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Beethoven Institute Concerts Pair Beethoven with Grammy-Winning Composer Stephen Hartke

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on May 25, 2014 08:18 PM EDT

The 14th annual Mannes Beethoven Institute, running June 1 - June 7, 2014, will explore Beethoven's sonatas and chamber music together with solo and chamber works by American composer Stephen Hartke (b. 1952). Highlighting a week of intensive study will be two faculty concerts, June 2 and June 6, at Mannes College The New School for Music on W. 85 St., New York City. Tickets are available online.

Hartke's Meanwhile: Incidental Music to Imaginary Puppet Plays for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello, Percussion, and Piano won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Beethoven died Grammy-less. But their works promise to provide interesting and potentially enlightening pairings.

The June 2 concert will delve into the two composers' handling of themes and variations, with Beethoven's Variations Op. 35 and Op. 44 together with Hartke's dissonant, alternately tense and meditative Sonata-Variations for violin and piano (1984) and his Piano Sonata (1998). The artists will be Alan Feinberg, Michael Kannen, HaeSun Paik, Thomas Sauer, and Mark Steinberg.

On June 6 the faculty performers will present Beethoven's Piano Sonata, Op. 2 No. 2, Violin Sonata, Op. 12 No. 3, and selected Folk-Song Arrangements, together with Hartke's expansive and accessible piano quartet The King of the Sun (1988). Artists Serena Canin, Alan Feinberg, Ara Gregorian, Michael Kannen, Yuri Kim, Nils Neubert and Thomas Sauer will perform.

Hartke's broad range of work has included collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble, writing concerti for clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, composing a symphony commissioned by Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, and writing a full-length opera, The Greater Good, which was premiered and recorded by Glimmerglass Opera. His many honors include the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, two Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission Grants, the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Glendale, California where he is Distinguished Professor of Composition at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California.

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TagsBeethoven, Stephen Hartke, Mannes College The New School for Music, Mannes, chamber music

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