Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 18 Programme Notes

About the musicians performing in the program:

Our guest artist/composer 

Helen Jane Long is one of the very few young, successful, British female composers, as well as a classically-trained pianist.  Helen’s credits for TV and film are numerous, ranging from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to cult films such as Surveillance, Out In The Cold, and scores for UK’s Channel 4, The BAFTA Awards and Fifth Gear TV programs. Helen has also composed music for a variety of commercials including Bosch, Barclay’s Bank, Mercedes, and Volkswagen.

She leapt onto a piano at the age of 4, training as a classical pianist, and also plays the clarinet, guitar, and cello. The phenomenal response from her fans provoked Helen to send a demo CD of her music to various record companies. She was signed almost instantly to Warner Bros. Records which resulted in her debut album, Porcelain, an expressive, inspiring and evocative collection of compositions. The album immediately hit the UK Charts in the top 5 and lodged there for 6 weeks while Classic FM in London named Helen the “Best New Composer of the Year”.

In between her efforts as a triathlete, Helen wrote and released the follow up to her major label debut, Embers, to critical acclaim. The album is getting major support in both the UK and US. Helen will be supporting the release with a U.S. performance tour with an impressive string quartet that will showcase Helen’s original music.

Her string quartet includes Yuri Kalnits, violin - an exceptional soloist and chamber musician; Jonathan Howells, violin - has worked with Andrew Lloyd-Webber and built an exceptional repution as an extremely versatile performer; Katherine Jenkinson, cello - a scholar of the Royal Academy of Music, appeared and recorded with such artists as Pavarotti and Boccelli, Nick Holland, cello - one of the most internationally respected cellists has performed with the most prestigious orchestras and artists.

Mark Kashper, Associate Principal Second Violin of LA Phil, graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire where he was one of the last and favored students of the legendary Professor David Oistrakh, Mr. Kashper also graduated from the Leningrad Conservatoire. An active recitalist and avid chamber music player, Kashper performs extensively throughout the United States and internationally.

Jura Margulis has performed with the Russian National Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, the Montreal Symphony, the Prague Symphony, at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and at Martha Argerich's festivals in Lugano, Switzerland and Beppu, Japan. He is Executive Director of the International Piano Academy in Freiburg, Germany, and Professor of Piano at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he swears it is indeed possible to get a fine cup of cappuccino.

Natasha (Rubin) Marin enjoys working both as a soloist and in ensembles. She has been performing extensively in Russia (including venues such as St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall) and in the United States. She was featured on the radio, TV and recordings.

Radu Pieptea, a Julliard graduate and Fulbright Scholar, currently records in the studios for movies, television, and records and performs regularly with the LA Philharmonic,  LA Opera and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

Kanae Matsumoto is active as a soloist and a collaborative pianist, having performed at many recital halls in Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and the United States.

Natalia Margulis makes a return visit to CU from Spain, where she is principal cellist of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid. When not accompanying the Madrid Opera, Natasha frequently plays in chamber ensembles throughout Spain and Europe, and has performed at the Verbier and Lugano Festivals.

Mikael Oganes, pianist - CU favorite, who in addition to his virtuoso performances, continuously surprises and dazzles with his incredible piano transcriptions of major symphonic works.

John Astaire earned his Doctor of Music degree in percussion at Indiana University and is currently active as a teacher and performer. His primary teachers included Gerald Carlyss and Kenneth Watson, under whom he also studied the Hungarian cimbalom. John has been a guest with several musical ensembles across the U.S., as well as a performer at the Cimbalom World Association's 2003 World Congress.


Franz Liszt
Petrarch's Sonnet 104
Mephisto Valse (adaptation by Jura Margulis)
Jura Margulis - piano

Cesar Franck
Violin Sonata, A Major, 3rd and 4th movement
Mark Kashper - violin
Kanae Matsumoto - piano

Richard Wagner
Funeral March from Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
Jura Margulis transcription
Jura Margulis - piano


Helen Jane Long
Selections from the new CD "Ember"
Helen Jane Long - piano
Yuri Kalnits - violin
Jonathan Howells - violin
Katherine Jenkinson - cello
Nick Holland - cello

Felix Mendelssohn
Piano trio No. 1 op. 49, 1st movement
Natasha (Rubin) Marin - piano
Radu Pieptea - violin
Natalia Margulis - cello

Leonard Bernstein
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Piano and Percussion Transcription by M.Oganes and J. Astaire
Mikael Oganes - piano
John Astaire - percussion