Next Guest

Christopher Adkins
Brinton Averil Smith, Cello
April 15, 2019

Critics have described American cellist Brinton Averil Smith as a “virtuoso cellist with few equals,” hailing him “a proponent of old-school string playing such as that of Piatigorsky and Heifetz”. Smith’s debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra received widespread international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and continuing “The sheer bravura of Smith’s reading is infectious.” while the American Record Guide praised his recording of chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham as “Stunningly beautiful,” continuing “I cannot imagine a better stylistic match for Shaham.” Of Mr. Smith’s most recent recording for Naxos, featuring a revival of of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Cello Concerto and virtuoso arrangements for cello and piano BBC Music magazine wrote “his is a cast iron technique of verve and refinement put entirely at the service of the music… The artistry on display here is breathtaking.”


Mr. Smith’s North American engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and recital and concerto engagements throughout the country, while his broadcast performances include CBS’s Sunday Morning and regular appearances on NPR’s Performance Today and Symphonycast. Mr. Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as principal cellist in 2005. Prior to this, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. His live concert performances on youtube have been viewed nearly a million times, including over two hundred and fifty thousand views of a live encore of Paganini’s 24th Caprice. Devoted to expanding the cello repertoire, Mr. Smith performs a wide variety of violin, piano and vocal transcriptions and gave the North American premiers of rediscovered cello works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky and the world premiere of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s 1951 Sonata for violin and cello. Mr. Smith also recently gave the first professional performance, recorded live for release on Naxos, of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s cello concerto since its 1935 premiere with Arturo Toscanini and Gregor Piatigorsky.

An active chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with violinist Gil Shaham on numerous occasions including Carnegie Hall’s Gil Shaham and Friends series. He has also collaborated with cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell, pianists Emanuel Ax, Jonathan Biss and Kirill Gerstein, violinists James Ehnes, Cho-Liang Lin and Sarah Chang, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Brevard Music Festival and the Texas Music Festival and is an artistic director of the Restoration Chamber Music series in Galveston. Mr. Smith is currently an Associate Professor at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and a faculty member of the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals.

The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Brinton Averil Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics and German and, at age 17, completed a B.A. in mathematics. He then became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for an M.A. in mathematics at age 19. He subsequently studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School. While there he was a prize winner in several consecutive Juilliard concerto competitions and the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition and received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, writing on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Mr. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, the pianist Evelyn Chen, their daughter, Calista and two slightly evil but kind-hearted dogs.

www.brintonaverilsmith.com



Recent Guests

Christopher Adkins
Christopher Adkins, Cello
January 28, 2019

Christopher Adkins is the principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He received his musical training at the University of North Texas and at Yale University, where he studied with the distinguished pedagogue Aldo Parisot. During his tenure at Yale, Mr. Adkins held the position of principal cellist with the New Haven Symphony. Upon receiving his Master of Music degree he assumed the duties of assistant principal cellist with the Denver Symphony. After two seasons in the Rockies, he was offered the post of principal chair with the Milwaukee Symphony. In 1987, he returned to his native Dallas to occupy the chair once held by his former teacher, Lev Aronson.

In addition to his duties with the Dallas Symphony, Mr. Adkins serves on the faculty of Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas. He remains an active recitalist and chamber musician. A member of a large musical family, Mr. Adkins and his six brothers and sisters formed the Adkins String Ensemble, whose performances were praised by the Dallas Morning News as among the ten best concerts of the year.

Mr. Adkins enjoys gardening, songwriting and woodworking, but most of all spending time with his wife, Dallas Symphony violinist Alexandra Adkins, and his children, Rachel, Rebekah, Theresa, Christian, Carmen, and Ariel.

www.mydso.com



Anne Martindale Williams
Anne Martindale Williams, Cello
November 11, 2018

Anne Martindale Williams has enjoyed a successful career as principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1979. Throughout her tenure with the orchestra, she has often been featured as soloist both in Pittsburgh and on tour in New York at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Williams was soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony in the Pittsburgh premier of The Giving Tree conducted by the composer, Lorin Maazel. She has also collaborated with guest artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, André Previn, the Emerson Quartet, Lynn Harrell, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and Pinchas Zukerman in numerous chamber music performances. She made her London debut performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, Andre Previn conducting. Her solo in The Swan on the Pittsburgh Symphony’s recording of Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns was described by Grammophon critic Edward Greenfield as “…the most memorable performance of all.”

Williams divides her time between the orchestra, teaching at Carnegie Mellon University, and solo and chamber music performances in America, Europe and the Far East. She has appeared in several nationally televised productions including Concertos, produced by the BBC and Previn and the Pittsburgh, produced by WQED. She has given master classes at many universities and festivals throughout the country, including The Curtis Institute of Music, SUNY at Stony Brook, Manhattan School of Music, the New World Symphony in Miami, the National Orchestral Institute, Aspen, Credo at Oberlin College and the Masterworks Festival. She also has performed at many of America’s prestigious summer music festivals including Aspen, Caramoor, Skaneateles, Maui, Rockport Festivals in Massachusetts and Maine, Grand Teton, Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, Orcas Island, and Mainly Mozart in San Diego. For many years she has enjoyed performing throughout the country with her Piano Trio, which includes her good friends Andrés Cárdenes and David Deveau.

Williams has performed numerous times as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing Schumann’s Concerto in A minor, Tippett’s Triple Concerto, Previn’s Reflections, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 6, Strauss’s Don Quixote, Bloch’s Schelomo, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, Dutilleux’s Tout un mondelointain, Saint-Saëns’ Concerto No. 1 and Brahms’ Double Concerto, as well as Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet. In recent seasons, she was featured in Haydn’s Concerto in C, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Cello, Oboe, Bassoon and Orchestra, and Walton’s Cello Concerto.

Williams is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Orlando Cole. Her Tecchler cello was made in Rome in 1701. Her husband, Joe, is the director of student ministries at Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church in Mount Lebanon. They reside in Pittsburgh.

pittsburghsymphony.org



Efe Baltacigil
Efe Baltacıgil, Cello
April 15, 2018

Efe Baltacıgil, Principal Cello of the Seattle Symphony since fall 2011, was previously Associate Principal Cello of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2003. Recent highlights include his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, performing Bottesini’s Duo Concertante alongside his brother Fora; performances of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Bilkent Symphony and the Seattle Symphony; and Brahms’ Double Concerto with violinist Juliette Kang and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

Baltacıgil performed a Brahms Sextet with Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman and Jessica Thompson at Carnegie Hall, and has participated in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. He has also performed the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, has toured with the group Musicians from Marlboro, and is a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society II.

Named String Player of the Year in Turkey in 2013, Baltacıgil has also received the Peter Jay Sharp Prize, the Washington Performing Arts Society Prize, and first prizes in concerto competitions in Istanbul and New York, as well as in the Allentown (Pennsylvania) Schadt String Competition. He was the winner of the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006.

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Baltacıgil started studying the violin at age 5 and changed to the cello at age 7. He received his bachelor’s degree from Mimar Sinan University Conservatory in Istanbul in 1998 and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2002, where he studied with Peter Wiley and David Soyer. He was a recipient of the Curtis Institute’s Jacqueline du Pré Scholarship.

www.seattlesymphony.org



Past Guests

The UT Butler School of Music has welcomed an illustrious list of guest artists to visit Austin and work with its student. These cellists have included:

Christopher Adkins
Boris Andrianov
Eric Bartlett
Mike Block
Jesús Castro-Balbi
Herine Coetzee Koschak
Andrés Díaz
David Finckel
Norman Fischer
Kenneth Freudigman
Elinor Frey
Lynn Harrell
Matt Haimovitz
Desmond Hoebig
Eric Kim
Ralph Kirshbaum
Mark Kosower
Nina Kotova
Antonio Lysy
Yo-Yo Ma
Brian Manker
Aldo Parisot
Stefan Popov
Sharon Robinson
Marti Rousi
Brinton Averil Smith