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Faculty artists perform Brahms chamber music Jan. 31

January 10, 2012

Concert features Boris Berman, Ettore Causa, Clive Greensmith, & more

The Yale School of Music presents four prestigious performers in a Faculty Artist Series concert on Tuesday, January 31. Pianist Boris Berman, violinist Julie Eskar, violist Ettore Causa, and cellist Clive Greensmith (pictured at left, best known as part of the Tokyo String Quartet) will join forces for an all-Brahms program.

The concert will open with two Brahms trios: the Trio in E-flat major, Op. 40, and the Trio in A minor, Op. 114. The first trio was originally written for violin, horn, and piano, and here will be performed with viola instead of horn. The second piece, originally for clarinet, cello, and piano, will be performed in the version featuring violin instead of clarinet.

All four performers will come together to conclude the concert with Brahms’s Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60. The quartet is one of Brahms’s darkest chamber works, outside of the lushly serene third movement, and is sometimes thought to reflect the composer’s love for Clara Schumann.

The concert begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street). Admission is free. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About the Performers

Boris Berman, piano, is well known to the audiences of close to fifty countries on six continents and regularly appears with leading orchestras, on major recital series, and in important festivals. A Grammy nominee, Mr. Berman was the first pianist to record the complete solo works by Prokofiev (Chandos). Other acclaimed releases include a Shostakovich disc (Ottavo), which received the Edison Classic Award, and a recording of Prokofiev concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Chandos), which was a CD Review Disc of the Month. In 1984, Mr. Berman joined the faculty of the Yale School of Music, where he is a professor of piano, coordinator of the piano department, and artistic director of the Horowitz Piano Series. In 2005 he was named an honorary professor of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Yale University Press has published Mr. Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench (2000), which has been translated into several languages, and Prokofiev’s Piano Sonatas: A Guide for the Listener and the Performer (2008).

Italian-born violist Ettore Causa was awarded both the P. Schidlof Prize and the John Barbirolli Prize for the most beautiful sound at the prestigious Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in England in 2000. He has since made soloist and recital appearances in major venues around the world. A devoted chamber musician, Mr. Causa was a member of the Aria Quartet (2004–2009) and currently plays in the Poseidon Quartet. He is frequently invited to prestigious chamber music festivals, where he has performed with such renowned musicians as the Tokyo String Quartet, Pascal Rogé, Thomas Adès, and others. Mr. Causa taught both viola and chamber music at the International Menuhin Music Academy for many years. He became an associate professor at the Yale School of Music in 2009. Among his recordings, both the Brahms Sonatas and the collection of Romantic pieces were highly praised by critics worldwide. Ettore plays on a viola made for him by Frédéric Chaudière in 2003.

Julie Eskar began her violin studies with Michael Malmgren and continued them under Milan Vitek of the Royal Academy of Music, before undertaking further studies with Gerhard Schultz at Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts. She has participated in master classes given by Alberto Lysy, Christian Tetzlaff, and Ivry Gitlis, among others. Her many prizes and scholarships include the Hvass Foundation Travel Scholarship, Holstebro Music Prize, and Jacob Gade Music Prize. She was also awarded the prestigious Aennchen and Eigil Harby Foundation Travel Scholarship following her debut concert of the Royal Academy of Music. Julie Eskar has performed as a soloist with the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Belgian Radio Orchestra, Austrian Chamber Philharmonia, Danish Radio Sinfonietta, and the Copenhagen Chamber Soloists. The concertmaster in the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, she plays a 1716 David Teccler violin from the Goof Foundation.

Clive Greensmith, cellist, joined the Tokyo String Quartet in June 1999. A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and the Musikhochschule in Cologne, his principal teachers were Donald McCall and Boris Pergamenschikow. He has held the position of principal cellist of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist, he has appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, and the RAI Orchestra of Rome. He has collaborated with distinguished musicians such as András Schiff, Midori, Claude Frank and Steven Isserlis, and has won several prizes including second place in the inaugural “Premio Stradivari” held in Cremona, Italy. Mr. Greensmith has served on the faculties of the Royal Northern College of Music, Yehudi Menuhin School and San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Greensmith’s recording of Brahms Sonatas with Boris Berman was recently released on the Biddulph label.

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