Jonathan Overby to Narrate Lincoln Portrait August 11 at Peninsula Music Festival

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  Jonathan Overby will narrate Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with the Peninsula Music Festival on Saturday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m.

             The concert entitled “Rhapsody in Blue” features the music of Aaron Copland and Ira Gershwin and will take place in the Door Community Auditorium. The concert is sponsored by OC & Pat Boldt. Tickets range from $30 to $60 and students and children are just $10.

             In addition to Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with narrator Jonathan Overby, the concert will also include Copland’s full orchestral version of Appalachian Spring: Suite as well as Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue. Orli Shaham will be the pianist for Rhapsody in Blue. All the pieces on this program have never been performed at the Festival before except Lincoln Portrait, which was performed in 1980 with Robert Thompson as narrator and in 2000 with William Warfield.

            Jonathan Overby, Lyric Baritone, Conductor, Ethnomusicologist, Radio Host and Producer
holds a doctorate in Administrative Leadership in Higher Education from Edgewood College, Madison. His dissertation examined the potential power of world music to bridge diverse cultures. Dr. Overby is the Creator, Host and Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Higher Ground with Jonathan Overby featuring World Music with African Roots and More, now in its 18th year. Artistic endeavors include stage productions that illuminate the African-American experience in words and music, concert work spanning more than 30 years of vocal performance in the U.S., Japan, Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Poland. In 2004 he appeared as a featured soloist at the 20th Annual Chicago International Gospel Music Festival. He is Executive Producer of Wisconsin’s annual “Tribute & Ceremony” honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. now in its 32nd year.

            The Peninsula Music Festival is honored to have Dr. Overby joining us for their 60th season celebration.

            Pianist Orli Shaham returns for her sixth appearance with the Festival Orchestra, the last time in 2002. In addition to her solo turn on Saturday, August 11, Ms. Shaham will also solo on Tuesday, August 14, 8:00 p.m. in a program of All Mozart, All the Time. Ms. Shaham will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21. Serenade No. 12 and Symphony No. 39 will also be heard. The August 14 concert is sponsored by the Egan Foundation and the Egan Family in memory of Peg Egan. Tickets for the concert range from $30 to $60 and students and children are just $10.

         Highlights of Orli Shaham’s international performance schedule in 2011-2012 include the world premiere of a piano concerto written for her by the acclaimed American composer Steven Mackey, with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson. Subsequent performances of the concerto are with LA Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony and Sydney Symphony. Orli Shaham’s 2011-2012 season also includes a return engagement with theSeattle Symphony in which Ms. Shaham performs Mozart’s Concerto K. 466 conducted by David Robertson. Ms. Shaham continues her role as curator and performer in the Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series in Costa Mesa, California. And this season, Ms. Shaham begins a new role as host of the public radio series America’s Music Festivals, a two-hour weekly program broadcast on more than 100 stations.

            Orli Shaham’s highly acclaimed (Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, classical concert series for young children, Baby Got Bach, is in its second season. The popular series continues in New York City and has expanded to more venues both in New York and at other locations around the US. For preschoolers, Baby Got Bach provides hands-on activities with musical instruments, and concepts and concert performances that promote good listening skills.

            The 2011-2012 season adds three new recordings to Orli Shaham’s discography. In Fall 2011, Ms. Shaham released a CD of Hebrew Melodies (Canary Classics), recorded with her brother, the violinist Gil Shaham. The Shahams and the 92nd Street Y have commissioned Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman to write a new work for the duo, which is featured on the recording. Another forthcoming CD release in the 2011-2012 season is Ms. Shaham’s recording of the Brahms Horn Trio and Schubert’s lied Auf dem Strom (Albany) featuring the acclaimed principal French hornist of theCleveland Orchestra, Richard King. The pianist Jon Kimura Parker joined forces with Ms. Shaham and the San Diego Symphony to record Saint-Saens’Carnival of the Animals (San Diego Symphony), a recording that will also be released in the 2011-2012 season.

            Orli Shaham was recognized early for her prodigious talents. She received her first scholarship for musical study from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation at age five to study with Luisa Yoffe at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. By age seven, she traveled to New York with her family to begin study with Nancy Stessin, and became a scholarship student of Herbert Stessin at The Juilliard School a year later. She has also won the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, two prestigious prizes given to further the development of outstanding talent. In addition to her musical education, Orli Shaham holds a degree in history from Columbia University. Orli Shaham lives in New York and St. Louis with her husband, conductor David Robertson, college-age stepsons Peter and Jonathan, and pre-school twins Nathan and Alex.

            The 60th Season of the Peninsula Music Festival runs August 7 through 25 with a different concert every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Concerts are held in the Door Community Auditorium with air conditioning and reserved seats. Season highlights include Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, violinist Henning Kraggerud, pianist Anton Nel and violinist Hilary Hahn. Tickets are available for all concerts and can be purchased at the Festival’s box office at 3045 Cedar Street in Ephraim, on line at or by calling 920-854-4060.

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