Orchestra Roster, About Our Soloist, and Program Notes
for May 18, 2003 Musica Bella Concert
Concert No. 7
Conductors: First four pieces: Dr. Robert Radmer
Last three pieces: Phillip Gaskill
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew
FIRST ANNUAL CONCERTO CONCERT
Ludwig van Beethoven: Romance No. 2 in F, Op. 50
Jean Park, violin
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 1 in D, K. 412 (386b)
Meryl Koenig, horn
Jules Massenet: Meditation from Thaïs
Andrew Wise, violin
Bohuslav Martinu: Oboe Concerto
Thomas Crane, oboe
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Trumpets
Jason Covey and Joshua Goldstein, trumpets
Antonio Rosetti: Grand Concerto for Two Horns in F, Murray C60
Bill Hinson and Christophe Gillet, horns
Pablo de Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
Hubert Chen, violin
Michelle Des Roches, principal second violin
Uli Speth, concertmaster
Roman Nikolaev, principal
Linda Harrison, principal
James Mark Pedersen
Bill Nealon, principal
Lorena De Jesus
Manager Anahit Harutyunyan-Gaskill
Music Director/Conductor Phillip Gaskill
Associate Music Director/Associate Conductor Dr. Robert Radmer
|ABOUT OUR SOLOISTS
Jean Park, violin, hails originally from Boston, where she performed extensively in numerous venues as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member. Her principal teachers include Bo Youp Hwang and Amnon Levy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While in high school, she won a number of local youth concerto competitions, performing Beethoven, Khachaturian, and Bruch No. 2 violin concertos. She was also concertmaster of the Greater Boston Youth Symphony and Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestras. In college, she studied chamber music with Robert Merfeld and toured Brazil in the summer of 2000 as a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. Having graduated from Harvard in June 2001 with an A.B. magna cum laude in economics, she now works as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs and enjoys playing chamber music in her spare time.
Meryl Koenig, horn, completed her master’s degree in horn performance in May 2002 at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. Prior to her study at BU, she received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in music history and theory. While at Penn, she won the University’s Concerto Competition. She performed Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 1 for an audience of 900 people at the Zellerbach Auditorium. In Boston, she performed with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Meloria Woodwind Quintet. She is an alumnus of the New York Youth Symphony. In the spring of 2000 she performed the Beethoven Horn Sonata at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as part of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Progam. She recently moved back to New York City. Her principal teachers include soloist Eric Ruske, Michelle Baker of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Erik Ralske of the New York Philharmonic, and Jeffry Kirschen of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She performs on an original Geyer horn from the 1950s. Meryl is also a newly inducted member and scholarship recipient of the Pen and Brush Club of New York, a women's art society.
Andrew Wise, violin, appears regularly in recital and orchestral performances in the United States and Europe. Concertmaster of the Greenwich Village Orchestra in New York City, he has also appeared with the Lincoln Center Festival, Sarasota Opera, Spoleto USA and AIMS in Graz, Austria. Recent performance highlights include an evening of Irish traditional music at Merkin Concert Hall with tenor Patrick Lynch and an on-stage solo in Opera Northeast’s production of The Merry Widow at the Belleayre Music Festival with Conductor Stephen Crawford of The Metropolitan Opera.
Actively involved in new music, he is co-founder of Catapult, and recently recorded Harvey Sollberger’s virtuoso work for violin and flute “Met Him Pike Hoses” for a compilation CD of the composer’s work that is scheduled for release in 2003. Catapult will record composer Laura Swendinger’s work “Magic Carpet Ride” in the fall of 2002.
Exploring the world of bluegrass music, Mr. Wise appears with “Sylvia and the Five-Dollar Hats” at venues in New York City, where he also has been seen as an actor at the off-Broadway Gloria Maddox Theatre in productions of The Wonder, Our Town, and The Three Sisters.
Mr. Wise studies acting at the T. Schrieber Studios and holds a BM from the University of Michigan and an MM from the Mannes College of Music. He has coached with Todd Phillips, Patricia Spencer, Thea Musgrove and Madeline Shapiro.
Mr. Wise is the associate concertmaster of the Musica Bella Orchestra.
Thomas Crane, oboe, has played with the New York Kammermusiker and Cornucopia as both oboist and pianist, and has served as composer and arranger for both groups. He is also the former principal oboe of the Alexandria (Virginia) Symphony Orchestra, and has played with a variety of musical organizations in the New York area, including the Performers’ Committee/Continuum and the Federal Music Society Orchestra. He studied oboe with Richard White, Harry Shulman and Albert Goltzer, and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in composition from Columbia University. He has taught on the faculties of Fordham University, the City University of New York, and the Dalton School. He was the music director of the United Methodist Church of Sea Cliff (Long Island) from 1973 to 1986 where, in addition to the standard repertoire, they performed works by Stravinsky, Ives, Barber, Bloch, and Gesualdo.
Joshua Goldstein, trumpet, received his B.M. from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he was a scholarship student of Roy Poper, and his M.M. from the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Raymond Mase as a graduate assistant. Joshua is a Kenan Fellow at Lincoln Center Institute, and serves as a member of the trumpet faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music in Manhattan. He has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony. While a student at the Aspen Music Festival and School, he performed with the Aspen Chamber Symphony and the Aspen Festival Orchestra with conductors David Zinman, David Robinson, James DePriest, and Alan Gilbert. At the Aspen Festival he also took part in reading sessions with the American Brass Quintet. He has appeared as a soloist thoughout France and Italy, performing Copland’s Quiet City with the North Carolina School of the Arts Festival Orchestra under the direction of Serge Zehnacker. He has been a featured soloist with the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina, where he has held the position of acting principal, and third trumpet. As part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s education department, Joshua has given hundreds of young people in the Los Angeles Unified School District their first encounters with classical music.
Jason Covey, trumpet, a native of South Haven, Michigan, began his trumpet studies at the age of ten. In the thirteen years since, he has become equally comfortable with playing in an orchestra, jazz band, and chamber ensemble or as a soloist.
While studying with Scott Thornburg at Western Michigan University, he performed regularly with the Kalamazoo, Midland, West Shore, Battle Creek, and South Bend (IN) Symphony Orchestras. In his first two years at WMU, he also had the privilege of performing and recording with the Grammy-nominated Western Michigan University Jazz Orchestra.
In 2000, he was a finalist in the National Fischoff Chamber Competition as a member of the Inetu Lits Brass Quintet. Also in 2000, he won the school’s concerto competition and performed the Tomasi Concerto with the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra.
He has attended the Aspen Music Festival and most recently spent a summer as a member of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado. Since moving to New York City in 2001, he has performed with the Richmond (VA) Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Camerata New York, and the New York Chamber Symphony. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School where he studies with Raymond Mase.
Christophe Gillet, horn, was principal horn of the Columbia University Orchestra and the New York Youth Symphony; was a member of the National Guild Youth Symphony and The Chautauqua Youth Symphony; and was a founding member of Columbia’s Bach Society. He was a finalist in both the Enrico Fermi and Sarah Lawrence Concerto Competitions, and was awarded the Westchester Music Teacher’s Scholarship, Columbia’s Dolon Prize for excellence in Music, and The Brook and Rappaport fellowship to study at the Brevard Music Festival. He has studied with Bill Purvis of Juilliard, Scott Temple of the New York City Opera, and Karen Froehlich.
Bill Hinson, horn, is a native of St. Louis, and studied with the principal horn players of both the St. Louis and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. He played for the St. Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin before leaving St. Louis to pursue a masters degree in accounting. Since arriving in New York, he has served as soloist at the 92nd Street Y, where he was winner of the Mozart concerto competition, as well as other regional orchestral, opera, and chamber organizations. Since 1992 he has played horn with the Gotham Winds, one of the city’s leading woodwind quintets. Previous to this, he played solo horn with the Proteus Chamber Group and was a regular performer with the 92nd Street Y Chamber Players.
Hubert Chen, violin, a native New Yorker, began lessons at 4. He was accepted into the Juilliard School pre-college division at the age of 9, studying violin with Margaret Pardee, and chamber music with Mark Steinberg, of the Brentano String Quartet. Hubert earned his B.A. in Music at the State University of New York, College at Geneseo where he studied violin with Laura Balkin and chamber music with Richard Balkin, a former member of the Kronos Quartet. He is currently active as a freelance musician, recently backing up Funk/Motown groups such as the Ebonys, Barbara Mason, and Heatwave. In addition, he is a current member of Anti-Social Music, the New York Repertory Orchestra, and the Spirit Quartet. Please come see his quartet here on June 1st. The Schubert is coached by Cal Wiersma of the Manhattan String Quartet.
The Romance in F Major, Op. 50 (1798) of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is a wordless song for solo violin accompanied by orchestra. The very leisurely Adagio cantabile tempo allows the soloist a great deal of expressive freedom to inflect the essentially vocal line with emotional nuances of rhythm and articulation. A lovely melody grows from the very first bar, written in a florid yet still singable style. A bit of an orchestral outburst is answered by a flourish of embellishment in the solo line, and the following restatement of the opening theme shows itself again as if delivering a second verse. A trumpet-like fanfare ushers in a minor-mode second section accompanied with a hint of agitation in the orchestra, but shortly we arrive firmly back at another statement of the opening theme. After a sweet, brief flurry of scales from the soloist, the piece ends quietly.
The Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) is chronologically the last of his four horn concertos. Left incomplete when he died, it was finished by his student Franz Sussmayr. It is in two movements: an opening Allegro in sonata form, and a concluding Rondo featuring a hunting-horn tune in a 6/8 dance rhythm. The first movement features an expansive theme presented first in the orchestra and answered by the horn’s entrance. The relationship between orchestra and soloist is one of charming personalities engaged in delightful discussion. The finale places the Rondo theme over a scurrying accompaniment. Each appearance of the theme is separated by episodes of light-hearted interplay between the large group and the soloist. This dialogue continues through to the last satisfying bars.
Jules Massenet (1842-1912) was the foremost composer of French opera for 35 years around the turn of the 20th century, prolifically turning out 25 operas at a consistently high level. Thaïs, written in 1894, is based on a novel by Anatole France. It is set in Egypt, and intertwines the religious fervor of the Catholic Copts with the erotic passion of the “exotic” middle East. The Meditation opens the third act of the opera, and it symbolizes the awakening moral and sexual consciousness of the opera’s heroine, Thaïs.
Born in Bohemia, trained as a violinist, Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) was perhaps the most prolific 20th century composer. He wrote in all genres, creating masterpieces in opera, symphony, chamber music, and song. Though not part of a particular school of composition, he incorporated all available techniques into a personal, identifiable style by fusing folk idioms with classical forms and modern sonorities. His oboe concerto was written in 1955 while he was visiting Paris. It is in three movements, and places the soloist in a virtuosic competition with a small orchestra (with a piano in a significant role). The first movement is a gently swaying Moderato, but Martinu uses brilliant orchestration and pointed counter-rhythms to create an energetic, fanfare-like introduction to a calmly falling line in the solo voice. In the ensuing dialogue the composer alternates rich sonorities with transparent textures above which the oboe rides in a joyous, dance-like style. The second movement is a meditative interlude between the energetic outer movements, in which a placid introduction gives way to a free-form statement by the oboe. The quiet mood returns, and the oboe is given an extended moment of unconstrained lyricism, to be joined once again by the orchestra in a calm conclusion. The third movement is an effervescent display of rhythmic and tonal fireworks over the foundation of a constant eighth-note pulse.
Antonio Vivaldi (1678?-1741) has been called “the most original and influential Italian composer of his generation.” The success of his formal, tonal, technical, and orchestral ideas is indicated by the vast number of his imitators during the first half of the 18th century. The concerto in C Major for two trumpets is in his usual three-movement format of Fast-Slow-Fast, although here the middle movement is only long enough to give the soloists a moment’s rest. The two trumpet parts are equal in brilliance and range. They are deployed in long strings of solo playing in alternation, in orchestral colorings and punctuation, and in solo passages of parallel harmony. The work was meant to be heard in the spacious acoustic chamber of a vaulted church and is an ideal match for our St. Paul and St. Andrew’s concert hall.
Antonio Rosetti (1750-1792) was born Anton Rosler in Bohemia, but Italianized his name in the fashion of musicians of the time. He worked in a succession of courts in Germany and Austria, achieving a measure of fame across Europe in the genres of symphony, church, and chamber music. Some 100 of his works were published in his lifetime, and his more than 400 known works include five concertos for two horns. Tonight’s work, the Grand Concerto for Two Horns and Orchestra in F Major (C60), is in the usual three-movement form of Fast-Slow-Fast. The first movement is a dialogue between the two soloists (generally playing together) and the orchestra. Occasionally the soloists trade off passages in some brilliant dueling, and the movement closes with a sustained section of rapid passage-work in the horns. The second movement is set in the somber key of f minor. Here the horns are entrusted with all of the thematic material while the orchestra simply accompanies. Movement three is an example of the classical rondo—a tune keeps reappearing in its original form, but alternates with unrelated material. It is the ideal structure to appreciate Rosetti’s charm and wit.
Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) was born in the Basque region of Spain, and achieved international fame as “the ideal embodiment of the salon violin virtuoso.” Composers such as Bruch, Lalo, Dvorak, and Saint-Saëns dedicated masterpieces to him. He created works for himself to showcase his tremendous technique and his passionate style of playing. Zigeunerweisen (“Gypsy Airs”) is in his typical form—a slow, improvisatory first section followed by a fast concluding section. The piece displays many of the tricks of the salon violinist’s trade: melodies performed upon a single string, rapid flourishes embellishing a melody, passages played by sliding a single finger (glissando), plucking (pizzicato) with both the right and left hand, extremes of range, and others. These technical details arise naturally from the desire to excite the listener and to unleash the emotions of the performer. This is violin playing for the sheer joy of it.
—Program notes by Robert Radmer