The Ward Virts Concert Series celebrates the life and talent of Ward Virts, a talented Southern Maryland pianist who died suddenly in 1993. A group of Ward’s friends and classmates conceived the Ward Virts Piano Project to bring the love of life, beauty and music that Ward embodied to a new generation of Southern Maryland students, performers and appreciative audiences. The concerts are performed on a world-class handcrafted Bosendorfer Grand Piano, a gift to CSM’s Prince Frederick Campus from the Ward Virts Piano Project.
The series takes place in the Multipurpose Room 104 in Building B on the Prince Frederick Campus. All performances begin at 3 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. No tickets or reservations are needed.
Thank you to our supporters of the 2016-2017 season!
Ward Virts Sponsors 2016-2017
Dr. and Mrs. Henry Virts
Edward and Patricia Mehosky
Mary Anna Phillips
Nancy Powell Hempstead in memory of Roger Powell
Stovy and Anne Brown
Arts Council of Calvert County
Maryland State Arts Council
October 9, 2016 | Brian Ganz, piano
Brian Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. Mr. Gans is on the piano faculty of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he is artist-in-residence, and is a member of the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. He is the artist-editor of the Schirmer Performance Edition of Chopin’s Preludes (2005).
November 13, 2016 | Jacques Wieciech, countertenor
Jacques Wieciech is a professional countertenor, a singer who specializes in male vocal repertoire that is written in a range usually sung by women. A popular genre in the 18th century, countertenor music was performed by the leading singers of the era. In 2010, Wieciech was a student of Brian Parsons of the Conservatory fo Lyon while studying in London. He has been invited to sing in two high-profile operatic performances in 2017: in January, the role of Third Spirit in Mozart's The Magic Flute at Anne Arundel Community College under the direction of James Harp; and in the summer, the music of the early Baroque master Claudio Monteverdi in a production of The Coronation of Poppea at professional venues in Italy.
A resident of Baltimore, Wieciech uses funding from his professional vocal performances to support charitable causes such as the Anne Arundel County Foster Parent Association. He uses his diverse background as performer and athlete to combat stereotyping through his work in anti-bullying campaigns in schools.
February 12, 2017 | Michael Adcock, piano
Hailed for his prodigious technique, and praised by The Washington Post for an "unusually fresh and arresting approach to the piano," pianist Michael Adcock has cultivated a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, and pre-concert lecturer. Recipient of the 1998 Lili Boulanger Memorial Award, Mr. Adcock was also a prizewinner in the 1996 Washington International Competition, as well as the Kosciusko Foundation Chopin Competitions in Chicago and New York. Performing throughout the United States, Mr. Adcock has also pursued his career in France, Italy, and Australia. He gave his Carnegie Hall Recital debut in December of 1998.
Currently associate piano faculty at the Sarasota Music Festival, Mr. Adcock is also artistic director of the Chalice Concert Series in Columbia, MD. Notable musicians with whom Mr. Adcock has collaborated include Danyse Graves, Ani Kavafian, Gervase dePeyer, Phillip Muller, David Jolley, James Buswell, and the St. Petersburg String Quartet.
March 12, 2017 | The Eric Byrd Trio
For almost two decades, the Eric Byrd Trio (EBT) (pianist/vocalist Eric Byrd, bassist Bhagwan Khalsa, and drummer Alphonso Young, Jr.) have traveled the world as enthusiastic ambassadors of jazz. Rooted in swing and bebop, The Trio also embraces gospel and the blues as core elements of their expansive performance style. Their body of work spans seven unique live and studio recordings on which they shine as a Trio and as collaborators with an expanded eight-piece ensemble they call The Eric Byrd Trio: Brother Ray Band, in tribute to The Genius of Soul icon Ray Charles. On each recording, they take a rigorous, modern approach to standards as well as original compositions, playing with great acuity within the broad and rich jazz tradition.
April 9, 2017 | Hannah Baslee, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Hannah Baslee recieved her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Vocal Performance in her home state of Texas. Now a D.C. native, Hannah is an active voice teacher and performer. Pask Choral performances as alto soloist have included Bach's Magnificat, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Verdi's Requiem, and Vivaldi's Gloria. Mezzo stage roles have included the title role in Bizet's Carmen, Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim's Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. She is a voice faculty member at Cardon Studios and is an adjunct instructor of Music Appreciation at the College of Southern Maryland. She also maintains her interest in choral singing by participation in the 18th Street Singers and the early music ensemble Illuminare.
May 14, 2017 | Ara Gregorian, violin
Violinist/Violist Ara Gregorian has been in demand as a soloist since his 1997 performance with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Professional venues for his performances have included New York's Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center. In addition to performances in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other American cities, he has performed internationally in Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Helsinki. He is the founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Greenville, North Carolina, which has recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season, and he has been an advocate of chamber music in festivals throughout the world. He has also been a member of chamber music ensembles including the Daedalus Quartet, Concertante, and the Arcadian Trio and has recorded for National Public Radio, New York's WQXR radio station, and the Bridge and Kleos labels.
Gregorian has been a member of the violin faculty at East Carolina University since 1998. During that time, he has fostered the development of opportunities for young musicians to work with professional musicians at the university through the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival. Gregorian received his bachelor and master of music degrees from The Julliard School where he studies with Joseph Fuchs, Harvey Shapiro, and Robert Mann. He performs on a Francesco Ruggieri violin from 1690 and a Grubaugh and Seifert viola from 2006.