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2013/14 Guest Artists


Guest Artists are graciously hosted by
Hilton Santa Cruz / Scotts Valley


Jeffrey Kahane, pianist

Jeffrey Kahane, pianist

Equally at home at the keyboard or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist.

Mr. Kahane has given recitals in many of the nation’s major music centers including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta. He appears as soloist with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony and is also a popular figure at all of the major U.S. summer festivals. Kahane is equally well known for his collaborations with artists and chamber ensembles such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Thomas Quasthoff and the Emerson and Takacs quartets.

As a guest conductor, Kahane has led many of the major U.S. orchestras such as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Dallas and others. He is currently in his 16th season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and was formerly music director for the Colorado and Santa Rosa symphonies.

Jeffrey Kahane has numerous recordings with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, the New World Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, and was nominated by Gramophone magazine for “Record of the Year.”

Mr. Kahane took first prize at the Rubinstein Competition and was a finalist at the Van Cliburn Competition. He was also the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.

An avid linguist who reads widely in a number of ancient and modern languages, Mr. Kahane is a Professor of Music and Humanities in the Conservatory and College at Bard College.


Austin Huntington

Austin Huntingotn, cellist

Cellist Austin Huntington made his solo orchestral debut at age 10 and has performed as guest soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Peninsula Symphony, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and New World Youth Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. Austin is the first prize winner of the 2012 Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the 2012 MUSICCAS International String Competition, the 2011 Stulberg International String Competition, and the 2009 MTNA National String Competition. Formerly, Austin was the Principal Cellist of both the award-winning Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) and Encore, CYSO’s premiere performing ensemble.

Austin performed in the 2010 Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses in Germany. Austin was awarded the highest honor of Most Distinguished Artist from the IBLA International Music Competition, based on a series of concerts in Sicily, Italy, and was invited to perform on the IBLA Tour, ending with his debut at Carnegie Hall. He was one of six cellists chosen to represent the United States in the 2009 Rostropovich International Cello Competition in Paris.

Austin attends the Aspen Music Festival and School on a New Horizons Fellowship, and has attended the Perlman Music Program, the Academie International de Musique in France, and the Indiana University String Academy. Austin has been invited to perform in masterclasses for numerous exceptionally regarded musicians and has also collaborated with such highly esteemed artists as Itzhak Perlman and Gustavo Dudamel.

Austin is eighteen years old and a student of the Colburn School Conservatory of Music. He plays on a fine 1725 Venetian cello made by Carlo Tononi. Austin’s performances include Music in the Vineyards and debuts with the Marin Symphony Orchestra and the Colburn Orchestra.


Yunpeng Wang

Yunpeng Wang, baritone

25-year-old Chinese baritone Yunpeng Wang was last seen making his Carnegie Hall debut, collaborating with the Musical Olympus Festival. In February, Mr. Wang made his Alice Tully Hall debut singing with the I Sing Beijing Program and the New York City Opera Orchestra.

In 2012, Yunpeng Wang won three awards at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, including 2nd place prize, the coveted Zarzuela Prize, as well as the Audience Award. As a winner of Operalia, he appeared in the Voices of 2012 concert with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV in Pécs, Hungary. In the spring of 2013, he received first prize in the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition.

He recently performed with the Hartford Symphony as a soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and The Yellow River Cantata by Xian Xinghai. His roles include Athanaël in Thaïs, Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and the Sorcerer in Dido and Aeneas. He participated in the Zürich Stiftung Opera Bel Canto Night under the tutelage of Francisco Araiza in Switzerland. Wang has also sung at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tianjin Grand Theatre, and Zhongshan Concert Hall in Beijing, China.

Yunpeng Wang has a bachelor’s degree from the Central Conservatory in Beijing and received his master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he received a full scholarship. Currently he is a first-year young artist with the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.


Lei Xu

Lei Xu, soprano

Chinese soprano Lei Xu graduated from the Juilliard School’s Artist Diploma in Opera Studies Program in 2012 and recently completed the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Xu has worked with such artists as James Levine, James Conlon, Ken Noda and Alan Gilbert.

Ms. Xu made her Met debut in 2010 as the First Priestess in the Met HD TV broadcast production of Iphigénie en Tauride, where she performed with Plácido Domingo and Susan Graham. Ms. Xu’s engagements with the Met include Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel and covering the role of Helena in the new production of Enchanted Island. She later appeared on the Met stage in La Rondine, Wagner’s Parsifal, and The Marriage of Figaro. Ms. Xu also performed Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Fabio Luisi conducting.

Ms. Xu performed Pamina in Peter Brook’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Paris’ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. In 2011, Ms. Xu sang Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro with James Conlon conducting the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, and performed the role Blanche de la Force in Les dialogues des Carmélites in Tel Aviv IVAI Festival.

Ms. Xu recently made her Avery Fisher Hall debut, performing Berlioz’s Les Nuits D’été with Emmanuel Villaume. Her Alice Tully Hall debut was in 2010, where she performed Handel’s Salve Regina with William Christie. Her recital works include a performance with pianist Ken Noda and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein at Miami’s Friends of Chamber Music.

Ms. Xu began her studies at the age of seventeen at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and participated in Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute for Young Artists, the Marlboro Music Festival and the Chautauqua Music Festival.


Renee Tatum

Reneé Tatum, mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Reneé Tatum made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2010 as Inez in Il trovatore, and subsequently performed with the company as Fenena in Nabucco. She was also in joint productions between the Met and Juilliard School in the role of La Haine in Gluck’s Armide and as Háta in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, led by James Levine.

Ms. Tatum recently completed the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program with performances including the roles of Emilia in Otello under the batons of Semyon Bychkov and Alain Altinoglu, Adonella in Zandonai’s seldom-heard Francesca da Rimini conducted by Marco Armiliato, and Flosshilde in Robert Lepage’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with Fabio Luisi.

As a member of the Adler Fellowship program, her San Francisco Opera performances also included Inez in Il trovatore, Annina in La traviata, and Emilia in Otello. Additionally, she has sung Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte with the Santa Fe Opera, Medea in Handel’s Teseo with Chicago Opera Theater, the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul with the Chautauqua Opera and Amando in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Ms. Tatum is a winner of the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, a finalist of the 2011 George London Foundation Competition, 2010 Grand Prize Winner of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, the Opera Index Competition, the Jensen Foundation Award from Chautauqua Opera, and two-time recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant. A Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Tatum holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music.


Mario Chang

Mario Chang, tenor

Tenor Mario Chang made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2012–13 season as the Fourth Esquire in Parsifal, and later performed in the Met’s 2013 Summer Recital Series in New York City. This season he will sing the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier for the company.

Mr. Chang made his Carnegie Hall debut in concert with the Musical Olympus Foundation, and debuted with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne in Rennes, France. He performed Mozart’s Requiem with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Guatemala and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Ruben Dario Theater in Nicaragua with the Orchestra Centroamericana. Mr. Chang has also performed for the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel and in St.Petersburg, Russia, for the Musical Olympus Festival. He has performed the roles of Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, Gaston in La Traviata, Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Fritz Kobus in Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz. Chang’s recent career highlights include a concert in Puerto Rico honoring Giuseppi Verdi with the Teatro de La Opera.

In 2011, Mr. Chang was the winner of the First Prize at the 48th International Francisco Viñas Competition at El Liceu Theater in Barcelona, Spain. He was also the winner of the Placido Domingo Prize for Best Tenor and the Amics de l’Opera de Sabadell Prize. Mr. Chang has received the Jeunes Talents grant from the Festival Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot in France. He was a member of the 2013 L’Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma Opera Studio in Italy with Soprano Renata Scotto, and was recipient of the 2013 Hildegard Behrens Foundation Young Artist Humanitarian Award.


Ryan Speedo Green

Ryan Speedo Green, baritone

Ryan Speedo Green is a baritone with the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and was the Grand Finals Winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mr. Green was also the recipient of the 2011 Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation.

In the 2011–12 concert season, Mr. Green reprised the role of Colline in La Bohème with the Central City Opera and Opera Colorado, where he also performed the role of Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. In the Juilliard School’s production of Don Giovanni, Mr. Green sang the part of the Commendatore. Also in that season, Mr. Green was the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Verdi’s Requiem with the Hartford Chorale and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Virginia Symphony.

In the 2012–13 concert season, Ryan Speedo Green made his stage debut with the Metropolitan Opera singing the Mandarin in Turandot and the Second Knight in Parsifal. In the same season, Mr. Green performed the role of Basilio in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with the Utah Opera and Don Profondo in the Wolf Trap Opera’s performance of Il Viaggio.

In the upcoming season, Mr. Green will perform the roles of the Jailor in Tosca and Bonze in Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera. He will also perform in Carnegie Hall as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Cecilia Chorus. Ryan Speedo Green’s interesting name is a tribute to his father’s favorite brand of swimwear!

Yunpeng Wang, Lei Xu, Renee Tatum, Mario Chang and Ryan Speedo Green perform courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.