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M R U C O N S E R VAT O RY P R E S E N T S

W YAT T C O N C E R T S E R I E S

ZUKERMAN TRIO

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS CONCERT SEASON 2016/17

BELLA CONCERT HALL • FEB. 17, 2017 • 7:30 P.M.

 @MRUPERFORMS • #BELLASTYLE #MRUBELLA  @MRUCONSERVATORY • #BELLASTYLE #MRUBELLA  MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY CONSERVATORY


Musicians often point to an educational encounter with, or a transformational performance by, a great artist as the inspiration for their commitment to a life in the performing arts. Mount Royal University Conservatory’s Wyatt Artist in Residence Program strives to provide our students with these life-changing opportunities: allowing them to hear and study with worldrenowned artists as mentors in intimate master class settings. The Wyatt Series was established in honour of the late Hal and Marnie Wyatt, longtime friends and supporters of the MRU Conservatory. Through their generosity, we are pleased to provide unique training opportunities for our students and memorable performances for our community to enjoy. Tonight, thanks to their legacy, we are pleased to present the Zukerman Trio as the first of three Wyatt Series concerts in the Bella Concert Hall. We trust you will enjoy tonight’s program and look forward to having you join us for the rest of the Wyatt Series featuring the ever-innovative Kronos Quartet (Wednesday, March 22nd) and esteemed violinist Andrés Cárdenes with MRU Conservatory’s Calgary Youth Orchestra (Sunday, May 14th) at the Bella. Our continued heartfelt thanks to the Wyatts. Dr. Brad Mahon


MESSAGE FROM THE CONSERVATORY WELCOME TO THE MUSIC TO YOUR EARS concert season at the Bella Concert Hall in the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts! We are so excited to launch our inaugural season featuring seven separate series with over 25 diverse events. As a world-class centre for arts education and training, we are committed to providing education and performance opportunities for our students as well as showcasing exemplary artistic achievement in music and speech arts. From reggae legends and jazz aficionados to eastern classical masters to Canadian astronauts, this year’s line-up quite literally has something for everyone. Pinchas Zukerman, Amanda Forsyth and Angela Cheng are national treasures. Their incomparable artistry onstage is matched only by their commitment to inspiring emerging artists like those in our MRU Conservatory. With unending thanks to the generosity of the Wyatt Family, we’re deeply honoured to have the Zukerman Trio working with our Academy Program for Young Artists while they debut at the Bella Concert Hall. The Bella Concert Hall is an award-winning venue with perfect acoustics to amplify the finest artistic voices of our time. For upcoming artists, visit mru.ca/enjoy. We at MRU Conservatory would like to invite you to join us in welcoming the Zukerman Trio to the Bella. Mark DeJong Artistic Program Coordinator


“The cleanly articulate performance was elevated by an uncommon passion, both in the tender Adagio and in the finale that shifts abruptly from sadness to joy.” -The Chicago Tribune A prodigious talent recognized worldwide for his artistry Pinchas Zukerman has been an inspiration to young musicians throughout his adult life. In a continuing effort to motivate future generations of musicians through education and outreach, the renowned artist teamed up in 2002 with four protégés to form a string quintet called the Zukerman ChamberPlayers. Despite limited availability during the season, the ensemble amassed an impressive international touring schedule with close to two hundred concerts and four discs on the CBC, Altara and Sony labels.


Beginning in 2011 Zukerman, along with cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng, began offering trio repertoire as an alternative to the quintet works with the ChamberPlayers. In addition to piano trios by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Dvorak and Shostakovich, programs often include duo performances with various couplings including the Kodaly Duo. Invitations from major Festivals and venues led to the official launch of the Zukerman Trio in 2013. The ensemble has traveled around the globe to appear in Japan, China, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Hungary, South Africa, Istanbul, Russia, and throughout the United States. Appearances at major festivals have included the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Verbier, and Bravo! Vail. This season the Zukerman Trio gives debut performances in Los Angeles, Sonoma, Sanibel, Oberlin, Oslo and Summit, NJ, and makes return visits to Ravinia, La Jolla, Palm Beach and Kingston, Ontario. In addition to chamber performances in Australia, they join the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Western Australian Symphony Orchestra (Perth) for Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Mr. Zukerman has recorded for CBS Masterworks, Philips, Angel, Deutsche Grammophon, CBC Records, Altara, Biddulph Recordings, Sony and BMG Classics/RCA Victor Red Seal. Exclusive Representation: Kirshbaum Associates, Inc. 711 West End Avenue, Suite 5KN New York, NY 10025 www.kirshbaumassociates.com


Pinchas Zukerman

“With Pinchas Zukerman’s matchless musicianship and charisma at its core, this is a trio made in heaven. Amanda Forsyth brings passion and formidable technique as a cellist, and pianist Angela Cheng is the dream accompanist who lives every note.” -Limelight, Australia’s Classical Music and Arts Magazine

Pinchas Zukerman’s 2016-2017 season, his eighth as Principal

Born in Tel Aviv, Pinchas Zukerman

Guest Conductor of the Royal

came to America in 1962, where

Philharmonic Orchestra in London

he studied at The Juilliard School

and his second as Artist-in-

with Ivan Galamian. He has been

Association with the Adelaide

awarded a Medal of Arts, the Isaac

Symphony Orchestra, includes

Stern Award for Artistic Excellence,

over 100 concerts worldwide.

and was appointed as the Rolex

Orchestral engagements include

Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative’s

the Cleveland Orchestra and

first instrumentalist mentor in

Boston, Pittsburgh, New Jersey

the music discipline. A devoted

and Montreal Symphonies, plus

and innovative pedagogue, Mr.

overseas appearances with the

Zukerman chairs the Pinchas

Berlin and Israel Philharmonics,

Zukerman Performance Program

Camerata Salzburg, Sydney

at the Manhattan School of Music,

Symphony, Korean Chamber

where he has pioneered the use

Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic

of distance-learning technology

Orchestra and Miyazaki Festival

in the arts. He currently serves

Orchestra. European recitals

as Conductor Emeritus of the

with pianist Yefim Bronfman

National Arts Centre Orchestra of

and chamber concerts with the

Canada, as well as Artistic Director

Zukerman Trio round out the

of its Young Artist Program.

season.


Amanda Forsyth

Angela Cheng

Canadian Juno Award-winning

Consistently praised for her

Amanda Forsyth is considered

brilliant technique, tonal beauty

one of North America’s most

and superb musicianship,

dynamic cellists. Her intense

Canadian pianist Angela Cheng

richness of tone, remarkable

performs regularly throughout

technique and exceptional

North America as a recitalist and

musicality combine to enthrall

orchestral soloist. Angela Cheng

audiences and critics alike. From

has been Gold Medalist of the

1999-2015, Amanda Forsyth was

Arthur Rubinstein International

principal cellist of the National

Piano Masters Competition,

Arts Centre Orchestra, where

as well as the first Canadian to

she appeared regularly as soloist

win the prestigious Montreal

and in chamber ensembles. She

International Piano Competition.

is recognized as an eminent

Other awards include the

recitalist, soloist and chamber

Canada Council’s coveted

musician appearing with leading

Career Development Grant and

orchestras in Canada, the United

the Medal of Excellence for

States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

outstanding interpretations of

As a recording artist she appears

Mozart from the Mozarteum in

on the Fanfare, Marquis, Pro Arte

Salzburg.

and CBC labels.


ZUKERMAN TRIO Pinchas Zukerman, Violin Amanda Forsyth, Cello Angela Cheng, Piano BRAHMS SHOSTAKOVICH

Sonatensatz (Scherzo from FAE Sonata) Piano Trio in E minor, Op. 67, No. 2

Andante - Moderato Allegro con brio Largo Allegretto INTERMISSION SCHUBERT

Piano Trio in Bb Major, No. 1, D.898 Allegro moderato Andante un poco mosso Scherzo. Allegro - Trio Rondo. Allegro vivace


Johannes Brahms

Scherzo for Violin and Piano (from the F.A.E. Sonata) It is not often that a classical music piece is written by a committee, even a committee of composers. But this is the case with what is today known as the F.A.E. Sonata. This piece was written in 1853 at the instigation of Robert Schumann who together with Albert Dietrich and Johannes Brahms were friends of the violinist Joseph Joachim (for whom Brahms later wrote his Violin Concerto in D major). Joachim was an expected visitor to Schumann’s home, and the three friends wrote a sonata as a gesture of friendship. Brahms (then just twenty years old) was assigned to write the scherzo, and of this four movements that were composed, it is his movement that has attained repertory status. The letters F.A.E. refer to a personal motto of Joachim—adopted to some degree by Brahms himself—that was derived from the first letters of the German words: Frei, aber einsam (Free, but alone). This heroic, romantic phrase (imagine the hand placed over the heart, head raised slightly) boldly asserts the contradictions of the artistic life: one must sacrifice oneself in a dedication to “art.” (A decade later Joachim married and had six children, all the while pursuing a significant artistic career.) The music of the scherzo is energy itself, with a pulsating opening section that is contrasted with a more lyrical middle section. In its drive and sophistication, it is a remarkable work for someone just twenty, justifying Schumann’s faith in Brahms as the vehicle in which the Beethovenian tradition would continue into the next generation.


Dmitri Shostakovich

Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor The Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor by Shostakovich is one of the composers most popular and important later works. It also asks of the listener the ability to link of extra-musical images and music. As with other of his works, Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor appears to be rooted in elements of personal biography, and these elements that need to be known for there to be a context to the understanding of the emotional substance of the music. The biographical element concerns the sudden, unexpected death of Ivan Sollertinsky in Russia in February 1944, a time when World War II was still raging. Sollertinsky was approximately the same age as Shostakovich and a close friend. He was a remarkable polymath: he could speak many languages and was also a writer and thinker of distinction. He was also Jewish. His death came as a great shock to Shostakovich, and the Piano Trio in E minor is a memorial to his friend. In a note to Sollertinsky’s widow Olga, the composer wrote: “I cannot express in words all the grief I felt when I received the news of the death of Ivan Ivanovich. [He] was my closest and dearest friend. I owe all my education to him.” The trio thus strives to express in music images that are associated with his friend as a type of musical threnody. In the formulation of Dmitri Rabinovich, another friend of Shostakovich and a leading Russian writer on music, the first movement is a portrayal of everyday life in Russia, the atmospheric opening a representation of quietness and peace, and the later folk-based figures an expression of Sollertinsky’s Russian heritage. While there are no overt quotations of songs or music that have obvious links outside itself, the second movement, with its energy and optimistic air has been taken to be a portrayal of Sollertinsky’s inherently optimistic personality


and drive. The third movement, a type of chaconne (based upon a repeating figure of eight powerful chords) is evidently a type of threnody. The most powerful music comes in the final movement, which contain striking passages that are, in effect, a stylized representation of Yiddish dance tunes. The strange element behind this music was described by Shostakovich as follows: “Jewish folk music can appear to be happy while it is tragic. It is almost always laughter through tears. This quality of Jewish folk music is close to my idea of what music should be. There should always be two layers in music. Jews were tormented for so long that they learned to hide their despair. They express despair on dance music.” Here the listener is asked to engage empathetically with Shostakovich and to “hear” the music as an expression of affection, of character, and the felt tragedy of a remarkable life snatched away too soon. The significance of this movement to Shostakovich, and its connection to his depth of feeling concerning the Jewish plight, can be seen in the quotation of the theme of this movement in the second movement of his String Quartet No. 8, the most popular of Shostakovich’s string quartets, and dedicated “to the victims of fascism and the war.”


Franz Schubert

Piano Trio in B-flat, D. 898 “One glance at Schubert’s Trio and the troubles of our human existence disappear and all the world is fresh and bright again.” These words by Robert Schumann nicely sum up the character of Schubert’s Piano Trio in B-flat, one of the composer’s sunniest works. For Schubert it was in Indian summer, both in terms of his compositions and life. The trio was composed in the summer by 1827. By the Fall, Schubert began work on Winterreise, his song cycle of twenty-four songs that end in madness and death. Fifteen months after the composition of the this trio, Schubert himself was in the grave, a bare thirty-one years old when he died. But none of this is present in the trio. This is happy Schubert, the Schubert of the idealized outdoor life, of happy smiles and sunny moods. The character of the entire quartet is presented at the outset with its cheerful theme, bouncy accompaniment—must of stylized innocence. And the good spirits prevail throughout the lyrical three-part slow movement and playful scherzo movement, the character of which anticipates Brahms’s own works in this style. The Schubert specialist Alfred Einstein pointed out the resemblance of the theme of the final rondo to Schubert’s own song “Skolie.” The song contains the following words: “let us in the bright May morning take delight in the brief life of the flower, before its fragrance disappears.” Although not directly connected to the movement, the spirit words aptly reflects the character of the movement—indeed, of the entire trio. Program notes by Kenneth DeLong


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Acquisition of our Hamburg Steinway Piano was made possible through generous support from an anonymous donor and The Community Facility Enhancement Program, Alberta Culture and Tourism.

Take Your Seat at the Bella Concert Hall Ensure that you always have the best seat in the house. A tax-deductible donation of $1000 is all it takes to place your name on a seat in Calgary's brand new Bella Concert Hall in the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts. With only 300 seats left, now is the time to support your arts community by sponsoring in your name, or the name of a loved one. Each seat sponsorship comes with the gift of a pair of concert tickets to an MRU Conservatory event of your choice at the Bella in 2017. To take your seat, and for more information, contact Heidi Christophel at 403.440.6591.


MRU CONSERVATORY Junior Orchestra Ages 7 to 15

Early Childhood Strings Ages 3 to 8

Conservatory Strings Ages 12 to 16

Choral Programs Ages 6+

Calgary Youth Orchestra Ages 14 to 24

Academy for Young Artists Ages 8+

Children’s Cello Ages 3 to 9

Advanced Performance Program Ages 15+

mru.ca/conservatory


MUSIC TO YOUR EARS

Tickets at mru.ca/enjoy

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& Friends MAR. 3, 2017

Antigona

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca MAR. 10, 2017

Journey LIVE!

Fifth House Ensemble MAY 6, 2017

The Queen, The Bear and The Bumblebee APR. 23, 2017

Kronos Quartet MAR. 22, 2017

Pedrito Martinez

Group APR. 22, 2017

Avital Meets Avital MAR. 15, 2017

Cowtown Opera APR. 2, 2017


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MRU Presents: Zukerman Trio  

Wyatt Concert Series | Music To Your Ears Concert Season 2016/17 | Feb. 16, 2017

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