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One Piano, Four Hands
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Rondo in A major, D. 951 by Franz Schubert
Hiroko Sasaki and David Iskowitz
Saccade, by Robert Helps
Nishan Aghababian and Jeffrey Farrington
Fantasie in F Minor, D. 940 by Franz Schubert
Reiko Uchida and Dennis Malone
"Found." from A Single Noon by Gregg Kallor
Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, arranged by Gregg Kallor
Dasha Koltunyuk and Gregg Kallor
Jazz Standards to be announced
Ethan Iverson and Jacob Sacks
Hiroko Sasaki has established a successful career as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. Ms. Sasaki's concert debut in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall prompted Harris Goldsmith of the New York Concert Review to declare her "a true artist at work." Musical America praised the same concert for its "exquisite proportion and rare poetic understatement." The Washington Post has acclaimed her "radiant playing," and the 2004 Musical America singled her out as one of the world's most outstanding young musicians.
Ms. Sasaki continues to perform extensively as recitalist and chamber musician in England, Scotland, Taiwan, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. She gives annual recitals in Carnegie's Weill Hall and makes frequent tours of Japan. She has regularly performed chamber music in festivals such as the Budapest Spring Festival, the Huddington Festival, theYehudi Menuhin Festival, Tanglewood, Taos, Banff, Tel Hai, Richmond, and L'Academie Musicale de Villecroze, where she won a career-development grant. She is currently a member of the Amadeus Trio, which performs regularly throughout the United States. She has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Chamber Orchestra, and members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Her recording of Debussy's complete Preludes was recently released by Piano Classics, to much critical acclaim, including a four-star review from The Guardian ("her phrasing is perfectly polished . . . a beautiful sound Debussy would have recognized.") Record Geijutsu awarded this record its second-highest honor, and noted "The performance is full of refined nuance . . . the Preludes in both books are performed with a sense of vivid imagery worthy of the music." She has also recorded the complete sonatas for cello and piano by Frank Levy, for the Naxos label, with cellist Scott Ballantyne.
When Ms. Sasaki was 13, the celebrated pianist Mitsuko Uchida arranged for her to leave Japan and attend the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. Soon after, she made her European debut. At 16, she entered the Curtis Institute, where she studied with Leon Fleisher, graduating in 1994. She later earned a Master of Music degree with Mr. Fleisher from the Peabody Conservatory on full scholarship, and an Artist Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Her teachers have included Marc Durand, Yoheved Kaplisnky, Gilbert Kalish, and Sophia Rosoff.
Pianist David Iskowitz enjoys an active life in music as teacher, performer, and arts school administrator. He performs as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist, and has appeared at Merkin Hall and many venues in the Tri-State area. He also collaborates with colleagues in presenting summer concerts and chamber music, including each summer at the Vermont Music and Arts Center and the Rangeley, Maine Friends of the Arts Summer Concert Series.
Mr. Iskowitz is on the faculty of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey where he teaches piano and chamber music. In 1998 he helped found a community school for music and art in Metuchen, New Jersey, of which he continues to serve as Director. The Westerhoff School of Music & Art (named for its founder Helga K. Westerhoff) is a thriving institution whose mission is to inspire students to a lifelong love and appreciation of art and music-making.
Mr. Iskowitz holds both Bachelor and Master degrees from the Peabody Conservatory. His teachers have included Ann Kvam, Robert Lincoln, Ellen Mack, and Sophia Rosoff.
Nishan Aghababian is a master piano teacher and performer with more than 35 years experience teaching all levels and ages. He holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Piano Performance with additional studies at L'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Musique d'Alfred Cortot as well as private instruction with Aldo Ciccolini of the Conservatoire de Paris. In addition to his private teaching studio, Nishan has been on the faculty of the University of South Florida, Westminster Choir College and the College of New Jersey among others. His unique teaching style, based on the principles of Abby Whiteside, provides an individualized approach that nurtures, guides and inspires each student. Having studied with the eminent pianist/composer Robert Helps and the revered pedagogue Sophia Rosoff (both students of Abby Whiteside), Nishan has a direct connection and understanding of her principals. Nishan's enthusiasm for music, the piano and for teaching plus his innate ability to pinpoint exactly what is needed for any given situation, has earned him the respect and gratitude of students around the world who consistently demonstrate rapid, pain-free and fluid progress in their playing that is both expressive and joyful.
Jeffrey Farrington holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and Princeton University. He studied the piano with Robert Helps, Katya Andy, and Sophia Rosoff; and music theory with Milton Babbitt, Robert Cogan, J.K. Randall, and Ernst Oster. He's appeared in recital both as a soloist and accompanist, and has given premier performances of various works by Frank Brickle, Michael Dellaira, Joseph Dubiel, David Kowalski, Steve Peles, Jody Rockmaker, and Beth Wiemann. He produced The Music of Edward T. Cone (Composers Recordings, Inc.), the first commercially available recording of Cone's music, and has co-produced (with Mimmi Fulmer) The Music of Joseph Dubiel (Centaur). He teaches at the Westerhoff School of Music and Art (Metuchen, NJ) and is currently at work (as archivist and editor) on publication of the works of Edward T. Cone.
Pianist Reiko Uchida is recognized as one of the finest, most versatile pianists on the scene today. First prize winner of the Joanna Hodges Piano Competition, Ms. Uchida has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Curtis Institute, and the Santa Fe Symphony, among others. Ms. Uchida made her New York solo debut in 2001 at Carnegie's Weill Hall under the auspices of the Abby Whiteside Foundation. She has performed solo and chamber music concerts throughout the world, including the United States, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Finland, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic, in venues including Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center, the White House, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Her festival appearances include Spoleto, Tanglewood, Santa Fe, Marlboro, and the Laurel Festival of the Arts.
As a chamber musician, she was one of the first pianists selected for Chamber Music Society Two, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's program for outstanding emerging artists. She has been a recital partner for Jennifer Koh, David Shifrin, Jaime Laredo, and Sharon Robinson, with whom she performed the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano. She has also collaborated with the Borromeo and Tokyo String Quartets. She is a member of the Laurel Trio, and the Moebius Ensemble, a group specializing in 20th century music in residence at Columbia University.
Ms. Uchida holds a Bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Claude Frank and Leon Fleisher, a Master's degree from the Mannes College of Music, and an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School. She currently resides in New York City where she is an associate faculty member at Columbia University.
Pianist Dasha (Darya) Koltunyuk has enjoyed performing both as a soloist and a chamber musician throughout the U.S., Spain, France, Germany, Holland, and the U.K., while claiming top prizes at national and international competitions. She studies privately with Professor Miyoko Lotto in New York City, after previously attending Manhattan School of Music's Precollege Division, and the Royal College of Music in London. Having completed a degree in Comparative Literature at Princeton University, focusing on the intersection between music and literature, Dasha continues to extend her love of music beyond performance. She most recently co-founded "Together in Music," a chamber music camp for low-income youth in New York City, and established a "Mindfulness with Music" program as part of her work with Princeton University Concerts. Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Dasha moved to NYC at a young age. The opportunities afforded by the move have instilled in her a deep gratitude toward everyone who has supported her development, and she is most grateful for the opportunity to share this music with you - especially with someone as dear to her heart as Gregg Kallor.
Gregg Kallor Gregg Kallor is a composer and pianist whose music fuses the traditions he loves into a new, deeply personal language. The New York Times writes: "At home in both jazz and classical forms, [Kallor] writes music of unaffected emotional directness. Leavened with flashes of oddball humor, his works succeed in drawing in the listener - not as consumer or worshipful celebrant, but in a spirit of easygoing camaraderie." In 2017, Kallor was named the Classical Recording Foundation's Composer of the Year.
During the 2016-2017 season, Kallor unveiled his setting of Edgar Allan Poe's terrifying short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, with mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Pojanowski and cellist Joshua Roman, featuring a semi-staging by Sarah Meyers (Metropolitan Opera) and lighting design by Shawn Kaufman. The two sold-out performances were presented by The Crypt Sessions in collaboration with On Site Opera in a 100-year old vaulted crypt beneath the Church of the Intercession in New York City in October 2016. Following on the heels of the acclaimed premiere, Kallor reprised the piece with soprano Melody Moore and Joshua Roman at SubCulture NY. The New York Observer wrote: "I can't think of a better opera to become a new Halloween tradition."
Also in the 2016-2017 season, Kallor collaborated with the Attacca Quartet for the premiere of his new work for piano quintet, Some Not Too Distant Tomorrow. The piece is a tribute to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., commissioned by The Classical Recording Foundation and funded by a gift from Stuart and Linda Nelson. The performance was presented at the Sheen Center in New York City on June 5, 2017. And on June 21, 2017, Joshua Roman conducted the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra in the premiere of Kallor's new work for string orchestra, Mouthful of Forevers, commissioned by Town Hall Seattle.
In addition to his two critically-acclaimed albums, Exhilaration - Dickinson and Yeats Songs and A Single Noon, Kallor joined an all-star roster of musicians, including Joyce DiDonato, Yo-Yo Ma, Jamie Barton, Isabel Leonard, Susanna Phillips, Anthony McGill, actors Sharon Stone and Ansel Elgort, and many more, for An AIDS Quilt Songbook: Sing for Hope. Kallor recorded two songs for the album, with Melody Moore - "One Child," which Kallor composed for this project - and Matthew Polenzani.
Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson was a founding member of The Bad Plus, a game-changing collective with Reid Anderson and David King. The New York Times called TBP "...Better than anyone at melding the sensibilities of post-60's jazz and indie rock." During his 17-year tenure TBP performed in venues as diverse as the Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, and Bonnaroo; collaborated with Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, and the Mark Morris Dance Group; and created a faithful arrangement of Stravinky's The Rite of Spring and a radical reinvention of Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction.
Iverson also has been in the critically-acclaimed Billy Hart quartet for well over a decade and occasionally performs with an elder statesman like Albert "Tootie" Heath or Ron Carter. For over 15 years Iverson's website Do the Math has been a repository of musician-to-musician interviews and analysis, surely one reason Time Out New York selected Iverson as one of 25 essential New York jazz icons: "Perhaps NYC's most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition—the most admirable sort of artist-scholar." More recently Iverson has been writing about jazz for the Culture Desk of the New Yorker.
In 2017 Iverson premiered the score "Pepperland" for the Mark Morris Dance Group and co-curated a major centennial celebration of Thelonious Monk at Duke University. In 2018 Iverson will be premiering an original piano concerto with the American Composers Orchestra and releasing a duo album with Mark Turner on ECM.ethaniverson.com
Jacob Sacks Jacob Sacks is one of the most creative pianists on the NYC jazz scene today. His strong individual voice has been heard in a variety of settings ranging from the mainstream jazz traditions of the Mingus Big Band and Orchestra to the open approach of the Paul Motian Septet to the vamp based fusion of David Binney's Balance.
Originally from Michigan, Jacob was a 1995 Presidential Scholar In The Arts before he moved to New York City to study with Garry Dial at the Manhattan School Of Music. After graduation in 1998, Jacob was a finalist in the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
In the last 12 years, Jacob has been a member of many different ensembles, recorded several albums, and has toured the United States, Europe, and Canada several times. He has performed with musicians such as Clark Terry, Joe Maneri, Terumasa Hino, Charles Gayle, Eddie Henderson, Christian McBride, Brian Blade, Tony Malaby, Jacob Garchik, Ben Gerstein, Ohad Talmor, Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Ben Monder, Adam Rogers, Kenny Wollesen, Gene Jackson, and Matt Wilson.
Current projects include a longstanding duo with vocalist Yoon Sun Choi, with whom Jacob recently released a critically acclaimed album of Joe Raposo's music; the quartet "Two Miles A Day" co-led with bassist Eivind Opsvik, featuring violist Mat Maneri and drummer Paul Motian; and a trio with drummer Dan Weiss and bassist Thomas Morgan.
Jacob currently resides in Brooklyn where he is working on several recording projects and teaching 15 or so students in his private practice.