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CG: Gil Morgenstern's Reflections Series Continues With A Trio of Duos 2/16

January 19, 2012 - by NYC News Desk
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At 7:30pm on Thursday, February 16, Gil Morgenstern’s celebrated Reflections Series continues the 2011-2012 season in its intimate home, WMP Concert Hall (31 East 28th Street, NYC).

Morgenstern, the series’ violinist and artistic director leads the evening in a program entitled A Trio of Duos. Morgenstern will be joined by acclaimed cellist Darrett Adkins. The program includes Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7; Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello; and Handel’s Passacaglia, arranged by Norwegian violinist Johan Halvorsen.

About the show: "A Trio of Duos reunites Gil Morgenstern and Darrett Adkins, whose recording of duos by Kodály and Ravel shot to the top of the classical charts when it was first released on the Engine Company Records label in 2008."

"The combination of violin and cello, while a constant in chamber music throughout the history of western concert music, did not come into its own as an independent ensemble until the early part of the 20th century. The cello had been used as a continuo instrument in baroque violin sonatas, but those works are not duos in the sense of equal partnership that we now associate with that word. Since Kodály’s groundbreaking duo (1914) established the virtuosic possibilities of this ensemble, a number of composers have fashioned duos for this combination that rank among their most important works. Tonight’s performance will include, in addition to the Kodály Duo and the Ravel Sonata, Passacaglia arranged by the Norwegian violinist Johan Halvorsen from the last movement of Handel's Harpsichord Suite in G Minor."

"The Reflections Series had its debut season at WMP Concert Hall last year. By placing musical works in their respective artistic, historic and social contexts, Morgenstern invites audiences to travel with him behind the scenes into composers' creative processes. Using both existing and original works, and through the collaboration of a superb ensemble of creative and performing artists representing all art forms, Reflections programs present works that both reflect upon one another and invite the audience to reflect anew on universal themes. The 2011-2012 Reflections Series will also be presented in Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, at An Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, North Carolina, and in various cities throughout Italy, France, and England."

A sneak peek at April’s Reflections Series Concert: SHADES OF RAVEL
Gil Morgenstern, violinist and artistic director
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at WMP Concert Hall (31 East 28th Street, NYC), 7:30pm

The final concert of the 2011-2012 Reflections Series season explores the colors of Maurice Ravel's musical palette. The program includes music by the jazz pianist Bill Evans who is often considered a direct descendant of the French school that included Ravel and Debussy; Germaine Tailleferre, a student of Ravel's and the only female composer in the group known as Les Six; and Amy Beach, the lone female composer of the group known as the Boston Six. The concert will end with Ravel's iconic Trio for violin, cello and piano.

About Gil Morgenstern: Acclaimed for his artistry and technical brilliance, violinist Gil Morgenstern is devoted to exploring and expanding the possibilities for inventive classical music programming. His vision is to present the audience with a more complete concert experience, meticulously curated from start to finish, by organically integrating music with other artistic disciplines in innovative and unexpected ways. 

In addition to his work as artistic director of the Reflections Series, Morgenstern is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of Nine Circles Chamber Theatre, a creative organization dedicated to exploring the collaborative nature of inter-disciplinary performance, and of the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, a diverse chamber group specializing in Classical, Romantic and contemporary works of mixed instrumentation.

A violinist with a long history of performing in the world’s great concert halls, Morgenstern’s career has taken him to international venues including Wigmore Hall, London; Cultural Center Concert Hall, Hong Kong; the American Academy, Rome; Salone dei Cinquecento, Florence; El Teatro Sucre, Quito; Arts Centre and State Theatre, Melbourne, Australia. He has also toured the U.S. extensively, performing in recital and as guest soloist with many leading orchestras including the symphonies of St. Louis, Baltimore, Louisville, Indianapolis, Denver, Milwaukee, New Jersey and North Carolina. 

Morgenstern has also shared the stage with such eminent musicians as Lynn Harrell, Philippe Entremont, André-Michel Schub, Jeffrey Kahane, Sharon Isbin, and Heinz Holliger, and has collaborated with United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, and performance artist Laurie Anderson.

Morgenstern’s discography includes works by Beethoven, Fauré, Copland, Ravel, Kodaly, Sessions and the award-winning American composer George Tsontakis. His latest recording, 20th Century Duos for Violin and Cello, was the No. 1 classical CD for over a month on eMusic, the largest online store for independent music in the world, and was one of the top ten best selling classical music albums on Amazon. Of the CD The New York Times raved, “the music is terrific and the performances compelling on this surprisingly exciting and excellently engineered recording.” Morgenstern records for the MMC, Engine Company and Koch International Classics labels, and can regularly be heard on National Public Radio and classical music radio stations across the country.

Morgenstern’s many honors include a command performance at the White House, a performance at the inaugural festivities for President Clinton, and a citation from the floor of the House of Representatives entered in the Congressional Record for outstanding service in the arts.

Highlights of Morgenstern’s recent seasons include interdisciplinary performances with the Julliard Dance Company at Lincoln Center, and the Brooklyn Ballet; the premieres of staged versions of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Venus and Adonis with Claire Bloom and John Neville, and Samuel Beckett at 100 at New York City’s 92nd Street Y and at Harvard University. Morgenstern’s performance in the Nine Circles Chamber Theatre production of When Samson Met Delilah toured Holland to rave reviews and his recent appearance in Toronto was broadcast throughout Canada on CBC. He also appeared as violin soloist in U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s translation of Dante’s Inferno, which toured the country and was broadcast on PBS and NPR, for which it received a Peabody nomination.

Morgenstern lives in New York City. For more information, visit www.gilmorgenstern.com.

About Darrett Adkins: Cellist Darrett Adkins has established himself as one of the leading performers, teachers and recording artists of his generation. His critically acclaimed performances of contemporary music have inspired critics to call him “Stunning,” “Intensely involving,” “Heroic,” and “Fiery.” His appetite to bridge the world between the established tradition and the avant-garde enables him to explore repertoire in almost every genre – from the classical cannon, to the contemporary frontier, most notably in his Hypersuite solo recitals, which intersperse solo contemporary works with a Bach cello suite, over the course of a single recital.

Mr. Adkins’ New York debut of Samuel Barber's Concerto, with Per Brevig conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Alice Tully Hall in 1999. His 2002 Aspen debut was made with just 3 days notice when he performed Pierre Boulez’s Messagesquisse with James Conlon conducting. Also in the summer of 2002, Mr. Adkins was the ‘Cellist of Honor’ at the Rio de Janeiro International Cello Encounter, where he gave master classes, recitals and concerto performances. King Harald of Norway attended his Oslo debut. His many performances of Norwegian works and with Norwegian musicians earned him a Cultural Arts Grant from the American Scandinavian Society in 2004. Other appearances include standard concertos with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Aspen Chamber Symphony the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Tochio Soloisten, The Suwon Philharmonic, Seoul’s Prime Orchestra, Cleveland’s Red, Orcheste National de UFF in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, the North Carolina and New Hampshire Symphony Orchestras.

Mr. Adkins has also given many important first performances. He gave the American premiere of Donatoni’s cello concerto at Tanglewood, where he also performed Birtwhistle’s Meridian. He gave the world premiere of Andrew Mead’s Cello Concerto with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. In addition, he also gave the first New York performance of Luciano Berio’s sequenza XIV, which he has recorded for release on Naxos’s complete sequenzas collection, the first such recording. With the orchestra Red, he helped develop and premiere the new dramatic work “Schubert Songbook” which features himself on cello and soprano Arianna Zuckerman in a dramatic setting of orchestrated Schubert songs. In the fall of 2007 he gave the American premiere of Rolf Wallin’s concerto “Grund” at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and premiered in March of 2008 a new concerto by Jeffrey Mumford with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. In 2011, he gave the New York premiere of Arne Nordheim’s concerto “Tenebrae” at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

An avid chamber musician, Darrett Adkins has recorded Jay Greenberg’s String Quintet with the Juilliard String Quartet, for SONY. Since 1998, Mr. Adkins has been a member of the Zephyr Trio featuring Lady Jeanne Galway (flute), and Jonathan Feldman (piano). The trio tours regularly in the U.S. They performed the world premiere of Lowell Lieberman’s Piano Trio which was written for Lady Galway. In 2011 he joined the Lions Gate Trio, which is in residence at the Hartt School of Music. From 1997 until 2002, Mr. Adkins was a member of Flux, a string quartet dedicated to cutting-edge music. He appeared in major festivals in New York, Melbourne (Australia), Southern California (Ojai), and Oslo. During his tenure with the Flux Quartet, he participated in numerous first performances, including the first complete live performance of Morton Feldman’s monumental Quartet II, lasting a continuous 6 hours. 

In addition to the Mode label, Mr. Adkins has recorded for the SONY/BMG, Naxos, RCA, Tzadik, Koch, MMC, CRI, Boston and Arsis labels. Mr. Adkins joined the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College beginning in the fall of 2003 and has been on the faculty of the Juilliard School since 1995. In 2003 he joined the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he teaches cello and co-directs the string chamber music program.

Besides receiving degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Norman Fischer, and the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Joel Krosnick, Mr. Adkins also earned a Master of Music degree from Rice University. He is originally from Tacoma, Washington and now lives in Westlake, Ohio with his wife Ingrid and their four children. For more information, please visit www.darrettadkins.com.

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