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Summer at-Home Listeners Silently Applauded


Mike Roylance plays tuba

….and behold, the BSO Encore Series has arrived with additional opportunities to hear nine of the most popular performances (many of which BMInt reviewed enthusiastically) from Tanglewood’s Linde Center. Fifty BSO players will feature in the rebroadcasts of content including original compositions by BSO Associate Principal Horn Gus Sebring (written for alphorn and French horn) and folk arrangements by BSO violinist Bonnie Bewick; the world premiere 80 years after its composition of Sonatine for solo viola by acclaimed African-American composer Ulysses Kay; and newly commissioned works for brass ensemble by West Virginia-born composer and jazz pianist Kevin Day and trombonist and composer Chad “Sir Wick” Hughes. Other contemporary composers of color and women composers represented in the programming include Daniel Bernard Roumain, Gabriela Lena Frank, James Lee III, Valerie Coleman, Paquito D’Rivera, Marti Epstein, and Allison Loggins-Hull. Works of Bach, Beethoven, Berio, Brahms, Copland, Dvořák, Hindemith, Mozart, Poulenc, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, and Stravinsky; traditional American, Scottish, and Irish reels, will also be offered.

Each Thursday at noon, and continuing for a month, the shows will begin with freshly recorded intros, and sometimes a Q & A session done live.

The series is available as a multiple-stream package for a minimum donation of $25; subscribers to the 2019-20 BSO Symphony Hall season and Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival may access the content content free. Most of the sessions will remain up for 30 days; the season closes on November 19th. BSO Encore particulars can be viewed  HERE. The account login screen, the portal to the webcasts, is HERE.

Newly produced web content will be recorded at Symphony Hall, detailed in October, and made available in November and December. We hope that the video production team will relax a bit and not feel obligated to change shots every ten seconds. 

The BSO PR department offers four compelling stories to bring us into the current mindsets of some of the participants.

This past April, BSO cellist Mickey Katz coped with the loss of live performance opportunities by setting himself a challenge. In a Facebook post, Katz asked his friends to write miniatures for solo cello—a minute long or shorter—for him to learn, record, and post online. New works rolled in, including from some prominent names as Nico Muhly. Among the first to submit a “#cellominute” piece was Marti Epstein, an acclaimed composer, professor at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, and April 2020 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Katz’s call for works gave Epstein, who had been suffering from “COVID doldrums,” a much-needed boost. The composer said, “Like so many of us, my creative energy has been negatively affected by the anxiety and uncertainty caused by COVID-19. […] So when I saw that Mickey Katz was looking for new miniatures for solo cello, I was excited to discover that the thought of composing a little wisp of a cello piece for him stirred a spark of creativity that I hadn’t felt in a long time.” Mickey Katz and Marti Epstein are both available to discuss the #cellominute miniatures, a selection of which Katz performs as part of the Encore BSO Recitals series, available on October 29.

Troubled by last spring’s racial violence, the BSO’s Associate Principal Horn Richard Sebring sat down to practice but instead improvised what would develop into a powerful new piece. He reached out to his friend and former student, harpist Charles Overton, and over video chat they fleshed out the reverent “Listen, to the Cry of Your Fellow Man,” a duo for horn and harp. The title was Overton’s conception: “Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is how important the concept of listening will be for us as a nation and society to be able to truly change, for these horrible tragedies hopefully to be the last and for this to truly be a turning point in our history.” Both men are available to talk about their collaboration. (Incidentally, the same recital program, which is available for viewing on October 22, also includes another novelty and Sebring composition inspired by improvisation, Richard Sebring’s Awaken! A New Day! for alphorns.)

Father-and-daughter musical duos in the classical world are pretty rare. Father and daughter playing in the same orchestra is even rarer. Yet violist Mary Ferrillo, who started as a full-time BSO player last season, achieved her lifetime dream, performing alongside some of the world’s greatest orchestral musicians, which include her dad, longtime Principal Oboist John Ferrillo. So how do the two navigate the familial and professional? As part of the BSO Encore Series that is available starting on October 8, they perform Two Rhapsodies by the German-born Charles Martin Loeffler who was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra violin section in its earliest decades and a mainstay of Boston’s musical life until his death in 1935. Together, in conversation and performance, the Ferrillos affirm—and in certain subtle ways, subvert—the cliché “the family that plays together, stays together.”

BSO violinist Bonnie Bewick is not only a master of classical repertoire but also a passionate player and proponent of fiddle music from around the world. She has delved into American, Celtic, and other folk traditions, and delights in sharing these vibrant forms with audiences classical and otherwise. A program in the Encore BSO Recitals series on October 29 features some of Bewick’s own arrangements and compositions, as well as an arrangement by the fiddler Mark O’Connor and double bassist Edgar Meyer, two artists who share Bewick’s affinity for flouting genre barriers. She describes one of her original jigs, The Snowblower, as “a musical fist shake at our New England winters.” 

The Season:

Releases on Thursday, September 17 at noon at; available through Saturday, October 17
J.S. BACH Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1005
PAGANINI Larghetto in D-flat from Quartet No. 13 for guitar and strings (arr. for solo violin)
SAURET (arr. ROMANUL) Prelude in G minor from Suite for Violin Solo, Op.68
JOHNSON (arr. POWELL) “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”
      Victor Romanul, violin
MENDELSSOHN Violin Sonata in F
STILL “Mother and Child” from the Suite for Violin and Piano
      Tatiana Dimitriades, violin; Jonathan Bass, piano
PRICE String Quartet in G, II. Andante moderato
      Catherine French and Xin Ding, violins; Daniel Getz, viola; Mickey Katz, cello
DVOŘÁK Terzetto in C, Op. 74
      Catherine French and Xin Ding, violins; Daniel Getz, viola

The violin—whose presence by sheer force of numbers dominates the orchestral stage—is the focus of this chamber music program by BSO musicians. Victor Romanul plays four solo selections, including one of the single most challenging pieces in the repertoire, the Chaconne from Bach’s D minor Partita. Tatiana Dimitriades performs two works for violin and piano: Mendelssohn’s early Sonata in F and William Grant Still’s beautiful lullaby “Mother and Child” from his 1943 Suite for Violin and Piano. Still and his contemporary Florence Price, whose String Quartet is performed here, were pioneering African-American composers. Completing this wide-ranging program is Antonín Dvořák’s Terzetto for two violins and viola, which is infused with elements of Czech folk music.

Releases on Thursday, September 24 at noon at; available through Saturday, October 24
CLARKE Sonata for Viola and Piano
KAY Sonatine for Viola and Piano (world premiere recording)
      Mary Ferrillo, viola; Brett Hodgdon, piano
BERIO Naturale, for viola, percussion, and recorded voice
      Steven Laraia, viola; Kyle Brightwell, percussion
HINDEMITH Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 11, No. 4
      Daniel Getz, viola; Brett Hodgdon, piano

Three BSO violists perform on his program of all 20th-century masterworks. Both the English composer Rebecca Clarke’s and the German Paul Hindemith’s sonatas date from 1919, and both are staples of the viola-piano repertoire. The eminent American composer-conductor Ulysses Kay, who studied with Hindemith at the Berkshire (now Tanglewood) Music Center, wrote his Sonatine for Viola and Piano in 1939 but the piece was premiered only this past summer, in the BSO recital presented here. The great Italian composer Luciano Berio’s Naturale creates a remarkable landscape for viola and percussion evoking Italian folk song and incorporating pre-recorded Sicilian street cries.
Click here to hear the conclusion of Ulysses Kay’s Sonatine for Viola and Piano, performed for the first time by BSO violist Mary Ferrillo and pianist Brett Hodgdon

Releases on Thursday, October 1 at noon at; available through Saturday, October 31

MOZART Duo in G for violin and viola, K.424
      Julianne Lee, violin; Rebecca Gitter, viola
Daniel Bernard ROUMAIN Filter
      Julianne Lee, violin
SCHUBERT String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D.804, Rosamunde
      Julianne Lee and Lisa Kim, violins; Steven Ansell, viola; Oliver Aldort, cello

BSO violinist Julianne Lee plays a short, energetic piece written by another violinist, Daniel Bernard Roumain—his Filter for solo violin, which employs dynamic bowing techniques to emulate electronic effects. Lee performs with BSO violist Rebecca Gitter in Mozart’s Duo in G, one of two duos the composer wrote as a favor for his friend Michael Haydn—Joseph’s brother—who fell ill before fulfilling a commission. The G major duo is a substantial work of grace and elegance. Franz Schubert’s late string quartets rank among his greatest works. His songful Rosamunde Quartet, the only one of these to be published in his lifetime, takes its name from a melody it shares with music he wrote for the stage play by that name. 

Releases on Thursday, October 8 at noon at; available through Saturday, November 7
Gabriela Lena FRANK “Prayer” from Suite Mestiza
      Lucia Lin, violin
RAVEL Sonata for violin and cello
      Lucia Lin, violin; Owen Young, cello
LOEFFLER Two Rhapsodies for oboe, viola, and piano
      John Ferrillo, oboe; Mary Ferrillo, viola; Randall Hodgkinson, piano

American composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s music draws on and transcends her rich cultural heritage, which includes Peruvian, Chinese, and Eastern European Jewish elements. Performed by BSO violinist Lucia Lin, the first movement, “Prayer,” of Frank’s big solo violin Suite Mestiza was inspired by Peruvian religious songs on Quechua texts. Lin and BSO cellist Owen Young perform Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for violin and cello, a varied, full-scale, four-movement work composed in memory of his colleague Claude Debussy. The German-born Charles Martin Loeffler was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra violin section in its earliest decades and a mainstay of Boston’s musical life until his death in 1935. His Two Rhapsodies are impressionistic instrumental revisions of pieces that began life as songs.

Releases on Thursday, October 15 at noon at; available through Saturday, November 14

BEETHOVEN String Trio in G major, Op. 9, No. 1
      Alexander Velinzon, violin; Danny Kim, viola; Adam Esbensen, cello
GABRIELI (trans. Mark LEWIS) Canzona Seconda 
J.S. BACH (arr. Glenn SMITH) Contrapunctus IX from The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080
Kevin DAY Ignition
ELLINGTON (arr. Clarence HINES) Come Sunday
Chad “Sir Wick” HUGHES Tribute to Sinfonia
DEBUSSY Trois Chansons
      Toby Oft, Stephen Lange, James Markey, trombones; Mike Roylance, tuba

This concert opens with Beethoven’s String Trio in G, one of a set of three string trios representing the composer’s most important and substantial chamber music works of the 1790s. The concert continues with a potpourri of music for low brass instruments ranging from Gabrieli’s late 16th-century canzona and Contrapunctus IX from J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue to a high-velocity work by West Virginia-born composer Kevin Day and a tribute to the musical society Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia by Chad “Sir Wick” Hughes. 

Releases on Thursday, October 22 at noon at; available through Thursday, November 19
Richard SEBRING Awaken! A New Day! for Alphorns (world premiere recording)
      Richard Sebring and Michael Winter, alphorns
Richard SEBRING and Charles OVERTON Listen, to the Cry of Your Fellow Man (world premiere recording)
      Richard Sebring, horn; Charles Overton, harp
SCHUMANN Adagio and Allegro, for horn and piano
DUKAS Villanelle, for horn and piano 
      Richard Sebring, horn; Vytas Baksys, piano
MOZART Horn Duos selected from K.487/496a 
      Richard Sebring and Michael Winter, horns
MOZART Horn Quintet in E-flat, K.407 
      Rachel Childers, horn; Tatiana Dimitriades, violin; Cathy Basrak and Kathryn Sievers, violas; Mickey       Katz, cello

This program of horn-centric music features not only the standard orchestral French horn but also its cousin, the long alphorn of Swiss, German, and Austrian tradition. BSO Associate Principal Horn Richard Sebring and colleagues perform Sebring’s own new composition for alphorns to start this program. The second Sebring work is a duet for horn and harp with former TMC Fellow Charles Overton. Standard-repertoire horn pieces by Schumann, Dukas, and Mozart—including the substantial Quintet in E-flat for horn and strings—complete the program. 

Click here to hear an excerpt from Richard Sebring’s Awaken! A New Day! for Alphorns, performed by Michael Winter and Richard Sebring on the Tanglewood grounds

Releases on Thursday, October 29 at noon at; available through Thursday, November 19
Bonnie BEWICK Cindy/Snowblower
TRAD. (arr. BEWICK) Roslin’s Castle/Ghostwalk/The Foray
Bonnie BEWICK Mt. Greylock Waltz
TRAD. (arr. Mark O’CONNOR) Limerock
GORNEY (arr. BEWICK) Introduction and Song from Once I Built a Railroad
      Bonnie Bewick, violin; Mickey Katz, cello; Lawrence Wolfe, bass
Marti EPSTEIN (Wisp), Lawrence WOLFE (C), Sid RICHARDSON (Study for Remembrance), Nico MUHLY (Just One), Andrew LIST (Elegy for a Changing World), Richard PANTCHEFF (“…the field long-slept in pastoral green…”#cellominute (world premiere recording)
      Mickey Katz, cello
Valerie COLEMAN Umoja
Paquito D’RIVERA Selections from Aires Tropicales
      Cynthia Meyers, flute; Robert Sheena, oboe; Michael Wayne, clarinet; Richard Ranti, bassoon; Jason       Snider, horn

Along with classical music, BSO violinist Bonnie Bewick has delved deeply into fiddle music from around the world, including traditional American, Scotch and Irish reels, and music of other European traditions. This program of traditional and folk-style pieces includes some of Bewick’s own arrangements and compositions, as well as an arrangement by violinist Mark O’Connor and double bassist Edgar Meyer of the American fiddle tune Limerock. BSO cellist Mickey Katz performs a selection of new solo cello miniatures. These six one-minute pieces, which Katz solicited this past spring, are by composers Marti Epstein, BSO Assistant Principal Bass Lawrence Wolfe, Sid Richardson, Nico Muhly, Andrew List, and Richard Pantcheff. The program concludes with two colorful works for woodwind quintet by American composers: Umoja by Valerie Coleman and selections from Aires Tropicales by Paquito D’Rivera.

Releases on Thursday, November 5, at noon, at; available through Thursday. November 19 

COPLAND Duo for Flute and Piano
      Elizabeth Ostling, flute; Randall Hodgkinson, piano
James LEE III Chôro sem tristeza, for solo flute
      Elizabeth Ostling, flute
BRAHMS Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34
      Alexander Velinzon and Bracha Malkin, violins; Cathy Basrak, viola; Blaise       Déjardin, cello; Jonathan Bass, piano

In this recital, BSO Associate Principal Flute Elizabeth Ostling performs two American works. Aaron Copland’s 1967 Duo features both the pastoral lyricism and the rhythmic bounce so characteristic of the composer. The Michigan-born composer James Lee III drew on his strong relationship with Brazil’s music and musicians for his Chôro sem tristeza, “lament without sadness.” Johannes Brahms’ F minor piano quintet began life as a string quintet before Brahms realized he needed the contrasting power of his own instrument, the piano, to bring the piece to its full potential. It today stands as one of the great chamber music works in the repertoire. 

Releases on Thursday, November 12 at noon at; available through Thursday, November 19
POULENC Trio for oboe, bassoon, and piano
      John Ferrillo, oboe; Richard Ranti, bassoon; Vivian Choi, piano
Allison LOGGINS-HULL Homeland, for solo flute
      Elizabeth Rowe, flute
HENZE S. Biagio 9 agosto ore 1207, for solo bass
      Edwin Barker, bass
STRAVINSKY Elegy, for solo viola
      Steven Ansell, viola
BRAHMS Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello, and piano, Op. 114
      William Hudgins, clarinet; Blaise Déjardin, cello; Vivian Choi, piano

Poulenc’s Trio for winds and piano, a model of neoclassical style and French lyricism, opens this Boston Symphony Chamber Players program, which continues with four solo works. BSO Principal Flute Elizabeth Rowe performs innovative flutist-composer Allison Loggins-Hull’s evocative Homeland, which explores racial injustice and the concept of belonging. Edwin Barker plays Hans Werner Henze’s introspective solo bass piece S. Biagio 9 Agosto ore 1207, which refers in its title to an ancient Tuscan church. Violist Steven Ansell plays Stravinsky’s ceremonially somber Elegy from 1944. The program culminates with one of the great chamber music works of the late Romantic era and one of Brahms’s final compositions, the warm and lyrical Clarinet Trio, Op. 114, one of several works Brahms wrote for the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld. For this performance, clarinetist William Hudgins joins cellist Blaise Déjardin and guest pianist Vivian Choi. Originally aired in last summer’s Tanglewood Online Festival as part of the Recitals from the World Stage series.


3 Comments [leave a civil comment (others will be removed) and please disclose relevant affiliations]

  1. Totally off topic but this spot is the only place to post this. The Boston Opera Calendar has totally disappeared! Every so often I check on “links” to it and a few days ago “clicking” there suddenly got nothing. I hope it hasn’t bit the dust. We are very lucky to still have BMI with us. Also, lately WHRB has gotten VERY flakey as in being sloppy, misidentifying pieces and cutting them off mid-piece to go to Record Hospital. The usual mispronouncing of composer’s names by Harvard students who ought to know better–years ago I heard Choppin’ and Back.

    Comment by Nathan Redshield — September 22, 2020 at 6:29 pm

  2. UPDATE: The Boston Opera Calendar is back! White Snake is touting Alice in the Pandemic which sounds interesting and worthy of our attention. WHRB still hasn’t improved.

    Comment by Nathan Redshield — October 6, 2020 at 7:37 am

  3. Just a brief Ozawa story. I remember the Saturday he had Evgeny Kissen for the Tchaikovsky 1st concerto and then the Tchaikovsky Sixth Symphony. Amazing performance, I’ll cut the story short. After the third movement someone (lout?) got carried away in the audience and burst into applause for a few seconds–even tho’ Ozawa was still holding his baton up to do a segue–which is VERY effective at that point. Ozawa then commenced the finale and finished it–one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. But at the end Ozawa held his baton–and held it. I quickly took out my watch. Yes, Ozawa held that pause for TEN SECONDS–which now seemed like an eternity. When he dropped his baton Symphony Hall burst into thunderous applause–thus demonstrating that Ozawa could not only conduct musicians–he could also control audiences!

    Comment by Nathan Redshield — October 7, 2020 at 3:33 pm

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