[ in the press ]

Morse code: New Haven Independent on Wendy Sharp

sharpNew Haven Independent
By Lucy Gellman

A rustle of sheet music, whispering groan of bones readjusting, and then, suddenly, there it was: Wendy Sharp gave a furtive glance at the other musicians onstage, and as if the solution to a great, complex code, Morse Recital Hall was filled with Leó Weiner’s robust, Romantic tones.

Seamless, wordless communication had as much to do with the music as the notes did when Sharp, critically acclaimed violinist and Yale professor, performed works on a broad Hungarian theme by Leó Weiner, Béla Bartók and Johannes Brahms Sunday evening with violist Marka Gustavvson, cellist Mimi Hwang and pianist Melvin Chen, a performance intimate enough to banish the plummeting temperatures outside. MORE

Published January 27, 2014
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[ concerts ]

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

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. MORE

Published January 17, 2014
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[ concert ]

Violinist Wendy Sharp performs recital with pianist Joel Wizansky Oct. 20

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The Yale School of Music presents a recital by violinist Wendy Sharp with pianist Joel Wizansky on Sunday, October 20th at 4 pm. The event 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 concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.

Wendy Sharp, the winner of numerous competitions, is the coordinator of chamber music at YSM. Joel Wizansky has been praised by the Washington Post for his “emotional and rich performance, sparkling runs, beautiful phrasing, and dramatic interpretation.” MORE

Published September 25, 2013
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Vista explores colorful range of chamber music Mar. 4

Concert features performances enhanced by commentary on the music

The Yale School of Music presents Vista: A Fresh Look at Chamber Music on Monday, March 4th, 2013 at 8 pm. The Vista series features diverse student ensembles that have been selected and coached by faculty, and who offer insightful spoken commentary on the music that they perform. This concert will feature music by Loeffler, Ravel, Sean Friar, and Prokofiev.

The program opens with music for strings with piano, beginning with Two Rhapsodies for oboe, viola, and piano by the French-born American composer Charles Martin Loeffler. Next is Ravel’s Sonata for violin and piano, in which the jazz and blues music of America infuses Ravel’s French harmonic language.

The second half opens with two pieces – “Wiggle Room” and “Lick Machine” – from Short Winds, a quintet for winds and harp by the young composer Sean Friar. The evening will close with Prokofiev’s brooding Violin Sonata in F minor, composed during the Communist Revolution. Prokofiev himself says that the piece should sound “like the wind in a graveyard.”

Wendy Sharp is the coordinator of the YSM chamber music program and the director of the Vista series. The faculty coaches that have worked with the ensembles are Ettore Causa (Loeffler), Boris Berman (Ravel), Ransom Wilson (Friar), and Ani Kavafian (Prokofiev).

The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College St., New Haven. No tickets are required; the event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.

About Student Chamber Music at YSM

The Yale School of Music is unique in that all performance faculty coach chamber music, and all students are involved in chamber music for their entire tenure at the School. Ensembles come together each semester and receive weekly coachings from distinguished faculty and guest artists. Chamber groups often perform in the Lunchtime Chamber Music concerts, which take place at both Morse Recital Hall and the Center for British Art, and in the Vista series, in which performances are enhanced by spoken commentary on the music. Students also take part in the annual chamber music competition, whose winners are featured in an annual Chamber Music Society concert.

Published February 27, 2013
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Violinist Wendy Sharp and friends perform Jan. 20

Concert features music by Mozart, Dvorák, Honegger

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents violinist Wendy Sharp and friends in a concert on Sunday afternoon, January 20. Sharp will be joined by violist Marka Gustavsson, cellist Mimi Hwang, and faculty pianist Melvin Chen. The program will include chamber music by Mozart, Dvorák, and Honegger.

Wendy Sharp and Melvin Chen are both members of the Yale School of Music faculty. Marka Gustavsson serves on the Bard College faculty and is a member of the Colorado Quartet; Mimi Hwang plays in the Amenda Quartet and teaches at the Eastman School of Music.

Two duets for strings will open the concert: Mozart‘s elegant Duo for violin and viola in B-flat major, K. 424, and Honegger‘s Sonatine for violin and cello, “a work of elegance and style” (All Music Guide) written in 1932.

All four performers come together for the concert’s final piece, Dvorák‘s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 87, “an unjustly neglected masterpiece of the chamber music repertoire” (AMG).

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. MORE

Published January 4, 2013
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Vista takes an in-depth look at chamber music Dec. 5

Program features music of Mozart, Cras, and Schumann

The Yale School of Music presents Vista: A Fresh Look at Chamber Music on Wednesday, December 5 at 8 pm. The Vista series features diverse student ensembles that have been selected and coached by faculty to speak about the music that they perform.

The program opens with Schumann’s Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tales). One of Schumann’s last works, the piece veers from lyrical lines to impetuous rhythms. Mozart’s Serenade in E-flat major, K. 375 follows, featuring a larger ensemble of eight wind instruments.

The Suite en Duo for flute and harp by Jean Cras opens the second half of the concert. The evening concludes with Schumann’s Piano Trio in D minor.

Wendy Sharp is the coordinator of the YSM chamber music program and the director of the Vista series.

The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College St., New Haven. No tickets are required; the event is free and open to the public. MORE

Published November 30, 2012
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Faculty Artist Series presents violinist Wendy Sharp and pianist Joel Wizansky

Concert features music from Dvorak to Schnittke to Corigliano

The Yale School of Music presents a recital by Wendy Sharp, violin, and Joel Wizansky, piano on Sunday, October 21 at 4 pm. The event is part of the Faculty Artist Series, which features the School’s prestigious faculty in concerts that are free and open to the public.

Music on the concert ranges from the Romantic period to today. The program opens with Alfred Schnittke’s Suite in the Old Style for violin and piano, incorporating pieces from the composer’s various film scores. Though written in the twentieth century, its baroque style marks an artistic shift in Schnittke’s career that was largely influenced by Shostakovich.

In writing his piece Once, Chris Rogerson ’11MM was inspired by the images of childhood summers from Meghan O’Rouke’s The Long Goodbye. Each movement is based on a specific passage from the memoir.

The second half opens with Anton Dvorak’s “Songs my Mother Taught Me,” the most famous of the seven Gypsy Songs, all of which are set to poems by Adolf Heydul. Then comes John Corigliano’s Lullaby for Natalie, a sweet melody written for the daughter of world-renowned violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers.

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Published October 10, 2012
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Violinist Wendy Sharp & friends perform chamber music of France

January 29 concert features music of Fauré, Ravel, and Milhaud

The Yale School of Music’s Faculty Artist Series presents violinist Wendy Sharp (pictured at left) in a concert of French chamber music on Sunday, January 29th at 4 pm. Sharp will be joined by violist Marka Gustavsson, cellist Mimi Hwang, and pianist Melvin Chen. The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.

Wendy Sharp is a member of the Yale School of Music faculty and the winner of numerous competitions. Collectively, Gustavsson, Hwang, and Chen are on the faculty at institutions such as the Bard College Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and Yellow Barn, and are members of ensembles including the Colorado Quartet and the Amenda Quartet.

The program will include two duets: Milhaud‘s Sonatine for violin and viola, and Ravel’s Sonata for violin and cello, a tribute to the memory of Debussy with subtle nods to Bartók and Kodaly. The concert will conclude with Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15, which is full of “refined sensuality, elegance, and craftsmanship” (Classical Music Guide). MORE

Published January 10, 2012
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Vista explores colorful range of chamber music Dec. 10

Concert features both traditional and unconventional ensembles

The Yale School of Music presents Vista: A Fresh Look at Chamber Music on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 8 pm. The Vista series features diverse student ensembles that have been selected and coached by faculty. Each ensemble not only performs but also offers insight into the music through spoken commentary. This concert will offer music by Haydn, Poulenc, Frank Martin, and Anton Arensky.

The program will open with Haydn’s String Quartet in D major, “Lark,” Op. 64, No. 5, and will continue with Poulenc’s insouciant Sextet for Piano and Winds.

Frank Martin’s “Poèmes de la Mort” sets texts by François Villon to an unusual ensemble of three male voices and three electric guitars. The singers are students in the School of Music’s vocal track in early music, song, and chamber ensemble.

Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, often considered the finest work by this Russian Romantic composer, will conclude the program.
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Published November 21, 2011
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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.

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 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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