Festival Musique au Château – The Fontainebleau Schools of Music and Fine Arts

The FEU is happy to announce a partnership with the Fontainebleau Schools for Music and Fine Arts for a special edition of Musique au Château. Some of the musicians in residence at the FEU have been invited to participate in the festival and will have the opportunity to play outdoors in the English garden of the Château de Fontainebleau with other young musicians from the Fontainebleau Schools. During the month of July, the FEU is pleased to welcome the musicians for rehearsals in its new music studios. The Château de Fontainebleau and the Fontainebleau Schools, under the artistic direction of cellist Diana Ligeti, have turned this summer academy into a festival dedicated to artistic excellence, creativity, and accessibility to all audiences. July 26th is a “carte blanche” day dedicated to the resident musicians of the FEU. The annual Fontainebleau Schools concert at the FEU on July 30 will be replaced by the publication of “Bridge Between Worlds”, a musical portrait of Betsy Jolas, followed by the world premiere of Still by Austin Simmonds (Ravel Composition Prize 2019), a piece commissioned by the Fontainebleau Schoolsand the Maurice Ravel Foundation. This concert is the year-end project of Fulbright-Harriet Hale Woolley scholar Mosa Tsay, a co-production of FEU and the Fontainebleau Schools, in partnership with the Franco-American Fulbright Commission, the Château de Fontainebleau and the Maurice Ravel Foundation.

About the Festival

The Fontainebleau Schools for Music and Fine Arts aim to raise awareness of French culture, particularly music and architecture, among foreign students. Every summer since 1921, the Fontainebleau Schools have been based at the Château de Fontainebleau. With the latter’s initiative, they created in 2018, the festival Musique au Château, which “fully integrates the artistic programming of the Fontainebleau Schools into the life of the castle, by highlighting their original history, the relevance of their teaching, the talent of their students, while allowing the public to discover the prestigious setting of Fontainebleau”. Indeed, through music, the festival offers a new approach to the site. For this special COVID edition of the festival, concerts are being held in the gardens of the castle. All concerts are free and accessible through the main entrance. More information: musiqueauchateau.com.

The Program

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Canonic Sonata No. 4
Elias Rodriguez, clarinet and Thomaz Tavares, flute

 Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
Abime des Oiseaux from Quartet for the End of Time
Elias Rodriguez, clarinet

 Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994)
Bucolics, arranged par Anssi Karttunen for two cellos
Andrew Briggs and Alexa Ciciretti, cellos

Edo Frenkel
Becoming an Olive Tree
Alexa Ciciretti, cello and Thomaz Tavares, flute

Jean-Baptiste Barrière (1707-1747)
Sonata in C majeur, Book 3 No. 3
Alexa Ciciretti and Andrew Briggs, cellos

David Popper (1843-1913)
Exerpts from Suite for two cellos
Emmanuel Acurero and Andrew Briggs, cellos

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 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 Youtube. Currently Andrew resides at the Cité des Arts in Paris, France and is a Harriet Hale Woolley and Fondation des États-Unis alumnus (2018-2019). He is the new cellist of Ensemble Kimya, and associate artist of the Terres Vibrantes Music Festival in Auvergne, France.

Cellist Alexa Ciciretti has established herself as a performer who is equally at home playing Baroque viola da gamba music, Romantic symphonies, cutting-edge contemporary music and everything in between. She performed as a guest artist at the Ojai Festival in 2019 and has participated in several European tours with the Lucerne Festival Academy and Alumni Orchestras.  As a former fellow of the New World Symphony, she served as principal for their 2019 tour to Carnegie Hall. She is also a former member of the Rochester Philharmonic and served as continuo cellist for the U.S. premiere of Vivaldi’s Farnace at Spoleto Festival U.S.A. She recently starred in the short film, A Waning Heart, which was screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Ms. Ciciretti studied at Eastman School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory and currently lives in Paris, freelancing and pursuing post-graduate studies with Anssi Karttunen.

Flutist Thomaz Tavares Paes has been praised by the Virginia Gazette as a « polished performer, with a pure, direct sound…embracing the work’s lyrical and virtuoso demands. » A native New Yorker later raised in Brazil, Thomaz Tavares completed his Bachelor’s degree in flute performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Thomas Robertello with a “Premier Young Artist” scholarship. He later started his graduate studies at the École Normale de Musique de Paris under international soloist Jean Ferrandis, and recently obtained his Diplome Supérieur D’Execution with unanimous distinction from the jury. Tavares is a recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year, during which he will be exploring French solo and chamber music of the Belle Epoque period as well as interning with the Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle Europe.

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 has since appeared in international music festivals throughout the Americas and Europe, from the Grafenegg Festival in Austria to teaching masterclasses in Cali, Colombia. He is an alumnus of the New York based ensemble, «The Orchestra Now,» with which he has performed as a soloist on New York public radio, recorded a CD on Hyperion Records, and played a concert series at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. Elias was awarded the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship and an artist residency at the Fondation des États-Unis.

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