Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Close Encounters With Music's two-part series at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Grand Piano Quartets—Brahms and Dvořák
Wednesday, January 13, 7:30 PM
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $19/$29/$39

Two epic works by Brahms and Dvořák open the Close Encounters With Music two-part series at the Scottsdale Center in January and February, 2016—Johannes Brahms’ G minor Piano Quartet Op. 25, with its animated Hungarian idioms and whirlwind coda; and the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major Op. 87, one of Dvořák’s most sublime works. Both are symphonic in scope, with unbuttoned, folksy finales.  The two composers, friends and fellow admirers during their lifetime, stand side by side with these powerful masterpieces that display the seemingly endless inventiveness of both in architecture, melody, instrumental interplay, and sheer sonic beauty.

Joining Hanani to play some of the most vivacious and appealing music in the repertoire are pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, lauded by the New York Times as a pianist who plays “with clarity, honesty and a supple yet full-bodied sound"; violinist Ara Gregorian, who made his orchestra debut with the Boston Pops; and violinist/violist Xiao-Dong Wang, who has appeared as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic in London and the London Mozart Players.


Grand Piano Trios: Schubert, Mendelssohn and Arensky
Wednesday, February 3, 7:30 PM
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $19/$29/$39

This concert showcases two masters of the German tradition – Franz Schubert and Felix Mendelssohn – and the Russian composer Anton Arensky, whose trio is an acknowledged magnum opus. The program includes Schubert’s intimate and tender one-movement Notturno, an evocative early work that has been appropriated in film (Portrait of a Lady and Shall We Kiss); Mendelssohn’s soaring and optimistic Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49, an expression of the brief German Enlightenment, its whimsical Scherzo reminiscent of his famous Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture; and Arensky’s brilliant Trio No. 1, modeled after his hero Tchaikovsky, a work in the romantic tradition that is taking its rightful place in the chamber literature canon.

A stellar assemblage of instrumentalists of international renown includes violinist Sarah McElravy, winner of the gold medal and grand prize with the Linden Quartet at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; pianist Roman Rabinovich, first prize winner of the Arthur Rubinstein International Competition; and CEWM founder and artistic director, cellist Yehuda Hanani.

Ticket Information: Tickets are $19/$29/$39 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 480-499-TKTS (8587), or by going online to www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org. The performance will take place in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, located at 7380 East Second Street at the corner of Drinkwater Boulevard.

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