Wagner - Prelude to Parsifal
Strauss - Four Last Songs
Adina Aaron, soprano
Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55, "Eroica"
Edward Cumming is in his seventh season as Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His appointment as Hartford’s ninth Music Director was announced in 2001, culminating a two-year search process involving nearly 300 applicants from around the world.
Mr. Cumming was appointed Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1997. In that role, he worked closely with Music Director Mariss Jansons, accompanying the orchestra on tour and collaborating on its syndicated radio broadcasts. He conducted the PSO in its highly regarded concerts for young people at Heinz Hall and in outreach concerts throughout Western Pennsylvania, and also performed on the Orchestra's Pops series.
As Resident Conductor of the Florida Orchestra from 1989 to 1993, he garnered audience and critical acclaim for his "Champagne" and "Coffee" concerts, two series of light classics for young adults and senior citizens. In 1991, he conducted the Florida Orchestra in Stephen Montague’s "From the
White Edge of Phrygia" and performed with such notable guest artists as Sylvia McNair, Christopher Parkening, Gary Graffman, Robert McDuffie, and the late Malcolm Frager. In 1991, Mr. Cumming conducted a recording of the "Star Spangled Banner" with Whitney Houston and the Florida Orchestra for Super Bowl XXV. In 1996, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, and in 1997, he was appointed Music Director of the nationally acclaimed Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, one of five orchestras invited to the National Youth Orchestra Festival in 1998. He returned with the PYSO to perform at this biennial event in 2002.
As founding Music Director (1993-96) of the Pacific Symphony Institute, Mr. Cumming gave world premieres of Hector Armienta's "Caras del Sol" and Khoa Van Le's "Symphonic Ode to Vietnam, 1975". In November 1999, he conducted the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere performance of Tamar Diesendruck's "Every Which Wave". During his Pittsburgh tenure he also conducted regional premieres of Elliott Carter's Symphony of Three Orchestras and Hans Werner Henze's "Undine". Premieres with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra include the October 2004 New England premiere of Roberto Sierra's Concerto for Saxophones, the January 2005-HSO commissioned world premiere of Valerie Coleman's "The Painted Lady", the March 2005 world premiere of Richard Cumming's "Aspects of Hippolytus" and the November 2005 HSO-commissioned world premiere of Michael Gatonska's "Wandering the Moon Nursery". Mr. Cumming was the recipient of the 2003 ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Cumming has led many prominent orchestras across the United States, among them the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Maryland Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and Memphis Symphony Orchestra. His credits abroad include La Orquesta Ciudad de Granada (Spain), the South Bohemian State Orchestra in the Czech Republic, the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he made his United Kingdom debut in 2000, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Cumming received Master of Musical Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in orchestral conducting from Yale University, where he was a student of Otto-Werner Mueller. He studied with Michael Tilson Thomas at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, and has performed in master classes directed by Riccardo Muti, Pierre Boulez, and the late Maurice Abravanel. As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, he was awarded the prestigious Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in the Arts
Soprano Adina Aaron is considered one of the most gifted young sopranos tohave emerged in the last few years. She is now very much in demand both in theUS and in Europe as her busy schedule shows: she just received rave public andcritical reviews for her Aida at Savonlinna Festival in Finland (July 2008). Justbefore, she has performed Liu in the USA, and in May 2008 made a successfuldebut in Germany as Amelia in a new production of Un Ballo in Maschera inErfurt. Further appearances for the 2007 / 2008 season included Il Trovatore withAnchorage Opera, concert performance at the Acropolis in Nice and for the 100years anniversary of Salle Gaveau in Paris (broadcasted), Marschallin fromRosenkavalier Her busy 2008 / 2009 season includes her assumption as Elisabetta di Valois inDon Carlo gala concert of Viennese favourites in Toulon, a concert with Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder in Hartford, Mimi (La Boheme) with the Israeli Opera. . In April / May 2009Adina will sing her first Butterfly Madama Butterfly for Florida Grand Opera…In October / November 2009 she will perform her fist Puccini's Manon Lescaut forIreland Opera…Engagements during the 2006 / 2007 season included the title role in Aida for herdebut with the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège for which she has received hugepublic and press acclaim and a Homage to Josephine Baker with thePhilharmonic Orchestra of Monte Carlo. She performed Fiordiligi in Cosi FanTutte with the Israeli Opera, Mozart Requiem and Mozart Grand Mass in C withthe Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. During the summer of 2007, she hasperformed Tosca at Peynier's Festival de Mont Sainte Victoire as well as at theFestival Musiques au Coeur in Antibes and in Saint-Tropez, in South France,where she was also the guest star in a gala commemorating Maria Callas' 30thdeath anniversary.Engagements for Adina Aaron during the 2005-06 season included the title rolein Aida, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, with the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini ontour in Moscow; the title role in Aida with Opera Columbus ; Rosalinde in DieFledermaus with Dayton Opera ; the title role in Susannah with Bohème OperaNew Jersey ; and the title role in Tosca with Syracuse Opera. Concertengagements during the 2005-06 season include Up Close, Informal, Onstageand Operas & Overtures, both with Sarasota Opera, Verdi Requiem for theFestival de Bergerac, Festival de Saint Gaudens and Festival de Bergerac,Mozart Requiem with the Festival de Llivia and Rialpe, recital programs atFestival Du Vigan, Festival l'Abbaye de la Celle and Château de Moncaud.Adina also appeared as Donna Anna in Mexico, with Opera di Zapopan /Guadalajara.Engagements during the 2004-05 season included the title role in Aida with theNational Opera of Korea, and a return to Bohème Opera New Jersey as DonnaAnna in Don Giovanni. Concert engagements during the 2004-05 seasonincluded V Coleman's The painted Lady (for soprano and orchestra) with theHartford Symphony, the Verdi Requiem for the University of Missouri ConcertSeries ; Mozart's Coronation Mass and Grand Mass in C minor with the Voices ofAscension Chorus & Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall ; and a recital program as guestartist with the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut. Alsoduring the 2004-05 seasons, Ms. Aaron was named the First-place Grand Prizewinner of the Monte Carlo Voice Masters Vocal Competition for 2005, by a panelof distinguished judges which included Christa Ludwig, among others.Engagements during the 2003-04 season included Micaëla in Carmen withBohème Opera New Jersey, concert engagements included Mimi in La Bohèmewith the Newton Symphony Orchestra, Barber's Knoxville : Summer of 1915 withthe Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and Werner Jaegerhuber's Messe FolkloriqueHaïtienne with the Amor Artis Chorus and Orchestra. Also during the 2003-04season, Ms. Aaron made her debut at New York's Weill Recital Hall in a programfeaturing American Art Song.Engagements during the 2002-03 season included a return to New York CityOpera as Musetta in La Bohème and as Sister Rose in a new production of Deadman walking, and Musetta in La Bohème with Opera Santa Barbara. Concertengagements during the 2002-03 season included Mrs. McPhail in RichardOwen's Rain with Camerata New York at Alice Tully Hall, both Beethoven's NinthSymphony and Beethoven's Mass in C with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra ;and Messiah with the Phoenix Symphony.