The Virginia Tech Department of Music's University Chamber Music series concert with the Kandinsky Trio takes place Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 3 at 3 p.m., in the Squires Recital Salon located in Squires Student Center on College Avenue adjacent to downtown Blacksburg. This fifth concert in the series also features world-renowned violist Roger Chase.
The Trio welcomes viola star Roger Chase for a performance of Brahms Quartet in G minor. Chase has served as principal viola for both the St. Martins-in-the-Fields and Berlin philharmonic orchestras and has recorded for EMI Music, Hyperion, and Virgin Records. Mozart's E flat major piano quartet and Kent Holliday’s "In Memoriam: Karlrobert Kreiten" will round out the program.
Chase studied at the Royal College of Music with Bernard Shore and in Canada with Steven Staryk, also working for a short time with the legendary Lionel Tertis, whose famed Montagnana viola he now plays. He made his debut with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1979 and in 1987 appeared as a soloist at a Promenade Concert at The Royal Albert Hall in London. He has since played as a soloist or chamber musician in major cities throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, the Middle East, India, most of Eastern and all of Western Europe and Scandinavia.
"In Memoriam: Karlrobert Kreiten" was premiered at the Talloires International Composers’ Conference in Talloires, France on July 5, 1996, by members of the St. Petersburg Chamber Players. Holliday’s composition honors the brilliant German concert pianist Karlrobert Kreiten who was arrested by the Gestapo as he prepared to perform in the new concert hall in Heidelberg on May 3, 1943. Kreiten was charged with making derogatory remarks about Hitler and the National Socialist Party and was held prisoner in secret police headquarters at Prinz Albrecht Strasse, Berlin. Despite many appeals from famous artists and musicians on his behalf, he was sentenced to death and executed at age 27 at Plotzensee on Sept. 7, 1943. His mentor, Claudio Arrau, wrote of his former pupil, “Karlrobert Kreiten was one of the greatest piano talents whom I have ever known. Had he not been executed by the Nazi regime shortly before the end of the war, he would have, without doubt, ranked among the greatest German pianists, succeeding Kempff and Gieseking.”
Kent Holliday is a professor of music and humanities at Virginia Tech where he has taught since 1974. His book "Reproducing Pianos Past and Present" was published in 1989, and a number of his compositions for solo and chamber instruments have won numerous competitions, including the Virginia Music Teachers Association composition contests in 1983, 1997, and 1999; the New Music Delaware competition in 1996; finalist in the Tampa Bay Composers Forum in 1996, and the Aliénor Harpsichord Awards competition in 1999. His piano solo "Remembrance" is archived on National Public Radio's "Songs to Remember."
The Kandinsky Trio--whose music is described as "spirited and persuasive" by the American Record Guide, and "virtuosity, with spine-tingling precision" by the Cincinnati Enquire--are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. The Trio consisting of Benedict Goodfriend on violin, Alan Weinstein on cello, and Elizabeth Bachelder on piano has performed worldwide in more than 175 cities. Known for their passionate performances of masterworks and innovative ideas in redefining chamber music, the Kandinsky Trio draws continues to draw in new audiences.
The Trio also is one of only six piano trios ever to win the prestigious Chamber Music America Residency Award. In 1999, Sen. Charles Robb (D-Va.) chose the Trio as Virginia's representative at the Kennedy Center's State Days series. The ensemble has also received awards from the Theodore Presser and Carpenter foundations for extending artistry and visionary residency ideas to under-served communities.
Alan Weinstein, cello player for the Kandinsky Trio and Virginia Tech faculty, holds degrees in music performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Eastman School of Music. Read more about Weinstein. Tickets are $15 general, $10 senior, and $5 student. They are available in advance through the Virginia Tech’s University Unions and Student Activities (UUSA) Box Office in the Squires Student Center at (540) 231-5615, or online, and at the door one hour prior to performance time.
The mission of the Department of Music at Virginia Tech is to provide professional music training to select music students and to enhance the cultural life of the university, region, and the Commonwealth. These are accomplished through teaching, professional service, artistic performance, creativity, and research. The Department of Music, located in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, also provides high-quality training to a wide variety of ensembles and courses for large numbers of non-music majors.