Ritz Chamber Players
WU Faculty/Staff/Seniors: $15
Wash U Students with ID - Free (limit 1 with ID)
Flute Quartet No. 1 in D Major, K. 285 by W.A. Mozart
Movement for String Trio by Coleridge - Taylor Perkinson
Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124 by Camille Saint – Saëns
Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Claude Debussy
Arrangements for flute, harp, violin and cello by Astor Piazzolla
Ave Maria (Tanti Anni Prima)
Dedicated to Ann Hobson Pilot
Ann Hobson Pilot, Harp
Demarre McGill, Flute
Kyle Lombard, Violin
Orlando Wells, Viola
Tahirah Whittington, Cello
The Ritz Chamber Players, the nation’s first chamber music ensemble series comprised solely of accomplished musicians spanning the African diaspora, brings a fresh, new energy to the classical music genre. The Ritz Chamber Players include some of the world’s most accomplished musicians. They have performed with the most prestigious musical organizations such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and London Symphony.
Its highly successful début concert at New York’s Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2004 was marked by a standing room only crowd, with critics proclaiming the group’s performance “extraordinary” and “vital and fresh.” The group made its international radio début on the BBC World Service and WYNC New York with a concert broadcast to more than 40 countries in 2005, and its first national television appearance on the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards in 2006. The Ritz Chamber Players has been guests of the highly-praised National Public Radio and the Tavis Smiley Shows and is a regular performer at the Madison and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals.
Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director and Clarinetist Terrance Patterson, the Ritz Chamber Players presents a subscription series at the Times-Union Center for the Performance Arts in Jacksonville, Florida and at Atlanta’s Kennesaw State University. The Ritz Chamber Players performs chamber works from the standard classical repertoire in many combinations, as well as highlighting the works of contemporary African-American composers. The Ritz Chamber Players have recently performed in residencies at the University of Washington and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, as well as concerts at the Miami Festival, Montclair’s Peak Performances Series, Baltimore’s Shriver Hall and a special presentation at the Juilliard School, where they will be Artists-in-Residence for the 2009-2010 season. The Ritz Chamber Players seek to increase the visibility of African-American classical composers and heighten public awareness of the African-American musician contributions within the classical music genre.
Kyle Andre Lombard – Violin
Kyle Andre Lombard, violinist, is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated with honors from Indiana University, earning the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, and received his Masters Degree from Yale University. Mr. Lombard enjoys a variety of musical activities. As a chamber musician, Mr. Lombard has performed throughout Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. He has recently performed on chamber music programs at Carnegie Hall and at the Ravinia Festival’s “Rising Stars” series. As part of the Ritz Chamber Players, he featured in the University of Washington’s esteemed “World Series of Chamber Music,” and features regularly in a residency at the esteemed Morehouse College. As a member of the Goffriller Piano Trio, Mr. Lombard’s performances were broadcast on Israeli Public Radio during Isaac Stern’s Third International Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem. He also performed as a member of the Gateways Chamber Music Ensemble in a weeklong residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
As a soloist, Mr. Lombard made his debut with the Kansas City Symphony. At age sixteen, he was the first area musician ever invited to perform with the ensemble. He has also concertized with the Savannah Symphony, the Sphinx Symphony, as well as recitals at the MOJA Festival in Charleston, S.C. and on the recital series at Southern Illinois University. Mr. Lombard was also featured in “Young Heroes of Music,” a live radio broadcast for Classic 99 FM of St. Louis. Mr. Lombard completed a two-year fellowship with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2001. He has performed with the orchestra since the 1999 season, touring numerous times to Carnegie Hall. In addition to orchestral playing, Mr. Lombard performs with several area ensembles, including the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, Chamber Project St. Louis, and the Missouri Chamber Music Festival. He performs on a violin by Gennaro Vinaccia, Napoli, 1775.
Ann Hobson Pilot – Harp
After 40 years with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, legendary principal harpist Ann Hobson Pilot retired at the end of the Tanglewood 2009 season. Ann Hobson Pilot is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music under Alice Chalifoux. She became principal harp of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1980, having joined the BSO in 1969 as assistant principal harp and principal with the Boston Pops. Before that, she was substitute second harp with the Pittsburgh Symphony and principal harp of the Washington National Symphony.
Ms. Pilot has had an extensive solo career. She has performed with many American orchestras as soloist, as well as with orchestras in Europe, Haiti, New Zealand, and South Africa. She has several CDs available on the Boston Records label, as well as on the Koch International and Denouement labels. In September 1999 she traveled to London to record (with the London Symphony Orchestra) the Harp Concerto by the young American composer Kevin Kaska, a work that she commissioned.
In May of 2010, Ms. Pilot was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Tufts University. She has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1993 and again in 2010, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Boston Musicians Association in 2010, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Talent Development League of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in January of 2014. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Bridgewater State College in 1988.
In 1997 she traveled to South Africa to record a video documentary, “A Musical Journey,” sponsored by the Museum of Afro-American History and WGBH. The film aired nationwide on PBS for three years. While there, she performed with the National Symphony of Johannesburg and visited the San people of Namibia.
Ms. Pilot recently retired from the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University. She will now be affiliated with the State College of Florida, in addition to the Tanglewood Music Center and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Marlboro Music Festival, Newport Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival and the Ritz Chamber Players.
After the 2009 Tanglewood concerts and her official retirement, Pilot returned to the stage as soloist with the BSO opening the Boston Symphony season and the Carnegie Hall season with the premiere of a concerto written for her by John Williams, On Willows and Birches, a concerto for harp and orchestra. On October 3, the orchestra paid tribute to her, dedicating the entire concert in her honor and featuring her in two other works for solo harp in addition to the Williams.
Producer Susan Dangel recently completed a new half-hour documentary that will tell the story of her life in music, “A Harpist’s Legacy, Ann Hobson Pilot and the Sound of Change”. It has aired on PBS stations nationwide.
The 2013 season brought the release of her new CD - music of the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla for harp, violin and bandoneon, with Lucia Lin, violinist with the Boston Symphony and the Muir String Quartet, and bandoneonist, JP Jofre.
The end of the 2016 season brought several important concerts including a performance on Sept. 24 at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. In October she performed the Ginastera Concerto with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the historic Teatro Colon to a sold-out audience, then in November she performed the Ginastera in Boston with the Boston Civic Symphony at Jordan Hall. Pilot once again ended the season in her role as artistic advisor and harpist for the Classical Pops festival in Barbados.
Demarre McGill – Flute
Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, flutist Demarre McGill is a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. Among the orchestras with which he has appeared as soloist are the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and, at age 15, the Chicago Symphony. In September 2017 Demarre McGill returned as principal flute of the Seattle Symphony, having previously served as principal flute of the Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He recently served as acting principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and earlier with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, he is a founding member of The Myriad Trio, a former member of Chamber Music Society Two, and has participated in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo
, Marlboro Music, La Jolla Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, to name a few. He is the co-founder and artistic director of the chamber music organization Art of Élan and, with clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Michael McHale, in 2014 founded the McGill/McHale Trio whose first CD was released by Cedille Records in August 2017. Media credits include appearances on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center, A&E Network's The Gifted Ones, NBC's Today Show and Nightly News, and, with his brother, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, Demarre McGill is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute at the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), having previously taught at the Juilliard School’s pre-college division.
Orlando Wells – Viola
Mr. Wells attended the State University of New York at Purchase as a double major on violin and viola where his primary teachers were Yuval Waldman and Emmanuel Vardi. He continued his studies at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers in New Jersey in the studio of Michael Tree.
Among the many ensembles he’s played with are the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra, Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, Musica Sacre, New York Oratorio Society, and Antara Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with Manhattan Virtuosi, the Harlem Symphony, and Antara Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Wells has performed and recorded with great artists such as Mariah Carey, John Legend, Rihanna, Harry Connick Jr., Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, and many others. He also has performed with many of the greatest shows on Broadway.
Currently, he is the violist of the critically acclaimed Sweet Plantain String Quartet, violist in the Broadway show “SpongeBob Squarepants”, and the award winning Emerald Trio.
Tahirah Whittington – Cello
Tahirah Whittington received her Bachelor’s Degree from the New England Conservatory and her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from The Juilliard School. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Whittington is a founding member of the Ritz Chamber Players and is currently the cellist for Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago. Tahirah has studied with Laurence Lesser, Joel Krosnick, and Hans Jørgen Jensen.
Funding support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Institutional Diversity