The Evnin Rising Stars program is an incubator for leaders in classical music performance. Along with Pamela Frank, distinguished artist/mentors cellist Timothy Eddy and pianist Gilbert Kalish work alongside a new generation of outstanding young instrumentalists on the great masterworks of the chamber music repertoire. The culmination of this week of intense collaboration and musical discovery is an opportunity for the public to witness musicians on their way to becoming legends themselves.
Pamela Frank, violin
Timothy Eddy, cello
Gilbert Kalish, piano
Evnin Rising Stars
Benjamin Baker, violin
Rubén Rengel, violin
Tatjana Roos, violin
Luosha Fang, viola
Zoë Martin-Doike, viola
Alexander Hersh, cello
Coleman Itzkoff, cello
Haydn String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1, Hob.III:75 Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80 — Intermission — Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57
Benjamin Baker, a New Zealand native, has moved audiences around the world with his musicianship. His playing has been described as having “expressive colour” and “sonorous presence” (Beethoven Society of Europe).
After winning First Prize and additional performances prizes at the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Benjamin Baker claimed third prize at the 2017 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. This season marks his first tour in the United States with debut recitals on the 2017–2018 Young Concert Artists Series at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, sponsored by the Peter Jay Sharp Prize.
His 2017–2018 tour continues with recitals at the Port Washington Library, Haydn’s Ferry Chamber Music Series, Jewish Community Alliance, and at the Levine School of Music, where he will also give master classes. Benjamin Baker frequently partners with YCA pianist Daniel Lebhardt, with whom he also tours South America this season. Other engagements abroad include concerts in the UK, China, and in Germany’s Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, as well as concerto performances with The Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra, and the Salomon Orchestra.
Benjamin Baker won First Prize at the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and has since received further awards, performed with ensembles around the world, and been a part of numerous mentoring programs.
In 2016, Mr. Baker was a Fellow at the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. In 2015, he made his first CD for Champs Hill Records, which includes Beethoven’s Sonata No. 2 in A major, Kreisler’s Three Old Viennese Dances, and Strauss’ Sonata in E flat, Op. 18. The CD was featured on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, as well as reaching #22 on the charts in the week of release. He won representation with London’s Young Classical Artists Trust in 2013 and First Prize at the Windsor Festival International String Competition.
Mr. Baker has appeared as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Salisbury Festival, the Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead, Wales’ Sinfonia Cymru, the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese L’Aquila in Italy, the Maui Pops Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia. He has taken part in festivals across Europe and the United Kingdom as well.
By popular demand, Benjamin has returned to New Zealand to play concerts and appear on radio and TV. For his devotion to charities for children, Mr. Baker is grateful to be an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Port Nicholson.
Currently a resident of London, Mr. Baker studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the Royal College of Music with Natasha Boyarsky and Felix Andrievsky, the latter at which he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl graduation prize. He plays a Tononi violin (1709) on generous loan.
Winner of the 2018 Annual Sphinx Competition, Venezuelan violinist Rubén Rengel began his violin studies at age of three at the National System of Youth Orchestras of Venezuela, known more commonly as “El Sistema.” After a few years, Mr. Rengel’s early education continued at the Emil Friedman Conservatory and School in Caracas, Venezuela, where he studied with Maestro Iván Pérez Núñez for eleven years. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, in Houston, TX under the guidance of Paul Kantor. He earned his bachelor degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) as a student of world-renowned violinist Jaime Laredo.
In addition to winning the Sphinx Competition, Mr. Rengel is the winner of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Concerto Competition in 2014, was a recipient of the Anna Y. Tringas Award for excellence in violin performance at CIM, and was the winner of the Juan Bautista Plaza National Violin Competition of Venezuela.
As a soloist, he has appeared both in the U.S. and in Venezuela with notable conductors, in appearances with the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Virtuosi de Caracas, Filarmonía Caracas, and Arcos Juveniles de Caracas. He has also had the opportunity to perform at the Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas as a soloist, at the Kennedy Center as a representative of CIM, and at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra Seminar as well as on tour with the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Rengel has been Concertmaster of the New York Orchestra Seminar, the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, and Assistant Concertmaster of the Aspen Festival Orchestra.
Rubén Rengel is also an avid chamber musician. He is a member of the Autana Trio, Bronze medal winners at the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He has also received numerous fellowships to attend notable chamber music festivals, including the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop and the Aspen Music Festival and School. Some of his chamber music coaches include Itzhak Perlman and Caramoor Evnin Rising Star mentors Donald Weilerstein and Peter Wiley, to name a few. In master classes, he has worked with such notables as the Brentano Quartet, Quatuor Ébène, Leon Fleisher, and the Miró Quartet.
In addition to a strong interest in conducting and classical music, Mr. Rengel has extensive experience performing Venezuelan folk music and jazz. This has allowed him to develop important abilities in the area of improvisation, and allowed him to record and tour with distinguished Venezuelan ensembles.
The fourth generation of a musical family, Tatjana Roos was born in London in 1997 and began playing the violin when she was three. She was admitted to London’s Royal Academy of Music (Junior Department) where, at age seven, she recorded Massenet’s Meditation for an installation art exhibition by Turner Prize-winner, Gillian Wearing. Ms. Roos later lived in Singapore for three years. It was during this time that she enjoyed her first solo opportunity with orchestra at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory where she played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
In 2008, she gained entry to the Yehudi Menuhin School, where she studied with Professor Natasha Boyarsky. After a few years of study, her efforts resulted in a First Prize at the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy. As a teen, Ms. Roos was accepted to be a pupil of Professor Boris Kuschnir, dividing her time between Vienna for her musical studies at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Graz and Surrey for her academic studies. She later took on additional violin studies with Professor Boris Kucharsky at Junior Guildhall in London. After many years of study in Europe, in 2015 Ms. Roos won a President’s Distinction Award Scholarship to study at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Professor Miriam Fried.
Tatjana Roos continues to compete on the international circuit. She is a multiple prize-winner at competitions including Tunbridge Wells (UK) and Henri Marteau (Germany), was the semi-finalist at the 2018 Singapore International Violin Competition, and was the winner of the Manfred Grommek Prize at Kronberg Academy (Germany).
Her extensive concerto repertoire is complemented with frequent travel to international music festivals, including Verbier Festival Academy (Switzerland), IMS Prussia Cove (UK), Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival (USA), and Ravinia Steans Music Institute (USA). She has enjoyed chamber music and classes with numerous master musicians, most recently with Menahem Pressler, Ana Chumachenco, Midori Goto, and Evnin Rising Stars mentors Pamela Frank and Kim Kashkashian.
Additional recent performances include concertos with The City Chamber Ensemble (UK) and the Odessa National Opera Theatre Orchestra (Ukraine), and the Mellon Chamber Music Festival in Davis (USA), and recital performances in London this past summer with pianist Yundu Wang. Looking forward, Ms. Roos will present her Grommek Prize recital in Bad Soden (Germany) and will appear with cellist Eunghee Cho and the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra in California performing the Brahms Double Concerto for violin and cello.
Thanks to the generous support of a London benefactor and by kind arrangement with Florian Leonhard Fine Violins, Tatjana Roos plays a G.B. Guadagnini violin (“ex-Kavakos”) made in Turin, c. 1785.
Violinist and violist Luosha Fang brings her adventurous spirit to music ranging from canonical repertoire to world premieres. As a violinist, she has performed as soloist with the Albany Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, and the West Virginia Symphony. She was a winner of Astral Artists’ 2013 National Auditions and the S&R Foundation’s 2015 Washington Award. As a violist, she won 1st Prize in the 2018 Tokyo International Viola Competition, performing Paul Hindemith’s “Der Schwanendreher” concerto with the New Japan Philharmonic and subsequently touring in Japan with Antoine Tamestit and Nobuko Imai. She will return in 2019 for Bartok’s Viola Concerto with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, in 2020 for Toshio Hosokawa’s Viola Concerto with the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, and will perform at the Tokyo “Viola Space” festivals in 2019 and 2020.
Other recent performance highlights include Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and appearances in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Suzhou Royal Chamber Orchestra in China (violin soloist) and at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid (viola soloist). She is a frequent performer at Bard Music West (San Francisco) and Krzyżowa-Music (Poland), and she worked most recently with Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, and Steven Isserlis at the Kronberg Academy’s “Chamber Music Connects the World” project. In 2019, she will appear with the “Musicians from Marlboro” tour as both violinist and violist.
As a violist, Luosha Fang won 1st Prize in the 2018 Tokyo International Viola Competition, performing Paul Hindemith’s “Der Schwanendreher” concerto with the New Japan Philharmonic.
Ms. Fang has a strong interest in championing contemporary works. She recorded George Tsontakis’s double violin concerto “Unforgettable” with the Albany Symphony Orchestra for release on NAXOS Records, and she worked closely with composer Krzysztof Penderecki in preparation for a 2014 Carnegie Hall performance of his Sextet. She premiered Chinese composer Shen Yiwen’s violin concerto “Mulan” with the American Symphony Orchestra and has commissioned a solo violin work by Michael Djupstrom, “Lautar.”
As a chamber musician, Ms. Fang was awarded the Silver Medal at the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition as the first violinist of the Chimeng Quartet, of which she was a founding member. She has appeared in leading venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and the Library of Congress, and her festival appearances include Marlboro, Ravinia, Norfolk, Aspen, Kneisel Hall, Music from Angel Fire, Incontri in Terra di Siena, and Bard. She has worked with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Nobuko Imai, Bruno Canino, Cynthia Raim, Benita Valente, Marina Piccinini, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, Paul Katz, Hsin-Yun Huang, Roberto Diaz, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard string quartets. In addition, she has been a guest artist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Fang made her debut at age eight in her native China with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, and at sixteen moved to the USA on a scholarship to the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ida Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt. After graduating from Bard with degrees in violin and Russian Studies, she attended the Curtis Institute of Music as a violin student of Ida Kavafian and Shmuel Ashkenasi. At this time, she began viola studies with with Steven Tenenbom, and in 2016, she entered the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid as a viola student of Nobuko Imai.
Always in pursuit of new artistic frontiers, Ms. Fang has also collaborated with the Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She studied acting and theater at Bard College and the University of Pennsylvania. Fang plays on a Pietro Guarneri violin made in 1734 and a Dominique Peccatte bow kindly loaned by Dr. Ryuji Ueno.
Zoë Martin-Doike, from Honolulu, Hawaii is a versatile artist who enjoys a variety of musical roles. Passionate about chamber music, Ms. Martin-Doike was a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet, which was a prizewinner at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International Quartet Competition and was selected as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet in Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.
Last summer, she attended the Steans Music Institute at Ravinia and joined them on their East Coast tour in the spring with director Miriam Fried. Zoë Martin-Doike has also attended the Marlboro Music Festival. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Pamela Frank and Steven Tenenbom, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she is double majoring in violin and viola under the tutelage of Mimi Zweig and Atar Arad.
Since making his Symphony Hall debut with the Boston Pops in 2015, cellist Alexander Hersh has quickly established himself as a rising young talent. Upcoming season highlights include a Carnegie Weill Hall debut, a “Three-generation” Hersh Trio performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto for the opening night of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s 40th anniversary season, a performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, as well as recital and chamber music appearances in New York, Boston, and Chicago.
Alexander Hersh performs frequently throughout the US, Canada, and across Europe. He has received numerous awards both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, including first prizes at the: 2017 New York International Artists Association Competition, 2017 Luminarts Classical Music Fellowship, the 2016 Schadt String Competition, 2016 Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition, the 2016 Hellam Young Artist Competition, 2015 Boston Pops/New England Conservatory Competition, Society of American Musicians, the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, the Jules M. Laser National Chamber Music Competition, the Chicago National Chamber Music Competition, and is a three-time winner of the New England Conservatory Honors Competition.
The Musiq3 critics of the RTBF Belgian Radio company gave Hersh’s performance at the inaugural Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in Belgium in 2017 a rave review: “The evening session allowed us to hear the American Alexander Hersh (23 years old) on the already well-filled list. With his scenic presence and charm, Hersh has everything to become the darling of the public. Add to that a powerful sound mixed with a varied palette, and you get a certain semi-finalist, or even more.”
In March of 2017, Hersh won the Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award and performed with the ensemble in Jordan Hall. He also curated his own chamber music concert at the 53rd Street New York Public Library, “Alexander Hersh and Friends.”
A passionate chamber musician, Hersh has performed the complete string quartets of Béla Bartok and Alban Berg and much of the rest of the chamber music canon in music festivals worldwide including: Music@Menlo, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Amsterdam Cello Biennale, Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses, Olympic Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, Domaine Forget, New York String Orchestra Seminar, National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme, and the Meadowmount School of Music. In the Summer of 2014, he served as principal cellist for the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland.
A 4th generation string player, Alexander’s parents, Stefan and Roberta, are both active professional violinists. His grandfather, Paul Hersh, is a professor of viola and piano at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his great-grandfather, Ralph Hersh, was a member of the WQXR and Stuyvesant String Quartets, and principal violist of the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.
Raised in Chicago, Alexander Hersh began playing the cello at the age of 5. He studied with Steve Balderston and Hans Jørgen Jensen and attended the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago. As a high school student, Hersh was heard twice on NPR’s “From the Top,” and performed as soloist with the Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, and the Oak Park River River Forest Symphony Orchestra. Hersh received his B.M. from New England Conservatory with academic honors where he was a student of Laurence Lesser and recipient of the Clara M. Friedlaender Scholarship. In May of 2017, he received his M.M. from New England Conservatory where he studied under the tutelage of Paul Katz and Kim Kashkashian. Hersh is a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe fund for studies in Europe during the 2017–2018 academic year. He plays a G.B. Rogeri cello on generous loan from a sponsor through Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins in Chicago, IL.
Hailed by the Alex Ross and The New Yorker for his “flawless technique and keen musicality,” cellist Coleman Itzkoff enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Coleman was born into a musical family — both parents are professional violinists. Principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony, Eric Kim, was Coleman’s first primary teacher. Further studies have included his undergraduate work with Desmond Hoebig at the Shepherd School (Rice University, Houston, TX) and more recently he achieved his Master’s degree at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music while a member of the studio of Ralph Kirshbaum.
Gold Medalist in the 2017 International Berliner Music Competition, Coleman was a multiple prize winner at the 2016 Irving Klein Competition and in the 2016 Boulder International Chamber Music Competition. He has also taken prizes at the Fischoff, Johansen, Blount Slawson, and Young Texas Artist Competitions. In January 2013, Coleman was a featured guest artist for a weeklong residency on NPR’s Performance Today, recording interviews with host Fred Child and a full recital program. He has been guest soloist with numerous orchestras across the nation. A recent career highlight was his acclaimed Walt Disney Concert Hall concerto debut, performing the epic cello solo in “Heaven, Earth and Mankind” by Tan Dun.
Aside from his performing career, Coleman is a devoted and dynamic educator and communicator, teaching and performing outreach concerts in schools, community centers, and hospitals around the county.
An avid chamber musician, Coleman has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Pamela Frank, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Cho-Liang Lin, David Finckel, Johannes Moser, James Dunham, John O’Connor, and Peter Frankl. Coleman is a regular performer at the Brooklyn concert series Bargemusic and has appeared at festivals around the country, including Aspen Music Festival and School, the International Heifetz Institute, La Jolla SummerFest, YellowBarn, Caramoor, and Music@Menlo. Coleman is also a passionate proponent of new music, and recently joined the newly founded ensemble, AMOC, the American Modern Opera Company.
In 2014, as a graduate student at the University of Southern California, Coleman was introduced to the Armenian-American pianist Alin Melik-Adamyan and a musical collaboration was born. The duo swiftly achieved success in their first local competition, the Beverly Hills National Auditions, subsequently making their debut in recital at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. This past November the duo traveled to Colorado for their first International competition, the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “The Art of Duo,” and, from an applicant pool of over 150 duos, were awarded Second Prize and the special prize for the commissioned work. Future Amicus Duo engagements include recital appearances in cities in Ohio, Colorado, and California.
Coleman holds a BM from Rice University and his Master’s Degree at the Thornton School of Music at USC under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum. He performs on a Paul Siefried bow on loan to him from the Maestro Foundation and on a 1740 Gennaro Gagliano Cello, generously loaned to him by the Amatius Foundation of Austin, TX.
American violinist Pamela Frank has established an outstanding international reputation across an unusually varied range of performing activity. In addition to her extensive schedule of engagements with prestigious orchestras throughout the world and her recitals on the leading concert stages, she is regularly sought after as a chamber music partner by today’s most distinguished soloists and ensembles. The breadth of this accomplishment and her consistently high level of musicianship were recognized in 1999 with the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists.
Ms. Frank has appeared with such orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Vienna Symphony. She has performed under many esteemed conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin and, most regularly, Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman. She appears often at numerous festivals in Europe and the United States, including Aldeburgh, Berlin, Blossom, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, the Hollywood Bowl, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Tanglewood, and Verbier.
Pamela Frank has served as Artistic Director of Evnin Rising Stars since 2008 and has continued to be an important figure in chamber music education.
Her passion for chamber music continues to find a variety of outlets. Her frequent collaborators, drawn from a large group of chamber music colleagues, include Yo-Yo Ma and Tabea Zimmermann. For many years she took part in the Marlboro Festival in Vermont as well as the subsequent Music from Marlboro tours. Ms. Frank has also participated in several of the Isaac Stern chamber music seminars at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Centre as part of a group of performer-colleagues assisting Mr. Stern. Ms. Frank also took part in the Leon Fleisher classes at Carnegie Hall, as well as her own, when they were ongoing.
In the recording studio, Pamela Frank has made two discs for London/Decca: the Dvorak Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and the Brahms Sonatas with Peter Serkin. She has also recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos with David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra (Arte Nova), a Schubert album with Claude Frank (Arte Nova), and the Beethoven sonata cycle, also with Claude Frank (MusicMasters), now available as a complete set on three discs. For Sony Classical, she has recorded the Chopin Piano Trio with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, the “Trout” Quintet, and is featured on the soundtrack to the film Immortal Beloved.
While committed to the standard repertoire, Ms. Frank also has an affinity for contemporary music, often including works by today’s composers on her programs. In March 1998 she gave the world premiere of a new concerto by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich commissioned for her by Carnegie Hall with Hugh Wolff and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In 1997, as part of her annual visit to Japan, Ms. Frank joined Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, and Richard Stoltzman at Toru Takemitsu’s Tokyo Opera City, playing works of Takemitsu and others. She has also premiered and recorded two works by Aaron Jay Kernis, a piano quartet (Still Movement with Hymn) and a piece for violin and orchestra (Lament and Prayer). A noted pedagogue, Pamela Frank presents master classes and adjudicates major competitions throughout the world. She is also on the faculties of Curtis Institute of Music and the Peabody Conservatory and teaches and coaches annually at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Ravinia, and Verbier Festivals as well as at several festivals in Europe. Pamela Frank frequents major festivals throughout North America and Europe, collaborating with artists that include Joshua Bell, Leonidas Kavakos, Christian Tetzlaff, Nobuko Imai, Antoine Tamestit, Stephen Isserlis, and Peter Wiley.
Born in New York City, Pamela Frank is the daughter of noted pianists Claude Frank and Lilian Kallir. She began her violin studies at age 5 and after 11 years as a pupil of Shirley Givens continued her musical education with Szymon Goldberg and Jaime Laredo. In 1985 she formally launched her career with the first of her four appearances with Alexander Schneider and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1988, she graduated the following year from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Pamela Frank is married to Howard Nelson, a physical therapist, and they make their home in the New York area.
Cellist Timothy Eddy has earned distinction as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher of cello and chamber music. He has performed as soloist with the Dallas, Colorado, Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Stamford symphonies, and has appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Aspen, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Lockenhaus, Spoleto, and Sarasota music festivals.
Eddy has also won prizes in numerous national and international competitions, including the 1975 Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition in Italy. He is a member of the Orion String Quartet, whose critically acclaimed recordings of the Beethoven string quartets are available on the Koch label. A former member of the Galimir Quartet, the New York Philomusica, and the Bach Aria Group, Mr. Eddy collaborates regularly in recital with pianist Gilbert Kalish.
He is a member of the Orion String Quartet, whose critically acclaimed recordings of the Beethoven string quartets are available on the Koch label.
He has recorded a wide range of repertoire from Baroque to avant-garde for The Angel, Arabesque, Columbia, CRI, Delos, Musical Heritage, New World, Nonesuch, Vanguard, Vox, and SONY Classical labels. He is currently professor of cello at The Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music, and he was a faculty member at the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall.
Gilbert Kalish, piano
The profound influence of pianist Gilbert Kalish as an educator and pianist in myriad performances and recordings has established him as a major figure in American music-making. A native New Yorker, Mr. Kalish studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford, and Isabelle Vengerova. He is a frequent guest artist with many of the world’s most distinguished chamber ensembles and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a pioneering new music group that flourished during the 1960’s and ’70’s. He is noted for his partnerships with other artists, including cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and, perhaps most memorably, his thirty-year collaboration with mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani.
Gilbert Kalish leads a musical life of unusual variety and breadth. As an educator, he is Leading Professor and Head of Performance Activities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1968-1997 he was a faculty member of the Tanglewood Music Center and served as the “Chairman of the Faculty” at Tanglewood from 1985-1997. He often serves as guest faculty at distinguished music institutions such as the Banff Centre and the Steans Institute at Ravinia and is renowned for his master class presentations.
Pianist Gilbert Kalish was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a pioneering new music group that flourished during the 1960’s and ’70’s and has since become a major figure in American music-making.
Mr. Kalish’s discography of some 100 recordings encompasses classical repertory, 20th Century masterworks, and new compositions. Of special note are his solo recordings of Charles Ives’ Concord Sonata and Sonatas of Joseph Haydn, an immense discography of vocal music with Jan DeGaetani and landmarks of the 20th Century by composers such as Carter, Crumb, Shapey, and Schoenberg. In 1995 he was presented with the Paul Fromm Award by the University of Chicago Music Department for distinguished service to the music of our time.
About the Music.
Program at a Glance
Spanning a century and a half, the three works on today’s program reflect varying musical styles, artistic temperaments, and personal and historical circumstances. Haydn was at the peak of his powers when he wrote his Op. 76 String Quartets in the mid-1790s. The six works are more or less contemporary with his oratorio The Creation and, like that late-blooming masterpiece, are notably adventurous in their handling of thematic material, harmony, texture, and timbre.
The cheeky playfulness of his G Major Quartet contrasts with the somber tone of Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in F Minor, prompted by the death of his beloved sister Fanny in 1847. Mendelssohn sublimated his grief in this powerful work, his last and arguably greatest piece of chamber music. That fall he played the quartet on the piano for his friend Ignaz Moscheles, who remarked, “The passionate character of the entire piece seems to me to be consistent with his deeply disturbed frame of mind.”
Fast-forward a century to the Soviet Union in the summer of 1940. Still in the grip of the Stalinist Terror, the beleaguered country was enjoying a brief respite from war thanks to its short-lived pact with Nazi Germany. Although resolutely apolitical, Shostakovich couldn’t insulate himself from the paranoia and anxiety that affected every echelon of Soviet society.
Like much of his music, the Piano Quintet veers from one stylistic and emotional extreme to another. In harmonizing these diverse and often discordant elements, the Russian composer created a highly personal musical language of extraordinary power and beauty.
String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No.1, Hob.III:75 (1797)
About the Composer
Charles Burney, the industrious chronicler of 18th-century music, lauded Haydn’s six Op. 76 Quartets as “full of invention, fire, good taste and new effects.” By the time the set was published in 1799, such tributes to Haydn’s seemingly inexhaustible creativity were commonplace. After the death of his long-time patron, Prince Nicolaus Esterházy, in 1790, the composer took out a new lease on life, spreading his artistic wings and writing in more extraverted, crowd-pleasing style that reflected the burgeoning public demand for his music. Nonetheless, “Papa” Haydn was beginning to slow down as he approached his seventh decade. “Every day the world compliments me on the fire of my recent works,” he remarked to his publisher, “but no one will believe the strain and effort it costs me to produce them.”
About the Work
Composed in the mid-1790s, the Op. 76 Quartets betray no sign of flagging energy, much less invention. As for Burney’s “good taste,” that quality had been a consistent hallmark of Haydn’s work from his earliest days. (The title page of the 1799 publication depicts the venerable composer consorting in the heavens with a pair of angels, one of whom is holding a laurel-wreath halo above his head.)
Poised between the Baroque exuberance of Bach and Vivaldi — both of whom were still going strong when Haydn was born in 1732 — and the nascent Romanticism of his pupil Beethoven, Haydn’s music reflects the Classical virtues of equilibrium, clarity, and seriousness of purpose, tempered with a high-spirited and often earthy sense of humor.
A Deeper Listen
Confident in his listeners’ sophistication, Haydn playfully thwarts our expectations at every turn in the G Major Quartet. After a three-chord flourish, the Allegro con spirito opens not with a boldly assertive “first-movement” theme but with a bouncy little tune that steals in quietly, almost apologetically, one voice at a time. The Adagio sostenuto is built around a serene, long-breathed melody in C major, alternating with stretches of florid passagework in which the first violin plays a subtly syncopated descant to pulsing sixteenth notes in the lower parts. Equally unconventional are the explosive fortissimo outbursts in the vigorous Minuetto. Haydn saves his best surprise for last: the Allegro ma non troppo opens portentously in G minor and stubbornly avoids returning “home” to G major until it has detoured through almost every other key imaginable.
String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80 (1847)
About the Composer
In 1845, having relinquished his official duties as general music director to the Prussian court in Berlin, the 39-year-old Mendelssohn “retired” to Frankfurt to spend time with his family and concentrate on composing. In turning down an invitation to come to the United States to conduct the recently formed New York Philharmonic Society, he explained that “my health has seriously suffered during the last year, and a journey like that to your country, which I would have been most happy to undertake some three or four years ago, is at present beyond my reach.” But Mendelssohn was constitutionally incapable of resting on his laurels. He soon resumed his hyperactive pace as a conductor, pianist, and administrator in demand throughout Europe. The last two years of his life saw the composition of such major works as the Violin Concerto, the String Quintet in B-flat Major, the oratorio Elijah, and the F Minor String Quartet, which many regard as his masterpiece.
About the Work
Mendelssohn wrote the last of his six mature string quartets in the wake of the death of his beloved sister Fanny on May 14, 1847. A gifted composer herself, at a time when most women were effectively barred from pursuing professional musical careers, Fanny had been her brother’s closest artistic confidante since childhood. Felix wrote to a friend that “she was present at all times, in every piece of music, and in everything that I could experience, good or evil.” While vacationing that summer in Switzerland, he assuaged his grief by immersing himself in work.
According to the English critic Henry Chorley, who visited him in Interlaken, Mendelssohn spoke enthusiastically of plans for a cantata and other large-scale vocal works. “I wanted to make something sharp and close and strict, so that church-music has quite suited me,” the composer explained. In September, only a few weeks before his own death, he put the finishing touches on the F Minor Quartet, which Chorley called “one of the most impassioned outpourings of sadness existing in instrumental music.”
A Deeper Listen
In some respects, the Op. 80 Quartet answers to the description “sharp and close and strict.” Never one to wear his heart on his sleeve, Mendelssohn channeled his sorrow into music that is closely argued and classically disciplined, and all the more moving for its balance and restraint. Slithering tremolos that give the opening Allegro vivace assai its ominously turbulent character are offset by a smoothly undulating major-key countermelody of great tenderness.
Here, sequential writing, the use of the same thematic material at different tonal levels, contributes to the sense of emotional intensity. In place of a conventionally lighthearted scherzo, he gives us a seething Allegro assai, characterized by harmonic instability and restless rhythms between triple and duple meters.
In the poignant Adagio, Mendelssohn comes closest to expressing pure grief. The signature motive, a mournful little tune first stated by the cello and spanning a falling fifth, is balanced later in the movement by a more hopeful melody that surges upward by thirds but never quite gets airborne. In repeating the falling motive just before the end, the cello surprises us by landing on C instead of the expected D-flat, leading to a tranquil cadence on A-flat major.
The final Allegro molto recalls the emotionally charged world of the first movement. This time, however, the thematic material is more compressed and fragmented. The main theme is not a melody but a syncopated rhythm, a terse short-long-short figure whose restless energy prevents the music from settling into a groove and propels it to an energetic stretto conclusion.
Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57 (1940)
About the Composer
Shostakovich occupies a special niche in the annals of 20th-century Russian music. Unlike Stravinsky and Prokofiev, he didn’t come of age before the Bolshevik Revolution and immerse himself in Western culture. And unlike younger composers such as Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina, he didn’t live to see the fall of the regime that had muzzled artistic expression under the banner of socialist realism. Outwardly a loyal Soviet citizen, he played an elaborate game of feint and attack with the authorities, cannily balancing his more abrasive, cutting-edge music with a stream of reassuringly patriotic and artistically conservative works. His output veers wildly between mordent satire (the opera The Nose and the ballet The Age of Gold), patriotic bombast (the Second Symphony and the symphonic poem October, both eulogizing the 1917 Revolution), and stark alienation (almost any of his 15 string quartets). Fundamentally tonal, but laced with dissonant harmonies and kinetic energy, Shostakovich’s music epitomizes the turbulent, existentialist spirit of W. H. Auden’s “Age of Anxiety.”
About the Work
The premiere of the Piano Quintet took place in Moscow on Nov. 23, 1940, with Shostakovich performing alongside the Beethoven Quartet. Although the work won the coveted Stalin Prize, the dictator was reportedly irked by the public’s enthusiastic response. Even the composer seemed bemused by his success, joking that he had written a piano quintet merely in order to “have the chance to perform myself and thereby travel on concert tours.” (In fact, not until after Stalin died in 1953 would Shostakovich be permitted to go abroad and establish contacts with Benjamin Britten and other Western composers.)
Yet the contradictions embodied in the Piano Quintet would never — perhaps could never — be resolved. A cellist who performed the work with Shostakovich in later years recalled that “we, the string players, wanted to ‘sing,’ to play with more emotion,” whereas the intensely private composer aimed for “emotional restraint” and accentuated the music’s “constructive, motor elements.”
A Deeper Listen
The dichotomy between “classical” discipline and raw, often discomfiting emotion is intrinsic to much of Shostakovich’s music. The very circumstances that gave birth to his Piano Quintet in the summer of 1940 were fraught with tension. Although the Soviet Union had signed a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany a year earlier, the Stalinist Terror of the late 1930s had taken an appalling toll on Russian artists and intelligentsia in particular. Whether or not covert criticism of Stalin’s murderous regime is embedded in Shostakovich’s Quintet, as some scholars have argued, the music’s pervasive mood of bleakness and angst belies its blandly traditional movement titles.
The opening pairing of Prelude and Fugue displays Shostakovich’s love of Bachian counterpoint, which provided a spiritual anchorage amid the cultural and political storms that raged around him. The joviality of the central Scherzo is more than a little crude, with its pounding rhythms, graceless swoops, and slippery tonality. The Intermezzo is characterized by a relentlessly tolling quarter-note pulse first plucked out by the pizzicato cello, a musical emblem of fate, perhaps, followed by a light, rhapsodic Finale that hints at consolation but offers no real closure.