As published October 31, 2002 in the
Photos by Gordon Nieburg
George Nakashima, internationally celebrated architect and master craftsman, loved trees so much that he created unique designs for furniture that he believed gave a second life to trees. Sunday, amid brilliantly colored foliage at his Bucks County studio a Concordia Chamber Players benefit concert audience was surrounded by the beauty in wood that Nakashima has created . Their experience was richly enhanced by the sound of two world-class musicians playing classical compositions on wood instruments fashioned by renowned artisans from generations past.
Violinist, David Kim, concertmaster for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and former member of the Concordia Chamber Players, playing a Michaelangelo Bergonzi violin joined artistic director of Concordia and her nineteenth century Pressenda cello, in a profoundly eloquent performance of Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello that sustained a vivacious conversation between the two instruments. They followed with a Handel-Halverson sonata that resonated in perfect harmony. Prior to their duets Kim and Djokic opened the concert with solos featuring compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach.
It was clear that the masters of design in wood had succeeded in bringing a second life to trees through artists of the highest quality.
Nakashima’s daughter, Mira Nakashima-Yarnall, welcomed the audience on behalf of the Nakashima Foundation for Peace and provided a tour of the studio and production facilities in which she continues to create designs in wood that she learned through many years of experience with her father. She fosters the legacy of her father’s quest for peace through the work of the Foundation. Ms. Yarnall-Nakashima is a member of the Concordia Chamber Players’ board of directors.
At the champagne reception following the concert it was clear that the crowd had enjoyed a rare and unique afternoon. “I cannot remember a concert experience that provided such a beautiful setting,” said Valerie Siciliano, president of the Concordia Chamber Players. “And having David Kim perform such beautiful music with our own Michelle Djokic in this magnificent studio was truly thrilling.”
Proceeds of the benefit will help the Concordia Chamber Players expand their music appreciation and education effort through informances that they conduct in area elementary schools and will help to provide chamber music concerts for the community. Parents and schools that are interested in learning about Concordia’s informances and concert schedule may access information at www.concordiaplayers.org or by calling 215-297-5972. The orchestra will open its regular season on November 10, 2002 in the New Hope-Solebury High School’s Stephen Buck Theater at 3 PM.