FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2016

The Bardavon Announces the 44th Annual

Finals are open to the public at Vassar Colleg's Skinner Hall!

(Poughkeepsie, NY) The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, Inc. and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic (HVP) String Competition Committee announce the 44th Annual HVP String Competition. The free competition featuring nearly 30 musicians will be held at Skinner Hall on the Vassar College campus on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday March 13, 2016.

The full two-day schedule is as follows:

First Round: Saturday, March 12, 9:30am - 6pm
Semi-final Round: Sunday, March 13, 10am - 12pm.
Finals: Sunday, March 13, at 3pm.

There is no admission charge and the competition is open to the public.

This international competition attracts a wealth of young musical talent from the finest conservatories in the US and abroad. The contest began in 1966 under the direction of Maestro Claude Monteux, who was at that time the HVP’s artistic director/conductor. It was originally started as a way to find string players for the orchestra.

The HVP String Competition is often credited for launching the careers of world-renowned orchestral and solo string musicians. Many previous winners have gone on to illustrious classical music careers. Previous notables include: violist Marcus Thompson '67 (Boston Chamber Players), cellist Fred Sherry '68, violinist Ani Kavafian '73 (Lincoln Center Chamber Players soloist), violinist Adela Pena '85 (Eroica Trio), and violinist Judith Ingolfsson ’96 (1998 Indianapolis International Violin Competition winner).

The 2016 first-prize winner will receive $3000, a solo performance with the HVP during its 2016-17 Season, and for the second time ever, a solo performance at the “Musical Landscapes of Italy” festival on August 24 in San Quirico d’Orcia, Tuscany founded by Poughkeepsie native Steven Slade!

The judges for this year’s competition are:

María Radicheva, Violin. Radicheva has met with critical acclaim as recitalist, guest soloist, and chamber musician, appearing in major concert halls throughout Europe, the United States, Mexico, Israel, Japan, and Asia. Her summer music festival appearances have included Aspen and Marlboro. Ms. Radicheva was presented in her New York recital debut as the winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Award and cited by Musical America as a “young artist of the year” and a “talent to watch.” Ms. Radicheva has made numerous radio and television appearances, including on WQXR, Radio France International, and BRT. She has recorded for Balkanton and Musical Heritage Society, including an album of all four sonatas for violin and piano by Bulgarian composer Parashkev Hadjiev. She gave the world premiere of his third and fourth sonatas, which were written for and dedicated to her. She has been a member of the Manhattan School of Music college faculty since 2005 and of the precollege faculty since 2001.

Daniel Avshalomov, Viola. The son of composer/conductor Jacob Avshalomov, Daniel Avshalomov began his training in Oregon and, after a year’s study abroad (with Orrea Pernel and members of the Amadeus Quartet), took his BM and MM degrees at the Juilliard School, where he served an unprecedented five years as principal violist of the orchestra and was the first violist in the School’s history to be awarded the Loeb Prize for Outstanding Achievement. Before joining the American String Quartet, he was principal violist for the orchestras of the Spoleto, Tanglewood, and Aspen music festivals, as well as for the Brooklyn Philharmonia and the American Composers Orchestra. He performed as solo violist with the Bolshoi Ballet and was a founding member of the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. A frequent guest artist with the Guarneri Quartet, he has also been featured artist with such groups as the Da Camera Society, Marin Music Fest, and La Musica di Asolo and has shared the stage with Norbert Brainin, Misha Dichter, Maureen Forrester, Bruno Giuranna, and the Juilliard and Tokyo quartets. Mr. Avshalomov has been a member of the Manhattan School of Music college faculty since 1984 and precollege faculty since 2004. He is also a member of the faculty of the Aspen Music School.

Susan Seligman, Cello. Seligman has been principal cellist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic since 1984, and has soloed with the orchestra on a number of occasions, including a duo appearance with singer Bobbly McFerrin in Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto. As a chamber musician, she is a member of Innisfree Piano Trio, the Pone Ensemble, and Hudson Valley Baroque; and performs as basso continuo cellist with Kairos, a chamber choir. Ms. Seligman was favorably reviewed in the New York Times for her performance in works of the late Robert Starer. Susan Seligman has released two Compact Discs: Chamber Music for Strings and Piano by Henry Martin, and Voices of the Valley with Danielle Woerner and James Fitzwilliam, both on the Albany label; and CDs of works of Meyer Kupferman on Soundspells. An adjunct lecturer and cello faculty in the Music Department at SUNY New Paltz, Susan also has a private cello studio of lively students!

The HVP String Competition is open to the public at no charge, and gives audiences a rare opportunity to hear and see some of the best young violinists, cellists, and violists in the world, before their careers have even begun. For more information call the Bardavon Box Office at 845.473.2072 or log on to

The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, Inc. (the Bardavon) is a New York State nonprofit corporation that owns and operates two historic theaters—the 944-seat namesake theater in Poughkeepsie and 1510-seat Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston—and the region’s premiere orchestra, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. It presents top-notch music, dance, theater, and classic films for diverse audiences in both its venues; stages free annual outdoor events in local communities; and partners with regional schools to offer unique arts-based learning experiences. The Bardavon also continues to restore and preserve its historic theaters for today’s audiences and future generations to enjoy.


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