They were brilliant....
The “stars” have been shining brightly and love has been in the air! The two very talented and beautiful stars, Anne Akiko Meyers, violinist and Elizabeth Pridgen, pianist, dazzled our audience. It was a brilliant and reflective night where talent and beauty merged into exquisite melody and song. Both of these marvelous musicians have performed with us in years past - Elizabeth Pridgen performing every year since the beginning of the Festival!-but together they soared as never before.
Emma Mills Bledsoe
President AICMF Board
Vivaldi ‘Spring’ Concerto No.1 in E Major RV 269 ‘La Primavera’
Einojuhani Rautavaara ‘Fantasia’ (soft premiere)
Arvo Part Fratres
Piazzolla ‘Spring’ Trio
Ennio and Andrea Morricone ‘Love Theme’ from Cinema Paradiso (arr.Angela Morley)
Leigh Harline ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ (arr.Adam and Steven Schoenberg)Jacob Gade ‘Jalousie’ Tango
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin
Elizabeth Pridgen, piano
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Anne Akiko Meyers is one of the most celebrated violinists embraced around the world today. Her passionate performances, purity of sound and deeply poetic interpretations, innovative programming and commitment to commissioning new works, her rare ability to connect with audiences from the concert stage, online, in television, and radio broadcasts, Meyers has actively maintained an extensive touring schedule for close to 30 years. She regularly performs in recital and as guest soloist with many of the world’s top orchestras, and is a best-selling recording artist who has released 32 albums. In 2014, Meyers was the top-selling traditional classical instrumental soloist on Billboard charts.
Anne Akiko Meyers has collaborated with a diverse array of artists outside of traditional classical, including jazz icons, Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis, avant-garde musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, electronic music pioneer, Isao Tomita, popera group, Il Divo and singer, Michael Bolton. She performed the National Anthem in front of 42,000 fans at Safeco Field in Seattle, and appeared twice on The Tonight Show and was featured in a segment on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann that became the third most popular story of the year.
“Serenade: The Love Album” a recording with Keith Lockhart and the London Symphony Orchestra, featuring the Bernstein Serenade and 10 newly commissioned arrangements from the American Songbook/Golden Movie Era will be released September, 18th. Amelia island audience members were thrilled by Meyers' performance of a sampling of these "Love Songs" last year during her January 31, 2015 concert.
Meyers’s recent performances included recital and concerto appearances in North and South America, Europe and Asia, including performances with the Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, and Richmond Symphony Orchestras of the Mason Bates Violin Concerto, a work she co-commissioned and premiered with the Pittsburgh Symphony in December 2012. A champion of living composers, Meyers has actively added new works to the violin repertoire by commissioning and premiering works by composers such as Mason Bates, Jakub Ciupinski, John Corigliano, Brad Dechter, Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Akira Miyoshi, Arvo Pärt, Gene Pritsker, Einojuhani Rautavaara, J.A.C. Redford, Somei Satoh and Joseph Schwantner.
Recently, she was featured on CBS Sunday Morning, CBS’ “The Good Wife”, NPR's Morning Edition with Linda Wertheimer and All Things Considered with Robert Siegel among many other media outlets. Anne was also featured on the popular NickJr. show, Take Me To Your Mother, with Andrea Rosen on the episode, 'Andrea Gets in Tune'. Best-selling novelist, J.Courtney Sullivan, consulted with Ms. Meyers for The Engagements, and based one of the main characters loosely on Ms. Meyers’s career.Anne also collaborated with children's book author and illustrator, Kristine Papillon, on Crumpet the Trumpet. A beautiful story/CD about a baby trumpet with Violetta, the violinist, played by Ms.Meyers.
Anne Akiko Meyers was born in San Diego, California and grew up in Southern California. Her teachers include Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, Josef Gingold at Indiana University, and Felix Galimir, Masao Kawasaki and Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. She received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and serves on the advisory board of Composers Concordance and Young Concert Artists. Ms.Meyers lives with her husband and two young daughters in Austin, Texas.
Elizabeth Pridgen, piano
Praised for her “big piano presence” (American Record Guide), Elizabeth Pridgen has distinguished herself as a soloist and chamber musician. Recent concerts include appearances at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, the Tilles Center on Long Island, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and the “Rising Stars Series” at the Ravinia Festival. Ms. Pridgen has also performed at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and the Kosciuszko Foundation, and in recitals in Washington D.C., Aruba, Curaçao, and throughout the Southeast. She has appeared as soloist with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Rome Symphony Orchestra, and Dekalb Symphony Orchestra. For seven consecutive seasons she has been a featured performer at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.
This summer, in addition to Amelia Island, she will be performing at the Rome Chamber Festival in Rome, Italy, the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and the Madison Chamber Music Festival in Madison, Georgia. Ms. Pridgen collaborates regularly with Elmar Oliveira, Robert McDuffie, Andres Diaz, the Diaz String Trio, and the American String Quartet. She has also performed with Lynn Harrell, Hilary Hahn, Sarah Chang, Rachel Barton Pine, and Mark O’Connor. Ms. Pridgen is a member of Trio RPM with violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, Director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, and Christopher Rex, Principal Cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Pridgen is a Distinguished Artist and Piano Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University.
Ms. Pridgen received her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School where she studied with Joseph Kalichstein. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Ann Schein. Other teachers include Claude Frank, Pamela Frank, Leon Fleisher, and Ursula Oppens. Ms. Pridgen spent two summers at the Tanglewood Music Center where she was awarded the piano prize and selected to perform with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble and the Mark Morris Dance Group at Jacob’s Pillow. She has also been a participant at the Aspen Music Festival, International Musicians’ Seminar in Prussia Cove, England, and the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Pridgen currently resides in New York City.
Christopher Rex, cello