[ concerts ]

Melvin Chen plays Prokofiev and Brahms Dec. 10

Melvin Chen, Deputy Dean and piano facultyThe Yale School of Music presents the pianist Melvin Chen in recital on Wednesday, December 10 at 7:30 pm.  Hailed by the New York Times as “a pianist whose playing is powerful and driven,” Chen will perform music by Sergei Prokofiev and Johannes Brahms.

The program opens with Prokofiev‘s Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75. The composer made this piano arrangement in 1937 and gave the premiere himself.

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Published November 26, 2014
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POSTPONED: Violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Wei-Yi Yang perform on Faculty Artist Series Feb. 3

Sarita KwokNOTE: This event has been postponed because of weather. It has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 2 at 8 pm.

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents a recital by violinist Sarita Kwok and pianist Wei-Yi Yang on Monday, February 3rd at 8 pm. Kwok and Yang will perform selections by Janáček, Stravinksy, Prokofiev, and Ravel. The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.

The concert will open with Janáček’s Sonata for violin and piano. Fittingly, in Frankfurt, Germany in 1923, Yale professor and composer Paul Hindemith was the first violinist ever to perform the piece. Next in the program will be Stravinsky’s neoclassical Duo Concertante.

The second half of the recital opens with Prokofiev’s Five Melodies for violin and piano, Op. 35b, composed for the Parisian chamber music society Triton. The evening concludes with Ravel’s Sonata for violin and piano. Stylistically very different from the composer’s earlier efforts, the sonata shows influences of Satie and Stravinsky, as well as a dose of American jazz.

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Published January 29, 2014
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[ in the press ]

The Yale Philharmonia Plays at Yale’s Woolsey Hall

Krzysztof_Penderecki_webBy Allison Geisler
CT.com

On Friday, classical music lovers need to get themselves to Woolsey Hall at Yale, as guest conductor Krzyzstof Penderecki leads the Yale Philharmonia. The first half of the concert features Penderecki conducting two of his pieces, Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima and his Symphony No. 2. In between, Toshiyuki Shimada takes over conducting duties, to lead the Philharmonia in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which will feature current Yale School of Music student Henry Kramer as the piano soloist.

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Published October 29, 2013
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Boris Berman plays music from a hundred years back Nov. 7

Program highlights Scriabin, Prokofiev, Debussy

Boris Berman

Multimedia program includes Debussy, Scriabin, Prokofiev

NEW HAVEN, CT  | The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents A Hundred Years Back: music written 1912–1913, a performance by pianist Boris Berman, on Wednesday, November 7.

Featuring pieces by Scriabin, Prokofiev, and Debussy, the recital highlights the rich variety of musical styles in the period preceding World War I. The multimedia performance also features narrator Peter Francis James and projections designed by Shawn Boyle. Berman, who is celebrated for his performances of the three composers on this program, has recorded all these compositions to critical acclaim.

Berman opens the program with two sonatas by Alexander Scriabin. The Sonata No. 7 conjures mystical images of flight and feelings of rapture. The one-movement Sonata No. 9, nicknamed “Black Mass,” is considered one of the composer’s masterpieces for the piano.

Prokofiev’s Sarcasms, an example of that composer’s wild modernistic style, will close the first half of the concert.

The latter half of the program will feature Debussy’s La Boite a joujoux (The Toy Box), a witty and elegant ballet for children. The piano performance will be accompanied by narration from Peter Francis James, a faculty member at the Yale School of Drama, and visual projections of pictures by André Hellé that debuted with the original publication of Debussy’s work. The projections are designed by Shawn Boyle, a graduate student in the projection design program at the Yale School of Drama, under the guidance of assistant professor Wendall K. Harrington. MORE

Published October 19, 2012
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“Brilliant” pianist Yefim Bronfman performs virtuoso program at Yale Feb. 28

“Stunning command, myriad colorings, incisive articulation and subtlety…”
–New York Times

The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents the pianist Yefim Bronfman in recital on Tuesday, February 28. The “brilliant soloist” (New York Sun), hailed for both “technical brawn and a glittery grace” ­(Los Angeles Times), will perform a powerhouse program featuring sonatas by Haydn, Brahms, and Prokofiev.

Bronfman, who last performed at Yale in 2007, will open the concert with Haydn’s Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:50. One of the last sonatas Haydn wrote, it showcases the composer’s balance of inventiveness, grace, and wit.

The next composer on the program is Brahms, who at the age of twenty wrote his third and final piano sonata. The five-movement Sonata in F minor, Op. 5, will complete the first half of the concert.

Particularly noted for his interpretations of contemporary Russian repertoire, Bronfman will crown the recital with a performance of Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8 in B-flat major, Op. 84. The third of Prokofiev’s War Sonatas, the piece will show off Bronfman’s “uncanny ability to make the musical texture unfailingly clear throughout” as well as “his range of sonority – from lyrical to pungent, to explosive” (Wall Street Journal).

This concert takes place at 8 pm in Sprague Hall (470 College St., corner of Wall Street). The Horowitz Piano Series is directed by Boris Berman.

Tickets are $18–28, $12–15 with student ID. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. MORE

Published February 3, 2012
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[ concerts ]

YSM pianists survey Prokofiev’s nine piano sonatas

The Yale School of Music presents all of the Prokofiev Piano Sonatas in two pairs of performances: December 5 and 7 at 8 pm at Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall, and December 11 at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

The concerts, which are presented by Yale in New York and the Horowitz Piano Series, feature performers selected in a competition open to all graduate-level piano students. The events mark the publication of a new performance edition of the sonatas, edited by faculty member and Prokofiev specialist Boris Berman.

The first program (Dec. 5 at 8 pm in New Haven, and Dec. 11 at 5:30 pm in New York) will frame the project by presenting the first and last of Prokofiev’s nine piano sonatas. Naomi Woo ’13MM will perform the Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 1; Euntaek Kim ’13AD will play the Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14; and David Fung ’12MMA will perform the second version of the Sonata No. 5 in C major. The second half of the concert opens with the Sonata No. 9 in C major, Op. 103, performed by Esther Park ’12AD. The concert closes with the Sonata No. 4 in C minor, Op. 29, played by Scott MacIsaac ’14CERT. MORE

Published November 17, 2011
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New edition of Prokofiev piano sonatas, edited by Boris Berman

photo of Boris Berman in Sprague HallShanghai Music Publishing House has published the complete Piano Sonatas by Prokofiev in a new performance edition by Boris Berman.

Berman, a member of Yale School of Music faculty since 1984, is a recognized authority on the music of Prokofiev. This bilingual (English-Chinese) publication contains various recommendations for performers. Berman compared the text of the sonatas with manuscripts and first editions, and corrected numerous errors that had been perpetuated by countless editions and recordings. This is the most reliable edition of Prokofiev’s sonatas currently available.

The edition is sold only in China; buyers outside of China can contact the e-mail address in Hong Kong.

Published May 16, 2011
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Yale in New York series offers a preview of Prokofiev Rediscovered: premieres and rarities

Among the three premieres is the unfinished opera Distant Seas and Music for Athletic Exercises, performed with dance

prokofiev_squareThe celebrated Yale in New York series offers a special preview concert of its Prokofiev Rediscovered program on Monday, February 8, 2010 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). The program, which will also be presented in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on February 9, features premieres and rarely-performed works by one of the titans of twentieth-century music. Boris Berman, the acclaimed pianist and Prokofiev specialist who conceived the program, performs with faculty colleagues Ettore Causa, viola; Stephen Taylor, oboe; and Robert Blocker, piano, as well as distinguished alumni, student, and guest performers.

The concert will showcase three recently-discovered Prokofiev works: a fragment from the unfinished opera Distant Seas (1948) receives its world premiere, while Music for Athletic Exercises (1939) and the complete music from the ballet Trapeze (1924) will be heard in New Haven for the first time. In addition, Berman will be joined by Dean Robert Blocker in a rarely heard two-piano arrangement of a suite of Schubert waltzes. Music for Athletic Exercises will be performed with original choreography by the New York City Ballet’s Adam Hendrickson. The dancers, all part of the Adam Hendrickson Dance Project, are Elysia Dawn; Colby Damon, and Matthew Renko. The New York Times has raved that Mr. Hendrickson “is just about invincible: understated, enigmatic and full of eccentricity.”

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Published January 26, 2010
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YSM students perform at the Kennedy Center

kennedy-center-lobby_webFourteen students from the Yale School of Music will perform at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on Monday, May 25 at 6:00 pm. The concert is part of the the Conservatory Project, a series of events presenting the finest young artists from the country’s foremost conservatories.

The varied program includes solo and ensemble performances of music by Haydn, Verdi, Bizet, and Prokofiev, as well as less well-known composers such as Keiko Abe, Jorge Morel, and Robert Beaser. Solo piano, guitar, and marimba are featured, as well as vocal works, a string quartet, and a brass quintet. MORE

Published May 18, 2009
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