Boyan Bonev, cello
Shaun Bennett, horn
Austin Clark, piano
Katherine Adams, piano
Bulgarian cellist Boyan Bonev has participated in numerous master classes and music festivals in the United States and Europe. An active performer of solo and chamber music, Dr. Bonev has taken part in concert and educational programs for the Bulgarian National Television and Radio, and is a prize winner of national and international competitions. He teaches cello and double bass at the University of West Florida, and previously taught at Albany State University and Darton College. He is on the faculty of the Florida State University Summer Music Camps, and he taught cello and chamber music as a Graduate Assistant at FSU while working on his doctorate there. Dr. Bonev performs with the Tallahassee, Pensacola, Mobile, Florida Lakes, and Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestras. He has been a featured soloist with the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra and the Stara Zagora Symphony Orchestra, and he has performed at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall). This program marks his fourth appearance in concerts for Jacksonville Public Library.
- BACH: Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007
- MOZART: Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-flat major, K. 447
- MOZART: Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545
- CASSADO: Suite for Solo Cello
- MOZART: Piano Fantasia No. 3 in D Minor, K. 397
Once dismissed by many of his contemporaries as being too old-fashioned, the works of the great German Baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) probably have been studied more than those of any other composer, making him perhaps the most influential musician of all time. And among works written for unaccompanied cello there is no doubt that Bach’s six Suites are the best known. Bach’s own manuscripts of the Cello Suites have never been found, but current research suggests that they were composed while Bach was at Cöthen, where he served as Kapellmeister from 1717-1723 in the court of Prince Leopold (1694-1728), and that they pre-date Bach’s well-known Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, which were written in 1720. All six of the Cello Suites follow a standard six-movement pattern, but with the fifth movement dance types varying among minuets (in Suites 1, and 2) bourrées (in 3 and 4), and gavottes (in 5 and 6). Among all 36 movements of the six Suites, the popular Prelude from Suite No. 1 has had the most exposure: it’s been used as background music in television commercials hyping everything from sports cars and insurance to dog food.
Austrian-born Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), unquestionably one of the greatest composers in history, began his career as a 6-year-old piano prodigy touring Europe with his father (Leopold, 1719-1787) and sister (Maria Anna, or "Nannerl," 1751-1829), and he absorbed and mastered all the contemporary musical trends he was exposed to along the way. When Mozart reached the ripe old age of 7, he made the acquaintance of Joseph Leutgeb (1732-1811), one of his father's colleagues and a leading horn virtuoso of the day. Leutgeb remained a lifelong friend, and Mozart wrote his four horn concertos specifically for Leutgeb; the autograph copies of the solo horn parts even include personal messages from the composer to the performer. The four horn concertos date from the last eight years of Mozart's short life, beginning with "No. 2" in 1783, and ending with "No. 1" in 1791, not long before his death. Mozart kept a catalog of his works, but it did not include what we know as Horn Concerto No. 3, K. 447 (it may have been second in order of composition). So exactly when it was completed is not known, but the mid-1780s is the likely timeframe. All four concertos have held places in the repertoire of virtually all professional horn players, and they certainly attest to the skill of Herr Leutgeb--the piston and valve horn we have today had not yet been invented, so performance on the "natural" horn requires a prodigious amount of hand and lip manipulation to play any tones outside the instrument's natural harmonic series.
By virtue of a scholarship from his hometown of Barcelona, Spain, a nine-year-old Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966) was able to accept an invitation to study in Paris with the legendary Catalan cellist Pablo Casals, where, in addition to his cello lessons, Cassadó studied composition with both Manuel de Falla and Maurice Ravel. After World War I, Cassadó began a successful international career as both cellist and composer, including several concerts with Casals. During the1920s Cassadó settled permanently in Florence, Italy, and after World War II his reputation and career, not to mention his personal morale, suffered tremendously when his mentor unjustly accused him of sympathizing with Mussolini’s fascist regime, despite Cassadó’s continuing friendship and collaboration with perhaps the most vocal of Italy’s anti-fascist composers, Luigi Dallapicolla. The rift between teacher and protégé was finally reconciled during the mid 1950s through the efforts of a mutual friend, the British violinist Yehudi Menuhin, but Cassadó’s career never fully recovered.
The 1926 Suite for Solo Cello remains one of Cassadó’s best known works. Its modal inflections and folk-dance rhythms attest to the composer’s Catalan heritage, and the rhapsodic first movement acknowledges other influences, with direct references to Zoltán Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8, and Ravel’s ballet, Daphnis et Chloe.