ARNAUD SUSSMANN, VIOLIN
Arnaud Sussmann’s 2015-16 season includes debut performances with the New World Symphony on Tchaikovsky Concerto under Cristian Macelaru, Jacksonville Symphony on Prokofiev 2 under Courtney Lewis, Grand Rapids Symphony on Bartok 2 under Marcelo Lehninger, Cheyenne Symphony on Saint-Saens 3 under William Intriligator and at the Brevard Music Festival on Tchaikovsky Concerto under Rune Bergmann. He returns to Chattanooga Symphony on Beethoven Concerto under Kayoko Dan and performs recitals with pianist and regular collaborator Orion Weiss in New York and Palm Beach, FL. Abroad he plays Brahms Double Concerto in Tel Aviv with cellist Gary Hoffman and in September, he returns to his native France to work closely with violinist Kolja Blacher and the Orchestre de chambre de Paris for intensive training on the play-direct technique. Highlights of the 2014-15 season included a Mozart concerto appearance at the Festival of the Arts Boca and recitals at University of Chicago, Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. and Chamber Music in Oklahoma. Chamber music performances included tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to London’s Wigmore Hall, Korea’s LG Arts Center, Shanghai’s Oriental Center and the Beijing Modern Music Festival; and appearances at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Caramoor Festival, Linton Chamber Music Series, Music@Menlo and La Jolla SummerFest. Arnaud Sussmann has performed with many of today’s leading artists including Itzhak Perlman, Menahem Pressler, Gary Hoffman, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Wu Han, David Finckel, Jan Vogler and members of the Emerson String Quartet. He has worked with conductors such as Robert Moody, Anu Tali, Peter Bay and Leon Botstein. A dedicated chamber musician, he has been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2006 and has regularly appeared with them in New York and on tour, including a recent concert at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Born in Strasbourg, France and based now in New York City, Arnaud Sussmann trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Juilliard School with Boris Garlitsky and Itzhak Perlman. Winner of several international competitions, including the Andrea Postacchini of Italy and Vatelot/Rampal of France, he was named a Starling Fellow in 2006, an honor which allowed him to be Mr. Perlman’s teaching assistant for two years. A frequent recording artist, Arnaud Sussmann has released albums on Deutsche Grammophon’s DG Concert Series, Naxos, Albany Records and CMS Studio Recordings labels. His solo debut disc, featuring three Brahms Violin Sonatas with pianist Orion Weiss, was released in December 2014 on the Telos Music Label. He has been featured on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts alongside Itzhak Perlman and the Perlman Music Program and with musicians of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
COLIN CARR, CELLO
Colin Carr appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. He has played with major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montréal and all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. Conductors with whom he has worked include Rattle, Gergiev, Dutoit, Elder, Skrowasczewski and Marriner. He has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms and has twice toured Australia. With his duo partner Thomas Sauer he has played recitals throughout the United States and Europe including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Wigmore Hall in London. 2016 sees them playing a program of Britten and Adès for both the Chamber Music Societies of New York and Philadelphia. Colin has played complete cycles of the Bach Solo Suites at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Gardner Museum in Bostonand in Montreal, Toronto, Ottowa and Vancouver. As a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, he recorded and toured extensively for 20 years. Chamber music plays an important role in his musical life. He is a frequent visitor to international chamber music festivals worldwide and has appeared often as a guest with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets and with New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Recent CD releases include the complete Bach suites on the Wigmore Live label and the complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations on the MSR Classics label with Thomas Sauer. Colin is the winner of many prestigious international awards, including First Prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, Second Prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition and also winner of the Young Concert Artists competition.
He first played the cello at the age of five. Three years later he went to the Yehudi Menuhin School, where he studied with Maurice Gendron and later William Pleeth. He was made a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1998, having been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston for 16 years. In 1998, St. John’s College, Oxford created the post of “Musician in Residence” for him, and in September 2002 he became a professor at Stony Brook University in New York. Colin’s cello was made by Matteo Gofriller in Venice in 1730. He makes his home with his wife Caroline and 3 children, Clifford, Frankie and Anya, in an old house outside Oxford.
ORION WEISS, PIANO
One of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, the pianist Orion Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won him worldwide acclaim. The 2014-15 season features Orion’s third performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as a North American tour with the world-famous Salzburg Marionette theater in an enhanced piano recital of Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux. The 2013-14 season featured Weiss with orchestras around North America, including the Milwaukee and Vancouver Symphonies, and the 2012-13 season saw Weiss in repeat engagements with the Baltimore Symphony and New World Symphony. In 2012 he released a recital album of Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Bartok in spring 2012, and also spearheaded a recording project of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with his longtime collaborators the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta. Named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year in September 2010, in the summer of 2011 Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood as a last-minute replacement for Leon Fleisher. In recent seasons, he has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and in duo summer concerts with the New York Philharmonic at both Lincoln Center and the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. In 2005, he toured Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman.“When you’re named after one of the biggest constellations in the night sky, the pressure is on to display a little star power — and the young pianist Orion Weiss did exactly that…” – The Washington Post
Also known for his affinity and enthusiasm for chamber music, Weiss performs regularly with his wife, the pianist Anna Polonsky, violinist James Ehnes, and cellist Zuill Bailey, as well as ensembles including the Pacifica Quartet. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across the U.S. at venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, Sheldon Concert Hall, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Bard Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, and Spivey Hall. He won the 2005 William Petschek Recital Award at Juilliard, and made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall that April. Also in 2005 he made his European debut in a recital at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center from 2002-2004, which included his appearance in the opening concert of the Society’s 2002-2003 season at Alice Tully Hall performing Ravel’s La Valse with pianist Shai Wosner.
Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Gilmore Young Artist Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Gina Bachauer Scholarship at the Juilliard School and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. A native of Lyndhurst, OH, Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, Sergei Babayan, Kathryn Brown, and Edith Reed. In February of 1999, Weiss made his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In March 1999, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Weiss stepped in to replace André Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He was immediately invited to return to the Orchestra for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in October 1999. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.
Ravel: Trio in a minor
Dvořák: Trio No. 3 in f minor, Op 65
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) spent his summers in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a coastal town neighboring his birthplace in French Basque country. He was there in 1914 working on a piano trio when France entered World War I, and he rushed to finish the score—completing what he described as “five months’ work in five weeks”—so he could enlist right away. After being refused on medical grounds, the 39-year-old composer was eventually assigned to drive an ambulance, and he completed no new composition until 1917.
For Ravel, who never composed a symphony and who only wrote his first concertos near the end of his life, chamber music was a prime vehicle for exploring the formal models from earlier eras that he loved so much. The first movement of the Piano Trio merges the Classical sonata-allegro form with themes redolent of Basque folk music, a trait evident in the syncopated phrases first introduced by the piano. Ravel categorized the Scherzo-like second movement as a Pantoum, a poetic form originally from Malaysia that was embraced by Baudelaire and other French poets. The same melodic contours from the Pantoum, slowed down and relocated to the piano’s left hand, form the basis of the Passacaille, the French equivalent of a Passacaglia (a Baroque technique that builds variations over an unchanging, cyclical theme). In the Animé finale, Ravel’s gift for orchestration maximizes the compact ensemble: Artificial harmonics, string-crossing passages, tremolos, strummed chords, trills and double-stops in the violin and cello all support the robust piano part to create a sound as colorful and varied as an orchestra.
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was born in a small Bohemian village, where his father was the local butcher and innkeeper and also an amateur zither player. As a young man, Dvořák’s musical career involved him in all manner of music-making in Prague: He accompanied church services from the organ, played viola in a dance band and in the local opera orchestra, taught piano lessons, and kept up his composing on the side. He might have spent the rest of his life as a cash-strapped freelance musician had it not been for the intervention of a most influential champion, Johannes Brahms. On Brahms’ recommendation the publisher Simrock commissioned Dvořák in 1878, and the resulting Slavonic Dances catapulted the Czech composer onto the international stage.
Dvořák’s Piano Trio in F Minor, composed in the spring of 1883, capped a flurry of chamber music. It came at a time when Dvořák was finally gaining widespread recognition and international commissions, leading him to re-evaluate his musical language and national identity. Would he be a Czech composer, celebrating his local language and culture? Or would he assimilate into the wider German stream of music, where he could follow in the footsteps of Brahms, Schumann and Beethoven? This trio leans toward the Germanic mode of expression; from the first exposed phrases for violin and cello, the manner is taut and severe, extracting maximum expression from compact motives. Only the finale introduces a hint of Czech flavor, with shifting rhythms reminiscent of the furiant folk dance.
© 2018 Aaron Grad.