Left to right: Gita Ladd, John Novacek and Airi Yoshioka
Left to right: Gita Ladd, John Novacek and Airi Yoshioka

Sunday, May 4 | 8:00 p.m.
Fine Arts Recital Hall

Cellist Gita Ladd and pianist John Novacek join forces for two epics of the cello/piano repertoire. Beethoven’s A major Sonata, a work of both tenderness and heroism, is the first genuine masterpiece of the genre. Rachmaninov’s G minor Sonata is a titanic work, music of searing romanticism and transcendental virtuosity. For the concert’s second half, the duo is joined by violinist Airi Yoshioka in a performance of Schubert’s stirring, sunny, and sublime Piano Trio in B-flat major, a pinnacle of the chamber music repertory.

The program features:

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonata No. 3 in A major for piano and cello, Op. 69
• Allegro ma non tanto
• Scherzo: Allegro molto
• Adagio cantabile—Allegro vivace

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Sonata in G minor for cello and piano, Op. 19
• Lento—Allegro moderato
• Allegro scherzando
• Andante
• Allegro mosso

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Trio No. 1 in B-flat major for piano, violin, and cello, D. 898 (Op. 99)
• Allegro moderato
• Andante un poco mosso
• Scherzo: Allegro
• Rondo: Allegro vivace

Pianist John Novacek regularly tours North and South America, Europe and Asia as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. He has performed in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Paris’s Theatre des Champs-Elysées, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, as well as all the major concert halls of Japan. He is a frequent guest artist at festivals, having appeared at Mostly Mozart, Aspen, SummerFest La Jolla, Cape Cod, Caramoor, Colorado College, Mimir, San Luis Obispo Mozaic, Ravinia, Seattle, Wolf Trap, Scotia, Ottawa Chamberfest and Festival of the Sound (Canada), BBC Proms (England), Braunschweig (Germany), Lucerne, Menuhin Gstaad and Verbier (Switzerland), Majorca (Spain) and Stavanger (Norway). Often heard on radio, John Novacek has appeared on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and (as featured composer/performer) A Prairie Home Companion. A much sought-after chamber musician, Novacek has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, Emmanuel Pahud, Truls Mork, Matt Haimovitz, Cho-Liang Lin, Elmar Oliveira and Leila Josefowicz. Novacek’s own compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Pacific Symphony, the 5 Browns, the Ying Quartet, and the Three Tenors. He has recorded for Philips, Nonesuch, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, Koch International, New World, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Pony Canyon, Four Winds, and EMI Classics. He received a 2004 GRAMMY nomination for “Best Chamber Music Performance.”

“Superb cellist” and “…among Baltimore’s most popular musicians”, are but two of the accolades from the Baltimore Sun, regarding the performances of Gita Ladd. Ms. Ladd has been one of the most sought after cellists of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area for almost twenty years. For most of that time she performed as a titled member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, including several appearances as Principal Cello for the annual “Messiah” performances and at the SummerMusicFest Series. Ms. Ladd is currently Principal Cello with the Baltimore Opera Company, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and Post Classical Ensemble of Washington D.C. During the summer, Ms. Ladd performs as Principal Cello at the Endless Mountain Music Festival in Wellsboro, PA. She has also performed as Principal Cello with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Assistant Principal Cello of the Knoxville Symphony and a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Pops with Eric Kunzel. Ms. Ladd also performs throughout the year at the Kennedy Center with various ensembles including the Washington Opera, Washington Ballet, Washington Chorale and American Ballet Theatre.

Violinist Airi Yoshioka has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician.  Deeply committed to chamber music, 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.

$7 general admission, $3 seniors, free for students, free with UMBC ID

Images: Photos of Gita Ladd and Airi Yoshioka by Richard Anderson. Photo of John Novacek by Peter Schaaf.

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