Tuesday, November 20, 2012

City of the Hills Chorus to Perform Holiday Concert, December 2 at 3PM

City of the Hills Chorus (left to right, front to back):
Row 1: Jo Melmer, Liz Moeller, Sue Dana-LeViness, Flora Beth Cunningham (Director),
   Terry Hait,
Joanne Burdick
Row 2: Donna Fornito, Karen Adolfsen, Mary Johnson-Butler, Chris Hughes, Elaine Mattice
Row 3: Pat Ashe, Kate Brooker Milano, Jennifer Withington, Dorcas Ross, Jan McGrath
Row 4: Connie Herzig, Linda Allen, Carol Wood, Joy Sanders, Kathy Polley
PLEASE NOTE: Our apologies for the confusion in local newspapers. There is no admission charge for this concert -- admission is FREE!

By popular demand Friends of Music is happy to welcome back the City of the Hills Chorus for the final concert of our 26th season at 3:00 PM on Sunday, December 2, 2012. As in the 2011 Holiday Concert the program will include traditional carols and some contemporary songs interspersed with audience sing-a-longs to get us in the mood for the Holidays we will be celebrating soon afterwards.

The City of the Hills Chorus is a group of area women of all ages and all walks of life who meet once a week because they love to sing four-part harmony in the barbershop style. The chorus and quartets from within the larger group have performed for business and social organizations, nursing homes, Oneonta’s First Night and other community events and offer entertainment in the Oneonta/ Cooperstown area singing modern show tunes, ragtime toe-tappers, pop tunes, and old favorites.

The Chorus chartered with Sweet Adelines International in 1985. Sweet Adelines is an international organization of women whose purpose is to teach the American folk art of singing four-part harmony in barbershop style, and through performances, to encourage appreciation of the tradition of that music. For more information about the Chorus please visit their Web site.

The program for December 2 is as follows, subject to change:

                                     2012 Holiday Concert
                                  City of the Hills Chorus

                        Happy Together
                        Over the River
                        Christmas Chopsticks
                        Sing-along:  Santa Claus is Coming to Town
                        Four of Hearts Quartet
                             Angels We Have Heard on High
                        Sing-long:  Play a Simple Melody

                        Sing-along:  Little Drummer Boy
                        Upscale Quartet
                              California Dreamin’
                        Twelve Days After Christmas
                        Sing-along: Carol Medley
                        We’re All In This Together

As always we thank all of our donors and in particular the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation and the O'Connor Foundation; it is thanks to your generosity that this concert and our entire season are possible.

We wish all a wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving and hope you will join us to start off the December Holidays with a fun-filled performance by the City of the Hills Chorus.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Justin Kolb in Concert at the Cyr Center
Sunday November 18 at 3PM

Justin Kolb, piano
For the eighth concert and the final classical chamber performance of our 2012 Season, Friends of Music is happy to welcome back Justin Kolb, piano. Mr. Kolb usually includes lively and humorous commentary in his programs, which keeps the audience engaged regardless of their musical tastes. The program for this concert — as he often likes to do — includes the music of Franz Liszt and works by living American composers.

Nationally Mr. Kolb serves on the Board of Directors of the American Liszt Society. In our region he is highly regarded as an Honorary Director of the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount, New York and for the key role he plays in organizing the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. He also serves as artist-in-residence for Kids in the Kaatskills, a charitable foundation.

As an educator Justin Kolb notes that “Music education of young people is a short cut to intellectual development and the key to a happy life.” His favorite topic of conversation involves “the innate entrepreneurism of musicians,” which we have observed first-hand with virtually all of the artists who perform in the Friends of Music series.

Mr. Kolb began his piano studies at age four and soon became a student of Francis Clark and Lillian Whitaker DeCamp. He made his concert debut at the age of ten in solo performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Gary Symphony. At DePaul University, Kolb studied with Herman Shapiro, Alexander Tcherepnine, and Paul Stacevich; he has since received the University's Distinguished Alumni Award.

While serving in the Army, Justin Kolb was named a cultural ambassador by the State Department and toured throughout Europe and the Middle East. He has studied with Rolf Beyer in Germany and with Gui Mombaerts, Martin Canin, and German Diez. Justin cites German Diez (once a teaching assistant of Claudio Arrau) as his most important musical influence. The master pedagogue is Kolb's close friend, mentor and teacher of 20 years and is his artistic advisor.

Justin Kolb has graciously agreed to allow Friends of Music to dedicate his concert to the memory of David Caddis. Years ago when Mr. Caddis was president of this organization he engaged Mr. Kolb for his first performance in Stamford. It therefore seems elegant and appropriate to celebrate in this particular performance the dedication of both men to music in general and the relationship they had to Friends of Music and to each other, which are inextricably linked.

To read more about the artist please visit his Web site at www.justinkolb.com.

The program is planned as follows:
November 18, 2012
Justin Kolb, piano
Liszt and the Barefoot Carmelite

Franz Liszt
Senza lentezza quasi allegretto
Fantaisie sur une valse de Schubert
Costa Diva from “Norma”………………
Introduction and Variations……………
Bellini/Hermann Cohen
Hermann Cohen

Harmonies Poetiques Et Religieuses
Franz Liszt


On Wings of Song…………………………
Mendelssohn / Liszt
Mendelssohn / Liszt

Four Preludes…………………………………
Joseph Hudson
October Wind
Pas de Deux
January Snow
Shawangunk Mountain View

Tango quasi una Fantasia…………………
Robert Cucinotta

Please join us for this final concert of our regular 2012 Season to enjoy the music of the talented Justin Kolb, and to pay tribute to David Caddis for his vital efforts in the development of Friends of Music and for introducing us to Mr. Kolb years ago.

We once again thank all of our donors and in particular the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation and the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O'Connor Foundation for your generous help which makes the Friends of Music concert series possible for all to enjoy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bryant Park Quartet in Performance
Sunday, October 21 @ 3PM

Photo of the Bryant Park Quartet
The Bryant Park Quartet (l to r): Nathan Schram, viola; Anna Elashvili,
violin; Ben Russell, violin; Tomoko Fujita, cello.
PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday, October 15 the second half of the program has been changed from Brahms' String Quartet in C minor to Debussy's String Quartet in G minor.
The Bryant Park Quartet honors us with a performance on Sunday, October 21st at 3:00 PM at the Cyr Center in Stamford. Friends of Music was introduced to the group through violinist Anna Elashvili, another alumna of the fabled Silver Jubilee Chamber Ensemble in 2011, and we are so pleased for the opportunity to bring this amazing Quartet to the Catskills.
Based in New York City and formed in 2006, the Bryant Park Quartet has developed into an accomplished and acclaimed string quartet. Through its series “The rEvolving Ear,” the group has created programs that explore some of the connections between established and contemporary music, programs that inspire new ways to listen to and appreciate historical works that have inspired works by contemporary composers.
The Bryant Park Quartet (BPQ) is also dedicated to extensive community outreach through performance, lecture/demonstrations and a creative approach to music education. They seek to increase “awareness of the value of chamber music” through their commendable commitment to education programs at many levels, from public schools to private universities, and to community from business locations to private homes to public performing arts centers. The audience at this small venue in the Catskills is no doubt the beneficiary of this idealism and commitment.
The BPQ has been coached by members of the Brentano, Borromeo, Cavani, Cleveland, Emerson and Juilliard String Quartets and by such luminaries as Itzhak Perlman, Heidi Castleman, Colin Carr, Kathy Murdock and Roger Tapping. The Quartet was a 2010 prizewinner in the Hugo Kauder International Music Competition and its members individually are highly regarded as well. Two of its artists, Anna Elashvili and Nathan Schram, were each fellows of The Academy at Carnegie Hall, a joint effort of the Juilliard School, the Weill Music Institute and Carnegie Hall to nurture young musicians at the highest level. The Academy seeks to help the selected exceptionally talented young people develop their careers and thrive in current circumstances while serving as "evangelists" for classical music in order to assure its survival.
Ms. Elashvili became Mr. Schram's Academy mentor, and he joined the BPQ in 2011 when previous violist Adam Meyer became a dean at the Juilliard School. Nathan Schram was featured on National Public Radio reports about The Academy, three times during his first year with the program and again when his two-year term was completed.
Click here to read more about the artists of the Bryant Park Quartet at the Friends of Music Web site, or to read more about the group and its admirable mission and listen to some of their work please visit their Web site at bryantparkquartet.com.
The program for October 21st is as follows:
Bryant Park Quartet

“Alleged Minimalism”

Sunday, October 21, 2012
3:00 PM

Mille Regretz
El Grillo

Josquin des Prez
(c. 1450 / 1455-1521)
arr. Bryant Park Quartet
  String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5
Allegro moderato
Finale: Fuga a due Soggetti

Franz Joseph Haydn
  Selections from: John's Book of Alleged Dances John Adams
(1947 - )

** Intermission **

  Structures for String Quartet (1951) Morton Feldman

  String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 (1893)
Animé et très décidé
Assez vif et bien rythmé
Andantino, doucement expressif
Très modéré - En animant peu à peu - Très mouvementé et avec passion
Claude Debussy

As always we thank our many individual donors and the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation and -- for this particular concert -- the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O'Connor Foundation. Without their collective generosity this performance would not be possible, or we would all have to spend a great deal of time, effort and money to travel to a larger city to hear the likes of the Bryant Park Quartet.
We hope you will join us for another afternoon of incredibly wonderful music, amiable company and good food at the Cyr Center in Stamford, NY.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Katie Thomas and Yoni Levyatov in Concert Sunday, September 16 at 3PM

Katie Thomas, violin
Yoni Levyatov, piano
For the sixth concert of our 2012 Season, Friends of Music is happy to welcome back Katie Thomas, violin, another alumna of the beloved 2011 Silver Jubilee Chamber Ensemble. Joining her this year will be pianist Yoni Levyatov. Both musicians are graduates of the Manhattan School of Music, and each has won recognition in many competitions; we invite you to read more about their triumphs and feats at the Friends of Music Web site
Colorful and vibrant, this dynamic duo has been touring individually far and wide recently and we are so pleased they are willing to travel to the Catskills to perform together for us in Stamford. This vivacious pair will likely be as interesting and as fun to watch as they will be to listen to, and their program will no doubt result in a beautifully memorable afternoon of great music:

September 16, 2012

Katie Thomas, violin
Yoni Levyatov, piano

Sonata No. 18 for Violin and Piano in
   G Major, K.301 (1778)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Allegro con spirito

Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano (1886)César Franck (1822-90)
Allegretto ben moderato
Recitativo-Fantasia: Ben moderato
Allegretto poco mosso

Amy Beach (1867-1944)
Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Opus 24,
   “Spring” (1801)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Adagio molto espressivo
Scherzo: Allegro molto
Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo

Scherzo in C for Violin and Piano
   (“F.A.E Sonata”) (1853)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

As always we thank all of our donors and in particular the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for your generosity, which makes this concert and our entire season possible. As of now the forecast is for a rainy afternoon, but join us at the Cyr Center in Stamford at 3:00PM where the atmosphere will be sunny and vibrant!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Serio Divertimenti in Concert on Sunday, August 19th at 3PM

Serio Divertimenti (l to r): Peter Prosser, cello; Lisa Arkis, flute; Mary Jo Pagano, piano and Monte Morgenstern, clarinet.
Friends of Music is happy to feature Serio Divertimenti in performance for the fifth concert of our 26th Season on Sunday, August 19th at 3:00 PM at the Cyr Center in Stamford. Roughly translated, Serio Divertimenti means “serious fun.” These seasoned professionals are serious about their art, and those of us in the audience will have a seriously good time listening to the results of their collaboration! Join us to hear Monte Morgenstern, clarinet; Mary Jo Pagano, piano; Lisa Arkis, flute and Peter Prosser, cello.

This chamber music ensemble “promotes new music as well as the more traditional classics.” Its members have impressive careers of performance in the concert hall, in the theater, and in the recording studio. As many do who make their living from their musical talent, several of them also teach. Broadway and pop music fans will also find many recognizable names in the list of talented artists these musicians have worked with. Read more about the artists at the Friends of Music Web site, friendsmusic.org.

The program for August 19th is a bit more eclectic than our usual performances, and the approach and professional experiences of these artists may be more palatable for those who are not convinced they like classical music. This would be the perfect event to bring along such friends and family for those who enjoy the chamber music performances we present at the Cyr Center. The program, though subject to change, is as follows:
The Shaker Tune (Simple Gifts)(2009) ...................................Monte Morgenstern
         flute, clarinet and cello                                                 (after Joseph Brackett)

L’Encore (ca. 1898 - 1904)....................................................Victor Herbert
                                                                                                (1859 - 1924)

Waltz (from the film The Return of Maxim Op. 45, 1936)........Dmitri Shostakovich
         flute, clarinet, piano                                                       (1906 - 1975)

Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano (1944)......................................Bohuslav Martinu 
         Poco Allegretto                                                               (1890 - 1959)

         Andante - Allegretto scherzando


Dance of the Sea Turtles (2010)..............................................Monte Morgenstern
         flute, clarinet, cello, piano

Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in E-flat major, Op. 38...........Ludwig van Beethoven
       (1803; published 1805)                                                        (1770 – 1827)
         Adagio; Allegro con brio
         Adagio cantabile

         Andante con moto alla marcia: Presto

Possible encore:

Mosulipe Blues.......................................................................Monte Morgenstern
(A Blues Endeavor for Classical Musicians) (2008)
         flute, clarinet, cello, piano

We recommend previewing the excellent program notes provided by Mr. Morgenstern.

Join us to hear these talented artists and enjoy their beautiful music as we celebrate the waning days of summer and bask in the hint of autumnal coolness; serious fun, indeed!

As always, we thank all of our donors and the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation in particular for your generous support, which makes this concert possible.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Great Expectations

It may be true that the old adages about "Timing is everything" and "Location, location, location" can also apply to music. From my vantage point at the Cyr Center on July 15, this was an exquisite performance and a welcome introduction to some unfamiliar pieces -- a breath of fresh air in the sultry heat followed literally by a dramatic downpour of desperately needed rain. Some members of the audience were moved to tears at the beauty of what they heard from Jesse Mills and Rieko Aizawa, and could probably be convinced to organize a fan club without much prodding.

Others were rather jaded, having been recently immersed in music at other events and not fully appreciative of the gift of that afternoon's performance. I was impressed with the weight the piano was given; the violin did not dominate as is so often the case. Others expressed disappointment that the familiar primacy of the violin was missing and felt the piano was "too loud." I have learned over the years that most professional musicians, and this supremely talented pair in particular, were fully aware of the balance they struck, that the sounds they produced were exactly as they intended them to be and as they believe the composer intended as well. I for one found the results to be inspiring and breathtakingly beautiful.

Rieko and Jesse came to Stamford from New Hampshire, taking a day off from their work as artists in residence at a summer camp for young composers. They returned to New Hampshire afterwards and two days later would give the young artists the extraordinary opportunity to hear world-class musicians perform the works they had written. When one is a prodigy and meets with great success at a very young age, as Rieko Aizawa did at 13, how high the bar is set for them and how difficult those expectations must be to live up to. Now as an adult, she is "just" another spectacularly talented pianist. How casual we have become about such phenomenal artistry in our midst.

It is our great hope that Jesse Mills and Rieko Aizawa will return to Stamford very soon for another superb performance, and we wish them all the best in their own careers and in their work teaching and inspiring the next generation of musicians.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Duo Prism in Concert at the Cyr Center Sunday July 15 at 3PM

Duo Prism (l to r): Jesse Mills, violin and
Rieko Aizawa, piano
Friends of Music continues its 26th Season with a much-anticipated performance by Duo Prism on Sunday, July 15 at 3:00PM at the Cyr Center in Stamford. Duo Prism includes Jesse Mills, violin and Rieko Aizawa, piano.

Those of us who heard the Silver Jubilee Chamber Ensemble at the 25th Anniversary concert last June will never forget Concertmaster Jesse Mills. The amazing group of talented musicians that he helped organize on such short notice and his leadership, charm and vibrant performance inspired and amazed us. We immediately invited him to return, and much to our delight he agreed! This year he will perform for us with his partner -- in music and in life -- Rieko Aizawa.

I will not repeat their lengthy credentials here; if you want to be thoroughly impressed I refer you to their Web site, duoprism.com or see the condensed version at friendsmusic.org. I'm still pinching myself that these amazing artists are willing to come to the mountains to play for us, in spite of the lack of prestige our little series offers. They certainly have our gratitude and I hope a healthy dose of good karma will be theirs as well.

When Mr. Mills first sent me their proposed program I was a bit hesitant; it seemed too "modern" for our conservative and traditional tastes. Jesse calmly allowed me to listen to a recording of Duo Prism playing the full sonata at an earlier date in Chicago, and of course it was beautiful and stirring and will no doubt be thoroughly enjoyed by us lucky folks on Sunday in the Catskills.

The program for July 15 is planned as follows:

Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 1 in D major, Op. 12 No. 1 (1798)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

I. Allegro con brio
II. Tema con variazioni: Andante con moto
III. Rondo: Allegro

Violin Sonata, Op. 119 (1942-43)
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (1899-1963)
I. Allegro con fuoco
II. Intermezzo:  Très lent et calme
III. Presto tragico


Selections from Night Music
Ned Rorem (1923 - )
      The Two Moths

Sonata No. 3 in c minor, Op. 45 (1886-87)
Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907)
I. Allegro molto ed Appassionato
II. Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza
III. Allegro animato

We thank all of our donors and the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation in particular for your generous support, which makes this concert and our entire series possible. We are indeed fortunate people to have access to such amazing music right here at home.

We hope to see you on July 15th at the Cyr Center in Stamford for what will undoubtedly be a superb performance by Duo Prism!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Ambassadors of Jazz

What a wonderful performance we enjoyed on Father's Day! There is definitely a trend developing this year, at least in my observations, and a healthy one at that. The musicians who come to perform in Stamford are often an international group, and these fabulous Jazz performers were no exception. Like our first concert this year, I found myself cajoling our regular attendees to come, since many who attend the classical features say they "don't like Jazz" (or Opera, as the case was back in April). And like the artists from the Lindemann Program and the Metropolitan opera, these three men (all from the Juilliard School at one time or another in their lives) provided a wonderful opportunity for us to stretch our musical comfort zone without causing any distress, and also provided a lovely afternoon for many who already know they do like Jazz, or at least the Jazz standards that Clovis Nicolas, John Chin and Kenny Washington played for us.

In fact Mr. Nicolas said to me after the concert that Mr. Washington, who teaches at Juilliard, is well known among the students as working to pass the torch for the great Jazz standards -- he is a standard bearer for the standards as is were. Judging from the rousing ovation the trio received, Mr. Washington should be happy for a job well done in that effort as well.

It was another perfectly beautiful summer day, and it was so enchanting to sit and hear the gentle variations on familiar tunes (and some that were new to us as well) while watching the sun sparkling on the surface of the water across the lawn and the lush green of the foliage as it grew into fullness from the ripening of the season. I promise to add some photos here soon and apologize for the delay in posting this. I hope as with the Opera performances as the seasons progress and we continue to offer a Jazz option that more and more people, familiar faces and new ones, will come to treasure these performances as much as we do the classical offerings.

Thank you so much, gentlemen!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Father's Day Concert to Feature Jazz Trio

Performing June 17th in Stamford (top to bottom, left to
right): John Chin, piano; Clovis Nicolas, bass and Kenny
Washington, drums.

Jazz at the Cyr Center -- it's true! In September 2011 Friends of Music presented its first jazz concert ever, to the great delight of those in the audience. Four talented young jazz musicians from the Juilliard School's acclaimed Jazz Program performed a fabulous set of standards from the American songbook. From my vantage point at the back of the room I can attest that all heads were bobbing, all toes were tapping in rhythm with songs that we all knew and loved.

The group was led by Clovis Nicolas, bass, and we invited him to organize another group for us this year. Joining Mr. Nicolas on Sunday, June 17th at 3:00 PM will be John Chin on piano and Kenny Washington on drums. The trio will take us “Around the World with Jazz Standards,” a program that's sure to be fun for the entire family and a great way to celebrate the day and spend some quality time with Dad!

Sunday, June 17th 2012, 3:00 PM

Around the World with Jazz Standards

John Chin, piano
Clovis Nicolas, bass
Kenny Washington, drums

1.  Broadway     Woods/Bird?McCrae
2.  On a Slow Boat to China     Frank Loesser
3.  A Night in Tunisia     Dizzy Gillespie
4.  April in Paris     Vernon Duke
5.  Girl from Ipanema     Antônio Carlos Jobim
6.  Serenade to Sweden     Duke Ellington
7.  Foggy Day (in London Town)     George and Ira Gershwin
8.  Autumn in New York     Vernon Duke

John Chin began playing piano at the age of four and has taught others to play the instrument since 1994. Born in Korea and raised in Los Angeles, Mr. Chin completed his undergraduate work by the age of nineteen and earned his Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1999 as Kenny Barron's protégé. In 2011 John graduated from the Juilliard School as part of the prestigious Artist Diploma program. He has performed extensively in California, Dallas/Ft. Worth and in New York City with musicians including Ron Carter, Joe Chambers, Benny Golson, Mark Turner, and Vincent Herring. For more information and to hear samples from his recording Blackout Conception visit his Web site at http://www.johnchin.com/.

Clovis Nicolas  has performed and recorded extensively both in his native France and in New York since he moved here over 10 years ago. He has studied at Juilliard with legendary bass player Sir Ron Carter and shared the stage with prominent artists including Grant Stewart, Harry Allen, Benny Powell, Curtis Fuller, Branford Marsalis, James Williams, Peter Bernstein, Joe Magnarelli, Sacha Perry, Sachal Vasandani, Simon Shaheen, Carl Allen, Jane Monheit and Dan Nimmer.

One of the many young hard-bop revivalists to arrive on the scene in the late '70s and early '80s, drummer  Kenny Washington has played with such legendary veterans as Lee Konitz, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, and Tommy Flanagan.

Born in Brooklyn, Kenny Washington studied with the former Dizzy Gillespie drummer Rudy Collins and attended New York’s LaGuardia High School for Music & Art. A prolific freelancer, Mr. Washington has compiled an enormous discography, performing on dozens of sessions by many of jazz's most prominent figures. He currently teaches at the Juilliard School, and we are honored and thrilled that he will perform in Stamford with Mr. Nicolas and Mr. Chin!

Read more about the musicians and their extensive credentials at the Friends of Music Web site, friendsmusic.org.

We hope to see you at 3PM on Sunday, June 17th 2012, at the Cyr Center in Stamford for a great afternoon of classic jazz. As always we thank our many donors and especially the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for your generosity which makes these concerts possible.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Allant Trio Performs in Stamford on Sunday May 20th at 3PM

The Allant Trio (l to r): Alina Lim, cello; Beth Nam, piano and Anna Park, violin.
Friends of Music continues its 2012 Season with a performance by the Allant Trio on Sunday, May 20th at 3PM. Graduates of and graduate students at the Juilliard School (where the Trio was formed about 2 years ago) the group includes Beth Hyo Kyoung Nam, piano; Anna Jihyun Park, violin, and Alina Lim, cello.

Since then they have performed extensively as a group, and they participated in the Chamber Music Residency Program at the Banff Centre. In 2011 the Allant Trio was among the semi-finalists at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in Norway. Through their proven commitment to community engagement they have generously agreed to make the journey to Stamford to perform for us here.
The program for May 20, 2012 is currently planned as follows:


Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 (“Archduke”) (1810 – 11)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
    I.  Allegro moderato
   II.  Scherzo (Allegro)
  III. Andante cantabile ma però con moto. Poco piu adagio.
  IV. Allegro moderato – Presto

Piano Trio (1914)
Joseph-Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)
    I. Modéré
   II. Pantoum (Assez vif)
  III. Passacaille (Très large)
  IV. Final (Animé)

Born in Korea, Anna Park moved to New York at the age of thirteen to pursue her studies at the Juilliard Pre-College with Professors Hyo Kang and I-Hao Lee. She joined the Vivaldi Youth Ensemble based in New York City that same year and gave both solo and chamber music recitals.

In 2002, Ms. Park attended the Aspen Music Festival and School where she performed in the Starling Recital Series. In 2003, she attended Killington Music Festival where she gave several performances and participated in master classes with Lawrence Dutton, a member of the Emerson String Quartet. In 2004, she performed Maurer's Concertante for Four Violins as first violin with the International Sejong Soloists, with whom she regularly tours internationally. Since 2004, she has annually attended the Great Mountains International Music Festival & School in Pyong Chang, South Korea, where she studies with Nam Yun Kim, Chee Yun, Kurt Sassmannshaus and Igor Ozim.

In 2005, her first year at the Juilliard School, Ms. Park was designated as the Samsung Award Student and gave a recital at the Samsung Experience in New York City. In 2008, Ms. Park gave a concert with the Kangwon Festival Ensemble in Korea as part of the Rising Star Series at the great Mountains International Festival & School. In 2010, she won the first prize of Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Competition and performed the Elgar Concerto for Violin under conductor Toshiyuki Shimada in 2011. Ms. Park received a scholarship from the Korean Cultural Service in New York and she completed her Master's Degree at the Juilliard School with Hyo Kang and Naoko Tanaka in 2011.

Alina Lim is currently pursuing her graduate studies at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Richard Aaron. She began her cello studies at the age of eight with Joowon Kim at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. During these years, Ms. Lim won various awards and scholarships through the Conservatory, as well as The Kiwanis Music Festival of the Greater Toronto Area and The Ontario Music Festivals Association. She was also a two-time winner at the national finals of The Canadian Music Competition (2003, 2005).

In 2005, Ms. Lim went on to continue her studies with David Hetherington at The Young Artist Performance Academy of the RCM. As the winner of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra's Concerto Competition in 2006, she has performed with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Alina Lim has also performed with The Academy Symphony Orchestra of the RCM, The Kitchener-Waterloo/Durham Youth Orchestras and The National Repertory Orchestra. Ms. Lim is a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award from the NPR show From the Top, in which she played with the Trillium Trio. She has participated in music festivals such as ENCORE School for Strings, Meadowmount School of Music, New York Strings Orchestra Seminar, Aspen Music Festival and School, The National Repertory Orchestra, and The Banff Centre for the Arts.

Beth Nam was selected to play in the Steinway Society Young Artist Concert in San Jose in 2003 where she was reviewed highly in the press. That same year she also played at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall with the Nesher Trio. The group toured in the Netherlands and won a debut concert at Carnegie Weil Recital Hall through the Artist International Audition in 2004. Ms. Nam is the winner of numerous competitions and scholarship awards, especially in California, and has performed in numerous recitals, chamber concerts, winner's concerts and master classes in well-known venues in the United States and abroad.

A native of Korea, Ms. Nam began studying piano at age nine. Her major teachers include Hak Soon Swiatkowski, Lois Roberts at El Camino College, and Martin Canin at Juilliard. She worked with the South Bay Children's Chorus as soloist, accompanist and assistant conductor under the artistic direction of Dr. Jane Hardester and Diane Simons. In 2007, Nam was invited by the choir as an assistant conductor to their England Tour where they performed one of her motets, a composition which won a competition sponsored by Juilliard's Literature and Materials department. She has taught at two New York City Public Schools through a Morse Fellowship and a Teaching Fellowship in Secondary Piano, and has also been a piano faculty of the Music Advancement Program at Juilliard since 2007.

Ms. Nam received both the Bachelor and the Master of Music degrees as a scholarship student from the Juilliard School. In 2008 Beth Nam gained acceptance to Juilliard's prestigious Doctor of Musical Arts program where she has continued her studies in piano performance with Robert McDonald.

To learn more about these fabulously talented young musicians, please visit their Web site at allanttrio.com.

Thank you to all of our donors and especially to the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for making this concert possible. We hope you will join us on Sunday May 20th at the Cyr Center in Stamford for this outstanding performance!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Ambassadors of Opera

I've waited to write this, knowing I would have difficulty curbing my effusive praise for the amazingly talented musicians who came to Stamford to perform on April 15. In spite of their tremendous gifts, they were each so personable and so approachable, so casual about the music that they made for those of us in the audience to marvel at.

The turnout was gratifying as well, not only because it was the first concert of our season but also because we generally do not expect as many folks to show up for a voice performance. Many of us have a very negative bias towards opera; does it come from cartoons of our childhood memories of Bugs Bunny singing Wagner, or of forced attendance at the concerts of would-be divas in our local churches as we were growing up that convinced us that all opera could be was a series of shrieks that we squirmed through? Or does it come from listening to opera on television or radio with less than ideal audio fidelity that makes us think it's nothing to get excited about? There were a good number of folks who decided it was worth another listen, and they were without exception glad that they did, I believe.

It was really wonderful to hear a few open-minded individuals comment that they came to the concert accepting my promise that it would be different this time, that hearing such voices in the close confines of the Cyr Center was an entirely different experience from even a professional production in a major hall. So it was on April 15, a magnificent demonstration of the beauty of the human voice as instrument. We were surely not disappointed, and no doubt after hearing these artists there were more than a few folks in the room who are newly attuned to Opera as an art form.

This international group of artists -- Haeran Hong, Alexander Lewis, Luthando Qave and Natalia Katyukova -- were indeed ambassadors, perhaps even evangelists, for their art through the beauty of their performance, and for the notion that the collaboration of great talent across borders is worthy of our whole-hearted support. We cannot thank them enough for sharing their gifts with us and for opening our hearts and minds to the world of Opera!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Concert Sunday April 15, 2012 at 3PM -- Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program

Friends of Music is proud to open our 26th Season with a performance by an international group of rising young opera stars through the auspices of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. This marks the fourth year we have opened our season with music from Lindemann Young Artists, but it will be the first time we will have a tenor in the ensemble.

The concert will begin at 3PM on Sunday April 15 at the Cyr Center on West Main St. in Stamford, NY. The forecast is for a beautiful spring day and likewise we have some beautiful music to look forward to!

For those who are new to Friends of Music, we are very fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with the Lindemann Program thanks to Ilkka Kalliomaa, a long-time board member and former president of FoM. Mr. Kalliomaa generally provides the transportation for the artists as well and it is an arduous three-day cycle for him, so we all owe him a big "Thank you!" as well.

The Lindemann Program identifies the most promising opera artists and provides them with training and performance opportunities through the Metropolitan Opera, along with financial support during a period of up to three years for singers and two years for pianists. More information about the program can be read at the Met's Web site. Friends of Music is very grateful for their ongoing willingness to send some of their fine young artists to perform in our little series.

This year soprano Haeran Hong comes to us through the Juilliard School; she is not a Lindemann Young Artist. The Met and Juilliard's Opera division have a very close relationship and share some staff members, which is how Ms. Hong was invited to perform. Originally from Korea, she may be familiar to some in our area through her performances at the Glimmerglass Opera in 2010.

Also new to Stamford will be Alexander Lewis, tenor, of Australia and South African baritone Luthando QaveNatalia Katyukova, piano will be here for the second time, having performed in our April concert in 2011. Originally from Russia, she has since added conducting at the Met and coaching at the San Francisco Opera to her CV. Please read more about the artists at our Web site.

The program for Sunday will be as follows:

"Largo al factotum" from Gioachino Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
          Luthando Qave

"All idea di quel metallo" from Gioachino Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
          Alexander Lewis
          Luthando Qave

"Quel guardo, il cavaliere" from Gaetano Donizetti ’s Don Pasquale
          Haeran Hong

Mélodies passagères by Samuel Barber
     Puisque tout passe
     Un cygne avance sur l'eau tout entouré
     Tombeau dans un parc
     Le clocher chante
          Alexander Lewis

Selections Dichterliebe by Robert Schumann
     Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
     Aus meinen Tränen sprieße
     Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube, die Sonne
     Wenn ich in deine Augen seh
          Luthando Qave

"La fioraia fiorentina" by Gioachino Rossini
          Haeran Hong

"Venti Scudi" duet from Gaetano Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore
          Alexander Lewis
          Luthando Qave

"Saper Vorreste" from Giuseppe Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera
          Haeran Hong

"Ah, per sempre io ti perdei" from Vincenzo Bellini’s I Puritani
          Luthando Qave

"Là ci darem la mano" from W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni
          Haeran Hong
          Luthando Qave

Blue Mountain Ballads by Paul Bowles
     Heavenly Grass
     Lonesome Man
     The Cabin
     Sugar in the Cane
          Alexander Lewis

Lovely! As always we thank our donors and especially the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for your generous support, which makes this concert possible for all in our area to enjoy.

We hope to see you in Stamford on Sunday April 15th.