Wendy Sharp performs music of Beethoven, Bielawa, and more

Nov. 6 concert also features pianist Joel Wizansky

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents Wendy Sharp, violin, and Joel Wizansky, piano in concert on Sunday, November 6th at 4 pm. The program brings together music related to words in various ways, from a suite based on Shakespeare to a piece incorporating narration.

The concert opens with the brief Scherzo by Johannes Brahms based on a motive of the pitches F, A, and E. Next comes a suite of incidental music for Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” The suite is an early work by Erich Korngold, who went on to become a leading composers of film music.

The first half closes with a piece by 2009 Prix de Rome recipient and Yale alumna Lisa Bielawa. Her “Meditations” for solo violin are drawn from her larger work, “The Lay of Love and Death,” whose name and texts come from Rainer Maria Rilke’s epic poem contemplating the loss of innocence. The composer will recite Rilke’s poetry between the movements for solo violin.

The second half of the program features Beethoven’s virtuosic and passionate “Kreutzer” Sonata in A major, Op. 47. This sonata is considered, along with the Third Symphony, to demonstrate the beginnings of Beethoven’s revolutionary turn to the Romantic. Among the many artists who have been inspired by this sonata is Leo Tolstoy, whose novella The Kreutzer Sonata in turn inspired a painting, a play, and several film adaptations.

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.


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 Franciscan String Quartet. As a member of the quartet she toured the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and was honored with many awards including first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Press and City of Evian prizes at the Evian International String Quartet Competition. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, 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.

Joel Wizansky is acclaimed by audiences and musicians alike for his combination of fiery intensity and probing musicianship. The Washington Post wrote of his “emotional and rich performance, sparkling runs, beautiful phrasing, and dramatic interpretation.” After his debut with the San Francisco Symphony at age 17, he went on to win numerous awards, including first prize in the Helen Hart International Piano Competition and the Yale Gordon Competition and fifth prize in the Marguerite Long International Competition. He has performed frequently in recital and with orchestras in the United States, Europe, Taiwan, and Korea and has been heard in broadcast performances in New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago. His first solo compact disc, “A Brahms Recital,” was released in 2001 on the MRC label. He is also a noted chamber musician and collaborator, and has performed in duo recitals at Carnegie Hall, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and many other venues. He has served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory and is currently a staff pianist at the Yale School of Music.

Composer and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in musical composition. She moved to New York two weeks after receiving her B.A. in literature in 1990 from Yale University, and became an active participant in New York musical life. She frequently takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Gramophone reports, “Bielawa is gaining gale force as a composer, churning out impeccably groomed works that at once evoke the layered precision of Vermeer and the conscious recklessness of Jackson Pollock,” and The New York Times describes her music as “ruminative, pointillistic, and harmonically slightly tart.”

Published October 18, 2011
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