We give special thanks to the talented and award-winning Akina Kondoh for her performance this Friday as she shared with us the last piano compositions of Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Scriabin, and Schubert. The highlight of the recital was Kondoh’s masterful rendition of Scriabin’s “Vers la flamme.” In the moments before she played, Kondoh spoke of her desire to convey the obsession with mysticism and ecstasy that Scriabin had especially near the end of his life; with hair-raising intensity, Kondoh transported us into an ecstatic realm and towards the flame that so enticed Scriabin.
Last Saturday, Roy Sonne, Yeeha Chiu, and Kathy Melucci performed a beautiful program in memoriam of last year’s Tree of Life victims. Heartfelt expression and exquisite musicianship insinuated their way into the hearts of the audience, and, soothing like a balm, demonstrated to all the healing power of music.
This past Friday, vocal group Aria412 performed songs from the golden age of Broadway at the chapel. The gaps that the unfortunately small audience could not fill in such a big space were compensated by the full, resonant voices of the performers, who truly transformed the atmosphere into a glittering scene of spunk, sass, and beauty as they became the characters in a variety of Broadway and show tunes. Every heart brimmed with fondness as the sentimental journey finished its course, gently letting the audience off at the train station of reality.
Bravo to Matthew Bengtson, who performed at Chatham on September nineteenth on his copy of a 1785 Anton Walter fortepiano! Bengtson’s playing transported us back to 18th-century Vienna, providing an enriching perspective to what Bach’s, Haydn’s, and Mozart’s music would have really sounded like, bringing their presence, made distant by the centuries that separate them from us, back to life in the fortepiano. After the performance, the audience jumped at the chance to try out the instrument, which proved to be very sensitive to any unevenness and quite difficult to control–this made Bengtson’s playing all the more impressive. Thank you to all who joined us for this exciting first concert of the 2019 Fall semester!
World-renowned pianist, Finghin Collins, privileged the Chatham community with the opportunity of hearing his lecture-recital. Collins played an exquisite program of music by John Field, Chopin, Mozart, and Schubert, as well as two contemporary Irish composers, Philip Martin and Marian Ingoldsby, performing their works from the Ros Tapestry Suite, which, as the New Ross Piano Festival site describes, “represents a variegated musical response to the Ros Tapestry, an impressive fifteen-panel work of embroidery tracing the history of the Norman invasion of Ireland.” Collins, in a remarkable way, infused in his music both the remembrance of things past and the freshness of the contemporary, performing simultaneously with gravitas and lightness, attentive to every subtlety. The Chatham community offers an indelible gratitude and a perpetual bravo to Finghin Collins!
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians Kelsey Blumenthal (violin), Deanna Badizadegan (viola), Will Chow (cello), and Max Blair (oboe) performed with pianist Francesca Tortorello at our second Music for Food concert this semester. These brilliant musicians delivered a program of works by Britten, Loeffler, and Brahms, exhibiting remarkable sensitivity, passion, and masterful musicianship.
Being one of our first programs since the daylight savings time change, it was warm and light outside as the concert started. The performers serenaded our audience into the evening, beginning with the jaunty militancy of Britten’s Phantasy Quartet, Op. 2 for oboe and string trio, and capturing, in the Loeffler and Brahms pieces, the shifts between the shadows and light we saw outside. Bravo and thank you to these talented artists who showed us that music is truly food for the soul, as well as to our audience for their generous contributions to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Photo credits: Yundian Jing
Congrats and bravo to Chatham’s talented Voice Ruud Scholars, Francesca Fello, Justine Barry, Kaitlyn Salmon, and Sarah Krastman, and vocal students, Nick Graef and Dek Ingraham, who gave an impeccable performance this weekend! Also, thank you to faculty adjunct, Walter Morales, who provided flawless piano accompaniment!
The Chatham community gathered last night to hear the legendary Ethnic Heritage Ensemble perform and host a Q&A session, followed by a small reception. The event was truly a spiritual experience. Bravo to Kahil El’Zabar, Corey Wilkes, and Alex Harding!
Bravo and many thanks to mezzo-soprano, Katherine Soroka, and pianist, Nathan Carterette, as well as violinist, Jennifer Orchard, and cellist, Kellen Degnan, for a moving and truly heart-warming performance this past Friday! Each song, exquisitely sung by Katherine Soroka, was equally matched with pianistic expressivity and technique by Nathan Carterette. No words can describe the communal sentiments of pain and love these musicians created as they carried the audience through an emotional journey beginning with Mozart’s Ch’io mi scordi di te, through Ravel’s Kaddisch in memory of the Tree of Life tragedy, to the tender, tear-welling climax of the performance, Lee Kesselman’s setting of e.e. cummings’s poem, “i carry your heart,” which received a standing ovation. There was no better way than to end on the lighthearted note of the encore, Gershwin’s By Strauss. Thank you to all those who attended!
The renowned Clarion Quartet gave the first performance of the Spring semester at Chatham with talented pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou on Saturday, February 9, 2019, performing works by Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Bohuslav Martinu. Many gathered to support the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank with donations. The event was so well-attended, in fact, that extra chairs had to be brought out. After the program was finished, the Clarion Quartet received a standing ovation that demanded three re-entrances for bows. Bravo to Clarion and Dimitri!