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Two Stars with Pegasus - Tchaikovsky, Schumann & Beethoven

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Mana Contemporary

888 Newark Avenue

Jersey City, NJ 07306

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Two Stars with Pegasus - Tchaikovsky, Schumann & Beethoven

Pegsasus at Mana: Orchestra Series

March 14, 2020

Reception: 6:30pm
Concert: 7:00pm

2007 Tchaikovsky international gold medalist Sergey Antonov (cello) and first prize winner of the 2018 Honens competition Nicolas Namoradze (piano) join Pegasus: the Orchestra to perform Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, and Schumann’s Introduction and Allegro Appassionato, Op. 92, respectively, with Karén Hakobyan as conductor. The second half will culiminate with Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 7 conducted by Karén Hakobyan.


PROGRAM

P. TCHAIKOVSKY Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33, for cello and orchestra

Sergey Antonov, cello

Karén Hakobyan, conductor


R. SCHUMANN Introduction and Allegro Appassionato, Op. 94 for piano and orchestra

Nicolas Namoradze, piano

Karén Hakobyan, conductor


L. BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in Major, Op. 92

Pegasus: The Orchestra

Karén Hakobyan, conductor


PERFORMERS

Sergey Antonov, cello

Cellist Sergey Antonov enjoys a versatile career as a soloist and chamber musician. Critics throughout the world have hailed him as “destined for cello superstardom” -Washington Post, “combining formidable technique and an incredibly warm, penetrating and vibrant tone to a romantic musical sensibility to create music - making of a highest caliber” - Budapest Sun. After one of the Newport Festival concerts in RI, a critic wrote “... a performance with soaring phrases and a tone to die for.” Sergey’s performance of the Elgar concerto drew the critic of the Moscow’s Daily Telegraph to write: “[he] is a musician who has his own inner space, where he submerges himself from the very first sound…who turns each phrase, every deeply felt sound into an event of his own inner monologue. The theme of this monologue is existential suffering; a change of intricately noted emotions, directly related to the unexplainable condition known as Spiritual Life.” A Canadian critic wrote: “Antonov conveyed ...a world of expression from plaintive hope to existential pathos.” One of the recent reviewers wrote, “ No virtuosic challenge is more than his equal.”

After winning the Gold Medal in the 2007 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia, Sergey has been touring extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America performing in halls ranging from the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory to Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He has collaborated with musicians such as Denis Matsuev, Bernadene Blaha, Kevin Fitz Gerald, Ekaterina Mechetina, Harve A’ Kaoua, Carl Ponten, Dora Schwartzberg, John Lenehan, Colin Carr, Cynthia Phelps, Martin Chalifour, David Chan, among others, as well as his permanent piano partner Ilya Kazantsev. The duo has recorded several CDs of traditional cello-piano repertoire as well as their own transcriptions, recorded in their CD album Elegy. Sergey is a member of the acclaimed Hermitage Piano Trio with Ilya Kazantsev and violinist Misha Keylin.

In addition to being the 2007 Tchaikovsky gold medal winner for cello, Antonov has been a recipient of the 2008 Golden Talent Award by the Russian Performing Arts Foundation as well as garnering top prizes at the Justuz Friedrich Dotzhauer Competition, Germany, David Popper International Cello Competition, Hungary, American String Teachers Association in Detroit. His chamber ensemble performances have also brought him honors from the Lyrica Chamber Music Series as their “Young Artist of the Year”, and First Prizes from the Chamber Music Foundation of New England and the Swedish International Duo Competition. He holds an Artist Diploma from Longy School of Music in Boston where he worked with Grammy nominated cellist Terry King. While being a student at the Moscow Conservatory, Sergey was under the tutelage of M. Rostropovich. Sergey has appeared on Russian National Television in performances with the Moscow Philharmonic in their “Stars of the 21st Century” series, and in live concerts on Boston’s NPR radio station WGBH. His performances were also broadcast by NHK Japan.

Nicolas Namoradze, piano

“Set to become one of the truly important artists of his generation.” – Emanuel Ax

Pianist and composer Nicolas Namoradze, whose performances have been hailed by critics as “sparkling… sensitive and coloristic” (New York Times) and “simply gorgeous” (Wall Street Journal), came to international attention upon winning the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, Canada—among the largest competition prizes in classical music. The Calgary Herald called him “unparalleled” and “a pianist’s pianist,” stating: “Namoradze is not the conventional competition pianist, but his individuality was evident from the outset. While he certainly has the virtuosity to spare, he gained the top spot through his remarkable clarity of execution, refinement and variety of tone, and his uncanny ability to make even the most ordinary passagework sound meaningful and distinctive… Everywhere his interpretative skills commanded attention and admiration.”

In February 2019, Namoradze gave a critically acclaimed, sold-out Carnegie debut at Zankel Hall in New York, about which ConcertoNet wrote: “[Namoradze] is a pianist who proved that, once in a while, the distinguished members of the jury make a good choice and select a winner who plays like a true artist; who impresses not with pyrotechnics but rather with keen intelligence, a rich tonal palette and refinement… It was a most auspicious debut by an artist representing that rare breed, a thinking virtuoso.”

Further highlights of the past year include appearances at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Tanglewood (USA), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada), Telavi International Music Festival (Georgia), and the Rubinstein Society Piano Festivities (Israel). In September, Namoradze joined the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in the season-opening inaugural concerts of their new music director, Ken-David Masur. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described his Schumann Concerto performances as “a captivating delivery of an exquisite piece of music” and “a charismatic performance that ranged from running passages played in shimmering whispers to bold emphatic declarations.”

Following a release of select live performances from the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition on the Honens label, this season will see the release of two solo albums—a program of Schumann and Namoradze on the Steinway label, and a disc on the Hyperion label featuring the works of York Bowen. Namoradze’s live performances from his critically acclaimed, sold-out recital at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr will also be released by the Edition Klavier-Festival Ruhr.

Upcoming performances include recitals at Wigmore Hall (London), the Gardner Museum (Boston), 92nd Street Y (New York), Miami International Piano Festival, Toppan Hall (Tokyo), and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. At the invitation of Sir András Schiff, Namoradze will present recitals at leading venues around Europe including the Konzerthaus Berlin, deSingel (Antwerp), and the Orpheus Stiftung Zurich in the “Building Bridges” series

Enthusiastic of innovative programs and technologies that expand the reach of classical music around the world, Namoradze has been closely associated with Juilliard Global Ventures, where he represented Juilliard students in the Julliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Program. He is also featured in the most-watched episode of Juilliard Open Studios with his teacher, Emanuel Ax, and appears as a guest educator on the history of the piano for Juilliard edX courses.

Namoradze’s interest in contemporary music and lesser-known works of the piano repertoire has led him to present original and exciting programs embracing works such as Godowsky’s infamous Studies on Chopin Etudes, sets of Ligeti Etudes, rarities including Dvorak’s Piano Concerto, and many works by his contemporaries. Following a recital devoted largely to the work of late-romantic British composer York Bowen, the Calgary Herald wrote that the recital “was a quasi-mystical experience,” and that “his playing is effortless to a degree that can hardly be imagined, and the focus of his performance is entirely upon musical values. And here the range of his imagination in the shaping of line, control of texture, and fleetness in execution takes one’s breath away.”

After completing his undergraduate studies in Budapest, Vienna, and Florence, Namoradze moved to New York for his Master’s at The Juilliard School. He now pursues his doctorate at the CUNY Graduate Center, holding the Graduate Center Fellowship. His teachers have included Emanuel Ax, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Zoltán Kocsis, Matti Raekallio, and Elisso Virsaladze in piano, and John Corigliano in composition.

Karén Hakobyan, conductor

Described as “a musician of abundant gifts and bountiful ideas” by New York Concert Review, and “an immensely talented and dynamic performer” by Deseret Morning News, Armenian-American pianist, composer and conductor Karén Hakobyan has emerged as a versatile force on the international musical scene. Since his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of seventeen, he has performed in major concert halls in Armenia, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, France, Japan, and the United States. He is a top prizewinner of multiple international piano and composition competitions and holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and the University of Utah. Hakobyan has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras across several continents. His performances have been broadcasted on WQXR (New York’s classical radio atation), WMFT (Chicago’s classical radio station), Argentine National Radio, Monterrey’s (Mexico) Op. 102 radio station, and Armenian National Radio. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Pegasus: the Orchestra, based in New York.

Pegasus: The Orchestra

Pegasus: The Orchestra is a nonprofit professional orchestra-in-residence at Mana Contemporary with a mission to empower rising musicians with artistic freedom and promote innovative repertoire in an environment of creative thought and expression, led by founder, artistic director, and conductor Karén Hakobyan.

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