SYMPHONY SERIES SOLOISTS
2019 - 2020 Season
Luigi Mazzocchi was born in Venezuela where he grew up in the System of Youth Orchestras, “El Sistema.” He also studied in the Sojo Conservatory and the Latin American Violin Academy with José F. del Castillo. He was a founder of the Lara State Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Venezuela and a first violinist of the “Simón Bolívar” Symphony Orchestra, with which he toured Europe and Latin America, and recorded a number of CDs on the Dorian Record label.
Mr. Mazzocchi has performed as soloist with all the main Venezuelan symphony orchestras, the FOSJA Orchestra at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, the West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, the South Orange Symphony, the Temple University Orchestra, The Olney Symphony, among other regional orchestras. He attended international music festivals in Latin America, the US, Spain, France, and Australia. He is a prizewinner in solo competitions such as the Del Castillo Latin American Competition, the 1997 South Orange Symphony Artist Competition, the 1999 FOSJA, and the 2000 Temple University Concerto Competition.
In the US, Mr. Mazzocchi studied violin with Liliana Ciulei and Helen Kwalwasser, completing a Bachelor of Music at Rowan University and a Master Music at Temple University. He has also coached with Margaret Pardee, Zakhar Bron, Olivier Charlier, Naoko Tanaka, William de Pasquale, Luis Biava, David Arben, Charles Parker, the Emerson, Guarneri, and Orion String Quartets.
Currently, Mr. Mazzocchi is the Concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, and the Ocean City Pops. He is also the Associate Concertmaster of the Delaware Symphony and a member of the Pyxis Piano Quartet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Philly Pops, the West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of Vocal Arts Orchestra, and the Cachaça Ensemble. He was a member of the Dalí and the Serafin String Quartets, performing twice in Carnegie Hall with the latter. He served as a teaching artist for the Philadelphia Orchestra and has performed with the orchestra as a substitute violinist. He has been a featured artist for Alô Brasil, Live Connections and Intercultural Journeys’ 2015-16 season.
He plays on a violin made in 1887 by Riccardo Antoniazzi and a Pajeot School bow, kindly loaned to him by Dr. William Stegeman. Mr. Mazzocchi lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children.
Described as “the finesse player” and a “consummate musician”, Barbara Prugh has been embracing both over her many years of trumpeting throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond! A Finalist in the 1983 Concert Artists' Guild Competition in New York City, she has appeared as a guest soloist with many of the Philadelphia area's top musical organizations (Concerto Soloists, Bach Festival, Philadelphia Singers, Orchestra 2001, etc.). She has performed the premiere of several new solo compositions and is well-known for her rendition of "The Trumpet Shall Sound" from Handel's Messiah in area churches to the stage of the Academy of Music.
When not busy as a soloist, Ms. Prugh often serves in a "principal trumpet" capacity with area orchestras, including a tour of Portugal with the Delaware Symphony in 1987 and 20 years as
Principal Trumpet with the Reading Symphony. She has also played in the Philadelphia Orchestra's trumpet section, including an all-Resphighi recording as assistant principal trumpet with Ricardo Muti conducting. She concertizes with FESTIVE BRASS and BRANDYWINE BRASS and has performed as part of several “celebrity” concerts during her career (i.e., Mannheim Steamroller, Luciano Pavorotti, etc.). In 2011 Barbara developed a show called “Lady With a Horn”, a musical memoir of her life. She also has recorded a solo album entitled “Barbara Prugh, Trumpet Artistry”.
Her music-making has taken her to Europe on several occasions, including a college tour as a trumpet soloist and a trip to perform and record Arutunian's Trumpet Concerto with orchestras in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. She performed for many years as solo and principal trumpet for the White Mountain Bach Festival in North Conway, New Hampshire and has been a featured soloist at several international brass conferences.
A native Delawarean, Barbara received her degrees from the University of Delaware (B.M.) and the Eastman School of Music (M.M.). In addition to performing she has also served as a trumpet instructor, high school band director, college professor, conductor, coordinator of music, wife & mother, and pet lover!
Hailed as an artist of "magnificent pianism" with an "engaging personality", Guernsey-born pianist Tom Hicks has gained first prize in competitions including the Wales International Piano Competition, the Croydon Piano Concerto Competition and the EPTA UK Piano Competition and was also a finalist in the New York International Piano Competition and a semi-finalist in the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition. In addition, Tom has won awards such as the Richards’ Prize for Piano and Musicianship and the Dennis Midwood Keyboard Prize from Chetham’s School of Music; the Faculty of Humanities Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, the Keith Elcombe Prize for Best Overall Performance and three Proctor-Gregg Performance Prizes from the University of Manchester; and the Gold Medal Award and Peter Frankl Piano Prize from the Royal Northern College of Music.
After lessons in Guernsey with Mervyn Grand, Tom gained a place at Chetham’s School of Music in 2009. He studied with Murray McLachlan with whom he continued on the prestigious joint course at The Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University. Since 2015 he has been based in America, studying with Boris Berman at Yale University’s School of Music and as a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate with James Giles at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. He also plays regularly to musicians including Emanuel Ax, Joseph Banowetz, Michel Beroff, Andrea Bonatta, Philippe Cassard, Peter Donohoe, Christopher Elton, Peter Frankl, Stephen Hough, Leslie Howard, Eugen Indjic, Yoheved Kaplinsky, John Lill, Jon Nakamatsu, Steven Osborne, Pascal Rogé, Martin Roscoe, Boris Slutsky, Kathryn Stott, Vladimir Tropp and Simon Trpcezici.
Tom has an expansive repertoire and has appeared as recitalist in venues such as The Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, The Pump Rooms in Bath, The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and in many other venues throughout Europe and the United States. He has appeared as concerto soloist on more than 30 occasions. This includes two complete cycles of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerti, most recently with the Stockport Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, he releases a recording of John Ireland and Tchaikovsky, supported by the John Ireland Charitable Trust, and gives the launch recital as artistic director of the Fanny Davies International Piano Series in Guernsey.
Alongside his solo career, Tom is a skilled accompanist and chamber musician. He has enjoyed coaching from Boris Berman, Hung-Kuan Chen, Mark Steinberg, Leonard Elschenbroich and Ralph Kirshbaum. Highlights include performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with piano duo partner Eylam Keshet in Sprague Hall (New Haven) and the quintets of Schumann and Dvorak with the Coull Quartet at St James Concert Hall (Guernsey). In 2012, Tom co-founded Guernsey-based modern music ensemble Terra Nova. His interest in contemporary music has led to several collaborations with British composer Camden Reeves, including premieres of Reeves’ Tangle-Beat Blues in 2014 and Nine Preludes in 2016, with a new work coming in 2019. Tom is grateful for financial assistance from the BWCI Foundation.
Pianist Michelle Yelin Nam has been praised for her “silvery clarity, brilliant talent with a highly overt and dynamic temperament” (Montreal Gazette), playing “in the manner of the greats, before having their age” (La Presse). She recently performed Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on Theme by Paganini with Symphony Song Orchestra in Seoul as well as ASU Symphony Orchestra. Her concerto credits include multiple performances with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kent Nagano, Heinrich Schiff, and Jacques Lacombe, as well as with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony and Jefferson Symphony; also with chamber orchestras in New York City, Seoul, Toronto, and Halifax, Connecticut, Kansas City, Vancouver, Phoenix in repertoire including Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev. She has played Mozart’s Triple Piano Concerto and the premiere of Jacques Hétu’s Triple Concerto with Andre-Laplante and Alain Lefevre with the Montreal Symphony; the latter is featured on the CBC’s Jacques Hétu’s symphonique disc. She will appear as a soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Longueui in 2020 on Rachmaninoff Concerto #4.
As an active recitalist she gave a twenty city Canadian tour throughout Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes featuring the music of Chopin, Mendelssohn and Schubert. These performances were frequently simulcast on radio. In 2019, She was chosen as one of the “top three pianists” by Music Cinema, during the Chopin Project in Sorel-Tracy, QC and appeared as a soloist in American Liszt Society. In 2018-2019 season, she performed her first recital series in China at the National Art center in Harbin City, and Tianjin. Her solo recitals include multiple performances at Banff and Orford Art Centers, Houses of Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, and Zipper Hall in LA, as well as venues throughout the USA, Canada, Asia, Spain, France, and England. CBC Records has produced a live recital CD and DVD of Ms. Nam in 2007. In 2014, she presented a New York City recital of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Also as an active as a chamber musician, her collaborations include a version of Ravel’s La Valse for dancers and duo piano that critics praised as one of Hartford, Connecticut’s best performances of the year 2012. Her piano trio appeared in a master class with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has also performed numerous community engagement concerts in Connecticut for churches, schools, and senior centers.
Ms. Nam transferred her DMA from UMKC to ASU where she serves as Teaching Assistant. She holds two Artist Diplomas from the Manhattan School of Music under full scholarship as well as from Hartt School. She previously completed her Master’s degree at The Juilliard School under Alexander Siloti scholarships and holds Bachelor’s degrees from McGill University. Her previous teachers include Phillip Kawin, Haisun Paik, Richard Raymond and Robert Weirich, Wolfram Linnebach. She has also received top awards from numerous international competitions including Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer competition, Hastings International piano competition, International Stepping Stone, and International Keyboard Institution and also foundation such as Canada Council for the Arts, Winspear Foundation for the Arts, the Anne Burrows Fund, Eugene Istomin Capital Foundation. A Canadian citizen now based in Phoenix, Ms. Nam grew up in Seoul until the age of 15.