Saturday, April 7, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 8, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
Nightingale Concert Hall, UNR
Jason Altieri, guest conductor
UNR Symphonic Choir and Chamber Singers (Dr. Paul Torkelson, director)
Danielle Pastin, soprano
Olga Perez Flora, alto
Albert Lee, tenor
Benjamin Clements, bass-baritone
Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, D. 485
Debussy: Petite Suite (arr. Henri Büsser)
Martucci: Notturno, Op. 70
Bruckner: Te Deum
Bruckner’s Te Deum, with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jason Altieri is the current Associate Conductor for the Reno Philharmonic and Music Director of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to his work in Reno and Atlanta, he spent time on the road as Music Director of the New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra and the Hollywood Film Orchestra. Having led The New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra on 7 national tours, Jason has the distinction of having conducted in every state but three and in most of the major performing venues in the United States. With the Hollywood Film Orchestra, he led several tours in Mainland China and Japan where performance venues included The People’s Hall in Beijing, China and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Numerous guest-conducting engagements include regular collaborations with the Duluth Superior Symphony in Minnesota, the Santa Fe Symphony, and the New Mexico Philharmonic. In July of 2012, Jason was the orchestra conductor for the annual International Double Reed Society Conference. During this conference, he collaborated on 16 separate works with internationally renowned soloists from all over the world.
In addition to his orchestral work, Jason is also an accomplished conductor of Opera. Currently, he is working on his 7th collaboration as Music Director of the Nevada Chamber Opera Theatre. Previous Opera engagements include three North American tours with London’s Royal Carl Rosa Opera Company and an Associate Music Directorship with the Ohio Light Opera Company in the summer of 2006. His work in Ohio saw him conducting six productions and over 40 performances during their 29th season. In addition, Jason Altieri has released two recordings with the OLO on Albany Records. In 2002, Jason Altieri worked as assistant to the late Valery Vatchev of the National Bulgarian Opera. This rare experience led to guest conducting engagements of Verdi’s La traviata, Il trovatore, and Rigoletto in the Czech Republic.
While Jason Altieri enjoys a busy career working with professional performing organizations, he is also a fierce advocate for young musicians and music education. This is evidenced by his position as Director of Orchestras at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Directorship of the Reno Philharmonic Youth Symphony. Under his leadership, the Reno Philharmonic Youth Symphony has become an increasingly visible component in Reno’s cultural life and has embarked on performance tours that have included guest appearances at Carnegie and Disney Halls. As a result of his tireless work with young musicians, Dr. Altieri was invited to conduct at Nevada’s Small School All-State Festival in April of 2017. His educational outreach has extended nationally as well through numerous clinics with young ensembles all over the country in addition to Faculty appointments at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Sewanee Summer Music Center.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jason Altieri grew up in a musical family with both parents being former members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia. He then went on to pursue advanced degrees in conducting from Michigan State University where he received additional mentorship from Neeme Jarvi of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Gustav Meier of the Peabody Conservatory. Jason Altieri currently resides in Reno, Nevada.
Praised by Opera News as having “one of the most sheerly beautiful voices on the scene today,” American soprano Danielle Pastin continues to earn critical acclaim for her engagements across the country. Pastin made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Masha in The Queen of Spades in 2011 and was also featured as Frasquita in the Met’s production of Carmen in 2012 and 2013. In the 2017-18 season, Pastin will be the featured soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with The Dayton Opera and also with Distinguished Concerts International New York in Barcelona, perform the lead role of Leila in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers in her debut with Toledo Opera, reprise the role of Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Pittsburgh Opera, and return to the Metropolitan Opera covering Nedda in their production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.
Pastin’s recent engagements have included the world premiere of Robert Paterson’s Three Way at both Nashville Opera and the Brooklyn Academy of Music; as well as Turandot (Liu) with Nashville Opera and Virginia Opera; Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio San) with Northern Lights Music Festival; Cosi fan tutte (Fiordiligi) and La traviata (Violetta) with Pittsburgh Opera; Die Fledermaus (Rosalinda) with Opera Naples; La bohème (Mimì) with Syracuse Opera; Otello (Desdemona) with Dayton Opera; and The Merry Widow (Hanna) with Pensacola Opera. She was also recently the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. An experienced performer of contemporary opera roles, Pastin has performed in the world premieres of Ben Moore’s Enemies, A Love Story with Palm Beach Opera, Henry Mollicone’s Gabriel’s Daughter with Central City Opera, and Markus Fagerudd’s Free Will with the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
Pastin is a recipient of a Sullivan Foundation Award, second place winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, and a winner of the Opera Index Vocal Competition.
Olga Perez Flora
Cuban-American mezzo-soprano Olga Perez Flora has been lauded by Opera News for her “smoky tones” and “firm, pleasant voice and lively poise.” Ms. Perez Flora has performed with opera companies and symphonies across the country and internationally. Known for her sultry Carmen, Ms. Perez Flora has performed this signature role numerous times, including her debut with Amarillo Opera.
Recent engagements include performances with the Akron Symphony in de Falla’s El amor brujo, Opera Columbus as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Duruflé Requiem, Bach’s Cantata 147 and Respighi’s Il Tramonto with the St. Vincent Camerata, Verdi’s Requiem with the Hollywood Concert Series, Manuel de Falla’s El Retablo de Maese Pedro with the Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra, as well as the role of Frost in the new recording of Stephen Colantti’s children’s opera The Selfish Giant with the Erie Chamber Orchestra. Upcoming roles include West Side Story highlights with the Reno Philharmonic and a concert with Cuban composer Leo Brouwer at Buffalo State.
Internationally known as a recitalist, Ms. Perez Flora has performed many recitals with companies across the United States and in Italy including Pittsburgh Opera, Idyllwild Festival of the Arts, Music in a Great Space, and the Pittsburgh Song Collaborative and with the Associazione Musicale Tito Gobbi.
Ms. Perez Flora holds the Doctorate in Musical Arts from The Ohio State University, the Master in Music in opera theater from Arizona State University and the Bachelor in Music in vocal performance from Northern Arizona University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Nevada, Reno, the president of the Reno chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is represented as a professional opera singer by Berger Artists Management.
Albert Rudolph Lee
Tenor Albert Rudolph Lee’s performances have been described as “vocally sumptuous,” “musically distinctive” and even “acrobatically agile.” Having appeared with Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, the Collegiate Chorale of New York City, Caramoor International Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival, Lee’s recent performances include Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La cenerentola, Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Almaviva in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, and Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte as well as the tenor solos in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, and the Rossini Stabat Mater.
Throughout his performing career he has also worked to preserve and expand the performance of Negro Spirituals in domestic and international performances with the American Spiritual Ensemble. Recently, Lee performed a recital of art song settings of Langston Hughes poetry in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, performed in the world premiere performance of Buffalo Soldier, an opera based on the story of the segregated 92nd Infantry fighting in Italy during World War II with the International Opera Theater in Cittá della Pieve and Rome, Italy, and performed the role of Jesus in Jules Massanet’s oratorio Marie Magdelene. Lee is a featured soloist on a recently released recording of works by composer George Walker on Albany Records. Upcoming engagements include concerts with the Reno Philharmonic and Beethoven Lieder recitals in Vermont and New Hampshire. Having completed the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Connecticut, the Master of Music at The Juilliard School, and the Doctor of Music degree at Florida State University with a doctoral treatise titled “The Poetic Voice of Langston Hughes in American Art Song”, he is Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera and Director of Vocal Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
A graduate of The Juilliard School’s Master’s Degree Program, bass-baritone Benjamin Clements has been performing opera, oratorio, and concert works throughout the United States since 2000. Mr. Clements has appeared with Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and Grand Rapids Opera. He has also sung with Musica Sacra in Carnegie Hall, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony, Monmouth College Symphony, the Michigan State University Orchestras, Concordia College Symphony (Bronxville, New York), and Calvin College Symphony (Grand Rapids, Michigan), among others. Mr. Clements also has extensive teaching experience in classical voice as well as ear training and music theory at The Juilliard School, Concordia College, the Chautauqua Institution, the University of Michigan, and Northwest Florida State College, as well as privately.
Dr. Paul Torkelson is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Choral Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he directs the Symphonic Choir, the Nevada Chamber Singers, Vox Novum, and teaches choral conducting. A December 2013 performance of Handel’s Messiah included members of the Symphonic Choir, Chamber Singers, Concert Choir and the University Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Torkelson. In 2015, his choirs joined the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in a performance of the Mahler 2nd Symphony, Resurrection. The Chamber Singers performed the Mozart Requiem with the Reno Chamber Orchestra in 2016 and the Dvorak Stabat Mater in 2017.
Dr. Torkelson is a frequent guest conductor at state ACDA conventions and has conducted several All-State Choirs throughout the United States. Since 1998, he conducted the Iowa Ambassadors of Music three-week European tour, and in 2014 and 2016, he led the Nevada Ambassadors of Music on their European tour. In 2016 he was the guest conductor in Florence, Italy with Mid-America Productions conducting the Vivaldi Magnificat, and will conduct in Greece during the 2019 summer series on the Greek island of Syros.
He earned his BME from Wartburg College and holds a MM from Kansas State University and a DMA in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to coming to the University of Nevada, Reno, he was director of Choral Studies at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa for twenty-five years. He retired from his position as Zahn Chair of Choral Music at Wartburg College in 2008, and was promoted to Zahn Professor Emeritus. For three years he was Principal Conductor in Residence for MidAmerica Productions in New York City.