Friendship leads to violin-piano concert here Feb. 9

January 21, 2016

When Nathaniel G. Lew was a teenager, one of his closest friends at the Juilliard School of Music’s Pre-College Division was Mark Steinberg. More than 30 years later, Lew is now Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Saint Michael’s College. Steinberg is the first violinist of the internationally renowned Brentano String Quartet and a sought-after soloist.

What better way to honor a long friendship than with a performance? And so, Saint Michael’s College will be presenting a concert by Steinberg in the McCarthy Arts Center Recital Hall on Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. Joining Steinberg will be award-winning local pianist Paul Orgel, a faculty member at UVM well known to local audiences for his richly imagined solo recitals. The concert is FREE and open to the public.

“When I realized that Mark was available to give a recital at Saint Mike’s,” said Lew, “I immediately knew that Paul should accompany him. Paul was one of the first musicians I met when I moved to Vermont. The opportunity to bring friends together is one of the great privileges of working in the arts.”

Steinberg and Orgel will play three masterworks of the repertory for violin and pianoAntonín Dvořák’s delightful Sonatina, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s grand sonata in E-flat major, and Sergei Prokofiev’s first violin sonata in F minor. In choosing this repertory, the two musicians discovered a shared love of Mozart, while Orgel’s great expertise in Czech music led to the selection of the Dvořák. Prokofiev’s first sonata, one of the great violin works of the twentieth century, provides a fitting finale to the program.

The musicians:

Violinist Mark Steinberg (top photo) is an active chamber musician and recitalist. He has been heard in chamber music festivals and as a soloist with orchestras around the world, including four summers in the Marlboro Music Festival in Marlboro VT. With pianist Mitsuko Uchida, he presented the complete Mozart sonata cycle in London’s Wigmore Hall in 2001. He has taught at Juilliard’s Pre-College division, at Princeton University, and New York University, and is currently on the violin faculty of the Mannes College of Music and the Yale School of Music.

Born in New York City, pianist Paul Orgel (photo at right) has concertized throughout the United States, China and Eastern Europe as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and chamber musician, including collaborations with Vermont artists such as Jaime Laredo and Soovin Kim. Critics have praised his playing for its “subtlety and attention to nuance,” “rare pathos,” and “brilliant technique, sense of humor and fantasy.” Orgel has specialized in Czech music, performing programs of the complete piano music of Janáček and as a scholar of classical performance practice he has given recitals of Haydn and Beethoven on the Viennese fortepiano. Orgel is a member of the faculty at the University of Vermont and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival.

Information: Nathaniel G. Lew, Department Chair, Associate Professor of Fine Arts: Music, 802-654-2284.

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