SCCO: Muss es sein?
Muss es sein?
Shostakovich – String Quartet No. 8 Op. 110
II. Allegro Molto
Beethoven – String Quartet No. 16 Op. 135
III. Lento assai, cantante e tranquillo
IV. “Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß”.
– Grave, ma non troppo tratto (“Muss es sein?”) – Allegro (“Es muss sein!”) – Grave, ma non troppo tratto – Allegro (F minor – F major)
A note from Andrew Trombley:
The final years of Beethoven’s life were not pleasant. They were full of emotional and physical stress caused not only by his deafness and declining health but from difficult personal matters involving his family. Perhaps this is why the final movement of his op. 135 string quartet bears the inscription “Der schwer gefasste Entschluss,” in English “The Difficult Resolution.” Opening the movement with the lower strings Beethoven opens with a three-note motif with the questions “Muss es Sein? (Must it be?)” asking life’s most difficult question we all as people ask when we’re faced with overwhelming pressures in our lives.
There is no direct connection between Beethoven’s Op. 135 and Shostakovich’s Op. 110 short
of the premiere of the work being premiered by the Beethoven Quartet in 1960 but it is no
secret that this work bears holds the unbearable weight of Shostakovich’s pressure being a
closet dissident of the Soviet regime. The work opens with the four-note motif “D-S-C-H” representing the musical signature for Shostakovich but also bears the inscription “In memory of victims of fascism and War” later recanted by Shostakovich in face of the overwhelming power of his government.
This program uses music to explore what is said but more importantly what was left unsaid by these great composers. Come with open ears and open mind and peer through the window into the souls, hearts, and minds of Beethoven and Shostakovich.
A resident of New York City, Japanese violinist Akiko Hosoi is an active solo and chamber music performer across the United States, while being a member of the New Haven Symphony and Stamford Symphony Orchestras. Akiko enjoys collaborating with other artists and organizations dedicated to promote community enhancement and social justice, with projects such as organizing outreach performances at veteran hospitals, hospices, schools, and state prisons across the US, as well as benefit concerts to raise money for the 3/11 Fukushima disaster. Akiko also maintains a performing presence in Japan with regular recitals as well as outreach collaborations with Alexander Technique Studio Tokyo. In 2016, Akiko partnered with Sullivan County (NY) non-profit arts organization Nesin Cultural Arts (NCA) to co-establish and lead the Sullivan County Chamber Orchestra, a conductor-less string orchestra, whose mission is to serve the community and elevate the quality of life for all generations through artistic expression and cultural experiences.
Always trying to inspire the younger generation, Akiko is in high demand as a violin instructor. Through NCA she has co-founded the Aspiring Young Musicians Program and the Summer Music (Arts) Academy, designed to provide students aspiring to develop their musicianship with regular and frequent contact with high caliber performing artists who have a commitment to music education. In 2019 she was invited to teach as a strings instructor at Summer Music in Tuscany, Italy.
Akiko has had an international career from an early age. After attending the Junior Department of the Toho Gakuen School of Music, she enrolled in the Purcell School of Music in London where she was a recipient of many awards and scholarships including the British Government Music and Ballet Scholarship. As a solo recitalist and chamber musician, she worked with distinguished pianists such as Noriko Ogawa and Boris Berezovsky; touring the UK, Finland, Malta, Russia and Japan. A third-prize winner in the 4th Uralsk International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan, she performed with the West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra. Festival invitations include Mozarteum Summer Music Academy, Encore School for Strings, Taos School of Music, Perlman Music Program Chamber Workshop, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Akiko has performed in masterclasses for Ida Haendel, Gyorgy Pauk and Zakhar Bron, and as a chamber musician, has worked with Seymour Lipkin, Bonnie Hampton, Peter Salaff, Roger Tapping, Donald Weilerstein, and members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Cavani, Orion and Shanghai Quartets. Akiko holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. Her teachers include David Cerone, Ronald Copes, Maurice Hasson, Lydia Mordkovitch, Kazuki Sawa, and David Updegraff.
Sasha Margolis is a versatile violinist with wide experience in chamber, symphonic, early, new, jazz, and klezmer music. Praised by the Washington Post for his “incisive, vibrato-rich tone,” he has performed chamber music in Italy, Japan, and throughout the U.S, collaborating with pianists Sanford Margolis and Jeremy Denk; members of the Pittsburgh, Detroit and National Symphonies; and the Maia Quartet and members of the Corigliano and Pro Arte Quartets. In addition, he has played as a guest member of the Arianna Quartet. At Spoleto Festival USA, Mr. Margolis was concertmaster for U.S. premieres of little-known operas by Janacek, Henze, Bellini and Donizetti, also playing and acting in Mauricio Kagel’s La Trahison Oral. He was a longtime member of the Honolulu Symphony.
Mr. Margolis has appeared for a total of about two minutes on network TV: five seconds of these were spent impersonating a strolling violinist on ABC’s Lost; the remainder, reciting Shylock’s “I am a Jew” speech on CBS Sunday Morning. He also leads the eclectic music ensemble, Big Galut(e). His first novel, The Tsimbalist, was published in February 2016.
Chiu-Chen Liu: Viola
Violist Chiu-Chen Liu enjoys a diverse career in orchestra, chamber music and pedagogy. Recent performances include engagements with Chamber Music Hellas in Greece, Cremona International Music Academy, Alion Baltic International Music Festival, Festival Suoni D’abruzzo in Italy, BAMcafé Live, American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Chamber Music Ensemble, New York Classical Quartet, Attacca Quartet and Lecture-Performance Series at Columbia University. Chiu-Chen has served as principal viola with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the Sarasota Opera, Di Capo Opera, Fairfield County Chorale Orchestra. Her chamber music performances have been broadcast on NPR and WQXR radio.
Currently residing in New York City, Chiu-Chen relocated from her native Taiwan at age seventeen to study at the Manhattan School of Music. She later earned her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College The New School for Music, receiving full scholarship as a student of Hsin-Yun Huang, Mark Steinberg and Laurie Smukler. A dedicated teacher, Chiu-Chen was appointed the String Department Chairperson from 2013 to 2016 at the Third Street Music School where she is currently serving as a full time violin, viola and chamber music faculty.
In addition to Music, Chiu-Chen is also an active visual artist. She is currently serving as the Visual Artist-In-Resident for the Olympic Music Festival in Washington State, VivaViola Festival in Taiwan and the Sejong International Music Festival at the Curtis Institute from 2013-2014.
Kirsten Jermé | Cello
Cellist Kirsten Jermé leads a multi-faceted life as a chamber musician, recitalist, educator, and arts advocate. Kirsten was previously Principal Cellist of the Evansville Philharmonic and cellist of the Eykamp String Quartet, which served as Faculty Artists-in-Residence at the University of Evansville, where she developed and directed a chamber music course. She was also cellist of the Larchmere String Quartet, with whom she performed across the United States, Canada and Italy, gave university masterclasses, and recorded for the Naxos label. An avid chamber musician, she has performed internationally from Harlaxton College in England to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, the Banff Arts Center in Canada, Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and the Speed Museum in Louisville.
As a freelancer in New York City, Kirsten performed at Carnegie, Weill and Zankel Halls, Le Poisson Rouge, the Joyce Dance Theatre and the Strad for Lunch Recital series, recorded with Mimesis Ensemble for Bridge Records, and taught cello at Greenwich House Music School in Manhattan and Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts in Queens. She has appeared as a soloist with the Metro Chamber Orchestra in Brooklyn, Russian Chamber Chorus of New York, Stony Brook University Orchestra, University of Evansville Symphony Orchestra, and, as a member of the Eykamp String Quartet, with the Evansville Philharmonic. She spends summers in Oregon as a member of the Britt Festival Orchestra.
An advocate of music in the community, Kirsten co-founded and curated the “Coffee and Classics” series at Wired in Evansville, and previously worked for Turtle Bay Music School and The Learning Maestros in New York City on education and outreach initiatives. While still in college, she helped launch an outreach program through the Staller Center for the Arts, serving students across Eastern Long Island.
Kirsten received her M.M. at Eastman School of Music as a student of Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott, and a B.A. from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Colin Carr and the Emerson String Quartet. She also spent a semester at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Thomas Carroll.