In this moving Father’s Day tribute, violinist Pamela Frank hosts a performance with her renowned father’s final student, pianist Andrew Tyson playing alongside fellow Evnin Rising Star alumni Benjamin Beilman and Ayane Kozasa, and ERS mentor Peter Wiley to honor the great musician’s life, work, and legacy.
Schubert Trio in B-flat major for violin, viola and cello, D.471 Mozart Piano Quartet in G minor, K.478 – Intermission – Schumann Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op.47
Pamela Frank, host
Benjamin Beilman, violin
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Peter Wiley, cello
Andrew Tyson, piano
“Claude allowed each student to develop a special musical personality and I’m sure that most of them still hear his fatherly comments when they play the repertoire which they studied at Curtis, Yale, or during masterclasses that he gave around the world. I know that some of them are already continuing Claude Frank’s legacy through their own teaching – Robert Fitzpatrick, Former dean at Curtis, 1986-2009
Pamela Frank was born in New York City, the daughter of two pianists, Claude Frank and Lilian Kallir. She studied under Shirley Givens, Szymon Goldberg, and Jaime Laredo.
Her career was formally launched in 1985, when she appeared for the first time with Alexander Schneider and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He became an important mentor, as did Felix Galmir, Rudolf Serkin, and members of the Guarneri Quartet, whom she worked with at the Marlboro Music Festival.
Pamela Frank has performed regularly with today’s most distinguished soloist and ensembles, including the orchestras of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, New York, Baltimore, San Francisco, as well as the Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Israel Philharmonics. Regular collaborators include David Zinman, Yuri Temirkanov, and Christoph Eschenbach.
An avid chamber musician, her projects include performances with such artists as Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Peter Wiley, and her father Claude Frank, with whom she has recorded an all-Schubert album and the complete Beethoven Sonatas. Other recordings include the Dvořák violin concerto, the complete Mozart violin concertos, the Bruch violin concerto, the Chopin piano trio, and Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet. She has also premiered and recorded works commissioned for her by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Toru Takemitsu.
She has made frequent appearances with the Academy of St Martin-in-The-Fields, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Musicians from Marlboro. Summer festivals include Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Verbier. In addition, Ms. Frank is an avid adjudicator of competitions worldwide, and is the chair of the jury of the Menuhin International Competition.
Ms. Frank has been on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory and Stony Brook University, and has taught at the Curtis Institute of Music, since 1996. She has given master classes internationally, including workshops at Carnegie Hall with Isaac Stern, Leon Fleisher, and Claude Frank.
In 1999, Pamela Frank was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists. Pamela Frank is married to physical therapist Howard Nelson.
Benjamin Beilman, violin
Twenty-six year old American violinist Benjamin Beilman is recognized as one of the fastest rising stars of his generation, winning praise in both North America and Europe for his passionate performances and deep rich tone which the Washington Post called “mightily impressive” and The New York Times described as “muscular with a glint of violence.” The Times also praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence [which] showed why he has come so far so fast.” Following his performance of the Sibelius Concerto at the Montreal Competition, the Strad described his performance of the slow movement as “pure poetry.”
In the upcoming season, Mr. Beilman will return to the Philadelphia Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in subscription, and on tour with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He will also appear in recital on a ten-city tour of Australia – including debut appearances in Sydney and Melbourne. In March 2016, Warner Classics will release his debut recital CD of works by Schubert, Janacek, and Stravinsky. Highlights this season include his debut with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony and the world premiere of a new concerto written for him by Edmund Finnis with the London Contemporary Orchestra. He will also return to Europe to play Beethoven with the London Chamber Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, and for recitals at the Louvre, and the Wigmore Hall, as well as at the Verbier and Aix-en-Provence Festivals.
Last season, Beilman made his debut in subscription with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and was invited to play with them again at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. He also made his debut in recital at the Berlin Philharmonie, and appeared with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and with Orchestra St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall. He has recently appeared both in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium with the New York Youth Symphony and Weill Hall, for his recital debut, in a program that included the premiere of a new work by David Ludwig commissioned for him by Carnegie Hall. Mr. Beilman also previously performed with the Basel Symphony, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Eugene Symphony, and Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Abroad, Mr. Beilman has appeared as soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Sir Neville Marriner, with l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and with the Malaysian Philharmonic and Hans Graf. He has also appeared in recital internationally at the Louvre, Tonhalle Zürich, Wigmore Hall, Spannungen, and Festpiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Mr. Beilman is a frequent guest artist at festivals including at Music@Menlo, Music from Angel Fire, and Chamber Music Northwest as well as at the Bridgehampton, Marlboro, Santa Fe, Seattle, and Sedona Chamber Music Festivals. Mr. Beilman collaborates abroad at the Kronberg Academy in Frankfurt, Spectrum Concerts Berlin, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and at the Young Concert Artists Festivals in Tokyo and Beijing.
Mr. Beilman is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a 2012 London Music Masters Award. In 2010, he won First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, YCA’s Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship, a People’s Choice Award, and was named First Prize Winner of the 2010 Montréal International Musical Competition. Beilman recorded Prokofiev’s complete sonata for violin on the Analekta label in 2011.
Mr. Beilman studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy.
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Hailed for her “magnetic, wide-ranging tone” and her “rock solid technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Ayane Kozasa enjoys a career that spans a broad spectrum of musical personas. A violinist turned violist, she holds a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and artist certificates from the Curtis Institute of Music as well as the Kronberg Academy Masters school in Germany.
Ayane’s solo career took off when she won the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition. Following the competition, she joined the Astral Artists roster and became a grant recipient from the S&R Foundation, an organization recognizing and supporting young aspiring artists of all mediums. Her international solo opportunities have been a platform to unearth seldom heard works and commission new pieces, an aspect of viola playing that she loves. Most recently, she commissioned a work by Brooklyn composer Paul Wiancko for viola and cello, which they premiered in Washington DC at the S&R Foundation.
Chamber music has also been a vital part of Ayane’s musical career. She has loved traveling to various festivals and collaborating with talented musicians, including Marlboro Music Festival, Twickenham Fest, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. Her desire to be a part of a serious group came into fruition three years ago in the form of the Aizuri Quartet. Ayane is also the principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, a position that she has held since fall 2012.
Ayane is deeply grateful for the mentorship she received from her past teachers, Nobuko Imai, Kirsten Docter, Roberto Diaz, Misha Amory, and William Preucil.
Cellist Peter Wiley enjoys a prolific career as a performer and teacher. He is a member of the piano quartet, Opus One, a group he co-founded in 1998 with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ida Kavafian, and violist Steven Tenenbom. Mr. Wiley attended the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of David Soyer. He joined the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1974. The following year he was appointed Principal Cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for eight years. From 1987 through 1998, Mr. Wiley was cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2001 he succeeded his mentor, David Soyer, as cellist of the Guarneri Quartet. The quartet retired from the concert stage in 2009.He has been awarded an Avery Fischer Career Grant, nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 with the Beaux Arts Trio and in 2009 with the Guarneri Quartet.Mr. Wiley participates at leading festivals including Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, OK Mozart, Santa Fe, Bravo! and Bridgehampton. He continues his long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, dating back to 1971. Mr. Wiley teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and Bard College Conservatory of Music.
Andrew Tyson, piano
Hailed by BBC Radio 3 as “a real poet of the piano,” Andrew Tyson is emerging as a distinctive and important new musical voice. On the eve of the 2015-2016 season, he captured First Prize at the Géza Anda Competition in Zürich, where was also awarded the Mozart and Audience Prizes. Performances in his busy calendar include recitals at the Falany Performing Arts Center, University of Florida Performing Arts, FPC Concerts, the Dubrovnik Festival, and twice at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He performs with U.S. orchestras including the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the North Carolina Symphony, the Tulare County Symphony, the Fairfax Symphony, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Tyson returns to Europe this season, performing recitals with cellist Jeong-Hyoun Lee and violinist Benjamin Beilman. He also appears throughout Russia, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Kostroma Governor’s Symphonic Orchestra in Yaroslavl, Krasnodar, Kurgan, and Kostroma, and performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 25 with the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra with Vladamir Spivakov. His critically acclaimed debut CD, a recording of the complete Chopin Preludes, was released in October 2014 on the Zig-Zag Territories label.
A 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Mr. Tyson has appeared as soloist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall, the National Orchestra of Belgium under Marin Alsop, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Colorado Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the National Chopin Foundation in Miami, the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, the Caramoor Festival, the Brevard Music Festival, the El Paso Chopin Music Festival, the International Keyboard Institute in New York, Duke Performances, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Abroad, he has performed at the International Festival of Arts “Art November” in Moscow, the Brussels Piano Festival, the Paul Klee Zentrum in Switzerland, Musiekzentrum de Bijloke Gent, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Filharmonia Narodowa in Poland, the Sintra Festival in Portugal, the Festival Cultural de Mayo in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as in Azerbaijan, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
At the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, Mr. Tyson won Fifth Prize and the new Terence Judd-Hallé Orchestra Prize, awarded to the pianist chosen by the orchestra and conductor Sir Mark Elder. This prize brought three performances of Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 2 with the Hallé Orchestra, which were so acclaimed that he was re-engaged the following year to play Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the orchestra. Last season, he returned to the UK where he performed chamber music concerts with the Hallé Soloists in Leeds and Birmingham; gave solo recitals in Leeds and Manchester; and appeared as soloist for the third time with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, Hanley, and Blackburn.
In 2013, Mr. Tyson gave his New York recital debut in the Rhoda Walker Teagle Concert at Merkin Hall and his Washington, DC debut at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. As winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 2011, Mr. Tyson was awarded YCA’s Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize and the John Browning Memorial Prize.
A Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Mr. Tyson made his orchestral debut at the age of 15 with the Guilford Symphony as winner of the Eastern Music Festival Competition. After early studies with Dr. Thomas Otten of the University of North Carolina, he attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he worked with Claude Frank. He later earned his Master’s degree and Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald, where he won the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition and received the Arthur Rubinstein Prize in Piano.
About the Music.
Franz Schubert/1797–1828 /Trio in B-flat major for violin, viola, and cello, D. 471
Schubert began two trios for the combination of violin, viola, and cello, both in the key of B‑flat. The first was composed, though left incomplete, in September 1816; the second, his only finished string trio, followed it exactly a year later. Both were among the many Schubert works that remained almost entirely unknown after the composer’s premature death.
The earlier trio, D.471, remained unpublished until 1890. It is a relatively unprepossessing work illustrating the kind of light‑hearted chamber music that Schubert wrote in his youth, largely for use in the circle of his family and friends, where active music‑making was a regular pastime. Yet it also seems to be aiming at a rather more elevated style, and it is probably significant that Schubert wrote it at about the same time as an overture in B‑flat, in which he was consciously trying on Beethovenian wings (the chamber work and the overture grow out of a similar Allegro theme).
Lyrical throughout, and covering a remarkably wide range of emotion, the completed movement shows the young genius—not yet out of his teens—aiming at a very high mark indeed. After completing the Allegro, Schubert wrote only a few bars of the slow movement and then (for reasons unknown) dropped the work and never returned to it again.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/1756-1791/Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478
With this piece Mozart virtually created the genre of the piano quartet, completing it on October 16, 1785, for the publisher Hoffmeister. Earlier chamber works combining the keyboard with stringed instruments had tended to treat the piano as a continuo instrument, discreetly backing the others with harmonic support. But Mozart, one of the finest pianists of his day and a passionate devoté of chamber music, naturally gave the piano an equal role, making the work a true quartet. Unfortunately, it proved too difficult for the average amateur player, so the publication did not sell, and Hoffmeister cancelled the commission to Mozart, which had been for three such works.
According to the early biography of Mozart by Georg Nikolaus von Nissen (who married Constanze Mozart after her husband’s death and presumably learned of the incident from her), Hoffmeister told Mozart, “Write more popularly, or else I can neither print nor pay for anything of yours,” to which Mozart is said to have replied, “Then I will write nothing more, and go hungry, or may the devil take me!” (The composer did, in the end, write another piano quartet about nine months later, but it was published by Artaria.)
The key of G minor had a particular resonance for Mozart, and he chose it for music of impassioned character, in such works as the string quintet, K. 516, the great symphony No. 40, K. 550, or Pamina’s aria, “Ach, ich fühl’s,” from The Magic Flute. And, of course, for this piano quartet, K. 478. The impetuous Allegro in G minor opens with a powerful figure in octaves that plays a strong motivic role throughout the movement (the great Mozart scholar Alfred Einstein considered this a “fate” motif, analogous to the openings of Beethoven’s Fifth and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth symphonies). Adroitly placed sforzandos stretch the phrases of the second theme in a charmingly unexpected way, giving the impression to the ear that its opening bars are in 5/4 time instead of 4/4. This is followed by a figure somewhat lighter in character, but for the most part the development and coda are dominated by the “fate” motif.
The Andante, in B‑flat, has a wonderful harmonic richness decorated by elaborate runs for each of the four instruments in turn. It comes as a bit of a surprise that the finale turns to the conventional “happy ending” of the major key after the expressive weight of the first two movements. But though it is lighter in mood than what preceded it, the frequent passing chromaticisms, entering already in the first measure, show that the finale, too, is cut from the same expressive cloth and is not merely a bow to custom. With this quartet Mozart at one stroke set a standard for the new medium that has been aimed at but never surpassed.
Robert Schumann/1810-1856/Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47
Up until 1840, Schumann had composed entirely for the piano, and almost entirely in miniature. But in 1840, out of overwhelming enthusiasm for finally gaining legal permission to marry his beloved Clara Wieck (over the strenuous objection of her father), he burst forth into new genres: 1840 was almost entirely devoted to songs, 1841 to symphonies, and 1842 to chamber music.
He had always found it something of a strain to think in the large-scale terms necessary for a symphony or a major work of chamber music, but with Clara’s encouragement that he prove himself as a composer in a wider realm, he demonstrated his genius repeatedly in this period. His Piano Quintet, Opus 44, is a dramatic large piece, analogous in its chamber music terms to his symphonic writing of the previous year. He followed it with the Opus 47 Piano Quartet, in the same key, as a smaller, lyrical pendant and a gem in its own right, full of felicitous Schumannesque touches.
The slow introduction to the first movement prefigures the main motive of the Allegro that follows. At the end of the exposition, Schumann brings back the slow introduction, as if he is going to repeat it along with the entire exposition, but at the next-to-last note it suddenly veers off into the development, which builds steadily to a furious fortissimo return to the tonic and the opening of the recapitulation.
The Scherzo is a headlong rush of eighth-notes twice interrupted for more lyrical Trios; the second of these features one of Schumann’s favorite rhythmic tricks—a passage so syncopated that upbeats sound like downbeats.
The richly lyrical slow movement features a long-breathed melody offered to each of the strings in turn while the piano decorates and supports. As the viola takes up the song, following a dark middle section, the cellist must tune his bottom C-string down to B-flat to produce a wonderfully deep pedal point in two octaves against the closing phrases of the rest of the ensemble.
The energetic finale begins with a fugato based on a familiar-sounding theme; was Schumann thinking of the Jupiter symphony? His interest in contrapuntal work is clearly evident in both of the E-flat chamber works with piano composed at this time, and actual fugues or fugatos are a central part of the finale in each case.