Berkshire Symphony

Berkshire Symphony Student Solo Competition

The annual Berkshire Symphony Student Soloist Competition is an open public event. Each soloist is allotted ten minutes in which to present their chosen concerto movement, song, or selection.

As a highlight the competition winners appear with the Berkshire Symphony in the fourth and final regular season concert on Friday, April 19, in Chapin Hall, a concert which showcases the remarkable talents of Williams students. All four of these annual events are noted for their high level of performance and the particular verve that these young musicians bring to their interpretations.

The Berkshire Symphony is conducted by Ronald Feldman and includes Williams students, faculty members, and professionals. The ensemble presents four major concerts each season. The programs include music from all periods and genres, from classical standards to cutting edge premieres.

The competition is open to Williams College students who have completed required instrumental or vocal studies and are enrolled in qualifying courses. The students must be recommended by their instrumental or vocal teachers. The works may be one movement from a concerto, a single-movement work, a concert or operatic aria, song cycle, etc. for soloist and orchestra.

A distinguished panel of judges consisting of professional musicians from outside the Williams community chooses the winners.

Ariel Rudiakov, viola
Violist and conductor Ariel Rudiakov is a third-generation musician, receiving his early musical training from his parents, cellist Michael and pianist Judith in Riverdale, NYC. Rudiakov is in his 12th year as Artistic Director of the award-winning Manchester (VT) Music Festival MMF and is Music Director and conductor of the Danbury (CT) Symphony Orchestra. Ari holds viola performance degrees from SUNY Purchase (BM) and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (MM), and was a scholarship student at Yale University’s masters program where he studied privately with Jessie Levine and chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet.
In both capacities, Rudiakov enjoys a wide-ranging and diverse musical life, performing solo and chamber music throughout the USA and abroad with fine musicians including the Shanghai and Jupiter Quartets, former members of the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri quartets, pianists Ruth Laredo, David Deveau, Andre Michel Schub, Adam Neiman and many others. At the podium he has collaborated with world-renowned musicians; violinist Jaime Laredo, cellists Sharon Robinson and Bernard Greenhouse among others of similar note. He is a former member of the New York Piano Quartet and Equinox String Quartet and was a founding member of SONYC (the String Orchestra of New York City).
Among his recordings are the complete string quartets by Camille Saint-Saens, and the piano quintet by Vittorio Giannini on the MSR label. Composers Richard Lane, Philip Lasser and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson have dedicated works to Rudiakov. He has appeared on WAMC, WQXR and WNYT NY and Vermont Public Radio and Television. Ariel is currently on the faculty of the Manchester Music Festival, Renssalear Polytechnical Institute Fine Arts Division, and the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy.
Ariel resides in Manchester, VT and Yonkers, NY with his wife, violinist Joana Genova and their two children; Michael Arthur and Liliana Judith. He playes a viola made by Geoffrey Ovington in 2000.

Christopher Krueger, flute
A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Christopher Krueger was a student of James Pappoutsakis. He has performed as principal flutist with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestras, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Opera Company of Boston, Boston Ballet, Boston Musica Viva, and Cantata Singers, among other organizations, and was a founding member of the Emmanuel Wind Quintet, winners of the 1981 Walter W. Naumburg Award for Chamber Music. Currently he is a member of Collage New Music, Emmanuel Music, and performs frequently as principal flutist with Cantata Singers and other organizations in Boston

In the mid-1970’s, Mr. Krueger became interested in historical performance. His career as a Baroque flutist has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Australia. He has been a soloist on the Great Performers Series and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Bach Festival, Tanglewood, Ravinia, the Berlin Bach Festival, the City of London Festival, and the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, as well as in France, Belgium, Italy, and Poland. He is a member of the Bach Ensemble and the Aulos Ensemble, and is principal flutist with the Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Baroque.

Christopher Krueger has conducted and been a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society and Emmanuel Music, and his recordings can be heard on Sony, DG, Decca, EMI, Nonesuch, Pro Arte, CRI, Telarc, Koch, and Centaur. Mr. Krueger has served on the faculty at Wellesley College, the Longy School of Music, and the Akademie für Alte Musik in Brixen/Bressanone, Italy. He is currently on the faculty at New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University, and Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute. He is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jane Bryden, soprano
A highly acclaimed and distinguished advocate of chamber music, soprano Jane Bryden has appeared with St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, the Kennedy Center Chamber Players, the Lydian String Quartet, Boston Musica Viva, and Calliope. In addition she is well known as a historically informed performer of Baroque music and collaborated with such period instrument ensembles as the Bach Ensemble, the Boston Museum Trio, Aston Magna, the Aulos Ensemble, the Santa Fe Pro Musica and the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Bryden performed the role of Angelica in Peter Sellar’s production of Handel’s Orlando with the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, and is a founding member of Boston’s Emmanuel Music with whom she has performed nearly all the Bach cantatas in their liturgical context.
Ms. Bryden has also been a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony. Other career highlights include touring Israel with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and premiering Andrew Imbrie’s Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by Edo de Waart. In the world premieres of Ronald Perera’s operas The Yellow Wallpaper and S at Smith College, she created the roles of Charlotte and Sarah.  Other composers whose works she premiered include John Harbison, Earl Kim, Martin Boykan, Donald Sur and Donald Wheelock.
As a recipient of a Howard Foundation grant in 1997, she produced and participated in a festival of the music of Luigi Dallapiccola. In the spring of 2002 she organized and presented a semester-long series of concerts, films and lectures on the legend of Orpheus at Smith College, and in 2004 she organized a series of events and concerts on “John Harbison and His World: The Baroque Connection”. Other notable performances of Ms. Bryden include the Mozart Requiem at Tanglewood with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Andrew Parrott directing (recorded for Denon), a series of Bach Cantata recordings for the BBC in London, the Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer for the Mark Morris Dance Company, and solo recitals at the Hopkins Center, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.  Ms. Bryden’s recordings have been released on Koch International Classics, L’Oiseau Lyre, Gasparo, Pro Arte, Angel, Denon, CBS Masterworks, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, CRI, and Steve Reich’s Tehillim, included as part of the New York Philharmonic’s recent commemorative centennial box set.  Recently she has recorded a collection of songs (The Great Songbook) for children and families with her daughter singer-songwriter Nell Bryden.
Jane Bryden has taught at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, and at the Tanglewood Bach Cantata Institute. She received her Bachelor and Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her vocal teachers have been Gladys Miller at the New England Conservatory, Jan DeGaetani at Aspen Music Festival and New York, and Herbert Burtis in Massachusetts. Jane Bryden is Iva Dee Hiatt Professor of Music at Smith College.

Daniel Shulman, piano
Daniel Shulman is a musician of varied interests and experience. He has served as director of the conducting program, music director of the orchestra, and conductor of the Twentieth Century Players at the California Institute of the Arts; music director of the Beach Cities Symphony, Los Angeles; and, in an early incarnation, music director of the Doctor’s Orchestral Society of New York. He was founding-director of the Light Fantastic Players, a New York-based chamber orchestra of some 30 members that focused on the performance of twentieth-century works. Mr. Shulman has appeared as conductor of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and other distinguished American ensembles, the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, the Monday Evening Concerts, Speculum Musicae and the York New Music Ensemble, among them. He is the founder of several chamber music organizations, including ones currently active, In the Music Room (Los Angeles) and the Shulman Concerts (New York). Memorable special projects have included musical direction of a 3-concert chronicle of American music from the time of the Revolution to the present at the International Holland Festival, and a marathon Stravinsky festival -4 events presented in a single day; also a 2-year survey of the complete piano chamber music of Schubert and Brahms, and a similar cycle of the complete piano chamber music of Beethoven. He has received numerous grants and awards, from sources such as the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Los Angeles Arts Council, and the Barook Saal Award, Kyoto, Japan. He has been on the board of director of the League of Composers-ISCM and has often adjudicated young persons competitions. Mr. Shulman travels annually to Japan for recital and chamber music appearances, to present master classes for advanced performers, and for coaching and performing with gifted young musicians and enlightened amateurs. In this latter capacity he has served as music advisor to the Mozart Salon, Osaka, and is adjunct professor at the Tenri School of Music, Nara. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, violinist Kaori Washiyama, and son, Adam.

Snow Date: Feb. 19