Monday, January 9, 2012

Biographies of Ritz Chamber Players for University of Florida Performing Arts Jan. 15 at 2 PM

[Ritz Chamber Players]

January 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.
Biographies of Performers

The Ritz Chamber Players are hailed by The Baltimore Sun as “one of the most interesting and dynamic ensembles to emerge in recent years.” Boasting some of the world’s preeminent musicians spanning the African diaspora, it brings a fresh, new energy to the classical music genre. Its members perform with prestigious organizations such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the London Symphony. Founded in 2002 by clarinetist and Artistic Director Terrance Patterson, the Ritz Chamber Players present a landmark subscription series at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Fla., which combines exceptional artistry on stage with inspiring educational programs in schools and throughout the community. Through their concert series in Jacksonville and performances across the United States, the Ritz Chamber Players continue to build the participation of multicultural audiences that reflect our diverse society. Called “a remarkable ensemble,” the group’s flexible make-up allows for many astonishing combinations of virtuoso players, leading to “riveting” performances of the standard classical music repertoire. The Ritz Chamber Players are also unique in their dedication to showcase the works of African-American composers with exceedingly artistic and informed interpretations. The Ritz Chamber Players made their highly-successful debut concert at New York’s Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall to a standing room only crowd, with critics proclaiming the group’s performance “extraordinary” and “vital and fresh.” Most recently, the ensemble’s performances have been enthusiastically received in Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Raleigh, the British Virgin Islands, Chicago and Seattle, and in several New York venues, including Rockefeller University and Lincoln Center. The Ritz Chamber Players, one of the country’s most significant chamber ensembles, celebrated its international radio début on the BBC World Service and WYNC New York with a concert broadcast to more than 40 countries, and its first national television appearance on the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards. The Ritz Chamber Players have been guests of the highly-praised programs – National Public Radio and the Tavis Smiley Show. They are regular guests of the Madison and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals.

Terrance Patterson – Founder and Artistic Director
A Jacksonville, Fla. native, Terrance Patterson has performed in Paris, London, Milan, Brussels, Belgrade, Munich, Amsterdam, Moscow, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York. He plays with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Sphinx Symphony of Detroit and the Nashville, Florida West Coast, Huntsville, Festival and Las Vegas Symphonies. He attended the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he studied with clarinetist Lorin Kitt, principal clarinetist of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins – Violin
Hall-Tompkins was winner of a 2003 Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, as well as a Concert Artists Guild Career Grant in 1996, leading to numerous solo recitals in New York and the surrounding area. Hall-Tompkins has been a soloist with the Dallas, Greenville and Monmouth Symphonies; the Philharmonic of Uruguay; the Gateways Festival Orchestra; and the Festival of the Atlantic Orchestra. Hall-Tompkins’ distinguished orchestral career has included extensive touring in the United States and internationally with the renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and performances with the New York Philharmonic. In 1999, she won auditions held by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and was subsequently appointed to the orchestra’s first violin section. She earned a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music under the mentorship of Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, and her bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music under the mentorship of Charles Castleman.

Amadi Hummings – Viola
Amadi Hummings has performed in every major U.S. city. In recent seasons, Hummings has been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has also performed in Israel, Canada, South America, Central America, India, Japan and throughout the Caribbean. He has collaborated with such artists as Awadagin Pratt, Mitsuko Uchida, Andras Schiff, Nobuko Imai, David Soyer and Felix Galimir, and has performed at festivals including Marlboro, Spoleto, Sarasota, Tanglewood, Aspen, Norfolk and the Prussia Cove Festival in England. From 1994-2000, Hummings was on the faculty of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where he taught violin and viola, and conducted the Old Dominion University Chamber Orchestra. He studied with Sally Peck and Marcus Thompson. Hummings was also awarded the performer’s certificate from Indiana University, where he served as an associate instructor and studied with Atar Arad.

Kenneth Law – Cello
Kenneth Law is assistant professor of violoncello at the Petrie School of Music of Converse College. In addition to his participation in the Converse Trio, he is a member of the Jacksonville-based Ritz Chamber Players, and principal cellist of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a past president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and is a founding member of the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival in England. Law has appeared as a soloist and recitalist throughout the southeast. Chamber music performances include appearances at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Law has also performed in England, France, Scotland, Panama and the Czech Republic as a member of the Converse Trio. He has collaborated with such artists as Earl Carlyss (Juilliard String Quartet), Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet), Ying String Quartet, Norman Carroll (concertmaster emeritus, Philadelphia Orchestra) and the late Samuel Baron, and has recorded orchestral and chamber music for the New Albion and Telarc labels. Law received undergraduate and graduate degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music and Cleveland Institute of Music, and a graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Conservatory. He also served as a chamber music fellow at the Juilliard School.

Terrence Wilson – Piano
Since his professional debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, American pianist Terrence Wilson has established a reputation as one of today’s most gifted young instrumentalists. He has already appeared with many other prestigious ensembles including the Houston Symphony, under Christoph Eschenbach; the Atlanta Symphony, under Yoel Levi; the Cincinnati Symphony, under Robert Spano; the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, under Jesus Lopez-Cobos; the Detroit Symphony, under Neeme Järvi; the St Louis and Colorado Symphonies, under Marin Alsop; the Minnesota Orchestra; and the Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Francisco and Columbus Symphonies. He has also made highly-acclaimed recital debuts in New York, at the 92nd Street Y; in Washington, at the Kennedy Centre; and in Paris, at the Louvre. In 1998, Wilson was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant and in May 2001, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he received the prestigious Sony ES Award for Musical Excellence and most recently the William Petschek Award.

Robert Sims – Baritone
Robert Sims, Gold Medal winner of the American Traditions Competition, has been hailed by critics for his rich tone, energetic performances and convincing stage presence. Sims has been highly praised for his moving interpretations of African American spirituals, and has given numerous recitals of them throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He recently made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall, and has performed in concert at the Lincoln Center in New York, the Smithsonian Institution, the Los Angeles African American Museum, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the Chicago Historical Society, the Latour de France International Music Festival in France and the celebrated American Church in Paris. Under the auspices of the Community Concerts and Live On Stage Series, Sims performed more than 150 recitals throughout the U.S. Sims has appeared with many orchestras in this country, and toured Japan with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, where he was featured in a nationally televised performance of Bernstein’s Opening Prayer. He has appeared with Mercedes Ellington and David Baker in Duke Ellington’s My People, The Sacred Concerts and has shared the stage with the legendary ODETTA in a duo concert of spirituals and blues. Sims is an alumnus of Oberlin Conservatory, SUNY Binghamton, Northwestern University and Music Academy of the West. For more information, visit [Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,]

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