Jan 12, 2022 2:52 AM

'Take Flight' with the Salina Symphony during Jan. 30 concert

Posted Jan 12, 2022 2:52 AM

By SALINA POST

Soar through the concert hall with the Salina Symphony and majestic music about birds in motion during the next symphony performance.

The Take Flight concert is scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 30 in the Stiefel Theatre. Tickets may be purchased at the Stiefel Theatre Box Office, by calling 785-827-1998 or online at www.salinasymphony.org. Single admission is $29 or $39 and $19 for students. Please visit the Salina Symphony website for information about the Stiefel Theatre’s COVID-19 policy.

The concert will be conducted by Yaniv Segal, one of five talented finalists vying for the title of music director and conductor.

The program will feature cellist Hannah Collins of Lawrence on Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1. The symphony will also perform Antonin Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 and Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 as well as a symphonic poem by Polina Nazaykinskaya titled Fenix.

A pre-concert talk with Segal and Collins is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the Stiefel Theatre Watson Room. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m.

The Salina Symphony provided the following information about the musicians.

<b>Yaniv Segal. </b>Photo courtesy Salina Symphony
Yaniv Segal. Photo courtesy Salina Symphony

Music director finalist

Recognized as a “talented director” (Illinois Pantagraph) who is “enthusiastic, lively, and incisive” (Giornale di Sicilia), Yaniv Segal is a charismatic and inspiring conductor and composer who has held positions with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic and Chelsea Symphony. He regularly works with the Detroit Symphony and has led orchestras around the globe, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Kansai Philharmonic, Ann Arbor Symphony, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Cleveland Opera and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra. While serving as assistant conductor of the Naples Philharmonic from 2014-2017, Segal conducted nearly 20 different programs each year, including a concert with Itzhak Perlman that was “off the charts…any classical music lover who missed this concert should weep…[The “Pines of Rome” was] One of the most exciting ever heard” (Naples Daily News).

Segal is a founder and former artistic director of the Chelsea Symphony. This dynamic and collaborative ensemble continues to provide major opportunities for rising and established conductors, composers and instrumentalists in the TriState area. As an important cultural presence in New York, the orchestra has premiered over 50 works and can be seen and heard on the hit Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle.”

In March of 2020, Naxos Records released Beethoven Reimagined, which Segal recorded with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. To celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the album features music arranged and written by Segal, Gabriel Prokofiev and Garrett Schumann. The music has been hailed as “genuinely novel” (Allmusic.com), “exciting…outrageous…[and] certainly worked” (Times of London), and as a “cause for celebration” (Classical CD Choice UK). In 2016, Segal recorded Joy and Sorrow, a CD of new Klezmer-influenced compositions by NYC urban composer David Chesky that uses the latest binaural technology and was named “a winner” (Fanfare Magazine). Segal has also recorded Chesky’s score to the 2017 animated film The Mice War, an opera which teaches children about the folly of war.

Deeply committed to the next generation of music lovers, Segal wrote a concert-length work for chamber orchestra and narrator, called The Harmony Games, that introduces listeners to the instruments of the orchestra while demonstrating connections between music and math. It has already been performed nearly 50 times to great acclaim from students, parents and educators. As a composer, Segal believes that music should be relevant to today’s audiences and connected to contemporary culture. The Chelsea Symphony premiered his Cello Concerto in 2015 and Rite of Spring (Redux) – a reworking of Stravinsky’s seminal work that includes electric guitar, bass guitar and saxophone – in 2013.

A versatile performer, profiled as one of the rising stars that is “redefining classical music” (Esquire Magazine), Segal was twice a violin soloist with his hometown Yonkers Philharmonic. He sang in the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus and toured the U.S. and Japan in the First National Tour of The Secret Garden. As boy soprano, he could be widely heard singing on TV commercials for Pepsi as well as on CDs ranging from classical opera to rock and folk music. Segal’s stage acting career culminated in a role in Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood at Lincoln Center, where he “convinces as Hapgood’s adolescent son” (New York Times).

Segal was invited to the inaugural Castleton Festival by Lorin Maazel and studied with Kurt Masur at seminars in the U.S. and Europe. He was selected as one of 18 participants (out of over 350 applicants) in the 2018 Evgeny Svetlanov Competition in Paris and is mentored by Andrey Boreyko and Leonard Slatkin. In 2013, Segal completed graduate studies at the University of Michigan with renowned conducting pedagogue Kenneth Kiesler and MacArthur Award winning composer Bright Sheng.

The son of a Polish violinist and an Israeli violin-maker, Segal grew up in New York speaking three languages in a multi-cultural household. In support of his education, achievements and contributions to American Society, he was a recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2009.

<b>Hannah Collins. </b>Photo courtesy Salina Symphony
Hannah Collins. Photo courtesy Salina Symphony

Guest artist

Cellist Hannah Collins is a dynamic performer who uses diverse forms of musical expression and artistic collaboration to build connections and community. Winner of the Presser Music Award and De Linkprijs for contemporary interpretation, she takes an active role in expanding the repertoire for the cello by commissioning and premiering solo works by composers such as Caroline Shaw and Timo Andres, and by co-creating interdisciplinary projects—most recently working with visual artist Antonia Contro and violinist Clara Lyon on Correspondence, a multimedia installation exhibited at the Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago.

Over the past decade, New Morse Code, her “remarkably inventive and resourceful duo” (Gramophone) with percussionist Michael Compitello, has developed projects responding to our society’s most pressing issues, including The Emigrants, a documentary chamber work by George Lam, and dwb (driving while black), a chamber opera by Roberta Gumbel and Susan Kander. They were recently named the inaugural grand prize winners of the Ariel Avant Impact Performance Prize which will support the development and touring of new works addressing sustainability goals and scientific innovation.

Solo and chamber music performances have taken Collins to festivals such as Orford Centre d'arts, Kneisel Hall, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Musique de Chambre à Giverny. She is a member of the Bach Aria Soloists, Cantata Profana, and Grossman Ensemble (2020-22), and has performed with The Knights, Decoda, Talea Ensemble, A Far Cry, and NOVUS NY. Praised for her “incisive, vibrant continuo” playing (South Florida Classical Review), Collins appears regularly as a Baroque cellist with the Sebastians, New York Baroque Incorporated, Quodlibet Ensemble, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra.

A dedicated teaching artist, Collins is an alumna of Ensemble Connect, a professional development program focused on chamber music performance, teaching artistry, and arts advocacy through the resources of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. She serves as co-director of KHBH: Together in Music, a recurring outreach residency which connects the Kneisel Hall Music Festival with the community of Blue Hill, Maine through creative projects. During the summer, she teaches cello and chamber music at Greenwood Junior Music Camp.

Collins earned a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering summa cum laude from Yale College and also holds graduate degrees in cello performance from the Yale School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and the City University of New York's Graduate Center. Her principal mentors have included Stefan Reuss, Ole Akahoshi, Aldo Parisot, Michel Strauss, Robert Mealy and Marcy Rosen. Collins is currently assistant professor of cello at the University of Kansas School of Music.

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Cover photo by Karen Mikols Bonar/Heartland Photography courtesy Salina Symphony.