Emi Ferguson: Hello, I'm Emi Ferguson sitting in for Bob Sherman. On today's show, we're continuing our spotlight of young artists awarded the prestigious Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans here on the McGraw Family's Young Artists Showcase.
On today's episode of WQXR's Young Artists Showcase, which is generously underwritten by the Harold W McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation. We're continuing our feature of musicians who have been awarded the prestigious Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans that provides up to $90,000 in tuition and stipend for immigrants and children of immigrants to pursue graduate studies here in the United States.
Today we'll hear performances from recent Soros fellows, cellist Audrey Chen, trumpeter David Adewumi, and soprano Yvette Keong. Many of the musical Paul and Daisy Soros Fellows have been featured on the McGraw Family's Young Artists Showcase in the past. In fact, here's PD Soros Fellow cellist Christine Lamprea, performing the prelude from Bach's Cello Suite Number Two in D Minor.
MUSIC - Bach: Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Cellist Christine Lamprea performing the prelude from Bach's Cello Suite Number Two in D Minor. As a child of Columbian immigrants, Christine was a 2012 Paul and Daisy Soros fellow. She was also the 2018 winner of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence.
2020 Soros fellow soprano Yvette Keong received the fellowship in support of her graduate studies at the Juilliard School. Yvette was born and raised in Sydney, Australia after her parents immigrated from China, but Yvette now lives in New York City and is the first person in her family to be a resident of the United States. After high school, Yvette was accepted into the University of Sydney Law School, but followed her passion for opera instead, studying music at the Manhattan School of Music where she received the Hugh Ross Commencement Award for an outstanding singer of unusual promise. Here she is performing “The Presentation of the Rose” from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss with pianist Eric Sedgwick.
MUSIC - R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59, “The Presentation of the Rose”
That was Yvette Keong and Eric Sedgwick performing Richard Strauss's “The Presentation of the Rose” from the opera Der Rosenkavalier. As a singer, Yvette spends most of her time working in opera. You can imagine her training as both a ballerina and a pianist. In addition to her vocal and law studies comes in very handy as she prepares for roles in operas like Der Rosenkavalier.
But when she's not working on opera, you might be lucky enough to hear Yvette sing more intimate works of chamber music. This past summer, Yvette embarked upon Korean American composer Earl Kim's evocative Three Poems in French. Settings of poems by Paul Verlaine and Charles Baudelaire for Soprano and String Quartet.
Here's Yvette Keong with musicians from the Marlborough Music Festival performing two songs from Earl Kim's Three Songs in French for Soprano and String Quartet.
MUSIC - Earl Kim: Three Poems in French, I. En Sourdine and II. Colloque Sentimental
That was two movements from Earl Kim's Three Songs in French performed by Soprano Yvette Keong, Cherry Choi Tung Yeung, Amy Lee, Hélène Clément, and Chase Park live at the 2022 Marlborough Music Festival in Vermont. The amazing thing about the PD Soros Fellow community is that it brings its alumni together long after their graduate study is done to learn from and support each other.
Last March, I finally got the chance to perform with 2017 Soros fellow trumpeter, David Adewumi. As a child of immigrants from Nigeria, Dave's Fellowship supported his graduate studies at the Juilliard School. Dave and I collaborated in a concert of music by composer Matthew Evan Taylor, presented and commissioned by the Met Museum and the Metropolis Ensemble last March.
The collaboration was over a year in the making and culminated in an hour-long performance of Matthew Evan Taylor's new work Life Returns, featuring an all-star cast, including Rajna Swaminathan, and the RAJAS Ensemble, members of the Metropolis Ensemble, and WQXR Artist Propulsion Lab members, The Aizuri Quartet. Here is a short snippet of Matthew Evan Taylor's hour-long piece Life Returns. You can hear David Adewumi on the trumpet trading improvised lines with vocalist Ganavya.
MUSIC - Matthew Evan Taylor: Life Returns
An excerpt from composer Matthew Evan Taylor's evening length work Life Returns featuring trumpeter David Adewumi. You can listen to the entire hour-long piece on the Met Museum's website. The project itself began in March 2021 as a remote digital collaboration. Composer Matthew Evan Taylor wrote musical postcards, which were invitations to different performers to create music with him, even though the pandemic forced us all apart.
Over the course of 12 months, Matthew wrote 12 postcards to musicians that could be recorded together remotely. I recorded the first postcard with Matthew in March of 2021 and trumpeter David Adewumi recorded the 12th in February of 2022 just a month before we all joined together to perform as a full group at the Met. Here's Dave lending his improvising skills to and with Matthew Evan Taylor in postcard Number 12.
MUSIC - Matthew Evan Taylor: Postcard, No. 12
Postcard Number 12, performed by Matthew Evan Taylor and David Adewumi. When we come back, we'll hear a performance from cellist Audrey Chen here on the McGraw Family's Young Artists Showcase.
I'm Emi Ferguson sitting in for Bob Sherman, and you're listening to the McGraw Family's Young Artists Showcase. Today we've been hearing performances from musician recipients of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, a fellowship that financially supports immigrants and children of immigrants in their graduate studies here in the United States. The fellowship is now in its 25th year and has supported the graduate studies of over 700 new Americans.
The ideas of collaboration, communication, and community come up often when Paul and Daisy Soros Fellows get together. That's certainly true for a 2022 recipient, cellist Audrey Chen. Audrey is the newest musical Soros Fellow receiving the award in 2022 for her studies at CUNY's Graduate Center as a child of Taiwanese immigrants.
Here's Audrey Chen performing Carl Frühling’s Clarinet Trio with pianist Amalia Rinehart, and Young Artist Showcase Alum clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein.
MUSIC - Carl Frühling: Clarinet Trio, Op. 40
That was Carl Frühling’s Clarinet Trio, performed by clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, pianist Amalia Rinehart, and cellist Audrey Chen. As a child of Taiwanese immigrants, Audrey was a 2022 recipient with the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. We've been celebrating Audrey and other musical Soros Fellows on this week's edition of The Young Artists Showcase, which is generously underwritten by the Harold W McGraw Jr. Family Foundation. Here's Terry McGraw with more.
Terry McGraw: Good evening, everyone. It's great to be with you and it's always great being with the Young Artists Showcase and to hear these really wonderful and inspiring musicians as they continue to share their incredible gifts with us every week. I can't wait to hear the fabulous talent coming up on The Showcase, and I am so pleased to be able to support the series all through its well over four decades on WQXR. And there's so much more to come.
Emi Ferguson: Thank you, Terry. And special thanks to the Marlborough Music Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Andrew Cyr in the Metropolis Ensemble, Matthew Evan Taylor, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. If you're curious to learn more about the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, check out www.pdsoros.org.
Next week, we'll be joined here in the studio by cellist Tommy Mesa for an exploration of young artists who are championing music by living composers. Many thanks to WQXR program producers Eileen Delahunty, Max Fine, and Laura Boyman with additional production assistance by Maya Cassady. Our generous program underwriter is the Harold W McGraw Jr. Family Foundation. I'm Emi Ferguson sitting in for Bob Sherman. Goodnight.
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