Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno (1864-1920) is considered to be the founder of Brazilian art song. He deeply absorbed the influence of the German Lied and French Mélodie, combined them with some characteristic rhythms and melodic elements from his native country, and during his lifetime produced the most important body of Brazilian art songs, perhaps to this day. Featured on this album are nine of his non-Portuguese songs, five of which are world premiere recordings. Also included are songs by his European contemporaries Ernest Chausson, Edvard Grieg, and Richard Strauss.
Mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich has been praised by The San Francisco Chronicle for her “exuberant vitality, fearless technical precision, deep-rooted pathos and irrepressible musical splendor.” She has performed more than 250 art songs in 13 languages and collaborated with pianists Ricardo Ballestero, Jeffrey LaDeur, George Fee, John Parr and Joyce Yang. As a dedicated recitalist, she has sung at the The American Composer’s Forum, La Jolla Athenaeum, The Wagner Society, Lieder Alive and the acclaimed Sala Cecília Meireles in Rio de Janeiro. In 2018 Ms. Scharich sang the U.S. Premiere of songs by Anno Schreier as a co-collaboration between Deutsche Oper Berlin and Lieder Alive. She has collaborated extensively with the Alexander String Quartet, and in 2018 recorded In meinem Himmel: The Complete Mahler Song Cycles (Foghorn Classics). Other recordings include To my Distant Beloved: Songs of Beethoven & Schumann, with pianist Jeffrey LaDeur (MSR 2020) and Everyone Sang: Vocal Music of David Conte (ARSIS 2018). Enthusiastic about working with living composers, Ms. Scharich has premiered works by Elinor Armer, Kurt Erickson, Janis Mattox, Laurence Rosenthal, Mark Abel and Anno Schreier. In the world of opera, Ms. Scharich has sung over 40 roles ranging from Monteverdi to Philip Glass, including première performances of David Carlson’s Anna Karenina, Laura Kaminsky’s Today It Rains and Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves. kindrascharich.com.
Brazilian pianist Ricardo Ballestero has dedicated his career to the art of Collaborative Piano, after having studied with two of the most renowned specialists in this field, Martin Katz and Dalton Baldwin. As a tireless champion of vocal and instrumental chamber music of Brazil, he has participated in recording and performance projects featuring composers such as Alberto Nepomuceno, André Mehmari, Camargo Guarnieri, Carlos Gomes, Gilberto Mendes, Glauco Velásquez, Francisco Mignone, Osvaldo Lacerda and Ronaldo Miranda. As a pianist and musical director, he has explored new forms of presenting the Art Song, which have resulted in several collaborations with the São Paulo Companhia de Dança. A dedicated performer, he frequently plays with the most renowned musicians from Brazil and abroad, including Alex Klein, Ray Chen, Hansjörg Schellenberger, Atar Arad, Erling Blöndal-Bengtsson, Kim Bak Dinitzen and Luis Lima. Ballestero received his Doctorate in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music at the University of Michigan and is an Associate Professor in the Music Department of the Universidade de São Paulo, where he teaches Vocal Repertoire, Collaborative Piano, Singing Diction, and Chamber Music. Ballestero was an acting professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has given recitals, held lectures, and taught courses in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Serbia, and Spain.