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FREE CONCERT: Brahms Sonatas for violin& piano (Elmira Darvarova/Zhen Chen)

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Mary Winspear Centre

2243 Beacon Avenue West

Sidney, BC V8L 1W9

Canada

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Two internationally-acclaimed musicians: GRAMMY®-nominated violinist ELMIRA DARVAROVA (former concertmaster, Metropolitan Opera, New York City) and Global Music award-winning concert pianist ZHEN CHEN, perform on June 30 at 7:30 pm the three Sonatas for violin & piano by Johannes Brahms, in a Free concert, presented by the New York Chamber Music Festival.

The artists have recorded these immortal masterpieces by Brahms and are touring internationally with the same program, as well as with other performing and recording projects, hailed by the press for “intoxicating tonal beauty and beguilingly sensuous phrasing”,”ultra-impassioned performances”, “silky-smooth voluptuous tone”, as well as “inexpressibly beautiful”, “perfect balance”, “sheer beauty of tone, fluent and fluid playing, and emotional refinement”. For more info: www.elmiradarvarova.com and www.zhenchenpianist.com

FREE ADMISSION, June 30, 7:30 pm, at the Mary Winspear Centre, Charlie White Theatre, 2243 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC V8L 1W9



Musicians’ Bios:

GRAMMY®-nominated recording artist, and a concert violinist since the age of 4, ELMIRA DARVAROVA caused a sensation, becoming the first ever (and so far only) woman-concertmaster in the history of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. With the MET Orchestra she toured Europe, Japan and the US, and was heard on the MET's live weekly international radio broadcasts, TV broadcasts, CDs and laser discs for Sony, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI. As MET Opera concertmaster she has performed with the greatest conductors of our time, including the legendary Carlos Kleiber. She studied with Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School in London (on a British Council scholarship), with Josef Gingold at Indiana University in Bloomington (as one of his assistants), and with Henryk Szeryng (privately). She can be heard on numerous CDs, (recent releases include the world premiere of Vernon Duke's violin concerto with ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and a CD with world premiere recordings of music by René de Castéra, named a RECORD OF THE YEAR in 2015 by MusicWeb International). She has performed concertos with the Moscow State Symphony, the Vienna Radio Symphony and with numerous European and American orchestras, and has appeared on the world’s most prestigious stages, such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer/ Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Symphony Space in New York; Symphony Hall in Chicago, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Suntory Hall, Bunka Kaikan and NHK Hall in Tokyo; Musikverein in Vienna, Cadogan Hall in London, Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, Koncerthuset in Stockholm, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Smetana Hall in Prague, Megaron in Athens, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Kölner Philharmonie, Mumbai's National Center for Performing Arts, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, among many others. She has given recitals and master classes at many festivals worldwide. Well-versed in a lot of genres, she has not only performed opera at the MET and shared the stage for symphonic and chamber performances with music giants such as James Levine, Janos Starker, Gary Karr, Samuel Ramey, Pascal Rogé, Philip Myers, Myron Bloom, Anthony McGill, but also with tango and jazz legends such as Octavio Brunetti, Fernando Otero and David Amram, and is collaborating, in performances and recordings, with world-renowned Indian classical musicians - the superstars of the Sarod - Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan & Ayaan Ali Bangash. A documentary film about Elmira Darvarova was shown on European television. She performs with the New York Piano Quartet, the Delphinium Trio, the Quinteto del Fuego and the Amram Ensemble, and in a duo with Grammy® winner, pianist/composer Fernando Otero. She is Jury President of several international chamber music competitions in Europe, and President & Artistic Director of the New York Chamber Music Festival. Praised by Gramophone Magazine for her "ultra-impassioned performances", and in The STRAD for her “intoxicating tonal beauty and beguilingly sensuous phrasing" and "silky-smooth voluptuous tone”, she was featured in a Gramophone Magazine full-page article about her world-premiere recording of Vernon Duke's violin concerto (written for Heifetz in 1940), which she recorded with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. More info at: elmiradarvarova.com



ZHEN CHEN, Award-winning recording artist, hailed as "brilliant" by Fanfare Magazine, has emerged as a soloist and chamber music artist at leading music venues in USA and China, such as Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall of Lincoln Center, LeFrak Concert Hall in New York, Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, China National Center for Performing Arts, and was featured on live radio broadcast on Chicago WFMT 98.7. He was the featured solo pianist with China Xinhua Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2010) and performed concert tour around China. He won 1st Prize at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition (2009) and 2nd Prize at the Hong Kong-Asia Piano Open Competition (2007). In 2012 Zhen formed the Jade Duo with acclaimed Chinese violinist Shuai Shi in New York in a high-caliber partnership to interpret violin and piano sonatas. The Jade Duo won 1st Prize at the 2013 Artur Balsam Competition for Duos in New York and Second Prize at the 2013 J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition in Connecticut. The duo's debut recording FAURÉ, SCHUMANN, BARTÓK Sonatas for Violin & Piano (MSR, 2014) received plaudits from Fanfare, American Record Guide, Audiophile Audition and ClassicalNet. Fanfare Magazine described the duo’s performance as “inexpressibly beautiful” and a “perfect balance” with “sheer beauty of tone, fluent and fluid playing, and emotional refinement.” The duo was honored with Silver Medals at the 2016 Global Music Award for outstanding achievement duo and album. As crystallization of his academic and artistic training in chamber music, Zhen Chen translated into Chinese the book by Dr. Heasook Rhee: The Art of Instrumental Accompanying (published by Carl Fisher, New York), and the Chinese version has been published by the Central Conservatory of Music Press, the leading classical music publishing house in China. To recognize Zhen's contribution to the field of chamber music, Manhattan School of Music granted him in 2014 the Helen Cohen Award for outstanding work in chamber music. Besides his devotion to classical music, Zhen is also an avid advocate for contemporary music. He has worked with Jeffery Milarsky (a leading conductor of contemporary music and faculty at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School), has performed Ballet mècanique by the American composer George Antheil (1900-1959) at Borden Auditorium of Manhattan School of Music, and was invited as a guest artist to perform Suite for Violin & Piano by the American composer Edward Smaldone, Director of Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College in the concert celebrating 40 years at Queens College. In a cross-culture and cross-genre endeavor, Zhen wears another hat as a composer to create new music that mixes Eastern and Western sensibilities. Zhen’s music explores new possibilities by embroidering traditional Chinese music instruments and folk tone with piano and Western style chamber music collaboration. Taking a minimalistic and modern approach in composition, he emphasizes the storytelling and emotional appeal with seamless melodic line and exquisite tonality. Zhen received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Central Conservatory of Music in China, and a master’s degree in piano performance under Dr. Arkady Aronov at Manhattan School of Music, where he also earned a master’s degree in collaborative piano and chamber music, as a full scholarship recipient. More info at: zhenchenpianist.com





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PROGRAM


JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897):


Sonata № 1, Op. 78: I. Vivace ma non troppo; II. Adagio; III. Allegro molto moderato

Sonata № 2, Op. 100: I. Allegro amabile; II. Andante tranquillo; III. Allegro grazioso

Sonata № 3, Op. 108: I. Allegro; II. Adagio; III. Un poco presto e con sentimento; IV. Presto agitato

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Mary Winspear Centre

2243 Beacon Avenue West

Sidney, BC V8L 1W9

Canada

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