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DIRECTIONS: 

Please enter Horace Mann on Post Road and West 246th St.

From Broadway, make a right after Burger King and a right on Post Road. At the top of Post Road (the corner of Post and 246th St), the opening for the parking lot is straight ahead. Enter the building through the basement and take the elevator up to the first floor recital hall.

 

Bronx Arts Ensemble is celebrating Bernstein at 100. BAE’s pianist Adrienne Kim, violinist Amy Wright and cellist Eliana Mendoza perform hisPiano Trio, along with trios by Beethoven (Op.1, No. 1) and Brahms (No.2, Op.87). Markus Amponsah, 2017 Bronx Young Artist Competition winner, will perform J.S. Bach’s Partita in E major BWV 1006 Prelude and Loure.

PROGRAM NOTES

Bernstein: Piano Trio
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), a towering figure in the music world, was successful as a conductor, pianist, author, lecturer and composer of classical orchestral, choral and chamber works, and of Broadway hits such as West Side Story and Candide. He studied at Harvard with Walter Piston, at the Curtis Institute with Randall Thompson and Fritz Reiner, and at the Berkshire Music Institute at Tanglewood with Serge Koussevitzky.  Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1958-69, he created the renowned Young People’s Concerts, which introduced thousands of children to the wonders of classical music. The cello opens the Piano Trio, composed by Bernstein at the age of 19, with a mournful melody that forms the basis of the first movement.  The perky, jazzy second movement is a set of variations with pizzicato in the strings. Bernstein later used music from this movement in his show On The Town.   The somber opening of the final movement moves quickly into the Allegro vivo section, that includes material from the previous movements, closing with a cello solo and a piano glissando.

Brahms: Piano Trio, Op.87, No.2
Brahms wrote his Piano Trio in C Major between 1880 and 1882, a time when he had achieved both financial security and international recognition. Writing to his publisher, he said of the Trio, “You have not yet had such a beautiful trio from me and very likely have not published its equal in the last ten years.”  Throughout the Trio, the violin and cello form a unit, while the piano has its own musical lines or serves as accompaniment.  The first movement, with its profusion of lush melodies, begins with the violin and cello playing the theme in octaves. The piano then enters with its own figure, which accents every other beat; the resulting two against three rhythms appear throughout the piece.  Brahms, a collector of Hungarian folk songs, based the second movement’s theme and variations on a folk tune. The Scherzo, in C minor, begins mysteriously, then explodes with rapidly-paced melodies.  In the vigorous Finale, major themes reappear regularly.

Beethoven: Trio, Op. 1, No. 1
The three trios of Beethoven’s Op.1 were dedicated to his patron, Prince Karl Lichnowsky, at whose Vienna home they were premiered in 1795. Beethoven took the trio, a popular form of entertainment, expanded it to four movements from three, and created parts for violin and cello that were more demanding and less like accompaniments to the piano. The Op. 1 Trio, with its chordal opening, is in sonata allegro form (exposition, development and recapitulation) with an added coda. The piano opens the second movement with a lyrical and expressive theme which leads to violin and cello as it is developed. The movement, with its rondo format, has contrasting sections that alternate with the opening theme, which appears three times, and includes a short diversion to a tender melody in minor.  The crisp and playful motif at the opening appears in many guises throughout the Scherzo, while the leaping, energetic melody of the Finale propels the work to its delightful conclusion.

J.S. Bach: Loure, from Partita in E major, BWV 1006 for Solo Violin
In 1720 Bach completed a set of six sonatas and partitas for solo violin, very complex and challenging works that became a vital part of the repertoire. In the partitas, Bach utilizes a popular Baroque format, a suite of dances, bringing it to new musical heights. His intimate understanding of the violin shows clearly throughout these works. According to Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, “In his youth, and until the approach of old age, he played the violin cleanly and powerfully”.  In Bach’s hands, the Loure, a slow Baroque dance in 6/4 (whose name was derived from a bagpipe used in Normandy), becomes an expressive and meditative work of exquisite beauty.

Adrienne Kim

Pianist ADRIENNE KIM has performed as soloist with the Central Philharmonic of Beijing, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Portland Chamber Orchestra and Richmond Symphony. She was a member of Chamber Music Society Two, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s residency program for emerging young artists, and she is also a founding member of New York Chamber Music Co-op, a new creative performance collaborative based in New York. Ms. Kim has recorded the solo and chamber music of Daniel S. Godfrey with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on the Koch label, and on the Centaur label the violin and piano sonatas of Granados, Turina and Rodrigo with BAE solo artist Jorge Ávila. Adrienne Kim is on the faculty of Mannes College, The New School where she serves as Coordinator of the Piano Department in the Prep division and Coordinator of Secondary Piano in the College division. She is as well coach for the New York Youth Symphony’s chamber music program. Her teachers were Menahem

Pressler at Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree, and Leon Fleisher at the Manhattan School of Music, receiving there a Master’s degree.

AMY WRIGHT has been a professional musician in New York for nearly 30 years. In addition to playing with the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Ms.Wright plays with the Stamford Symphony, Voices of Ascension, the National Chorale and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. She has also made appearances on television and radio including the David Letterman Show and WNYC’s “Around the Town” with Steve Sullivan. Ms. Wright also serves on the music faculty at Riverdale Country School as a string teacher and department chair.

Eliana Mendoza

Cellist ELIANA MENDOZA has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Winner of the Artists International Competition, she debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In Boston she performed a solo recital broadcast live on WGBH, National Public Radio. Praised by critics, her reviews have read “Fire and flash…rich pathos and refreshing singularity,” (The Washington Post) and “She is a total artist…with fluid touch, an impassioned mood and a notable bearing.” (The Enterprise, Brockton, MA). She is a tenured member of the American Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic and American Composers Orchestra, and has toured as soloist in approximately 50 concerts, performing the Paganini-Lloyd Webber Variations in venues such as Universal Studios Amphitheater, Blossom Music Center and Radio City Music Hall. Along with recording for movie soundtracks, commercials and television, she has recorded chamber music for the labels of New World Records, Soundspell Productions and Centaur Records.

Violinist MARKUS AMPONSAH, a senior at Celia Cruz High School of Music in the Bronx, was  declared winner of the 2017 Bronx Arts Ensemble Young Bronx Artist Contest at auditions on Saturday, April 29 at Vladeck Hall, Amalgamated Houses.  The contest is held each year by the BAE for students between ages 14 and 20 who either live in the Bronx and/or attend school here. Markus will receive a cash award and solo performance with the Ensemble during the 2017-2018 season.  Runners-Up in the competition were vocalist Michael Figueroa, a sophomore at Hostos Community College, and violinist Adrian Rogers, a sophomore at Horace Mann School in Riverdale. The Young Bronx Artist Contest has been in place since 1980, and was originally named for late Congressman Jonathan Bingham, a Riverdale resident who was a strong advocate for arts education for young people.

Markus Amponsah is a violin student of Naho Parrini, and has won previous awards at the Celia Cruz Concerto Competition and All-City High School Orchestra Concerto Competition.  He also attends the Bloomingdale School of Music in Manhattan. Markus is a resident of Co-op City.