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Tenor Nicholas Phan 11th hour sub for Wortig

  • Jun 25, 2012
[caption id="attachment_8304" align="alignright" width="216" caption="Nicholas Phan"][/caption] Rising-star tenor Nicholas Phan, just finishing a season in which he made his role debut as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Atlanta Opera and his New York Philharmonic debut in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, will sing the Evangelist role in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and six other concerts with Helmuth Rilling and the Oregon Bach Festival June 29-July 15 as a substitute for Dominik Wortig, who has cancelled due to illness. This will be the second time that Phan has come to Rilling’s rescue. At Carnegie Hall in February 2009, Phan was called on the day of the concert to replace an indisposed James Taylor in Haydn’s Creation, with only a short rehearsal with Rilling at the piano. Despite the limited preparation, “Mr. Phan brought a sweet-toned lyric tenor voice and crisp German diction to his work,” wrote Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times. Phan will take over a full assignment as soloist in Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht June 29-30 in Eugene and Portland; four lecture-concerts of the St. Matthew Passion in Eugene July 3, 5, 10, and 12; and the final full performance of the Passion in the Festival finale July 15. The lecture-concerts will be taped in high definition for webcast as the next installment of the Festival’s innovative Digital Bach Project website. Fortuitously, Phan was scheduled to be just two hours away in Portland during the last days of the Bach festival, performing a vocal program of Schubert and Brahms with Chamber Music Northwest July 16-17. “We were blessed that a tenor of Nicholas’s special gifts was available to step in on such short notice. That he was so close to us was miraculous,” said John Evans, OBF executive director. “We’re grateful to our colleagues at Chamber Music Northwest for helping to make this happen.” Evans added that Phan was already slated to make his debut with the OBF in the summer of 2013. Named one of NPR’s Favorite New Artists of 2011, Phan continues to distinguish himself as one of the most compelling young tenors appearing on the prestigious concert and opera stages of the world. Earlier this spring he reprised the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with the Chicago Bach Project and sang Schumann’s song cycle Dichterliebe in a recital with pianist Jeremy Denk, presented by the Chicago Symphony. He has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the United States and Great Britain, including the BBC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Atlanta, and St. Louis symphonies, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also appeared with the Edinburgh, Ravinia, Rheingau, Saint-Denis, Bard and Marlboro music festivals, and at the BBC Proms.  Among the conductors he has worked with are Harry Bicket, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Jane Glover, Manfred Honeck, Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, John Nelson, David Robertson, Patrick Summers, and Michael Tilson Thomas. In recital, Nicholas Phan has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Chicago. An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Cecile Licad, and Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jennifer Montone, among others.  He is also the Artistic Director of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, a Chicago-based organization devoted to promoting the teaching, performance, and development of the vocal chamber music repertoire. Phan’s first solo album, Winter Words, was released in the fall of 2011 by AVIE. His growing discography includes the Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinksy’s Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO Resound) and the world premiere recording of Evan Chambers’ orchestral song cycle, The Old Burying Ground (Dorian). A graduate of the University of Michigan, Phan also studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School, and is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and the Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artists Program. He was the recipient of a 2004 Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation and a 2006 Sullivan Foundation Award. Read All