[ Concerts Faculty ]

Ettore Causa and Boris Berman perform Nov. 30

November 8, 2011

Concert features Shostakovich viola sonata, transcriptions of Schumann and Brahms

The Yale School of Music presents violist Ettore Causa and pianist Boris Berman in a Faculty Artist Series concert on Wednesday, November 30. Causa and Berman – both internationally acclaimed musicians in their own right – will perform duo sonatas of Schumann, Shostakovich, and Brahms, including arrangements of pieces originally written for other instrumental combinations.

The concert opens with Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70, originally written for horn but often played on string instruments, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s last work: the Viola Sonata, Op. 147. Shostakovich said that the last movement, an adagio, was written in memory of Beethoven.

The last work on the program is also a tribute to an earlier composer. Berman and Causa have made their own transcription of a cello sonata by Johannes Brahms. The Sonata in E minor, Op. 38, pays homage to J.S. Bach and uses elements of Bach’s “The Art of Fugue.”

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.


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. An active recording artist and a Grammy nominee, Mr. Berman was the first pianist to record the complete solo works by Prokofiev (Chandos). His recital of Shostakovich piano works on Ottavo received the Edison Classic Award, and his recording of Prokofiev concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi conducting (Chandos), was named Disc of the Month by CD Review. 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. He gives master classes throughout the world, and in 2005 he was named an honorary professor of 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 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 many of the major venues around the world. A devoted chamber musician, Mr. Causa was a member of the Aria Quartet from 2004-2009 and currently plays in the Poseidon Quartet. He is frequently invited to prestigious chamber music festivals where he has performed with such internationally renowned musicians as the Tokyo String Quartet, Pascal Rogé, Boris Berman, Thomas Adès, Alberto Lysy, William Bennett, and many others. Mr. Causa taught both viola and chamber music at the International Menuhin Music Academy for many years and was appointed as an associate professor at the Yale School of Music in 2009. Among his recordings, both the Brahms sonatas and his collection of Romantic pieces were highly praised by critics worldwide. Ettore plays on a viola made for him by Frédéric Chaudière in 2003.