For Immediate Release
December 8, 1999
Contacts: Cathcart, or
Acclaimed Artists Join the University of Maryland Faculty
COLLEGE PARK They have been admired by classical music enthusiasts for their extraordinary artistry. They have built legendary professional careers on the wold's most famous concert stages. They have the charisma to captivate and thrill audiences. Yet more importantly, they venture beyond their craft to inspire young musicians the world over in mastering the classical repertoire. They are the inspirations for a new generation of performing artists. However, what makes them different is, Andr¿ Watts is a famous concert pianist, while William Preucil is a world-class violinist.
Beginning in fall 2000, Watts and Preucil will bring their combined professional experiences to the halls of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, for a three-year artists-in-residence program in the School of Music.
"Our students will benefit tremendously from exposure to two of the most formidable technicians and superb interpreters of classical music currently on the concert stage," says Christopher Kendall, director of the School of Music.
Watts will spend four, two-day periods each academic year teaching, coaching and conducting master classes with students. Also, he will perform one concert annually as part of the residency, either as recitalist, in concert with the school's faculty, or in collaboration with the university's symphony orchestra, and will offer a yearly master class for outstanding young pianists from the region.
Preucil will teach a studio of violin students, conduct master classes with student string ensembles and soloists, as well as lead sectional rehearsals with students of string instruments in the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra.
Watts burst upon the music world at the age of 16, when the late Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People's Concerts, broadcast nationally on CBS-TV. Two weeks later, Bernstein asked Watts to substitute at the last minute for the ailing Glenn Gould in performances of Liszt's E-flat Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, which launched his career in story book fashion. Now, more than 30 years later, Watts remains one of today's most celebrated and beloved pianists. His performances each year with the world's great orchestras and concertmasters, and his sold-out recitals and appearances at the most prestigious international festivals bring him to every corner of the globe.
Preucil is distinguished professor of violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music and concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra. He joined CIM's faculty following the dissolution of The Cleveland Quartet, where he was first violinist for six years. During this same period, he accepted the concertmaster position with The Cleveland Orchestra. In addition to maintaining a demanding orchestral schedule, Preucil continues to be an active recitalist, chamber musician, soloist and devoted teacher.
"During a period in which dramatic increases in applications to the School of Music reflect growing excitement about its faculty and programs," says Kendall, "the appointments of Andr¿ Watts and William Preucil represent a wonderful additional opportunity for our students. As we gear up for the move to our extraordinary new home at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, we especially look forward to welcoming these two great artists to our faculty, joining the Guarneri String Quartet and many others."
In the tradition of sponsoring distinguished programming that nurtures and expands opportunities for young musicians, the University of Maryland is host to the National Orchestral Institute, The William Kapell International Piano Competition and Festival, The Marian Anderson vocal competition and The Leonard Rose cello competition.
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