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Back to CalendarNational Philharmonic Mendelssohn's Elijah
Saturday, April 7, 2007 at 8:00 PM
Music Center at Strathmore


In demand throughout the United States and Europe, Dr. Stan Engebretson has led choirs in Venice’s Cathedral of St. Mark and taught in Cologne, Trier, St. Moritz, and Barcelona. For 11 years, Engebretson has shaped the ensemble that is now the National Philharmonic Chorale and its affiliated chamber singers. He is director of music at the historic New York
Avenue Presbyterian Church. Previous posts include artistic director for the Midland-Odessa Symphony Chorale and associate conductor of the Minnesota Chorale. Engebretson has taught at the Universities of Texas and Minnesota and is currently director of choral studies at George Mason University. Engebretson remains active as a chorister and lecturer, especially for Carmel Bach Festival and Smithsonian Institution.


Licia Albanese Competition winner Esther Heideman made her Metropolitan Opera debut singing Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The New York Times writes that “hearing this lively redheaded coloratura sing, it’s impossible not to
think: Beverly Sills.” She has appeared with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, Pacific Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony,Cincinnati Symphony, Seattle Symphony,
Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic. Heideman has been featured in several world premieres, including the role of Jenny Lind in Libby Larsen’s opera Barnum’s Bird (Plymouth Music Series, Philip Brunelle conducting) and Revelation of St. John by Daniel Schnyder (Milwaukee Symphony, Andreas Delfs


Christina Wilcox is at home in opera and on the concert stage. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic, appearing with such conductors as Erich Leinsdorf, Zdenek Macal, Gerard Schwarz, JoAnn Falletta, and David Lockington. In recent seasons, she made her Brooklyn Philharmonic
debut under Robert Spano in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, followed by her San Francisco and Santa Rosa Symphony debuts. She sang the Verdi Requiem for debuts with the
Jacksonville Symphony and the Duke Chapel Choir in North Carolina in 2005. She has been a frequent soloist at Carnegie Hall for Musica Sacra and the Canterbury Choral Society. She has
sung with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Greenwich Choral Society, Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Berkshire Choral Festival. Ms. Wilcox made her opera debut with New York City Opera. Since then, she has sung with many American opera companies including Dallas Opera and Seattle Opera.


In recent years, lyric tenor Alan Bennett has emerged as one of the finest oratorio singers in the United States, noted for his performances of Bach, Handel, and Mozart. Mr. Bennett has performed with many prominent American orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. A noted specialist in baroque music, he has performed with all of the leading period instrument orchestras in North America, including the
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Handel & Haydn Society, Tafelmusik, and Les Violons du Roy. He is a frequent guest at music festivals and has a longstanding relationship with the Carmel Bach Festival. He has appeared at the Tanglewood Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, and the Bethlehem Bach Festival and has sung with the Houston Masterworks Chorus, Oratorio Society of New York, Washington Choral Arts Society, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Mr. Bennett has worked under many of the world’s most prominent Baroque music conductors, including
Christopher Hogwood, Bruno Weil, Helmuth Rilling, Nicholas McGegan, Bernard Labadie, and the late Robert Shaw.


Bass Kevin Deas has been a guest artist with the Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Utah Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony,
Houston Symphony, and Germany’s Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is internationally recognized for his portrayal of the title role in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, sung with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Montreal Symphony, among others. He has performed with Dallas Opera, Boston Baroque, Berkshire Chorale, Oregon
Festival of American Music, Bronx Arts Ensemble, and New York Choral Society. Deas has recorded Die Meistersinger with the Chicago Symphony under the late Sir Georg Solti and Varèse’s Ecuatorial with ASKO Ensemble.


Twelve-year-old Devin Gajewski attends the Math/Science/Computer Science Center at Roberto Clemente Middle School. Having studied violin for nine years, Devin has won several violin competitions; he also sang for two seasons with the Children’s Chorus of Washington. In 2005-2006, Devin sang the part of First Boy in National Philharmonic’s production of Mozart’s
The Magic Flute.

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