March 10 – Bixby Kennedy, Clarinet

Concert Co-sponsor: BrandTech Scientific, Inc. | Piano Sponsor: Masonicare at Chester Village

Where and When:

CONGREGATION BETH SHALOM RODFE ZEDEK
55 E Kings Hwy, Chester, CT
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Sunday, March 10, 2024
Concert begins at 3:00 pm; outer doors open at 2:00 pm; auditorium doors open at 2:30 pm.
Accessible parking, entry and seating is available.

Concert Program:

Bixby Kennedy, clarinet
Mika Sasaki, pianist

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano — Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Three Pieces for Cello and Piano (1914) – Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) Arranged for clarinet by Bixby Kennedy
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1962) Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 5 (1913) – Alban Berg (1885-1935)
Clarinet Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 120, No. 2 (1894) – Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Artist Biographies:

Bixby Kennedy, clarinet

“Bixby Kennedy played with admirable suppleness and beauty of tone. He was unquestionably the star of this performance …” – Allan Kozinn

Admired for his “marvelous ringing tone” (Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union), Bixby Kennedy is one of the most versatile clarinetists of his generation. He has performed concerti with orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and New Haven Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Bixby has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe in venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, Marlboro Music Festival, and is the clarinetist for the “explosive” New York City-based chamber ensemble Frisson. Additionally, he has performed at festivals including Music@Menlo (CA), Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival (VT), Music in the Vineyards (CA), Kneisel Hall (ME), Sewanee (TN), Chamber Music Northwest (OR), Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival (NY), and more. He has appeared as a guest artist with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Knights, New York New Music Ensemble, and Third Sound Ensemble. As an orchestral musician, Bixby has performed with the MET Opera and NY Philharmonic and was a designated sub on the Broadway productions of Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd, in addition to regular engagements with the Albany and New Haven Symphony Orchestras. On period instruments, Bixby has performed classical repertoire on original and replica instruments throughout the U.S. with Grand Harmonie Orchestra. As an educator, Bixby has held teaching positions at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Williams College, and has given masterclasses throughout the United States. He is a former member of Ensemble Connect and works as a teaching artist throughout the U.S. As an arranger, his works have been performed by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Schumann, Frisson, Ensemble Connect, and Symphony in C.

The 2023-2024 season marks the second year that Bixby has worked with Musicians Club of New York, in the capacity of Executive Director, presenting young artists and lesser-known composers to audiences throughout New York City.

Bixby loves traveling, trying new foods, laughing, hiking, playing tennis, and is the proud father to his son, Grayson, born January 2023. He performs exclusively on Backun instruments.

 

Mika Sasaki, pianist

Praised as a “superb interpreter” (Fanfare) and for her “virtuosity… and sparkling sound” (Times Argus), pianist Mika Sasaki enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. She has performed across the U.S. and in the U.K., Italy, Japan, and Switzerland, appearing in venues such as the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. She has appeared as concerto soloist with the Sinfonia of Cambridge, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, 92Y Orchestra, and more recently, with the InterSchool Symphony Orchestra of New York, performing Amy Beach’s Piano Concerto.

Mika is the pianist of Ensemble Mélange and is a newly appointed core member of Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. As a guest artist, she has performed with the Manhattan Chamber Players, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Connect, Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She is an alumna of the Peabody Conservatory (B.M., M.M.), Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, and The Juilliard School (D.M.A.), as well as summer programs such as Tanglewood, Music@Menlo, Chigiana, Yellow Barn, Aspen, Icicle Creek, Mannes Beethoven Institute, and Taos. She has taught and performed at pianoSonoma, Rushmore, Taubman Piano Festival, WCYO Charles Ives Music Festival, Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard, and Music@Menlo’s Chamber Music Institute.

Based in New York City, Mika is a faculty member at The Juilliard School, where she is the Supervisor of Secondary Piano in the College Division and teaches keyboard skills, piano, and chamber music in the College, Pre-College, and Extension Divisions. When not at the piano, she can be found tending to her houseplants, cooking, or chasing after her cat.

Contact Information:

Essex Winter Series
PO Box 383
Essex, CT 06426

860-272-4572

Email: office@essexwinterseries.com

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Our Venues:

Valley Regional High School
256 Kelsey Hill Road
Deep River, CT 06417

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Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek
55 E Kings Highway
Chester, CT 06412
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Sponsors/Funding Support:

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