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Program Information for Ida Kavafian Artist Portrait
Streaming on CMA's Homepage September 1 through 7
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Serenade in D major for Flute, Violin, and Viola, Op. 25 (1801)
Tempo ordinario d'un menuetto
Andante con variazioni
Allegro scherzando e vivace
Adagio—Allegro vivace e disinvolto
Tara Helen O'Connor, flute; Ida Kavafian, violin; Daniel Phillips, viola
* Intermission, featuring *
Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960)
Quintet No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Op. 1 (1895)
Scherzo: Allegro vivace
Adagio, quasi andante
Finale: Allegro animato
Alessio Bax, piano; Ida Kavafian, Alexi Kenney, violin; Yura Lee, viola; Dmitri Atapine, cello
NOTES ON THE PROGRAM
Serenade in D major for Flute, Violin, and Viola, Op. 25 (1801)
Ludwig van Beethoven (Bonn, 1770 – Vienna, 1827)
No one knows exactly why Beethoven wrote the Serenade in D major for Flute, Violin, and Viola. There’s no record of a commission, patron, or occasion for this piece. It exists in Beethoven’s manuscripts in just a few sketches that are believed to date to 1801 based on other works written on the same paper. The work was published in 1802 by the Viennese firm G. Cappi. To add to the mystery, the piece doesn’t sound like the other works Beethoven composed around 1801 but more like something he would have written a few years earlier. Based on its style and title, Beethoven’s early biographers originally thought it was written around 1797, when he wrote the only other work he called a serenade.
However, it’s more likely that the two serenades’ similarities are characteristic of the genre, not because they were written at the same time. By the early 1800s, the serenade was an older form, still popular and carrying a deep history. Serenades started out as sung pieces accompanied by guitar or other plucked instruments that were performed outside someone’s home or to greet an important person. By the mid-1700s, they had become large ensemble works without voice, still often performed outside for special occasions. They also frequently (but not always) included winds—Mozart’s three mature serenades from his years in Vienna were for 8-12 winds, with the addition of a double bass part in the Gran Partita. While Beethoven’s only other serenade was for string trio, his wildly popular septet, premiered just a year before the Op. 25 Serenade, was in a serenade-like style, with a mix of winds and strings and in six movements. The septet was Beethoven’s most popular work in his lifetime and perhaps the popularity of the septet inspired him to write this work.
The six succinct movements of the serenade cover a range of emotions while exploring many delightful tunes. The flute announces the first movement with a horn-like call, recalling the serenade’s history as outdoor music. The second movement is a stately minuet with two trios that resemble elaborate variations on the theme. Following a brief but peppy third movement, a set of variations features each of the instruments in turn. Momentum picks up in the fifth movement, an energetic, playful scherzo, and after a brief slow introduction, the final movement, a rondo, takes off with a Scotch snap (a short-long rhythm). This delightful work ends with a madcap rush to the finish with the instruments in open octaves.
Quintet No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Op. 1 (1895)
Ernő Dohnányi (Pozsony, now Bratislava, 1877 – New York, 1960)
Dohnányi achieved his first fame with this remarkable piano quintet. He wrote it during his first year at the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest. Though a 17-year-old student, he had already composed quite a bit leading up to this piece, his first published work. His juvenile oeuvre included more than 60 compositions, including chamber works like quartets, a sextet, and even an early piano quintet written when he was just 12. This quintet premiered at an end-of-year academy concert on June 16, 1895. Soon after, Dohnányi’s teacher Hans Koessler traveled to Austria to spend the summer at Bad Ischl, a favorite spot of Brahms, and there he showed the quintet to the older composer, who reportedly commented, “I couldn’t have written it better myself.” Brahms was so impressed that he arranged a private performance in Vienna at the Tonkünstlerverein with Dohnányi at the piano that fall. Overnight Dohnányi went from an unknown student to being well regarded in the top circles in the musical capital.
Dohnányi’s First Quintet is filled with the yearning and heavy emotion of the fin de siècle. But it also has a clarity of form and directness of expression that mark the work of a young composer ready to take on the world. The outer movements are similar—both start with big, bold themes and both are in the key of C. The first movement dramatically modulates from minor to major near the end and the last movement returns in C major rather than the expected minor. To give a feeling of arrival, a quote of the opening theme appears near the end of the piece. The inner movements, a nervous scherzo and a lush slow movement, add depth and variety. This late Romantic work is sweeping and satisfying: a rightful object of Brahms’ admiration and the start to a long and influential career.
Notes by Laura Keller, CMS Editorial Manager
© Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dmitri Atapine has been described as a cellist with “brilliant technical chops” (Gramophone), whose playing is “highly impressive throughout” (The Strad). He has appeared on some of the world's foremost stages, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, and the National Auditorium of Spain. An avid chamber musician, he frequently performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is an alum of The Bowers Program. He is a habitual guest at leading festivals, including Music@Menlo, La Musica Sarasota, Pacific, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence, and Nevada. His performances have been broadcast nationally in the US, Europe, and Asia. His many awards include First Prize at the Carlos Prieto Cello Competition, as well as top honors at the Premio Vittorio Gui and Plowman chamber competitions. He has collaborated with such distinguished musicians as Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Bruno Giuranna, and David Shifrin. His recordings, among them a critically acclaimed world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s complete works for cello and piano, can be found on the Naxos, Albany, MSR, Urtext Digital, Blue Griffin, and Bridge record labels. He holds a doctorate from the Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Aldo Parisot. Professor of Cello and Department of Music Chair at the University of Nevada, Reno, Mr. Atapine is the artistic director of Apex Concerts and Ribadesella Chamber Music Festival.
Pianist Alessio Bax—a First Prize winner at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and the recipient of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant—has appeared with more than 100 orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Japan’s NHK Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and City of Birmingham Symphony. In summer 2017 he launched a three-season appointment as artistic director of Tuscany’s Incontri in Terra di Siena festival, having also appeared at such festivals as Music@Menlo, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, Norway’s Risør Festival, Germany’s Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Beethovenfest, and England’s Aldeburgh Festival, Bath Festival, and International Piano Series. An accomplished chamber musician, he regularly collaborates with his wife, pianist Lucille Chung, superstar violinist Joshua Bell, Berlin Philharmonic principals Daishin Kashimoto and Emmanuel Pahud, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where he is an alum of The Bowers Program. He recently recorded Italian Inspirations, his 11th recording for Signum Classics, whose program was also the vehicle for his solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y. He also recently undertook Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano at CMS and on a forthcoming Signum Classics release with Paul Watkins of the Emerson String Quartet. At age 14, Mr. Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe, he moved to the US in 1994.
Violinist/violist Ida Kavafian just recently retired after 35 successful years as artistic director of Music from Angel Fire, the renowned festival in New Mexico. She leaves a legacy of over 40 world premieres commissioned by the festival. Her close association with The Curtis Institute continues with her large and superb class, the endowment of her faculty chair by former Curtis Board President Baroness Nina von Maltzahn, and the awarding of the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, which is presented in recognition of outstanding service in stimulating and guiding Curtis students. In addition to her solo engagements, she continues to perform with her piano quartet, OPUS ONE and Trio Valtorna. Co-founder of those ensembles as well as Tashi and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival (which she ran for ten years), she has toured and recorded with the Guarneri, Orion, Shanghai, and American string quartets; as a member of the Beaux Arts Trio for six years; and with such artists as Chick Corea, Mark O'Connor, and Wynton Marsalis. A graduate of The Juilliard School, where she studied with Oscar Shumsky, she was presented in her debut by Young Concert Artists. Ms. Kavafian and her husband, violist Steven Tenenbom, have also found success outside of music in the breeding, training, and showing of champion Vizsla dogs, including the 2003 Number One Vizsla All Systems in the US and the 2007 National Champion. She has performed with the Chamber Music Society since 1973.
The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by the New York Times, which also noted his “architect's eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.” Recent highlights include performances as soloist with the Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus, Oregon, Sarasota, Virginia, New Haven, Hawaii, Portland, Omaha, California, and Jacksonville symphonies, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and A Far Cry, and recitals at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Caramoor, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Phillips Collection. He also served as a guest concertmaster of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has appeared at festivals including Marlboro, Music@Menlo, ChamberFest Cleveland, Bridgehampton, Festival Napa Valley, Kronberg, Portland, Lake Champlain, Prussia Cove, Ravinia, and Yellow Barn, and is a member of CMS's Bowers Program. He has been profiled by Strings magazine and the New York Times, written for The Strad, and has been featured on Performance Today, WQXR-NY’s Young Artists Showcase, and WFMT Chicago. Born in Palo Alto, California, Mr. Kenney received an artist diploma from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. Previous teachers include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong. He plays a violin made in London by Stefan-Peter Greiner in 2009.
Violinist/violist Yura Lee is a multifaceted musician, as a soloist and as a chamber musician, and one of the very few that is equally virtuosic on both violin and viola. She has performed with major orchestras including those of New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She has given recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. At age 12, she became the youngest artist ever to receive the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the Performance Today awards given by National Public Radio. She is the recipient of a 2007 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first prize winner of the 2013 ARD Competition. She has received numerous other international prizes, including top prizes in the Mozart, Indianapolis, Hannover, Kreisler, Bashmet, and Paganini competitions. Her CD Mozart in Paris, with Reinhard Goebel and the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, received the prestigious Diapason d’Or Award. As a chamber musician, she regularly takes part in the festivals of Marlboro, Salzburg, Verbier, and Caramoor. Her main teachers included Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Thomas Riebl, Ana Chumachenko, and Nobuko Imai. An alum of CMS's Bowers Program, Ms. Lee is on the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music.
Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique, and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a two-time Grammy nominee, she was the first wind player to participate in CMS’s Bowers Program. She regularly appears at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto Festival USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Banff Centre, Rockport Music, Bay Chamber Concerts, Manchester Music Festival, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. She is the newly appointed co-artistic director of the Music From Angel Fire Festival in New Mexico. She is a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape, the legendary Bach Aria Group, and is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble. She has premiered hundreds of new works and has collaborated with the Orion String Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet, and Emerson Quartet. She has appeared on A&E's Breakfast for the Arts, Live from Lincoln Center and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Bridge Records. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, she is an associate professor at Purchase College. Additionally, she is on the faculty of Bard College, Manhattan School of Music, and is a visiting artist at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
Violinist Daniel Phillips enjoys a versatile career as a chamber musician, solo artist, and teacher. A graduate of Juilliard, his major teachers were his father, Eugene Phillips, Ivan Galamian, Sally Thomas, Nathan Milstein, Sandor Vegh, and George Neikrug. He is a founding member of the Orion String Quartet, which performs regularly at the Chamber Music Society. Available on recording are the complete quartets of Beethoven and Leon Kirchner. Since winning the 1976 Young Concert Artists Competition, he has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Pittsburgh, Boston, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Yakima symphonies. He appears regularly at the Spoleto USA Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Chesapeake Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, has participated in the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall, England since its inception, and recently returned to the Marlboro Music Festival. He has served on the faculty of the Heifetz Institute and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar at Stanford. He was a member of the renowned Bach Aria Group, and has toured and recorded in a string quartet for Sony with Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, and Yo-Yo Ma. A judge in the 2018 Seoul International Violin Competition and the 2019 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, he is a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Bard College Conservatory, and The Juilliard School. He lives with his wife, flutist Tara Helen O'Connor, on Manhattan's upper west side.
Program notes by Laura Keller, CMS Editorial Manager
© 2021 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
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Archive of Livestream Concerts
CMA was a supporting sponsor of two livestream concerts in June 2020.
The first of these was a performance by cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Natasha Paremski on June 20, 2020. To view an archival video of the livestream, click here.
The second livestream concert, on June 26, 2020, featured clarinetist Anthony McGill. To view an archival video of this livestream, click here.
A Lost Season
By the time the pandemic struck in the early Spring of 2020, Chamber Music Albuquerque had already planned an outstanding schedule of concerts for our 2020-2021 season.
We had planned to open our season with a solo performance by the extraordinary classical guitarist Sharon Isbin in September; violinist Ida Kavafian, pianist Gilles Vonsattel and French horn player David Jolley performing as the Trio Valtorna in November; the Shanghai String Quartet in March; soprano Dawn Upshaw performing English consort music with the Brentano String Quartet in April; and David Finckel, cello, with Wu Han, piano, in June. We were looking forward to 2020-2021 season, our 79th, as one of our most exciting ever.
As we enter the 2021-2022 concert season, we are heartened at the prospect of a return to live concerts. Please check our site frequently for updates on our concert presentations.