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Billy Childs, Maksim Velichkin, & Delores Stevens
July 27, 2015 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm$35
Admission to the Summer concerts for adults are $35 ($30 with Island Club Card). Students attend all concerts for FREE. Entrance/admission fee payable at the door on the day of the Concert (cash or check only). For credit card purchases on line:
Billy Childs, piano
Billy Childs has emerged as one of the foremost American composers of his era, perhaps the most distinctly American composer since Aaron Copeland – for like Copeland, he has successfully married the musical products of his heritage with the Western neoclassical traditions of the twentieth century in a powerful symbiosis of style, range, and dynamism.
A native of Los Angeles, Childs grew up immersed in jazz, classical, and popular music influences. His prodigious talent at the piano earned him public performances by age six, and at sixteen he was admitted to the prestigious USC Community School of the Performing Arts, going on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition under the tutelage of Robert Linn and Morton Lauridsen.
By the time of his graduation from USC, Childs was already an in-demand performer in the L.A. jazz scene. Soon thereafter he was discovered by trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard, with whom he embarked on a successful performing and recording tour. He recorded and performed with a number of other influential jazz musicians including J.J. Johnson, Joe Henderson, and Wynton Marsalis before landing a record deal with Windham Hill Records in 1988, when he released Take For Example, This…, the first of four critically acclaimed albums for the label. The albums Twilight Is Upon Us (1989), His April Touch (1992), and Portrait Of A Player (1993) followed, each expansive contributions of depth and virtuosity. Since then Childs has written and produced I’ve Known Rivers (1995) on Stretch/GRP, The Child Within (1996) on Shanachie, and two volumes of “jazz/chamber music” (an amalgam of jazz and classical music) – Lyric, Vol. 1 (2006) and Autumn: In Moving Pictures, Vol. 2 (2010); the recordings earned him two GRAMMY awards and five nominations.
Simultaneously with his recording career, Childs has occupied a parallel niche as an in-demand composer. His orchestral and chamber commission credits include Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Kronos Quartet, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The American Brass Quintet, The Ying Quartet, and The Dorian Wind Quintet.
Thus far in his career, Childs has garnered ten GRAMMY nominations and three awards: two for Best Instrumental Composition (Into the Light from Lyric and The Path Among The Trees from Autumn: In Moving Pictures) and one for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist. In 2006, Childs was awarded a Chamber Music America Composer’s Grant, and in 2009 was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was also awarded the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in 2013.
Most recently, Childs has recorded a collection of re-imagined Laura Nyro compositions for Sony Masterworks, released in September 2014. Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro was produced by Larry Klein and features guest artists Renee Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Wayne Shorter, Alison Kraus, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, Lisa Fischer and Becca Stevens.
As a pianist Childs has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, Renee Fleming, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chick Corea, The Kronos Quartet, Wynton Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Ron Carter, The Ying Quartet, The American Brass Quintet, and Chris Botti.
Maksim Velichkin, cello
Maksim Velichkin is an accomplished cellist, pianist, and harpsichordist who has been active as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader among an international circle featuring venerable conductors and headlining classical stars. He has collaborated with Joshua Bell, Maxim Vengerov, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Dmitry Bashkirov, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirkanov, Wolfgang Sawallish, Herbert Blomstedt, Yuri Bashmet, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Gabriela Montero, Renaud Capucon, Lynn Harrell, Misha Maisky, Sara Chang, Frans Helmerson as well as many others. Velichkin’’s performances have been featured on Radio Swiss Romande, WQED FM in Pittsburgh, National Radio and Television of Uzbekistan. Moreover, as an improviser and interpreter of contemporary and popular music, Maksim’s performance and recording career includes credits with noted musical celebrities Stevie Wonder, Billy Childs, Burt Bacharach, Bobby McFerrin, Natalie Cole, Bernadette Peters, Josh Groban, Chris Botti, Alan Silvestri, Dwight Trible, Bitter:Sweet, and many others. He performs and tours frequently with the prestigious Verbier Chamber Orchestra, and is regularly engaged as a principal cellist in select studios and orchestras throughout Southern California. He has toured extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Maksim holds a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and a Master’s Degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Southern California, where he studied cello with renowned professor, Eleonore Schoenfeld. Maksim Velichkin has also been active as a collaborative pianist having performed numerous recitals with instrumentalists and singers. As a duo pianist, he has performed J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Pianos in c minor in Pittsburgh, and more recently, Saint-Saens’s Carnival of the Animals in Sydney, Australia. Maksim has also collaborated with Los Angeles Sacred Fools theatre on the production of “Claire Z” , the music for which he had created and performed on both cello and piano. As a film composer, Maksim has participated in the creation of the soundtrack for the short film “Through The Air To Calais Or The Wonderful Cruise Of Blanchard’s Baloon”, the music for which he improvised on the harpsichord and the cello.
Maksim’s recent projects include a European tour with CCCO, recording project for EMI with Maxim Vengerov and Verbier Chamber Orchestra, participation as a harpsichordist at the Bachwoche festival in Berlin where among other pieces he performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #5 with members of Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic. Maksim is a co-founder of the Classical Underground, a co-producer of Music@Mimoda concert series, and a producer of the M3@ATX concert series. He has released three CDs of piano improvisations- “Open Doors”, “Present Tense”, and “Labyrinth”. Maksim is a member of the Divan Consort and the Hutchins Consort.
Delores Stevens, piano
A pianist whose professional career has shined with many facets, Delores Stevens achieved early success by winning the coveted Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena California and recently she received the “Living Legacy Award” from the Young Musician’s Foundation in ceremonies at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. As a member of the acclaimed Montagnana Trio, she gave more than 500 concerts throughout Europe and North America. Delores Stevens has received many accolades for her inspired performances of contemporary music. For example, a Los Angeles Times music critic described her collaboration with violinist Paul Zukovsky as “…the definitive performance.” And Newsweek’s Alan Rich wrote, “She tamed (this) energetic, unruly, immensely challenging music with splendid technique… All of her program demonstrated her special mastery.” At home on the international concert stage, Delores Stevens toured Japan twice in the 90’s; one of which was under the auspices of the US State Department and recently she has performed in Australia and South America. She has recorded for 16 different record labels in all genres of music from Hindemith to Mozart, and her solo piano CD recording Pilgrimage is available on the Dominguez Digital label. Always a tireless champion of new music, she has commissioned and premiered works by more than two dozen composers and has been winner of the prestigious Performer Award from the National Association of Composers. In addition, in 1988 she was awarded a 6-year Touring Solo Artist Grant from the California Arts Council. Delores Stevens has served six terms as governor and trustee of the “Grammy” sponsor Recording Academy in Los Angeles and has been Director of the Chamber Music Program for the Young Musician’s Foundation for the last two decades. (She has served MVCMS as Artistic Director since its inception 45 years ago)