A Letter from Artistic Director Michelle Djokic about the 2005-2006 Season

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Concordia Chamber Players
Artistic Director
Michelle Djokic

Dear Friends,

Please join us for the 2005-2006 season as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s (1756-1791) birth. To open our season we are again able to offer you, through the graciousness of the Nakashima Peace Foundation, the magic of experiencing glorious chamber music in the serenity of the late George Nakashima’s Studio on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 3:00 PM. Featured on this program will be harpist, Barbara Allen, principal harpist of the American Ballet Company and flutist, Janet Arms, flutist of the New York City Opera. Our program will include the Mozart flute Quartet, the well loved Debussy Trio for harp, flute and viola along with the Roussel Serenade. This is a fund raising event for Concordia and seating is limited, so please get your tickets in advance.

For the main body of the season I have featured three of my favorite chamber works of Mozart. On the first concert, Nov. 13th you will have the opportunity to hear Mozart’s profound masterpiece – the String Quintet in G Minor, K.516. Mozart, who was known to have a special fondness for the viola, was the first to use this unique orchestration of 2 violas, a model that would be used by many other composers. This program will open with a work written recently by Pulitzer Prize Winning composer, John Corigliano entitled “Fancy on a Bach Air”. This short but powerful work features the solo cello in homage to Bach’s beloved Solo Cello Suites. The second half will feature the eclectic, extraordinary, harpsichordist, Kenneth Cooper. Kenneth has selected, as he puts it “Forces of Nature” for solo harpsichord as well as the virtuosic Sonata for viola and harpsichord in C minor by WF Bach. I am pleased to introduce two new violists to our audience on this program: Dan Panner, principal violist of the New York City Opera and member of the Mendohlssohn String Quartet and world renowned chamber musician, Maria Lambros.

Our next concert, Jan. 29, 2006, which falls very close to Mozart’s exact birthdate of Jan. 27, 1756 will feature my favorite of all Mozart’s chamber works, his Quintet in A major for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581. To open this program you will hear a work by another Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Aaron Jay Kernis, his Homage to Mozart- “a little traveling music”. You see, Mozart was in such demand all across Europe that much of his writing had to be completed while traveling in bumpy carriage rides thus the title. Closing this program will be the “Storm”, the String Quintet in C major, Opus 29 by Beethoven. This work was greatly inspired by Mozart, most obviously in the instrumental configuration of 2 violas. The performers on this program will be: Carmit Zori and Peter Winograd, violin, Dan Panner and Robert Rinehart, viola, Mark Kassower – cello and the wonderful Todd Palmer – clarinet.

Our closing concert will take flight with Haydn’s “Lark” Quartet, Opus 64, No. 5, written in 1790 when Haydn was 58 years of age and Mozart was already nearing his death in 1791. This format of writing for string quartet, introduced by Haydn, had a huge influence on Mozart not to mention all other composers to follow. I have selected the “Kegelstatt” trio for piano, viola and clarinet as the featured work of Mozart not only for its shear beauty but because I believe the viola and the clarinet were both very close to Mozart’s heart. Kegelstatt refers to the old fashioned game of “skittles” rumored to have been what Mozart was playing while composing this work. Though I’m sure he was brilliant at multi-tasking, it is believed to be a mistake that this work was given that name but it has stuck nonetheless. Closing this concert and our season will be the gorgeous Piano Quintet in A major by Edward Elgar (1857-1934). Elgar completed this work in 1918 and his considered to be one of his greatest achievements. This concert will again feature Todd Palmer on clarinet along with Peter Winograd and Catarina Szepes on violin, Dan Panner on viola, James Wilson on cello and Gail Niwa on piano.

As some of you may know, my family and I recently moved to the West Coast where my husband, Mark Talbott, heads the Stanford University squash program. Most recently, I was offered a one year appointment as associate principal cellist of the San Francisco Symphony beginning this September. I am honored and thrilled to have this position as well as the opportunity to work with such great musicians. Unfortunately, it means I cannot always be in New Hope. However, my heart will always be there and I know the level of music making will be of the highest caliber which you have come to expect from us. Looking forward to seeing all of you again and sharing those magical moments that only chamber music can bring, I thank you in advance for all continued support,

Sincerely,
Michelle Djokic