[ Concerts Faculty Students & Alumni ]

Violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Jian Liu perform March 31

March 8, 2011

Diverse duos by Beethoven, Bresnick, Messiaen, and Prokofiev

The Yale School of Music presents a Faculty Artist Recital with violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Jian Liu on Thursday, March 31, at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven). Both Kwok and Liu are graduates of the Yale School of Music, and the Australian-born Kwok is now on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music. Liu, a collaborative pianist at the School of Music, recently performed at Carnegie Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale.

The duo will open the concert with Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, the first of the three in the composer’s Op. 12 set. They will then play Bird as Prophet, written by YSM faculty composer Martin Bresnick in homage to Robert Schumann. The first half will conclude with the Theme and Variations that the French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote as a wedding present for his first wife, the violinist Claire Delbos.

Kwok and Liu will conclude with Sergei Prokofiev’s dark, masterful Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80. Prokofiev himself said that parts of it “should sound in such a way that people should jump in their seats,” and described passages from the outer movements as “wind passing through a graveyard.”

Admission to the performance is free. For more information, please visit the School of Music’s website or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About the Artists

Australian violinist Sarita Kwok has been featured on stages on four continents and has performed as a soloist with Australia’s major symphony orchestras. After being named the James Fairfax Sydney Symphony Orchestra Young Artist, she made her debut with the Sydney Symphony at age fifteen and went on to win Australia’s most prestigious musical award, the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year (Strings). She has won awards at the Kloster Schöntal International Violin Competition, Gisborne International Music Competition, and the Seventh Wieniawski and Lipinski International Competition. As a soloist and chamber collaborator, Ms. Kwok has been featured at numerous festivals and on radio. She has performed in concert with Pinchas Zukerman, Amanda Forsyth, Boris Berman, and members of the Tokyo String Quartet, and has given master classes and talks at the Rockport Festival, Hammond Performing Arts series, Wellesley College, and Central Connecticut State University. She has completed a series of solo recordings for the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. Ms. Kwok received her DMA and MMA degrees from the Yale School of Music; she currently serves on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music and is the coordinator of the undergraduate lessons program at the Yale School of Music. Ms. Kwok is on the roster of the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation.

Pianist Jian Liu has appeared on concert stages in Europe, Asia, and the United States, and with the Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and others. Mr. Liu’s performances were broadcast by various radio and TV stations including KPHO in Phoenix and Suisse Romande Radio in Switzerland. Since winning the first prize at the Sixth Missouri Southern International Piano Competition in 1996, Mr. Liu has been honored at various competitions including the Third Horowitz International Piano Competition and MTNA Chamber Music Competition. Mr. Liu has been a featured artist alongside pianist Maria João Pires, cellist Jian Wang, and clarinetist David Shifrin. His artistry has taken him to prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, and Rose Theater of Lincoln Center. Currently, Mr. Liu serves as a collaborative pianist at the Yale School of Music. Mr. Liu is also an assistant professor of piano at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.

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