Each year, Festival Napa Valley (formerly Festival del Sole) features the Bouchaine Young Artist Series with free concerts at Jarvis Conservatory Theater in downtown Napa. This year, all three of the artists are from, or have roots in, Northern California and the Bay Area.
Sponsored by Bouchaine Vineyards, this series provides performance opportunities for promising young artists. Festival Napa Valley awards a generous monetary scholarship, underwritten by Tatiana and Gerret Copeland, to each participating artist:
* Alexi Kenney (Palo Alto) – winner of Avery Fisher Grant, is finishing his studies at NEC in Boston:
Bouchaine Young Artists Concert: Alexi Kenney – July 19
Prize-winning violinist Alexi Kenney, a Palo Alto native studying on scholarship at the New England Conservatory, returns to Festival Napa Valley after performing here in 2010. He wowed audiences and critics this past season at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, and in performances in Santa Fe and Cleveland. The New York Times praised his “beautifully phrased and delicate playing,” while ClevelandClassical.com wrote of his “powerful musical magnetism.” Kenney is poised to release his first CD (on CAG Records), featuring works by Schumann, Westhoff and others that he showcased at his Carnegie recital debut.
* Yelena Dyachek (Sacramento) – winner of Met Council Auditions, finishing studies at USC:
Bouchaine Young Artists Concert: Yelena Dyachek – July 20
Celebrated for her “impeccably focused singing” (Opera News), Ukrainian-American soprano Yelena Dyachek has already performed in a wide variety of productions, from Così fan tutte to Eugene Onegin, from The Threepenny Opera to Iphigénie en Tauride. This season Dyachek will perform with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, as well as in the role of Dominique de Menil in the world premiere of Some Light Emerges, and First Secretary in Nixon in China, with Houston Grand Opera.
* Daniel Hsu (Fremont) – winner of Concert Artists Guild competition, studying at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia:
Bouchaine Young Artists Concert: Daniel Hsu – July 21
The Philadelphia Inquirer calls him “a poet,” a pianist with “an expressive edge to his playing that charms, questions and coaxes.” That’s high praise for an 18-year-old musician. The Bay Area native is the Richard A. Doran Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he was accepted at the age of ten. He is one of two winners of this year’s prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award, given every other year to the most promising American pianists under the age of 23. Among other ensembles, Hsu has played with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Golden Gate Philharmonic, and has upcoming concerts at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival at Carnegie Hall, and with the New Haven Symphony at Yale’s Woolsey Hall.