Alexander Hersh to Perform 2019 Young Artist Tour of Arkansas

Having already performed as soloist with the Houston Symphony and the Boston Pops, cellist Alexander Hersh has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting and versatile talents of his generation. He has received top prizes at competitions worldwide including the: 2019 Astral Artists National Auditions, New York International Artists Association Competition, Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra, Ima Hogg, Schadt, Artist Concerts Series National Solo Competition, Luminarts Classical Music Fellowship, Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, Hellam Young Artist Competition, Boston Pops/New England Conservatory Competition, Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition, Society of American Musicians, Saint Paul String Quartet, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music competition.

The Musiq3 critics of the RTBF Belgian Radio company gave Hersh’s performance at the inaugural Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in Belgium in 2017 a rave review: “With his scenic presence and charm, Hersh has everything to become the darling of the public.”

A passionate chamber musician, Hersh has performed the complete string quartets of Béla Bartok and Alban Berg and much of the rest of the chamber music canon at music festivals worldwide including: Marlboro, Caramoor, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Music@ Menlo, I-M-S Prussia Cove, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Amsterdam Cello Biennial, Kneisel Hall, Lucerne, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Domaine Forget, and the Meadowmount School of Music.

Hersh is co-artistic director of NEXUS Chamber Music, a collective of international artists committed to stimulating interest in serious chamber music. NEXUS presents a two week chamber music festival across the city of Chicago each August, featuring new and obscure works alongside standard works of the chamber music canon. NEXUS plays to unusual and intimate venues with the mission of breaking down the barriers that often separate performers from audience members.

A 4th generation string player, Alexander’s parents, Stefan Hersh and Roberta Freier, are both active professional violinists. His grandfather, Paul Hersh, is professor of viola and piano at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his great grandfather, Ralph Hersh, was a member of the WQXR and Stuyvesant String Quartets, and principal violist of the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.

Raised in Chicago, Alexander Hersh began playing the cello at the age of 5. He studied with Steve Balderston and Hans Jørgen Jensen, and attended the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago. Hersh received his B.M. from New England Conservatory (with academic honors) where he was a student of Laurence Lesser and recipient of the Clara M. Friedlaender Scholarship. In May of 2017, he received his M.M. from New England Conservatory where he studied under the tutelage of Paul Katz and Kim Kashkashian. Hersh was a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe fund for studies in Berlin during the 2017 – 2018 academic year where he worked with Nicolas Altstaedt at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule for Musik Berlin. He plays a G.B. Rogeri cello on generous loan from a sponsor through Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins in Chicago, IL.

Arkansas Tour Schedule

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 • 3:00 p.m.
Fine Arts Center Recital Hall
Arkansas State University
2105 Aggie Rd.
Jonesboro, AR 72401

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 • 7:30 p.m.
Mabee Fine Arts Center McBeth Recital Hall
Ouachita Baptist University
410 Ouachita St.
Arkadelphia, AR 71998

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 • 7:30 p.m.
Great Room, Truman Arnold Center
Texarkana College
2500 North Robison Rd.
Texarkana, AR 75501

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 • 7:30 p.m.
Music Building Harris Recital Hall
University of Arkansas at Monticello
346 University Ct.
Monticello, AR 71655

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 • 11:00 a.m.
Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church
4823 Woodlawn Dr
Little Rock, AR 72205-3755

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 • 2:30 p.m.
White Lecture Hall
Robert Burns Building
Northwest AR Community College
#1 College Dr.
Bentonville, AR 72712

News from Opera in the Ozarks

by Carole Langley

In 2018, Opera in the Ozarks was approached by a philanthropist about the possibility of building new facilities for the IPFAC campus. Improved facilities would dramatically raise the profile of the eight-week summer program, allowing for new artistic possibilities and strengthening the program’s attraction among young performers and audiences alike. These facilities would also open up opportunities for new activities to take place at IPFAC year-round, including partnerships with other organizations.

To assist in exploring the opportunities and implications new facilities could bring, Opera in the Ozarks hired WolfBrown, a nationally recognized consulting practice. WolfBrown spoke to a variety of stakeholders, ranging from potential users of the new facilities to peer vocal training programs, in order to understand the regional needs that new facilities could fulfill and the ways in which new facilities could enhance the core summer training program. While Opera in the Ozarks is still early in conversations about this potential transformation, WolfBrown will be working in close collaboration with staff to develop a plan for the utilization of new facilities.

After their discussions with Mr. Brown, the Governing Board voted unanimously to continue with this project and to begin preparations needed to meet the challenges of growth needed as we undertake this exciting new opportunity.