Chopin and Schumann Bicentennials
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the births of two of the most important composers of the Romantic era, Frederic Chopin and Robert Schumann. Both were prolific composers who helped define the extremely expressive musical style of their time. In celebration of their births, Anne Martindale Williams and David Allen Wehr performed a chamber music program for piano and cello on November 1st at Chatham University’s James Laughlin Music Hall. This amazing concert presented by two well renowned musicians was well attended leaving standing room only.
Anne Martindale Williams graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Orlando Cole. She has enjoyed her career as Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1979. She has often been featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has performed in many countries on her own as well. She has appeared in several nationally televised productions including “Concertos,” produced by the BBC and “Previn and the Pittsburgh,” produced by WQED. Mrs. Williams also teaches at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities and has given master classes at many universities and festivals throughout the country and enjoys performing at many of Americas most prestigious summer music festivals.
David Allen Wehr is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he studied with Sequeira Costa. He has enjoyed an international career and has performed in over 30 countries including London, New York, Paris, Vienna, Madrid, and Buenos Aires. He has won various awards such as the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain, Chopin-Kosciuszko Prize in New York City, the 1983 National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Auditions, and second prizes at the 1983 Naumburg International Piano Competition at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the 1983 Kapell International Piano Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Among his various other accomplishments Mr. Wehr holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music.
Their performance was energetic, expressive and passionate. It captured the spirit of the music of two of the greatest composers in history. Both musicians were flawless, and the pieces presented Monday night pulled on the heart strings of all the audience members. The Welker Room in Laughlin Music Hall was the perfect combination of elegance and intimacy for such a concert, which accurately upheld the intimate tradition of chamber music.