The Rockland Symphony Orchestra [RSO] will present their annual Chamber Music Benefit Concert with guest artist pianist Ron Levy on Sunday, June 25, 4 p.m. at the Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack.
Levy has played the world over, accompanying many great opera singers and premiering a large number of works composed for he and his fellow musicians. One of the first winners of the Music Teacher’s Guild Concerto Competitions 50 years ago, Levy is a talent RSO organizers said they are truly proud to host.
The renowned pianist Levy will be performing three vaunted chamber works, two of which will feature him alongside nine other musicians.
The first work on the program is the Haydn String Quartet in C Major Op. 50, #2. Composed in 1782 by one of history’s most acclaimed classical composers, RSO describes the work as “one of the quintessential string quartet works in the repertoire.” The quartet was dedicated to Frederick William II of Prussia, who was a capable cellist as well as a king, and it is a later, mature composition by the great Haydn.
The second work on the program is the Schumann Quintet in E flat for piano and Strings Op. 44 Composed during the Romantic Era, “Schumann invented a new chamber music genre by using a full string quartet with piano.” (wikipedia) Schumann’s wife Clara performed the piece many time and Mendelssohn was quoted at the time saying it had a “fiendish” piano part (wikipedia).
The final work on the program is the Bach Brandenburg No. 5 featuring Levy on piano, Karen Gilbert on violin and Jacquelyn Drechsler on the flute with a small string ensemble. It has been proposed that Bach wrote the Brandenburg Concertos with the personalities of six of his children in mind, personified through music and also suggested that they had been composed for a competition between Bach and composer/organist Louis Marchand, “who fled before it could take place, scared off with Bach’s great reputation for virtuosity and improvisation. Many people also believe that this was the first example of a concerto with a virtuoso solo keyboard part.” (wikipedia)
Admission price is $25. Tickets are available at the door or the website www.rocklandsymphonyorchestra.