Chamber Music Society Of Lincoln Center artist series featuring Cho-Liang Lin

From October 24 through 28, 2020, Friends of Music Concerts presented the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center featuring Cho-Liang Lin. This limited engagement has now ended its run but we continue to present the informative program notes with historical background on the composers, below, on this page.

And, while that performance is no longer available, we invite you to enjoy this performance by Cho-Liang Lin performing Brahms' Violin Sonata No. 2 in A (Op. 100); it was recorded at the Summer of Brahms 2019 festival.

 

PROGRAM FROM OCTOBER 2020 STREAMING PERFORMANCE BY CHO-LIANG LIN AND THE CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER

 

LUKAS FOSS (1922-2009)

“Composer's Holiday” from Three American Pieces for Violin and Piano (1944)
Cho-Liang Lin, violin • Jon Kimura Parker, piano

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)

“Larghetto” from Sonatina in G major for Violin and Piano, Op. 100 (1893)
Cho-Liang Lin, violin • Jon Kimura Parker, piano

PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)

Sextet for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Two Cellos, Op. 70, “Souvenir de Florence” (1890, rev. 1891-92)
Allegro con spirito
Adagio cantabile e con moto
Allegretto moderato
Allegro vivace
Cho-Liang Lin, violin • Erin Keefe, violin • Paul Neubauer, viola • Hsin-Yun Huang, viola • Dmitri Atapine, cello • Colin Carr, cello

NOTES ON THE PROGRAM

“Composer's Holiday” from Three American Pieces for Violin and Piano (1944)
Lukas Foss (Berlin, 1922 - New York, 2009)
Lukas Foss was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States as a teenager in 1937. The young composer quickly absorbed the American style championed by Aaron Copland, especially after he conducted Copland’s Billy the Kid at Tanglewood in 1942. He later recalled, “I had fallen in love with America because of people like Aaron.” Foss received his first major recognition with The Prairie, a cantata based on poetry by Carl Sandburg, which won a New York Music Critics’ Circle Award. In 1944, while his cantata was receiving performances in major venues around the country, Foss wrote his Three American Pieces (called Three Pieces at the time—he added “American” later). Violinist Roman Totenberg and the composer premiered them at Carnegie Hall on November 13, 1944. “Composer’s Holiday” is a virtuosic modern take on an old-fashioned fast-fiddling hoedown.

FROM CHO-LIANG LIN:

Jon Kimura Parker and I were college schoolmates at Juilliard. Everyone calls him Jackie. We have been friends for decades. I admire his playing and artistry greatly. When I joined the faculty at Rice University, Jackie was already teaching there. We naturally started playing together, first on the Rice campus, then we started touring together. We just released an album of sonatas by Paul Schoenfield, John Harbison, and Steven Stucky. Three major works which we premiered. If it were not for the pandemic, I would have toured Australia with Jackie for three weeks.

“Larghetto” from Sonatina in G major for Violin and Piano, Op. 100 (1893)
Antonín Dvořák (Nelahozeves, Czech Republic, 1841 - Prague, 1904)
In 1892, Dvořák came to New York, lured by an enormous salary to direct the National Conservatory, a short-lived but influential music institution. In addition to running the school, he was tasked with developing a national style of classical music, as he had done in his native Bohemia. Dvořák studied African-American and Native American music and began writing in a new, simpler style inspired by spirituals and Indigenous melodies. In September 1893, Dvořák visited Minnehaha Falls in Minnesota and while there he was inspired to write the first theme of this Larghetto. Though it is part of the sonatina, the Larghetto has long been performed alone as well. Violinist Fritz Kreisler popularized his own arrangement under the title Indian Lament (a 1914 recording is available at the Library of Congress).

FROM CHO-LIANG LIN:
America is my adopted home. I have championed the music of many composers. With American music, one tends to stop at Gershwin, Bernstein, and perhaps some Samuel Barber. But the fact is there are great composers writing great music in this country. It has always been so, and it continues to be so. Through my capacity as a violinist and as the music director of La Jolla SummerFest for 18 years, I have tried my utmost to commission new compositions not only for me but for many instrumental and vocal combinations. I am proud to say I have instigated the creation of at least 70 works at the current count. I am still going.

Sextet for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Two Cellos, Op. 70, “Souvenir de Florence” (1890, rev. 1891-92)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Kamsko-Votkinsk, 1840 - St. Petersburg, 1893)

Tchaikovsky loved Florence and visited many times. His last stay there was January to April 1890 while working on his opera The Queen of Spades. After returning to Russia, he began this string sextet for the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society. Tchaikovsky initially struggled to write for sextet, “One requires six independent yet homogeneous voices. This is unimaginably difficult.” Still, he finished the piece in a few weeks and was initially happy with it, until a private performance at his apartment made him decide to revise it. He completed the edits in early 1892 and added the nickname “Souvenir de Florence.” The St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society premiered it on December 7, 1892.

Tchaikovsky never explained the Italian connection, and the piece’s Italian moments tend to be fleeting. The first movement begins with a driving main theme that gives way to a lighter, more Italianate second theme. The pent-up energy from the main theme dominates the movement and leads to an explosive finish. The second movement, alternately hymnal and melodic, is the lightest and most Italian-inspired of the piece. The third movement returns to the driving energy of the beginning, this time with a folk-like main theme. The last movement begins with another folk-like melody and culminates in a fugue, the ultimate in independent voice writing.

Program Notes by Laura Keller, CMS Editorial Manager
FROM CHO-LIANG LIN:
I always loved music, according to my mother. When I was a toddler, my next door neighbor, a boy two years older, started to learn the violin. I went to hear him practice every day. This violin fascination superseded cartoons and toys. So, when I was five, my father brought home a quarter-size violin. I started lessons and never stopped. 

My violin is the 1715 Stradivari called “Titian.” Someone thought the beautiful varnish reminded him of paintings by the Venetian master. Or it was simply a sales job. It had been used by two great violinists: Efrem Zimbalist and Arthur Grumiaux.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dmitri Atapine has been described as a cellist with “brilliant technical chops” (Gramophone), whose playing is “highly impressive throughout” (The Strad). He has appeared on some of the world's foremost stages, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, and the National Auditorium of Spain. An avid chamber musician, he frequently performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is an alum of The Bowers Program. He is a habitual guest at leading festivals, including Music@Menlo, La Musica Sarasota, Pacific, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence, and Nevada. His performances have been broadcast nationally in the US, Europe, and Asia. His many awards include First Prize at the Carlos Prieto Cello Competition, as well as top honors at the Premio Vittorio Gui and Plowman chamber competitions. He has collaborated with such distinguished musicians as Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Bruno Giuranna, and David Shifrin. His recordings, among them a critically acclaimed world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s complete works for cello and piano, can be found on the Naxos, Albany, MSR, Urtext Digital, Blue Griffin, and Bridge record labels. He holds a doctorate from the Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Aldo Parisot. Professor of Cello and Department of Music Chair at the University of Nevada, Reno, Mr. Atapine is the artistic director of Apex Concerts and Ribadesella Chamber Music Festival.

Colin Carr appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. He has played with major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montréal, and all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. Conductors he has worked with include Rattle, Gergiev, Dutoit, Elder, Skrowaczewski, and Marriner. He has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms and has toured Australia and New Zealand frequently. As a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, he recorded and toured extensively for 20 years. Chamber music plays an important role in his musical life. He is a frequent visitor to international chamber music festivals and has appeared often as a guest with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets and with New York's Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His awards include First Prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, Second Prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition, and winner of the Young Concert Artists competition. He studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Maurice Gendron and later in London with William Pleeth. He has held teaching positions at the New England Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music. St John’s College, Oxford created the post of “Musician in Residence” for him. Since 2002, he has been a professor at Stony Brook University in New York. Mr. Carr plays a Matteo Goffriller cello made in 1730.

Violist Hsin-Yun Huang has forged a career performing on international concert stages, commissioning and recording new works, and nurturing young musicians. She has been a soloist with the Berlin Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, China NCPA Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, Russian State Symphony, Zagreb Soloists, Bogota Philharmonic, Brazil Youth Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, International Contemporary Ensemble, and the London Sinfonia. She performs regularly at festivals including Marlboro, Santa Fe, Music@Menlo, Seoul Spring, and Spoleto USA. She tours extensively with the Brentano String Quartet, most notably including performances of the complete Mozart string quintets at Carnegie Hall. Recent highlights include concerto performances under the batons of Osmo Vänskä, David Robertson, Xian Zhang, and Max Valdés, appearances with the Shanghai and Guangzhou symphonies, and serving as featured faculty with Yo-Yo Ma’s new YMCG initiative in China. She has commissioned compositions from Steven Mackey, Shih-Hui Chen, and Poul Ruders. Her 2012 recording for Bridge Records, titled Viola Viola, won accolades from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. Recent and upcoming releases include the complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Bach and FantaC, a C-string-inspired solo album. Gold medalist in the 1988 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the 1993 ARD International Competition in Munich, Ms. Huang was awarded the highly prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award. A native of Taiwan and an alum of Young Concert Artists, she was inspired to play the viola by Haydn quartets. She currently serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music.

American violinist Erin Keefe is currently the concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant as well as numerous international competitions, she has appeared as soloist in recent seasons with the Minnesota Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic, and the Gottingen Symphony. She has given recitals throughout the United States, Austria, Italy, Germany, Korea, Poland, Finland, Japan, and Denmark. An alum of The Bowers Program, she has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2005 and has been featured with it on Live from Lincoln Center three times. She has collaborated with artists such as the Emerson String Quartet, Edgar Meyer, Gary Hoffman, David Finckel, Wu Han, Richard Goode, Menahem Pressler, Gary Graffman, and Leon Fleisher. She has recorded for Naxos, the CMS Studio Recordings label, BIS, and Deutsche Grammophon. She has made appearances at Music@Menlo, the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Music in the Vineyards, and the Bridgehampton, Seattle, OK Mozart, La Jolla Summerfest, and Bravo! Vail Valley festivals. As a guest concertmaster, she has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Keefe earned a master’s degree from The Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. Her teachers included Ronald Copes, Ida Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt, and Philip Setzer.

Violinist Cho-Liang Lin is lauded the world over for the eloquence of his playing and for superb musicianship. In a concert career spanning the globe for more than 30 years, he is equally at home with orchestra, in recital, playing chamber music, and in the teaching studio. Performing on several continents, he has appeared with the orchestras of New York, Detroit, Toronto, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, San Diego, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; in Europe with the orchestras of Bergen, Stockholm, Munich, and the English Chamber Orchestra; and in Asia with the orchestras of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. An advocate of contemporary music, he has collaborated with and premiered works by Tan Dun, Joel Hoffman, John Harbison, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lalo Schifrin, Paul Schoenfield, Bright Sheng, and Joan Tower. Also an avid chamber musician, he has made recurring appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. As music director of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest from 2001 to 2018, Mr. Lin helped develop the festival from one that focused on chamber music into a multidisciplinary festival featuring dance, jazz, and a new music program. He also serves as artistic director of the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. In 2000 Musical America named him its Instrumentalist of the Year. He is currently a professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He plays the 1715 “Titian” Stradivarius.

Violist Paul Neubauer has been called a “master musician” by the New York Times. He recently made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut with conductor Riccardo Muti and his Mariinsky Orchestra debut with conductor Valery Gergiev. He also gave the US premiere of the newly discovered Impromptu for viola and piano by Shostakovich with pianist Wu Han. In addition, his recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia was released on Signum Records and his recording of the complete viola/piano music by Ernest Bloch with pianist Margo Garrett was released on Delos. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras. He has premiered viola concertos by Bartók (revised version of the Viola Concerto), Friedman, Glière, Jacob, Kernis, Lazarof, Müller-Siemens, Ott, Penderecki, Picker, Suter, and Tower and has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morning, A Prairie Home Companion, and in The Strad, Strings, and People magazines. A two-time Grammy nominee, he has recorded on numerous labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal, and Sony Classical and is a member of SPA, a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Mr. Neubauer is the artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Mannes College.

Known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence, pianist Jon Kimura Parker continues to perform to great acclaim. In the past two seasons he appeared at Carnegie Hall in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and was guest soloist at the Kennedy Center in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. He also performed with LACO, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony. As a founding member of Off the Score, he performs with legendary Police drummer Stewart Copeland, and he toured Italy and the USA as a founding member of the Montrose Trio, with violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith. His YouTube channel features Concerto Chat videos, promoting the piano concerto repertoire. He has recorded for Telarc and CBC, and on his own label. His recent CD features fantasies of Schubert and Schumann, as well as the sensational Wizard of Oz Fantasy by William Hirtz. “Jackie” Parker studied in Vancouver with Edward Parker and Keiko Parker, Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Marek Jablonski at the Banff Centre, and Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School. He won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition. He is a professor at Rice University, and is the founding artistic advisor of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. He is the artistic director of the Honens Piano Competition and Festival, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.