JEAN-MARIE LECLAIR (1697-1764)
Concerto in B-flat major for Violin, Strings, and Continuo, Op. 10, No. 1 (1745)
Giga: Allegro ma non troppo
Bella Hristova, violin • Aaron Boyd, violin • Sean Lee, violin • Paul Neubauer, viola • Mihai Marica, cello • Timothy Cobb, bass • Gilles Vonsattel, harpsichord
JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)
Sonata in G major for Keyboard, Hob. XVI:40 (1784)
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Quintet in A major for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, B. 155, Op. 81 (1887)
Allegro, ma non tanto
Dumka: Andante con moto
Scherzo: Furiant, molto vivace
Wu Han, piano; Chad Hoopes, violin • Paul Huang, violin • Matthew Lipman, viola • Dmitri Atapine, cello
NOTES ON THE PROGRAM
Concerto in B-flat major for Violin, Strings, and Continuo, Op. 10, No. 1 (1745)
Jean-Marie Leclair (Lyons, 1697 – Paris, 1764)
During Leclair’s lifetime, Italy was the center of virtuoso violin playing and French musicians were eager to incorporate Italian technique with their national style. Leclair traveled to Italy while working in his first profession—as a ballet dancer—and ended up studying violin in Turin with Giovanni Battista Somis. During his long career (mostly in various parts of France but also including a stint in The Netherlands), Leclair succeeded in uniting cutting-edge Italian style with French dance music, ornamentation, and a reserved, elegant aesthetic. His remarkably consistent style over 40 years led later generations to recognize him as the founder of the French violin school. In 1744 he found himself in Chambéry performing for Infante Felipe of Spain, who was based there while invading Italy. It is unclear whether Leclair composed the six concertos of Op. 10 at that time or earlier, but he published them the following year with a dedication to the prince.
The first movement of Leclair’s Op. 10, No. 1 starts with a stately melody in the full ensemble while the solo episodes show Leclair’s style of virtuosity with double stops, arpeggios, and leaps. The slow second movement uses double stops and distinctly French ornamentation, and the last movement is a poised gigue, a fast dance that often served as the finale to Baroque dance suites.
LECLAIR’S MYSTERIOUS DEATH
On the morning of October 23, 1764, Leclair’s body was discovered in his home. It was murder. His hat and wig had been knocked off his head and he had three stab wounds to the chest. Paris was shocked and a major investigation ensued. Robbery was quickly ruled out (no money had been stolen) so the police questioned Leclair’s acquaintances. The gardener, who found the body, blamed Leclair’s employer, the Duke de Gramont, who blamed the gardener right back. Leclair’s nephew, a musician, was a prime suspect, as he was furious with the composer for refusing to help him find employment with the Duke. Leclair’s wife, a music engraver, may have had the clearest motive of all as she was estranged from him and had recently given him money. In the end, no one was charged. Historians today tend to believe it was the nephew but the mystery remains unsolved.
Sonata in G major for Keyboard, Hob. XVI:40 (1784)
Joseph Haydn (Rohrau, Austria, 1732 – Vienna, 1809)
By 1784, Haydn had multiple income streams. His main salary was from Prince Nikolaus Esterházy I, for whom he mainly composed and produced operas for the Esterháza palace theater, and on the side Haydn published instrumental music and sold it across Europe for home music making. This sonata combines the two endeavors—it was written for sale to the public but was dedicated to Marie von Liechtenstein, who had recently married his employer’s grandson. After Marie’s husband became the Prince of Esterházy in 1794, Haydn wrote elaborate name day masses for her every year for a number of years. But this sonata is the opposite of those later works and fitting for a 15-year-old princess—light, clever, delightful, and surprising.
This little sonata, the first in a set of three, is a study in contrasts. In two movements rather than the usual three, it starts with an innocent-sounding theme but soon things get more complicated in a set of variations that alternate between major and minor. The ornamentation in the variations has moments of improvisatory embellishment, injections of whimsy into a tightly composed movement. The second movement has many surprises in store, from jarring key changes to chirping high notes. This is a work of Haydn the jokester all the way through—even the ending is unexpectedly off-kilter.
HAYDN’S HOBOKEN NUMBERS
Haydn has one of the more convoluted catalogue systems. It was created by Anthony van Hoboken (1887-1983), who spent decades organizing Haydn’s enormous output. The Roman numerals refer to the genre (keyboard sonatas are XVI) and the second number places the work in chronological order within the genre. According to Hoboken’s numbers, this is Haydn’s 40th keyboard sonata but, since some earlier sonatas are of doubtful authorship, the number doesn’t give an accurate count. Still, it helps distinguish this sonata from Haydn’s other keyboard sonatas in G major.
Quintet in A major for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, B. 155, Op. 81 (1887)
Antonín Dvořák (Nelahozeves, 1841 – Prague, 1904)
By the 1880s, Dvořák’s music was in high demand. After the breakout hit, Slavonic Dances of 1878, his music for the home market sold exceedingly well and his publisher Simrock was always interested in acquiring more. In 1887 they agreed on a piano quintet. Dvořák took a second look at a quintet in A major (Op. 5) that he’d written 15 years before but ultimately decided it would be better to compose something new in the same key. As usual, he worked quickly and wrote the quintet in less than two months, completing it on October 3, 1887. It premiered on January 6, 1888 in Prague and quickly received premieres in a number of other European cities. Tchaikovsky visited Prague later in 1888 and described the piece favorably.
This piece has everything that made Dvořák famous—beautiful melodies, colorful harmonies, and a sense of proportion and drama that take the listener on a journey. The first two movements are much longer than the last two movements and the heart of the piece is the Dumka. This Slavonic-inspired form in Dvořák’s hands is usually an epic folk ballad with many contrasting sections. Here, though the epic story-telling flavor remains, there’s one main melody throughout. It’s slow and wistful in the outer sections and agitated in the middle. The other three movements have many gripping moments but perhaps the most interesting is a fugal section in the last movement that may be a nod to Schumann’s path-breaking piano quintet of 1842.
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.
Violinist Aaron Boyd enjoys a growing international reputation as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, recording artist, lecturer, and pedagogue. Since making his New York recital debut in 1998, he has concertized throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Formerly a member of the Escher String Quartet, together with whom he was a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Martin E. Segal prize from Lincoln Center, he was also awarded a Proclamation by the City of Pittsburgh for his musical accomplishments. An advocate for new music, he has been involved in numerous commissions and premieres and has worked directly with such legendary composers as Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and Charles Wuorinen. He was also founder of the Zukofsky Quartet, the only ensemble to have played all of Milton Babbitt's notoriously difficult string quartets in concert. As a recording artist, he can be heard on the BIS, Music@Menlo Live, Naxos, Tzadik, North/South, and Innova labels. He has been broadcast on television and radio by PBS, NPR, WQXR, WQED, and was profiled by Arizona Public Television. Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Boyd began his studies with Samuel LaRocca and Eugene Phillips and graduated from The Juilliard School where he studied with Sally Thomas and coached extensively with Paul Zukofsky and Harvey Shapiro. He serves as Director of Chamber Music and Professor of Practice in Violin at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and lives in Plano, Texas with his wife Yuko, daughter Ayu, and son Yuki.
Timothy Cobb is the principal bass of the New York Philharmonic, prior to which he served as principal bass for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has appeared at numerous chamber music festivals worldwide, and as a former participant in the Marlboro Music festival, has toured with the Musicians from Marlboro series. He is a faculty member of the Sarasota Music Festival and serves as principal bass for Valery Gergiev’s World Orchestra for Peace, an invited group of musicians from around the world, from which he has earned the title UNESCO Artist for Peace. He also served as principal bass for the Mostly Mozart festival orchestra. He can be heard on all Met recordings after 1986, as well as on the Naxos label in a recording of Giovanni Bottesini’s duo bass compositions with fellow bassist Thomas Martin, of London. Mr. Cobb graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Roger Scott. In his senior year he became a member of the Chicago Symphony under Sir Georg Solti. He serves as bass department chair for The Juilliard School and on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Purchase College, and Rutgers University. He also holds the title ‘Distinguished Artist in Residence’ at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Acclaimed by critics for his exceptional talent and magnificent tone, American violinist Chad Hoopes has remained a consistent performer with many of the world’s leading orchestras since winning First Prize at the Young Artists Division of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. He is a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant. Highlights of past seasons include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse for the French premiere of Qigang Chen’s concerto La joie de la souffrance. He has performed with leading orchestras, including the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, and National Symphonies, as well as the Minnesota, Colorado Music Festival, and National Arts Centre Orchestras. He has additionally performed recitals at the Ravinia Festival, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Louvre, and at Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series in New York City. His debut recording with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra under Kristjan Järvi featured the Mendelssohn and Adams concertos and was enthusiastically received by both press and public. His recording of Bernstein’s Violin Sonata with pianist Wayne Marshall was recently released. Born in Florida, he began his violin studies at the age of three in Minneapolis, and continued his training at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He additionally studied at the Kronberg Academy under the guidance of Professor Ana Chumachenco, who remains his mentor. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he plays the 1991 Samuel Zygmuntowicz, ex Isaac Stern violin.
Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova’s growing international career includes numerous appearances as soloist with orchestra including performances with the Milwaukee and Kansas City symphonies, and Beethoven’s ten sonatas with acclaimed pianist Michael Houstoun on tour in New Zealand. Last season, she performed ten different works as soloist with orchestra, from Mozart to Sibelius to Bartók, as well as concertos by Florence Price (with the Knoxville Symphony) and David Ludwig (with the Hawaii Symphony and Symphony Tacoma). She has performed at major venues and worked with conductors including Pinchas Zukerman, Jaime Laredo, and Michael Stern. A sought-after chamber musician at festivals, she performs at Australia’s Musica Viva, Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Santa Fe Chamber and Marlboro Music festivals. Her recording Bella Unaccompanied (A.W. Tonegold Records) features works for solo violin by Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein, and J. S. Bach. She is recipient of a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, first prizes in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and a laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Ms. Hristova attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Ida Kavafian and Steven Tenenbom, and received her artist diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. An alum of CMS's Bowers Program, she plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin.
Recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang makes recent and forthcoming appearances with the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, the Detroit Symphony with Leonard Slatkin, and the Houston Symphony with Andrés Orozco-Estrada. During Beethoven’s 250 anniversary celebrations in the 2020-21 season, he will perform the Beethoven Concerto with the Colorado Symphony and Eugene Symphony, as well as the Triple Concerto with the Charlotte Symphony. Other highlights will include appearances with the San Diego Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and the National Symphony of Mexico. Internationally, he will make his debut with Heidelberg Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic with Lahav Shani, and return to the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan as its artist-in-residence. A frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide, he recently stepped in for Anne-Sophie Mutter at Bravo! Vail Music Festival playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin as well as a recital debut at the Lucerne Festival, both to critical acclaim. Winner of the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Huang earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School and is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program. He plays on the legendary 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Violinist Sean Lee has captured the attention of audiences around the world with his lively performances of the classics. A recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is one of few violinists who dares to perform Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices in concert, and his YouTube series, Paganini POV, continues to draw praise for its use of technology in sharing unique perspectives and insight into violin playing. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Israel Camerata Jerusalem, and Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice; and his recital appearances have taken him to Vienna's Konzerthaus, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. As a season artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he continues to perform regularly at Lincoln Center, as well as on tour. Originally from Los Angeles, Mr. Lee studied with Robert Lipsett of the Colburn Conservatory and legendary violinist Ruggiero Ricci before moving at the age of 17 to study at The Juilliard School with his longtime mentor, violinist Itzhak Perlman. He currently teaches at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, as well as the Perlman Music Program. He performs on a violin originally made for violinist Ruggiero Ricci in 1999 by David Bague.
American violist Matthew Lipman has been praised by the New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing.” He has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Grand Rapids Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Montgomery Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, and at Chicago’s Symphony Center. Recent solo appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, Seoul’s Kumho Art Hall, and CMS’s Rose Studio. The Strad praised his “most impressive” debut album Ascent, released by Cedille Records in February 2019, and his recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and Sir Neville Marriner on the Avie label topped the Billboard Charts. He was featured on WFMT Chicago’s list of “30 Under 30” of the world’s top classical musicians and has been published in The Strad, Strings, and BBC Music magazines. He performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at renowned chamber music festivals including Music@Menlo, Marlboro, Ravinia, Bridgehampton, and Seattle. The recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a winner of the Primrose, Tertis, Washington, Johansen, and Stulberg International Viola Competitions, he studied at The Juilliard School with Heidi Castleman and was further mentored by Tabea Zimmermann at the Kronberg Academy. A native of Chicago and an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, Mr. Lipman is on faculty at Stony Brook University and performs on a 1700 Matteo Goffriller viola on generous loan from the RBP Foundation.
Romanian-born cellist Mihai Marica is a first prize winner of the Dr. Luis Sigall International Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile and the Irving M. Klein International Competition, and is a recipient of Charlotte White’s Salon de Virtuosi Fellowship Grant. He has performed with orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of Chile, Xalapa Symphony in Mexico, the Hermitage State Orchestra of St. Petersburg in Russia, the Jardins Musicaux Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Santa Cruz Symphony in the US. He has also appeared in recital performances in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Holland, South Korea, Japan, Chile, the United States, and Canada. A dedicated chamber musician, he has performed at the Chamber Music Northwest, Norfolk, and Aspen music festivals where he has collaborated with such artists as Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, André Watts, and Edgar Meyer. He is a founding member of the award-winning Amphion String Quartet. A recent collaboration with dancer Lil Buck brought forth new pieces for solo cello written by Yevgeniy Sharlat and Patrick Castillo. Last season, he joined the acclaimed Apollo Trio. Mr. Marica studied with Gabriela Todor in his native Romania and with Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music where he was awarded master's and artist diploma degrees. He is an alum of CMS's Bowers Program.
For over 25 years Anne-Marie McDermott has played concertos, recitals, and chamber music in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. She also serves as artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Music and Ocean Reef Music festivals, as well as Curator for Chamber Music for the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego. Recent performance highlights include appearances with the Colorado Symphony, Florida Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, New World Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Mexico National Symphony, and Taipei Symphony. She also returned to play Mozart with the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin at the Bravo! Vail Festival. She has performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Seattle Symphony, National Symphony, and Houston Symphony. Her recordings include the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas, Bach’s English Suites and partitas (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone magazine), Gershwin’s complete works for piano and orchestra with the Dallas Symphony (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone magazine), and, most recently, the Haydn piano sonatas and concertos with the Odense Philharmonic in Denmark. She tours each season with the Chamber Music Society, as a member of the piano quartet OPUS ONE, with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and as part of a trio with her sisters Kerry and Maureen McDermott. Ms. McDermott studied at the Manhattan School of Music, has been awarded the Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women and an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and won the Young Concert Artists auditions.
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 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.
Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is an artist of extraordinary versatility and originality. He is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, winner of the Naumburg and Geneva competitions, and was selected for the 2016 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. In recent years, he has made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and San Francisco Symphony while performing recitals and chamber music at Ravinia, Tokyo’s Musashino Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bravo! Vail, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music@Menlo. Deeply committed to the performance of contemporary music, he has premiered numerous works both in the United States and Europe and has worked closely with notable composers including Jörg Widmann, Heinz Holliger, and George Benjamin. Recent projects include appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety), Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg (Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue), Beethoven concertos with the Santa Barbara Symphony and Florida Orchestra, as well as multiple appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. An alum of CMS's Bowers Program, Mr. Vonsattel received his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Columbia University and his master’s degree from The Juilliard School. He currently makes his home in New York City and serves as a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Co-artistic director of the Chamber Music Society, pianist Wu Han is among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. She is a recipient of Musical America’s Musician of the Year award and has risen to international prominence through her wide-ranging activities as a concert performer, recording artist, educator, arts administrator, and cultural entrepreneur. In high demand as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician, she appears at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and performs extensively as duo partner with cellist David Finckel. Together, they co-founded ArtistLed, classical music’s first musician-directed and Internet-based recording company, whose catalogue has won widespread critical praise. Recent recordings include a set of three Wu Han LIVE albums, a collaborative production between the ArtistLed and Music@Menlo LIVE labels. The latest captures her live performances of Fauré's piano quartets from the festival. Complementing her work as a performing artist, Wu Han’s artistic partnerships bring her in contact with new audiences in the US and abroad: she is Artistic Advisor of The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts’ Chamber Music at the Barns series and co-founder and artistic director of Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival and Institute in Silicon Valley. In recognition of her passionate commitment to music education, Montclair State University has appointed her a special artist-in-residence.