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Northampton, MA



Sam Rush, Production and Publicity Manager
(413) 585-3249; srush@smith.edu
Nikki Beck, Production and Publicity Assistant
(413) 585-3222; ncbeck@smith.edu


Sage Chamber Music Society Says "Goodbye" to Winter by Presenting Two Hot Events to Welcome Spring


Award-Winning Lysander Piano Trio Performs March 28
Critically Acclaimed Mivos Quartet with Kate Soper to Perform March 30

Musical Weekend Features Pre-concert Talk On March 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Northampton, MA—Created with the aim of bringing world-class performers and performances to the Smith College community, the Sage Chamber Music Society is following through in a big way by presenting two acclaimed groups over one weekend in March. Featured in this weekend "double-bill" are Liza Stepanova, the Iva Dee Hiatt Visiting Artist in Piano & Lecturer in Music at Smith and Kate Soper, Assistant Professor of Music (composition). Both of these new additions to the Smith College Music Department are involved with remarkable groups that will be part of a not-to-be missed weekend festival of music, featuring both traditional and contemporary classical works.

On Friday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m., Liza Stepanova, piano, joins Itamar Zorman, violin, and Michael Katz, cello for a varied program less than one week before their Carnegie Hall recital debut. The program will begin with a piece written by a 17-year old Dmitri Shostakovich. Piano Trio no. 1, is a passionately romantic work he had initially entitled "Poem," a love letter to a girl but also a tribute to his own youth: it is completely unlike the dark, often sarcastic style we associate with his later works. The second half of the program will begin with the work of another young composer and Julliard graduate, Jakub Ciupinski, originally from Poland and based in New York. He composes contemporary classical music, but also performs on the theremin, the oldest gesture-controlled electronic instrument, which he combines with newest audio technology. The program will also include more traditional works: Franz Schubert's Notturno in E-flat major, composed the year before his death, and two masterly works by composers in their prime: the glorious Piano Trio in C major, op. 87 by Johannes Brahms and John Musto's Piano Trio (1998).

Just before the performance, in Earle Recital Hall at 7:00 p.m., Lysander Piano Trio and the young New York-based composer Jakub Ciupinski, whose 2014 work "Black Mirror" (written for Lysander) will be performed at the Trio's Sage Chamber Music Society recital, sit down with Joel Pitchon, Professor of Violin, to discuss chamber music, collaboration between composers and performers, and what excites them about the music on this evening's program. 

Taking its name from a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Lysander Piano Trio was founded in 2009 while its players were graduate students at The Juilliard School. The violin, cello, and piano trio has performed at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and David Rubenstein Atrium, Merkin Concert Hall (for the 2012 ASCAP Awards), Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Jennifer Bilfield, President and CEO of Washington Performing Arts Society and a member of the jury for the Final Round of the CAG Competition, describes the ensemble as bringing an "informed, energized musical personality to its performances." This versatile trio continues to be an immediate standout at chamber music competitions, having won 2012's Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. www.lysandertrio.com

On Sunday, March 30 at 4:00 p.m., Kate Soper and the Mivos Quartet play an afternoon of music for voice and strings. The program includes two pieces for string quartet that are inspired by vocal music and vocal writing: "Corde Vocale" by Felipe Lara, which envisions the string quartet as a dramatically conversational group of vocalists, and "Arcadinia" by Thomas Adès, which is partly inspired by a handful of moments from famous operas.  Also on the program are the last movement of Berg's "Lyric Suite," which infamously contains a secret soprano part which we will be performing, a transcription of Renaissance madrigals by Carlo Gesualdo for string quartet and voice, an arrangement of the first movement of a Mass by William Byrd for string quartet, and Soper’s own work "cipher" for violin and voice, which explores many territories of vocal music including expressivity, intelligibility, and the vocalist/accompanist relationship.

Kate Soper (b.1981) is a New York City-based composer and performer with a diverse background. Her current compositional interests include the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the transformation of visceral gestures in and out of time, and the potential of the human voice to communicate abstractly (or not). Her music, described as "exquisitely quirky" by The New York Times, has been played by ensembles such as the American Composers Orchestra, the BUTI Wind Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Linea, Dinosaur Annex, the Ostravska Banda, the Second Instrumental Unit, and the Due East Ensemble, among others. She has received awards from the Fromm Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Music Theory Society of New York State, and ASCAP, and has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the Nouvel Ensemble Modern, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Museum of Biblical Art, Yarn/Wire, and the Kenners. As a singer with experience in Western Classical and Indian Carnatik music, pop music, and improvisation, Kate performs frequently as a new music soprano in her own work and in the work of others. She received her D.M.A. in composition from Columbia University in 2011. She is Managing Director and vocalist of Wet Ink, a new music ensemble dedicated to performances of adventurous music across aesthetic boundaries. http://katesoper.com/

The Mivos Quartet, an "accomplished, admirably broad-minded young string quartet" (New York Times), is devoted to performing the works of contemporary composers, presenting new music to diverse audiences. Since the quartet's beginnings in 2008 they have performed, commissioned and closely collaborated with an ever-expanding group of international composers who represent multiple aesthetics of contemporary classical composition. The quartet’s international performing schedule has included appearances at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music (Darmstadt, Germany), Wien Modern (Vienna, Austria), Asphalt Festival (Düsseldorf, Germany), Concerti Aperitivo (Udine, Italy), HellHOT! New Music Festival (Hong Kong), Edgefest (Ann Arbor, MI), and Aldeburgh Music (UK). Beyond expanding the string quartet repertoire, Mivos is committed to working with guest artists, collaborating on multi-media projects, exploring group improvisation, and supporting young musicians through educational activities. http://www.mivosquartet.com/


At A Glance

March 28, 2014                       8:00 p.m.                    Lysander Piano Trio

Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8
Schubert: Notturno in E-flat Major, D. 897
John Musto (b. 1954): Piano Trio (1998)
Johannes Brahms: Piano Trio in C major, Op. 87
Liza Stepanova, piano; Itamar Zorman, violin; Michael Katz, cello
Pre-concert conversation with Lysander Piano Trio and composer Jakub Ciupiński at 7:00pm in Earle Recital Hall


March 30, 2014                       4:00 p.m.                    Kate Soper and the Mivos String Quartet

Reiko Fueting: Composition after Mechthild von Magdeburg (2001)
Kate Soper: Nadja (premiere)
Alban Berg: Lyric Suite (1925)
Kate Soper, soprano; Olivia De Prato, violin; Joshua Modney, violin; Victor Lowrie, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello




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