Letter V Classical Radio Feb. 2

During his years in the US in the 1890s, Antonin Dvořák said the route to a truly American strain of art-music was to tap the roots of the country’s indigenous songs and dances. In this program, we’ll hear two of Dvořák’s American-accented chamber works alongside music by composers who took his advice.

7-9 p.m. EST
0000-0200 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
http://wdce.net

Dvořák: String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97
Pavel Haas Quartet
Pavel Nikl, viola
(Supraphon)

Arthur Farwell:
“Impressions of the Wa-Wan Ceremony of the Omahas,” Op. 21
Lisa Cheryl Thomas, piano
(Toccata Classics)

Libby Larsen: “Sorrow Song and Jubilee”
Apollo Chamber Players
(Navona)

Dvořák: Sonatina in G major, Op. 100
Gil Shaham, violin
Orli Shaham, piano
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Henry Thacker Burleigh: “Plantation Melodies, Old and New”
Apollo Chamber Players
(Navona)

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 2 (“Song of a New Race”)
Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
(Chandos)

Letter V Classical Radio Jan. 26

A Scandinavian sampler . . .

7-9 p.m. EST
0000-0200 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
http://wdce.net

Sibelius: “Finlandia”
YL Male Voice Choir
Minnesota Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä
(BIS)

Grieg: Quartet in G minor, Op. 27
Emerson String Quartet
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Wilhelm Stenhammar: “Exclesior!”
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Petter Sundkvist
(Naxos)

Franz Berwald: “Elfenspiel” (“Play of the Elves”)
Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard
(Chandos)

Nielsen: Violin Concerto
Vilde Frang, violin
Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Eivind Gullberg Jensen
(Warner Classics)

Lars-Erik Larsson: “En vintersaga” (“A Winter’s Tale”)
Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Manze
(cpo)

Menuhin Competition events and tickets

The Menuhin Competition Trust and Richmond Symphony have named 44 entrants – 22 age 15 or under, 22 ages 16-21 – in the 2020 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition, to be staged from May 14 to 24 at various venues in the Richmond area.

The competitors come from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the US. A Virginia contestant, Kayleigh Kim, recent winner of the Richmond Symphony League’s Student Concerto Competition, is one of the American entrants.

TwoSet Violin, the duo of Australian violinists Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, known for their witty videos on classical music and performing life, have been added to the schedule of Menuhin Competition events. They will cover the competition on social media and participate in a May 23 event at Virginia Commonwealth University featuring motion-capture technology, in which human movement is captured digitally. Details will be announced later.

Folk fiddler, violinist and teacher Mark O’Connor, already scheduled for a concert with his wife, Maggie O’Connor, on May 20 at the Byrd Theatre, also will participate in Violin Day, a May 2 event for elementary and secondary students at Virginia Commonwealth University.

New works by O’Connor and the Richmond-bred composer Mason Bates have been commissioned for performances by Menuhin contestants.

“Portrait of the City, a daylong exhibition of art works by Richmond area students with music by the Sphinx Virtuosi chamber orchestra, will be presented on May 23 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Arthur Ashe Boulevard at Grove Avenue.

The competition’s local host consortium includes the City of Richmond, the Richmond Symphony, the University of Richmond, VCU and VPM (Virginia Public Media).

The symphony is offering a Menuhin Experience Package of tickets for two or more selected concerts at a 10 percent discount through April 1. For details, call the symphony patron-services office at (804) 788-1212.

For single tickets, visit http://2020.menuhincompetition.org/program-tickets or call (800) 514-3849 (ETIX).

The final events schedule with adult ticket prices (discounted tickets are offered for children, college students and military):

May 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Opening Gala Concert
Richmond Symphony
Jahja Ling conducting
Shostakovich: “Festive Overture”
Saint-Saëns: “Introduction and Rondo capriccioso”
Christian Li, violin
Sarasate: “Carmen Fantasy”
Chloe Chua, violin
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major
Soyoung Yoon, violin
Rimsky-Korsakov: “Capriccio Espagnol”
$10-$100

May 15 (10 a.m. & 2:15 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Junior 1st rounds, day 1
with Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong & Daniel Stipe, piano
free

May 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Thomas Dale High School, 3626 W. Hundred Road, Chester
Geneva 2018 competition junior prizewinners concert:
Chloe Chua, Hina Khuong-Huu & Christian Li, violin
Gordon Back, piano
Thomas Dale Chamber Orchestra
Christopher Johnson conducting
program TBA
$10

May 16 (10 a.m. & 2:15 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Junior 1st rounds, day 2
with Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong & Daniel Stipe, piano
free

May 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra
Daniel Myssyk conducting
Rimsky-Korsakov: “Russian Easter Overture”
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor
Ning Feng, violin
Bizet: “L’Arlesienne” Suite No. 1
$5

May 17 (10 a.m. & 1:50 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Senior 1st rounds, day 1
with Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong & Daniel Stipe, piano
free

May 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street
Rennolds Chamber Concerts:
Menuhin Competition Jurors Showcase:
Beethoven: Cello Sonata in A major, Op. 69
Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
Anton Nel, piano
Bloch: “Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life”
Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin
Gordon Back, piano
Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44
Pamela Frank & Noah Bendix-Balgley, violins
Joji Hattori, viola
Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
Anton Nel, piano
$35

May 18 (10 a.m. & 1:50 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Senior 1st rounds, day 2
with Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong & Daniel Stipe, piano
free

May 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Virginia Rep’s November Theatre, 114 W. Broad St.
Regina Carter Quartet:
Regina Carter, violin
Xavier Davis, piano
Chris Lightcap, bass
Alvester Garnett, drums
jazz program TBA
$20-$40

May 19 (10 a.m. & 2:20 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street
Junior semi-finals
with Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong & Daniel Stipe, piano
$10

May 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Perkinson Recital Hall, North Court, University of Richmond
Ning Feng, violin
Anton Nel, piano
Sheila Johnson, speaker
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 47 (“Kreutzer”)
Rita Dove: “Sonata Mulattica: a Life in Five Movements and a Short Play” (excerpts)
ticket prices & availability TBA

May 20 (10 a.m. & 2:20 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street
Senior semi-finals
Mozart: concerto movements TBA
with Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong & Daniel Stipe, piano
Astor Piazzolla: “Histoire du Tango”
Mark O’Connor: commissioned work (premiere)
with Chaconne Klaverenga, guitar
$10

May 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Byrd Theatre, 2908 W. Cary St.
Mark O’Connor, fiddle & guitar
Maggie O’Connor, fiddle
folk & acoustic program TBA
$20

May 21 (10 a.m., 12:30 & 3 p.m.)
Academic Learning Commons, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1000 Floyd Ave.
Menuhin Competition jurors masterclasses:
10 a.m. session: Pamela Frank & Ning Feng, violins; Anton Nel, piano
12:30 p.m. session: Ray Chen & Soyoung Yoon, violins; Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
3 p.m. session: Pamela Frank & Noah Bendix-Balgley, violins; Joji Hattori, viola; Howard Nelson, physical therapist
$10 per session

May 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Sphinx Virtuosi
Bartók: Divertimento – III. Allegro assai
Xavier Foley: “For Justice and Peace”
Ruben Rengel, violin
Astor Piazzolla: “Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas” (“The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”)
Elena Urioste, violin
Johan Svendsen: Romance, Op. 26
Joji Hattori, violin
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson: “Generations: Sinfonietta No. 2” – III. Alla burletta
Michael Abels: “Delights and Dances”
$36

May 22 (3:30 p.m.)
Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, Broad and Belvedere streets
Aaron Dworkin, Ronald Crutcher, other panelists TBA
“The Danger of a Single Story: the Importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Arts and Their Role in Society”
admission arrangements TBA

May 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Junior Finals:
5 violinists TBA
Sphinx Virtuosi
Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons” (each finalist playing one concerto)
Mason Bates: commissioned work (premiere) (played by all finalists)
$10-$50

May 23 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Senior Finals:
4 violinists TBA
Richmond Symphony
Andrew Litton conducting
Lalo: “Symphonie espagnole” (without 3rd movement)
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor
Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor
$10-$100

May 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets
Closing Gala Concert:
Richmond Symphony
Sphinx Virtuosi
Andrew Litton conducting
Michael Abels: “Delights and Dances”
Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons” – concerto TBA
junior competition winner
concerto movement TBA
senior competition winner
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major – I. Allegro moderato
Ray Chen, violin
Falla: “The Three-Cornered Hat” Suite No. 2
$10-$100

A Beethoven marathon in Wales

On December 22, 1808 at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, Ludwig van Beethoven staged a four-hour concert that included the premieres of his symphonies No. 5 in C minor and No. 6 in F major (“Pastoral”), Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, “Choral Fantasy,” Fantasy in G major, Op. 77, for solo piano and sections from his Mass in C major, as well as a reprise of his 1796 concert aria “Ah! perfido.”

A re-creation of that epic event was staged last weekend at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff by the Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Carlo Rizzi conducting; the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Jaime Martín conducting; pianists Steven Osborne (in the concerto) and Llŷr Williams (in the fantasies); and soprano Alwyn Mellor (in the aria).

The concert, recorded by the BBC, streams until Feb. 18 at this address:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000djfc

Vladimir Ashkenazy suddenly retires

Vladimir Ashkenazy has abruptly left the stage. A statement from his talent agency offered no details about his decision, stating only that the 82-year-old pianist and conductor has decided that “the time has come for him to retire from public performances and to do so with immediate effect.”

Ashkenazy, born in the Russian city of Gorky and educated at the Moscow Conservatory, vaulted into the top tier of pianists after winning second prize in the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, first prize in Belgium’s Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1956, and sharing first prize with John Ogdon in the 1962 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

Increasingly at odds with Soviet authorities, Ashkenazy left for the West in 1963, settling initially in London, then moving in 1968 to Iceland, homeland of his wife, Dódý. He subsequently became an Icelandic citizen. The family has lived in Switzerland since 1978.

Ashkenazy’s conducting career, which began in earnest in the 1980s, has included posts with the Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan, the Czech Philharmonic and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia, and guest-conducting appearances with many other leading orchestras.

His extensive discography, mostly on Decca label, includes piano, chamber and orchestral music ranging from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin to Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Shostakovich.

Letter V Classical Radio Jan. 19

7-9 p.m. EST
0000-0200 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
http://wdce.net

Nico Muhly: “Slow (In Nomine in Five Parts)”
Fretwork
(Signum Classics)

Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
London Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle
(Decca)

Ryan Cockerham: “Before, It Was Golden”
Er-Gene Kahng, violin
Janáček Philharmonic/Ryan Cockerham
(Albany)

Past Masters:
Ravel: “Daphnis et Chloé”
Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
London Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Monteux
(Decca)
(recorded 1959)

Satie: “Gnossienne” No. 1
Sarah Rothenberg, piano
(ECM)

Student Concerto Competition winners named

Kayleigh Kim, a 16-year-old violinist from Oak Hill, has won the Richmond Symphony League Student Concerto Competition. She received $500 and a performance with the symphony in its next LolliPops concert, 11 a.m. Jan. 25 at the Carpenter Theatre of Dominion Energy Center.

Second prize went to Bethany Bobbs, a cellist from Charlottesville, and third prize to Ari Han, a violinist from Harrisonburg.

The competition, in its 50th year, was held on Jan. 4 at Virginia Commonwealth University, and drew 36 contestants.