January 20, 2024
Trumpet virtuoso Mary Elizabeth Bowden will be featured with the WFSO on a commissioned jazz-inspired piece titled Bohemian Queen by Brazilian-American Grammy Award nominated composer, Clarice Assad. The program includes a shining interpretation of Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto, Rossini’s infamous and exhilarating Overture to William Tell, and Shostakovich’s evocative Symphony No. 9.
Kicking off the evening is Rossini’s “Overture to William Tell,” a majestic and iconic piece known for its triumphant finale and memorable melodies. Gioachino Rossini, an Italian composer from the Romantic era, was a master of opera and instrumental music. This overture, with its dramatic flair and evocative passages, has been revered in the world of classical music for its gripping energy and lush orchestration, instantly captivating audiences.
Following this classic opener is a highlight of the evening: the commission premiere of “Bohemian Queen” by Clarice Assad. Known for her eclectic style that fuses classical, jazz, and Brazilian influences, Assad’s compositions are marked by their emotive depth and rhythmic vitality. “Bohemian Queen” promises to be an innovative addition to the repertoire, offering audiences a glimpse into Clarice Assad’s imaginative musical world.
Mary Elizabeth Bowden takes the stage for Arutiunian’s “Trumpet Concerto,” a dazzling and virtuosic work that showcases the full range of the trumpet’s capabilities. Alexander Arutiunian, a Soviet composer of Armenian descent, composed this concerto known for its thrilling melodies and lively rhythms. Bowden’s mastery of the trumpet will bring this piece to life, enchanting the audience with her technical prowess and expressive performance.
The concert culminates with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, a composition marked by its buoyant spirit and intricate musical storytelling. Dmitri Shostakovich, a prominent figure in 20th-century Russian music, crafted this symphony as a departure from the weighty symphonic traditions, infusing it with humor and playful melodies. The orchestra, guided by the conductor’s baton, will weave through the symphony’s dynamic contrasts and vibrant passages, leaving a lasting impression on all in attendance.
Join us for an immersive musical journey that traverses eras and styles, celebrating the genius of renowned composers and the artistry of Mary Elizabeth Bowden. It’s an evening where timeless classics meet innovative compositions, promising an unforgettable concert experience filled with passion, virtuosity, and musical brilliance.
Classical Trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden has built an in-demand career as a soloist, praised for her “splendid, brilliant” playing (Gramophone Magazine) and her “pure, refined, and warm” tone (American Record Guide). A Gold Medal Global Music Award Winner, Opus Klassik Nominee, and Yamaha Performing Artist, she has also worked to establish a new repertoire for the trumpet through creative, collaborative commissioning projects and award-winning albums.
Her upcoming season includes no fewer than four world premiere concertos, including Clarice Assad’s new Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Jennifer Jolley’s Concerto for Brass Quintet with Seraph Brass and the Texas Tech University Wind Ensemble, Anthony DiLorenzo’s Chimera: Concerto for Brass Quintet and Wind Ensemble with the U.S. Army “Pershing’s Own”, Reena Esmail’s Rosa de Sal for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Tyson Davis’s Veiled Light with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, which will be performed alongside her husband, trumpeter David Dash. Additional concerto performances include the Haydn Concerto with the Busan Maru International Music Festival Orchestra (Korea), Vivian Fung’s Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Philharmonia Northwest (Seattle), San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and Waynesboro Symphony (VA), and Anthony DiLorenzo’s Chimera with Seraph Brass and the Florence Symphony (SC). Bowden will also have residencies with the World and European Brass Association in Courances, France; Guadalajara and Cancun, Mexico; and will be a Guest Artist at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Marlboro Music Festival.
Mary has released two acclaimed recordings on Summit Records: her debut album, Radiance (featuring new American works), and her second solo album, Rêverie with the Kassia Ensemble. Rêverie was featured as one of the Top Albums of the Year for the Global Music Awards and on Textura Magazine’s Top Ten Classical Albums of the Year. In the coming season, Mary will release her third album, on Cedille Records, which will be her first with full orchestra and will feature a program of newly commissioned works.
Among her many creative projects, Mary is a founding member and artistic leader of Seraph Brass, an ensemble of America’s top female brass players that was awarded the 2019 American Prize in Chamber Music and has performed around the world. The group’s debut album, Asteria, released on Summit Records, won the Silver Medal Global Music Award, and they performed on part of Adele’s 2016 North American tour.
Mary earned her Bachelor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, and her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music.
A powerful communicator renowned for her musical scope and versatility, Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a significant artistic voice in the classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres. The Grammy Award–nominated composer, celebrated pianist, inventive vocalist and educator is acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range.
What motivates Assad? What drives her passion and creativity? Writing and playing music that inspires and encourages audiences’ imaginations to break free of often self-imposed constraints is just the beginning. She endeavors to harness the incredible and intangible power of music to connect people and transform lives through original works, commissions, and education programs that give voice to everything from the impact of climate change to issues of social
justice, gender equity, and the empowerment of young voices.
With her talent sought-after by artists and organizations worldwide, the polyglot musician continues to attract new audiences both onstage and off. In the recording arena, Assad has released seven solo albums and appeared on or had her works performed on another 34. Her music is represented on Cedille Records, SONY Masterworks, Nonesuch, Adventure Music, Edge, Telarc, NSS Music, GHA, and CHANDOS. Her innovative and award-winning VOXploration education series on music creation, songwriting, and improvisation has been presented throughout the world.
The prolific composer has more than 70 works to her credit, including numerous commissions for Carnegie Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Boston Youth Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and the La Jolla Music Festival, to name a few. Her compositions have been recorded by some of the most prominent names in classical music, including percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and oboist Liang Wang. Assad’s music has been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Queensland Symphony, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo. She has served as a composer-in-residence for the Albany Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, New Century Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Her works are published in France (Editions Lemoine), Germany (Trekel), Brazil (Criadores do Brasil), and in the U.S. by Virtual Artists Collective Publishing (VACP), a publishing company she co-founded with poet and philosopher Steve Schroeder. Assad recently wrote the soundtrack to Devoti Tutti, a documentary by Bernadette Wegenstein, and is composing the music for a ballet by award-winning choreographer Shannon Alvis.
As a performer, Assad has shared the stage with Bobby McFerrin, Anat Cohen, Nadia Sirota, Paquito D’Rivera, Tom Harrell, Marilyn Mazur and Mike Marshall, among others. She has performed at internationally renowned venues and festivals including The Netherlands Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Belgium’s Le Palais des Beaux-Arts, Le Casino de Paris, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Caramoor International Jazz Festival. Assad also strives to expand the sonic palette of the voice, including immersing audiences in the music as active participants and by electronically altering sounds, “like one of those cooks who can turn any four random foodstuffs into a feast” (Classical Voice North America). She takes the immersive experience outside of the concert hall with the innovative and accessible VOXploration, which she created in 2015. The program offers a creative and fun approach to music education through meaningful, interactive experiences. It has been carefully curated to work equally well with participants of any age or musical background. It has received numerous grants and awards from Brazilian foundations such as CAIXA CULTURAL and SESC, as well as American organizations New Music USA and the McKnight Foundation. Assad has given master classes, residencies, and workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Clarice Assad is one of the most widely performed Brazilian concert music composers of her generation. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, amongst them an Aaron Copland Award and several ASCAP awards in composition, she holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a Master of Music degree from The University of Michigan School of Music.