The acclaimed chamber ensemble Accordo returns for the third and final installment of its second season in the Southern Theater’s intimate space with an all-Beethoven program. Performances will be held Sunday June 5, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. and again Monday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis.
This performance’s ensemble lineup features principal players from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra including Ruggero Allifranchini, the Italian born Associate Concertmaster of the SPCO, who plays on the “Fetzer” violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1694, which is on loan to him from the Stradivari Society of Chicago. He is joined by cellist Anthony Ross, winner of the prestigious bronze medal at the 1982 Tschaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
Special guests include violinist Erin Keefe, who earned a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music Degree from The Curtis Institute. Among her many affiliations include membership with the Lincoln Center’s prestigious Chamber Music Society for the 2006-09 seasons.
Sabina Thatcher, principal viola of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, has won several international competitions, including the Silver Medalist in the Carl Nielsen in Sendai, Japan, and Gyeongnam International in Korea, resulted in performances and immediate re-engagements in the US, Europe and Asia. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and studied further with Lillian Fuchs at the Juilliard School.
Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa, discovered at age 13 by the late Alexander Schneider on the recommendation of pianist Mitsuko Uchida, has since established her own unique musical voice. She made her U.S. debut concerts at age 14 starting at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Aizawa received her Masters Degree from the Juilliard School, where she worked with Peter Serkin. She is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was awarded the prestigious Rachmaninoff Prize and studied with Seymour Lipkin, Peter Serkin, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski as his last pupil.
Aizawa’s first solo recording on the Japanese label Altus Music – a tour-de-force CD of Shostakovich’s and Scriabin’s “24 Preludes” was released in March 2005. Her second solo CD, of Faure’s and Messiaen’s preludes is due out in 2011.
The All-Beethoven program includes: Piano Trio in Eb Major, Op. 70 #2 Theme & Variations from the Magic Flute, WoO 46 String Quartet in f minor, Op. 95, ‘Serioso’
“Beethoven remarked about his Serioso Quartet that it ‘was written for a small circle of connoisseurs and never to be performed in public’”, said SPCO concert master Steven Copes. “Perhaps it was because of Op. 95’s unorthodox compositional traits or rather short length that he said such a thing, or maybe he was just in a foul mood due to Napoleon’s bombing of Vienna (1814)… The Piano Trio in Eb, Op. 70 #2 was written in 1808 in Heiligenstadt, Vienna, where Beethoven has composed his famous c minor Symphony #5 the previous summer and his Pastoral Symphony #6 immediately before the trio.
“Six years earlier, he wrote a desperate letter to his brothers (that he never sent) from the same city, detailing his increasing deafness and his determination to overcome his ailments and become a great artist. The Magic Flute Variations for cello and piano are a tribute to another great master, Mozart, who had a profound influence on the young Beethoven, and who may have met each other in 1787.”
Contact the Southern Theater box office at 612-340-1725 or visit http://www.southerntheater.org/2011_06-05_accordo.htm.
Tickets: $26, $24. $12 student rush. www.riekoaizawa.com