The Hungarian Connection

The Hungarian Connection
Sunday, February 26, 3 p.m.
Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall

Three internationally renowned string players — violinist Jacob Ashworth, cellist Matthew Sharp, and violist David Yang — join violinist and UMBC professor of music Airi Yoshioka to present an evening of much beloved repertoire by Hungarian composers Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók. Both Bartók and Kodály were voraciously engaged in ethnomusicological expeditions, collecting folk songs from village to village. Quartet No. 2 by Bartók, written during World War I, represents an outward expression of his isolated struggles during the war while incorporating nationalistic elements. Likewise, the Duo for Violin and Cello by Kodály is a masterful amalgamation of folk elements and traditional European musical form, with featured virtuosity from both the violin and cello. Joseph Haydn’s richly dark String Quartet, Op. 20, No. 5, was written during the composer’s residency at the Eszterháza palace in Hungary.

Béla Bartók — String Quartet No. 2
Zoltán Kodály — Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7
Joseph Haydn — String Quartet, Op. 20, No. 5, Hoboken No. III:35

jacob-ashworth-headshotAcross the spectrum of classical music, violinist Jacob Ashworth has gained a reputation as a consummate stylist, from his “exacting and sensitive” interpretations of modern works (Boston Globe) to his “diligent attention to [baroque] period style” (The New York Times). In 2012, at the Yale School of Music, he founded Cantata Profana, for which he serves as Artistic Director, winning the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2016. He is Co-Music Director of Heartbeat Opera, for whose 2016 production of Dido and Aeneas, The New Yorker noted, “Ashworth, leading from the violin, elicited a performance that was elegant, boisterous, and melancholy by turns.” Ashworth has been an artist at the Staunton Music Festival, New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, Wellesley Composer’s Conference, Lake George Music Festival, and Music Mountain. A student of renowned violinist Ani Kavafian, Ashworth has also studied baroque violin with Robert Mealy as a member of the Yale Baroque Ensemble, and has performed extensively on period instruments, including as concertmaster for Nicholas McGegan with Mark Morris Dance Group, and with Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Juilliard 415, Yale’s Schola Cantorum, and New York Baroque Incorporated.

sharpCellist Matthew Sharp is internationally recognized as both a compelling classical artist and a fearless pioneer. His adventures in and through music and across disciplines are ‘unrivaled’ and ‘unprecedented,’ balancing provenance and vision in a unique and potent way. He studied cello with Boris Pergamenschikow in Cologne, voice with Ulla Blom in Stockholm and English at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was taken to Jacqueline du Pré when he was 12, Galina Vishnewskaya when he was 18 and studied chamber music with the Amadeus Quartet. Sharp has appeared as solo performer with the RPO, LPO, RLPO, CBSO, Orchestra of Opera North, SCO, EUCO, ESO, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Swan, Orchestra X, Arensky Chamber Orchestra, and Ural Philharmonic. He has recorded for Sony, EMI, Decca, Naxos, Somm, NMC, Avie and Whirlwind and appeared in recital as both cellist and singer at Wigmore Hall, SBC and Salle Gaveau.

david-yangRecipient of an artist fellowship from the Independence Foundation awarded to a small number of exceptional artists in the region, violist David Yang has been described as “a conduit for music”; the all-around renaissance man has forged a career that is a unique blend of performing, storytelling, and composition. David has collaborated with members of the Avalon, Borromeo, Brentano, Miro, Muir, Tokyo, and Vermeer String Quartets and Trio Solisti, Cavatina, and Eroica Piano Trios, amongst others. As an active advocate of new music he has commissioned dozens of new works, and is currently Artistic Director of the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival and Director of Chamber Music at the University of Pennsylvania. In his role as leader of the storytelling music troupe Auricolae, he has developed a residency program to foster the creation of new compositions by public school students in Philadelphia. He is a member of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo based in the United Kingdom.

yoshiokaHailed by Gramophone magazine as “brilliant and intrepid,” violinist Airi Yoshioka has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. She is the founding member of the Damocles Trio and Modigliani Quartet and has performed and recorded with the members of the Emerson, Brentano and Arditti Quartets. Damocles Trio’s debut disc of complete Piano Trios and Piano Quartet of Joquín Turina has won a four-star rating from the BBC Music Magazine, Le Monde de la Musique and Diapason. Her orchestral credits include performances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Sinfonietta and engagements as concertmaster and soloist with the Manhattan Virtuosi and concertmaster of one of the festival orchestras at the Aspen Music Festival. Her solo and chamber performances can be heard on Naxos, New World, Claves, Mode, Albany, Neuma, and Pony Canyon records labels. She is Professor of Violin at UMBC.

Admission: $15 general admission, $10 seniors, $5 students, free for UMBC Music majors and Music faculty/staff. Tickets are available at MissionTix and at the box office.

Directions and parking information
UMBC is located about 10 minutes south of the Inner Harbor along I-95. For this event, free visitor parking is available in Lot 8, directly adjacent to the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, where Linehan Concert Hall is located — please see here for additional information.

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