Midweek at Miner Music Center

  • June 5, 2024 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • The Miner Music Center at Stevenson Hall

    104 Jeff Davis Street
    Sitka, Alaska 99835
Ticket Price $25.00 Buy Tickets

Join us on Wednesday evening for music, friends, conversation, and lite refreshments in the beautifully renovated Miner Music Center at Stevenson Hall. 


Doors open at 5:30 – come in, grab a drink, and socialize.

Music and interviews with musicians at 6:00 


Space is limited to 50 people. Our brunch concert at the miner music center is sold out, so grab your tickets for this event now.


June 5 will feature selections by the following artists: 


Zuill Bailey, cello

Benjamin Breen, violin

Martin Sher, viola

Awadagin Pratt, piano

Natasha Paremski, piano 

 Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, is a Grammy Award winning, internationally renowned soloist, recitalist, Artistic Director and teacher.  His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has made him one of the most sought after and active cellists today.

Mr. Bailey has been featured with symphony orchestras and music festivals worldwide.  He won the Best Solo Performance Grammy Award in 2017, for his recording of  Michael Daugherty’s “Tales of Hemingway,” with the Nashville Symphony led by Giancarlo Guerrero.  His extensive discography includes his newest release – the world premier recording of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Cello Concerto with the Santa Rosa Symphony. In 2021 he released his second recording of the Bach Cello Suites for PS Audio’s Octave Records label, recorded and mixed in stereo and multichannel sound.

He appeared in a recurring role on the HBO series “Oz,” and has been heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Tiny Desk Concert,” “Performance Today,” “Saint Paul Sunday,” BBC’s  “In Tune,” XM Radio’s “Live from Studio II,” Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Virtuoso Voices,” and his latest disc of Bach Suites was the disc of the week on Sirius’ Symphony Hall.

Mr. Bailey received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Peabody Conservatory where he was named the 2014 Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumni, and received a Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School.  He performs on the “rosette” 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet.

He is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica (Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), Juneau Jazz and Classics, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington),  Classical Inside Out Series- Mesa Arts Center (Arizona) and is Director of the Center for Arts Entrepreneurship and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.


Through his kaleidoscopic career as a pianist, conductor, educator, and curator of memorable musical moments, Awadagin Pratt is actively inventing the artistic world he longs to live in — a world that shines light on rich voices of the past and present, amplifies the diverse talents of today’s brightest creative minds, and paves the way for a new generation of inventive musical artists. Since launching onto the international stage after winning the prestigious Naumburg International Piano Competition in 1992 and receiving a 1994 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Awadagin has received acclaim for delivering “forceful, imaginative, and precisely tinted” performances (Washington Post) and is hailed as “one of the great and distinctive American pianists and conductors of our time” (WGBH). He has appeared at addresses as familiar as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (at the invitation of the Clinton and Obama administrations) and Sesame Street (at the invitation of Big Bird). His breakneck concert schedule has taken him across six continents for performances with the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the New York Philharmonic, and many others; solo recitals at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center; and chamber music collaborations with Zuill Bailey, Simone Dinnerstein, and the Harlem and St. Lawrence String Quartets. Highlights of Awadagin’s 2023/24 season include concerto appearances with the Nashville, Utah, Bournemouth, and Annapolis Symphonies; A Far Cry at Boston’s Jordan Hall; and the Cincinnati, Manitoba, New Century, and IRIS Chamber Orchestras. Recital engagements include performances at Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall, a program of four-hand music with Simone Dinnerstein at the Washington Performing Arts Society, and an appearance at the Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival. August 2023 marks the release of his first album for New Amsterdam Records, STILLPOINT, which explores the truth and beauty found within T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets through newly composed works by Tyshawn Sorey, Paola Prestini, Pēteris Vasks, Jessie Montgomery, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Alvin Singleton, and Judd Greenstein. Between performances at the piano, Awadagin maintains a bustling conducting career. This 23/24 season marks his first as Principal Conductor of the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra and a return to the podium of the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh. He recently made his conducting debut with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra (Tbilisi); his operatic debut leading Porgy and Bess with the Greensboro Opera (North Carolina); and conducted a concert featuring the music of jazz great Ornette Coleman with Bang on a Can at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. But Awadagin’s creativity cannot be confined to the stage alone. After witnessing the globally broadcast execution of George Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department, he published a podcast that quickly evolved into a multimedia musical experience. Performed primarily on college campuses across the U.S., Awadagin Pratt: Black in America fuses the music of Bach, Messaien, and Liszt with still and moving pictures by filmmaker Alrick Brown and an original narration in which he chronicles his life — from his time as a music student at the Peabody Conservatory through his ascent to international acclaim — through graphic accounts of numerous police stops and arrests he experienced for Driving While Black. In 2023, a documentary film version of Awadagin Pratt: Black in America directed by Michelle Bauer Carpenter aired in more than one million U.S. households and screened at film festivals across the country. Awadagin’s commitment to ushering in the next generation of agile, creative, and inventive pianists is evidenced by his work as founding director of the Next Generation Festival, the Art of the Piano Foundation, and the Nina Simone Piano Competition, a new biennial competition that celebrates diversity in classical music by showcasing the tremendous talents of young Black pianists. He has adjudicated the Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition, Minnesota e-Competition, Unisa International Piano Competition, and the International Competition for Young Pianists created in memory of Vladimir Horowitz. Having recently left his position as Professor and Artist in Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) after two decades, Awadagin is now Professor of Piano at the San Francisco Conservatory. He remains the only graduate of the Peabody Institute to earn performance certificates in three areas — violin, piano, and conducting — and has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins University and honorary doctorates from Illinois Wesleyan University, Susquehanna University, and the Boston Conservatory.


Natasha Paremski

With her consistently striking and dynamic performances, pianist Natasha Paremski reveals astounding virtuosity and profound interpretations. She continues to generate excitement from all corners as she wins over audiences with her musical sensibility and a powerful, flawless technique.

Natasha is a regular return guest of many major orchestras, including Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Grant Park Festival, Winnipeg Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom she has performed and toured frequently since 2008 in venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and Cadogan Hall. She has performed with major orchestras in North America including Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Houston Symphony, NAC Orchestra in Ottawa, Nashville Symphony. She has toured extensively in Europe with such orchestras as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre de Nancy, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester in Zurich, Moscow Philharmonic, under the direction of conductors including Thomas Dausgaard, Peter Oundjian, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Jeffrey Kahane, James Gaffigan, JoAnn Falletta, Fabien Gabel, Rossen Milanov and Andrew Litton. In addition, she has toured with Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica in Latvia, Benelux, the United Kingdom and Austria as well as appearances with National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in Taipei.


Natasha has given recitals at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Wigmore Hall, Schloss Elmau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Verbier Festival, San Francisco Performances, Seattle’s Meany Hall, Kansas City’s Harriman Jewell Series, Santa Fe’s Lensic Theater, Ludwigshafen BASF Series, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Tokyo’s Musashino Performing Arts Center and on the Rising Stars Series of Gilmore and Ravinia Festivals.

A passionate chamber musician, Natasha is a regular recital partner of Grammy winning cellist Zuill Bailey, with whom she has recorded a number of CDs. Their Britten album on Telarc debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart, remaining there for a number of weeks, in addition to being featured on The New York Times Playlist. She has been a guest of many chamber music festivals such as Jeffrey Kahane’s Green Music Center ChamberFest, the Lockenhaus, Toronto, Sitka Summer Music, and Cape Cod Chamber Music festivals to name a few.


Natasha was awarded several prestigious prizes at a very young age, including the Gilmore Young Artists prize in 2006 at the age of eighteen, the Prix Montblanc in 2007, the Orpheum Stiftung Prize in Switzerland. In September 2010, she was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year. Her first recital album was released in 2011 to great acclaim, topping the Billboard Classical Charts, and was re-released on the Steinway & Sons label in September 2016 featuring Islamey recorded on Steinway’s revolutionary new Spirio technology. In 2012 she recorded Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Fabien Gabel on the orchestra’s label distributed by Naxos.


With a strong focus on new music, Natasha’s growing repertoire reflects an artistic maturity beyond her years. In the 2010-11 season, she played the world premiere of a sonata written for her by Gabriel Kahane, which was also included in her solo album.


Natasha continues to extend her performance activity and range beyond the traditional concert hall. In December 2008, she was the featured pianist in choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s Danses Concertantes at New York’s Joyce Theater. She was featured in a major two-part film for BBC Television on the life and work of Tchaikovsky, shot on location in St. Petersburg, performing excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto and other works. In the winter of 2007, Natasha participated along with Simon Keenlyside in the filming of Twin Spirits, a project starring Sting and Trudie Styler that explores the music and writing of Robert and Clara Schumann, which was released on DVD. She has performed in the project live several times with the co-creators in New York and the U.K., directed by John Caird, the original director/adaptor of the musical Les Misérables.


Natasha began her piano studies at the age of four with Nina Malikova at Moscow’s Andreyev School of Music. She then studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Music before moving to New York to study with Pavlina Dokovska at Mannes College of Music, from which she graduated in 2007. Natasha made her professional debut at age nine with El Camino Youth Symphony in California. At the age of fifteen she debuted with Los Angeles Philharmonic and recorded two discs with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.


Born in Moscow, Natasha moved to the United States at the age of eight, becoming a U.S. citizen shortly thereafter, and is now based in New York City where she is Artistic Director of the New York Piano Society, a non-profit organization that supports pianists whose professions lie outside of music.


The Sitka Music Festival, a 501 (c)(3)Nonprofit is Alaska's premier chamber music presenter with the mission of providing the finest classical music experience in Alaska through performance and education. 


Recognized as one of Australia's outstanding violinists, Benjamin Breen made his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.  He has since toured in Australia, Europe, the United States and Japan, receiving critical acclaim both as soloist with orchestra, in recital and as chamber musician. Breen has also premiered works dedicated to him by the eminent Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe. In Australia he has made television appearances on ABC-TV and the 9 Network and participated in radio broadcasts on ABC-FM, ABC Radio National, 2MBS-FM & 3MBS-FM.  His growing list of U.S. broadcast credits include performances on WNYC, WITF, and National Public Radio.

Breen began studies at the age of 5 in Sydney.  At 11 he entered the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where his teachers were John Harding and Janet Davies.  After pursuing studies in Germany, he returned to Australia, where he participated in master classes with Valery Klimov, Igor Ozim and Raphael Hillyer.  Participation in the Melbourne Summer Music Festival with Pinchas Zukerman led Mr. Breen to continue his studies in New York.  At The Juilliard School, Breen studied violin with Stephen Clapp and chamber music with Samuel Sanders and Paul Doktor.  He subsequently continued violin studies with violinist Harry Shub in New York, whose pedagogy influenced him greatly. As chamber musician he has appeared at the Aspen Next Generation, Telluride and Sitka music festivals. Performances with pianist Milton Kayehave led to the release of Breen's debut recording of the Brahms Sonatas on the Tall Poppies label available world-wide. Tall Poppies have also released "Cafe Fiddle" a critically acclaimed album of encores and audience favorites. Ben Breen is also the Artistic Director of the Hudson Chamber Society presenting a diverse series of Chamber Music at the Yamaha Piano Salon in Midtown Manhattan. His violin is a Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andrea the "ex-Boyle" from 1712 with a bow by Joseph Henry. He also performs on a violin made by Boris Sverdlik in Cremona 2005.

Martin Sher is the Senior Vice President for Artistic Planning and Programs at the New World Symphony. Mr. Sher is a violist who holds performance degrees from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was a member of the Colorado Symphony and a guest musician with the Berlin Philharmonic.   

He is the former Vice President and General Manager of the North Carolina Symphony. In that role, he was in charge of artistic planning, orchestral operations and the orchestra’s education programs. The North Carolina Symphony’s mission is to serve the citizens of the state. Mr. Sher was a member of the leadership team that brought that mission to life in inventive ways that integrated artistic excellence and community service. His strategic inclusion of new music in the North Carolina Symphony’s programming led to their inclusion in the inaugural SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center, celebrating the vitality, identity and extraordinary artistry of orchestras and chamber orchestras nationwide.  

The Sitka Music Festival, a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit is Alaska's premier chamber music presenter with the mission of providing the finest classical music experience in Alaska through performance and education. 

Date & Time

Wed, Jun 5, 2024 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Venue Details

The Miner Music Center at Stevenson Hall

104 Jeff Davis Street
Sitka, Alaska 99835 The Miner Music Center at Stevenson Hall
Sitka Music Festival

Since 1972, the Sitka Music Festival (formerly Sitka Summer Music Festival) has been Alaska's premier classical music festival, presenting exquisite music in the pristine setting of Sitka, Alaska.

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