Past Concert Seasons: 2006-2007

The Prazak String Quartet

Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 4 pm


String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, no. 5, Joseph Haydn
Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”), Leos Jancek
String Quartet in Bb Major, Op. 67, Johannes Brahms

For more than thirty years, the Prazak Quartet has been at home on music stages worldwide. They are regular guests in the major European musical capitals -Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Madrid, London, Berlin, and Munich – and participate in numerous festivals, having collaborated with such artists as Menahem Pressler, Jon Nakamatsu, and Josef Suk. On Sunday, March 18th they will appear at the Wilton Congregational Church, playing a program of Haydn (String Quartet in D major, Op. 76, no. 5), JanańČek (String Quartet No. 2) and Brahms (String Quartet in Bb Major, Op. 67).

The Prazak Quartet was established in 1972 while its members were students at the Prague Conservatory. In 1974, the ensemble received first prize at the Prague Conservatory Chamber Music Competition, performing the following year at the Prague Spring Music Festival. In 1978 the quartet took the first prize at the Evian String Quartet Competition, as well as a special prize awarded by Radio France for the best recording during the competition. Since then, the quartet has gained attention for its prominent place in the unique Czech quartet tradition, as well as its musical virtuosity.
In North America, the Prazak Quartet has performed in New York (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92 nd St. Y), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, St. Louis, New Orleans, Berkeley, Cleveland, Tucson, Denver, Buffalo, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Their 2006/07 tours will bring them to 23 North American cities, including New York (Carnegie Hall), Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Kansas City, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Tucson, Vancouver, and Montreal.

In the Czech Republic, the Prazak records exclusively for Praga/Harmonia Mundi, and has released 20 award-winning CDs. In addition to numerous radio recordings in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, the Prazak Quartet has also made recordings for Supraphon, Panton, Orfeo, Ottavo, Bonton, and Nuova Era.

The March 18th concert will take place at 4:00 p.m. at the Wilton Congregational Church, located north of Wilton center on Route 33. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $25 (seniors pay $20; students,$10). For more information on this concert or on the Candlelight series, phone 203-762-3401 or 203-762-5019.

Stephen Hough, Pianist : January 14, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 4 pm


Variations Serieuses, Op. 54, Felix Mendelssohn
Fantasio Variations (1946), Ben Weber
Sonata in C minor, Op. 111, Ludwig van Beethoven
Invitation to the Dance, Carl Maria von Weber
Waltzes (to be announced), Fredric Chopin
Valse Nonchalente, Camille Saint-Saens
Feuille d’Album, Emmanuel Chabrier
La plus que lente, Claude Debussy

Few pianists of Stephen Hough’s generation have made the impact on the music world that he has since winning the Naumberg International Piano Competition in 1983. A composer and music scholar as well as pianist, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001. His interpretations of standard piano repertory have become legendary; and he has also become well known as a champion of neglected works of the 19th century.

On January 14th, Mr. Hough will perform a benefit recital for the Candlelight Concert series at the Wilton Congregational Church. Among works on the program are the Variations Serieuses of Mendelssohn, Beethoven’s Sonata in C minor, Op. 111, selected Chopin Waltzes, and works of Chabrier and Debussy.

Mr. Hough’s reputation as a concert artist is almost without peer. In the 2006-07 concert season alone, he returns to the Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras and the San Francisco, St. Louis, Montreal, Atlanta, Vancouver and Indianapolis symphonies; makes his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic; and appears in recital in London, Toronto, Denver, Portland OR, Santa Barbara and at Lincoln Center. He regularly performs at such festivals as Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen, Edinburgh and the BBC Proms.

Hough is a Hyperion recording artist; and many of his over 40 CDs have won international prizes. Concertos by Rachmaninoff, Saint-Sens, Hummel, Scharwenka and Sauer, Mompou’s solo piano music, and two Liszt recitals have won multiple awards, among them Gramophone Magazine’s Record of the Year (in 1996 and 2003), the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’Or, and several Grammy nominations. His 2005 ‘live’ recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos with the Dallas Symphony and Andrew Litton was the fastest selling recording in the history of Hyperion Records.

The Sunday afternoon performance will take place at 4:00 p.m. at the Wilton Congregational Church, just north of Wilton center on Route 33. Tickets may be purchased at the door ? hour before the concert for $25 (Seniors pay $20, students $10.) A reception in honor of the artist and the Candlelight series will follow the concert. For more information on this recital or on the series, phone 203-762-3401, or 203-762-5019.

The Jacques Thibaud Trio

Sunday, November 5, 2006 at 4 pm


String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, no. 3, Ludwig van Beethoven
String Trio (1933), Jean Franaix
Adagio and Fugue No. 4 in F Major (from Six Adagios and Fugues, K. 404A), J.S. Bach (arr. W.A. Mozart)
String Trio, Heitor Villa-Lobos

The ten year old Jacques Thibaud String Trio is named for the great French violinist Jacques Thibaud, who early in the 20th century joined forces with pianist Alfred Cortot and ?cellist Pablo Casals in a legendary chamber music collaboration. It’s a tough name to live up to, indeed; but so far the young string trio has done it proud.

Since their founding in the spring of 1994, the Jacques Thibaud Trio — violinist Burkhard Mais, violist Philip Douvier, and cellist Bogdan Jianu — have garnered critical acclaim all over Europe, North America and Japan. Friends as students at university in Berlin and Essen, they studied together under such artists as Laszlo Varga and Adolphe Mandeau. They have earned many prizes in international competitions, and have released several recordings – among them of the string trios of Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Franaix. Recently, a critic from Munich’s Suddeutsche Zeitung described their playing: “Strong and tight, with marked articulation and a well sculpted sound, …[and] an intensity that captivates the listener.”

On Sunday, November 5, 2006, the Thibaud comes to the Wilton Congregational Church for a 4:00 p.m. chamber music concert featuring the works of Bach, Beethoven, Fran?aix, and Villa Lobos. The performance is the second in the four concert 2006-07 series, which will also feature pianist Stephen Hough on January 14th, and the Prazak String Quartet on March 18th..

The Wilton Congregational Church is located on Route 33, just north of Wilton center. Tickets will be available at the door for $25 (senior pay $20, and students $10). For more information on this concert, or on the Candlelight Concerts series, please phone 203-762-3401 or 203-762-5019.

The Kavafian-Schub-Shifrin Trio

Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 4pm


Trio in E-flat, K.498 “Kegelstadt Trio”, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonata No. 1 for Clarinet and Piano in F minor, Op. 120, Johannes Brahms
Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in A Major, Op. 100, Johannes Brahms
Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (1938), Bla Bartk

In the musical world of temperamental artists, it is rare that three distinguished soloists can come to together to form a successful and happy touring ensemble. And it is even rarer that such an ensemble can take advantage of the extensive and brilliant chamber repertoire written for clarinet. But occasionally it does happen – as in the case of clarinet, violin and piano virtuosos David Shifrin, Ani Kavafian and Andre Michel Schub, all of whom have performed as soloists with the major orchestras of the world. The three have been friends and colleagues for a long time, often pooling their talents for performances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the major summer music festivals. For the past few seasons, however, they have struck a more serious and permanent chamber music alliance, and one that has yielded happy results for them and for the music audience.

On Sunday, October 15, 2006, the trio will open the 59th season of the Wilton Candlelight Concerts season with a program of Mozart (the “Kegelstadt Trio,” Brahms (Sonata No. 1 for Clarinet in F minor, Op. 120, and Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in A Major, Op. 100) and Bart?k (The Contrasts for Violin,Clarinet, and Piano (1938). The Boston Globe recently wrote of the “KKS” (as they have dubbed themselves) “No praise can be too high for the three hypervirtuosos.” Incidentally all three of them live relatively locally: Kavafian in North Westchester County, Schub in New York City, and Shifrin in the Silvermine area of Norwalk.

The trio’s concert will take place at 4:00 p.m. at the Wilton Congregational Church, just north of Wilton town center on Route 33. Tickets will be available at the door ? hour prior to the performance for $25 (seniors pay $20, and students $10). Season subscriptions for the entire four concert series are also still available, and start at $90 ($75 for seniors).