Founded in 2004 by Maestro Franci, the organization is one of the leading musical formations in the area. Its mission and style are distinctive in the way traditional musical experience has been enhanced through surprisingly interactive and engaging exchanges with the audience.
Mr. Franci has earned international recognition as a leading interpreter of the music of Aaron Copland. His recording “The Complete Edited Piano Works by A. Copland,” a triple CD released by Fone’ Classics, was met with much acclaim and rave reviews in 2000.
On Saturday, October 26th, The New York Chamber Players Orchestra will feature the Prize-winners of the 3rd NYCP Music Competition in concert. The patron of the Young Artist Competition is Mr. Eric Neil Koenig, and its purpose is "to provide recognition to talented young musicians and an opportunity to perform with NYCP Orchestra." The competition is for musicians born on or after January 1st, 1992, for the following instruments and categories: piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, and vocals. The audition repertoire is limited to classical selections only.
The program includes Mr. Eric Neil Koenig's (Patron) Overture, L. Espinosa Andante for Strings, J. N. Hummel Trumpet Concerto, J. Brahms Violin Concerto 1st mov., S. Prokofiev Violin Concerto no. 2, 1st mov., and P. I. Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations for Cello and Orchestra.
Special guest soloist is David Krauss (1st Trumpet of the Met Orchestra) with Joseph Morag (Violin), Yaegy Park (Violin), and Derek Louie (Cello).
The concert will be held at St. Michael's Church, 225 West 99th St., NYC, at 8 PM.
Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 students and seniors, children under 12-Free.
INTERVIEW WITH MAESTRO GIACOMO FRANCI
MH: Maestro Franci, what does the public not know yet about The NYCP?
GF: My aim is always to be positive and find positivity in every aspect of life both as a musician and in general. But lately, I find the public a little bit distracted, kind of self-absorbed, maybe with their heads too much in the smart phones. When we invite the public to turn off their phones, I wish, we would also invite them to not think of their everyday life for the one and half hour while they attend the concert. A classical concert is an adventure of the spirit, something exceptional, and one that can be experienced only with the right disposition of the mind.
The New York Chamber Players is an orchestra composed mostly of young professionals. Even if they don't have the experience of the players of the New York Philharmonic, they bring something, I think, very important in the concert hall: the enthusiasm of performing. Enthusiasm is contagious-contagious for a vibrant performance, contagious to the public. If, then, the public get out more of the everyday routine, they can talk to other people about this wonderful experience with this orchestra. Mila, you are an example of this: now your enthusiasm for NYCP led you to doing this interview with me.
The level of these musicians is fully professional, and we have many samples of our level in YouTube. Now, also the first commercial recording for CRS will be out soon. But besides always taking the professional level higher and higher, there is also a humanistic aspect.
Most orchestra players try after their Master Degree or Doctorate to audition for the big orchestras like Boston Symphony, or New York Philharmonic, or Philadelphia Orchestra, but the odds to get a job there are very slim. Usually out of 450-500 contestants only one gets the job. What about the rest? They are all no good? I don't think so.
Our mission statement encourages all deserving professionals to have a chance at a career. The aim of NYCP is to encourage them to embark in the music career because it is a beautiful way to live despite its challenges and difficulties. This is a freelance orchestra, and I certainly don't have as a goal one day to give a stipend to each one of these musicians. But certainly, if the orchestra would have more funding, there would be more work to develop the important mission that I just described.
MH: What is the secret to your personal and professional drive?
GF: I risk now to repeat myself. But I think, the secret is, again, enthusiasm. Even if it's not easy to keep it or even develop it. Classical music is an extremely competitive field, so there are moments when tasks are scrutinized too much and for the wrong reasons. I say that because if they were for the right reasons, that would be constructive criticism, thus an occasion to learn further. But once I have done my best, or what I consider is my best, then the one I have to deal with is only God, not all the rest of positive or negative comments. Even if sometimes I go and read some of the most positive reviews that I got, especially when the enthusiasm tends to diminish. I am a conductor, and now I have done my first recording as a conductor, for which I hope I will get a nice or very nice review. But I have been always a concert pianist, and recently I obviously got very happy because the review Silk Road in China declared that "my high level of piano skill is incomparable"-not bad for a guy who nineteen years ago was completely unknown and came here with just a dream!
MH: Maestro, what is next for The NYCP and you personally?
GF: We are looking forward to the annual concert of the winners of the NYCP music competition, who are 21 years or younger (most of the times winners are between 13 and 15 years old) every year. This is another aspect of encouragement for all deserving talents to enter the music career. And you have listened to them, their level is very high. I know, most of them will become professionals, and some will become concert stars.
In every performance, we feature contemporary music. The composer in residence of NYCP is Eric Neil Koenig. Every year he composes a new piece. This year, he composed Christmas Overture, which we are going to perform on Saturday, October 26th. He is also the Patron of the Music Competition. On May 3rd 2014, besides me soloing with the Schumann Piano Concerto in a minor, we will feature the music of another contemporary composer, Hial Bancroft King, at Merkin Concert Hall. We will perform the world premiere of his 3rd Symphony. H. B. King received documented praises by geniuses like Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky. It will be exciting to perform his music.
NYCP aims also to collaborate with other performing companies in order to develop a bigger performing career.
Personally, besides going to solo with a Symphony Orchestra in Oregon on March 2014, I have two upcoming tours in Europe, both as conductor and pianist-one in the summer of 2014 and one in the summer of 2015.