Update 1/13/2014: We regret that, due to illness, this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule for the 2014–15 season.
The Yale School of Music presents a recital by flutist Ransom Wilson and pianist Melvin Chen on Wednesday, January 15 at 8 pm. The duo will perform music from across three centuries, from Haydn to Schubert to living composers. In addition, Wilson will play selections for solo flute.
The program opens with Joseph Haydn's Sonata in C major, Op. 87, followed by Robert Schumann's Three Romances, Op. 94. These are followed by Gaze, a three-movement piece written in the year 2000 by the American composer John Halle.
The second half of the concert focuses on the music of France, beginning with three selections for solo flute by Claude Debussy and his lesser-known compatriots Jean Rivier and André Jolivet-Ascèses. Debussy is also represented by his Prélude à L'après-midi d'un faune, arranged for flute and piano by Gustave Samazeuilh.
Wilson and Chen conclude with Philippe Gaubert's Sonatine (1937). The piece's second movement is an homage to Schumann, thus bringing the recital full circle.
This performances is part of the Faculty Artist Series, which features the School’s prestigious faculty in concerts that are free and open to the public. The event takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.
Admission to the performance 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
A native of Tennessee, pianist Melvin Chen has received acclaim for performances throughout the United States and abroad. As a soloist and chamber musician Mr. Chen has performed at major venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center, in addition to other appearances throughout the United States, Canada, and Asia. Solo recordings include Beethoven's Diabelli Variations on the Bridge label, praised as “a classic” by the American Record Guide, and a recording of Joan Tower's piano music on Naxos. Recordings of the Shostakovich piano sonatas and Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice were released in 2007.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Chen has collaborated with Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, Pamela Frank, and Peter Wiley, and with the Shanghai, Tokyo, and Miró quartets. He has performed at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Bard Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, among others.
Melvin Chen completed a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University, and also holds a double master’s degree from The Juilliard School in piano and violin. Previously, he attended Yale University, receiving a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and physics, where he also studied with Boris Berman, Paul Kantor, and Ida Kavafian. Mr. Chen was previously on the piano faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he was also associate director. He is also the artistic director of the chamber music program at the Hotchkiss Summer Portals. In 2012 he rejoined the faculty of the Yale School of Music, where he serves as Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Piano and Deputy Dean.
Ransom Wilson was educated at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Juilliard School, and continued his postgraduate studies as an Atlantique Scholar in France with Jean-Pierre Rampal. As flute soloist he has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the chamber orchestras of Nice, Stuttgart, Cologne, and the Netherlands. 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. He is music director of Opera Omaha and the San Francisco Chamber Symphony, as well as artistic director of the OK Mozart Festival in Oklahoma. He was honored by the Austrian government with the Award of Merit in Gold in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Mozart’s music in America, 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, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, Randall Woolf, Peter Schickele, Joseph Schwantner, John Harbison, Jean Francaix, Jean-Michel Damase, George Tsontakis, Tania Léon, and Deborah Drattel. In 2007 he was appointed director of the symphony orchestra and teacher of conducting at the North Carolina School of the Arts. He joined the Yale faculty in 1991.