The Pioneer Valley Symphony Announces New Music Director

JUNE 27, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Inquiries: Contact Beckie Markarian, Board President at president@pvso.org THE PIONEER VALLEY SYMPHONY ANNOUNCES NEW MUSIC DIRECTOR GREENFIELD, MA -

The Pioneer Valley Symphony is excited to announce that, after a year-long search, Maestro Tianhui Ng has been selected as the organization’s new Music Director and Orchestra Conductor. Tian succeeds Maestro Paul Phillips, who served as Music Director and Conductor of the PVS for 23 years.

Tian, an American Prize winning conductor, currently serves as Music Director of the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Victory Players Contemporary Music Ensemble. Tian is known for his innovative programming, and as an advocate of new music. He has assisted in and premiered new works by Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners such as Curt Cacioppo, Aaron Jay Kernis, Robert Kyr, David Sanford, and Joan Tower, and many young composers. He is particularly proud of his commissioning work, which has helped composers garner international prizes. A versatile musician, Tian has conducted orchestras around the world, and is equally at home in the realm of choral music.


President of the Board of Directors, Beckie Markarian, states: “We are thrilled to welcome Tianhui Ng as the Music Director for the Pioneer Valley Symphony. During his time with us, he inspired many, improved us all, and exhibited tremendous respect for us as musicians and the PVS as an organization. We are excited for what the future holds with him at the helm.”


Joining Maestro Ng and Youth Orchestra Director Steven Bathory-Peeler in the musical leadership of the Pioneer Valley Symphony for the 2018-2019 season will be Gregory W. Brown, who is serving as the Interim Chorus Director. Brown - an accomplished choral conductor and gifted and renowned composer - has worked with the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus on a number of occasions and served as Visiting Director of the Choral Music Program at Amherst College last year. Though primarily a choral conductor, Brown also conducts chamber and orchestral music, with a special interest in new music. His compositions have been performed across the United States and Europe, and Brown is best known for his Missa Charles Darwin, a work combining the structure of the standard mass with texts from Charles Darwin. (cont.) 1 of 3 91 Main St. Greenfield, MA 01301 | 413-773-3664 | pvsoffice@pvso.org | www.pvsco.org


About Tianhui Ng The American Prize-winning conductor Ng Tian Hui is Music Director of the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra. His innovative programming has been acknowledged with grants from institutions such as the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Arts Council of Singapore, Singapore International Foundation, Women’s Philharmonic, and WomenArts, in addition to other awards from the Oregon Bach Festival, the Dartington International Music Festival, the Yale School of Music, and the Singapore Government Public Service Commission.


An advocate of new music, he has assisted in and premiered new works by Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners such as Curt Cacioppo, Aaron Jay Kernis, Robert Kyr, David Sanford, and Joan Tower, and many young composers. He is particularly proud of his commissioning work, which has helped composers like Chen Zhangyi garner international prizes such as the London Symphony Orchestra Prize. His 2001 direction of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress was praised by the Birmingham Post (UK) for its “high orchestral quality” while his 2014 premiere of Mary D. Watkins’s Civil Rights era opera, Dark River, was critically acclaimed in the United States.


Tian has conducted orchestras around the world including the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Dartington Festival Orchestra (UK), Orchestra of the Royal Opera of Wallonie (Belgium), and the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra (USA), and musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra (UK), Orquestra de Cadaqués (Spain), Scottish Chamber Orchestra (UK), Tempesta di Mare (USA), and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Canada). A versatile musician, he is equally at home in the realm of choral music and has conducted ensembles like the Stuttgart Chamber Choir (Germany), Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus (USA), Oregon Bach Festival Chorus (USA), Yale Schola Cantorum (USA), and the Young Person’s Chorus of New York (USA). He has collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Dashon Burton, Tyler Duncan, Marcus Eiche, Jamie-Rose Guarrine, Ayano Kataoka, Ilya Polataev, Gary Steigerwalt, Astrid Schween, Sara Davis Buechner, Hanna Elisabeth Müller, Nicholas Phan, James Taylor, Gilles Vonsattel and Soyoung Yoon.


Gregory W. Brown


Gregory W. Brown is a freelance conductor in Western Massachusetts, having recently finished a three-year appointment as Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Lecturer at Smith College in Northampton, MA, where he conducted the Smith College Chorus and taught conducting, choral literature, and sight-singing. Prior to his time at Smith College, Brown served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at The College of Wooster, where he conducted the Wooster Chorus. Other positions have included posts conducting at Amherst College, the University of Georgia, and The Putney School. (cont.) 2 of 3 91 Main St. Greenfield, MA 01301 | 413-773-3664 | pvsoffice@pvso.org | www.pvsco.org


In January of 2004, he was one of 6 conductors chosen from an international pool to take part in the 24th National Conductor’s Symposium with Jon Washburn and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Though primarily a choral conductor, Brown also conducts chamber and orchestral music, with a special interest in new music. Other recent engagements include acting as chorus master for the Five College Opera, and interim director of choral activities at Amherst College for spring 2018.


Brown’s compositions have been performed across the United States and Europe — most notably in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Cadogan Hall in London, and the Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. His commissions for vocal ensemble New York Polyphony have been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today, BBC Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, Kansas Public Radio, and Danish National Radio; his Missa Charles Darwin received its European debut in March 2013 at the Dinosaur Hall of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde .


Brown’s 2015 CD of original choral and vocal works — Moonstrung Air — was Q2’s Album of the Week for Feb 16th, noting that “[Brown’s] command of transcendent sound is constant…the pieces ring like higher-power-bells, those of science, faith and the human voice.”


Brown’s latest major work — un/bodying/s — was premiered by Philadelphia choir The Crossing in June 2017. This 35-minute cantata for 24 voices uses new texts by poet Todd Hearon and focuses on issues of displacement and ecology around the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. Other current and recent commissions include works for the Seattle Bach Choir, Ensemble Nobiles (Leipzig), Boston Choral Ensemble, soprano Mary Hubbell (USA), contralto Kristine Gether (Denmark), countertenor Geoffrey Silver (UK), and others.

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