Festival Napa Valley presents a very special evening of music, poetry, food, and wine. This donor exclusive event kicks off at the beautiful mission style Mont La Salle Chapel, a serene space with superb acoustics. Grammy-nominated violinist Tessa Lark, a star in the classical world and a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky, returns to Festival Napa Valley to perform an eclectic program of works. Soprano Alexandra Armantrading takes the stage for the world premiere of three art songs, with music by renowned composers Jake Heggie, Jack Perla, and Luna Pearl Woolf, on poetry written by Lisa Delan.
The performances continue at a celebratory dinner at the neighboring Hess Persson Estates, hosted by proprietors and fifth generation Hess family members Sabrina and Timothy Persson. Hess Persson Estates was founded in 1978 by Donald Hess, the Swiss entrepreneur who combined his passion, curiosity, and pioneering spirit to amass one of the world’s greatest contemporary art collections and to produce some of the best wines in the modern world. The Perssons invite guests to an alfresco dinner paired with renowned bottlings from Hess Persson Estates.
Topping off the evening is the presentation of the 2022 Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Classical Music. This year’s award goes to Tessa Lark, an artist who, like generations of the Hess Family, has always embodied the highest standards of artistry, creativity and dedication.
Violinist Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time, consistently praised by critics and audiences for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, and musical elegance. In 2020 she was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category and received one of Lincoln Center’s prestigious Emerging Artist Awards: the special Hunt Family Award.
Pianist Peter Dugan’s debut performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the SF Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” He is heard across America as the host of National Public Radio’s beloved program From the Top. Prizing stylistic versatility as the hallmark of a 21st century musician, Mr. Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms.
A student of Jane Randolph, Alexandra completed her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance at San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2017. Most recently, she has been heard as a soloist in Milhaud’s L’Homme et son Désir at Mills College under the baton of Nicole Paiement and in the Kristin Pankonin Art Song Showcase of 2020 singing songs by Jake Heggie.
Jake Heggie is the prolific American composer of the operas Moby-Dick (libretto by Gene Scheer), Dead Man Walking (libretto by Terrence McNally), Three Decembers (Scheer), The End of the Affair (McDonald), Out of Darkness – A Holocaust Triptych (Scheer), To Hell and Back (Scheer), At the Statue of Venus (McNally), and The Radio Hour: A Choral Opera (Scheer).
American soprano Lisa Delan has won acclaim as an interpreter of a vast range of repertoire and is recognized for her versatility and breadth of accomplishment. Delan first won recognition singing the title role in the world premiere of Gordon Getty’s Joan and the Bells in 1998, a role she has since reprised in France, Germany, Spain, the U.S., and Russia, as well as on the 2002 recording for Pentatone Classics.
Called “blazingly ardent and softly haunting “ by The New York Times, the music of composer Luna Pearl Woolf offers penetrating insight into its subjects, creating acoustic sound worlds that evoke and inspire. Her innovative collaborations with authors, filmmakers, dancers and musicians tell original stories or respond to history and current events.
Composer and pianist Jack Perla is active in opera, jazz, chamber and orchestra music. His music is widely performed, and he has played in the U.S., Europe, India and Japan. Beginning over twenty five years ago in New York with his group Music Without Walls and continuing after moving to San Francisco, Jack has steadily forged a reputation for his unique cross-fertilization of jazz, improvisation and classical music.
As an in-demand recitalist and coach, pianist Kevin Korth has collaborated with such legendary artists as Frederica von Stade, Isabel Leonard, Jake Heggie, Nadine Sierra, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Sasha Cooke, John Holiday, Lise Lindstrom, Joel Krosnick, and Deborah Voigt. Praised by Gramophone for playing that is “superb”, and “full of color and character,” his debut album, Out of the Shadows, a recording of American art song with soprano Lisa Delan and cellist Matt Haimovitz on the Pentatone Classics label was warmly received.
Mont La Salle Chapel
Hess Persson Estates
Hess Persson Estates is recognized as one of the premier family-owned and family-led companies in the world of wine, and it stands committed to pushing boundaries and elevating standards to craft wines of distinctive character. Each of the family’s wine brands – The Hess Collection on Mount Veeder and the Lions Head Collection of Napa Valley—produce outstanding, highly acclaimed wines committed to sustainable farming and winemaking practices.