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ARTIST PROFILE

Alexandre da Costa and Margo Garrett

SAINT PAUL SUNDAY APPEARANCES

BIOGRAPHY

Alexandre Da Costa was born in Montreal Canada in 1979. He showed an uncommon interest for both the violin and piano at a very early age. By the age of nine, he had the astounding ability to perform his first concerts with stunning virtuosity on both instruments, which brought him recognition as a musical prodigy. After having won several First Prizes at the Canadian Music Competitions, his career took off with recitals and concerts in Canada and the U.S.

In 1998, at the age of 18, Alexandre received a Master’s degree in violin, Premier Prix Concours, from the Quebec Conservatory of Music where he studied with Johanne Arel. Concurrently, he also received a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Interpretation from the Faculty of Music of the University of Montreal. From 1998 to 2001, Alexandre studied at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid with the violin master Zakhar Bron that formed Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin. In the course of his studies, Alexandre also attended master classes and extensive courses in violin with several other internationally renowned figures, including Sergei Fatkouline, Christian Altenburger, David Cerone, Jose-Luis Garcia Asensio, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman, Mauricio Fuks, Martin Beaver, Herman Krebbers, Robert Masters, Gerhard Schulz & Rainer Honeck. Alexandre also was the recipient of Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec and Isaac Albeniz Foundation in Spain. In 2002, he won the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award, an award given annually by the Canada Council for the Arts to the most talented candidate under the age of 30 in the Council's Grants to Individual Musicians competition in the classical music category.

Over the past ten years, Alexandre has appeared as soloist in over five hundred recitals and concerts throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Japan and Taiwan. In Canada, he has performed as guest soloist with orchestras including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra and Nova Scotia Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, he has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras including the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, NordWestDeutsche Philharmonic, Neue Westfalen Philharmonic Orchestra, Oberberg Symphony Orchestra (Germany), Zielona Gora Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra (Bosnia), Brno Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Wiener Concert-Verein, Baden Sinfonietta (Austria), Malaga Symphony Orchestra, Cordoba Symphony Orchestra, Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Balearic Islands Symphony Orchestra and Pablo Sarasate Symphony Orchestra (Spain), State Philharmonic Orchestra of Arad (Romania), etc. In addition, he participated in national and international music competitions where he won several first prizes, and gave concerts in major halls for prestigious festivals and series such as Meisters von Morgen, Mecklenberg Vorpommen Junge Elite festival (Germany), 21st Century’s New Soloists (Spain), Danube Festival, Weinviertler Schlosskonzerte (Austria), Virtuosi Concerts, Lanaudière International Festival, Domaine Forget Festival (Canada), etc., in Tokyo for the Imperial family, as well as broadcasted performances (television and radio) for Radio-Classical International, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Minnesota Public Radio St-Paul Sunday (MPR, U.S.A), National Spanish Radio (RNE), etc. In 2003, he released his recording of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto with the Arad Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christian Schulz, as well as España, a Spanish repertoire CD for violin and piano, both under the XXI-21 label.

In 2003-04, he performed concerti by Paganini, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, etc., with Canadian, Polish, Romanian, Bosnian, Spanish and German orchestras and gave series of recitals throughout the world. In 2004-05, he his scheduled to perform with orchestras in Austria, Canada, Spain, Germany, etc., such as the Berlin, Hamburg, Extremadura, Córdoba, Málaga, Sarajevo Symphony Orchestras, NordWestDeutsche Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Concert-Verein (Official chamber orchestra of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra), etc., in such halls as Vienna’s Musikverein, Hamburg’s Musikhalle, Madrid’s National Auditorium, etc., and give numerous recitals in Europe, America and Asia. In the summer of 2005, Alexandre will perform in festivals throughout the world such as the Lanaudière International Festival, the National Art Center of Ottawa, Stratford Summer Music, etc. Also, many new CD releases are scheduled: Mozart’s duos with violist Christian Frohn (first solo viola of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra), Solitario a solo violin works CD, the Vivaldi Four Seasons with the Wiener Concert-Verein, the Luiz de Freitas Branco Concerto with the Extremadura Symphony.

All reviews are unanimous in saluting Alexandre's faultless technique, inherited directly from the Russian School, his exceptional energy and musical talent. Alexandre plays the well-known 1689 Baumgartner Stradivarius, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts, and a Sartory bow, courtesy of the Canimex Foundation.

 

Born in Raleigh, NC, Margo Garrett studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts and did her graduate studies at Manhattan School of Music. Her piano studies included work with Irwin Freundlich and Samuel Sanders. She also studied with Pierre Bernac.

Margo Garrett collaborates with such vocal artists as Kathleen Battle, Barbara Bonney, Beverly Hoch, Lucy Shelton, Dawn Upshaw, Benita Valente, and the late Judith Raskin. Active in the world of contemporary music, she has performed the premieres of more than 30 works.

Ms. Garrett’s recordings include RCA, Nonesuch, MusicMasters, Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon (1992 Grammy), and Dorian.

She was formerly co-director, with the late Samuel Sanders, of the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival; and director of the Tanglewood Music Centers Vocal Program. She was also on the faculty of the New England Conservatory. Currently she is chair of accompanying and coaching at the University of Minnesota; chair of the vocal faculty at the Chicago Symphony's Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia.

Margo Garrett joined The Juilliard School faculty in 1985, became chair of accompanying program, 1986-1991 and rejoined the faculty in 2000.