Archive for October 5th, 2019

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Oct 2019 E-Notes

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Saturday, October 12 • 7:30 p.m.

Straight from Alice Tully Hall in New York City, thirteen of the world’s most renowned chamber musicians come to the Weidner Center to open Civic Music’s 2019-20 season in spectacular fashion. With amazing artistry and a knockout program capped by Aaron Copland’s incomparable Appalachian Spring Suite, it’s a night not to be missed! For more information, see the season listing, program, and biography.

Artists are ‘who’s who’ of classical music

Cellist David Finckel is an American “Musician of the Year” honoree. Clarinet cognoscenti have rated David Shifrin among the best for decades. Pianist Gloria Chien made her debut with the Boston Symphony at age 16. Violinist Arnaud Sussman’s old-school style has won comparisons to Jascha Heifetz and Fritz Kreisler. Each of the 13 artists who will perform at the Weidner on Oct. 12 has a remarkable bio. See artist biographies.

Great American musicians, great American program

The ‘New World Spirit’ tour spotlights two pairs of composers that shaped the course of American music. Harry T. Burleigh was Antonin Dvořák’s star pupil in New York. The African-American composer and singer exposed the Czech composer to American spirituals and was in turn encouraged by Dvořák to perform African-American folk music. Two generations later, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein conceived an American sound that conveys the wonder and awe of open spaces and endless possibilities. See concert program.

Come early for flute music, artist talk

Exterior doors open at 6:30 p.m., followed by Cofrin Family Hall doors at 7.  Early arrivals can enjoy the music of Green Bay’s own Sounds of Silver flute ensemble in the Grand Foyer, with a pre-concert concert from 6:30 to 7:15. .At roughly 7 p.m., the dozen or more flutists will yield their ‘stage’ beneath the Chihuly chandelier to nationally renowned cellist Nicholas Canellakis, who’ll speak for a few minutes previewing the night’s Lincoln Center performance. There’ll be a cash bar, treats and some seating in the foyer/lobby, similar to last May’s pre-MSO setup for the East H.S. chamber group.

Valet parking makes it easy

Saturday’s concert is the first of two this season at the Weidner Center. Here’s a reminder: Convenient valet parking is only $4 for those with DOT Disabled Parking Permits, and $8 per car for all others. Just pull up to the main entrance, under the canopy, and you’ll be greeted by a helpful attendant. They’ll park your car and retrieve it for you after the concert.

Post-concert reception

You’re invited to meet your concert-going friends for a reception with light refreshments at St. Brendan’s Inn and Irish Pub at 234 S. Washington St., Green Bay. After many years at Titletown Brewing (Thanks, Titletown!), we will host all of this season’s receptions at St. Brendan’s. See you there!

Dine to Donate is back

A few members have asked if the reorganization of Perkins Restaurants’ parent company will affect our favorite local outlet and the profitable ‘Dine to Donate’ fundraiser. Not a bit! Same as last year, you can benefit Civic Music by patronizing our Perkins partners at Military and Shawano, between 5 and 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. They donate 10 percent of all proceeds to Brown County Civic Music. The next one is Oct. 16.

Bonus concerts in Marinette-Menominee

A perk of your Civic Music membership is reciprocity with our sister organization in Marinette-Menominee. In this way, you actually get six concerts – our five PLUS one of those offered by River Cities Concerts. Their remaining dates are the piano/cello/violin trio Take 3, Oct. 15; pianist Thomas Pandolfi, Nov. 14; the pop a cappella group Ball in the House, March 26; and the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, April 27. Contact the Civic Music Office to reserve a spot on the pass list. Visit RCConcerts.com for concert information.

Artstreet drawing winners

Brown County Civic Music Association’s booth at Artstreet did land-office business this year. Les Heckman and his volunteers distributed hundreds of brochures and invited visitors to enter a drawing for two tickets to the concert of their choice. Our ten winners who get to sample an evening of Civic Music are:

From Seymour: Peter Pelky

From Neenah: Jess Moxon

From Green Bay: Madison Smith, Sonia Hulse, Patrick Baier,

Vicki Kralapp, Tom Youngell, Andree Rusholdt, LeeAnn Laes

 

Chamber Music Society, Lincoln Center – Biographies

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Season Listing | Biographies | Program & Notes

Artist Bios for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Hailed by the New Yorker as a “superb young soloist,” Nicholas Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after and innovative cellists of his generation. In the New York Times his playing was praised as “impassioned… the audience seduced by Mr. Canellakis’s rich, alluring tone.” His recent highlights include his Carnegie Hall concerto debut with the American Symphony Orchestra; concerto appearances with the Albany, Delaware Lansing, Bangor, and New Haven symphonies, Erie Philharmonic; and Europe and Asia tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He also performs recitals throughout the United States with his long-time duo collaborator, pianist-composer Michael Brown, including a recent recital of American cello-piano works presented by CMS. He is a regular guest artist at many of the world’s leading music festivals, including Santa Fe, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Bard, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Hong Kong, Moab, Music in the Vineyards, and Saratoga Springs. He was recently named artistic director of Chamber Music Sedona. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, Mr. Canellakis is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory. Filmmaking and acting are special interests of his. He has produced, directed, and starred in several short films and music videos.

Taiwanese-born pianist Gloria Chien has a diverse musical life as a noted performer, concert presenter, and educator. She was selected by the Boston Globe as one of its Superior Pianists of the Year. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, and performed again with the BSO with Keith Lockhart. In recent seasons she has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Kissinger Sommer festival, the Dresden Chamber Music Festival, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. She performs frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program. In 2009 she launched String Theory, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga that has become one of Tennessee’s premier classical music presenters. The following year she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute at the Music@Menlo festival by Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han. In 2017, she joined her husband, violinist Soovin Kim, as Co-Artistic Director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont. The duo has recently been appointed Artistic Directors Designees at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR. Ms. Chien received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. She is an artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee and is a Steinway Artist.

Co-artistic director of the Chamber Music Society, cellist David Finckel is a recipient of Musical America’s Musician of the Year award, one of the highest honors granted to musicians from the music industry in the United States. He leads a multifaceted career as a concert performer, recording artist, educator, administrator, and cultural entrepreneur that places him in the ranks of today’s most influential classical musicians. He appears annually at the world’s most prestigious concert series and venues, as both soloist and chamber musician. As a chamber musician, he appears extensively with duo partner pianist Wu Han and in a piano trio alongside violinist Philip Setzer. David Finckel served as cellist of the ninetime Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet for 34 seasons. His wide-ranging musical activities also include the launch of ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, whose catalogue has won widespread critical praise. Along with Wu Han, he is the founder and artistic director of Music@Menlo, Silicon Valley’s acclaimed chamber music festival and institute. The first American student of Rostropovich, David Finckel serves on the faculty at The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University. His new website now hosts Resource, an innovative exploration of challenges and opportunities facing today’s classical musicians.

A member of the New York Woodwind Quintet and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Marc Goldberg is principal bassoonist of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, NYC Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Riverside Symphony, and a member of the American Symphony Orchestra. Previously the associate principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic, he has also been a frequent guest of the Metropolitan Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, touring with these ensembles across four continents and joining them on numerous recordings. Solo appearances include performances throughout the US, in South America, and across the Pacific Rim with the Brandenburg Ensemble, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Saito Kinen Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Riverside Symphony, Jupiter Symphony, New York Chamber Soloists, and the New York Symphonic Ensemble. He has been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Da Camera Society of Houston, Musicians from Marlboro, Music@Menlo, the Brentano Quartet, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Band, and the Boston Chamber Music Society. Summer festival appearances include Spoleto, Ravinia, Chautauqua, Tanglewood, Caramoor, Saito Kinen/Ozawa Music Festival, Bard Music Festival, and Marlboro. He is on the faculty of The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, Mannes College, New England Conservatory, The Hartt School, Bard College Conservatory of Music, Columbia University, and NYU.

Acclaimed by critics for his exceptional talent and magnificent tone, American violinist Chad Hoopes has remained a consistent performer with many of the world’s leading orchestras since winning First Prize at the Young Artists Division of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. He is a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant. Highlights of past and present seasons include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse for the French premiere of Qigang Chen’s concerto La joie de la souffrance. He has performed with leading orchestras, including the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, and National Symphonies, as well as the Minnesota, Colorado Music Festival, and National Arts Centre Orchestras. He frequently performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has additionally performed recitals at the Ravinia Festival, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Louvre, and at Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series in New York City. His debut recording with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra under Kristjan Järvi featured the Mendelssohn and Adams concertos and was enthusiastically received by both press and public. His recording of Bernstein’s Violin Sonata with pianist Wayne Marshall was released last autumn. Born in Florida, he began his violin studies at the age of three in Minneapolis, and continued his training at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He additionally studied at the Kronberg Academy under the guidance of Professor Ana Chumachenco, who remains his mentor. He plays the 1991 Samuel Zygmuntowicz, ex Isaac Stern violin.

Recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. She has appeared with top orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Ural Philharmonic of Russia, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony, and in recital on many of the world’s finest stages including Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Kennedy Center, Kimmel Center, Phillips Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre Museum, Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery, and the Ravinia Festival. An accomplished chamber musician, she has appeared with Camerata Pacifica, Music@Menlo, La Jolla Festival, Medellín Festicámara of Colombia, the El Sistema Chamber Music festival of Venezuela, and the Sarasota Music Festival. She is the concertmaster of the Metropolis Ensemble, with which she premiered Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto, written for her, which appears on Fung’s CD Dreamscapes (Naxos) and won the 2013 Juno Award. Born in Seoul, Ms. Lee moved to the US to study under Sonja Foster and soon after entered The Juilliard School’s Pre-College. She holds a master’s degree from The Juilliard School under Itzhak Perlman. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, she is a member of the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and the co-founder and artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle.

American violist Matthew Lipman has been praised by the New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing.” He has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Grand Rapids Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Montgomery Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, and at Chicago’s Symphony Center. Recent solo appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, Seoul’s Kumho Art Hall, and CMS’s Rose Studio. The Strad praised his “most impressive” debut album Ascent, released by Cedille Records in February 2019, and his recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and Sir Neville Marriner on the Avie label topped the Billboard Charts. He was featured on WFMT Chicago’s list of “30 Under 30” of the world’s top classical musicians and has been published in The Strad, Strings, and BBC Music magazines. He performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at renowned chamber music festivals including Music@Menlo, Marlboro, Ravinia, Bridgehampton, and Seattle. The recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a winner of the Primrose, Tertis, Washington, Johansen, and Stulberg International Viola Competitions, he studied at The Juilliard School with Heidi Castleman, and was further mentored by Tabea Zimmermann at the Kronberg Academy. A native of Chicago and an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, Mr. Lipman is on faculty at Stony Brook University and performs on a 1700 Matteo Goffriller viola on generous loan from the RBP Foundation.

Anthony Manzo’s vibrantly interactive and highly communicative music making has made him a ubiquitous figure in the upper echelons of classical music, performing at noted venues including Lincoln Center in NYC, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. He appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, both in NY and across the country. He serves as the solo bassist of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra and as a guest with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and A Far Cry. He is a regular guest with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Smithsonian Chamber Society, and the Baltimore Symphony when he happens to be near his home in Washington, DC. Formerly the solo bassist of the Munich Chamber Orchestra in Germany, he has also been guest principal with Camerata Salzburg in Austria, where collaborations have included a summer residency at the Salzburg Festival and two tours as soloist alongside bass/baritone Thomas Quasthoff, performing Mozart’s “Per questa bella mano.” He is an active performer on period instruments, with groups including The Handel & Haydn Society of Boston (where his playing was lauded as “endowed with beautiful and unexpected plaintiveness” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer), Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, and Opera Lafayette in Washington, DC. He is on the double bass and chamber music faculty of the University of Maryland. Mr. Manzo performs on a double bass made around 1890 by Jerome Thibouville Lamy in Paris (which now has a removable neck for travel!).

Violist Paul Neubauer has been called a “master musician” by the New York Times. He recently made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut with conductor Riccardo Muti and his Mariinsky Orchestra debut with conductor Valery Gergiev. He also gave the US premiere of the newly discovered Impromptu for viola and piano by Shostakovich with pianist Wu Han. In addition, his recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia was released on Signum Records and his recording of the complete viola/piano music by Ernest Bloch with pianist Margo Garrett was released on Delos. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras. He has premiered viola concertos by Bartók (revised version of the Viola Concerto), Friedman, Glière, Jacob, Kernis, Lazarof, Müller-Siemens, Ott, Penderecki, Picker, Suter, and Tower and has been featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning, A Prairie Home Companion, and in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. A two-time Grammy nominee, he has recorded on numerous labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal, and Sony Classical and is a member of SPA, a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Mr. Neubauer is the artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Mannes College.

A Yale University faculty member since 1987, clarinetist David Shifrin is artistic director of Yale’s Chamber Music Society series and Yale in New York, a concert series at Carnegie Hall. He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1982 and served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004, inaugurating CMS’s Bowers Program and the annual Brandenburg Concerto concerts. He is in his final season as artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR, a post he has held since 1981. He has collaborated with the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Emerson quartets, and frequently performs with pianist André Watts. Winner of the Avery Fisher Prize, he is also the recipient of a Solo Recitalist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A top prize winner in competitions throughout the world, including Munich, Geneva, and San Francisco, he has held principal clarinet positions in The Cleveland Orchestra and the American Symphony under Leopold Stokowski. His recordings have received three Grammy nominations and his performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review. He has also released two CDs of Lalo Schifrin’s compositions, one of which was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Recent Delos recording releases include Carl Nielsen’s clarinet concert in a chamber version by Rene Orth and a volume of quintets for clarinet and strings with the Miró, Dover, and Jasper quartets of music by Peter Schickele, Richard Danielpour, and Aaron J. Kernis.

Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura, and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s Pioneer Press writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you’ll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener.” A thrilling musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, he has recently appeared as a soloist with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, the Vancouver Symphony, and the New World Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has performed at the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel, London’s Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the White Nights Festival in Saint Petersburg, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. He has been presented in recital in Omaha on the Tuesday Musical Club series, New Orleans by the Friends of Music, and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He has also given concerts at the OK Mozart, Moritzburg, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, La Jolla SummerFest, Mainly Mozart, Seattle Chamber Music, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Moab Music festivals. He has performed with many of today’s leading artists including Itzhak Perlman, Menahem Pressler, Gary Hoffman, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Wu Han, David Finckel, and Jan Vogler. An alum of The Bowers Program, he regularly appears with CMS in New York and on tour. Mr. Sussmann is Co-Director of Music@Menlo’s International Program and teaches at Stony Brook University.

Flutist and conductor Ransom Wilson has performed in concert with major orchestras the world over. As a flutist, he recently launched an ongoing series of solo recordings on the Nimbus label in Europe. As a conductor, he is starting his fourth season as music director of the Redlands Symphony in Southern California, and he has become the Director of Orchestral Programs at Idyllwild Arts. He has led opera performances at the New York City Opera, and was for ten years an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. He has been a guest conductor of the London, Houston, KBS, Kraków, Denver, New Jersey, Hartford, and Berkeley symphonies; the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra; the Hallé Orchestra; and the chamber orchestras of St. Paul and Los Angeles. He has also appeared with the Glimmerglass Opera, Minnesota Opera, and the Opera of La Quincena Musical in Spain. As an educator, he regularly leads master classes at the Paris Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Moscow Conservatory, and Cambridge University. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he was an Atlantique Foundation scholar in Paris, where he studied privately with Jean-Pierre Rampal. His recording career, which includes three Grammy Award nominations, began in 1973 with Jean-Pierre Rampal and I Solisti Veneti. Since then he has recorded over 35 albums as flutist and/or conductor. Mr. Wilson is a professor at the Yale University School of Music, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society since 1991. He plays exclusively on a hand-made Haynes flute.

Violinist Angelo Xiang Yu, recipient of both a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2019 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award as well as First Prize in the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin competition, has won consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audience response for his astonishing technique and exceptional musical maturity. In North America, his recent and upcoming performances with orchestra include appearances with the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver, Houston, Colorado, North Carolina, San Antonio, and Charlotte symphonies and the Rochester and Calgary philharmonics. Internationally, he has appeared with the New Zealand Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, Norwegian Radio Symphony, and the Oslo Philharmonic. An active recitalist and chamber musician, he has appeared in recital in Berlin, Paris, Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai, Chicago, New York, and Boston. He is also a frequent guest at summer music festivals, including Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Music@Menlo, Sarasota Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Saratoga, and Verbier. Born in Inner Mongolia, China, Mr. Yu moved to Shanghai at the age of 11 and received his early training from violinist Qing Zheng at the Shanghai Conservatory. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as the prestigious artist diploma at the New England Conservatory, where he was a student of Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried and served as Mr. Weilerstein’s teaching assistant. He resides in Boston and performs on a 1729 Stradivarius violin generously on loan from an anonymous donor. He joined CMS’s Bowers Program in September 2018.

Chamber Music Society, Lincoln Center – Program

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Season Listing | Biographies | Program & Notes

Program for ‘New World Spirit’ tour

Southland Sketches for Violin and Piano

Henry T. Burleigh Born December 2, 1866, in Erie, Pennsylvania. Died September 12, 1949, in Stamford, Connecticut.
Composed in 1916.

Henry Thacker Burleigh was a pioneer in securing a place for African-Americans in this country’s concert music. Burleigh’s father died soon after Henry (sometimes also known as Harry) was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1866, so his mother entered service to the city’s prominent Russell family, who encouraged the boy’s talent for music by hiring him as the doorman for their household musicales so he could listen in. Burleigh began taking piano lessons and singing as baritone soloist with several of Erie’s churches as a teenager. In 1892, at age 26, he won a scholarship to the new National Conservatory in New York City, where he met Victor Herbert and became a student of Antonín Dvořák, then directing the school, who was deeply influenced by his performance of spirituals and other traditional American songs. (“I am convinced,” Dvořák stated, “that they can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition to be developed in the United States.” His “New World” Symphony shows their effect on his music.) Burleigh’s appointment as soloist at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan in 1894 met with controversy, but he quickly became much admired there for the quality of his singing and for his many arrangements of spirituals, and he held the post for the next 52 years. He toured widely through America and Europe (King Edward VII summoned him for a performance when he passed through London), and wrote nearly 300 songs and made a like number of concert arrangements of spirituals for solo voice and for chorus that were programmed by such leading artists as Schumann-Heink and McCormack. He was also a soloist at New York’s Temple Emanu-El (1900-25), an editor for the prestigious music publisher Ricordi (1911-49), and a charter member of ASCAP. On May 16, 1917, Henry T. Burleigh was presented with the Spingarn Medal of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for the highest achievement by an American citizen of African descent during the previous year. Though Burleigh was known for his songs, choral pieces, and vocal arrangements, he also wrote a handful of instrumental compositions, including the Southland Sketches for violin and piano. The Sketches are delightful miniatures, the finest kind of salon pieces, characterized by folk- and spiritual-inspired melodies, catchy rhythms, and appealing harmonies, but they also signify a seldom-remarked aspect of Burleigh’s legacy to American music—they were among the first works by an African-American composer available to an international audience. Burleigh’s songs were first published in 1898 by the New York firm of G. Schirmer, which issued others of his works until he signed on with the brothers George and William Maxwell in 1902. William ran his own publishing house, which became the principal outlet for Burleigh’s songs for the next decade; George was the New York representative for both the London music publisher Boosey & Hawkes and the Milan firm of G. Ricordi, publisher of Verdi and Puccini. George hired Burleigh as an editor for Ricordi, in which capacity he not only oversaw the publication of his own music, including the 1916 Southland Sketches, but also freely offered his advice to his African-American colleagues and promoted the publication and performance of their compositions. George also worked during those years with Victor Herbert, Burleigh’s teacher, to establish an organization to protect the copyright of musicians, writers, and publishers. When they founded the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1914, Henry Burleigh was among its charter members.

Quintet in E-flat major for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello, Op. 97, “American”

Antonín Dvořák Born September 8, 1841, in Nelahozeves, Bohemia. Died May 1, 1904, in Prague.
Composed in 1893. Premiered on New Year’s Day, 1894, in Boston by the Kneisel Quartet and violist M. Zach.

On June 3, 1893, Antonín Dvořák left his apartment at 327 East 17th Street in New York City, and journeyed via Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago to Calmar, Iowa. An hour after arriving at Calmar, a carriage deposited him, his wife, their six children, a maid, and the composer’s secretary at the doorstep of a sturdy two-story brick house in Spillville, a settlement of a few hundred souls founded some 40 years before by a “Bavarian-German” named Spielmann. It was not the Germans, however, who followed Spielmann to the open spaces of Iowa, but the Czechs and the Bohemians, Dvořák’s countrymen, among whom were members of his secretary’s family, the clan Kovařík. Though Dvořák was certainly not uncomfortable in his position as Director of the National Conservatory in New York (he boasted in a letter to one friend about his $15,000 salary, an enormous sum in the 1890s), he missed Prague, and hearing Czech spoken in the streets, and the pigeons, and the traditional songs, and so was easily persuaded by Papa Kovařík, Spillville’s school teacher and choirmaster, to spend the summer of 1893 in the little slice of his homeland that had dropped onto the Midwestern prairie. In his Reminiscences, Kovařík recorded the following information: “The Master’s day in Spillville was more or less as follows: He got up about four o’clock and went for a walk—to the stream or river—and returned at five. After his walk, he worked; at seven he was sitting at the organ in church, then he chatted a little, went home, worked again, and then went for another walk…. Almost every afternoon he spent in the company of some of the old settlers. He got them to tell him about their bitter and difficult beginnings in America…. He liked being there.” Though there was little musical stimulation for him there (considerable energy had to be expended just to find a piano for his rooms), Dvořák’s creativity blossomed in Spillville. Just three weeks after he arrived, he completed the F major Quartet (Op. 96, known since it was new as the “American”), and immediately began a quintet for two violins, two violas, and cello which was completed on August 1st, just before he left for a week to participate in a “Czech Day” at the Chicago World’s Fair. In mid-September, before returning to New York, Dvořák wrote to Dr. Emil Kozánek in Kromĕříž, “The three months spent here in Spillville will remain a happy memory for the rest of our lives. We enjoyed being here and were very happy, though we found the three months of heat rather trying. It was made up to us, however, by being among our own people, our Czech countrymen, and that gave us great joy.” Both the quintet and the quartet were officially unveiled by the Kneisel Quartet in Boston on New Year’s Day, 1894; the performance was repeated 12 days later at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The opening movement of the E-flat major String Quintet grows from a pentatonic theme previewed in a shimmering setting that serves as an introduction. The music becomes more animated for the formal presentation of the main theme. The dotted-rhythm complementary subject, introduced by the second violin above the cello’s pizzicato, bears a folkish quality that recalls passages from the “New World” Symphony, composed just a year before this quintet. The development section includes permutations of both themes, and leads to their heightened restatements in the recapitulation. The following Allegro, the quintet’s scherzo, begins with a mock drum-beat from the viola, and continues with another pentatonic melody of simple construction. The central section is given over to a long, minor-mode melody initiated by the viola. The third movement is a set of five variations on a two-part theme (minor, then major) that Dvořák sketched in December 1892, the first scrap of music he wrote after arriving in America. (He is said to have considered for a time composing a new national anthem utilizing the second half of this melody for the text “My country, ’tis of thee.”) The Finale is an invigorating blend of rondo and sonata elements, much of which is based on the skipping rhythms of the opening measures.

 

INTERMISSION

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Leonard Bernstein Born August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Died October 14, 1990, in New York City.

Composed in 1941-42. Premiered on April 21, 1942, in Boston, by clarinetist David Glazer and the composer as pianist.

Leonard Bernstein had already accumulated a formidable curriculum vitae by the time he wrote his Clarinet Sonata at the age of 23. Born in 1918 to a Russian Jewish family who had settled in Massachusetts, he attended the prestigious Boston Latin School as a youth and took piano lessons from Helen Coates and Heinrich Gebhard. In 1935, Bernstein enrolled at Harvard, where he studied with some of the country’s most distinguished music pedagogues: Tillman Merritt (theory), Walter Piston (counterpoint and fugue), and Edward Burlingame Hill (orchestration). After his graduation in 1939, he entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to polish his already impressive piano technique with Isabelle Vengerova, and further his skills in conducting (with Fritz Reiner) and composition (Randall Thompson). He spent the summers of 1940 and 1941 at Tanglewood, where he became a student, protégé, and eventually assistant of Sergei Koussevitzky, Music Director of the Boston Symphony.  At the end of the 1941 Tanglewood season, Bernstein traveled to Key West, Florida to seek some relief from persistent autumn attacks of hay fever, and there he began what became his first published piece, the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. The sonata was completed in February 1942 in Boston, where Bernstein had gone to teach and continue his studies with Koussevitzky; the score was published the following year. The sonata was premiered by the composer and clarinetist David Glazer at the Institute of Modern Art in Boston on April 21, 1942. The work is in two concise movements. The first, lyrical rather than virtuosic, is much under the influence of Hindemith, who was in residence at Tanglewood in 1941. The second movement, which juxtaposes several sections in alternating slow and fast tempos, begins with a reflective theme based on a tiny arch-shaped motive. The fast episode in bristling 5/8 meter that follows presages some of Bernstein’s dance music of later years. The reflective music returns in transformation and passes through a Latin-influenced bridge passage Bernstein said was a souvenir of his visits to Key West nightclubs. A final traversal of the nervous fast music closes this early product of Bernstein’s incomparable genius.

Appalachian Spring Suite for Ensemble

Aaron Copland Born November 14, 1900, in Brooklyn, New York. Died December 2, 1990, in North Tarrytown, New York.

Composed for chamber orchestra in 1944. Ballet premiered on October 30, 1944, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, one of America’s greatest patrons of the arts, went to see a dance recital by Martha Graham in 1942. So taken with the genius of the dancer-choreographer was Coolidge that she offered to have three ballets specially composed for her. Graham chose as composers of the music Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, and an American whose work she had admired for over a decade—Aaron Copland. In 1931, Graham had staged Copland’s Piano Variations as the ballet Dithyramb, and she was eager to have another dance piece from him, especially in view of his recent successes with Billy the Kid and Rodeo. She devised a scenario based on her memories of her grandmother’s farm in turn-of-the-20thcentury Pennsylvania, and it proved to be a perfect match for the direct, quintessentially American style that Copland espoused in those years. Graham was taken at just that time with the name of a poem by Hart Crane—Appalachian Spring—and she adopted it for her new ballet, though the content of the poem has no relation with the stage work. Edwin Denby’s description of the ballet’s action from his review of the New York premiere in May 1945 was reprinted in the published score: “[The ballet concerns] a pioneer celebration in spring around a newly built farmhouse in the Pennsylvania hills in the early part of the 19th century. The bride-to-be and the young farmer-husband enact the emotions, joyful and apprehensive, their new domestic partnership invites. An older neighbor suggests now and then the rocky confidence of experience. A revivalist and his followers remind the new householders of the strange and terrible aspects of human fate. At the end, the couple are left quiet and strong in their new house.” When Appalachian Spring was premiered on October 30, 1944 at the auditorium of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the limited space allowed Copland to use only a chamber orchestra of 13 instruments (flute, clarinet, bassoon, piano, and nine strings). The production was repeated in New York in May to great acclaim, garnering the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music and the New York Music Critics Circle Award as the outstanding theatrical work of the 1944-45 season. Soon after the ballet’s New York premiere, Copland revised the score as a suite of eight continuous sections for full orchestra by eliminating about eight minutes of music in which, he said, “the interest is primarily choreographic.” In 1958, he arranged the suite for the original 13 instruments, thus restoring the intimacy and immediacy of his original conception to a concert adaptation of the music.