Opus Two Celebrates George Gershwin at the New York Public Library Today
Champions of American music for more than a decade, Opus Two violin-piano duo presents a multi-media program of the inimitable works of George Gershwin (1898-1937), one of Americas most popular and iconic composers. Violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock will explore Gershwin's many musical styles, from the jazz influenced An American in Paris to the quintessential folk opera Porgy and Bess. They will also perform I Got Rhythm, Embraceable You, and But Not for Me.... in colorful and virtuosic transcriptions by legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz along with brand-new Opus Two commissions by esteemed Broadway music director Eric Stern. Projected images by African-American period photographer Richard Samuel Roberts and entertaining video clips of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly will round out the program. The concert will be held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium today, December 28 at 2:30pm.
Opus Two, known for its "divine phrases, impelling rhythm, elastic ensemble and stunning sound," first came to international attention as winners of the United States Information Agency's Artistic Ambassador Auditions in 1993. The award led to a 30-concert tour of Latin America and the Caribbean, and performances, radio broadcasts and master classes throughout South and Central America, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. In addition to their performances on six continents, they have concertized across the United States, including recitals in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Baltimore.
Recent and upcoming recitals by Opus Two include their 2013-14 season opening performance for the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, a 20-city concert tour of the Southeast and most recently a 10-city tour of the mid west. Their international travels took them to Peru where they performed in concert and conducted master classes throughout the country. Other engagements included an appearance at Carnegie Hall, where they performed Haydn's Double Concerto for Violin and Piano
Opus Two's most recent recording of the works of Gershwin is slated for release in March 2014. Their Naxos debut recording, Leonard Bernstein: Violin Sonata; Piano Trio; New Transcriptions features the world premiere of Four Moments from Candide, by Eric Stern, dedicated to Opus Two, was acclaimed as "an excellent recording, performed splendidly throughout." The disc includes two additional Stern arrangements: My House from Peter Pan, and Take Care of this House from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, recorded with Tony-nominated actress-singer Marin Mazzie, as well as the duo's own transcription, for violin and piano, of Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata.
Advocates for American music, Opus Two has recorded discs dedicated to the works of Paul Schoenfield, Aaron Copland and Lowell Liebermann. A major grant from the American Music Center's Aaron Copland Recording Fund made possible Opus Two's world-premiere recording, Souvenirs: Music of Paul Schoenfield (Azica Records), which American Record Guide hailed as "accomplished, sophisticated, and filled with the sheer joy of music-making." The duo has performed Copland's complete works for violin and piano extensively across the United States and abroad, and their recording of this music (Azica Records) features works never before recorded, including two early, unpublished preludes. The ensemble's recording of chamber music of Lowell Liebermann (Albany Records) features performances with cellist Andres Diaz and the Ying Quartet, and was lauded as "splendid" by Strings magazine. John Fitz Rogers composed Sonata Lunaris for Opus Two, whose discography also includes two discs of works by Robert Starer, featuring the world premiere recordings of Duo for Violin and Piano, as well as Dispositions, written for the duo and clarinetist Martha MacDonald.
For more information visit www.opustwo.org.
Saturday, December 28, 2:30pm
Opus Two Celebrates George Gershwin
New York Public Library - Bruno Walter Auditorium, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza
Tickets: Free, distributed at the Amsterdam entrance one hour prior to each program; one ticket per patron; no advance reservations.
More On: George Gershwin, Eric Stern, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Carnegie Hall, Leonard Bernstein, Marin Mazzie, Aaron Copland,