NFSO: Stars of Tomorrow/An Evening at the Opera

February 13 @ 7:30 pm


The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Jeffrey Rink present “Stars of Tomorrow/An Evening at the Opera” featuring the winners of the 2019 NFSO-John Leatherwood Concerto Competition: Kye Richardson (violin), Evan Nicholson (cello), and Skyler Blair (violin). Enjoy movements from classics such as Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 for Violin, Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for Cello in E-flat Major and Chausson’s Poème. Soprano Bevin Hill will dazzle on the second half of the evening with beloved opera arias and melodies, interspersed with NFSO’s performances of popular opera overtures and pieces. Virtual tickets are also available for live streaming at

Jeffery Rink served from 2007-2018 as Music Director of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. As guest conductor he led a production of La Bohème with the Maryland Opera Theatre which was praised by the Washington Post as “good as any “Bohème” you are likely to see this side of the Metropolitan Opera or Covent Garden.”

In addition to his performances with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra Mr. Rink’s recent concerts include appearances with the Chamber Orchestra of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Mahler Symphonies 2 , 5 and 8 with the Tokyo Blumen Philharmonie and Tokyo Amadeus Orchestra performances with the Teatro Lirico d’Europa’s productions of Rigoletto and Turandot, a tour with the Opera Company of Middlebury (VT) of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, an all-Russian program with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Tokyo Oratorio Society.

Bevin Hill has gained attention as a performer of great charm and charisma in a variety of leading roles. While frequently cherished for her comedic gifts, being memorably lauded as a “rubber-kneed goddess of slapstick,” Ms. Hill has also been praised for her nuanced acting, technical finesse, and vocal control interpreting tragedienne roles.  She launched the 2019 calendar year by performing the world premiere of the aria Feather on the Wind, written specifically for Ms. Hill by composer Thomas Ludwig, at the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra’s Spring Gala Concert.  Later in 2019, she will be making her debut with Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist at their Christmas Gala Concert and for the very first time, will perform Handel’s Messiah in her hometown of Atlanta, GA.

Evan Nicholson began studying cello at the age of four.  His primary teachers have been Pamela Devenport, Avi Friedlander, Martin Gueoguiev, and Wendy Warner. He spent four summers at Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival studying with Alan Rafferty, Sarah Kim, and Alison Wells and attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival and studied with Stephen Doane and David Ying.  He has participated in cello workshops in Cincinnati, Birmingham, Memphis, and Jacksonville and has played in the Franklin Pond Chamber Music program and the Emory Youth programs including AJCO, EYCP, and EYSO.  Evan greatly enjoys chamber music and currently plays in the Sycamore Piano Trio.  He also volunteers at Atlanta Music Project, tutoring young cello students. Evan is currently a senior at the Midtown International School.

Kye Richardson is eleven years old and began his violin studies at the age of six with Dr. Valerie Arsenault in Tallahassee, FL. In 2018 he was awarded first prize in the Big Bend Community Orchestra Young Artist Competition and in January 2020 he was selected as the winner of the Tallahassee Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto competition. He has since performed as a soloist with both orchestras. In October 2019 he was invited to participate in the Perlman Music Program Suncoast Super Strings event in Sarasota, FL under the direction of Itzhak Perlman. Last summer Kye was selected to participate in the Soloist Performance Program at the Philadelphia International Music Festival.  Kye is currently a student of Professor Corinne Stillwell at the Florida State University College of Music and is an active member of the Tallahassee Youth Symphony Orchestra.  He is currently a fifth grade student at Gilchrist Elementary School in Tallahassee, FL.


Skyler Blair is a Cleveland-based student of Joan Kwuon. A North Florida native, she studied with Dr. Janna Lower of the University of Florida for 8 years. She is currently a senior at the Cleveland Institute of Music pursuing a Violin Performance major, as well as other academics; she is also completing a double major in Music Theory with a minor in Vocal Performance and Cognitive Science (Case Western Reserve University).