Pamela Frank, Nobuko Imai, and Clemens Hagen Perform Bach's GOLDBERG VARIATIONS, 4/4
On Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Recital Hall, violinist Pamela Frank, violist Nobuko Imai, and cellist Clemens Hagen perform Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, arranged for strings by Dmitry Sitkovetsky. Originally composed for harpsichord Bach's work takes listeners on an aural journey through 30 variations of a single aria in an array of styles and forms. Named after harpsichordist, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, the probable first performer, this work remains a monument of virtuosity, now given a refreshing update in this singular arrangement for strings.
American violinist Pamela Frank has established an outstanding reputation across a varied range of performance activity. She is regularly sought after as a chamber music partner by today's most distinguished soloists and ensembles. She received the Avery Fisher Prize in 1999 and has appeared with such orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, New York Philharmonic, and others. She has performed under esteemed conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, and David Zinman. Ms. Frank's frequent collaborators in chamber music concerts include Yo-Yo Ma, Tabea Zimmermann, and Alexander Simionescu. She has taken part in the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, as well as the subsequent Music from Marlboro tours.
In the recording studio, Pamela Frank has made two discs for London/Decca: the Dvorak Violin Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and the Brahms Violin Sonatas with Peter Serkin. She has also recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos with David Zinman and the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich (Arte Nova), a Schubert album with Claude Frank (Arte Nova), and the Beethoven sonata cycle, also with Claude Frank (MusicMasters). For Sony Classical, she has recorded the Chopin Piano Trio with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, Schubert's "Trout" Quintet, and is featured on the soundtrack to the film Immortal Beloved.
With her exceptional talent, musical integrity, and charisma, Nobuko Imai is considered to be one of the most outstanding violists of our time. After finishing her studies at the Toho School of Music, Yale University, and The Juilliard School, she won the highest prizes at both the prestigious international competition in Munich and Geneva. Formerly a member of the esteemed Vermeer Quartet, Ms. Imai now combines a distinguished international solo career with various teaching commitments. She has appeared with many of the world's prestigious orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among many others. A keen chamber musician, Ms. Imai has often performed with such artists as Gidon Kremer, Midori, Mischa Maisky, Yo-Yo Ma, András Schiff, and Martha Argerich. In 2003, she formed the Michelangelo Quartet, which enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. Ms. Imai is also a frequent guest at the world's most distinguished music festivals, including Marlboro, Pablo Casals in Prado, Ravinia, and Verbier. She has dedicated a large part of her artistic activities to exploring the diverse potential of the viola, and in 1992 she founded the annual "Viola Space" project. Ms. Imai seeks to expand the viola repertoire and has given a number of first performances of works by composers such as Toshio Hosokawa, Toru Takemitsu, and Michael Tippett, among others.
During the 1995-1996 season, Ms. Imai was artistic director of three Hindemith Festivals in London, New York, and Tokyo. She was initiator and co-producer of a series in Amsterdam and Tokyo in 1999-2000, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the relationship between the two countries. In 2009, she founded the Tokyo International Viola Competition, the first international competition in Asia exclusively for viola. Ms. Imai's discography of over 40 CDs includes recordings for labels such as BIS, Chandos, and Deutsche Grammophone. She currently teaches at the Geneva University of Music, Amsterdam Conservatory, Kronberg International Academy, and Ueno Gakuen University in Tokyo.
Born to a musical family in Salzburg, cellist Clemens Hagen began learning the cello at the age of six. In 1983, Mr. Hagen was awarded the special prize of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Karl Böhm prize. He has performed as soloist with internationally renowned orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, NHK Symphony Orchestra, and The Cleveland Orchestra, under conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Franz Welser-Möst, Sylvain Cambreling, Horst Stein, Ingo Metzmacher, Daniel Harding, and Manfred Honeck.
Mr. Hagen was artist-in-residence during the 50th anniversary celebration of Jeunesses Musicales Vienna during the 1999-2000 season. In addition to giving six concerts, he performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Jukka-Pekka Saraste and with the Hagen Quartet, which he founded with three siblings in 1981. Mr. Hagen has collaborated with chamber music partners including Martha Argerich, Evgeny Kissin, Mitsuko Uchida, Valery Afanassiev, Gidon Kremer, Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, Yuri Bachmet, and Sabine Meyer. He is a professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg where he has taught cello and chamber music since 1988. In addition, he has given master classes in America and Japan. Mr. Hagen plays a cello made by Antonius Stradivari dating from 1698.
Tickets, priced $58, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
More On: Pamela Frank, Sebastian Bach, New York Philharmonic, Daniel Barenboim, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Sony Classical.