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July 10, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



Anthony Dean Griffey, Ida Bieler and Michael Kudirka bring expertise and international acclaim

(Winston-Salem) Three distinguished artists – including a four-time Grammy Award-winning tenor, an alumna who was one of the first women to win a concertmaster position for a major European orchestra, and a guitarist who has received grants from the Theodor Presser Foundation and the American Composers Forum -- will join the faculty of the School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).

Tenor Anthony Dean Griffey will be a Distinguished Guest Artist for the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at UNCSA.  He will offer a series of master classes during the 2013-14 academic year and will represent Fletcher Opera and the UNCSA School of Music in his professional work. Griffey regularly sings with leading international orchestras and opera companies, and he recently collaborated with UNCSA guitar faculty-artist Joseph Pecoraro on a CD recording – This Little Light – released by CGS Enterprises. Griffey is a native of High Point.

Alumna Ida Bieler will teach violin. Currently professor at the Robert Schumann Universität für Musik und Media in Düsseldorf, Germany, and a guest professor at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria, she served for five years as concertmaster of the Symphony and Opera Orchestra of Cologne, Germany, and performed worldwide in Germany's legendary Melos String Quartet. Most recent additions to her award-winning CD catalogue include Brahms' Violin Sonatas and the world premiere recording of Hindemith's Duos for Violin, both released by Coviello Classics.

Michael Kudirka, who recently received a grant from the American Composers Forum to record the guitar works of Jeffrey Holmes, will teach guitar. He currently teaches at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Mich. He has performed around the world and has won first prize in many competitions.

Ida Bieler

Anthony Dean Griffey
Photo by Harry Heleotis

Michael Kudirka

American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert and recital stages around the world. The combination of his beautiful and powerful lyric tenor voice, gift of dramatic interpretation and superb musicianship have earned him the highest praise from critics and audiences alike.


This season, Griffey's many engagements include his return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Carnegie Hall as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire (a role he created at its premiere in San Francisco in 1998), the world premiere of Theaofanidis’ The Gift with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in both the Chicago and New York. He also appears in recital opposite Warren Jones at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.


Griffey's portrayal of the title role in Peter Grimes has won him international acclaim. He debuted the role at the Tanglewood Festival under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, and has since performed it all over the world, most recently in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera that was broadcast live in movie theaters around the world and released on DVD (EMI Classics). The Glyndebourne Festival also released a commercial recording of his performance with Mark Wigglesworth conducting. Other operatic highlights of Griffey's career include his role debut as the Male Chorus in a new production of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera, the title role in Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik with Glimmerglass Opera; Flute in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, and Lennie in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men with the Houston Grand Opera and Opera Australia in Melbourne and Sydney, for which he won a Helpmann award for Best Male Performer in an Opera.


Also an accomplished concert singer, Griffey has appeared with many distinguished international orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid, the Saito Kinen Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland at the Concertgebouw. The list of acclaimed conductors he has worked with includes James Conlon, Donald Runnicles, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Manfred Honeck, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, Michael Tilson Thomas, Edo de Waart, and Mark Wigglesworth.


Griffey made his Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall recital debut in 2004 where André Previn composed and dedicated a song cycle for him and accompanied him on the piano. Griffey has also been presented with his long-time pianist and collaborator Warren Jones by many prestigious recital series throughout the U.S. including San Francisco Performances, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Schubert Club in Saint Paul, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Music for a Great Space in Greensboro, the George London Foundation, and the Cleveland Art Song, Ravinia and Marlboro festivals.


A four time Grammy-winning recording artist, Mr. Griffey has extensive DVD and compact disc recordings including the Metropolitan Opera's Peter Grimes (EMI Classics) the Los Angeles Opera's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Euroarts), the Metropolitan Opera’s Tristan und Isolde (DG/Universal); the world premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire with the San Francisco Opera (Image Entertainment), Taylor’s Peter Ibbetson with the Seattle Symphony (Naxos), Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas (SFS Media), the New York Philharmonic conducted by Loren Maazel (New York Philharmonic), and the Tonhalle Orchestra (RCA); Britten’s War Requiem recorded live with Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic at Royal Festival Hall (LPO); André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire (DG); Les Mamelles de Tirésias conducted by Seiji Ozawa (Philips); I Lombardi with James Levine (Decca/London); Amy Beach's Cabildo (Delos); and Of Mice and Men with the Houston Grand Opera (Albany). He has also been featured as an Artist of the Week on A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts.” Griffey's most recently collaborated with classical guitarist Joseph Pecoraro on a solo Christmas album entitled This Little Light that was released in October 2012 (Cgs Enterprises).


Since the start of his career Griffey has taken an active role in many charitable efforts, advocating for arts programs in the Guilford County Public Schools, raising money for the Mental Health Association as well as giving benefit concerts for the "Open Door Shelter" for which Griffey has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the homeless in his hometown. He is also actively involved with the High Point Area Arts Council. Griffey holds degrees from Wingate University, the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Program. He was awarded the Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wingate University in May 2012 and was also inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2011.


Recognized as one of the most versatile violinists performing today, American-born Ida Bieler has set a standard, in the course of her unusual career, as a musician of extraordinary scope. Following an unconventional course, her experience and repertoire span all facets of solo and ensemble performance, bringing her acclaim from critics and public alike for her uniquely communicative interpretations. Launched into recognition by winning international competitions on three continents, she has since performed regularly as soloist and chamber-player at major music capitals and festivals throughout the world. Recording for radio and television worldwide, she has toured and performed with leading international orchestras. Bieler's artistic focus and repertoire, staggering in extent, stretches from the Baroque to contemporary composition. Her performances and recordings of complete work cycles, from Bach's Solo Sonatas and Partitas to the complete sonatas of Bartók, Corigliano and Penderecki, have received acclaim usually reserved for the "specialist" in each of several styles. Working closely with the composers, she has premiered works by Aribert Reimann, Volker David Kirchner, Moritz Eggert; and with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, under the direction of the composer, she played the first performance in Mexico of Krzysztof Penderecki's Metamorphosen – Concerto per violino ed.

Bieler's CD catalogue boasts an exceptionally wide and stylistically varied range of solo and chamber music repertoire. Awards have included the Cannes Classical Award, Echo Klassik Preis, Fono Forum Stern des Monats, Repertoire "10" and the Strad's Chamber Music Selection of the Month.  As a chamber musician, Bieler was a member of Germany's legendary Melos String Quartet from 1993 until their retirement from the concert stage in 2005. She has performed and recorded as a member of the Ensemble Villa Musica and since 2001 has been violinist of the highly acclaimed Xyrion Piano Trio. One of the first women to win a concertmaster position in a major European orchestra, Ida Bieler served from 1983-1988 as concertmaster of the Symphony and Opera Orchestra of Cologne; the Gürzenich Orchester. She left this position to accept a full professorship at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt. In 1993, she received the Professorship and prestigious chair previously held by Sandor Vegh, leading the violin masterclass at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. Bieler was Visiting Professor for Violin and Chamber Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama London from 2005 to 2007, and is currently Guest Professor, leading a masterclass at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria.

One of the most successful teachers in Europe today, her support of young musicians has included initiating and serving as artistic director of the Rheinische Streicherakademie of NRW, the Streicherakademie Ochsenhausen in Baden-Württemberg, and artistic advisor of the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Rhein-Ruhr e.V. The Vivaldi Project Düsseldorf, a teachers' training program aimed at educating underprivileged children, has been awarded the coveted Ideen für die Bildungsrepublik prize of Germany 2011. Bieler received her early musical education at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts studying with Ruggiero Ricci and Marc Gottlieb. She continued her studies at The Juilliard School in New York, graduating as a student of Oscar Shumsky and Felix Galimir. Gaining important artistic impulses from her work with Nathan Milstein in London and Zurich, she ultimately earned the Konzertexamen degree as a student of Professor Max Rostal at Cologne's Hochschule für Musik, Germany.

Bieler plays a violin from Thomas Balestrieri Cremonensis, Fecit Mantuae. Anno 1753.

Michael Kudirka is currently the Instructor of Guitar at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Mich.  His previous teaching positions include the Idyllwild Arts Academy and various roles at the University of Southern California and the California Institute of the Arts.  He has toured extensively in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Germany, China, and Japan, and has performed at such notable venues as the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco; the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; the Conservatorio de los Rosas in Morelia, Mexico; the Darmstadt Ferienkurs für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany; and the Ono Guitar School in Osaka, Japan.  An active chamber musician, Kudirka has appeared with many dynamic ensembles including Music of Changes, Ensemble Green, the Formalist String Quartet, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, the Cantori Domino Orchestra and Chorus, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the USC Symphony Orchestra, and PARTCH.  Numerous competition first prizes include the American String Teachers Association, the University of Southern California Concerto Competition, and the Portland International Guitar Competition.

A major activist for the creation of new music, Kudirka has commissioned and premiered dozens of new works for the guitar including Song of Ashes by Naomi Sekiya, May the Bridges I Burn Light My Way… by Jeffrey Holmes, 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings by Bryan Johanson, and 5 Intermezzi by Veronika Krausas. An active arranger, Kudirka has transcribed and performed Jean-Philippe Rameau's Pieces de Clavecin (1724) for guitar duo, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier for guitar quartet, and Frederick Chopin’s Nocturne nr. 1 op. 9 for flute and guitar, among others. He recently received a grant from the American Composers Forum to record the guitar works of Jeffrey Holmes.  Michael Kudirka studied guitar with William Kanengiser at the University of Southern California, Miroslav Tadic at CalArts, and both composition and improvisation with Dusan Bogdanovic at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.