New York Recital – Debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in April of 1993, and since the 1995-96 season, he has been repeatedly invited to substitute in the New York Philharmonic under their music director, Kurt Masur, and other guest conductors, in concert as well as on recordings for Teldec.
As an active recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist, Roman has performed extensively throughout the United States, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Germany, France, Greece, Denmark, and Switzerland, as well as his native Russia. He has appeared as a principal cellist of the Juilliard Symphony and Orchestra under Kurt Masur, Hugh Wolf, and Leonard Slatkin, the North Carolina Symphony in their European Tour, as well as the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany with such conductors as Rostropovich, Menuchin, and Eschenbach.
In 1998 Mekinulov was appointed principal cellist of the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Pauloin Brazil, and in September of 2001 he was nominated for the prestigious Carlos Gomes Prize in the “Best Instrumentalist of the Year” category.
In 2001 Mekinulov was appointed principal cellist of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where in the past several years he has been featured numerous times as soloist with the orchestra, and appeared in over 60 concerts of chamber music around Western New York as well as with Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City. In 2015, Concierto en Tango, written for Mekinulov by Miguel del Aguila and performed and recorded with the BPO, was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Recent engagements include concerto appearances with the Virginia Symphony, Albany Symphony, and Erie Chamber Orchestra as well as the US premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto doppio with the BPO.
Roman maintains a robust teaching studio and is a founding member and Artistic Director of the Bravo International Chamber Music Workshop for high school and college students. He resides in Amherst with his wife Sebnem, a lyric soprano, and their two children, Talia and Benjamin.
About Henry Ward
A native of the Philadelphia area, oboist Henry Ward joined the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Oboe in 2016, having previously served as Acting Associate Principal Oboe of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the Boston Pops, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (New Zealand), and was a fellow with the New World Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has performed with the Marlboro Music Festival, Friends of Vienna, Buffalo Chamber Players, and toured with The Knights and Zéphyros Winds. He has performed as a soloist in orchestras around the United States, and has been featured with the BPO on several occasions, most recently performing the Marcello Oboe Concerto in December 2020.
Henry has participated in the Lakes Area Music Festival and Oregon Bach Festival as Principal Oboe since 2016. He also received fellowships to the Music Academy of the West and Tanglewood Music Center, where he received the Mickey L. Hooten Memorial Award. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the New England Conservatory where he studied with Boston Symphony oboists Mark McEwen and John Ferrillo, followed by a Master’s Degree, studying with Eugene Izotov and Scott Hostetler at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University.
About Glenn Einschlag
Principal Bassoonist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra since 1999, Glenn Einschlag has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. Mr. Einschlag has performed concerti with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Erie Chamber Orchestra, among others. Mr. Einschlag has participated in the Aspen, Tanglewood, Spoleto (USA), and Domaine Forget (Canada) festivals. He can be heard on the Beau Fleuve, Naxos, and EMI recording labels.
Mr. Einschlag teaches at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto and SUNY at Buffalo. He has presented master classes at the Colburn Conservatory, the University of Michigan, the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and Rice University, among others.
Educated at The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Rice University, he has studied with Harold Goltzer, Marc Goldberg, Bernard Garfield, William Winstead, Norman Herzberg, and Ben Kamins.
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