J. Y. Song, piano
Saturday, March 18, 2006, 8 PM
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$25 (general, open seating), $10 (students and seniors)
Children under 6 are not admitted
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Program (subject to change):
Guest Appearance - Tanja Becker-Bender, Violin
Bagatelles, Op. 8,(1936) Chiang Wen-Yeh [1910-1983]
1. "Green Leaves Young
Leaves"- Allegro animato alla marcia
2. Lento tranquillo
3. Canto dormiente
4. "Charamela"- Allegretto grazioso, quasi allegro
5. Adagio misterioso
6. Allegro feroce
7. "Epitath, to my Young Brother"- Andante sostenuto
8. Allegro ma non troppo
9. "I Remember..."-Lento rubato
10. Allegretto, sempre legato
11. "Ehru"-Lento fatigamente
12. Prestissimo tumultuoso
13. Andante cantabile
14. Allegretto leggiero
15. "Pipa"-Allegro, sempre staccato
16. "Peking Gate"-Largo maestoso
"Suite Italienne" for Violin and Piano (1934) Igor Stravinsky [1882-1971]
Gavotta con due Variazioni
Minuetto e Finale
Etudes, selection (1915) Claude Debussy [1862-1918]
Pour les cinq doights
Pour les tierces
Pour les quartes
Pour les octaves
Pour les huit doignts
Pour les agréments
Pour les sonorités opposées
Pour les aprčges composés
Pianist: J. Y. Soong
Since her nomination as 1994 Pro Piano Artist of the Year and her Alice Tully Hall recital debut in 1996, J.Y. Song has established herself as a musician with broad and idiosyncratic musical tastes. Critic Harris Goldsmith has noted her "truly astounding technical and imaginative resources," and has described her performances as "tigerishly intense" and "exquisite."
In addition to her probing interpretations of traditional repertoire, J.Y. Song has received critical acclaim for her performances of twentieth-century music, and has established a large following among audiences at contemporary music festivals. Her recordings on the Pro Piano label, which have received rave reviews in international publications, include twentieth-century masterpieces by Debussy, Bartok, and the young Argentinean composer, Ezequiel Vinao. Billboard described the complete set of Debussy Etudes as a "gem," and In Tune remarked "besides sheer technique, Song displays magnificent intellect in all her mood painting." The Debussy Etudes recording was a "Desert Island Selection" in Gramophone Magazine's International Piano Quarterly.
J.Y. Song was raised in Switzerland, where she studied at the Conservatoire de Geneve and the Conservatoire de Lausanne. She later attended Stanford University, graduating with distinction and honors with a bachelor of science in microbiology and immunology as well as a bachelor of arts in music. While doing research on malaria and co-authoring a paper which appeared in Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, J.Y. Song received numerous musical awards from Stanford, including the Robert Golden Medal for excellence in performance and the prestigious Sudler Prize for outstanding achievement in the creative arts.
Ms. Song has completed her doctoral studies at Juilliard with Jerome Lowenthal, winning the American Pianists Association Fellowship (formerly the Beethoven Fellowship) and taking the top prize at the Palm Beach Invitational Piano Competition during that time. In 1996, she was the recipient of Juilliard's highest honor to a pianist, the William Petschek Award, and in 1998, she was a prize winner at the International Gina Bachauer Competition. She was selected in 1999 by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in Washington D.C. for its career support initiative. Ms. Song has taught at Oberlin Conservatory, Hunter College and Mannes College of Music. She is managed by Joanne Rile Artists Management.
Her third recording on Pro Piano Records of piano music by Liszt and Busoni was released in April 1999.
Violinist: Tanja Becker-Bender
One of the most outstanding violinist
personalities of the new generation, Tanja Becker-Bender, born in Stuttgart, Germany, in
1978, received her first violin lessons at the age of six and made her debut as soloist at
the Salzburger Schlosskonzerte at the age of
eleven. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung characterizes her playing as consisting of
"completely mature virtuosity and phenomenal intensity of expression and
balance." Her interpretations of the violin concertos by Beethoven and Brahms find as
much critical acclaim as those of Bartók, Berg, Stravinsky, Weill, Korngold, and Philip
Glass. At age nineteen she premiered the
Violin Concerto by Rolf Hempel.
One of the most outstanding violinist personalities of the new generation, Tanja Becker-Bender, born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1978, received her first violin lessons at the age of six and made her debut as soloist at the Salzburger Schlosskonzerte at the age of eleven. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung characterizes her playing as consisting of "completely mature virtuosity and phenomenal intensity of expression and balance." Her interpretations of the violin concertos by Beethoven and Brahms find as much critical acclaim as those of Bartók, Berg, Stravinsky, Weill, Korngold, and Philip Glass. At age nineteen she premiered the Violin Concerto by Rolf Hempel.
Ms. Becker-Bender performed as soloist under the baton of Kurt Masur, Uriel Segal, Hubert Soudant, James DePreist, Carl St. Clair, Gerd Albrecht, Fabio Luisi and Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, with renowned orchestras such as the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart of the SWR, and the Vienna and Prague Chamber Orchestras, to name but a few. She also gave concerts at Suntory Hall Tokyo, Lincoln Center New York, Victoria Hall Geneva, Schauspielhaus Berlin, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Herkulessaal Munich, Konzerthaus Vienna, and is regularly invited to perform at international festivals such as the Chautauqua Institute, Festival of Flanders, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Beethoven-Fest Bonn, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Rheingau Festival, Kronberg Academy, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. As a chamber musician she performed with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Arnold Steinhardt. She also gave recitals in New York, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Paris, London, Brussels, Rome, and Vienna, with programs ranging from cycles of Bach's solo violin works and Beethoven's ten violin sonatas to the thematic presentation of contemporary works. In the fall of 2004, her debut recital at the Musikverein Vienna was enthusiastically received by the audience and press. In 2005 she performed Cristóbal Halffter's 2nd Violin Concerto under the baton of the composer himself.
Ms. Becker-Bender was awarded top prizes at the Concours International d'Execution Musicale in Geneva and at the international violin competition Premio Nicolo Paganini in Genoa, where she additionally received a special prize for the best performance of a contemporary work. Further important distinctions include the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award in Tokyo and first prizes in the international violin competition Premio Rodolfo Lipizer in Gorizia, Italy, and in the Concours International de Musique de Chimay in Belgium. In 2004, she received the Houston Symphony League Jerry Preist Award, together with an invitation to perform Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
Her development was decisively influenced by early studies with Wilhelm Melcher in the preparatory division of the Music Academy Stuttgart, followed by a year of studies with David Takeno at the Guildhall School in London * immediately after an early high school graduation with distinction. Subsequently, her most important teachers were Günter Pichler at the University of Music in Vienna and Robert Mann at The Juilliard School in New York. Her studies were supported by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the ZEIT Foundation, and the German Music Foundation. In July 2004 and 2005, she taught at the summer violin program of the European American Musical Alliance at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.
Among her projects for the 2005/06 season, her debut at the Philharmonie Berlin with the Chamber Orchestra C.P.E. Bach under the baton of Hartmut Haenchen deserves special mention, as well as a tour with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and a recital at the Dresden Music Festival.
Besides numerous radio and television broadcasts, her first CD was released in 1999 by the Belgian label Pavane, featuring works for violin and piano by Antonin Dvorák. In the fall of 2005, a CD with four Violin Concertos by Albinoni appeared at Brilliant Classics in Holland.
Ms. Becker-Bender plays a violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesů (Cremona 1728) from the German Instrument Fund, owned by Blue de Brasil of the Fazenda Ipiranga.
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