Independence Day Lunchtime Concert

Since 2016, the FEU has started organizing an informal lunchtime concert on July 4th. This short concert (approximately 30 minutes) provides a lovely opportunity to bring together our audience, residents and staff from the Cité internationale before the summer break. This year, the concert will be given by Andrew Briggs and Elias Rodriguez, FEU residents and Harriet Hale Woolley scholarship fellows and Sarah Ghandour (HHW 2017-18).

Free entry to the concert!  The proceeds of the lunch will go to the FEU communal garden. 

The Musicians

Praised as “an artist with an already expanding reputation and great future” (The Well-Tempered Ear); cellist Andrew Briggs is a world traveler. Recent performances include recitals in Bergen, Netherlands and Narbonne, France; collaborations with the principal cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Amsterdam, NL); recital performances in Paul Hall, NYC; with Axiom Contemporary Ensemble in Alice Tully Hall, NYC; and concerto appearances in Wisconsin and Colorado. Last season, Andrew was a member of the Colorado Symphony cello section, principal cellist of the Crested Butte Music Festival, and guest artist on recital series in Chicago, New York City, and Denver. Completing his Masters Degree at The Juilliard School, he recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin with his doctoral project, “Piatti and the Body: An Integrative Approach to Learning the 12 Caprices, Op. 25,” on  Currently Andrew resides in Paris, France as a recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship from the Fondation des États-Unis, where he is studying and performing works of Duport, Debussy, and Poulenc.

Sarah Clarice Ghandour, a 2017 graduate of Bard College Conservatory, is currently pursuing a master and doctoral degree in music at Stony Brook University, New York, under the tutelage of cellist Colin Carr. At Bard, Sarah studied with cellists Peter Wiley and Luis Garcia-Rénart. Following graduation with degrees in music and mathematics, she enjoyed an artist residency at la Fondation des États-Unis in Paris as a recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship 2017-2018. She studied there with Cyrille Lacrouts, principal cellist of the Paris National Opéra Orchestra, and collaborated with the Ensemble Calliopée, performing Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Sextet at the Fondation des États-Unis, among other concerts in France. Sarah is honored to return to the Fondation des États-Unis for this wonderful collaboration with this year’s Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar. An avid chamber musician, she has performed with artists Peter Wiley, Peter Serkin, Daniel Phillips, and Dawn Upshaw. Sarah has also participated in summer chamber music festivals such as Music@Menlo, Yellow Barn, Encore String Quartet Intensive, and Rencontres Musical de Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne.

Mexican-American clarinetist, Elias Rodriguez made his national solo debut at the age of 16, after performing on a live broadcast of NPR’s « From the Top. » He is an alumnus of The Orchestra Now, a distinguished pre-professional orchestra comprised of graduate musicians from around the world as well as a recipient of a three year full-tuition scholarship to Bard College, where he completed a Master’s Degree in Curatorial, Critical and Performance Studies. Elias has been invited to teach and perform in international music festivals throughout the Americas and Europe. Recent engagements include concert performances at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center in New York City, teaching masterclasses in Cali, Colombia, and performing Weber’s 1st Clarinet Concerto on WMHT Radio New York. Elias has been praised for his « smooth acrobatic tone, fierce finesse » and « virtuosic dynamics. » (Millbrook Independent) and can be heard on the Hyperion Records label, and in the documentary film, « Forte, » scheduled to release January 2019. Recent awards include semi-finalist in the 2017 Matthew Ruggiero International Clarinet Competition, Honorable Mention in the 2018 USA Harold Wright National Clarinet Competition, and finalist in the 2016 Phoenix Symphony clarinet audition. Elias has a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University. He is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship and was awarded an artist residency at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France. He is a candidate of the Cycle D’Execution Professionel Superieur at L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. Elias is a fluent English, Spanish, and French speaker.

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