RI Philharmonic Orchestra 75th Anniversary Gala Set for October 17th

World-renowned violinist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman and famed cellist Amanda Forsyth to be featured

Pinchas Zukerman and the Winoker Family to receive John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award

 PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra proudly celebrates 75 years of great music performance and education with what promises to be an unforgettable evening of thrilling music and ceremony on Saturday, October 17. Handel’s Entrance of the Queen of Sheba will open the program followed by Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst. Then virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman will play and conduct Mozart’s brilliant Violin Concerto No. 5 (Turkish). After an award and fundraising program during intermission, the concert continues with famed cellist Amanda Forsyth performing Fauré’s Elegy and Vivaldi’s Double Concerto featuring both Zukerman and Forsyth.

Violinist and Conductor Pinchas Zukerman, who was already slated to conduct two works on the program, will now lead the entire concert. RI Philharmonic Artistic Advisor and conductor Bramwell Tovey has been advised not to travel due to Covid-19 quarantine requirements in Canada that interfere with monitoring and treatments for an ongoing health issue and therefore cannot travel to Rhode Island for the Gala. He missed the Orchestra’s Season Opener on September 26 for the same reason and was replaced by David Robertson, former Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony. Tovey continues to provide advice and leadership remotely, though on a reduced schedule. He anticipates resuming his duties fully in early 2021. He has stepped down from his position as Artistic Director of the Calgary Opera in order to focus on his treatment and his work with Rhode Island.

Says Tovey: “I am deeply disappointed to miss this 75th Anniversary Gala, our most important fundraising event of the year. At the same time, I am gratified and confident in turning over the Orchestra to my good friend Pinchas who, along with Amanda Forsyth and our Orchestra musicians, will provide a truly memorable concert experience. Enjoy this great concert and please, support our fundraising efforts so that this highest-level of music performance, education and community engagement can continue.”

The concert begins at 8pm on Saturday, October 17, at The VETS for a limited in-person audience and is available to Gala ticket holders and all Philharmonic subscribers via livestream. If you are interested in viewing, please call 401.248.7000 to explore subscription options.

Concert ceremonies will also honor two recipients of the prestigious John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award. Virtuoso violinist, conductor, and educator Pinchas Zukerman will be recognized for his tremendous commitment to both artistry and education throughout his storied career including pioneering distance learning in music in ways that are becoming so relevant during our current crisis. The beloved Winoker Family will be honored for their 60-year commitment to advancing the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s mission to enrich and transform our community through exceptional and accessible live symphonic performances and music education programs.

Funds raised from this 75th Anniversary Gala will support the overall mission of the Philharmonic and help equip the Carter Center with the latest online teaching technology so we are able to offer virtual learning programs and provide access to music education to children living in underserved communities throughout the region at the highest level.

***At A Glance***

75th Anniversary Gala Celebration
Saturday, October 17, 2020, 8pm
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence, and livestream

Pinchas Zukerman, violin & conductor
Amanda Forsyth, cello

HANDEL: Entrance of the Queen of Sheba
MOZART: Violin Concerto No.5 (Turkish)
FAURÉ: Elegy
VIVALDI: Double Concerto

About the Artists

Pinchas Zukerman 

With a celebrated career encompassing five decades, Pinchas Zukerman reigns as one of today’s most sought-after and versatile musicians – violin and viola soloist, conductor, and chamber musician. Renowned as a virtuoso, he’s admired for the expressive lyricism of his playing, singular beauty of tone, and impeccable musicianship, which can be heard throughout his discography of over 110 recordings. A devoted teacher and champion of young musicians, Mr. Zukerman has served as chair of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music for 25 years. As a mentor, he has inspired generations of young musicians who have achieved prominence in performing, teaching, and in leading roles with music festivals around the globe.

Amanda Forsyth

Canadian Juno Award-winning Amanda Forsyth is considered one of North America’s most dynamic cellists. She has achieved an international reputation as soloist, chamber musician and principal cello of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra from 1999 to 2015. Her intense richness of tone, remarkable technique and exceptional musicality combine to enthrall audiences and critics alike. Ms. Forsyth has performed on international tours with the Royal Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic orchestras. In the U.S., she has performed with many of the country’s top orchestras including Chicago, Dallas, and the National Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. Forsyth performs on a rare 1699 Italian cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore.

John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award

The John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award is named in honor of John Hazen White, Sr. whose philanthropy to the Rhode Island arts community, most particularly the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, is legendary. Recipients are selected for furthering access to performances of symphonic and other music, as well as music education in Rhode Island and around the world. The 2019 recipient was legendary music festival promoter and producer George Wein, originator of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, as well as the Newport Festivals Foundation, which now manages the festivals and funds music education programs nationally.

About the Recipients

Pinchas Zukerman

Throughout his career Mr. Zukerman has performed at the highest possible level, led institutions that make a positive cultural and educational impact on their communities, pushed musical boundaries and taught many an aspiring artist. A devoted teacher and champion of young musicians, he has served as chair of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music for over 25 years, and has taught at prominent institutions throughout the United Kingdom, Israel, China and Canada, among others. As a mentor he has inspired generations of young musicians who have achieved prominence in performing, teaching, and leading roles with music festivals around the globe. The results thus far also include more than 110 recordings, successful music directorships in St. Paul and Ottawa, and the Young Artists Program at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, which, along with his program at the Manhattan School, continues to inspire the leading musicians of tomorrow. Mr. Zukerman has received honorary doctorates from Brown University, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and the University of Calgary, as well as the National Medal of Arts from President Ronald Reagan. He is a recipient of the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence in Classical Music.

The Winoker Family

The Winoker Family has been involved with our community for decades. From saving old buildings to building new communities, from ensuring education for all to a deep engagement in the arts, their impact on our state and the people in our state is legendary.

This wonderful couple met at a dance in September of 1953 when Jim was at Harvard Business School and Marilyn was at Boston University. They married on July 3, 1955, as they were about to go into the Army where, for three years, Jim taught at the Army Management School. When they returned to Rhode Island, Jim (or “they” as he puts it) took a position at Brier Manufacturing, a company he had worked for while at college. In 1961, Jim and some colleagues started the BB Greenberg jewelry firm at 222 Richmond Street.

It was Ruth Greenberg who ignited the Winokers’ love of the Rhode Island Philharmonic by inviting Marilyn to a concert. Marilyn fell in love with the Orchestra and became involved with the Friends Group, eventually serving as president. Marilyn recalls, with a chuckle, the early education concerts and her role of trying to keep the school children quiet! She organized the first major gala for the Phil and worked closely with Jim on the first fundraising campaign which is still recognized at the Providence Performing Arts Center where the Philharmonic performed at the time.

Frank Licht asked Jim to join the RI Phil board in the ’60s. During his tenure, he helped to reorganize the board into one that has ensured the fiscal health of the organization ever since. Jim and Marilyn invited many of our dedicated friends to join them for dinner before concerts,  and they count Heidi Kirk Duffy and Marie Langlois among those friends who have become dedicated and committed supporters and board presidents.

Marilyn and Jim have not only served RIPO&MS as board leaders, committee members and connectors, they also brought the Philharmonic and eventually the Music School into their newly renovated space at 222 Richmond Street in the 1970s. They were instrumental in the merger of the two organizations. Both are honorary directors of RIPO&MS to this day and continue their dedication and support.

Susan, David and his wife Kristin (an accomplished cellist), and Steven and his wife Nina have all had close relationships with the organization. They became involved as children and continue their parents’ legacy of introducing new people to the Orchestra and the Music School. Susan has served on the Development Committee, David on the Board, Investment and Finance Committees, and David and Kristin’s two sons, Zach and Alex, have both taken music lessons at the school. Susan and David continue their parents’ legacy at Belvoir Properties and Steven is Vice President of Investor Communications at General Electric.

The Winoker Family has been recognized by many organizations for their generosity and their devotion. We are proud to recognize the family as the recipients of the 2020 John Hazen White, Sr.  Leadership in the Arts Awards.

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