Robert Bracey, tenor Nicholas DiEugenio, violin Brent Wissick, cello Andrew Willis, fortepiano
Audiences and Tickets
Tickets are required to attend any concert or recital in person. Patrons must sit in their assigned seat.
Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth are strongly encouraged, but not required, while inside the performance hall.
The 1841 Bösendorfer grand piano
The 1841 Bösendorfer grand piano represents the piano builder’s craft in the era when Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Liszt were at the height of their powers. Restored by Edward Swenson of Trumansburg, New York, it is an early example of the work of the Viennese builder Ignaz Bösendorfer (1794-1859), whose firm, founded in 1828, still makes some of the world’s finest pianos. An expanded and strengthened descendent of the Classical-era fortepianos played by Mozart and Haydn, it is similar to the pianos Beethoven knew during his later years. It has a range of six and a half octaves with 81 keys of ivory and ebony, leather-covered hammers attached directly to the keys, parallel stringing throughout the scale, and pedals for lifting the dampers and shifting the keyboard (una corda). The case, veneered in ash, supports the tension of the strings without the assistance of an iron plate. The sound delivers clarity, variety of color, and the sweetness of tone for which Bösendorfer was particularly esteemed.
Andrew Willis, fortepiano
Pianist Andrew Willis explores the historical development of keyboard instruments and their performance practice, maintaining a commitment to the study, performance, and teaching of the widest possible range of repertoire. Keenly interested in the history of the piano, he contributes frequently to conferences, festivals, and concert series. He has served as president of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society and as a Trustee of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies. As Covington Distinguished Professor of Music in the UNC Greensboro School of Music, Willis teaches performance on instruments ranging from harpsichord to modern piano. He directed the biennial UNCG Focus on Piano Literature for over a decade and recently inaugurated a student Historical Performance Consort. For the Albany, Bridge, Claves, Centaur, and CRI labels he has recorded solo and ensemble music of three centuries on pianos linked historically to the chosen repertoire. Willis received the DMA in Historical Performance from Cornell University, where he studied fortepiano with
Malcolm Bilson, the MM in Accompanying and Chamber Music from Temple University under George Sementovsky and Lambert Orkis, and the BM in Piano from The Curtis Institute of Music, where his mentor was Mieczyslaw Horszowski.
Robert Bracey, tenor
Robert Bracey has performed throughout the United States and made appearances in Canada, Russia, Europe, India, and Japan. He was awarded first place in the Oratorio Society of New York’s Annual International Solo Competition at Carnegie Hall. He returned to Carnegie Hall for performances of Handel: Messiah. He made his Detroit Symphony debut at Orchestra Hall and his Kennedy Center debut in Washington, DC. Engagements include performances with the Symphony Orchestra of India and the Paranjoti Academy Chorus at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, India, the Telemann Chamber Orchestra in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, Oratorio Society of New York, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, World Youth Symphony at Interlochen, Choral Arts Society of Washington, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Flint Symphony, Midland Symphony, East Texas Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Greater Lansing Symphony, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Choral Society of Durham, Kalamazoo Bach Festival, and the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Michigan State University, a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan. He is currently Professor of Voice and Chair of the Voice Area at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Nicholas DiEugenio, violin
Praised for the “rapturous poetry” in his playing (American Record Guide) and as an “excellent” and “evocative” violinist (New York Times), Nicholas DiEugenio leads a versatile performing life as a chamber musician, leader, and soloist in music ranging from early baroque to current commissions. He performs in venues such as Glinka Hall in St. Petersburg, Trinity Wall St., Freiburg’s Ensemblehaus, and Weill Recital Hall. Together with pianist and duo partner Mimi Solomon, Nicholas created the project “Unraveling Beethoven,” a cycle of all ten violin sonatas combined with response works from composers Tonia Ko, Jesse Jones, Robert Honstein, D.K. Garner, and Allen Anderson. The award-winning album Unraveling Beethoven was released in 2018 by New Focus Recordings. Other featured recordings include the complete Violin Sonatas of Robert Schumann (Musica Omnia) as well as a tribute to Pulitzer prizewinner Steven Stucky (New Focus). Nicholas is a core member of The Sebastians as well as Associate Professor of Music at UNC Chapel Hill.
Brent Wissick, cello
Brent Wissick is Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he as taught teaches cello and early music ensembles since 1982. His career includes performances with Ensemble Chanterelle, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Altlanta Symphony, Dallas Bach Society Folger Consort, Concert Royal, Smithsonian Consort of Viols, Boston Early Music Festival and American Bach Soloists as well as Collegio di Musica Sacra in Poland. He was an NEH Fellow at Harvard in Lewis Lockwood’s Beethoven Quartet Seminar, and later did research on these works in Germany and Poland. A former student of John Hsu at Cornell University, he has performed, taught and adjudicated at at many of the important schools, workshops and festivals in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia including 4 summers in Japan and China. His recording of Sonatas and Cantatas by Bononcini was released by Centaur and his online video article about them has been published by the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music. He has also recorded for Albany, Titanic, Dux, Radio-Bremen, Koch International, 3 Grammy nominated; and recorded the Chopin Cello Music on period instruments with Andrew Willis Currently, he is Past President of the Viola Gamba Society of America, having served as President from 2000 through 2004, chair of the 2007 Pan-Pacific Gamba Gathering, and a board member since 1986. The society recently granted him Lifetime Membership in 2020.