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Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre


190330 OVS ConcertMarch 30, 2019
at 7:30 p.m.

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Elizabeth Pitcairn asked if she could come back to perform on our 30th Anniversary concert March 30th, and of course we said a resounding Yes! She will bring her legendary Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius and will be joined by Maestro Miriam Burns on the podium for a wonderful evening of beautiful music you won’t soon forget.

Conductor Miriam Burns

Miriam Burns was on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of their Cover Conductors from 1999-2007, having been appointed by Kurt Masur as a result of a competitive audition by-invitation-only. In this capacity, she accompanied the orchestra on tour to the Far East as the tour Assistant Conductor to then new Music Director, Lorin Maazel, and for eight years was entrusted as an assistant conductor on call for countless specific, fully prepared programs under many guest conductors of international repute.

Now in her sixth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Tysons McLean Orchestra (VA), Ms. Burns continues as Music Director of The Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City since 1995. Recent prior Music Directorships include the Tallahassee Symphony, where she was designated a Paul Harris Fellow for six years of outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Tallahassee, the Kenosha Symphony and the Lawton Philharmonic. Additionally, she is Principal Conductor and Music Advisor for the popular multimedia orchestral show RePLAY: Symphony of Heroes, based on the symphonic music of videogames. As such, she conducted the world premiere with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, followed by performances with the Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, members of the Toronto Symphony at the Sony Centre, and conducts ensuing performances with other major orchestras as the show is booked.

In 2017 Ms. Burns debuted as guest conductor with the Rochester Philharmonic. International engagements have included two recent performances with the Magdeburg Philharmonic in Germany, preceded by debuts with the Bournemouth Symphony (ENG); in Germany at the Stadthalle in Wuppertal: the First Ladies Symphony Orchestra of Poland, and the YinQi Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan. Highlights of prior guest conducting within the US include appearances with orchestras such as the Memphis Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Mansfield Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, MasterWorks Festival, Sewanee Music Festival, C.W. Post Music Festival and the Skaneateles Festival.

Versatile in all genres, she is active on operatic stages as well, having conducted opera at the MasterWorks Festival and having been Associate Music Director of the Bronx Opera Company – conducting opening nights – for nine years. Ms. Burns has performed with two-time Grammy winner Sylvia McNair, and is on the conducting roster of Broadway Pops International, Inc. through which she guest conducted two performances of an Elvis Tribute with the Memphis Symphony. Equally fluent in choral/orchestral repertoire, Ms. Burns has conducted major oratorio with prominent Metropolitan Opera soloists such as Ben Heppner, Heidi Grant Murphy, Angela Brown, Mark Delavan, Mark Oswald and others. Committed to the furthering of musical education of all generations, she recently guest conducted the NAfME All-National Youth Orchestra, is sought-after as an All-State conductor, has guest conducted at CelloSpeak and has twice served as a private coach / specialist on the faculty of Chorus America’s Choral/Orchestral Masterclasses for the orchestral conducting training of choral conductors.

Ms. Burns has received conducting awards from the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Paul Vermel, and the Conductors Guild, where she was unanimously presented with their prestigious biennial prize, the Thelma Robinson Scholarship, while still a student at Mannes College of Music (NY). Ms. Burns also received an Artist Diploma in Yale University’s eminent Conductor Apprentice Program on full scholarship and upon special invitation of Yale faculty. In this capacity, she regularly worked with noted mentor conductors such as Gunther Herbig, Lawrence Leighton Smith and Eleazar de Carvallho. She also participated in master classes under the tutelage of prominent guests such as Kurt Masur, Leopold Hager and Zdenek Macal. Ms. Burns completed her Masters degree and Professional Studies in Orchestral Conducting on full scholarship at the Mannes College, where she studied with Yakov Kreizberg and Michael Charry. Previously active as a violinist, she holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in violin performance from Mannes, during which time she began preliminary conducting studies with Semyon Bychkov. Ms. Burns is an alumna of both the New York String Orchestra Seminar under Alexander Schneider, and The Quartet Program. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Burns was an original member of the former Chester String Quartet.

Elizabeth Pitcairn, violin

American violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn is passionate about youth and education. She serves as President and Artistic Director of the Luzerne Music Center which provides training for gifted young musicians ages 9-18 in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.

The artist performs with one of the world’s most legendary instruments, the “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius violin of 1720, said to have inspired the Academy Award–winning film The Red Violin. Pitcairn is featured on the 10th Anniversary edition of The Red Violin DVD in a special feature called “The Auction Block”. Named the Red Stradivarius violin while in the possession of Joseph Joachim, it was a gift from her grandfather in 1990 at Christie’s Auction in London.

Born in 1973 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to a closely-knit musical family (her mother is a Juilliard-trained cellist), Pitcairn began playing the violin at age three and made her debut with orchestra at 14. Her path led her to Los Angeles to study with preeminent violin professor Robert Lipsett at the University of Southern California. Her former teachers include Julian Meyer, Sylvia Ahramjian, Jascha Brodsky, Robert Lipsett and Shmuel Ashkenasi. She was a member of the distinguished faculty of both USC and the Colburn School for 10 years (2000-2010), taught at the Encore School for Strings, and is an alumna of the Marlboro Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, Luzerne Music Center, Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Meadowmount School, Point Counter Point, the Encore School for Strings, the YMF Debut Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony under the direction of Mehli Mehta. She served as concertmaster of the New West Symphony under the direction of Boris Brott for 11 years (2000-2011). With Maestro Brott, she appeared with the McGill Chamber Orchestra of Montréal, the National Academy Orchestra in Ontario and the New West Symphony. She has appeared in recital for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and for a special event at the Aspen Music Festival with President and CEO Alan Fletcher and soloist Robert McDuffie. She believes strongly in philanthropy and is a frequent performer for charitable events such as the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Helping Hands and Hearts Foundation and the Nakashima Foundation for Peace.

A champion of new music, Pitcairn commissioned Sweden’s renowned composer Tommie Haglund to compose the violin concerto tone poem Hymnen an die Nacht (Hymns to the Night), receiving a Swedish Grammi nomination in 2009. Other commissions include a sonata for violin and piano by Russian composer David Finko and The Blue Vishuddha (2014) by Sara Carina Graef which was composed for her Fisher Center recital at Bard College.

Pitcairn made her debut with orchestra at age 14 performing the Saint-Saëns Concerto, and has since appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in the year 2000 with the New York String Orchestra in her New York debut. She has since performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Kimmel Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Fisher Center at Bard College. She has given performances of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra of China and with conductor Wagner Politschuk in São Paulo, Brazil. Under the baton of Finnish conductor Hannu Koivula, Pitcairn has performed the Barber Concerto with the Vaasa City Symphony, the Jönkopping Symphony of Sweden and given the premiere of eminent Swedish composer’s Hymnen an die Nacht with the Helsingborg Symphony. She gave a nationally televised broadcast of the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Classic FM Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria conducted by Maxim Eshkenazy. She has also concertized in Italy, France, Germany, the British Isles, Hungary, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, the French West Indies, Austria, Romania and the Czech Republic. She has appeared in recital at the Cayman Arts Festival with pianist Glen Inanga and with the Arkansas Philharmonic and the North Mississippi Symphonies conducted by Steven Byess. She has appeared with the Fort Collins Symphony conducted by Wes Kenney, the Allentown Symphony with Diane Wittry, the Bucks County Symphony, Ridgewood Symphony and Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra of New York led by Gary Fagin, the Marin Symphony conducted by Alasdair Neale and the USC and Richardson Symphonies conducted by Anshel Brusilow. She performed the Brahms Double Concerto with Ronald Leonard, under the sbaton of Yehuda Gilad and Carlo Ponti, Jr. She has performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the San Luis Obispo Symphony music director Michael Nowak, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Lara Webber and the Livermore Symphony. In 2010, on the 20th anniversary of the auction of the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius, she gave a commemorative recital in Cremona, Italy with pianist Igor Longato, whom she met at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998. She has toured northern Italy with the TOCCATA-Tahoe Orchestra performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and in 2017, she will tour Vienna, Salzburg and Prague, as well as Romania and Serbia. Also in 2017, she will perform The Red Violin Chaconne with Maestro Jung-Ho Pak and the Cape Symphony and record the Sibelius Violin Concerto which will be released together with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

Her discography includes the Tchaikovsky and Mozart A Major Concerti with the Slovenia Radio Television Orchestra, Hymnen an die Nacht (Hymns to the Night) by Tommie Haglund with the Helsingborg Symphony for Phono Suecia, the Bruch Scottish Fantasy and Sarasate Carmen Fantasy with the Sofia Philharmonic, the Beethoven and Bruch Concerti (2015), the Brahms and Mendelssohn Violin Concerti (2016) and the Sibelius Concerto (2017) with the Classic FM Radio Orchestra of Bulgaria conducted by Maxim Eshkenazy.

The “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius is fitted with Wittner Finetune-Pegs and travels in a titanium case by GEWA. Her favorite activities are skiing, tennis, horseback riding, wine tasting. For her concert schedule and history of the “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius violin, please visit


Overture Pique Dame

Violin Concerto No. 2

In the Steppes of Central Asia

Firebird Suite 1919


Von Suppé