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Bracken, Nancy

Violinist from St. Louis, Missouri, who attended the Curtis Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Buffalo and studied under Ivan Galamian and Donald Weilerstein.

While at Curtis, she participated in its 46th season by interpreting Ernest Chausson’s “Chanson perpetuelle, Op. 7” with fellow violinist Julian Canzoneri, violist James Francis, pianist Craig Nies and Elizabeth Turoa at Curtis Hall on 6th May 1970.

In April 1971, she was in the orchestra pit for a production of School for Fathers by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari at the New Locust Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She joined the Cleveland Orchestra and performed with them until she became a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1979.  Other groups with whom she has worked with include the Ashmont Chamber Players, the Boston Pops, the Cambridge String Quartet, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Convergence Ensemble and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

In 1994, she joined an elite group of violinists who have tackled Jules Conus’s “Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 1”, with the Boston Pops.  She appeared on a handful of recordings with them, such as America, American Visions, Chris Botti in Boston, Holiday Pops, My Favorite Things:  A Richard Rodgers Celebration, and A Splash of Pops.

On 24th March 2002, she and a handful of Boston musicians shared the stage with BSO trombonist Ronald Barron for a recital entitled “The Voice of the Alto”.  It featured music by Alfred Hornoff, Hannes Meyer and Corrado Saglietti, all of whom are represented on his CD The Return of the Alto, on which Nancy also appears.

On 16th June 2002, she and pianist Rachel Goodwin performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Romance in F, Op. 50” at All Saints Church in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

She did double duty on 2nd August 2002, playing in the BSO’s prelude concert, which comprised “Italian Serenade” by Hugo Wolf, the allegro from “String Trio in B flat, D. 471” by Franz Schubert, “Suite for Alto Trombone and String Quartet” by Saglietti and “Trio in D for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 21”.

On 30th July 2004, she did the same before the George W. and Florence N. Adams Concert in the Shed at Tanglewood.  The prelude, which took place in Ozawa Hall, consisted of “Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello” by Alfred Schnittke and “Trio No. 3 in F minor, Op. 65” by Antonin Dvorak.  The main event featured Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” and “Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491” bookended by Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Symphony No. 92” (“Oxford”) and “Te Deum”.

On 12th May 2004, she and cellist James Fiste and violist Michelle LaCourse returned to All Saints Church to perform “String Trio #2” by Paul Hindemith.

Mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson joined forces with the BSO on 10th March 2006 for a performance of her husband Peter’s “Neruda Songs”, which were sandwiched in between Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92”, Elliott Carter’s “Three Illusions”, and Richard Strauss’s “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28”.

On 11th May 2008, the Ashmont Hill Chamber Players offered up a Mother’s Day bouquet at All Saints Parish that consisted of music by Beethoven, Rebecca Clarke, Irving Fine, and Schumann.  They were joined by clarinetist Kai-Yun Lu at Peabody Hall on 31st May 2009 for a program that included “Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114” by Johannes Brahms, “Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7” by Zoltan Kodaly, “String Trio in B flat, D. 471” by Franz Schubert, and “Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano in E flat, K. 498” (“Kegelstatt”) by Mozart.

On 18th March 2011, Roberto Abbado subbed for ailing conductor James Levine at Prudential Hall as the BSO performed Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5 in C minor”, Haydn’s “Symphony No. 93 in D” and Bela Bartok’s “Piano Concerto No. 3”, with Peter Serkin at the keys.

The Ashton Hill Chamber Players presented a program entitled “Music, Poetry, and American Identity” at All Saints Parish with guest speaker Regie O’Hare-Gibson on 22nd May 2011.  The evening included “Figment” and “Figment II” (“Remembering Mr. Ives”) by Elliott Carter songs composed by Charles Ives and Aaron Copland, “Three Songs on Poems by Carl Sandburg” and “Sonata for Violin and Piano” by Ruth Crawford Seeger, “Piece for Oboe and Improvisatory Percussion” by Alec Wilder, and “Dark Wind” by Jacob Druckman.

Nancy and cellist Adam Esbensen, double bassist John Stovall, violinist Valeria Vilker Kuchment and violist Robert Barnes performed “String Quartet in G” by Dvorak and “Trio No. 1 in E minor, Op. 14” by Hermann Schroeder at the BSO prelude concert in Ozawa Hall on 19th August 2011.

She plays here in a performance of  “America” in 2005 by the Boston Pops Orchestra…