Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop- 2009 Soloists

Dear Colleagues

We are fast approaching the priority application deadline of April 30th for the 2009 Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop. In addition to repertoire which includes Haydn- Symphony no. 99, Debussy’s L’apres midi d’un faune, the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto, scenes from Verdi’s Aida and the Mozart Gran Partita for Winds, and a faculty which includes Christopher Zimmerman, David Hoose and myself, our students also get to work throughout the week with our team of professional soloists. Joining us this year is concert pianist and recording artist Rick Rowley, soprano Esther Mae Moses, mezzo Alexis Hamilto and tenor Brennen Guillory.

Please visit our website for more information on the workshop and our application procedures at Meanwhile, here is some information on our team of virtuoso soloists.

Thank you-

Kenneth Woods, director, Rose City International Conductors Workshop

The mission of the Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop is to provide professional training at the highest level to emerging conductors from all over the world.

2009 RCICW Guest Artist Soloists

Rick Rowley, piano-Rick Rowley, piano

Pianist Rick Rowley has appeared extensively as a recitalist, a concerto soloist, and in chamber performances with many of the world’s leading musicians. Of particular interest among his concerto appearances have been his performances of Mozart piano concertos, conducting from the keyboard. He has been involved in concerts on period instruments and performed on the harpsichord with the Texas Bach Aria Group and fortepiano with the Texas Baroque Ensemble. Mr. Rowley has been heard repeatedly on radio broadcast in this country and has recorded for radio in Europe.

Mr. Rowley has made six compact disks for Round Top Records, Premier Recordings, and Summit Records and has produced several others. His recordings include two solo CDs, twentieth-century compositions for cello and piano with cellist Peter Rejto, works for flute and piano with Marianne Gedigian, music for clarinet and piano with Patricia Shands, and songs for voice and piano with soprano Cheryl Parrish.

Mr. Rowley has had a long association with the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, beginning in the early 1970’s. During that time he has performed in numerous concerts, served as Program Director and has been involved with all of the management and planning aspects of the project. Mr. Rowley has also held a faculty position at the University of Texas Austin.

Mr. Rowley is an experienced and busy actor. During the last few years he has acted in twenty-three plays and has served as music director and conductor for several other productions. He was the sound designer for a new play based on “The Firebird,” for which he also composed incidental music and songs. This last season he made his directorial debut in a highly praised production of The Belles of Amherst.


What people are saying about Rick Rowley’s concerti performances. . .

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2″Rowley’s attack is simply mind boggling. Even his staccato chords sing with a special resonance. His sense of musical line is an utter revelation and his control of dynamics is an art form all in its own.”   San Antonio Express-News

“From the opening flourishes on the keyboard, the listener was aware of the scope of Rowley’s visionary crusade. Supplementing Rowley’s grand manner was a technique that sharply articulated musical lines and textures; nonetheless poetry was in abundance also.”   
San Antonio Southside Reporter

“Rick Rowley’s performance may be called passionate. He combined strong musicianship with power and sweetness, moving with mature certainty through a demanding score.”  

 El Paso Herald-Post

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat
“The fluid execution and freshness of style that we have come to expect from Rowley’s keyboard work were fully in evidence.”   

San Antonio Express-News Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”Rick Rowley is not only technically assured, but wonderfully and completely unaffected.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“He performed with contagious excitement and distinctive style, thrilling the large audience with his interpretation.”   

Piano Guild Notes

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1

“Rowley’s incredibly clean, facile technique breezed through a cadenza that epitomized every quality of seriousness, but also good humor, in the work.”   

Bryan-College Station Eagle

What people are saying about Rick Rowley’s recitals . . .”With the technical equipment to handle whatever he chooses, Rowley also has an obvious interest in bringing music to life.”    “With the technical equipment to handle whatever he chooses, Rowley also has an obvious interest in bringing music to life.”   Paul Hume,
The Washington Post  

“Some performers make music a ritual observance of forms whose relevance and usefulness have been long forgotten; others, playing the same works, can make the listener believe they were written yesterday, to be performed for the first time today. Pianist Rick Rowley . . . is of the latter sort.”   

Mike Greenberg,
San Antonio Express-News  

“Rowley has everything a concert pianist needs-talent, dedication, accuracy, clarity, precision, total command of dynamics, and interpretive ability far beyond his years. No technical difficulty seems to be an obstacle for him, he just plays and runs the emotional
gamut across the keyboard.”   

Nancy M. Zin,
Topeka State Journal  

“Rowley himself provides a contrast with many of his colleagues, those who emphasize clean, precise musicianship, often at the expense of the emotional content of the piece. Though an excellent musician, Rowley is not content with that alone. In his Tuesday recital, he constantly searched for a deeper understanding of the music and was not afraid to present his own highly personal view of the music.”   

David Connelly,
Shreveport Journal

Esther Mae Moses, soprano

Soprano Esther Mae Moses, a singer known for her touching performances and interpretations of operatic and oratorio repertoire, returns to the Rose City Chamber Orchestra and her second Conductors Workshop following a triumphant summer of masterclasses on Madame Butterfly in 2008.  Recent appearances include soloist in Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Oregon East Symphony under Kenneth Woods, and the St. John Passion with Portland ‘s Choral Arts Ensemble.  

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati Colleg-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Esther joined the Oregon arts scene with the role of Suor Angelica at the NW Bel Canto Institute and  appeared as soloist with Portland Opera’s outreach programs.  Other appearances include soloist with the Oregon Symphony, and the Tanglewood Music Institute.  Esther’s passion for the Puccini repertoire was developed during two summers with the Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy- Puccini’s home town. Highlights of the current season include the Mozart Requiem with Oregon East Symphony and birth of her first daughter, Ella.

Alexis Hamilton, mezzo soprano Kathryn Alexis Hamilton, mezzo soprano, has long been a favorite throughout Oregon and Southern Washington. Most recently, Alexis was seen the Lady Jane in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, with Mocks Crest Theatre, Roger O. Doyle, conducting, and as Orlofsky with Columbia Symphony, Huw Edwards, conducting.   She gave the world premiere of the orchestral version of Songs of Men Long Dead by Emily Doolittle with the Oregon East Symphony, Kenneth Woods, conducting.  Also on that concert she performed the Dvorak Stabat Mater.  Other recent oratorio credits include: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Travis Hatten, conducting, The Messiah, Travis Hatten, conducting, Hadyn’s Mass in Time of War,  Kenneth Woods, conducting,  Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Roger O. Doyle, conducting, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Kenneth Woods, conducting.  Her versatility and passionate presence have led to critically acclaimed performances of operatic roles including Carmen, Mrs. Noah in Noye’s Fludd, the Mother in Hänsel und Gretel, La Principessa in Suor Angelica, and Zita in Gianni Schicci.  Long respected in Portland for her comic abilities, Alexis is a great favorite at Mock’s Crest Productions. Among her myriad roles for this company are Mrs. Page, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Fairy Queen in Iolanthe, Katisha in The Mikado,  Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, The Duchess in The Gondoliers, Mad Margaret in Ruddigore and Buttercup in HMS Pinafore.  In addition to her many ties to operetta, Alexis has worked mainstage with Portland Opera as Maddelena in The Journey to Reims, and the Forester’s Wife in The Cunning Little Vixen.  

Complementing her work in full productions, Alexis can often be seen in operatic scene work with Portland Opera’s Education and Outreach Department.   Her body of work there is extensive and includes Beatrice in A View from the Bridge,  Azucena in Il Trovatore, The Mother in The Consul, The Old Prioress from Dialogues of the Carmelites, Carmen, Amneris in Aïda, Maddelena in Rigoletto, and Clarissa and Fata Morgana in The Love for Three Oranges.  Alexis has also done significant recital and symphonic work, and has sung with the Portland Opera chorus.  Alexis has also toured as a member of Portland Opera Works!, Portland Opera’s young artist program.  

Alexis is currently the Manager of Education & Outreach for the Portland Opera.  She studies voice with Ruth Dobson and coaches with Rodney Menn, Mark Trawka and Carol Lucas.  Recent engagements include Mrs. Page in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and the contralto soloist for the Mahler 2nd Symphony with Oregon East Symphony in 2006, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Rose City Chamber Orchestra.

Brennen Guillory, tenor

Tenor Brennen Guillory has appeared in a variety of settings, from the opera house and concert hall to the theatrical stage.  In the Northwest he appeared with the Rogue Valley Opera as Alfredo and Don Jose, with the Eugene Opera as Sam in Susannah. and with the Portland Opera in Aida. He has performed a variety of oratorios from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.   He has also worked with many orchestras in the region and throughout the United States, and appeared in countless concerts and events featuring works from opera to the art song, including several premiers of new works.  In recent seasons he has been heard in several performances of the Mozart and Verdi Requiems across Oregon and Washington, and sung Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Rose City Chamber Orchestra under Kenneth Woods.

While living in New York City, Mr. Guillory entered the ministry and was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, working with immigrants and immigration issues.  After his ordination, he and his wife moved back to their beloved Northwest.  Mr. Guillory serves at Faith Lutheran Church in Junction City.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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