The final concert in Wilton Candlelight Concerts‘ 70th anniversary season will feature Wilton native Bärli Nugent on flute, and Nancy Allen playing the harp. The concert will take place on Sunday, April 8, at 4 p.m. in the Wilton Congregational Church.
Nugent has always cared most about deeply engaging with communities around her by seeing opportunities in unexpected places and sharing the incomparable power of music to affect people’s lives in meaningful ways. Her lengthy professional affiliations as founder of the Naumburg Award-winning and internationally-touring Aspen Wind Quintet, creator of the landmark Aspen Wind Quintet and Kids Project, principal flutist of Marin Alsop’s Concordia Orchestra, and artist-faculty at the
Aspen Music Festival and School, have culminated in her current position as Assistant Dean and faculty at The Juilliard School, where she continues to innovate from an office whose door is always open.
Nugent grew up in Wilton, and graduated from Juilliard with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Her 20-year international performing career began as a founding member of the Aspen Wind Quintet, winners of the 1984 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Performing over 1,000 concerts in venues as diverse as St. Petersburg’s regal Philharmonic Hall, Amsterdam’s legendary
Concertgebouw, the Frank Lloyd Wright house near Chicago, a hall filled with soccer-crazed young men in the Algerian village of Tizi Ouzou, a drafty Montana high school gym in a driving snowstorm, and a Finnish candle-lit logging cabin near the Arctic Circle, her passion for this work was to introduce audiences barely familiar with the quintet’s instruments to the joy and beauty of woodwind chamber music. And her love of teaching led to the creation of the Aspen Wind Quintet and Kids Project, in which hundreds of young people across the United States were given the opportunity to shine in their hometowns by performing with the Quintet as soloists. This hands-on community engagement later became the model for the Aspen Music Festival’s Outreach program. The Quintet’s commissions also reflected her vision of unusual engagement, including composers as diverse as Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Ward, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Frank Zappa,and seven-year-old Juilliard Pre-College composition student Taktin Oei. And in her hometown of New York City, she was asked to create a chamber music program for
InterSchool Orchestras of New York, serving hundreds of school children from around the New York Metropolitan area.
She has served as juror for international competitions including the London International String Quartet Competition, Concert Artists Guild, the Coleman and Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions, and was cited in a recent issue of Chamber Music magazine by members of the distinguished Jasper String Quartet for giving them a key piece of advice that altered their growth as a quartet. She has also written several articles for that magazine, including one detailing her experiences coaching string quartets and building a chamber music program in China.
Hailed by the New York Times as “a major artist” following her New York recital debut in 1975, Allen joined the New York Philharmonic in June of 1999 as Principal Harpist. She maintains a busy international concert schedule as well as heading the harp departments of The Juilliard School, Yale School of Music, and the Aspen Music Festival and School and teaching
at Stony Brook University. In addition, Ms. Allen appears regularly with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In May 2000, Ms. Allen was featured in the Philharmonic’s United States premiere of Siegfried Matthus’s Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra, with Music Director Kurt Masur and Principal Flute Robert Langevin.
Ms. Allen’s busy performing schedule includes solo appearances at major international festivals, and has featured collaborations with soprano Kathleen Battle, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and flutist Carol Wincenc. She has appeared on PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center” with The Chamber Music Society, as well as with Ms. Battle, and has performed as a recitalist for “Music at the Supreme Court” in Washington, D.C. Ms. Allen’s recording of Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with the Tokyo Quartet, flutist Ransom Wilson, and clarinetist David Shifrin received a Grammy Award nomination; she can also be heard on Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, and CRI.
Tickets may be obtained at the door for $30; $25 for seniors; 16 years old and under, free. For more information on this concert or on the Candlelight series, visit the Candlelight Concert website. To be added to the brochure mailing list for the 2018/2019 season, call 203.762.3401.
Candlelight Concerts benefit the Wilton Library Association and happily accepts individual and corporate tax-deductible contributions. This series is in its 70th season.