LATROBE, PA – The Saint Vincent College Concert Series will present Jennifer Rivera, soprano and Mark Carver, piano on Saturday, March 26, at 7:00 pm in the Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature works by Strauss, Obradors and de Falla.
Possessing a voice praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “effortless precision and tonal luster,” Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessica Rivera is one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists performing before the public today. The intelligence, dimension and spirituality with which she infuses her performances on great international stages has garnered Ms. Rivera unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers, including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov and Gabriela Lena Frank and has brought her together with such esteemed conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano and Michael Tilson Thomas.
During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Rivera tours to Athens, GA; Lawrence, KS; and Houston & San Antonio, TX, with guitarist Sharon Isbin in a program of Spanish art songs, a project the duo debuted during the 2019 Aspen Music Festival. She returns to the Grand Rapids Symphony for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," under the baton of Marcelo Lehninger; Reno Philharmonic with Strauss’ “Four Last Songs;” and sings Handel’s “Messiah” with the Atlanta Symphony led by Norman Mackenzie.
A champion of new music, Ms. Rivera recently gave the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s “The Right of Your Senses,” commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall. A major voice in the rich culture of Latin American music and composers, Ms. Rivera recently performed in Antonio Lysy’s “Te Amo Argentina” with Arizona Friends of Chamber Music and premiered Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Conquest Requiem” with the Houston Symphony and Chorus.
Recent orchestral highlights include Golijov’s “La Pasión según San Marcos” in her debut with the Minnesota Orchestra, Gabriela Lena Frank’s “La Centinela y la Paloma” with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “Five Images After Sappho” with the Colorado Symphony, among many others.
Ms. Rivera has worked closely with John Adams throughout her career and received international praise for the world premiere of “A Flowering Tree” singing the role of Kumudha. Ms. Rivera made her European operatic debut as Kitty Oppenheimer in Peter Sellars’s production of Adams’s “Doctor Atomic” with the Netherlands Opera, a role that also served for her debuts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Finnish National Opera and Teatro de la Maestranza. She joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its new production of “Doctor Atomic” under the direction of Alan Gilbert.
Ms. Rivera serves on the vocal faculty at Miami University in Oxford, OH.
Learn more about Ms. Rivera and her upcoming performances by visiting her website, www.jessicarivera.com.
American pianist Mark Carver was born in Mobile, AL, and received his earliest musical training in Pittsburgh from Jerry Veeck and Lorraine Gaal Landefeld. Other teachers include Natalie Phillips and Ralph Zitterbart. International artists with whom he has studied are Earl Wild, Jorge Bolet, Jeanne-Marie Darré, Ozan Marsh, John Ogdon, Enrica Cavallo-Gulli and Pierre Sancan. He has studied at the Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY; Académie Internationale d'Été, Nice, France; Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Mr. Carver holds the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Music.
He made his début with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at age 15 and has been a guest artist with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Plum Creek Chamber Orchestra and the University of Pittsburgh Orchestra. He has appeared in recital at Steinway Hall, NY, and his début at age 17 at Carnegie Hall, NY, was with the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble in the première of “Introduction and Allegro” by Philip Catelinet.
"Total command" and "delightful" (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) are words used to describe Carver's performances of Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue” with the River City Brass Band. Called "a stalwart presence in the local music scene" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), his accompanying for the Pittsburgh Camerata has been regarded as "refined and tasteful" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). His work has also been acclaimed by The American Record Guide, Chamber Music America, Clarinet Magazine and Epoch Times.
His discography includes “Jessica Rivera Sings Romantic Music for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano;” “Spanish-American Songs” by Urtext Digital Classics label (www.urtextonline.com); and “Sacred Songs and Interludes: Music of Nancy Galbraith” with the Pittsburgh Camerata (www.pittsburghcamerata.org). Scheduled for release in 2022 is a new recording with Miss Rivera on the Urtext Label and will be a tribute to the great soprano, Victoria de Los Angeles.
Carver has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Carnegie Award, the National Federation of Music Clubs Scholarship, the Pittsburgh Concert Society Youth and Major auditions, the Carnegie Mellon University Chamber Music Prize and the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Award. He was the Grand Prize winner at the Cincinnati World Competition in 1975, which included a grant for summer study in France. He has been Artist-in-Residence for the Irma Gonzales Curso Magistral de Verano at the Conservatorio Nacional in Mexico City and the James Madison University German Liederkurs in Freiberg, Germany. He currently serves as Associate Teaching Professor of Collaborative Piano at Carnegie Mellon University and Lay Ecclesial Minister in Music for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The Saint Vincent College Concert Series presents world-class performances by internationally-acclaimed artists during the academic year. The series emphasizes the traditional classical chamber music repertoire, but occasionally jazz and folk music groups and dance ensembles are also featured.
The Series was founded by Rev. Joseph Bronder, O.S.B., in 1971 and guided by his vision until his retirement. In 2007, Br. Nathan Cochran, O.S.B., was named artistic director. After seven years of faithful leadership, Br. Nathan passed away in 2014. Dr. Thomas Octave, Music Department Chairperson and Associate Professor of Music, serves as Concert Series Director.
This performance is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The concert is open to all. A freewill offering will be taken. For more information, please email Dr. Octave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and considering encouraging local COVID-19 trends, the College has recently adopted a mask-optional policy for all students, faculty, staff and visitors. Therefore, visitors to the Center are invited to wear masks based on one’s personal level of risk. Should the CDC determine that the rate of transmission in Westmoreland County increases above LOW, mitigating measures may be re-implemented at the discretion of the College. For the latest information about these protocols, please visit https://www.stvincent.edu/resources/covid-19-updates/index.html.
PHOTO 1: Jessica Rivera
PHOTO 2: Mark Carver
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