[ Concerts ]

Wendy Sharp and friends play chamber music by Brahms, Bartók, and more Jan. 26

Sharp plays with Melvin Chen, piano; Marka Gustavsson, viola; and Mimi Hwang, cello
January 17, 2014

sharpThe Yale School of Music presents the violinist Wendy Sharp and friends in a Faculty Artist Series concert on Sunday, January 26. Sharp will perform with fellow faculty member Melvin Chen, piano, and with guest artists Marka Gustavsson, viola, and Mimi Hwang, cello. The program includes music by Brahms, Bartók, and more.

The performance will begin with works by two Hungarian composers, Leó Weiner and Béla Bartók. Sharp, Gustavsson, and Hwang will open the  concert with Weiner’s String Trio in G minor, Op. 6. Weiner, a leading Hungarian music educator of the early twentieth century, was influenced by early Romantic composers from Beethoven to Mendelssohn. Like his contemporary Bartók, Weiner incorporated elements of folk music into his compositions.

Sharp and Chen will then perform Bartók’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in C major. Bartók is regarded as one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century and one of Hungary’s greatest composers; his style of modernism incorporates dissonance as well as characteristics of the Hungarian folk music he so enthusiastically researched. This sonata, written after World War I, reflects the turbulence of a man consumed by his war-torn mind.

All four musicians will come together to play Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25. The German Romantic composer also took an interest in the indigenous music of his country. He is said to have indirectly influenced the young Bartók through Erno Dohnanyi, a friend of Bartók’s who received ample encouragement from Brahms.

The concert begins at 4 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

Wendy Sharp, award-winning violinist, performs frequently as a recitalist and a chamber musician. In demand as a teacher and chamber music coach, she is on the faculties of the Yale School of Music and California Summer Music, and maintains a private studio. For nearly a decade, Ms. Sharp was the first violinist and a founding member of the highly acclaimed Franciscan String Quartet. As a member of the quartet she toured the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and received awards including first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition. She attended Yale University, graduating summa cum laude with distinction in music, and received her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sharp has served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Dartmouth College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Choate Rosemary Hall, and has participated in the Aspen, Tanglewood, Chamber Music West, Norfolk, Britten-Pears, and Music Academy of the West festivals. Ms. Sharp is currently the director of chamber music at the Yale School of Music, where she has also served on the violin faculty since 1997.

Melvin ChenA native of Tennessee, pianist Melvin Chen has received acclaim for performances throughout the United States and abroad. He has performed at major venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Kennedy Center, and Boston’s Jordan Hall. 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 such artists as Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, Pamela Frank, Peter Wiley, and with the Shanghai, Tokyo, and Miró quartets. Mr. Chen was previously on the piano faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he was also associate director. He is 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.

A dedicated chamber musician, Marka Gustavsson has performed in major halls across Europe, Canada, and the U.S., as well as Japan and Israel. She has been invited to festivals including Bard, Mostly Mozart, Skaneateles, Portland, Bennington, and Newport. She has appeared as a guest of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, on WQXR’s Showcase, and with the Symphony Space All-Stars. Marka has worked closely with composers including John Halle, Joan Tower, Kyle Gann, George Tsontakis, Yinam Leef, Katherine Hoover, Martin Bresnick, and Tan Dun. In 2000, Marka joined the Colorado Quartet, an active touring ensemble offering traditional and new repertoire. The quartet recently released the complete Beethoven Quartets on Parnassus Records. Ms. Gustavsson holds a teaching position at Bard College, and with the Colorado Quartet, serves as faculty and co-artistic director at Soundfest Chamber Music Festival and Quartet Institute.

Cellist Mimi Hwang was born and raised in Los Angeles. She was a founding member of the Franciscan String Quartet, which was a first prize winner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition and top prize winner of the Evian International String Quartet Competition. She has also performed with the Tokyo, Ying, Colorado, and Ciompi Quartets as well as with Raphael Hillyer, Laurence Lesser, and Michael Tree. As a soloist, Ms. Hwang has performed with the Beijing Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. She received the master’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the bachelor’s degree with distinction at the New England Conservatory of Music, and has studied with Bonnie Hampton, Laurence Lesser, Paul Katz, and Eleonore Schoenfeld. She has appeared in the festivals of Aspen, Banff, Norfolk, Roycroft, Skaneateles, and Yellow Barn. Ms. Hwang is currently an assistant professor of chamber music at the Eastman School of Music, lecturer of music at Nazareth College, and a founding member of the Amenda Quartet. She is also co-artistic director of Yellow Barn Music School and Festival’s Young Artists Program in Putney, VT.