Friday, June 20, 2014

Intermezzo : Sunday, June 14 @ 3pm


Back by Popular Demand!
The Vivace Trio 

Gia Sastre &
Carolyn Snyder-Menke, flutes
Denise Wright, piano

The Vivace Trio will present our Season Finale.

  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • J.S. Bach: Concerto in F Major, BWV 1057
  • Antonio Vivaldi: Il Cardellino (The Goldfinch) 
  • Ian Clarke: Maya
  • America, the Beautiful
  • Joachim Andersen: Allegro Militaire, Op. 48 
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic


An accomplished flutist and singer, Carolyn Snyder Menke has an A.A. in Music from College of Marin in Kentfield, California and a B.M.E. with a concentration in flute from Indiana University; she later studied privately with Peter Lloyd, principal flute with the London Symphony Orchestra. Among her voice teachers and coaches, Ms. Snyder Menke sang in a masterclass in Oberlin’s Italy program taught by internationally-renowned soprano Elly Ameling, who called Carolyn's performance “perfection!” Among her opera roles, Carolyn has appeared with Atlanta’s Harrower Summer Opera Workshop as "Susannah" (Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro), "The Foreign Woman" (Menotti's The Consul), and "Irma" (Charpentier’s Louise). She won the Thomas Scott Award in Marin County, 2nd place in the NATS competition, and was a quarter-finalist in Savannah Georgia’s American Traditions Competition for Singers.  In addition to the Vivace Trio, Carolyn has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Arabesque flute trio, the Marin County Woodwind Quintet and the Arioso Flute Quartet. She has performed for Body and Soul, the Art of Healing since 2001, and also does freelance work.

Acclaimed flutist Gia Sastre hails from Miami, Fla. and holds an M.M from DePaul University in Chicago, a B.M. from FSU, and pursued a resident course of study in Great Britain with Paul Edmund-Davies, principal flutist of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to numerous solo engagements, Ms. Sastre performed with a variety of ensembles in Chicago, and received the Farwell Award from the Musicians Club of Women. In 2009, Ms. Sastre returned to Florida where local performances have included  Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf for Jacksonville Public Library, and solo and chamber concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Good Shepherd, Riverside Fine Arts Series, Friday Musicale, Music @ Main, Riverside Presbyterian's Wednesday Happenings and the Advent Series of the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville; she also has performed with the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Gia works with dedicated and talented students of all ages, serves as member and adjudicator for the Florida Flute Association, and is a founding member of Jax Flutes. Beginning this fall she is teaching applied secondary flute at the University of North Florida, and previously served as flute faculty for the DePaul University Community Music Program in Chicago. Her debut recording, Abellimento, is a collection of flute and harp classics available on Pandora Radio and through online retailers.

Among the First Coast's most sought-after collaborative pianists, Jacksonville native Denise Wright received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama) and her Master of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University (Bloomington). She performed many times as a soloist with the orchestras at both universities, as well as in numerous solo and collaborative concerts with a variety of instrumental and vocal soloists and ensembles, including a tour of Europe with Samford's Baptist Festival Singers. She was a Professor of Piano at Bethel College (Mishawaka, Indiana), and was a collaborative pianist at both Indiana University and at St. Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana). Returning to Jacksonville in 1991, Ms. Wright assumed the position of pianist at First Baptist Church, and has served as collaborative pianist at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts since 2004. She joined the staff of the University of North Florida in 2007, working with several voice studios as well as with the UNF Opera Ensemble. In the summers of 2010-2012, Denise had the opportunity to perform with the Opera Ensemble as part of the European Music Academy in the Czech Republic, and in the historical Mozart Estates Theater in Prague.


PROGRAM NOTES by Edward Lein, Music Librarian


Sung to a tune by British composer John Stafford Smith (1750-1836), the famous lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner were written by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) in 1814 after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Surprisingly, it only became our "official" National Anthem with a congressional resolution passed on March 3, 1931.

The works of the great German Baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) are universally identified by the index numbers from the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalog), and among these the Concerto in F Major, BWV 1057 (1738) is typically referenced as "Harpsichord Concerto No. 6." Even so, odds are that if you recognize the music it will be as an arrangement of the more famous Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, BWV 1049 (1721 or earlier), only with the keyboard elaborating on music originally played by solo violin, while retaining the prominent obbligato parts for two "Fiauti d'Echo."

Music historians often refer to the Venetian violin virtuoso Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) as the composer most representative of the mature Italian Baroque style, and in addition to sonatas and sacred choral music he wrote nearly four dozen operas and over 500 concertos.  The six concertos of Vivaldi's op. 10 (1728) were among the very first works for the transverse flute (as opposed to the recorder) ever published. The subtitle for the third concerto, Il Cardellino (The Goldfinch), is one Vivaldi supplied himself, as the flute part is meant to suggest birdsong.

The music of British flutist and composer Ian Clarke (b.1964) has been performed across five continents and is a favorite of both professional and student musicians. As a soloist and teacher Clarke has appeared at major conventions and events in Canada, Italy, Brazil, France, Iceland, Slovenia, Hungary, Netherlands and numerous times for the British Flute Society and for the National Flute Association in the USA. He completed Maya in 2000, basing the work for two flutes and piano on an earlier piece called Passage (1986). The composer says the title "maya" is a reference to the Sanskrit word for "illusion" rather than to the Mesoamerican civilization.

When Samuel Augustus Ward (1847-1903) wrote the hymn tune Maderna in 1882, the New Jersey organist could not have dreamed that it would become one of the most recognized melodies in the world, thanks to a poet he never even met. Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), a professor of English at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, penned America the Beautiful in response to the magnificent panoramas she experienced during a cross-country trip in 1893. First published on July 4, 1895, Bates revised her poem in 1904, and finalized the complete eight stanzas in her 1911 collection entitled, America the Beautiful and Other Poems.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood    
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!


Danish composer (Carl) Joachim Andersen (1847-1909) was among the finest flutists and conductors of his generation, and also became a co-founder of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1882. But in 1893, suffering partial paralysis in his tongue, he returned to Copenhagen to concentrate both on teaching and composing. His Allegro Militaire, Op. 48 appeared the following year and originally was for two flutes and orchestra.

At the suggestion of a friend, Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) wrote the words for The Battle Hymn of the Republic in November 1861 after hearing Union troops singing John Brown's Body. Her new lyrics for the folk tune were published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862, and the song has since become the most popular anthem identified with the Civil War. Today's arrangement is by Mark Hayes (b.1953), an American composer and arranger who specializes in sacred choral music.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
     (Chorus)
     Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah!
     Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my condemners, so with you my grace shall deal";
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.
     (Chorus)

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
     (Chorus)

Tuesday Serenade : June 2 @ 7pm

Min Young Cho, violin & Eun Mi Lee, Piano


HINDEMITH
Sonata for Unaccompanied Viola,  op.25, no. 1
  1. Breit. Viertel
  2. Sehr frisch und straff. (Viertel)
  3. Sehr langsam
  4. Rasendes Zeitmaß. Wild. Tonschönheit ist Nebensache
  5. Langsam, mit viel Ausdruck
SCHUMANN
Adagio & Allegro, op. 70

HUMMEL
Sonata in E-flat Major for Piano with Accompaniment of Viola, op. 5, no. 3 
       I. Allegro moderato.
       II. Adagio e cantabile. 
       III. Rondo. Con moto


Dr. Min Young Cho is a native of Seoul, Korea, and she has performed with many orchestras in her homeland, including the Korean-American Youth Orchestra, Gwacheon Youth Orchestra, Seoul National Symphony Orchestra, Korean Philharmonic Orchestra and Gangneung Philharmonic Orchestra. Her talent as an ensemble player remains much in demand, and she often serves as concertmaster or assistant concertmaster for many of the orchestras she plays with. She regularly performs with a number of chamber and symphony orchestras in North Florida, including Tallahassee Bach Parley, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Gulf Coast, as well as with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Panama City Pops Orchestra. As a guest solo artist, other recital engagements have included appearances at Chipola College (Marianna, Florida) and Valdosta State University (Valdosta, Georgia), and  Jacksonville Public Library's Music @ Main.

As a winner of the American Fine Arts Festival, Dr. Cho performed at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), and also was awarded an AFAF Summer Music Courses in Europe scholarship. Other competition wins include the Korea Music Competition, the Chungbu Conservatory Competition, and the Music World Newspaper Company’s Competition. Dr. Cho received her Bachelor of Music degree from Dankook University in Korea, and both her master's and doctoral degrees from Florida State University, where she also has taught as a Graduate Assistant. Her principal teachers have included Corinne Stillwell, Karen Clarke and Daesik Kang.


In her native South Korea, Eun Mi Lee received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano from Ewha Women’s University, and a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying on scholarship at Sungshin Women’s University.  In 2007, Ms. Lee was accepted into the Master’s program at Florida State University's College of Music, working closely with Valerie M. Trujillo, the Grammy-nominated associate professor of vocal coaching and accompanying.  Eun Mi Lee is continuing her post-graduate studies at FSU, where she is a doctoral candidate.

A passionate accompanist and teacher, she began working with faculty artists and student performers at Baekseok Conservatory, Muyngji University, and University of Seoul, and she has been a member of Korea Collaborative Pianists Association since 2002. Much in demand as a collaborative artist, Ms. Lee has pursued an interest in performing new music, and recorded Soo Jin Cho's 2-piano work, Exodus, released by the Society of Composers, Inc., in March 2010, on an album entitled Mosaic.

Along with Stravinsky, Bartók and Schoenberg, German composer, teacher, and music theorist Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) is often cited by musicologists as a central figure in music of the first half of the 20th Century, so it is perhaps surprising that performances of his works have become relatively rare. Although some of his first works approached the expressionistic atonality of early Schoenberg, Hindemith’s mature style, while still highly chromatic, is decidedly tonal. And although Hindemith frequently used formal procedures of the Baroque and Classical periods, his music is nonetheless removed from the "Neoclassical" movement centered around Stravinsky — whereas Stravinsky parodied earlier styles in an often ironic reaction against the perceived excesses of 19th-Century composers, Hindemith built on tradition as a continuation of the Teutonic musical heritage that runs from the Bach family through Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Reger.
Hindemith was also the virtuoso violist who premiered William Walton's gorgeous Viola Concerto in 1929. Seven years earlier he had written the Sonata for Unaccompanied Viola, op. 25, no.1 primarily for his own recital performances, and he made a recording of it in 1934. Describing the work as "vigorous" might be something of an understatement--Hindemith's performance notes include the observation: Raging tempo. Wild. Beauty of tone is of secondary importance. So, with apologies to Bette Davis, fasten your seatbelts!


The hopes of the great German Romantic composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) to become a concert pianist were dashed in his twenties when he permanently damaged his hand, so he redirected his energies to both composing and music criticism. From childhood he was torn between literature and music, but he managed to combine these two loves even in some of his purely instrumental music by using poetry and dramatic narrative to color and direct the musical discourse.
Schumann's Adagio and Allegro, op. 70 is among the numerous and varied works he wrote in 1849.  Originally composed to show off the expanding capabilities of the valve horn, Schumann's showpiece has become a frequently-performed favorite of violists and cellists as well.

Though little-known today, during his lifetime Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) was among Europe's most famous and respected musicians. He made his public debut at age nine sharing the concert stage with W.A. Mozart, with whom he studied (and resided) for two years. Joseph Haydn, whom Hummel would succeed as Kapellmeister to Prince Esterhazy, wrote a piano sonata for him when Hummel was barely a teenager, and later accepted him among his few composition students. Hummel became lifelong friends with Haydn's most famous pupil--Beethoven--such that among Beethoven's dying wishes was a request that Hummel perform at his funeral.  It was at that sad occasion that Hummel met Schubert, inspiring the younger composer to dedicate his final three piano sonatas to the famous virtuoso; however, the sonatas were not published until after both Schubert and Hummel had died, and the publisher changed the dedication to Robert Schumann. 
Hummel was around 20 years old when he composed his Sonata in E-flat Major for Piano with Accompaniment of Viola, op. 5, no. 3. Mozart's influence is unmistakable in the gracious charm it exudes, and Mozart might also have provided the impetus for featuring the viola.  Typical of the time, the first two of Hummel's three sonatas comprising his Opus 5 are for piano with obbligato violin, but his change of obbligato in the third sonata was by no means "expected" because use of viola as a solo instrument was uncommon, to say the least. (Bach's sixth Brandenburg Concerto likely was never performed prior to its publication in 1850, and, although Telemann's Viola Concerto is fairly well-known today it hardly would have been a repertoire staple in 1798.)  Mozart however, himself a fine violist, had began featuring the viola in his chamber music and especially in the magnificent Sinfonia Concertante (1779), and this may well have inspired Hummel to create what is perhaps the earliest sonata for the modern viola and piano.



Tuesday Serenade : May 19 @ 7pm


Ji Won Hwang, violin 
Boyan Bonev, cello (UWF Faculty Artist)

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962)
Recitativo and Scherzo for Solo Violin, Op. 6

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Sonata for Solo Violin in D Major, Op. 115
I. Moderato
II. Andante dolce
III. Con brio

Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1976)
Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8
I. Allegro maestoso ma appassionato
II. Adagio (con grand' espressione)
III. Allegro molto vivace

INTERMISSION

Edward Lein (b.1955)
"Dark Eyes" for Violin and Cello

Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)
Sonata for Violin and Cello
I. Allegro
II. Très vif
III. Lent
IV. Vif






Korean violinist Ji Won Hwang earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul, Korea, where she also taught, in addition to conducting the Soongsil Boy's Orchestra. After moving to the United States she became a teaching assistant at The Florida State University while working on her Doctor of Music degree under the guidance of violinist Eliot Chapo. She has performed as a solo artist and with a variety of ensembles in the Big Bend area, including as violinist with the Eppes String Quartet under the sponsorship of Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer Ellen Taafe Zwilich. Winner of the top prize of the Korea Germany Brahms Association Competition in 2004, Dr. Hwang has performed throughout Asia, Europe and North America, and recently gave a concert entitled "Russia in New York" at Carnegie Hall. In addition to her solo engagements, she plays for symphony orchestras in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.


Award-winning Bulgarian cellist Boyan Bonev teaches cello and double bass at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, and previously taught in Georgia at Albany State University and Darton College. Dr. Bonev is on the faculty of the Florida State University Summer Music Camps, and performs with the Tallahassee, Pensacola, Mobile, Florida Lakes, and Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestras. Active as a solo and chamber musician, Boyan Bonev has appeared in concert and educational programs for Bulgarian National Television and Radio, in performance at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), and as soloist with orchestras in the United States and Europe. Dr. Bonev holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the National Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria.


Friedrich "Fritz" Kreisler (1875-1962) is regarded among the greatest violinists of all time. Born in Austria, he moved permanently to the United States during World War II and gained U.S. citizenship in 1943, two years after having been in a week-long coma following a traffic accident in New York City. Although he wrote a couple of operettas and a string quartet, as a composer it is for his solos, cadenzas  and encores that he wrote to perform himself that he is most remembered. His Recitativo and Scherzo, Op. 6 is his only work for unaccompanied violin. Published in 1911, Kreisler dedicated the piece to his friend, Belgian virtuoso Eugene Ysaÿe.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was a great Russian composer, pianist and conductor admired as one of the finest composers of the 20th century, whose music, including the delightful Peter and the Wolf and the exuberant Classical Symphony, is widely performed and recorded. Prokofiev wrote the Sonata for Solo Violin in D Major, Op. 115 in 1947. Having been preceded by two violin concertos and two violin sonatas, as well as by a Sonata for two unaccompanied violins, his Opus 115 became his last work for the violin as a solo instrument. But, unusually, it was first performed as a piece for unison violins by a group of student players!

Hungarian composer and educator Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) was a pioneering ethnomusicologist who worked closely with his friend Béla Bartók to collect and codify the folk music of Eastern Europe in the early part of the 20th Century. Kodály gained international fame with his 1923 oratorio Psalmus hungaricus, and the orchestral suite from his 1926 opera Háry János continues to hold its place in the world’s concert halls. The influence of Kodály’s immersion in Hungarian folksong is evident in his Sonata for Cello Solo, op. 8 (1915), one of the most demanding pieces written for the instrument, and one which requires scordatura re-tunings of the two lower strings.


Florida native Edward Lein (b. 1955) holds master's degrees in Music and Library Science from Florida State University. Early in his career he appeared as tenor soloist in recitals, oratorios and dramatic works, and the majority of his early compositions are vocal and choral works. Following performances by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra of his  Meditation for cello, oboe and orchestra (premiered June 2006) and In the Bleak Midwinter (premiered December 2007) his instrumental catalog has grown largely due to requests from Symphony players for new pieces. This concert marks the first performance of the violin-cello arrangement of Dark Eyes, originally written for piano trio in 2010. Tongue-in-cheek and occasionally bordering on campy, these "Variations in the Form of a Sonatina" are based on Florian Hermann's famous waltz tune, Occhi chorni (Очи Чёрные), popularized by Russian gypsies.



Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) was a French composer and master orchestrator who maintains a place among the most performed and recorded composers of all time. He is often identified with Claude Debussy (1862-1918) as a chief proponent of musical Impressionism, but Ravel melded exotic harmonies with classical formal structures to create a personal, refined style that transcends a single label. The first movement of Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello appeared in December 1920 in a special commemorative supplement to the journal La Revue musicale honoring Debussy, and the rest of the movements were premiered two years later. Ravel uses recurring thematic elements throughout the movements as a unifying feature, and he also pays tribute to Kodály's 1914 Duo for Violin and Cello. In describing his Sonata himself, Ravel wrote, "The music is stripped to the bone. ... Harmonic charm is renounced, and there is an increasing return of emphasis on melody."


Intermezzo : Sunday, May 10 @ 3pm

Maharlika Trio 
Joren Cain, saxophone
David Springfield, trombone
Maila Gutierrez Springfield, piano
Valdosta State University Faculty Artists

Astor Piazzolla: La Muerte del Angel
Bill Schmid: Insomnia (2010)
Tayloe Harding: The Springfield Trio (2005)
   1. Vivace - 3. Allegro
Horace Silver: Peace/The St. Vitus Dance
William Bolcom: Child-Stealer (from Lilith)
Christopher Theofanidis: Netherland (1993)
   2. Brutal; swirling, out of focus
David Springfield: Two Langston Hughes Poems (2006)
   1. The Weary Blues -- 2. The Dream Keeper
Patrick Long: Academic Finale (2005)

The Maharlika Trio is dedicated to performing, commissioning and expanding the literature written for this unique combination of instruments. Formed in 2005, the members are all professors at Valdosta State University, and during the summers they teach gifted high school students in the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. Their repertoire ranges from classical to jazz, original works and transcriptions, and occasionally performing with guest artists. Recent performances include conferences for the Georgia Music Educators Association, the College Music Society and the Southeastern Composers League. The Maharlika Trio is actively involved in arts education and dedicates a substantial amount of time to educational projects.

Joren Cain is a saxophone soloist well-versed in both classical and jazz idioms. A Chicago native, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Illinois University, where he studied saxophone with Steve Duke. He continued his studies with Jim Riggs at the University of North Texas, where he was a Teaching Fellow, a member of the 2 O’Clock Lab Band, and earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. As an educator, Cain was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University. He is currently Associate Professor of saxophone and director of the New Jazz Ensemble at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. He has contributed several articles for GIA’s “Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz,” and he has published articles discussing the saxophone sonatas of Edison Denisov and Fernande Decruck’s Sonata in C#. Dr. Cain is committed to the study and performance of contemporary saxophone music and has commissioned over a dozen new works for the instrument. His playing has been applauded by composers Sammy Nestico, Alfred Reed, and Jindřich Feld. He has performed as a soloist across the U.S. and abroad, including Germany and the Czech Republic. Additionally, Dr. Cain served as a member of The United States Army Field Band, the Army’s premier touring concert band, for four years. He performed as a featured soloist, acted as staff arranger, and was the soprano saxophonist in the TUSAFB Saxophone Quartet. Currently, he has an active performance schedule as a soloist, a member of the Maharlika Trio, and as a freelance musician throughout the southeastern United States. Joren Cain is proud to be an RS Berkeley artist.

David Springfield, Assistant Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Valdosta State University, teaches jazz piano, improvisation, arranging, combos and jazz history. He is also a member of the Faculty Jazz Combo and directs the VSU Jazz Ensemble. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone Performance and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies, both from the Eastman School of Music. Since 2004, he has been the jazz instructor for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. As a performer, Mr. Springfield has appeared with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras. He performs with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Composer’s Octet and has appeared with the Georgia Jazz Educators Big Band at the annual GMEA conferences. With the chamber group, Maharlika Trio, Mr. Springfield has performed at national conferences of the College Music Society and the North American Saxophone Alliance.

Maila Gutierrez Springfield is an instructor at Valdosta State University and a member of the Maharlika Trio, a group dedicated to commissioning and performing new works for saxophone, trombone and piano. She can be heard on saxophonist Joren Cain’s CD Voices of Dissent and on clarinetist Linda Cionitti’s CD Jag & Jersey. MusicWeb International selected Jag & Jersey as the recording of the month for February 2010 and noted that Maila “is superb in the taxing piano part with its striding bass lines and disjointed rhythms”. For Voices of Dissent, the American Record Guide describes Maila as “an excellent pianist, exhibiting solid technique and fine touch and pedal work." Twice-honored with the Excellence in Accompanying Award at Eastman School of Music, Maila has been staff accompanist for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, Georgia Southern University, the Buffet Crampon Summer Clarinet Academy and the Interlochen Arts Camp, where she had the privilege of working with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. She has collaborated with members of major symphony orchestras, including those in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Jacksonville. She was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from Syracuse University, and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music.

PROGRAM NOTES

Ástor Piazzolla (1921-1992) pretty much single-handedly reinvented the Argentine national dance, the tango, transforming it into a new style aptly called nuevo tango ("new tango"). Born in Argentina, Piazzolla spent most of his childhood in New York, and there he gained exposure to and a fondness for jazz and classical music. But through his father's influence he also gained proficiency on the bandoneón, a type of concertina that is a staple of Argentine tango ensembles, and when he returned to Argentina in 1937 he played with some of the leading bands in Buenos Aires. He also began the serious study of composition with noted composer Alberto Ginastera, and for an early symphony he won a grant in 1953 from the French government to study in Paris with legendary composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. Boulanger, whose illustrious students ranged from Aaron Copland and Elliott Carter to Quincy Jones and Burt Bacharach, found Piazzolla's music was well-crafted but too derivative of Bartók, Stravinsky and Ravel. When she finally got him to play for her some of the music he wrote for his cabaret band, she convinced him to toss out his other works and concentrate on what was uniquely his own. He returned to Argentina in 1955, his "new tango," which infused traditional elements with characteristics of jazz and incorporated contrapuntal techniques and formal elements adapted from his classical studies.  The new style was met with resistance in his homeland, but Europeans and North Americans were captivated by it and his international career blossomed. It is estimated that he composed over a staggering 3,000 pieces, and he recorded about 500 of them himself!


Born in Ft. Riley, Kansas, Bill Schmid was raised in Huber Heights, Ohio and learned to play the trumpet from his father. He received a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Dayton; he then earned a master’s degree in music education (jazz pedagogy) and a doctorate in trumpet performance - both from the University of North Texas. During his five years in Texas, his professional playing encompassed classical, jazz and commercial performances in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. Before coming to Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, Georgia) in 1986, Dr. Schmid taught for two years at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia (Canada). He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at GSU and, in addition to teaching trumpet, is the Director of Jazz Studies. Schmid also performs regularly with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra and other groups in the Savannah/Hilton Head area. His big band and combo works have been performed throughout Georgia, including premieres by the Georgia Directors Big Band and at the Savannah Jazz Festival by the SJO.


Tayloe Harding is dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina, former interim dean of the South Carolina Honors College, and was president of the College Music Society (CMS) from 2005-2006. An active member of and consultant for National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), CMS, SCI and ASCAP, he is a frequent presenter on issues facing the future of university music units and their leadership.  He remains active as a composer, earning commissions, performances and recordings for his works around the world.


Horace Silver (1928-2014) was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his distinctive playing style and pioneering compositional contributions to hard bop. He was influenced by a wide range of musical styles, notably gospel music, African music, and Latin American music, and sometimes ventured into the soul jazz genre.


Seattle-born composer and pianist William Bolcom (b.1938), who entered into private composition studies at the University of Washington when he was just 11 years old, has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Arts and four Grammy awards, among many other honors. His works range from solo piano pieces to symphonies and opera, and in 2007 he was named “Composer of the Year” by Musical America magazine.


Grammy-nominated composer Christopher Theofanidis has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Masterprize, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, six ASCAP Gould Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship to France, a Tanglewood Fellowship, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Charles Ives Fellowship, and currently has two opera commissions for the San Francisco and Houston Grand Opera companies. He teaches at the Yale School of Music, and is a former faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School.


David Springfield has had his compositions and arrangements performed by such artists as Branford Marsalis, John Abercrombie, Phil Woods, Allen Vizzuti and Joseph Alessi. He received a Downbeat magazine award for arranging and was a finalist in the 1996 International Thad Jones Competition, sponsored by the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. He was the principal arranger for Klüvers Big Band and his works appear on nine recordings by the band. In addition to his work as a jazz arranger, Mr. Springfield has written for concert band, symphony orchestra, brass quintet and trombone choir. His music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe and is published by Kendor Music and Sierra Music Publications. Recent arrangements have been performed by trumpeter Byron Stripling with the Milwaukee, Houston and Detroit Symphony Orchestras.


A composer, percussionist and teacher at Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, PA), Patrick Long (b.1968) grew up in Annapolis, Maryland and received degrees in composition from Syracuse University (B.M.) and the Eastman School of Music (M.M., D.M.A.). He has completed over 80 premiered works for orchestra, band, chamber ensembles, soloists, young players, theatre and film. He is best known for his percussion music and for his works that combine live performers with fixed media or interactive electronics. His pieces have been performed in almost all 50 states and throughout Europe and Asia.



Community Standards : Tuesday, May 5 @ 7pm

Don Thompson Chorale
Jay Stuckey, Director | Terry Stuckey, Piano

Mark Hayes:
   Psalm of Celebration
Nick Glennie-Smith (arr. Jay Rouse):
   Mansions of the Lord
William H. Monk (arr. Moses Hogan):
   Abide With Me
Pepper Choplin:
   Walking ’Cross the Sea (Soloist: Gary Miller)
Traditional (arr. R. Staheli):
   I Feel Like I’m On My Journey Home
Morten Lauridsen:
   Sure on This Shining Night
György Orbán:
   Nunc Dimittis
--Piano Interlude--
André Thomas:
   Rockin’ Jerusalem
David Schwoebel:
   Speak, Lord, in the Stillness
Z. Randall Stroope:
   Go Lovely Rose
Traditional (Caldwell/Ivory):
   John the Revelator
Guy Forbes:
   O Nata Lux
Harry Dixon Loes (attrib.; arr. Mark Hayes):
   I'm Gonna Let It Shine (This Little Light of Mine)
Don Gillis:
   Hymn and Prayer for Peace




The Don Thompson Chorale, Inc., a non-profit volunteer community chorus in Jacksonville, Florida, was formed in 1995 after a Florida Junior College Chorale reunion concert in December, 1994. That event brought Mr. Thompson's former singers together "one last time," or so they thought. After a warm reception by an appreciative and enthusiastic audience, members of the reunion choir were hooked. They promised their director they would organize a choral group and name it after him if he would agree to lead them on an ongoing basis. Thompson selected a governing Board of Directors, which met and developed a vision for the group. One of their collective dreams was "to be flooded with so many applications for membership and invitations to perform that we are unable to accept them all." With 19 years of rehearsals, performances, and recordings under its belt, the group is realizing this dream.


Soprano
Sarah Cotchaleovitch    
Linda Edwards
Gwen Hernandez
Saundra Howard
Anita Jones
Lauren Majure
Anne Miller
Julia Pettigrew
Shari Steele
Alto
Lexi Cluff
Royette Crowder
Nancy Edwards
Holly Gibson
Phyllis Hoskins
Amy King
Lynn Lokken
Ruthanne Mason
Connie Mays
Jeanene McCullough
Pam Roach
Terry Strickland
Barbara Wick 
Tenor
Jhun DeVilla
John Howard
Michael Schriver   
Chuck Smith
Peter True
Bass
Arch Copeland
Thomas Cotchaleovitch
Tony Harmon
Lester McCullough
Rich McGauley
Gary Miller
Joe Proctor
Evan Whitehouse

PROGRAM NOTES


Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Mark Hayes is an award-winning composer, arranger, concert pianist and conductor with over 1000 publications in print. Drawing inspiration from Psalm 98, his Psalm of Celebration was commissioned by the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference. It features a contrapuntal "Alleluia" that brings the piece to an exciting conclusion.

Originally written for the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, the text for the patriotic anthem Mansions of the Lord was written by screen-writer Randall Wallace (b.1949) and set to the music by English film composer Nick Glennie-Smith (b.1951). Two years later it was performed by U.S. Armed Services musicians at the funeral of President Ronald Reagan, and soon thereafter this choral version for the general public was prepared by Jay Rouse, who, with over 350 published compositions and arrangements, is considered among the "premier choral arrangers in Christian music."

The text of the popular Christian hymn Abide with Me was written in 1847 by the Scottish Anglican clergyman Henry Francis Lyte three weeks before he succumbed to tuberculosis. Although Lyte also provided a tune for his poem, it is best-known through the 1861 setting written by English composer William Henry Monk (1823-1889) to a tune called "Eventide." American composer and choral director Moses Hogan (1957-2003) made this arrangement for unaccompanied mixed voices in 1999. Before succumbing to cancer, Hogan was much sought after as one of the world's leading interpreters of Spirituals. He arranged and conducted selections for the 1995 PBS television documentary, The American Promise, and his arrangements remain a staple of school, community and professional choirs.

Pepper Choplin describes himself as a "full time composer, conductor and humorist," and has been music minister at Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, for more than two decades. His more than 230 anthems, 13 cantatas and solo piano music reflect his diverse musical background, incorporating folk, Gospel, classical and jazz styles. Walking ’Cross the Sea is a bluesy rock-Gospel song that depicts the Bible story of Peter joining Jesus in a walk across stormy waters.

Dr. Ronald Staheli is the Choral and Conducting Division Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Studies in Choral Music at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah. His beautiful I Feel Like I’m On My Journey Home is an a cappella setting of the American folk hymn The Saints' Delight first published in an 1835 collection called Southern Harmony, and again in 1860 as an organ piece in The Sacred Harp.

Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 40 years. He likely is the most-performed American composer of choral music worldwide, and his works have been included on over 200 CDs. The National Endowment for the Arts named him an "American Choral Master" in 2006, and the following year he received the National Medal of Arts "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth." Sure on this Shining Night, the third of Lauridsen's four Nocturnes (2005), is a setting of the 1934 poem by American author James Agee (1909-1955), made familiar by Samuel Barber's famous song.

Romanian-born composer György Orbán (b. 1947) has been professor of composition at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary since 1983, and in 2014 was awarded the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious cultural award bestowed by the Hungarian government. His compositions are almost exclusively choral works described as mixing "traditional liturgical renaissance and baroque counterpoint with intrusions from jazz." That being said, Orbán's gentle setting of the liturgical Nunc Dimittis for unaccompanied mixed voices is unabashedly Romantic in its sensibility.
Latin (Vulgate):
Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine,
secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum    
Quod parasti ante faciem
omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium,
et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
English (Book of Common Prayer, 1662):
Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart
in peace according to Thy word:
For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation,
Which Thou hast prepared before the face
of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles,
and to be the glory of Thy people Israel.
--Piano Interlude--

André Thomas (b. 1952) is the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at The Florida State University, and the director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Dr. Thomas has directed choirs throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, and has been the guest conductor of such distinguished orchestras and choirs as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England. Distinguished as a composer and arranger as well, he is also a past president of both the Florida American Choral Directors Association, and the Southern Division of ACDA. His spirited Rockin’ Jerusalem may sound like a traditional Spiritual, but it's actually an original composition from 1987 on a text by the composer.

David Schwoebel (b. 1957) is Minister at Derbyshire Baptist Church in Richmond Virginia, and has served as the Virginia ACDA Music & Worship Chair, and as an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia. In addition to choral music for all ages, his 150+ publications also include instrumental and keyboard works. Speak, Lord, in the Stillness was composed in 1992 for mixed voices and keyboard to verses adapted from a hymn text written in 1914 (and first published 1920) by E. (Emily) May Grimes Crawford (1868-1927), an English-born missionary in South Africa.

Z. Randall Stroope (b. 1953) is a popular American conductor, lecturer and composer whose 140+ published works typically sell over 200,000 copies a year. His conducting takes him all over the world, including recent engagements at the Kennedy Center and the Vatican. Stroope's Go Lovely Rose is a 2014 setting of a text by English poet and politician Edmund Waller (1606-1687), and is also available in a version just for men's voices.

According to the publisher, the traditional Gospel blues song John the Revelator "stems from the Delta Blues tradition, and was recorded by Blind Willie Johnson and Son House during the 1920s and 1930s." This arrangement by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory was commissioned by the ACDA Central Division's 2002 convention. Caldwell, Artistic Director of the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago, and Ivory, who directs a high school choir and the Symphony Youth Chorus in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began arranging music together in the 1990s while working with a youth choir in Grand Rapids and at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey.

Winner of the 2006 Vanguard Premieres Choral Competition Contest, O Nata Lux by Guy Forbes is an appropriately luminous setting of an anonymous Latin text depicting "light breaking upon a darkened world," used liturgically for the the Feast of the Transfiguration. Dr. Forbes is a professor at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where he conducts and tours with the Millikin Chamber Chorale.
O nata lux de lumine,
Jesu redemptor saeculi,
Dignare clemens supplicum        
Laudes precesque sumere.

Qui carne quondam contegi
Dignatus es pro perditis,
Nos membra confer effici
Tui beati corporis.
O Light born of Light,
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
with loving-kindness deign to receive
suppliant praise and prayer.

Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
for the sake of the lost,
grant us to be members
of thy blessed body.
Though it has the feel of a traditional children's hymn, the music of I'm Gonna Let It Shine (This Little Light of Mine) is attributed to Harry Dixon Loes (1895-1965). Working from an original arrangement of the tune for keyboard, in 2012 Mark Hayes developed it into a lively piece for mixed voices with either two or four-hand piano accompaniment, and featuring stylized vocals, with call and response interplay.

American composer, conductor and teacher Don Gillis (1912-1978) was the radio producer for Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and among other teaching posts he was professor/composer-in-residence at the University of South Carolina. Gillis was a prolific composer of opera, choral music, chamber music, and music for band and orchestra, including ten symphonies, plus "Symphony No, 5½, A Symphony for Fun," which became his best-known orchestral work. He wrote his own text for the 1958 Hymn and Prayer for Peace, which gained wide-spread exposure when The Mormon Tabernacle Choir included it on their 1962 album, ‎Hymns And Songs Of Brotherhood.





Tuesday Serenade : April 21 @ 7pm

Scott Watkins, piano
Jacksonville University Faculty Artist

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Piano Sonata No. 17 in B-flat major, K. 570
       I. Allegro - 
       II. Adagio - 
       III. Allegretto 

FRANZ LISZT
Transcendental Etude No. 9 in A-flat major, "Ricordanza"
Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (from Swiss Years of Pilgrimage)
 
HOWARD HANSON
Piano Sonata in A minor, Op. 11 (comp. 1918)
       I. Andante espressivo: Quietly with sincerity - 
      II. Heroic Elegy: Slowly, quietly, and with finality - 
      III. Triumphal Ode: Allegro marziale, with vigor


Scott Watkins, Assistant Professor of Piano at Jacksonville University, is well known to First Coast audiences for his appearances with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, his numerous solo recitals, and his frequent collaborations with many of the areas finest singers and instrumentalists. His 1985 U.S. debut, an all-Bach recital given in Chicago, was broadcast live nationwide, and has been followed by a steady flow of solo and concerto performances in North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean. He has been heard often in the United States and Canada on National Public Radio and Television, and in South America and Europe on The Voice of America. Performances have included the world premieres of Elie Siegmeister’s From These Shores and Ned Rorem’s Song and Dance.

An active chamber musician, Dr. Watkins has appeared with the LaSalle Quartet and violinist Eugene Fodor, and a performance with violinist Hillary Hahn was broadcast on NPR's Performance Today. Much in demand as an accompanist, he has appeared with soprano Elizabeth Futral and baritone Steven White, and released a disc of late romantic lieder with White. Watkins also released two solo discs, one featuring works from his New York debut at Carnegie Hall, and another, Christmas Cards, featuring music for the holiday season, with works by Bach, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Grainger, and others.
A champion of new music, Watkins recently recorded An American Sonata for two pianos and percussion by noted American composer and pianist Gary Smart.

Dr. Watkins is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Philip Sousa Award for Outstanding American Musicians, Rotary Club of Florida's Annual Artistic Merit Award, and France's Jeunesse Musicales. In 1985, he became the youngest winner ever of The U.S. Department of State's Artistic Ambassador Award. His degrees include a Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati, Master of Music from University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Florida State University.
  


Notes on the program, by Dr. Scott Watkins

Mozart's Piano Sonata, K. 570 dates from 1789, an otherwise barren year for composition by his prolific standards, the only other major works produced being the final Piano Sonata in D major, K. 576, the first of the "Prussian" string quartets (in D major, K. 575), and the Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581. It was also the year of the composer's speculative journey to Berlin, Leipzig, and Dresden, a tour that failed to alleviate Mozart's by-then desperate financial straits. Prior to setting off for Germany in the spring, he composed the B flat Sonata, entering it into his thematic catalog during February. His entry for it specifies the work as being a sonata auf Klavier allein (for piano alone), but curiously the sonata was long known in a version for violin and piano. This originated with the first published version, which appeared in Vienna in 1796 with a violin part so lacking in invention that it must have been composed by someone else. It seems likely that, like its immediate predecessor, the so-called "facile" Sonata in C major, K. 545, the sonata was composed for didactic purposes. The opening Allegro is quite light and fluid in character; although on an altogether more modest scale than the sonatas composed earlier in the decade, it is masterful in the way it wrings various structural and contrapuntal implications from its deceptively bare opening. E flat Adagio is a rondo with two episodes that sets out to beguile rather than convey profundity. The final Allegretto bubbles with humor and surprise effects; it is one of the many finales in which Mozart evokes the world of opera buffa. Musicologist Alfred Einstein called the work "perhaps the most completely rounded of...all [the Mozart piano sonatas], the ideal of his piano sonata." Each of the three movements contains repeated notes, an unusual feature in Mozart’s keyboard music.


Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes are a series of twelve compositions published in 1852 as a revision of a more technically difficult 1837 series, which in turn were the elaboration of a set of studies written in 1826. The Transcendental Études are revisions of his Douze Grandes Études. This third and final version was published in 1852 and dedicated to Carl Czerny, Liszt's piano teacher, and himself a prolific composer of études. The set included simplifications, for the most part: in addition to many other reductions, Liszt removed all stretches of greater than a tenth, making the piece more suitable for pianists with smaller hands and less technical skill. However, the fourth étude of the final set, Mazeppa, is actually more demanding than its 1837 version, since it very frequently alters and crosses the hands to create a "galloping" effect.

When revising the 1837 set of études, Liszt added programmatic titles in French and German to all but the Études Nos. 2 and 10. Editor Ferruccio Busoni later gave the names Fusées ("Rockets") to the Étude No. 2, and Appassionata to the Étude No. 10; however, Busoni's titles are not commonly used or well known. Busoni described Étude No. 9, Ricordanza, as "a bundle of faded love letters." Ricordanza is essentially a love poem with outbursts of passion alternating with delicate and complicated passagework. Liszt's original idea was to write 24 études, one in each of the 24 major and minor keys. He completed only half of this project, using the neutral and flat key signatures.
Franz Liszt’s Italian Years of Travel is a suite for solo piano, much of it derived from his earlier work, Album d'un voyageur, which was his first major published piano cycle. The original suite was composed between 1835 and 1838 and published in 1842. Italian Years of Travel is widely considered a masterwork and summation of Liszt's musical style. The title Years of Travel refers to Goethe's famous novel of self-realization, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and especially its sequel Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years (whose original title Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre meant "Years of Wandering" or "Years of Pilgrimage," the latter being used for its first French translation). Liszt clearly places the work in line with the Romantic literature of his time, prefacing most pieces with a literary passage from writers such as Schiller, Byron or Senancour, and, in an introduction to the entire work, writing:
Having recently travelled to many new countries, through different settings and places consecrated by history and poetry; having felt that the phenomena of nature and their attendant sights did not pass before my eyes as pointless images but stirred deep emotions in my soul, and that between us a vague but immediate relationship had established itself, an undefined but real rapport, an inexplicable but undeniable communication, I have tried to portray in music a few of my strongest sensations and most lively impressions.

According to a note on the first page of the manuscript, Hanson himself performed his Piano Sonata on April 7, 1919. Neither the circumstances under which the performance was given nor the location is known. In 2000, pianist Thomas Labé, in an excellent performance, produced a recording of what was then thought to be the only (and incomplete) version of the work, supplying his own effective completion of the score. The recording on the present disc is a world premiere performance of the work whose manuscript was discovered in 2005 by The Eastman School of Music and subsequently published in 2011.

The Sonata appears to have been with Hanson while he was studying and composing in Italy after winning the Prix di Roma and while living at the Academia Americana. The Sonata’s first movement is an expansive, dramatic work with essentially one thematic idea: a rising step, followed by a rising leap, a falling step and falling leap. The harmonies are lush and orchestrally conceived, while the piano writing is idiomatic, despite at times feeling in the hands like an orchestral transcription. The second subject is treated like a gentler variation of the first with softer harmonies and harp-like arpeggiated chords. A dramatic coda recalls the opening theme in its original form.

The second movement might have been inspired by World War One and has the programmatic title Heroic Elegy. The repeating bass figure is reminiscent of funeral drums for a fallen soldier and the whole movement carries the weight of sadness and loss. In the final bars, Hanson has repeated bass octaves (A) including the lowest key on the instrument – almost as a “gun salute” to the fallen.

As final movement’s title suggests, Triumphal Ode is a somewhat “heart-on-your-sleeve” musical tribute to victory (perhaps another inspiration from WWI’s conclusion in 1918, the same year the Sonata was composed). Within its pages are soaring melodies and heart-wrending, surprising harmonies which would become hallmarks of Hanson’s compositional style. The work ends “triumphantly” in the key of C major.

Triumphal Ode is thought to be a transcription of a work by the same name for concert or military band, although Hanson chose to leave out a short 12-bar passage at the end of the development sections for French horns and timpani.



Intermezzo : Sunday, April 12 @ 3pm


Trio Solis
FSU Faculty Artists
  • Corinne Stillwell, violin,
  • Gregory Sauer, cello
  • Read Gainsford, piano
PIOTR SZEWCZYK: Piano Trio No. 1
     I. Aggressive--II. Dark--III. Energetic
YouTube Recording

EDWARD LEIN: Dark Eyes Variations in the form of a Sonatina
InstantEncore Recording

FRANZ SCHUBERT: Piano Trio No. 1, op. 99, D. 898
     1. Allegro moderato—2. Andante un poco mosso
     3. Scherzo. Allegro—4. Rondo. Allegro vivace
YouTube Recording

With a dynamic combination of energy, creativity, and insight, Trio Solis (“Trio of the Sun”) was founded in 2008 by violinist Corinne Stillwell, cellist Gregory Sauer, and pianist Read Gainsford. Already distinguished as solo performers, these musicians have embarked on a journey together to explore the piano trio repertoire with a unique synergy of brilliant technique, probing musicianship and a wealth of experience. Highlights of recent seasons include the Trio’s debut on the Seven Days of Opening Nights series in Messiaen’s exalted Quartet for the End of Time with internationally acclaimed clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. They were invited to be the featured soloists for the opening of the 2010-11 orchestral season in Tallahassee, performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in celebration of the extensive renovation of the historic Ruby Diamond Auditorium. Committed to sharing music by living composers with audiences, the group included the Piano Trio of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich in their Carnegie Hall debut program, and enjoys playing the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy by Paul Moravec. They are also regularly featured artists in the biennial Festival of New Music in Tallahassee, Florida. Beyond their performing activities, the members of Trio Solis are devoted teachers and maintain full studios at Florida State University. Their students have achieved successes in competitions, won positions as teachers and performers, and been accepted at some of the world’s top graduate schools. In addition to master classes and school residencies, the Trio’s newest initiative, Building Bridges, benefits community organizations through collaborative performances with outstanding young musicians at the beginning of their careers.


PROGRAM NOTES, by Edward Lein, Music Librarian

Polish-born violinist and composer Piotr Szewczyk recently completed his doctorate at The Florida State University in Violin Performance, and holds the B.M. and double M.M. in violin and compo­sition from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 2007, and was Composer-In-Residence at the Florida Chamber Music Project in Ponte Vedra for the 2013-2014 season. In addition to multiple awards as violinist, Dr. Szewczyk has won numerous local, national and international awards and competitions for for his compositions, including the Theme Song contest for WJCT's First Coast Connect show with Melissa Ross, and the Jacksonville Symphony's 2008 Fresh Ink competition. His music has been featured on NPR Performance Today and the CBS Early Show, and has been performed by numerous ensembles including the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Alias Ensemble, Dover Quartet, Sybarite 5, Juventas Ensemble, Atlanta Chamber Players, New Music Raleigh and many others. His Apparitions for Violin, Flute, Clarinet, Cello and Percussion, released on Navona records NOVA CD, was called “magical” by Gramophone Magazine. Dr. Szewczyk's Piano Trio No. 1, composed in 2010, won the The American Prize in Composition--Chamber Music (Professional Division) in 2014. The three-movement work exhibits something of a cinematic quality, with the first "Aggressive" movement bustling with nervous excitement interrupted by moments of jazzy, lyric reflection; the second "Dark" movement perhaps suggesting a "film noir" atmosphere; and the final "Energetic" movement seemingly battling through the darkness into an expansive, triumphant dawn.


Florida native Edward Lein (b. 1955) holds master's degrees in Music and Library Science from Florida State University. Early in his career he appeared throughout his home state as tenor soloist in recitals, oratorios and dramatic works, and drawing on this performance experience the majority of his early compositions are vocal and choral works. Following performances by the Jacksonville Symphony of Meditation for cello, oboe and orchestra (premiered June 2006) and In the Bleak Midwinter (premiered December 2007), his instrumental catalog has grown largely due to requests from Symphony players for new pieces. His translations of songs and song cycles are frequently published in music program guides in North America and Great Britain, ranging from student recitals to concerts by major orchestras, including Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Utah Symphony; he also contributes articles to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Encore magazine. Composed and first performed in 2010, the tongue-in-cheek Dark Eyes (Variations in the Form of a Sonatina) is based on Florian Hermann's famous waltz tune popularized by Russian gypsies. Following a fiery introduction, the dancing rhythms of the Polish polonaise and the Cuban havanaise characterize the sonatina’s primary and secondary thematic groups respectively; the coda begins with the Dark Eyes tune transformed into a fughetta subject, and the movement ends with a restatement of its opening fanfare.

“One glance at Schubert’s Trio and the troubles of our human existence disappear and all the world is fresh and bright again.” This is how composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) extolled the ebullient Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, op. 99 (D. 898) by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), the Austrian composer whose tragically short life nonetheless saw the creation of over 600 songs in addition to his numerous symphonies, chamber works, masses, and solo piano music. Likely completed during Schubert's final year, the Piano Trio No. 1 (composed along with his Piano Trio No. 2  and the song cycle Winterreise) became the first piano trio of significance written since Beethoven finished the "Archduke" Trio in 1811. Like Beethoven's famous model, Schubert's trio has four movements. The sparkling first movement includes a paraphrase of the song, Des Sängers Habe (The Singer's Possessions), with a text that reflects Schubert's own circumstances: “Shatter my good fortune to pieces, Take all my possessions from me, But allow me yet my zither And I shall remain happy and rich!” Whereas Beethoven's "Archduke" has the Scherzo second and then a slow movement, Schubert switches the order, placing his lyrical Andante after the opening, followed by a thoroughly Austrian Scherzo that pairs a folksy Ländler with a waltz. Schubert's sunny "Rondo" finale incorporates developmental techniques of a sonata-form, and paraphrases another of his songs, Skolie (Drinking Song, 1815), D. 306: "Let us in the morning light of May Enjoy the flowers of life Before its fragrance fades!"



CANCELED - Emergence : Tuesday, April 7

CANCELED - Instead please enjoy the One Spark events in Hemming Park

Tuesday Serenade : March 17 @ 7pm



Jorge Peña, viola & Bonita Sonsini Wyke, piano

George Enescu: Concertstück (1906)
"Concert Piece"

Robert Schumann: Märchenbilder, op. 113
"Fairy Tale Pictures"
1. Nicht schnell (Not Fast)
2. Lebhaft (Lively)
3. Rasch (Quick)
4. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck (Slowly, with Melancholic Expression)

Felix Mendelssohn: Viola Sonata in C Minor, MWV Q 14
1. Adagio - Allegro
2. Menuetto: Allegro molto
3. Andante con variazioni



Honduran-born violist Jorge Peña is a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and a former member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. He has performed for Midwest Clinic, Grand Teton Music Festival, St. Augustine Music Festival and Island Concert Association, as well as at the National Gallery of Art, Tanglewood Music Center, University of North Florida and Jacksonville University. As a solo artist he has appeared throughout the Americas and Europe. With chamber music holding a special place in his career, Jorge and his wife, cellist Jin Kim-Peña, formed and perform with the Movado Quartet, and he often collaborates with a variety of ensembles, such as the Ritz Chamber Players, the Dover Quartet, the Diaz Trio, the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta Virtuosi. Mr. Peña is Founder and Artistic Director of the annual St. Augustine Music Festival, the largest free music festival in the United States. Mr. Peña was graduated from Columbus State University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music with degrees in performance and chamber music. He studied with Curtis Institute President Roberto Diaz, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra principal viola Richard Field, and Julliard quartet member Earl Carlys.

Bonita Sonsini Wyke has been an active part of the Jacksonville music community since 1985, and in working with many of the First Coast's leading vocalists, instrumentalists and musical ensembles has earned the reputation as a musician of unsurpassed sensitivity, technical skill and artistry. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she has performed for over four decades as a collaborative pianist and harpsichordist with singers, choral groups, instrumental soloists, and orchestral and instrumental ensembles, and especially enjoys four-hand piano literature. She has been the music director for a wide variety of stage productions, including opera, musical theater and ballet.  In addition to coaching seasoned performers, Ms. Sonsini Wyke has helped student musicians hone their craft at a number of area universities and music schools. While maintaining a busy recital schedule, Bonita also currently serves as Staff Choral Accompanist at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

PROGRAM NOTES. by Edward Lein, Music Librarian

       If you ask musicians to name a Romanian composer, unless they draw a complete blank they almost certainly will answer "George Enescu" (1881-1955), or, as the French say, "Georges Enesco." As fate would have it, Enescu was born the same year as the Kingdom of Roumania (the "u" was dropped later), and he became a national hero in his fledgling homeland. Enescu's compatriots have named an international airport after him, and changed the name of the village where he was born to "George Enescu." Among the greatest masters and teachers of the violin, Enescu also was so highly regarded as a conductor that he was considered as Toscanini's replacement for the New York Philharmonic, and he just as easily could have become a leading piano virtuoso.
      Young George's extraordinary musical gifts were recognized early. He earned the silver medal for his prodigious virtuosity when he graduated from the Vienna Conservatory at age 12, and entered the Paris Conservatoire at 14. He completed his studies in Paris in 1899, winning first-prize in violin among the graduates. From 1904-1910, Enesco returned to the Conservatoire as one of the examining jurors. It was in this capacity that Gabriel Fauré, the head of the Conservatoire, invited his former composition student to contribute competition pieces by which the students would be judged, among which the 1906 Concertstück for Viola and Piano has remained a favorite. As one would expect, Enesco's "Concert Piece" demands virtuosic skill, including subtly-varied repetitions of florid passages and rigorous tout l'archet (whole-length bow-strokes) contrasted with legato double-stopping.  But besides technical skill the work demands the utmost musicality, such that ultimately it is its evocative and impassioned beauty that preserves the Concertstück's place in the violist's repertoire--but the fireworks help, too!

       The hopes of the great German Romantic composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) to become a concert pianist were dashed in his early twenties when he permanently damaged his hand, so he redirected his energies to both composing and music criticism. From childhood Schumann was torn between literature and music, and his keen literary sensibilities made him one of history’s greatest songwriters, such that his finest Lieder rival those of Schubert. Schumann also managed to combine these two loves in his instrumental music by using poetry and dramatic narrative to color and direct the musical discourse, and even pieces not inspired by the written word were "usually given a quasi-literary title or brought into relationship with some literary idea" (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
      Schumann's greatest loves, however, were his wife, virtuoso pianist and composer Clara Schumann, and five children. Unlike the typical, aloofly dictatorial pater familias of his generation, Schumann doted on his children and kept diaries of their shared exploits. Not surprisingly, some of his music reflects his fondness for his children and the innocence of childhood, such as Kinderszenen ("Scenes from Childhood," 1838), op. 15 and Album for the Young, op. 68 (1848), 43 pieces composed for the instruction of his three daughters. Grimm's Fairy Tales (1812) apparently provided source readings Schumann shared with his children, as well as the inspiration for both Märchenbilder ("Fairy Tale Pictures," 1851) for viola and piano, op. 113, and Märchenerzählungen ("Fairy Tales," 1853), for clarinet, viola and piano, op. 132.  The published score of Märchenbilder does not include which tales the composer meant to relay, but it's reported that Schumann's journals mention that the first and second movements depict scenes from Rapunzel, the third Rumpelstiltskin, and the fourth Sleeping Beauty.

       The prodigious musical talents of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) rivaled those of Mozart, and like Mozart, Mendelssohn did not live to see his 40th birthday. But his affluent German family provided young Felix with an intellectually stimulating and stable environment, and protected him from the childhood exploitation that Mozart endured.  Mendelssohn benefited from an impressively well-rounded education, and in addition to studying piano, violin, viola and composition, he developed skills as a visual artist, evidenced in over 300 surviving paintings and drawings of remarkable quality. Referred to by Schumann as "a god among men," Mendelssohn grew into a superstar composer, pianist, organist and conductor, and also founded Germany's first conservatory in Leipzig.  But, in contrast to many of his flamboyant contemporaries, Mendelssohn neither overcame abject poverty, had a string of adulterous affairs nor suffered syphilitic insanity—consequently, after his death his reputation as a "Romantic" suffered among music critics until well into the 20th Century. But his music has never fallen out of favor with concertgoers, and his flawless Violin Concerto in E Minor, op. 64 remains among the most-frequently performed and recorded concertos ever written, and his Elijah (1846) likely has received more performances than any other large-scale oratorio with the exception of Handel’s Messiah.
       In terms of achieving his musical maturity, Mendelssohn surpassed even Mozart. Mendelssohn produced his first acknowledged masterwork at age 16, the Octet for Strings, op. 20, and the following year saw the completion of the brilliant A Midsummer Night’s Dream concert overture.   Predating these (but post-dating the often-performed and recorded 12 Symphonies for String Orchestra from 1821-1823), Mendelssohn's Viola Sonata was composed when he was barely 15 years old. Although it remained unpublished until 1966, the Sonata's 14 February 1824 completion date places it among the earliest solo works composed specifically for the modern viola (Berlioz's symphonic Harold in Italy would not appear for another decade).


Intermezzo : Sunday, March 8 @ 3pm

Marguerite Richardson, violin 
Scott Watkins, piano 
JU Faculty Arists

Under Construction - Please check back!

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata No. 4 in A minor, op. 23
        1. Presto 
        2. Andante scherzoso, più allegretto 
        3. Allegro molto

BRAHMS: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, op. 78 ("Rain Sonata")
        1. Vivace ma non troppo 
        2. Adagio 
        3. Allegro molto moderato
                                                -BRIEF INTERMISSION-
DVOŘÁK: Sonatina in G Major, op. 100
        1. Allegro risoluto 
        2.  Larghetto
        3. Molto vivace 
        4. Allegro

A member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1990, violinist Marguerite Richardson began her violin studies at the age of four. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music degree from the University of South Carolina, and the Doctor of Music degree from The Florida State University. Dr. Richardson has performed symphonic and chamber music throughout the United States, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and China. She has appeared as soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in performances of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, Vivaldi’s Summer Concerto from The Four Seasons, and Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins. Dr. Richardson has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician in several venues in the north Florida area, including the St. Augustine Music Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Good Shepherd, and the Friday Musicale. In addition to her extensive performance schedule, Dr. Richardson began and developed the string program at the University of North Florida (1995-2003), teaches with the Prelude Chamber Music Camp, and appears as an Associate Conductor with the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. In 2007, Dr. Richardson joined the faculty of Jacksonville University, where she is Assistant Professor of Strings and serves as Music Director of the Jacksonville University Orchestra.  In the summer of 2012, Dr. Richardson was Visiting Foreign Scholar at Beifang University (Yin Chuan, Ningxia Province, China) and Visiting Professor of Ningxia Teachers University (Guyuan, Ningxia Province, China). Dr. Richardson taught master classes and presented two recitals during her visit.

Scott Watkins, Assistant Professor of Piano at Jacksonville University, is well known to First Coast audiences for his appearances with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, his numerous solo recitals, and his frequent collaborations with many of the areas finest singers and instrumentalists. His 1985 U.S. debut, an all-Bach recital given in Chicago, was broadcast live nationwide, and has been followed by a steady flow of solo and concerto performances in North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean. He has been heard often in the United States and Canada on National Public Radio and Television, and in South America and Europe on The Voice of America. Dr. Watkins is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Philip Sousa Award for Outstanding American Musicians, Rotary Club of Florida's Annual Artistic Merit Award, and France's Jeunesse Musicales. In 1985, he became the youngest winner ever of The U.S. Department of State's Artistic Ambassador Award. His degrees include a Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati, Master of Music from University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Florida State University.


PROGRAM NOTES, by Edward Lein, Music Librarian

The Transcendent German-born composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) began his compositional career essentially imitating the styles and forms he inherited from Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and W.A Mozart (1756-1791), but during his "middle" period (ca. 1803-1815) Beethoven expanded and personalized this inheritance, creating works that have come to represent the culmination of the Classical style in much the same way that the works of J.S. Bach (1685-1750) represent the culmination of the Baroque. During Beethoven's "late" period (ca. 1815-1827), he discovered new paths toward still more personal, even intimate, musical expression, and, despite the gradual and eventually total degeneration of his hearing, he forged the way beyond the Classical tradition into the Romantic.

Beethoven began work on both his 4th and 5th violin sonatas in the summer of 1800, while he also worked on his Symphony No. 2, Op. 21 and the ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43. The two violin sonatas were intended as contrasting companion pieces and initially were grouped together as the composer’s “Opus 23.” But the violin part of the brightly lyrical Sonata No. 5 in F major (now known as the “Spring” Sonata) mistakenly was printed using an oblong format rather than the tall format used for the darkly dramatic Sonata No. 4. This made it impossible to bind the two sonatas together, and it was cheaper to assign them separate opus numbers rather than re-engraving them. Thus, the fifth sonata became “Opus 24,” while the fourth kept the original work number.

Although Beethoven’s Sonata No. 4 dates from his “early” period, contemporary critics were already making note of the composer’s originality, even when they didn’t quite understand his innovations. The key of A-minor was a rare choice for chamber music compositions, made even more unusual by Beethoven’s retention of the minor mode for the first movement’s “second subject,” which is introduced in E-minor rather than in the “expected” relative major key centered on C. And although Beethoven retains the 3-movement outline favored by his mentors rather than using the 4-movement scheme with an added scherzo movement that he later seemed to prefer (and which he uses in the “Spring” Sonata No. 5), he nonetheless interjects the jesting spirit of a scherzo into the slower-paced middle movement.

SCORE (pdf): Beethoven Sonata No. 4, Op. 23

At a time when it was fashionable to write programmatic music that illustrated specific scenes, poems or stories, the great German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was recognized by his admirers as “Beethoven’s true heir” (Grove Concise Dictionary of Music) by demonstrating that established abstract formal procedures could be used to organize musical discourse without sacrificing the passion and deeply individualistic expression that defines 19th-Century Romantic music. Thus, Brahms joined Bach and Beethoven as one of the great “Three B’s” of classical music.

For many of us, summer vacations might provide a good time to "vegetate," in the sense of "idly lulling about." But for Brahms sunny rural retreats sparked his musical inspiration to "bloom and grow" into some of his most ingratiating works, including his three violin sonatas. Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in G Major, op. 78 was written in response to Italian sojourns during the summers of 1878 and 1879. Among his most ingratiating works, it has been nicknamed the "Rain" Sonata because Brahms used thematic material drawn from his Regenlied ("Rain Song").

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) is an immensely popular Czech composer who fused melodic and rhythmic elements of Bohemian folk music with classical symphonic forms. As his international reputation flourished, Dvořák was invited to New York City to become director of the National Conservatory of Music from 1892 to 1895. He used the opportunity to familiarize himself with indigenous American music, especially African-American work songs and Spirituals and melodies and drum rhythms of Native Americans. Dvořák wrote several newspaper articles promoting the idea that these could support a uniquely American style of concert music. He put his theory to the test in his most famous work, the New World Symphony, op. 95, as well as in the "American" String Quartet, op. 96 and "American" String Quintet, op. 97, all composed in 1893.

Completed that same year, Dvořák wanted his "opus 100" landmark to have personal significance, so he wrote it for his children, and his daughter Ottilie and son Toník premiered the work in a private performance in their home. Although the Sonatina, op. 100 lacks the "American" nickname it is infused with similar New World characteristics, such a syncopated dance rhythms and tunes derived from the pentatonic scale (like you get when you play only the black keys of the piano) and with repeated notes said to be reminiscent of Native tom toms. Neatly laid out in the tidy, four-movement "sonata" structure that Beethoven had popularized, it has become Dvořák's most popular work for violin and piano.

When presenting the work to his publisher, Dvořák commented that it is "intended for young people (dedicated to my children) but grown-ups, too, let them get what enjoyment they can out of it." Having no doubt that grown-ups would indeed enjoy it, the publisher (Simrock) also issued the second-movement Larghetto separately (without the composer's permission) as "Indian Canzonetta." Called "Indian Lullaby" by Fritz Kreisler and also performed as "Indian Lament," it's said that Dvořák jotted the main tune on his shirt sleeve while visiting Minnehaha Falls in Minnesota.

SCORE (pdf): Dvořák: Sonatina, op. 100