ECKART PREU, CONDUCTOR
SPOKANE SYMPHONY CHORALE
JACQUELINE BOLIER, SOPRANO
ANN BENSON, MEZZO-SOPRANO
CHRISTOPHER PFUND, TENOR
MARK WALTERS, BASS
Toast the New Year with joy and triumph. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony — his most glorious, jubilant masterpiece — is performed by the Spokane Symphony and the Spokane Symphony Chorale. Music director Eckart Preu conducts this moving testament to the human spirit including the final exhilarating hymn, Ode to Joy. Usher in your new year with love and music.
Ring in the New Year at the Historic Davenport Hotel's Grand Pennington Ballroom at Puttin' On The Ritz. Enjoy a fabulous evening of dinner, dancing and entertainment with Master Class Big Band, complete with champagne toast. This event is presented by the Spokane Symphony Associates and all proceeds support the Spokane Symphony. Tickets are on sale now. Beethoven's Ninth tickets sold separately
Soprano Jacqueline Bolier has been praised for singularity and beauty of voice as well as a striking ability to connect with her audience. A graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, Ms. Bolier has been seen by Philadelphia audiences in productions of Menotti’s The Counsel and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and La bohème. She was also featured in performances under the direction of Tito Capobianco at the Portland Opera. Equally at home on the concert and recital stage, Ms. Bolier has performed at the Music Academy of the West and the Academie Internationale d’Ete de Nice. Throughout the Northeast Ms. Bolier has given back to her community by performing on private stages and by working with the Turnaround Arts Institute, a program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Past awards include prizes from the Licia Albanese Foundation, the Queens College Vocal Heritage Competition, and the Art Song Preservation Society. Ms. Bolier can be heard on a live recording of Rorem’s Miss Julie on Albany Records. Most recently Ms. Bolier performed Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the New World Symphony in Miami and returned to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Damian Woetzel’s popular “Demo” concert series.
Mezzo-Soprano Ann Benson was born and raised in Spokane and enjoys performing and collaborating with artists throughout the Inland Northwest. Most recently, she appeared as soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Palouse Choral Society. Ms. Benson has also performed as mezzo-soprano soloist with the Northwest Bach Festival, the Cathedral and the Arts Series and Central Lutheran Church, Spokane, singing such works as Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah and early music by Hildegard of Bingen. As a recitalist, favorite works include Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben, art songs of Puccini and the Cabaret Songs by William Bolcom.
On the opera stage, Ms. Benson has sung Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Third Lady in The Magic Flute and Wowkle in La Fanciulla del West for Opera Coeur d’Alene. Ms. Benson and her improviser husband, Kevin, frequently perform their original show, Impropera! a Magnificent Mash-up of Opera and Improvised Comedy, delighting audiences at such venues as The Blue Door Theatre and Lake City Playhouse. She has also appeared in musical theater productions including playing Amy in Sondheim’s Company with the Modern Theater, French Song in A … My Name is Alice at CenterStage and Two Ladies in Cabaret at Spokane Civic Theater.
With her husband and her two daughters, Ms. Benson lives in Spokane where she maintains a voice studio.
Universally recognized for his irreverent portrayals of the Roasting Swan in Carmina Burana, tenor Christopher Pfund has made the role a pillar of his career, performing it with countless orchestras across North America. In recent seasons he has performed Carmina Burana with the symphony orchestras of Alabama, Des Moines, Cleveland, Colorado, Fort Wayne, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, San Diego and Spokane.
In addition to his signature concert role, Mr. Pfund has appeared in concert performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Charlotte and Stamford Symphonies; Handel’s Messiah with the Buffalo Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, and Virginia Symphony; and Haydn’s Creation with the Louisiana Philharmonic. He also appeared at Carnegie Hall during the 2013-2014 Season with the Rochester Philharmonic as a part of the Spring for Music Festival as Sir Gower Lackland in a concert performance of Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount.
In the 2016-17 Season, Mr. Pfund appeared with the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec and Colorado Springs Philharmonic. Engagements in the 2015-16 Season included appearances with the Tucson Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, and Duluth Superior Symphony.
Mark Walters last appeared with the Spokane Symphony as Marcello in La bohème with Opera Coeur d’Alene, and in Verdi’s Requiem. Other recent appearances include company debuts as Scarpia in Tosca with Minnesota Opera, as Don Giovanni with Opera Santa Barbara and as Germont in La traviata with the Finger Lakes Opera. He returns as Scarpia in Tosca with Sarasota Opera, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Florentine Opera.
Career highlights include the world première of Rappahannock County by American composer Ricky Ian Gordon recorded on the Naxos label. His European début as Germont in La traviata with Den Nye Opera, Norway, and his Asian début as Don Giovanni in Osaka, Japan. He also portrayed the Reverend Olin Blitch in a special 50th anniversary production of Susannah, personally overseen by Carlisle Floyd.
Walters’ oratorio work includes his Carnegie Hall début in Orff’s Carmina Burana and Fauré’s Requiem conducted by John Rutter; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Tallahassee Symphony, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Lima Symphony; Verdi’s Requiem with the Mississippi Symphony; the Brahms Requiem with Arizona Music Festival and Händel’s Messiah with the Mississippi Symphony and the Händel Oratorio Society.
Tickets for this concert may be purchased with personalized service at the Box Office of Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 West Sprague Avenue, or by calling 509-624-1200. They are also available online and at all TicketsWest outlets.