GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—South Berkshire Concerts will present a concert featuring master pianist and mentor Peter Serkin and The Orchestra Now (TŌN) wind players Tuesday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the McConnell Theater of the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington.

Admission is a suggested donation of $10. For further information, call 413-528-7212.

The program will feature masterpieces for piano and winds, including works by Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Serkin has been a frequent presence at the Daniel Arts Center since his inaugural concert there in May 2004. The Orchestra Now is a professional training orchestra housed at the Bard College Conservatory.

Among the pieces to be performed are Mozart’s “Quintet for Piano” and “Winds in E-flat major K. 452.” Mozart considered this work his favorite, composed shortly before “The Marriage of Figaro” during a fruitful period of his work in Vienna, which led up to his appointment as imperial court composer in 1787. The work combines the virtuoso piano textures of the concertos that were written virtually simultaneously, along with a unique approach to the winds (oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon), which treats them almost like individual characters in an opera with spotlighted moments for each vocal-style ensembles.

The unique blend of wind and piano timbres spawned a host of imitations, from works of Franz Danzi to those of Ludwig Thuille and Francis Poulenc. The most inspired response to it remains Beethoven’s “Quintet in E-flat, op. 16.” His homage to Mozart includes a slow movement that uses the melody of the aria “Batti, batti” from “Don Giovanni” as a starting point. However, Beethoven takes the colors and drama of his quintet in a different direction, as if to say, “I start with Mozart, the rest is Beethoven."

The program will be rounded out with a performance of Bach’s “Oboe Sonata in G minor.”

ABOUT PETER SERKIN

Serkin has successfully conveyed the essence of five centuries of repertoire. His performances with symphony orchestras, in recital appearances, chamber music collaborations and on recordings have been lauded worldwide for decades. An avid exponent of the music of many of the 20th and 21st century's most important composers, Serkin has been instrumental in bringing to life the music of Schoenberg, Reger, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, Wolpe, Messiaen, Takemitsu, Wuorinen, Goehr and Knussen for audiences around the world.

His 2017-2018 season began with concerts in Japan and he continues with solo recitals in Ashland, Oregon; Sonoma, Fresno and Santa Barbara, California; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and St. Paul, Minnesota performing Mozart sonatas paired with Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Orchestral engagements include the Bartók Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra with Anna Polansky, Orchestra Now, and Leon Botstein at Carnegie Hall. Serkin currently teaches at Bard College Conservatory of Music.

ABOUT THE ORCHESTRA NOW

Oboist James Jihyun Kim joined The Orchestra Now in September 2017. He has a bachelor of music degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with John Mack, Elaine Douvas and Pedro Diaz. He continued his studies with Pedro Diaz at Stony Brook University (MM) and with Stephen Taylor at Yale University (AD). Both active as a soloist and a chamber musician, he has given numerous solo recitals and chamber music concerts. His most recent solo performance was in Prades, France during the Pablo Casals Festival in 2017.

Sangwon Lee, a clarinetist from Boston, Massachusetts, is currently completing a MM degree as a member of TŌN. He has performed recently with TŌN, the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and has taken part in competitions including the Fischoff Chamber Music, the International Chamber Music Foundation and the Vandoren Emerging Artist competitions. He has taught at the Bard Music Camp in the summers of 2016 and 2017 and is an instructor of clarinet and saxophone at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

Bassoonist Adam Romey is in his second year with TŌN. Originally from Minnesota, he has performed across the United States, as well as internationally in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and Cuba. After pursuing graduate studies at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, he received a grant from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for a year-long study project in the Netherlands. His primary teachers have been Nadina Mackie Jackson, William Ludwig, Jos de Lange and Marc Goldberg.

Claire Worsey, on French horn, is a native of San Diego, California and is currently in her final year of the five-year double degree program of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. She studies with Barbara Jostleinm, Julia Pilant and Jeffrey Lang. She has completed a major in French Studies, after combing her interests in music and French during a year of study abroad in Paris. She was a student of Andre Cazalet, horn professor at the National Conservatory of Paris, and Emmanuel Padieu, natural horn professor at Regional Conservatory of Paris, where she developed an interest in period instruments and historical performance.

(press release sent to WSBS from Bard College at Simon's Rock for on-air and online use, article image used by permission)