Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Liszt Bicentennial Celebration Concert, Sunday October 16 at 3PM

Eva Lisa Kovalik, piano
Johana Arnold, soprano and Kim Paterson, piano

A concert featuring the music of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt in celebration of the bicentennial of his birth continues the 25th Anniversary Season of Friends of Music at 3PM on Sunday, October 16th at the Cyr Center in Stamford. The first half of the program includes solo piano works performed by Friends of Music founder Eva Lisa Kovalik. The second half consists of lieder (songs) sung by soprano Johana Arnold with piano accompaniment by Kim Paterson.

During his lifetime Liszt was renowned as a virtuosic pianist; as a conductor, teacher, benefactor and a prolific composer he is widely acknowledged as among the most important and influential people in the modern development of classical music. Given his legendary popularity as a performer, Liszt might be called one of the first “superstars.” His dramatic personal life and unusually successful career make for fascinating reading.

We perhaps know Liszt best as a composer of original works for piano, and Mrs. Kovalik’s performance will remind us of why this is so. He also composed about six dozen songs with piano accompaniment which today are seldom heard; on October 16 we will have the rare opportunity to hear a lovely selection performed by Ms. Arnold and Mr. Paterson.

The program for October 16 will be [Author's Note: first half updated 10/12/11 as per Lisa Kovalik. The exact sequence cannot be confirmed.]:

Franz Liszt Bicentennial Celebration
Eva Lisa Kovalik, piano
Johana Arnold, soprano and Kim Paterson, piano

All works composed by Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886)

The first half of the program will be performed by Eva Lisa Kovalik and her student Julie Lee

I.   Widmung (“Dedication”) (Op. 25, No. 1), S.566, R.249 after Robert Schumann, published 1848. Performed by Julie Lee.

II.   Les jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este (“The Fountains of the Villa d’Este”)  (1877)
From Années de pèlerinage (“Years of Pilgrimage,” 3 Suites for solo piano);
Troisième année (“Third Year”) published 1883

III.  Liebesträume (Notturni, “Dreams of Love”) [probably No. 3] published 1850

IV.  Tarantella  (1859)
From Venezia e Napoli (“Venice and Naples”) supplement to the “Second Year” published 1861


The second half of the program will be performed by Johana Arnold and Kim Paterson

Im Rhein, im schoenen Strome  (1841)                       Heinrich Heine
Die Lorelei  (1841)                                                   Heine
Es muss ein Wunderbares sein  (1839?)                     Oskar von Redwitz
Der Fischerknabe  (1835 or 1845)                             Friedrich von Schiller

S’il est un charmant gazon  (1841-42)                        Victor Hugo
Oh! Quand je dors  (1841-42)                                    Hugo

Die drei Zigeuner  (1860)                                          Nikolaus Lenau
In Liebeslust   (1857)                                                Hoffmann von Fallersleben
Wanderers Nachtlied  (1848)                                     Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Der du von dem Himmel bist  (1844)                         Goethe

Eva Lisa Kovalik, pianist, was born in Budapest, Hungary. Her musical studies began at the age of six at the Franz Liszt Academy, first in the junior department, later as a student in the famed class of Lajos Hernadi. During her studies she won many awards and scholarships and received her Artist Diploma in 1956.

The same year she immigrated to the West, continuing her studies at McGill University in Montreal, receiving a B.M. Degree. While at McGill she performed extensively throughout Canada and had a performing contract with the Canadian Broadcasting Company. In 1964 she received a dual scholarship for Post Graduate Studies from the British and Canada Councils to study in England, focusing on 16th Century English keyboard music, while studying with Lili Kraus. That year she performed in Holland, Sweden and England.

Back in North America, she became a graduate student and teaching fellow at the Juilliard School of Music while working at Columbia University on her Master’s Degree, receiving it in 1974. Her teaching fellowship at Juilliard led to an appointment to the faculty of the Evening Division, where she continues to teach today.

In 1997, Mrs. Kovalik was invited to Warsaw, Poland for lecture recitals on the music of Béla Bartók. While there, she was asked to write a book on teaching and performing the Mikrokosmos. She plans to return to Poland for the presentation of her work and further lecture-recitals.

Mrs. Kovalik regularly gives solo and chamber music recitals. She has twice been featured soloist with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra in Oneonta. In the mid-1980’s, she was the catalyst for the birth of Friends of Music, which incorporated in 1986. We are pleased and honored to hear her performance today, and thank her for her vision which has brought such wonderful music to us here in Stamford for all these years.

Johana Arnold, soprano, enjoys a versatile career in recital, chamber music, opera, oratorio and theater.  A former member of the Ensemble for Early Music and Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, she has sung with Steve Reich and Musicians, the Phillip Glass Ensemble, Meredith Monk, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble and the Mark Morris Dance Ensemble.  Venues include Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and BAM in New York, and the Kennedy Center, National Cathedral, and Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. where Ms Arnold is a frequent guest artist with Hesperus and the Folger Consort.  Oratorio experience spans works by Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Mozart, Rossini, Gounod, Rutter and Tom Johnson. 

Ms Arnold is an artist-in-residence at Hartwick College, and appears frequently with the Catskill Choral Society and the Catskill Symphony Orchestra.  She is a veteran of Orpheus Theater and has appeared in several productions with the Franklin Stage Company.  She has recorded for Musical Heritage, Nonesuch, Bard and Western Wind.  Johana is currently working on recording the songs of Charles Ives. This past summer she took the part of the Nurse in Seneca's Trojan Women. Johana Arnold and Kim Paterson met at Tanglewood. They are married and live in the Catskill area.

Kim Paterson is an adjunct instructor of piano at both Hartwick College and at SUNY Oneonta, and has often been music director for stage shows at both schools, most recently the SUNY Oneonta  production of Batboy in the spring of 2010. Mr Paterson has also been music director for Orpheus Theater, Catskill Theater Works, the West Kortright Center Shakespeare program and the Franklin Stage Company.

Mr Paterson is a graduate of SUNY Purchase, and spent three summers as a Tanglewood fellow. He moved to this area to grow mushrooms, and from 1983-1992 he ran a company called Kemp Hill Mushrooms, which produced oyster mushrooms and other exotic produce for restaurants in New York City. However, beginning in 1992, music gradually took over his life, and he now only hunts for wild mushrooms as avocation. He is very busy as a collaborative pianist in the Oneonta area. He also plays with the Catskill Symphony, and is organist at First Presbyterian Church, Oneonta.

Please join us at the Cyr Center in Stamford on October 16th for this fabulous performance and commemorate the birth of a great composer, performer and teacher of classical music. As always, we thank all of our donors and especially the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for making these concerts possible.