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The New Docta Festival was cofounded in 2013 by Argentine musicians Solange and Sami Merdinian with French cellist Yves Dharamraj to bring classical music to their hometown of Córdoba.
This performance spotlights their work in Argentina, featuring all three cofounders, along with pianist Philip Edward Fisher. From Ginastera's two Pampeanas and Danzas Argentinas op. 2 for solo piano, to songs by Carlos Guastavino and new compositions by Carlos Franzetti, New Docta presents an in-depth look at Argentine classical music.
Highlights from the 2015 New Docta Festival.
About the artists
Hailed by La Nación for his “beautiful sound and exquisite musicality,” Argentine violinist Sami Merdinian has received worldwide recognition for his outstanding performances as a soloist and chamber musician. Sami has recently appeared with the Montevideo Philharmonic, the Argentinian National Symphony, The Charlemagne Orchestre, The Gagneung Philharmonic in South Korea, Philharmonia of the Nations at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Buenos Aires Philharmonic at Teatro Colon, South Carolina Philharmonic, and the Midland and Duluth Symphonies. He's won prizes in several international competitions including a Gold Medal in the XII International Young Solo Instrumentalists Competition in Argentina, and the New Talent Competition in Slovakia organized by the European Radio. He also received the Rising Star Award by Tiffany & Co., was named Outstanding Artist of the Year by the Argentine press, and was featured on WQXR in New York, “Spiegenzall” live from the Concertgebouw, Argentinian Classical National Station, NPR, South Korean’s KBS and the BBC.
Acclaimed for her “smoldering stage presence” (New York Times) and “richly hued voice” (BBC Music magazine), New York-based, Armenian-Argentine mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian has garnered an international reputation for her versatility and interpretation as a recitalist and chamber musician, in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, tango, cabaret, art songs, and opera. She is cofounder and co-artistic director of the New Docta International Music Festival in Córdoba. In May 2009, Solange graduated with a master in voice and vocal performance from Bard College Conservatory of Music, a new curriculum designed by Dawn Upshaw. In 2007, she received her bachelor of music from the Juilliard School.
Captivating his audiences with a “primer of technical feats” (New York Sun) and his warm, lush tone “that might be described as something akin to rich old wood” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Yves Dharamraj has earned a worldwide reputation as a dynamic cellist who blends an immaculate command of the instrument with deep musical understanding to express his fresh and elegant interpretations. As an artist also dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, Dharamraj is a founding member of the Bohemian Trio and is the cellist of of Ne(x)tworks. He followed his passion for teaching artistry, arts advocacy, and engaging new audiences as a fellow of the Academy at Carnegie Hall. He continues outreach activities as a member of Decoda and cofounded New Docta International Music Festival in Córdoba to mentor and nurture Latin American talent.
Pianist Philip Edward Fisher is widely recognized as a unique performer of refined style and exceptional versatility. International tours as a prolific soloist and ensemble musician have taken Fisher across his native United Kingdom to Italy, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the Ukraine, and the United States. As a chamber musician, he has worked with renowned performers and ensembles such as The Brodsky Quartet, tenor Robert White, pianist Sara Buechner, and violinists Elmar Oliviera, Philippe Graffin, and Augustin Hadelich. Fisher studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Juilliard School. In 2001, he received the prestigious Julius Isserlis Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society of London. His debut solo album with the NAXOS label, featuring the first volume of Handel's Keyboard Suites, was released in early 2010 to widespread critical acclaim and topped the US Classical Billboard Charts within its first week. His recent release on the Chandos label, Piano Works by the Mighty Handful, was featured on Classic FM as John Suchet's "Album of the Week," as The Telegraph’s "Classical Album of the Week,” and was nominated in the "Best Solo Instrumental Album" category of the International Classical Music Awards in 2012.