October 2017 Program Notes

Spanish Dance No.1 from La Vida Breve

Manuel De Falla

Born – November 23, 1876 in Cadiz, Spain

Died – November 14, 1946 in Alta Gracia, Argentina

The opera, La Vida Breve (Life is Short), was debuted on January 7, 1914 at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique in Paris.

The early decades of the 20th century were critical for Spain’s entrance into the European classical arena. During this time, France and Spain were developing a unique bond in which Spanish composers infused “sophisticated” French music into their more traditional folk idiom. The influence of Debussy, Ravel, Dukas, and Stravinsky refined De Falla’s compositional style, yet the enthusiasm and color from his Spanish roots were never dimmed.

De Falla studied music in Madrid and wrote his first major work there, an hour-long opera in two acts about the doomed affair of a passionate gypsy girl and her more refined -and unfortunately engaged – man of her dreams. The opera won first prize in a competition at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Madrid, but after the promise of a debut fell through, De Falla moved to Paris in hope of a more fruitful musical atmosphere. The bustle of workers and the ringing of the blacksmith’s anvil adds local flavor to De Falla’s lively opening village scene.

Elegie & Finale from Serenade for Strings

Peter Illich Tchaikovsky

Born – May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia

Died – November 6, 1893 in Saint Petersburg, Russia

This piece was written in 1880 and premiered on October 30, 1881 in Saint Petersburg, conducted by Eduard Napravnik.

In the latter half of 1880, Tchaikovsky began work on two extremely contrasting pieces. Commissioned for the unveiling of the Pushkin memorial, the 1812 Festival Overture was a “loud and noisy” work he claimed to be lacking any “warm feeling of love.” To the contrary, his Serenade for Strings was written from “inner compulsion, a piece from the heart.”

A performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni had introduced ten-year-old Tchaikovsky to the deep emotional power of music, and he wrote this Serenade with classical form in mind in homage to Mozart’s serenades.

The Elegie opens with a unison chorale theme that becomes more complex as it is passed around the orchestra. Delicate counterpoint floats above the melody in the violas, and later the somber and reflective theme is reiterated in the richness of the lower strings. In the Finale, a slow song of the Volga boatmen gives way to a bright folk tune, evolving in charming, unexpected ways before the regal conclusion.

El Camino Real

Alfred Reed

Born – January 25, 1921 in New York City

Died – September 17, 2005 in Miami, Florida

This piece was commissioned and debuted by the 581st Air Force Band on April 15, 1985 in Sarasota, Florida.  

With over 200 works to his name – many of them for wind ensemble and concert band – Alfred Reed is one of America’s most prolific composers. At the time of his death, Reed had enough commissions to keep him busy until age 115!

During World War II, Reed played trumpet in the Air Force Band, and following his service he returned to study composition at Juilliard. He later became a music arranger for NBC and ABC, the conductor of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, and the executive director of Hansen Publications, a music publishing company.

Subtitled A Latin Fantasy, Reed’s El Camino Real, (or “The King’s Highway”) perfectly captures the Latin and Spanish idiom. Inspired by the chord progressions of Spanish guitarists, it explores flamenco rhythms and harmonies. The opening Jota is a brilliant, fiery dance and the contrasting middle section invokes a Fandango.

Violin Concerto No.1

Max Bruch

Born – January 6, 1838 in Cologne, Germany

Died – October 2, 1920 in Berlin, Germany

This concerto was first performed on April 24, 1866 in Koblenz by violinist Otto von Königslow with Bruch, himself, conducting. The official premier of the revised version occurred on January 5, 1868 in Bremen with violinist Joseph Joachim and Karl Martin Rheinthaler conducting.

Born only five years after Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch was a prolific composer of three symphonies, three operas, three violin concertos, and approximately a hundred works of choral and chamber music. Of all of these, his Violin Concerto in G minor is the most well known. After a less than satisfactory debut, violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim helped Bruch with revisions and commented that of the four great German violin concertos – Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Bruch – this was the “richest and most alluring.”

The form is non-traditional and the improvisatory stylings of the first movement set a fantasy-like mood, but the dialog and importance of the orchestra sets it apart as a concerto. As in the opening of Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, the soloist begins playing immediately. In the second movement, three beautiful themes are developed almost entirely by the soloist, except for a brief orchestral interlude in the middle. The lively third movement brings to mind a Brahms Hungarian dance, although Bruch’s concerto preceded Brahms’ violin concerto by ten years!

Symphony No.7, op. 131, in C sharp minor

Sergei Prokofieff

Born – April 23, 1891, in Sontsovka, Ukraine

Died – March 5, 1953, in Moscow, Russia

Prokofieff’s final symphony was composed in 1952 and debuted on October 11 of that year in Moscow.

Commissioned by the Soviet Children’s Radio Division and frequently dubbed the “Simple Symphony,” Prokofieff‘s final major work was composed with a younger audience in mind. Although his reputation was that of an incomprehensibly modern pianist, his special skill was composing mature and charming music for children, including Peter and the Wolf and a set of 12 piano pieces titled Music for Children. At the time of the commission, Prokofieff was living in poverty and near starvation; his first wife had been arrested and exiled to Siberia, and Prokofieff, himself, was held in contempt for composing music not up to Stalin’s patriotic standards. The thought of writing for children re-kindled his nearly broken spirit.

The symphony alternates between two moods: one innocent and frivolous, the other ominous and fearful. In the first movement, a sinister murmuring introduces a nostalgic theme in the strings. Later, a “simple” theme presented by the flute and glockenspiel shines a ray of hope before the movement ends – again in minor.

Harkening to his ballets, the second movement is an imaginative waltz with comic bassoons and skittering strings. Some of Prokofieff’s most unabashedly sentimental music follows in the third movement, alternating dream and nightmare. The final movement mixes elements of dancing, marching and the earlier flute and glockenspiel theme, coming to an enigmatically quiet end. A few optimistic measures added to placate Soviet artistic demands were never intended to be published.



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Michael Miropolsky, featured speaker at Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

Michael Miropolsky spoke at the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting on Wednesday, September 13th where he talked about his life in Russia and his immigration to the United States in 1990.

Norma Dermond. principal cellist and one of three original members of the Cascade Symphony Orchestra,  introduced Cascade Conductor, Michael Miropolsky.

Maestro Miropolsky answering questions at the conclusion of his talk.

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Pamela Liu, CSO Concertmaster, performs at Cascade Art Museum

Cascadia Art Museum will present the final concert in their summer series of “Music in the Museum” on Saturday evening, August 19 at 7 PM. The Willow Trio will perform “An Evening of Chamber Favorites” in Cascadia’s Central Gallery.

The trio musicians are Erika Pierson (cello), Pamela Liu (violin) and Judy Huehn (piano). The program features work by Franz Schubert, Joseph Hayden, and Astor Piazzolla (of Argentina), among others.

Tickets are $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members. Tickets are available on the museum website www.CascadiaArtMuseum.org, via telephone (425-336.4809) or at the museum visitor desk during regular hours. Tickets are limited.

Artist Biographies:

Erika Pierson, cell0, earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Cello Performance from Indiana University and her Master’s of Music Performance from University of Michigan. Between her degrees, during three years in Europe, Erika studied in Berlin, at the Hochschule der Kunste, and then studied privately under Eileen Croxford in London. In 2001, she was invited to perform at the Manchester International Cello Festival. Her other main teachers have included Richard Aaron, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Markus Nyikos, and Erling Blondal Bengtsson. Erika has given solo recitals in England, Germany, Spain, and in the United States, and has performed as featured soloist with orchestras in Berlin, Ann Arbor, and Everett, WA.   On the less classical side of things, she has also performed with Mannheim Steamroller, Rod Stewart, the Walkmen, and Deltron 3030. Currently Erika performs regularly as a chamber musician, the newly formed NOCCO Chamber Orchestra, and freelances and teaches in the Seattle area.

Pamela Liu, violin, has been in demand as a performer and pedagogue since returning to the Northwest six years ago. She received her Bachelors in Violin Performance at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and was a member of the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in Taipei, Taiwan, before attending the University of Washington where she received a Masters Degree in Violin Performance. A devoted mentor to young musicians, Ms. Liu coaches and teaches with The Academy of Music Northwest, the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, and Musicworks Northwest. As an active performer, Ms. Liu is the concertmaster of the Cascade Symphony, section member of the Yakima Symphony, and part of the violin-guitar duo, Tutti Dolce, with husband Chris Liu.

Judy Huehn, piano, is an active piano teacher, accompanist and performer on the Eastside. She holds a B.M. and M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied solo piano with Justin Blasdale, Mack McCray; and chamber music with Mark Sokol. Judy grew up in Vancouver, B.C. and began her piano studies at the Vancouver Academy of Music and later obtained the Royal Conservatory of Music diploma, A.R.C.T. She has participated in chamber music festivals in Italy and France and competed as a two piano duo with her friend, Ekaterina Gueorguieva in Italy and Japan. Upon settling in Redmond since 2005, Judy has enjoyed collaborative projects with Emerald Ballet Theatre, adjudicating for music festivals and competitions, accompanying for choirs, and teaching in her private studio.

FRANZ SCHUBERT                                                                (1797-1828)

Nocturne in Eb Major   (Adagio)   (1827)                              Op. 148

JOSEPH HAYDN                                                                     (1732-1809)

Piano Trio No. 19 in F Major                        (1784)               Hob. 15/6

ASTOR PIAZZOLLA   (Argentina)                     (1921-1992)

Otono Porteno (Autumn)             (1969)



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Concertmaster, Pamela Liu, at Cascadia Art Museum

Cascadia Art Museum concert 8.5 x 11 flyer 7.5.17

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Soloist: Marley Erickson, violin – Russian Arc – October 23, 2017

Since making her solo orchestral debut at age 11, Marley Erickson has appeared as
soloist with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, L’Accademia d’Archi Arrigoni, Mitteleuropa Orchestra, Ottawa Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar, and the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.

Marley was a laureate in the 2016 Piccolo Violino Magico International Violin Competition, and subsequently performed a solo concert series in Northern Italy. In 2016 She also competed in the Menuhin International Violin Competition, and was awarded third place in the Louis Spohr International Violin Competition. By invitation of composer John Adams, Marley performed on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2016 Green Umbrella Series, where she received a standing ovation at Disney Concert Hall and critical acclaim for the North American premiere of Oscar Colomina i Bosch’s Shpigl. She was selected as a Student Artist to perform in the 2017 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at the Juilliard School. By invitation of the Kronberg Academy, Marley was a participant in the 2017 chamber music workshop “Mit Musik-Miteinander.” Marley recently produced and performed a full concert program on the Local Artist Series at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, which included the world premiere of Canto One by Jerry Mader.

Ms. Erickson has been a participant in the Cambridge International Strings Academy, the Brian Lewis Young Artist Program, Encore Chamber Music Academy, Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, and has been a member of the Seattle Youth Orchestras. Marley currently studies violin in Seattle with Simon James and piano collaborator Hiro David. She has worked with, among others, Paul Kantor, Tasmin Little, Brian Lewis, Gerardo Ribeiro, David Halen, Leila Josefowicz, Robert Lipsett, Stephen Shipps, Keng-Yuen Tseng, Hu Kun, Robert McDuffie, Danielle Belen, Rodney Friend, Friedemann Eichhorn, and James Ehnes.

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Soloist: Kristin Vogel – Holiday Pops! – December 10 and 11, 2017

Acclaimed for her powerful lyric voice, her intensity onstage, and her well-honed vocal technique, Soprano, Kristin Vogel has been honored in multiple international competitions, and is sought for roles that require dramatic passion and sensitive musicality.

This season Ms. Vogel sang the role of Mimi with Tacoma Opera and will join the Utah Festival Opera this summer asthe title role in Madama Butterfly and the Soprano Soloist in their performance of Verdi’s Requiem. 

Ms. Vogel recently sang her first Nedda in I Pagliacci with St. Petersburg Opera in Florida, her first Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Asheville Lyric Opera, and many Mozart heroines in a series of “3 Divas” concerts with Northwest Sinfonietta in Seattle, Tacoma, and Puyallup.

This past season Ms. Vogel jumped in last minute to sing the Soprano Solos in Mozart’s “Requiem” with the Bellingham Concert Chorale and traveled to Montana to sing the soprano solos in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Helena Symphony Orchestra, where she previously sang “Una Poenitentium/Gretchen” in Mahler’s 8th Symphony. Ms. Vogel’s additional symphonic repertoire includes the soprano solos in Beethoven’s 9th and Mahler’s 2nd Symphonies, Mozart’s Requiem, Debussy’s Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire, and Aaron Copland’s orchestrated Poems of Emily Dickinson, and she frequently performs with Seattle’s Inverted Space Modern Ensemble. Next season Ms. Vogel will be featured as the Soprano Soloist in MGA Productions mounting of Verdi’s Requiem in New York City.

Originally from Texas, Ms. Vogel earned her master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, and has sung with high-profile young artist pro-grams at Des Moines Metro Opera, the Natchez Festival of Music, the Utah Festival Opera, and others. Ms. Vogel is now completing her doctorate at the University of Washington, and she spent spring 2015 in Vienna researching her dissertation as a recipient of the prestigious Fritz Fellowship.

Other recent performances include Pamina in The Magic Flute and Marguerite in Faust with Boheme Opera New Jersey, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus and Lady Billows in Albert Herring at the University of Washington, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Natchez Festival of Music, and cross-over, Americana, and operetta repertoire with Mosaïque in Vienna, Austria.

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Soloist: Ben Lulich – Scheherazade – January 15, 2018

Benjamin Lulich is Principal Clarinet of the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. Recognized as an exceptionally gifted artist, he has held positions in Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Colorado Music Festival and Festival Mozaic, and has performed frequently with The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Pasadena Symphony, IRIS Orchestra and many other ensembles. He has performed as guest principal with the Philadelphia Orchestra and acting principal with The Cleveland Orchestra.

Additionally, Lulich is Principal Clarinet of the Sunriver Music Festival and has performed with the Hollywood Studio Orchestra on numerous films and records albums, including Water for Elephants, The Tourist, Monsters University, Godzilla, and the Oscar-winning score for Life of Pi. In 2013 he performed as Principal Clarinet for Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary Concert, which featured Elton John and many other performers; the concert was broadcast worldwide.

An avid chamber music and new music performer, Lulich has been a guest artist for concerts throughout the United States and abroad. He was a member of the Second Instrumental Unit, a contemporary music ensemble based in New York City, where he took part in a concert honoring Milton Babbitt at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. As a recitalist and soloist, he has performed at the International ClarinetFest and was featured as a soloist with Pacific Symphony, Sunriver Music Festival, and Seattle Symphony.

The recipient of many awards and prizes, Lulich studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, Pacific Music Festival and Music Academy of the West. His teachers include Richard Hawkins, Franklin Cohen, David Shifrin, Fred Ormand and Laura DeLuca. Lulich has also been adjunct faculty at California State University Fullerton and has given masterclasses and coachings throughout the United States. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. Mr. Lulich is a Backun Clarinet Artist and performs on MoBa Clarinets.

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Soloist: Eric Han, cello – Nordic Passion – March 12, 2018

Korean born Canadian cellist Eric Han made his concerto debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14. Following his debut led to many engagements with Toronto Sinfonietta, Toronto chamber players and Symphony by the Sea in Boston. In collaboration with world-renowned conductor Sir Andrew Davis, he recorded a live performance of the Elgar cello concerto on the Yamaha Canada label.

As an avid chamber musician, Eric has performed with many of world’s leading musicians such as Joseph Silverstein, Roberto Diaz, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Cho-Liang Lin, Chee Yun, Lynn Harrell, Gray Hoffman, Paul Coletti, Jörg Widmann, Jan Vogler, Thomas Demenga Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux and the members of the Altenberg Trio, Borromeo quartet and Orion String Quartet. As a recitalist, Eric has performed in many of world’s prestigious halls, including Zankel Hall Carnegie, 92nd St. Y, St. Martin in the Fields, and the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh.

Mr. Han has been the recipient of many awards in Canada and the US, including the Tom Thomas Scholarship, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Scholarship, and Schimidbauer international string competition and 2012 Sylva Gelber Award.  As a guest artist and artist-in-residence, Eric has participated at numerous festivals, including the Moritzburg Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Music@Menlo, Sarasota Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Orford Arts Centre and is on faculty at Marrowstone music festival.

He studied with David Hetherington at the Glenn Gould School, and holds a B.M. from the Colburn School of Music, under the tutelage of Ronald Leonard. He is a recent recipient of an Artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey.

Eric Han joined the Seattle Symphony Orchestra as their 4th chair cellist and is the principal cellist for Seattle Opera Company. He plays on a cello made by Frank Ravatin (2010 Vannes) and modern bow by Bernard Walke, on generous loan to him from the Maestro Foundations.

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Soloist: Mai Lin, violin – Nordic Passion – March 12, 2018

Mae Lin joined the Seattle Symphony in 2008 as a member of the second violin section. In 2014, she joined the first violin section. Having grown up in Bellevue, she was very excited to return home to join her hometown symphony. She previously served as Associate Concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Artist in Residence at the University of Evansville with the Eykamp String Quartet. Ms. Lin received a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in performance from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Naoko Tanaka, and was the recipient of the Irene Diamond Scholarship.

While a student at Juilliard, summer music festivals were the highlight of every school year. Ms. Lin attended the Aspen Music Festival where she received the Orchestral and Mentor Fellowships, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Spoleto, Italy Music Festival, and the Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland. She was invited to be on the faculty at the Eastern Music Festival in 2012 and assistant to Naoko Tanaka at the Aspen Music Festival in 2013. Ms. Lin has been serving on the board of the Seattle Youth Symphony since 2013. As an alumnus, she is excited to be a part of this organization which helps shape students through music.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Ms. Lin began the piano at age 4 and violin at age 7. She played flute and french horn in her middle school band as well. She holds a red belt in Tae Kwon Do, enjoys swimming, golf, playing tennis, and playing fetch with her dog, Scotch.

In the summer of 2014, Ms. Lin made her debut in Taipei, Taiwan with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in the National Concert Hall.

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Soloist: Stephen Binondo, piano – Roman Festivals – May 7, 2018

Stephen Binondo is a 16-year-old pianist from Everett. He studies piano with Judy Baker and is homeschooled through Enlightium Christian Academy. Stephen has received Gold and Silver medals at the Northwest Chopin Competition and Gold Seals from the Seattle Young Artist Music Festival.  He was the Jr. Level Concerto winner and also received an Outstanding Performer award at the 2016 Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside.  In 2017 he participated in the Honors Recital at the Washington State Music Teachers Convention and has performed as a soloist with the Mukilteo Community Orchestra, the Starry Night Orchestra, and Orchestra Seattle.

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