Friday, June 20, 2014

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


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."

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