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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Laureates of the Sphinx Competition

Thursday, May 3, 2018 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Elena Urioste by Alessandra Tinozzi, Gabriel Cabezas, and Xavier Foley by Vanessa Briceno
The Detroit-based Sphinx Organization is dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Featuring three of the nation’s leading black and Latino artists—who are also recent winners of the Sphinx Competition—this program includes dynamic solo and chamber works.

Part of: Chamber Sessions III


Elena Urioste, Violin
Gabriel Cabezas, Cello
Xavier Foley, Bass
Tom Poster, Piano


SCHUMANN Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102
MESSIAEN Theme and Variations
BEACH Romance, Op. 23
GLIÈRE Intermezzo and Tarantella, Op. 9
XAVIER FOLEY Cranberry Juice (NY Premiere)
GABRIELLA SMITH Divertimento (World Premiere)
RAVEL Piano Trio in A Minor

M. PONCE "Estrellita"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102

Running the gamut from ardor to introspection, the melodious Fünf Stücke im Volkston (Five Pieces in Folk Style) illustrate Schumann’s special affinity for small-scale forms.

OLIVIER MESSIAEN  Theme and Variations

Inspired by his love for the violinist Claire Delbos, this early set of variations for violin and piano is imbued with the sense of mystery that would become Messiaen’s hallmark.

AMY BEACH  Romance, Op. 23

The full-blooded lyricism and luminous harmonies of this short salon piece by American composer Amy Beach have long made it one of her most popular works.

REINHOLD GLIÈRE  Intermezzo, Op. 9, No. 1; Tarantella, Op. 9, No. 2

This pair of bravura showpieces by Russian composer Reinhold Glière reflects his youthful friendship with the bass virtuoso (and future conductor) Serge Koussevitzky.

XAVIER FOLEY  Cranberry Juice

Xavier Foley studied at the Curtis Institute of Music where in a studio class, he first performed Cranberry Juice.


Gabriella Smith’s Divertimento, written for this evening’s soloists, was inspired by the “quirkiness” of Haydn and the Scherzo from Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony.

MAURICE RAVEL  Piano Trio in A Minor

Composed on the eve of World War I, Ravel’s Piano Trio in A Minor is by turns elegiac and vibrantly intense; he said he dashed it off “with the assurance and clarity of a madman.”


Elena Urioste

Elena Urioste, recently selected as a BBC New Generation Artist, has given performances to great acclaim with major orchestras throughout the US, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Pops, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared abroad with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra Now, The Orchestra of Opera North, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok, and MAV Symphony Orchestra. She has been a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, and has given recitals at Wigmore Hall, The Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Sage Gateshead, and Mondavi Center.

An avid chamber musician as well as soloist, Ms. Urioste has been a featured artist at the Marlboro Music, Ravinia, La Jolla Art and Wine, Bridgehampton Chamber Music, Moab Music, Sarasota Music, Sion, Verbier, and Roman River Music festivals. She frequently collaborates with pianists Michael Brown and Tom Poster.

Ms. Urioste won prizes at the Sphinx and Sion violin competitions and at the 2015 Brooklyn Film Festival for But Not for Me, the independent feature film in which she portrayed the lead female role. She received an inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence presented by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and has been featured in such publications as Symphony, Latina, and La Revista Mujer. Her second album, Echoes—a recital disc with Michael Brown—was released on BIS Records in October 2016. An album of violin and piano miniatures with Tom Poster will be released in 2018. Ms. Urioste is the co-founder and artistic director of Intermission Sessions, a program that combines music and yoga, and the founder and artistic director of Chamber Music by the Sea, an annual summer chamber music festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. She plays an Alessandro Gagliano violin and uses a Nicolas Kittel bow, both on generous loan from the private collection of Dr. Charles E. King through the Stradivari Society.

Gabriel Cabezas

Gabriel Cabezas has appeared as soloist with some of the finest orchestras in the US, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Nashville Symphony. He is a member of the New York–based sextet yMusic, which has been hailed by NPR as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music.” The ensemble’s virtuosic execution and unique configuration (string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet) has attracted the attention of high profile collaborators—from Dirty Projectors to Paul Simon—and more recently inspired an expanding repertoire of original works by some of today’s foremost composers.

Mr. Cabezas is also the co-founder of Duende Dance Studio, a new music and contemporary dance collective that focuses on the interaction between performers and dancers in the live realization of new scores. He received a Sphinx Medal of Excellence, a career grant awarded to emerging classical artists of color, who demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and ongoing commitment to leadership. An enthusiastic chamber musician as well as soloist, Mr. Cabezas has performed and toured with artists   from Edgar Meyer and Gabriel Kahane to the musicians of the Marlboro MusicFestival. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Carter Brey.

Xavier Foley

Winner of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Xavier Foley has captivated audiences “with superbly executed performances … playing fluidly and passionately” (Splash Magazines). In the 2017–2018 season, he appears as soloist with the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra, and performs recitals at the Port Washington Public Library, Paramount Theatre, Perlman Music Program Alumni Recital Series, Harriman-Jewell Series, and Buffalo Chamber Music Society.

As a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he made his New York and Washington, DC, recital debuts this season, which included two of his own compositions.

Mr. Foley has appeared as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Brevard Concert Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, and Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall. An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and will hold a three-year residency with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two during the 2018–2019 season. He has performed chamber music at the Tippet Rise Art Center, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and Wolf Trap.

Mr. Foley won an award from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia to appear on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series, as well as taking first prize at the Astral National Auditions, Sphinx Competition, and International Society of Bassists Competition. He has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and the Delaware Chamber Music Festival. From Marietta, Georgia, he studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Edgar Meyer and Harold Hall Robinson. Mr. Foley’s bass was crafted by Rumano Solano.

Tom Poster

Tom Poster is a musician whose skills and passions extend well beyond the conventional role of the concert pianist. In demand internationally as soloist and chamber musician across a notably extensive repertoire, he has been described as “a marvel [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music). He has performed more than 40 concertos ranging from Bach to Ligeti with the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, China NCPA Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra, and Ulster Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Thierry Fischer, James Loughran, En Shao, Robin Ticciati, and Yan Pascal Tortelier.

Mr. Poster features regularly on BBC radio and television, and has made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms. His exceptional versatility has put him in great demand at festivals internationally. He is a member of the Poster-Johnston Trio and the Aronowitz Ensemble (a former BBC New Generation Artist), and he enjoys ongoing duo partnerships with Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston, and Elena Urioste. He also collaborates with Ian Bostridge, Steven Isserlis, Matthew Rose, and Huw Watkins, and has performed with the Brodsky, Callino, Carducci, Castalian, Danish, Elias, Endellion, Heath, Martinů, Medici, Navarra, Sacconi, Škampa, and Tippett string quartets. He has recorded for Champs Hill Records, Chandos Records, Decca Classics, Edition Classics, EMI, Sonimage, and Warner Classics, and regularly features as soloist on film and television soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated score for The Theory of Everything. He studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he earned a double first. He has won prizes at the Scottish International Piano, Royal Over-Seas League, and BBC Young Musician of the Year competitions. Mr. Poster is artistic director of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, an ensemble with a flexible lineup and a commitment to diversity, in addition to being a successful composer and arranger, and a lifelong fan of animals with unusual noses.

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