October 22, 2021

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Andrea Pinder, soprano
Megan Koch, soprano
Jacob Nydegger, piano

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A “gifted performer with formidable technical skill” (Theater Jones Journal), American pianist Jacob Nydegger’s “smooth, elegant power brings memories of that great pianist [Van Cliburn]” (Fanfare Magazine). Nydegger’s debut album with Toccata Classics record label received widespread acclaim and was placed on the Classical New Releases: Spotify Picks Playlist in 2018. In addition to commercial recording success, Nydegger has been a top prizewinner in multiple competitions including the 2021 Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, 2021 Richardson Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition, 2019 Weatherford International Piano Competition, the 2018 Kuleshov International Piano Competition, the 2018 Scionti Piano Scholarship Competition, the 17th annual Petroff Piano Competition, and the ‘Art of Piano’ and ‘Artist of the Year’ categories of the 2018 International Great Composers Competition. Jacob has performed as soloist with the Colorado College Festival Orchestra and the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra, and in 2019 he performed and presented in Malaysia as Lecturer-in-Residence of International Music House Kuching and guest artist at University Malaysia Sarawak. Nydegger is currently staff pianist at Texas Woman’s University and has established himself as a highly sought after chamber musician, having performed with David Ying of the Grammy-award winning Ying Quartet and having worked with internationally renowned vocal coaches Margaret Singer, Alan Smith, Darryl Cooper (San Francisco Conservatory), and Margo Garrett (Juilliard). Jacob holds a M.M in Piano Performance from University of North Texas where he studied with Joseph Banowetz. He also has worked with pianists Roy Howat, Nikita Fitenko, William Wolfram, and Van Cliburn gold-medalist Jon Nakamatsu. Upcoming engagements include a 2021 performance debut at Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as a second recording with the Toccata Classics record label, featuring the piano music of eminent Dutch composer, Leo Samama.

Soprano Megan Koch returns to Fort Worth Opera as a Lesley Resident Artist in the 2021-2022 season. Following her success this past spring in FWO’s mobile outdoor opera "Manon on the Move" featuring excerpts from Massenet's Manon, she will debut their traveling production of La traviata in a similar fashion. Her numerous opera credits include Lucia/Lucia di Lammermoor, Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni, Vixen/Cunning Little Vixen, Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte, Pamina/Die Zauberflöte, Alexandra/Regina, and Rose/Street Scene.  With FWO she was responsible for Musetta/La bohème and debuted the roles of Mariana and the Grandmother in American composer Joe Illick and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Mark Campbell's family opera Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World.  In June, 2020 she was a featured soloist with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in "America Strong", a joint production with Texas Ballet and The Cliburn broadcast on Channel 8.  In 2019, Ms. Koch was invited to the Czech Republic for the premiere of two lost operas by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer for the Olomouc Baroque Festival. A finalist in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Voice Competition in 2019, she holds the Master of Music Degree and the Graduate Artist Certificate from the University of North Texas where she studied with Prof. Carol Wilson.