Duo Esprit returns to Summit County | SummitDaily.com

Duo Esprit returns to Summit County

Daily News staff report
Special to the Daily

Summit Music and Arts welcomes the return of Duo Esprit, a harp and viola group, to Lord of the Mountains.

The program “Esprit Encore!” – performed by Ann Marie Liss, harp, and Basil Vendryes, viola -will feature music of Ferrante, Malloy, Kehn, Goldfinger and Berg (all written for Duo Esprit), as well as music of Vaughan Williams, Chopin, Gershwin and Bridge.

Liss is lauded for her colorful musical palette and inspirational tone as a solo artist and chamber musician. A Colorado native, she has performed as a soloist and harpist with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, including the Breckenridge Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra and l’Orchestre Alberique Mangard, and has recorded television and radio productions with Radio France, the Theatre Francais de la Musique, Opera du Theatre Imperial de Compiegne and the United States Air Force Academy Band.

The youngest harpist to be awarded the prestigious Diplome Superieure de Concertiste from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, Liss was inspired by the art of chamber music and pursued simultaneous degrees through the Conservatoire National de Region de Paris, earning a double Diplome Superieure specializing in both chamber music and harp performance. The laureate of many national and international competitions, Liss appears regularly in concert as a founding member of Duo Esprit, a collaboration with Vendryes, principal violist of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

A featured musician on the runways of Paris Fashion Week and the World Harp Congress, Liss has performed at the famed Sydney Opera House, Paris’ Salle Cortot and Italy’s Basilica Santa Maria Bressanoro, and her music has received accolades from musicians and dignitaries including Sir Elton John, Billy Joel, Colorado governors and the vice president of the United States. As a member of the Colorado College performance faculty, Liss also maintains an active private studio and is widely sought out as an instructor, coach and clinician, specializing in technical foundation, tone production and brain integration in musical performance.

Vendryes has been principal violist of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra since 1993. He is a former member of the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Rochester Philharmonic orchestras. As violist with the Aurora String Quartet (1986-95), Vendryes performed extensively in New York, London and Tokyo. He currently serves on the faculties of the Lamont School of Music of the University of Denver, the Castleman Quartet Programs in Fredonia, N.Y., and Boulder, the Montecito Music Festival in California and the Green Valley Music Festival in Las Vegas.

Vendryes has served on the faculties of Biola University, California Summer Music and Summer Music West at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is the founder and director of the Colorado Young Sinfonia, composed of some of the best young talent in the Denver area, now in its 12th year. Vendryes has appeared as soloist with the Colorado, Aurora, Jefferson, Littleton, Lamont, Centennial and Biola symphonies, among others. Festival appearances include Spoleto, Heidelberg, Midsummer Mozart, Ouray and Lake Winnepesaukee. Working with promising talent is one of his passions, and Basil has given classes in viola and chamber music throughout the United States. Vendryes has recorded for Columbia, Phillips, Decca, RCA and Nonesuch, as well as chamber music for the Cadenza Music, Centaur, CRI, Denon and Naxos labels. Vendryes plays on a rare Italian viola made in 1887 by Carlo Cerruti.

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