James Thompson & Brian Allen, violin
Christine Wu, viola / Anna Hurt, cello
~ P R O G R A M ~
Quartettsatz in C minor, D. 703 (1820)
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)
I. Allegro assai
Quartet in F Major (1903)
Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)
I. Allegro moderato. Très doux
II. Assez vif. Très rythmé
III. Tres lent
IV. Vif et agite
~ I n t e r m i s s i o n ~
Malambo, Op. 115B (2016)
Miguel del Aguila (b. 1957)
Co-commissioned by Barrick Stees
Nostalgica, Op. 60 (1998, rev. 2016)
Miguel del Aguila
World premiere of 2016 revised version. Commissioned by Barrick Stees
II. Long Ago
III. Finale: Allegro
~ ABOUT THE ARTISTS ~
Barrick Stees, Bassoon, is the Assistant Principal Bassoonist of The Cleveland Orchestra and Instructor of Bassoon at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Kent/Blossom Music. Stees received a bachelor’s degree and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with K. David Van Hoesen. He has concertized extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, including a solo tour of Hong Kong and China. He has appeared at international music festivals in Italy, Germany, Argentina, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. He has given recitals throughout the United States. Solo appearances include performances with the Hartford Symphony, the South Bend Symphony, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and the Cass City Bach Festival.
Awarded the Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award from the United States Secretary of Education, he has taught at Michigan State University, the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Brevard Music Center and the University of Akron. His former students occupy prominent positions in orchestras and universities throughout the United States.
He was previously Principal Bassoonist with the Hartford Symphony and has played with the Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has recorded three solo CDs, The Romantic Bassoon, Opera Transcriptions and Paraphrases, and Nostalgica. His website, www.steesbassoon.com, and blog, BarryBlogs, contain a wealth of information for bassoonists.
The MOSA String Quartet
Violinist James (Jimmy) Thompson, from Pepper Pike, Ohio, received the Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in May 2016, as a student of William Preucil, Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster. In 2014, Mr. Thompson was selected to solo with The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall as part of the ensemble’s education series. Active in Cleveland’s thriving local music community, Jimmy has given many recitals throughout the city with pianist Julia Russ. He has collaborated with CIM faculty Brian Sweigart, Linda Jones and Daniel Shapiro, in addition to Cleveland Orchestra cellist Tanya Ell, performing chamber music on CIM’s faculty recital series and the Arts Renaissance Tremont (ART) concert series. He hopes to continue performing and teaching, with the aim of spreading his love for the camaraderie of chamber music to all audiences. He continues at CIM in the Master’s degree program, studying with renowned artist-teacher Jaime Laredo. When not musically engaged, he enjoys hiking, playing chess (poorly), and eating food that he did not have to cook for himself.
Brian Allen, violin, is in his second year of the Master’s degree program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Jaime Laredo (Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Piano Trio) and William Preucil, concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra. A member of the Canton, Akron and Firelands Symphonies, Brian has a passion for chamber music on a large scale, as well as in a string quartet. He studied chamber music under the Cavani String Quartet and Peter Salaff in CIM’s Intensive Quartet Seminar, and with Sharon Robinson and Anita Pontremoli in CIM’s Advanced Piano Trio Program. Brian is honored to perform with the Mosa Quartet in their first professional year.
Christine Wu, violin/viola from Plano, Texas, is a senior in the Bachelor of Music degree program at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of renowned artist/teacher, Jaime Laredo (Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Piano Trio). Wu was a grand prizewinner of the Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, Juanita Miller Concerto Competition and Dallas Symphonic Festival. She made her solo debut with the SMU Meadows Symphony and performed at the 7th Annual Charles Barr Memorial Concert in 2013. She performed with the Dallas Symphony (June 2014) and will debut with other Texas orchestras in coming years. Ms. Wu began her studies at age three with Paul Landefeld and later continued to study with Jan Mark Sloman. In addition to violin, she studied piano for nine years with Dr. Annie Lin and has experience as a collaborative pianist. Christine volunteers as a violin instructor for Joyful Noise, an after school music program for children on Cleveland’s west side. She also teaches and coaches chamber music at The Institute for Strings and the Meadowmount School of Music. In her leisure time, she catches up on TV shows like Castle and The Office, and loves cooking and eating good food.
Anna Hurt, cello, , is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. Born into a musical family, Anna began cello lessons with her mother at age four. May 2015 she received her Master’s degree in Cello Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Grammy nominated cellist, Sharon Robinson (Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio). She also earned a Bachelor of Music degree at CIM, with former Cavani Quartet cellist, Merry Peckham.
Admired for her chamber music performances, Anna co-founded the award winning Autana Piano Trio, bronze medal winners at the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. She is also a founding member of the Mosa Quartet and the Cleveland Cello Quartet. Anna teaches cello privately in her home studio and at the Music Settlement. When not immersed in musical pursuits, Anna enjoys nature, drawing and taking long walks.
Notes for Nostálgica by composer Miguel del Aguila
Op. 115 A – for bassoon and piano
Op. 115 B – for bassoon and string quartet
Op. 115 C – for bassoon and string orchestra
All three versions of this 13 min. work were composed simultaneously and should be considered original versions. As the sound of bells trigger memories of a sad past event, the bassoon (here the main protagonist) sings alone a melody only accompanied by distant birds and insects. After a second ringing of the bells the bassoonist decides to ignore the sad memories and join in a dance taking place near him. While the rhythmic character of this dance was inspired by the Malambo dance of the South American gauchos, its mood and color also reflect its Venezuelan/Colombian counterparts, the Joropo and Galerón Llanero and the Mexican Jarabe. My music here represents only the abstraction of these dances in my memory and rendered in my own musical language and rhythm, that in this case consists of alternating 12/16-7/16 meter. In the midst of the dance the bells ring again and the bassoonist, now overwhelmed by memories, becomes immersed in his own thoughts. Away from the rest he sings an expressive song that grows in intensity until the dissonant bells (in his head) finally trigger an emotional climax that dissolves in darkness. Suddenly, as if waking up from a dream, the dance resumes. This time, without interruptions, it gains momentum building up to a joyous, life-affirming ending. Malambo was Jointly Commissioned by bassoonists: Benjamin Coelho, Judith Farmer, Wendy Holdaway, Mathieu Lussier, Richard Meek, Scott Pool, Carl Rath, Barrick Stees, Sabrina Stovall, Aura Marina Trevino and Lia Uribe.
Written in 1998, and revised in 2016, Nostálgica was commissioned by bassoonist Barrick Stees who premiered it in 1998 at the International Double Reed Convention in Arizona. “I wanted to write a piece in which the bassoon would be the “solo singer” of the ensemble. Soon after I started writing this work, the tone qualities of the bassoon started determining the thematic material and even the form of the piece. Even though the bassoon is the solo singer here, the strings have a technically demanding role, which includes extreme registers and the extensive use of harmonics.”
1. Nostálgica (♩ = 84) is quiet and lyrical and sets the mood for the entire piece, establishing the bassoon as the main singing voice. The music is inspired by the Brazilian Chôro.
2. Long Ago (♩ = 50) is a calm, almost pastoral middle movement. The bassoon plays carefree arabesques often in the pentatonic mode and accompanied by shimmering string harmonics and the relaxed beat of violin pizzicati.
3. Finale (♩ = 120) concludes the piece with a lively Latin dance. Here the bassoon provides the beat with its fast, often percussive notes.