PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY at Merkin Concert Hall
This article was originally published on BroadwayWorld.com on December 7, 2017.
“PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY” first evening concert of the 2017-18 season will feature preeminent musicians Kajsa William-Olsson, Elizabeth Mann, Donna Weng and the ARK trio (soprano Allison Charney, cellist Kajsa William-Olsson, pianist Reiko Uchida) in exclusive preview “preformances” – anticipating their upcoming appearances on the world’s most prestigious stages. The November 27th concert program taking place at 7:30 pm at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center will present works by master composers of the 20th century – Czech composer Bohuslav Jan Martin? and Russian composer Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev as well as new classical works by American contemporary composer Michael Ching.
Cellist Kajsa William-Olsson will play Bohuslav Martinu’s Cello Concerto, No. 1, a work she will perform with full orchestra later this season. Kajsa William-Olsson has been a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm, Sweden since 1995. As a founding member of the VITALIS Quartet and Hanna Quartet, Kajsa William-Olsson has toured all over Sweden, Norway, and Finland, as well as Austria, Germany, England, and France and made her U.S. debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Bohuslav Martinu’s much beloved Cello Concerto No. 1, H. 196 is a work that has experienced an amazing performance history undergoing three compositional transformations between 1930 and 1955 and was thus premiered by three renown cellists Gaspar Casado (1931), Pierre Fournier (1939) and Milo’s Sádlo (1956). PREformances’ audiences will be treated to the sound of Kajsa William-Olsson’s performance on her exquisite 1709 cello made by Giovanni Grancino, one finest luthiers of the Milanese school.
PREformances’ guest Elizabeth Mann, principal flutist for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, will play Sergei Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata with pianist Donna Weng in advance of their upcoming concert at Princeton. Elizabeth Mann, a featured performer in concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East, is a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has played principal flute with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev, and recently recorded and performed as associate principal flute with the New York Philharmonic. She has been principal flute of the Santa Fe Opera and Minnesota Orchestra, flutist of the Dorian Wind Quintet, and has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk RoadEnsemble. Liz has toured the U.S. performing the Mozart Flute Concerto under the baton of André Previn, soloed with Renée Fleming at Carnegie Hall, and performed the “Brandenburg” Concertos with Jaime Laredo in Spain and Japan. She gave the U.S. premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for Flute and Violin with Gidon Kremer, and premiered a solo flute piece by Joan Tower and a concerto by Peter Maxwell Davies. A student of Julius Baker at The Juilliard School Elizabeth is a well-known teacher in New York and gives masterclasses across the country. She is involved with the OrpheusInstitute at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and teaches at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival.
The back story to Sergei Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata is also a history of transformation. Ironically audiences have come to enjoy this composition in its transcription for violin and piano, known as Sonata Op. 94a. While in his letters Prokofiev noted “I long wanted to write a work for the neglected flute, and I wanted this sonata to have a delicate, fluid classical style” Prokofiev’s only composition for flute is a work demanding great technical mastery, highlighting the beauty and virtuosic breadth of the flute in ground breaking ways. After its premiere in Moscow in 1943 by Nikolay Kharkovsky (flute) and Sviatoslav Richter (piano) the work was not played. At the urging of virtuoso violinist David Oistrakh, Prokofiev’s adapted his Flute Sonata to a work for violin and piano, known as the Violin Sonata No.2, Op.94bis or Op.94a and enjoyed great popularity.
In a special appearance on PREformances, all three members of the ARK trio: soprano Allison Charney, cellist Kajsa William-Olsson, pianist Reiko Uchida – unite in New York to perform contemporary composer Michael Ching’s Arrangements and Derangements: Interpretations of Schubert a new work commissioned by the ARK trio. The composition is an inspired transformations of Shubert’s art song, addressing the trio’s unique structure of voice, cello and piano. Michael Ching’s witty homage is based on Shubert’s beloved Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667. Shubert’s original work was written in 1819, by one Romantic period’s leading figures, at the time 22 years old. Popularly known as the ‘Trout Quintet’, the piece was coincidentally composed for an unusual grouping of musicians – piano, violin, cello and double bass – instead of the typical piano quintet of piano and string quartet.
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