(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The complex relationships among Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann will be explored on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at 6 p.m., at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, in Grand Piano Quartets: Schumann and Brahms, a Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) concert featuring pianist Lydia Artymiw in a program including Piano Quartets in E flat minor, Opus 47 (Robert Schumann) and G minor, Opus 25 (Johannes Brahms). Both works were premiered with the participation of Clara Schumann, guiding muse and one of the most distinguished pianists of her day.
Musicians performing with Artymiw include Arnaud Sussman, violin; Toby Appel, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello. The concert is part of CEWM’s 20th anniversary season.
Much has been written about the connections between art and life in the works of Schumann and Brahms, the giants of musical Romanticism. The confluence of the three — from Robert Schumann hailing Brahms as the “young Eagle” of composition, to the friendship between Clara and Johannes, to Schumann’s confinement and death in an insane asylum — makes for one of music history’s most poignant chapters.
After Robert Schumann’s death, Brahms assumed the role of “head of household” and resided in an apartment over Clara Schumann’s home, relinquishing his career for two years, and never marrying, presumably for her sake. To this day, questions remain about their true relationship, and any letters that would solve the mystery were destroyed. However, their genius, passion and extraordinary sensibilities are all distilled and to be found in the music.
An onstage “Afterglow Reception” provided by Castle Street Café and Domaney’s Fine Wines & Liquors follows for all audience members.
Lydia Artymiw, pianist, is recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Prize. She has performed with over one hundred orchestras worldwide, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. She has collaborated with renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Richard Stoltzman. Artymiw graduated from the Philadelphia School of the Arts. She is the McKnight Distinguished Professor of Piano at the University of Minnesota.
Toby Appel, violist/violinist, has appeared at the White House and United Nations. He has been a frequent guest of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and performed with jazz artists Chick Corea and Gary Burton and at festivals throughout the world. Appel teaches viola and chamber music at the Juilliard School, and has served on the faculties of Yale School of Music and Carnegie Mellon University.
Cellist Yehuda Hanani is founder and artistic director of Close Encounters With Music. His engaging chamber music with commentary has captivated audiences from Miami to Kansas City, Omaha, Calgary, Scottsdale, the Berkshires, and at the Frick Collection in New York City. A three-time recipient of the Martha Baird Rockefeller grant, he appears with orchestras and on the recital stage on five continents. He has been the subject of hundreds of articles and interviews in the media, and his weekly program on NPR affiliate station WAMC Northeast Radio, “Classical Music According to Yehuda” attracts thousands of fans. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he also directs the High Peaks Festival, a teaching and chamber music festival in Hunter, N.Y.
Arnaud Sussmann, violinist, has performed as soloist at Carnegie, Avery Fisher, and Alice Tully halls. Appearing in concerts throughout the world, Sussmann joins the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society on national tours. Recent appearances include the Mostly Mozart Festival and the Metropolitan Museum. Born in Strasbourg, France, he holds a Masters Degree from The Juilliard School. He was chosen by Itzhak Perlman to be a Starling Fellow and Perlman teaching assistant.
Tickets, $40 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony) include the After Glow audience reception on stage. They are available at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, 413.528.0100. For further information visit Close Encounters With Music or call 800.843.0778.