The Tri-County Concert Association has been hosting concerts for 77 years now, most recently a concert featuring Mezzo-Soprano Julia Mintzer. This association was founded in 1941, when two sisters, Ellen Windsor and Rebecca Windsor Evans sponsored a performance of the Curtis String Quartet at Radnor Junior High School. After the enthusiastic reception of the concert by the community, the Tri-County Concert Association was born. Since the Windsor-Evans sisters, this association has had a constant string of female leaders who brought the association into prominence in the community. Beginning in the early 50’s, Mrs. Guida Smith became the leader of the associating, concentrating her efforts on helping bring relatively unknown artists to public attention, but also to bring already well-known artists to her community. Leadership transitioned to Jean Weatherall in 1979. That same year, the Association became a non-profit organization, and underwent several changes in venue, becaming permanently located at Eastern University in 1999.
Despite all of the transition in the late 1900s, the Tri-County Concert Association has hosted musicians of the highest caliber. More recently, the association has focused its attention on “Emerging Artists,” showcasing younger artists who are on the verge of extremely successful careers. The Tri-County Concert Association also hosts a Youth Festival, which has been a stepping stone for many talented young artists as well. Some participants in the Youth Festival have gone on to claim seats in many major orchestras, including our very own Philadelphia Orchestra. With their “Emerging Artists” series and Youth Festival, the Tri-County Concert Association offers its audience the unique experience of seeing rising stars in an intimate setting. The history of the Tri-County Concert Association is a unique one, particularly the fact that its leadership has consisted solely of women, who built the association into what it is today.
Julia Mintzer, Mezzo-Soprano, was their latest featured artist, who performed at Eastern on April 22. Mintzer has a varied performance background, with concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 2012-2013, Mintzer was a young artist at the Washington National Opera, until she became a member of the Junges Ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden from 2013-2015. She also sang the first staged performance of Little Match Girl Passion, by David Lang, in the Glimmerglass Festival in 2013.
Besides being an accomplished singer, Mintzer is also the 2017 recipient of the National Opera Association’s JoElyn Wakefield-Wright Directing Fellowship for stage directing. She has staged numerous performances, including Fedelio at Princeton University in 2016, and La Boheme for the Metrowest Opera in 2017. On this note, the Tri-County Concert Association closes out their concerts for the semester. The Eastern community is incredibly lucky to host these, and it’s a special opportunity to have such close access to such wonderfully talented musicians.
Sources: tricountyconcerts.org, juliamintzer.com