Asheville Chamber Music Series’ (ACMS’) 2023-24 season opens with Young Concert Artists in YCA on Tour–A Blend of Chamber Music and Song at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville on Friday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m. The program features a unique mix of voice with violin, cello and piano, a combination frequently showcased in the finest European chamber festivals but rarely heard on American chamber music programs.
“I’m always humbled to consider myself among the musicians YCA represents,” says the group’s tenor Daniel McGrew. “It feels important to share the work they do and the role they play in helping us establish a place as professional musicians—and it’s especially meaningful to do that through a chamber music performance like this.”
Only the most extraordinary musicians are chosen to join the YCA Artist Fellowship Program. The three-year program takes artists to new levels of creative growth, offering them a holistic combination of digital tools, mentorship, project development, performance opportunities and training in education and community engagement. YCA’s artists are future stars who combine world-class talent with creative vision to bring new reach and relevance to the art form.
The October 13 concert features Chinese violinist Lun Li, Danish cellist Jonathan Swensen, Spanish/Dutch pianist Albert Cano Smit and American tenor McGrew.
Li won First Prize in the 2021 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, the Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize and the Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, and was named John French Violin Chair at YCA. He is the recent joint winner of First Prize at the Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition.
Swensen is the recipient of the 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant and was recently featured as both Musical America’s “New Artist of the Month” and “One to Watch” in Gramophone magazine.
Smit has appeared as a soloist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Montreal Symphony and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.
McGrew is an active performer of a broad range of repertoires spanning opera, musical theatre and early and new music. He has appeared in concert with Brooklyn Art Song Society, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Mirror Visions Ensemble, New York Festival of Song, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the University Musical Society.
The concert program will travel from Beethoven’s Germany in 1816 and Schumann’s Germany in 1847, all the way through Joseph Marx’s Austria in 1916 and Salina Fisher’s New Zealand in 2020.
“These are wildly contrasting works, and yet they somehow complement each other,” says Smit. “The shortest piece, Kintsugi, subtly sets the tone for every surrounding piece in the program. Kintsugi refers to the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold—rather than hiding the damage, it celebrates the cracks for the unique history they represent.”
For tickets or more information, visit AshevilleChamberMusic.org.