Although polymath Cody Franchetti was known to New Yorkers from the multi-storied advertisements of his modeling career, he first came to national attention as one of the most compelling figures in Jamie Johnson’s documentaries “Born Rich” and “The One Percent.” Raised in Rome, Franchetti came to New York to study at the Mannes College of Music, having received his early education in Rome and Paris. After being awarded his BA from Mannes, Franchetti went on to Columbia University, studying early modern European history (MA, 2012). His articles on James Thomson’s “The Seasons”, Frederick the Great, Foucault, Sombart, nominalism, and epistemology have appeared in scholarly journals such as Oxford’s University Press’s Literary Imagination, the Open Journal of Philosophy, and the International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities. He has been a regular contributor to Carnegie Hall’s Stagebill (program notes) and with Daniel Montilla and Jimmy Zankel he co-chairs Carnegie Hall’s Notables Committee, a committee devoted to raising funds for musical educational programs in New York’s public schools. He is currently working on a book dealing with issues of postmodernism and the writing of history. Except for his translations of Dino Campana’s “A una troia dagli occhi ferrigni”, published in Vanitas (New York: 2009) and Ilka Scobie’s “All” (Milan: 2012), “Seven Franchetti Songs” is the first public presentation of Franchetti’s work as a poet.
Composer Michael Linton teaches music theory (and some occasional history) to freshman and sophomore students at Middle Tennessee State University. Before coming to MTSU, Linton taught in Connecticut and Minnesota and received graduate training at the University of Cincinnati, Yale, and New York University, having studied with composers Krzysztof Penderecki, Lukas Foss, John Gilbert, T. Scott Huston and Bruce MacCombie. Linton, whose writings have appeared in the journal First Things, The Weekly Standard, and The Wall Street Journal, has twice held fellowships with the NEH. He is one of the founding members of Refinersfire, LLC and much of his work is available through the company’s site.
A native of California, Linton lives in Murfreesboro with his wife Janet and their three daughters and miscellaneous stray animals.
Pianist David See is an adjunct professor of composition and staff accompanist at Middle Tennessee State University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Composition in 1979 from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and spent ten years in New York City as a free-lance musician. Residing in Johnson City TN from 1989-2005, he worked variously as collaborative pianist, organist, electric keyboardist and composer/arranger. He taught piano at Suzuki Talent Education of Appalachia in Kingsport TN and was principal keyboardist with the Symphony of the Mountains. He wrote the background music for the “Don’t Touch That Dial!” Radio Theater presentations on WETS-FM Public Radio from 1993-96. His Piano Concerto was premiered by the Symphony of the Mountains (formerly Kingsport Symphony Orchestra) in 2001. Other recent compositions are Theme and Variations for cello and piano, Fresh Suite for Saxophone Quartet, and West End Waltzes. An extensive series of pedagogical works in connection with the Suzuki Method is an ongoing project.
Tenor H Stephen Smith’s performance as Don Jose in the Swedish Folk Opera’s production of Carmen at Brooklyn Academy of Music was praised by the New York Times for its “power and finesse.” Similar accolades have greeted his performances in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Poland, Great Britain, and Portugal and with American opera companies in New Orleans, San Francisco, Houston, Mobile, Tulsa, Sacramento, Austin, Augusta, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Chattanooga, Norfolk, Shreveport, Columbus, Boston, and Nashville. He was the central character in the full-length film adaptation of Ture Rangström’s opera, Kronbruden. Although particularly known for his performances of Verdi and Puccini, Smith is an enthusiastic proponent of contemporary music and has recorded with Musica Sveciae and Caprice Records the roles of Salvatorre in Franz Berwald’s Estrella de Soria, Atis in Joseph Martin Kraus’ Prosperin, and Cardinal Rohan in Daniel Börtz’s Marie Antoinette. A North Carolina native, Smith received a B.A. from Davidson College and music degrees from the Eastman School of Music. Smith serves as Professor of Voice at Middle Tennessee State University where he has premiered a number of Michael Linton’s songs
Listen to H. Stephen Smith perform live Michael Linton’s “Home On The Range”
American pianist Jason Paul Peterson has captivated audiences around in solo and collaborative performances in Germany, France, Austria, Mexico, England, Slovenia, and the United States. The Leipziger Volkszeitung in Germany referred to a recent recital as “a piano concert of a completely special sort… absolutely an exquisite experience.” The Milwaukee Journal described Peterson as “a national phenomenon” and Polonaise Magazine praised him as a musician of “technical brilliancy who conveyed all the nuances in performance.” Dr. Peterson was awarded a grant from the Chopin Foundation of the United States, Inc., and subsequently became the first-ever four-time recipient of the award. He is the winner of the 2006 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, the only American finalist in the 2001 Grace Welsh International Prize for Piano, and in 2007 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for study at the Franz Liszt Academy in Weimar, Germany. Most recently, he has been awarded grants from the Aargauer Kuratorium, the Peter Mieg Foundation, the Werner Wehrli Foundation, and the cities of Ennetbaden and Baden for the performance of Swiss piano music (he will return to Weill Hall to perform Swiss piano music, in a recital sponsored by the Swiss government, in 2015). His latest CD was released December 2011 on the Sospiro label. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Music degree with high distinction from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory, where he held an assistantship in piano teaching. Principal teachers include Natalya Antonova, Anton Nel, Alexander Shtarkman, and Grigory Gruzman. He currently resides near Zurich, Switzerland.
Listen to Peterson’s performance of Mozart’s Variations on “Ah vows dirai-je, Maman”
Bass-baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer is being called one of the finest singers of his generation.
His venues included the DNO in Amsterdam, (as Albert in La Juive by Fromental Halevy) and the Opéra Comique in Paris (as Claudio in Béatrice et Bénédict by Hector Berlioz). He also appeared as Schaunard in La Bohème at the Komische Oper in Berlin, a part which he had already played in the course of the 2008-2009 season. In the 2010-2011 season he made his Paris Opera stage debut by appearing as Harlekin in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at the Opéra Bastille, where he is already re-engaged for roles in future seasons in Arabella, The Merry Widow and Carmen. He sang the role of Figaro in Nozze di Figaro in Los Angeles under direction of Gustavo Dudamel and this summer sings the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne. In 2012 he created the role of Rousseau in the premiere of Philippe Fénelon’s opera JJR citoyen de Genève, a work commissioned in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the philosopher’s birth. After having attended the Conservatory in Clermont-Ferrand (as a prize winning clarinetist), Crossley-Mercer went on to the rigorous three-year program at the Center for Baroque Music at Versailles (a program that included extensive training in baroque dance as well as music) and then to the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He maintains residences in both Paris and Berlin.
Hear Edwin Crossley- Mercer perform “Les feuilles mortes”
Carmina Catulli and The Franchetti Songs will premiere March 3, 2014 at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Tickets are available for purchase now. Please visit CarnegieHall.org to purchase tickets.