The Artists

The Mahler for Vision concert will bring together many performers and artists, including:

George Mathew

George Mathew, Artistic Director and Conductor


Singapore-born Indian conductor George Mathew, founder and Artistic Director of MUSIC FOR LIFE INTERNATIONAL and the UBUNTU-SHRUTI Orchestra, has emerged as one of the leading forces in the classical music world bringing symphonic music to focus on global humanitarian issues and crises at the beginning of the 21st Century. In recent seasons, he has made appearances in the US, India, Jordan, Panama, Morocco, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Africa as conductor and ambassador for transformative action through music. Mahler For Vision is Music For Life International and Mr. Mathew’s seventh global humanitarian concert project in a decade.

Mr. Mathew is a thought leader and has spoken on music and social impact around the world at such venues as the TEDx and INK conferences, UNDP, UNICEF, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, in Singapore, Amman, Marrakech, Bangalore and Panama City. He also delivered the 2011 S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture on Social Justice and Public Policy at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg. He appears as commentator in “Following The Ninth” an exciting new documentary film on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Mr. Mathew is an alumnus of Rishi Valley School, Amherst College, the University of Minnesota and the Manhattan School of Music. In February 2016, Mr. Mathew and Music For Life International were honored with the 2016 Robert and JoAnn Bendetson Award for Public Diplomacy from the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, for their services to global public diplomacy through music. Learn more about George Mathew at www.scheherazadeinitiative.org/the-performers/

 

Elmira Darvarova

Elmira Darvarova, Concertmaster
(former Concertmaster, MET Orchestra)


Elmira Darvarova, a concert violinist since the age of four, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist, caused a sensation by becoming the first ever (and so far only) woman-concertmaster in the history of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She has also led, as concertmaster, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Columbus Symphony, and the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago, as well as the Music for Life International Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She can be heard on numerous CDs (recent releases include the world premiere of Vernon Duke’s Violin Concerto with the ORF Vienna Radio Orchestra, and a disc with world premiere chamber music works by René de Castéra, which was named a RECORDING OF THE YEAR 2015 by Music-Web International). She has appeared at prestigious venues on five continents, and has performed concertos with numerous European and American orchestras. She is President and Artistic Director of the New York Chamber Music Festival and performs with the New York Piano Quartet, the Otero-Darvarova Duo, the Amram Ensemble, the Delphinium Trio and the Quinteto del Fuego. She has collaborated for chamber music projects with legendary musicians, such as James Levine, Janos Starker, Gary Karr, Pascal Rogé, David Amram, among others, including the superstars of Indian classical music – the sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan and his two sons. Learn more at elmiradarvarova.com.

 

Indra Thomas

Indra Thomas, Soprano


Of Indra Thomas’ performance as Imogene in Il Pirata at the Caramoor Festival, The New York Times wrote: “The mad scene was a triumph, especially its reflective first half in which Ms. Thomas’ affinity for long-spun, slow melodic phrases was impressive. The audience awarded her a tremendous ovation.” Considered one of the foremost Aidas in the world today, Ms. Thomas sang this role at the Chorégies, d’Orange in a performance that was televised throughout France during the summer of 2011. For the 2011/12 season, she performed in concerts with the Rome Symphony Orchestra (Georgia), and at the Atlanta Music Festival.

Further performances this season will be Aida at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, and a performance of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Florida Orchestra under the direction of Stefan Sanderling. Ms. Thomas also sang at the memorial service for Maestro Dino Anagnost, music director of The Little Orchestra Society of New York, last December, and in the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where she performed Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. Learn more at www.indrathomas.com

 

Susanne Mentzer

Susanne Mentzer, Mezzo-Soprano


American mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer has had a highly respected operatic, concert, and chamber music career of over 30 years. Known for her interpretation of Mozart, Mahler, Strauss and Berlioz, she has appeared on four continents at nearly every great opera house and orchestra, notably as a guest artist at the Metropolitan Opera since 1989. Ms. Mentzer appears this season at the MET as Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

Her discography includes over 25 CDs and DVDs. Susanne has also appeared on numerous PBS telecasts and in the Met’s HD Cinema broadcasts. As a writer, she contributes regularly to the Huffington Post. This led to her receiving the 2013 VERA Award (Voice Education Research Awareness) from The Voice Foundation. In October 2014 she wrote of her own experience with domestic violence, something she had kept hidden for 34 years. She previously appeared with Music for Life International at Carnegie Hall at the Scheherazade Initiative in 2015 and in Mahler’s Third Symphony in 2009.

A mentor to young singers, she serves on the boards of The Sullivan Foundation and The George London Foundation. Susanne resides in California where she teaches privately in the San Francisco area. She previously taught for twelve years in academia at DePaul University and Rice University. Read more about Susanne at www.susannementzer.com

 

Ted Sperling

Members of MasterVoices, Ted Sperling, Conductor


Ted Sperling has maintained an active and successful career in the theater and concert worlds for over thirty years. A multi-faceted artist, he is a director, music director, conductor, orchestrator, singer, pianist, violinist and violist. He is the Artistic Director of MasterVoices (formerly the Collegiate Chorale) and Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic.

Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Mr. Sperling was also an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic, playing bandleader Wallace Hartley. Mr. Sperling’s work as a stage director includes the world premieres of five musicals: Red Eye of Love, The Other Josh Cohen, See What I Wanna See, Charlotte: Life? Or Theater? and Striking 12, as well as a revival of Lady in the Dark. He has conducted the scores for the films The Manchurian Candidate and Everything Is Illuminated, and directed the short film, Love Mom, starring Tonya Pinkins, which has been shown in five international festivals.

Mr. Sperling has an active concert career, working with many major symphony orchestras. He has conducted multiple concerts with the New York Philharmonic, for Live at Lincoln Center, the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center and the Lyrics and Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y. Mr. Sperling’s television appearances include many Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts, as well as a Saturday Night Live Christmas show with Michael Bublé. Mr. Sperling received the 2006 Ted Shen Family Foundation Award for leadership in the musical theater, is a consultant to the Public Theater, and is Creative Director of the 24-Hour Musicals. Learn more at www.tedsperling.net

MasterVoices

MasterVoices is a New York City-based performing arts organization that celebrates singing and the art of musical storytelling. Founded as The Collegiate Chorale 75 years ago by legendary conductor Robert Shaw, the organization is one of the jewels of NYC cultural institutions, and has achieved international acclaim as well. Recent performances at Carnegie Hall and at Lincoln Center have included Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, Boito’s Mefistofele, Eric Idle’s Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy), and many of the great choral works, including Brahms’ Requiem, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, Mahler’s 8th Symphony, Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi, and the Verdi Requiem. In August 2015, we took the new name MasterVoices to better represent who we are: a performing arts organization that celebrates storytelling through the masterful voices of our chorus and world-class soloists, and the creative voices of composers, librettists, designers, and directors. Some of the solo artists who have sung with us recently include Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Kelli O’Hara, Eric Idle, Eric Owens, Bryn Terfel, and Deborah Voigt. We are also pleased to work regularly with Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Under the artistic direction of Ted Sperling, MasterVoices celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2016-17. We look forward to presenting New York audiences with a season that honors our history of exceptional music-making, continuing our tradition of presenting a broad range of repertoire, from opera to choral classics to musical theatre.

The Mahler For Vision concert will feature performances by artists from 71 Orchstras, Ensembles & International Academies, including members of:

  • New York Philharmonic
  • MET Orchestra
  • Berlin Philharmonic
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Buffalo Philharmonic
  • Cincinnati SymphontyOrchestra
  • Orchestra of St. Luke’s
  • American Symphony Orchestra
  • American Composers Orchestra
  • Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  • Miami Symphony Orchestra
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Colorado Symphony Orchestra
  • Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra
  • Albany Symphony Orchestra
  • New Haven Symphony Orchestra
  • Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Symphoria
  • Binghamton Philharmonic
  • Mid-Coast Symphony Orchestra
  • Madrid Symphony Orchestra
  • Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
  • Symphony in C
  • Riverside Symphony Orchestra
  • American Ballet Theater Orchestra
  • New York City Ballet Theater Orchestra 
  • New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
  • Stamford Symphony Orchestra
  • Saito Kinen Orchestra
  • English Chamber Orchestra
  • St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
  • Hong Kong Philharmonic
  • Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra
  • National Symphony Orchestra if Panama
  • Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
  • New York Youth Symphony
  • The Knights
  • Chamber Orchestra of New York
  • West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
  • Empire Chamber Orchestra
  • La Camerata Washington Heights
  • Verbier Festival Orchestra
  • Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
  • Hudson Valley Philharmonic
  • Music Academy of the West
  • New York Woodwind Quintet
  • Genghis Barbie
  • Meraki Chamber Players
  • Stiletto Brass Quintet
  • Shattered Glass Ensemble
  • Spoleto Festival Orchestra
  • Aurora Chamber Duo
  • Contrasts Quartet
  • The Juilliard School
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • The Curtis Institute
  • Mannes School of Music
  • Yale School of Music
  • Peabody Conservatory
  • Oberlin Conservatory
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • Sydney Conservatorium
  • Columbia University
  • Amherst College
  • Montclaire State University, John J. Cali School of Music
  • Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts
  • DePauw University School of Music
  • New World School of the Arts, Miami
  • and many others...

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