Past Concert Seasons: 2005-2006

Jonathan Biss

Sunday, March 5th 2006


Beethoven: Sonata in D major, Op. 10, No.3
Beethoven: Sonata in E major, Opus 109
Schumann: Fantasy, Opus 17
Schoenberg: Six Little Pieces, Opus 19
Lewis Spratlan: (new work)

The twenty-four year-old American pianist, Jonathan Biss, has already proven himself an accomplished and exceptional musician with a flourishing international reputation. Noted for his intriguing programs, artistic maturity and versatility, Mr. Biss performs a diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven through the Romantics to Janacek and Schoenberg, as well as works by many contemporary composers.

Mr. Biss has performed with most major North American orchestras, including the Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Among the orchestras he has performed with abroad are the BBC, the Israel Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

During this past summer, Mr. Biss returned to the Ravinia Festival and made his debut at six international music festivals: Aspen, the Hollywood Bowl, Tanglewood, the Risor Festival in Norway, London’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. In past seasons he has performed at Caramoor, Marlboro, Bad Kissingen, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, at Verbier, and the Klavier Festival Ruhr in Germany.

Mr. Biss’ first commercial recording: a CD on the EMI lable comprising Schumann’s Davidsbuedlertaenze, Op. 6 and Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata has won wide acclaim. He represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother, the cellist Raya Garbousove (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto) and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Mr. Biss studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at The Curtis Institute of Music with Leon Fleisher.

Mr. Biss’ March 5th recital will take place at the Wilton Congregational Church, Route 33 just north of Wilton Center. Tickets will be available at the door one-half hour prior to the performance for $25 (Seniors pay $18, Students pay $10). For more information, or to pre-reserve a ticket, phone (203) 762-3401 or (203) 762-5019. Please note that seating is not assigned. The Candlelight Concerts benefit the Wilton Library.

St. Lawrence String Quartet

Sunday, February 5, 2006


Shostakovich: Quartet No. 7 in F# Major, Opus 108
Schumann: Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Opus 41
Beethoven: Quartet No. 14 in C# minor, Opus 131

The St. Lawrence String Quartet has performed over 1500 times in the past fifteen years, establishing itself among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. In 1992, the quartet won both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists competition, launching its members on a performing career that has brought them across North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Having been privileged to study with the Emerson, Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets, the members of the St. Lawrence — violinists Geoff Nuttall and Barry Shiffman, violist Lesley Robertson, and cellist Christopher Costanza — are passionate educators. Since 1998 the St. Lawrence has held the position of Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University. In addition to teaching in the Department of Music, the group has established an annual chamber music institute for adult amateurs at Stanford.

As recording artists, the St. Lawrence have earned much critical acclaim. Their long awaiting recording of Schumann’s First and Third Quartets, released in May 1999, earned the coveted German critics award, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, as well as Canada’s annual Juno Award for Best Classical Album: Solo or Chamber Ensemble. Among other recent recordings are the EMI release of the strings quartets of Tchaikovsky, which BBC Music Magazine gave its highest rating, and the Yiddishbbuk of Argentinean-American composer Osvaldo Golijov, which received two Grammy nominations.

New Yorker Magazine wrote of the St. Lawrence that they are artists “remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection.” Highlights of their last season include a performance, with the Emerson Quartet, of the Mendelssohn Octet in Carnegie’s new Zankel Hall, residence at the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, SC, and their annual European tour.

The February 5th concert will take place at 4:00 p.m. at the Wilton Congregational Church, on Route 33 just north of Wilton center. Tickets will be available for purchase one-half hour prior to performance for $25 each (Seniors $18/Students $10). For more information or to pre-reserve a ticket, please call (203) 762-3401 or 203 762-5019. Please note that seating is not assigned. The Candlelight Concerts benefit the Wilton Library.

Waverly Consort

Sunday, December 18, 2005


The Christmas Story

Each holiday season the thirteen-member Waverly Consort, one of the world’s premier early music ensembles, tours The Christmas Story, a pageant of music and gestures inspired by the music and illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. This program combines solemn and festive music, processions and dance music to dramatize the Biblical narrative of Christmas. Since its premiere at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1980, this offering has become a favorite of audiences throughout America.

The Waverly Consort has performed across the length and breadth of North America, toured South America, Britain and the Far East, and appeared at major international festivals, including the Caramoor Festival, the Casals Festival, the Hong Kong Festival, and the Madeira Bach Festival. Featured many times on national radio and television broadcasts, the ensemble has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Performance Today. Its numerous recordings include the best-selling CBS Masterworks’, A Renaissance Christmas Celebration with the Waverly Consort, and the special Angel-EMI Classics recording for the Columbian Quincentenary, entitled 1492: Music from the Age of Discovery, listed on Billboard’s classical chart of bestsellers for seventeen weeks. Three additional compact discs have been released by Angel-EMI: A Waverly Consort Christmas: From East Anglia to Appalachia; an anthology of Iberian music entitled Traveler: Medieval Journeys Through Time; and An American Journey: Bound for the Promised Land. In 1999 the Waverly launched its own record label, Wave Records, with the release of The Christmas Story, featuring selections from its most popular medieval program. Wave Record’s latest release is Iberia: Spanish and Portuguese Music of the Golden Age.

The December 18th Waverly Consort performance will take place at 4:00 p.m. at the Wilton Presbyterian Church, 48 New Canaan Road, Wilton (on Route 106) . Tickets will be available at the door one-half hour before the performance for $25 each, (Seniors pay $18, students $10). For more information, or to reserve a ticket, call (203) 762-3401 or (203) 762-5019. Please note that seating for the concert is not assigned. The Wilton Candlelight Concerts benefit the Wilton Library.

OPUS ONE, Piano Quartet

On Sunday, October 2nd, 2005 at 4:00 p.m., Candlelight Concerts opens its 2005-06 season with a performance by “Opus One” Piano Quartet. The program features Dvorak’s Sonatine, Opus 100 for violin and piano, the Martinu Piano Quartet, and the Brahms Quartet in G minor, Opus 25.

OPUS ONE brings together four of the leading musicians of our time: pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ida Kavafian, violist Steven Tenenbom, and cellist Peter Wiley. Veterans as well as present members of the world’s most prestigious chamber groups (including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tashi, the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Orion and Guarneri String Quartets) OPUS ONE is the result of a mutual love of music making between four extraordinary instrumentalists and friends. As soloists as well as chamber musicians, they are each familiar figures in concert halls throughout the world.

The members of OPUS ONE are deeply committed to chamber music education. They often collaborate with young musicians; and one of the innovative projects they have developed is workshops with amateurs and students. Their dedication to varied chamber music combinations, as well as to the works of contemporary American composers, is reflected in much of their programming; and the sheer, obvious joy they have in performing together communicates directly to their audiences.

The group made their debut on October 23, 1998 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Subsequent seasons have included recital debuts in New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, San Diego, Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon — all to great acclaim. OPUS ONE’s orchestral debut was with the Chattanooga Symphony, performing Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto,” along with a work written by Douglas Lowry especially for the ensemble with orchestra. OPUS ONE has presented several other World Premieres as well. Along with the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Chamber Music Societies, OPUS ONE commissioned a quartet from Stephen Hartke, which was premiered in December, 2001. The piece, a musical tribute to 9/11 entitled “Beyond Words,” was enthusiastically received.

Recent season highlights of OPUS ONE have included a series at Tully Hall (Lincoln Center) celebrating the music of Antonin Dvorak, and a debut at the June Music Festival in Albuquerque, presenting works of Dvorak alongside contemporary American music. Other engagements included a return to the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society series, a feature on the popular NPR program, “St. Paul Sunday,” and a residence at the Music From Angel Fire Festival in New Mexico.

The October 2nd performance will take place at the Wilton Congregational Church, on Route 33 just north of Wilton Center.