Duo for Violin & Cello at Moab Music Festival – Daron Hagen

Violinist Kristen Lee and cellist Clancy Newman take the stage of the Moab Music Festival. The ensemble performs Daron Hagen‘s Duo for Violin and Cello on Friday, September 1.

About Duo for Violin and Cello

In the repertoire for solo violin and cello, the Ravel sonata stands out as the singular masterpiece, the work all subsequent composers had to measure themselves against. Hagen acknowledges this debt by making the first movement of his duo an Homage a Ravel. He borrows Ravel’s thematic material and style, but combines them in his own unique way. Each instrument takes the lead in turn, while the other plays arpeggios or double stops. The effect is to make the sound fuller, as if it were a much larger ensemble. Hagen’s gift for melody is clearly revealed in the slow movement, “Love Song.” Again, the parts take turns, playing either the melody or a repeated rhythmic motif, occasionally coming together to sing in harmony. As in a love story, the two express their individuality and then create something greater than themselves by joining together.

The Performers

Kristin Lee (Arthur Moeller photo)

A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.” Born in Seoul, Korea, Lee began studying the violin at the age of five, and within one year won First Prize at the prestigious Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the United States and continued her musical studies under Sonja Foster. Two years later, she became a student of Catherine Cho and Dorothy DeLay in The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. In January 2000, she was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Juilliard’s Pre-College Symphony Orchestra. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein, and served as an assistant teacher for Perlman’s studio as a Starling Fellow. She is a member of the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

Clancy Newman (Lisa-Marie Mazzucco photo)

Cellist Clancy Newman, first prize winner of the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg International Competition and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, has had the unusual career of a performer/composer. From Albany, NY, he began playing cello at the age of six, and at twelve he received his first significant public recognition when he won a Gold Medal at the Dandenong Youth Festival in Australia, competing against people twice his age. In the years that followed, he won numerous other competitions, including the Juilliard School Cello Competition, the National Federation of Music Clubs competition, and the Astral Artists National Auditions. He holds degrees from Juilliard and Columbia University. His teachers have included David Gibson, Joel Krosnick, and Harvey Shapiro.

The Festival

The Moab Music Festival was founded in 1992 by New York based musicians Michael Barrett, pianist/conductor and violist Leslie Tomkins. On a rare vacation, the husband and wife team fell in love with the red rocks of Moab, and were inspired to combine the magical landscape with the joys of music-making. “Starting a music festival seemed like the perfect way to make sure we would return again and again,” says Tomkins.

Now in its 25th year of music in concert with the landscape, the award- winning Moab Music Festival is noted for its distinctive programming, superb performances and intimate concert experiences of chamber music, traditional, jazz, Latin and music of living composers. The 20 concerts of the 2017 season are held in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues around Moab, with the Festival’s signature events, the Grotto Concerts, taking place in a pristine wilderness grotto 30 miles down the Colorado River, reached by jet boat. A 3 day / 2 night Musical Raft Trip through Westwater Canyon immediately precedes the Festival, and a 4 day / 3 night Musical Raft Trip through Cataract Canyon immediately follows the Festival.

The Moab Music Festival, from its inception, has been committed to music education and cultural enrichment in the Moab area. It has an annual goal of reaching all children in the Grand County Schools, providing assemblies with visiting musicians for students during the Festival. Educational experiences for interested music lovers of all ages are also provided at other times of the year through an artist-in-residence program.

Source: Duo for Violin & Cello — Daron Hagen

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