Paul Groves, tenor
Stephen Prutsman, piano
with special guests
Geoff Nuttall, violin
Meena Bhasin, viola
~ $100 ~
Join Noe Valley Chamber Music for a fabulous benefit concert featuring world-renowned tenor Paul Groves, and the acclaimed pianist Stephen Prutsman, hailed as one of the most innovative musicians of our time.
This festive program will feature Paul and Stephen in songs and solo selections by Rachmaninoff, Duparc, Heggie, Vaughan Williams, Liszt and more, with special guest appearances by the fabulous Geoff Nuttall from the St. Lawrence String Quartet and co-Artistic Director Meena Bhasin!
Your ticket includes not only a whopping dose of talent, bubbly drinks and festive fare, but also supports all of Noe Valley Chamber Music’s dynamic programming throughout the year.
Bob & Terri Ryan
Michael Merrill Design Studio
Jake Heggie, Honorary Chair
Judy & Jay Nadel
Bari & Stephen Ness
Abby & David Rumsey
Neil Sekhri & Christopher Sherrill
Ray Walton & Jack Comerford
Paul Groves, tenor
One of the great American tenors of his generation, Paul Groves continues to enjoy an impressive international career performing on the stages of the world’s leading opera houses and most prestigious concert halls.
Paul Groves begins his 2018/2019 season at Opera de Lyon for performances as Faust in Boito’s Mefistofele. He makes his debut at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan this November in one of his signature roles as Candide. Groves makes another important debut this summer in his first performances as Herod in Salome with the Spoleto Festival USA. A veteran of the concert stage, Groves appears this season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Stravinsky’s Persephone with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Indianapolis Symphony for Bruckner’s Te Deum with Krzysztof Urbanski, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Donald Runnicles.
Last season marked Groves’ 25th season at the Metropolitan Opera since his debut as Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer. Additional operatic performances for the season included as Wilhelm Arndt in The Ring of Polykrates with the Dallas Opera under Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, as well as Faust in a concert production of La Damnation de Faust with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Additional concert performances throughout the season include Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with Opera de Lyon, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with the Rochester Philharmonic, Haydn’s Creation with the Prague Philharmonia, and Das Lied von der Erde alongside Sasha Cooke at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Highlights of recent seasons for the American tenor include a rare role debut singing Alessandro Cesare in Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with the Opéra national de Paris, his first performances in the title role of Wagner’s Parsifal with the Lyric Opera of Chicago led by Sir Andrew Davis, appearances as Admète in Gluck’s Alceste with Madrid’s Teatro Real, Nicias in Massenet’s Thais with the Los Angeles Opera, and Pylade in Iphigénie en Aulide with Theater an der Wien. An avid concert performer, Groves’ previous season was filled with debuts and return engagements with symphonies across the United States. Throughout the 2016/2017 season, he was seen performing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony, Berlioz’ Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony under Charles Dutoit, as well as Stravinsky’s Perséphone with the Oregon Symphony.
Stephen Prutsman, piano
Moving easily from classical to jazz to world music styles as a pianist and composer, Stephen Prutsman continues to explore and seek common ground and relationships in the music of all cultures and languages.
Born in Los Angeles, Stephen first began playing the piano by ear at age 3, before moving on to more formal music studies. In his teens and early 20s he was the keyboard player for several art rock groups including Cerberus and Vysion. He was also during those years a solo jazz pianist playing in many southern California clubs and lounges and was the music arranger for a nationally syndicated televangelist program. He was a proud winner of television’s “The Gong Show” in 1976.
In the early 90's his career as a classical pianist was launched after receiving the Avery Fisher Career Grant and winning medals at the Tchaikovsky (Moscow) and Queen Elisabeth (Brussels) Piano Competitions. Since then Stephen has performed the classical concerto repertoire as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and his classical discography includes acclaimed recordings of the Barber and McDowell concerti with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. Solo piano recording projects have included Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier”, an album of Russian masterworks, and a CD of jazz piano originals, recently released entitled “Passengers”.
From 2004 – 2007 Stephen was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he led concertos from the keyboard, performed in chamber ensembles, conducted works of living composers, developed and arranged collaborations for their Engine 408 series of contemporary and world music, and wrote several new works for the orchestra. From 2009 – 2012 he was the Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Festival of Music, South America’s largest festival of its kind, programming and curating concerts with themes ranging from Mozart celebrations, to eclectic evenings of folk and popular music of the Americas, to hybrid programs fusing art and dance music of multiple musical dimensions. He was the curator for the acclaimed experimental series “Evolution” in San Diego and Tijuana and was the founder of the International Chamber Music Festival in El Paso.
As a composer, Stephen’s long collaboration with Grammy Award winning Kronos Quartet has resulted in over 40 arrangements and compositions for them. Other leading artists and ensembles that have performed Stephen’s compositions and arrangements include Leon Fleisher, Dawn Upshaw, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Spoleto USA, Emmanuel Ax and the Silk Road Project. His sound tracks to several great silent films of the 1920s have been performed throughout the world. As a pianist or arranger outside of the classical music world he has collaborated with such diverse personalities as Tom Waits, Rokia Traore, Joshua Redman, Jon Anderson of “YES” and Asha Bhosle.
Passionate for participating in the greater good for families touched by autism, Stephen is involved as an active board member of several local and national Autism advocacy organizations. He co-founded the non-profit “Autism Fun Bay Area”, whose mission is to promote and create enjoyable “Azure” events: artistic and recreational environments for people on the spectrum and their families. Azure performances are now presented in many parts of the U.S., Canada and the developing world, which Stephen travels to when possible. His home is in San Francisco.