Mozart is a bit like the baseline for any good musician. Easy to listen to and notoriously hard to play. We are going back to what we love and are trained to play so all our further repertoire and knowledge comes from wrestling with Wolfgang A. What better way to prepare for a beginning of live performances and a hopeful return to normal than by doing a Master Cleanse?
My good friends Jesse Mills, Grammy-nominated violinist, Joel Noyes of the Metropolitan Opera, and myself are playing Mozart’s beautiful and part cheeky, part serious Divertimento for String Trio from 1788. That’s all. 45 minutes of bliss with our utter commitment and love for this music. “The end is the beginning, and the beginning is perfection.”
We’re streaming this performance live from Reed Yeboah Fine Violins in New York City, and it is being hosted by Groupmuse.
To watch the recital, click here.
I’m excited to present to you an intriguing and varied repertoire, of new music from the Canadian composer Ana Sokolovic and the Cuban guitar virtuoso and composer Leo Brouwer, whose solo viola sonata gets its world premiere here! This on the platform known as Groupmuse, a social network for musicians which presents classical concerts in informal setting, and in these pandemic times, online.
Works by Shostakovich (music from the motion picture “The Gadfly“) and Prokofiev (from his ballet “Romeo and Juliet”), adapted for viola and piano, conclude the program. I am playing with the terrific pianist Miki Aoki.
Ana is a longtime friend who taught me harmony and counterpoint in high school back in Serbia, so we go way back, and she is now one of Canada’s most distinguished composers. I grew up listening to Leo Brouwer’s music, so his works and his guitar playing (my brother studied classical guitar when I was little) are close to my heart.
I wish to thank the team at Tarisio Fine Instruments in New York for letting us use their performance space for rehearsals and the livestream. Absolutely indispensable in Covid times, when nearly all concert venues are closed.
To watch the video of the livestream, click here!
My old classmate Dongmin Kim and I were at Indiana University together as viola students, and both eventually ended up in New York. He’s gone on to have a successful career as a conductor and founder of the New York Classical Players, the region’s only professional orchestra sharing exclusively free performances, with a mission to reach large and diverse audiences and draw them in with engaging and varied programs.
Who knew that one could have a solo performance with orchestra in the Covid era, but here we are! We set the dates for January 2021, and, with all social distancing measures observed, had two brief recording sessions for Max Bruch’s beautiful Romance for viola and strings (think Ennio Morricone writing a viola work!), in an arrangment by Yoon Jae Lee. I can’t wait to see how it turned out. We were totally on the same wavelength – minimum conversation was necessary and Dongmin and I just “got it”.
The program also contains work by Caroline Shaw, Einojuhani Rautavaara and Felix Mendelssohn. The live link becomes live at 8PM EST on March 13, 2021, and can be seen here! Enjoy.
W.A. Mozart: Divertimento in E♭ major, K. 563
Jesse Mills, violin – Milan Milisavljevic, viola – Joel Noyes, cello