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Destination: Carnegie Hall! The Lukas Foss Legacy
In commemoration of his 100th birthday, we celebrate the life and works of Lukas Foss, music director of the BPO from 1963 to 1970, and a transformative force in the Buffalo arts scene. His early tonal works, like Ode for Orchestra, Symphony No. 1, and Three American Pieces, were sublime, while his later works, such as Renaissance Concerto, which will feature flutist Amy Porter, explored an exciting avant-garde sound for which he became well-known. Rounding out the program is a nod to Foss’ great friend, Leonard Bernstein, with his Three Dances from On the Town, telling the tale of a trio of sailors and their amorous adventures while on leave in New York City.
This concert is presented in collaboration with the University at Buffalo Department of Music.
The BPO will be taking this program to Carnegie Hall on Monday, October 3! For more information, visit bpo.org/carnegie.
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Nikki Chooi, violin
Amy Porter, flute
FOSS Ode for Orchestra
FOSS Three American Pieces
FOSS Renaissance Concerto
BERNSTEIN Three Dances from On the Town
FOSS Symphony No. 1
Nikki Chooi’s appearance sponsored by Mark Chason and Mariana Botero-Chason.
About Nikki Chooi
Canadian born 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 engagements at Chicago’s Harris Theatre, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall, Vancouver’s Recital Series, 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.
Nikki has been featured at many international festivals with performances at the Marlboro Festival, Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Toronto Summer Music, Moritzburg Festival, Kammermusik Utrecht, Dresden Music Festival, Olympus Festival in Russia, and Fundación Beethoven in Chile. His many collaborators have included Jan Vogler, Inon Barnatan, Desmond Hoebig, Kim Kashkashian, David Shifrin, Anthony Marwood, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets. Nikki has embarked on nation-wide performance tours with Musicians from Marlboro in the United States, as soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada, Chamber Music New Zealand, and Selby and Friends in Australia.
Nikki served as Concertmaster of New York’s MET 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, Houston Symphony, and Sydney Symphony.
With his brother, violinist Timothy Chooi, they perform together in selective projects. The duo gave the world premiere performance of Sheridan Seyfried’s Double Violin Concerto at the Lake George Festival, toured Canada through Jeunesse Musicale and Prairie Debut, and were featured Canadian artists at the 2018 International G7 Meeting held in Whistler, British Columbia. In 2015, Nikki was a violinist in the cross-over ensemble, Time for Three, performing in genres ranging from Bluegrass to Pop. In collaboration with From the Top and Universal Music, the group released a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to record-breaking views on YouTube.
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. Nikki is also immersed in projects involving the engagement of classical music through Astral’s Community Program for schools and learning centers in Philadelphia, New Zealand’s Sistema Aotearoa Program, and Music from Angelfire’s Outreach events in New Mexico.
Nikki began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory, Mount Royal Conservatory, and at the National Arts Centre Young Artist Programme with Pinchas Zukerman. He completed his formal studies at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School under the mentorship of Joseph Silverstein, Ida Kavafian, and Donald Weilerstein. 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 Amy Porter
Flutist Amy Porter has been praised by critics for her exceptional musical talent and passion for scholarship. In a versatile and distinguished career as a concert performer, she has become one of the most skillful and creative muses for composers of our time. Ms. Porter has been hailed for her “strength, beauty, a captivating and seductive force, sensitivity, perfection, and a sense of humor.”
Her performances of American flute concerti have won critical acclaim. When she performed her commissioned concerto Trail of Tears by Michael Daugherty with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra in January 2020, one reviewer wrote, “Porter’s appearance with a modern piece in which such embedding of the guest artist with the vehicle shone so brightly seems to me a high point in the ICO’s recent history.” American Record Guide has lauded her playing for having “an innocent American lyricism…” and a reviewer for annarbor.com noted that “Amy Porter deeply imbues her performance with a sense of narrative and of speech and, yes, drama.”
Winner of the 3rd Kobe International Flute Competition and the Paris/Ville d’Avray International Flute Competition, Ms. Porter has served on international juries around the world, including the 6th Kobe International Flute Competition. She has been heard in recital on National Public Radio; highlighted on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center, and featured on the covers and as a writer for the magazines Flute Talk in the USA and The Flute in Japan.
Formerly a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Porter is Principal Flute of North Carolina’s Brevard Music Center, where she performs as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Amy Porter has been Professor of Flute at the University of Michigan School of Music Theatre and Dance since 1999. She is host of the podcast PorterFlute Pod.
Born in Wilmington, DE, Ms. Porter graduated from The Juilliard School and pursued further studies at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg. She plays a 14K white gold flute with rose gold engraved keys made for her by the Wm. S. Haynes Co.
Additional programs presented by the UB Department of Music:
Lukas Foss Centennial Celebration – FREE
Sun Sep 18, 3:00pm
Slee Hall – University at Buffalo
This program, prepared in honor of the centenary of Lukas Foss’ birth and performed by members of UB’s Slee Sinfonietta, will include his “Echoi” and “Time Cycle.”