On Stage at Curtis

Dean’s Honors Recital

The 2013 Curtis Dean’s Honors Recital, a program presenting reprises of some of the year’s outstanding student performances. The program:

Isaac Albéniz: “Asturias” from Suite española no. 1
Jiyeon Kim, guitar
In 1887, the Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz gathered a group of his short piano pieces into a suite to honor the Queen of Spain, with each piece representing a region of that nation. The suite was re-arranged in 1912, a year after Albéniz’ death. “Asturias” loosely represents that Atlantic region of the Iberian peninsula.

Jean Francaix: Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano
Beverly Wang, oboe; Catherine Chen, bassoon; Bryan Anderson, piano
Francaix lived from 1912 to 1997, and distinguished himself as a piano virtuoso, as well as a composer very much in the neo-Classical style. This Trio is a late work, dating to 1994, on a commission from the International Double Reed Society. Typically for this composer, the work manages to be both thoroughly modern and thoroughly accessible.

Thomas Oltarzewski: Winter Scenes
Kensho Watanabe, violin; Will Chow, cello; Elizabeth White Clark, harp
Tom is a good friend of Onstage at Curtis; for two years as a Curtis student, he helped our production team put together a number of shows in the series. His “Winter Scenes” was commissioned by the Lyra Society of Philadelphia, and was composed in 2012/2013, as part of the Costello Award, in honor of the former Philadelphia orchestra principal harp.

John Cage: Third Construction
Ted Babcock, Yi Fei Fu, Tomasz Kowalczyk, Won Suk Lee, percussionists
The avant-garde composer John Cage created three “Constructions” between 1939 and 1942, while working at the Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle. Each is scored for an unusual selection of percussion instruments, such as tin cans, split bamboo and conch shells, as well as more conventional instruments. The result is surprisingly accessible and engaging.

Chopin: Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 55, No. 2
Chopin: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53

Alexander Ullman, piano
Alex played these two evocative miniatures by Chopin on his Graduation Recital, and returned to encore them on the Dean’s Honors concert.

Music Word of the Week: Polonaise
“A Polish dance in triple time and of moderate speed. It has a processional and stately character, having originated in courtly 16th-century ceremonies. The early polonaise bears little resemblance to the 19th-century dance, which is characterized by triple time, phrases starting on the first beat of the bar, the repetition of short, rhythmic motifs, and a cadence on the third beat of the bar.”
(from the Oxford Dictionary of Music)

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