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Yale Philharmonia offers rarely-performed 20th-century chamber concertos

Concerts take place at Sprague Hall Feb. 25 & 26, Carnegie Hall Feb. 28

Featured soloists include Yale faculty Frank Morelli, bassoon • David Shifrin, clarinet • Ransom Wilson, flute • and YSM graduate Jian Liu, piano

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale and conductor Shinik Hahm in Concertante: rarely-performed twentieth-century chamber concertos. The program will be performed Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, 2011 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven), and in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall (57th Street and 7th Ave, New York City) on Monday, February 28 at 7:30 pm as part of the Yale in New York series.

This innovative program by a chamber-sized Yale Philharmonia presents four eclectic takes on the baroque concerto grosso. The Swiss composer Frank Martin originally wrote his Second Ballade for saxophone, string orchestra, piano, and percussion in 1938. This will be the U.S. premiere of the recently-rediscovered version for flute, performed with soloist Ransom Wilson.

Ernest Bloch was best known for his works based on Jewish themes. His Concerto Grosso No. 1 (1925) is a different kind of piece, featuring a touching second-movement Dirge and closing with a whirling Fugue. Jian Liu, a graduate of the Yale School of Music, will perform the prominent piano part.

Richard Strauss wrote his Duet-Concertino in 1947, when he was 83. The piece sets the solo clarinet and bassoon (played by David Shifrin and Frank Morelli, respectively) against the strings and harp, while giving the strings a chamber music-like intimacy. In the Variaciones concertantes by Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, each variation highlights a different solo instrument or ensemble. The work is colorful, rhythmically driven, and deeply expressive.

Both performances are free and open to the public; no tickets are required. For more information, please visit or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About the Artists

The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale is one of America’s foremost music school ensembles. The largest performing group at the Yale School of Music, the Philharmonia offers superb training in orchestral playing and repertoire. Performances include an annual series of concerts in Woolsey Hall, as well as Yale Opera productions in the Schubert Performing Arts Center. In addition to its season of six Woolsey Hall concerts, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale has performed on numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2008 the Philharmonia undertook its first tour of Asia, with acclaimed performances in the Seoul Arts Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

A dynamic and innovative conductor, Shinik Hahm is the newly appointed chief conductor of the KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) Symphony Orchestra. He is also a professor of conducting at the Yale School of Music, where he leads the Yale Philharmonia. Recently, Maestro Hahm led the KBS Symphony on tour with concerts at the United Nations, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Hahm’s extensive work in China includes collaborations with the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Shenzhen Symphony, and Shanghai Opera. In 2006 Hahm successfully completed his tenure as the artistic director and principal conductor of the Daejeon (Korea) Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he toured the U.S. and Japan. Hahm served as music director of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra from 1993 to 2003 and was profiled on ABC’s World News Tonight for his work in the Abilene community. In 1995 Maestro Hahm was decorated by the Korean government with the Arts & Culture Medal.

“Frank Morelli’s sound is the consummation of stability, flexibility, and sensuality.”
– American Record Guide

A former student of Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli was the first bassoonist to be awarded a doctorate by the Juilliard School. Active internationally as a soloist and with chamber and orchestral ensembles, he has over 150 recordings for major record labels to his credit. His recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Orpheus on Nonesuch was a Stereo Review Recording of Special Merit, and Shadow Dances, his Stravinsky recording with Orpheus, won a Grammy Award. Mr. Morelli appears often with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is principal bassoonist of the New York City Opera Orchestra, Orpheus, and the American Composers Orchestra, and is a member of the acclaimed woodwind quintet Windscape. He serves on the faculties of the Yale School of Music, Juilliard, SUNY Stony Brook, and the Manhattan School of Music. He hosts an online master class at<>.

“David Shifrin is one of the world’s great clarinetists.”
– Los Angeles Times

Winner of the 2000 Avery Fisher Prize, clarinetist David Shifrin has appeared with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Denver symphonies. He has appeared in recital at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In addition, he has appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestra throughout Europe and Asia. A three-time Grammy nominee, Shifrin has been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest since 1980 and a faculty member at Yale since 1987. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, he served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He has been a professor at the Yale School of Music since 1987.

“The flutist Ransom Wilson soared and shimmered…”
– New York Times

Ransom Wilson studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Juilliard School, and was an Atlantique Scholar in France with Jean-Pierre Rampal. As flute soloist he has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, Orpheus, and many others. He is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As a conductor, Mr. Wilson is the music director and principal conductor of Solisti New York, which he founded in 1981; music director of Opera Omaha and the San Francisco Chamber Symphony; and artistic director of the OK Mozart Festival. He was honored by the Austrian government with the Award of Merit in Gold, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alabama. A strong supporter of contemporary music, Mr. Wilson has had works composed for him by Steve Reich, John Harbison, Jean Francaix, George Tsontakis, Tania Léon, and others. He joined the Yale faculty in 1991.