Music doesn’t just happen on a stage — it happens behind the scenes, in our minds, bodies, and spirits. Our 2021-22 season begins with a journey into this space as we a reflect on the unspoken ways we can share our inner selves with one another. The silence speaks just as loudly as the music in this program featuring works by Mario Lavista (Mexico), Reena Esmail (America/India), and Amanda Harberg (America). Enjoy a world premiere of Scott Wheeler’s “Portrait Gallery” for bassoon and piano, performed by Longy’s own Nanci Belmont and Spencer Myer.
Bassoonist Nanci Belmont, praised as “outstanding” by the New York Classical Review, is a dynamic musician enjoying a diverse career as a performer, educator, and arts advocate.
Recognized for her artistry as a soloist, Nanci is the Second Prize winner of the 2016 Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Competition of the International Double Reed Society. She has appeared as a concerto soloist in New York City on multiple occasions, including performances of the Strauss Duett Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon and the Gubaidulina Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings.
Chamber music is an integral part of Nanci’s career; she enjoys programming and performing on concert series in New York and beyond. From 2012–2014 she was the bassoonist with Ensemble Connect — a Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute. A proponent of the music of our time, she is a member of The City of Tomorrow, a wind quintet dedicated to the performance and expansion of contemporary repertoire. In other contemporary chamber music ventures, Nanci has collaborated with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble, and Talea Ensemble.
As an orchestral musician, Nanci has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, and New York City Ballet. Memorable international experiences include performances of Peter Grimes in the United Kingdom for the Benjamin Britten Centennial and a European tour with Ensemble intercontemporain in collaboration with the Lucerne Festival.
Nanci is passionate about creating meaningful and relevant musical experiences for all audiences. She works as a Teaching Artist with the Bridge Arts Ensemble, and has taken part in numerous performances in community venues and public schools as a fellow of Ensemble Connect. In her roles as performer and educator, Nanci is driven by the desire to cultivate curious, lifelong learners in music. Nanci serves on faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA and the Special Music School in New York City.
Originally from Florida, Nanci holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University and a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Frank Morelli. Most recently, she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University. Nanci currently resides in New York City, where she enjoys searching for the perfect cup of coffee, escaping the city for some hiking, and hanging out with her cat, Scherzo.
Composer Scott Wheeler’s operas have been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera. the Guggenheim Foundation and White Snake Projects. His music has been performed by violinist Gil Shaham, conductor Kent Nagano, and singers Renee Fleming, Sanford Sylvan, and Susanna Phillips.
Mr. Wheeler has appeared as conductor in New York, Berlin, Boston, and on several recordings, often with the Boston-based ensemble Dinosaur Annex, which he co-founded and directed for many years. He has also conducted many productions of opera and musical theatre works and has appeared as a pianist in a wide repertoire of classical, jazz, and cabaret.
Scott Wheeler studied at Amherst College, New England Conservatory, and Brandeis. His principal teachers were Lewis Spratlan, Arthur Berger and Virgil Thomson, along with studies at Dartington with Peter Maxwell Davies and Tanglewood with Olivier Messiaen. His many awards include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Bogliasco Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin and the Classical Recording Foundation. He is Senior Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches musical theatre and songwriting.
Website Link: Nanci Belmont
Website Link: Scott Wheeler