- The Playhouse Project, in association with Swiss Global Artistic Foundation, will host the Fourth Annual Master Class at The Playhouse, located in the heart of East Hampton on Thursday, May 22 and Friday, May 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The classes, open to Middle School and High School students on the South Fork, will take place under the baton of distinguished conductor, Geoffrey Simon, joining for his third year.
Maestro Simon works regularly in London with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestras, and with many others worldwide. He is Artistic Director to Swiss Global Artistic Foundation, Music Director Emeritus of the Northwest Mahler Orchestra in Seattle, juror for the acclaimed Young Concert Artists, and has made over 40 classical recordings, many for his own record label, Cala Records.
Assisting Maestro Simon with the Emerging Artists Division will be Australian guitarist Simon Powis, who will perform for participants and audience members at the close of each day.
The Swiss Global Artistic Foundation (Heather de Haes, President and Founder) identifies emerging professional artists and seeks to provide them with performance opportunities, professional guidance, and funding. This year, the Master Class has expanded to include not only High School students, but Middle School musicians and composers as well. While Middle School students will participate on a non-competitive basis, they are invited to work one-on-one with Maestro Simon and Simon Powis during both Thursday's and Friday's sessions.
Elizabeth Brockman Award
Maestro Simon, assisted by the Master Class Panel, will select this year's two High School student winners of the Elizabeth Brockman Award in Music. There is one award for Excellence and one award for Promise, and each recipient receives a prize of $1,000. Several Judges Awards of $250 each may also be awarded. Additionally, a winning vocalist will be awarded a free Voice Class with noted mezzo-soprano Barbara Conrad.
South Fork music teachers are eligible for a grant of up to $2,500 for an original teaching project designed to help enrich the musical experience of his/her students. The panelists include Geoffrey Simon; Playhouse Project Founders and Directors Mirra Bank and Richard Brockman; Heather de Haes, of Swiss Global Artistic Foundation; and guest artist, Simon Powis.
The awards presentation will take place at the Fourth Annual Playhouse Project Benefit Concert on Saturday, June 14 at 6 p.m. Winning artists will perform at the concert on the same bill with world class featured artists: virtuoso pianist and violinist, Awadagin Pratt, and acclaimed 27-year old Croatian guitarist, Robert Belinic, the first guitarist ever to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.
The Playhouse Project Master Class, open to all local music students, is offered to participants free of charge. Parents, families, teachers, members of the public, and schoolmates are encouraged to attend the Master Class sessions as guests.