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John Taylor Ward to present concert in Nisswa

NISSWA - Lakes Area Music Festival associate director John Taylor Ward will perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. No tickets or admission required; free-will donations will be accepted at the door. Collaborating with...

Lakes Area Music Festival associate director John Taylor Ward will perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. Submitted
Lakes Area Music Festival associate director John Taylor Ward will perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. Submitted

NISSWA - Lakes Area Music Festival associate director John Taylor Ward will perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa.

No tickets or admission required; free-will donations will be accepted at the door.

Collaborating with festival favorite, pianist Mary Jo Gothmann, Ward will perform Robert Schumann's song cycle "Liederkreis," along with other vocal selections and holiday favorites. The program also will include performance by violinist Jeremy Rhizor, another favorite from the 2014 Festival and Prelude series.

This past season, Ward was a hit double-cast as the father and the witch in the 2014 production of "Hansel & Gretel." Since then Ward has been staying busy performing with ensembles worldwide.

His recent projects include:

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• The modern premier of Gilles' "Requiem for the death of Rameau with Cappriccio Stravagante and Skip Sempé" in Paris.

• Music from the 17th Century Prussian Court with L'arpeggiata at the Utrecht Early Music Festival, Netherlands.

• Johann Sebastian Bach's B minor Mass with The Bach Sinfonia in Washington, DC.

• Musical director for Happyokay, a multimedia art installation in collaboration with American Ballet Theatre, the Dutch National Ballet and the House of Makers in Brooklyn, N.Y.

• Purcell's "Fairy Queen" with Heartbeat Opera in New York City.

• World premier of "Orfeo" with L'arpeggiata at the Teatro Mayor in Bogota, Colombia.

Ward was born to a musical family in North Carolina. As a boy, he appeared as a soprano soloist at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, Durham Cathedral in the United Kingdom and Claire and King's Colleges in Cambridge. He received a high school diploma from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and entered the Eastman School of Music, from which he received a bachelor's degree. In 2010, he began his graduate studies at the Yale School of Music, where he is currently a doctoral student. He has served as the assistant conductor of the Opera Theatre of Yale College, while his scholarly research focuses on performance practice.

The Lakes Area Music Festival was established during the summer of 2009 when co-founding artistic and executive director Scott Lykins returned to his hometown of Brainerd with four colleagues from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

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Performances in the festival range from chamber music to symphonic orchestra to semi-staged opera, performed by a stellar collaborative roster including more than 80 musicians from ensembles and conservatories such as the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music and the Curtis Institute.

Related Topics: NISSWA
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