The ARK Trio to Return to 'PREformances With Allison Charney' Merkin Concert Hall
The ARK trio return to "PREformances with Allison Charney" Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center on November 27 in NYC.
The unique sound of the ARK trio will debut at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center in the first evening concert of "PREformances with Allison Charney" classical concert series of 2017-18.
The concert reunites members soprano Allison Charney, cellist Kajsa William- Olsson and pianist Reiko Uchida for their first performance in New York City following their well-received NYC concert "Love Resounding," which premiered six new classical works February 14, 2017.
The ARK trio's distinctive sound results from its collaboration of voice, cello and piano. While most classical music "trios" - defined as a group of three solo instruments or "voices" - are commonly organized as piano trios (piano, violin and cello) violin trios (violin, viola and cello) and occasionally as a trio for clarinet, cello and piano - it is very unusual to have a classical trio composed of voice, cello and piano.
For their PREformances' appearance the ARK trio will revisit Michael Ching's neo-romantic art song cycle "Arrangements and Derangements: Interpretations of Schubert." Commissioned by the ARK trio, American composer Michael Ching's witty and perhaps irreverent five composition celebrates the ARK trio's love of the art song tradition and performance risk taking. Michael Ching's witty, mock polemic on the Romantic era's obsessive, perhaps even delusional point of view, relies on the voice's expert diction and expressiveness in delivering songs to a twenty first century audience based on German texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Matthäus von Collin, Friedrich Rückert, and Johann Gabriel Seidl - 19th century poets, none of whom are household names today.
Of his composition Michael Ching writes "Franz Schubert's songs are so perfect that they are hard to adapt without feeling like you might be defacing them. So, there are two impulses at work: 1) a very careful, respectful, almost reverential arrangement and 2) an aggressive reinterpretation or commentary which I've called "derangement" which is a jumble of de-arrange, deranged, and French déranger (disrupt, disturb).
The arrangements of three of the songs are clear. Create a cello line that meshes with the intent of the song and enhances it. Create a cello line that is fun to play and has melodic integrity. The derangement of "Sei mir gegrüsst" reflects a 21st century view of the text. What may have seemed Romantic in Schubert's time, seems to me obsessive and even deluded. The cello plays Schubert's melody and the voice reinterprets Rückert's text. It is almost as if the singer is conjuring the words from hearing the song played by the cello.
As for "Die forelle," even Schubert in his own Trout Quintet, sticks to the jolly trout swimming in the brook. The English speaking audience glosses over the information that the trout is caught and dies. The structure of the original song reinforces that--it goes back to the swimmy, brooky music at the end. In this derangement, I've loosely translated the text and forced us to deal with the fish's demise. Like it or not, humankind can admire a creature's beauty and then turn around and catch it, shoot it, kill it, photograph it, and now post it on social media."
The ARK trio will join PREformances guests Elizabeth Mann, principal flutist Orchestra of St. Luke's, pianist Donna Weng, and New York City Opera mezzo soprano Hyona Kim in repertoire which features in "preformance" Martinu's Cello Concerto, No. 1 performed by Kajsa William-Olsson in anticipation of her performance with full orchestra later this season; Prokofiev's Flute Sonata performed by Elizabeth Mann with pianist Donna Weng, in advance of their upcoming concert at Princeton and mezzo soprano Hyona Kim will sing the Judgment Scene from Verdi's Aida in preparation for her first Amneris at Germany's Opera Dortmund and who will sing Puccini's tragically beautiful "Flower Duet" from Madama Butterfly with series founder and curator, soprano Allison Charney.
ABOUT THE ARK TRIO
Soprano Allison Charney began her career following the national finals of the Metropolitan Opera Competition with her debut at the New York City Opera. She went on to earn a reputation for her "vocal agility, lush sound and dramatic portrayals" of dozens of leading roles in opera companies across the United States. Concert highlights have included performances at Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston Pops under the baton of Alan Gilbert. A champion of music of our times, Ms. Charney has premiered many new works and is featured on the first recording of the Pulitzer Prize nominated oratorio CHOOSE LIFE. Ms. Charney can also be heard in a CD of American song on the DSC Label and is a founding member of the ARK trio, whose first recording is scheduled to be released in 2018. An active recitalist and master teacher, Ms. Charney is the founder and curator of the NYC concert series, PREformances with Allison Charney. Ms. Charney holds a Bachelor's degree from Harvard University and two graduate degrees in music from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Charney lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.
Pianist Reiko Uchida enjoys an active career as a soloist and chamber musician. She performs regularly throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe, in venues including Suntory Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center, and the White House. First prize winner of the Joanna Hodges Piano Competition and Zinetti International Competition, she has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras and made her New York City solo in 2001 at Weill Hall under the auspices of the Abby Whiteside Foundation. As a chamber musician, she has performed at the Marlboro, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, and Spoleto Music Festivals; as guest artist with Camera Lucida, American Chamber Players, and the Borromeo, Talich, Daedalus, St. Lawrence, and Tokyo String Quartets; and in recital with Jennifer Koh, Thomas Meglioranza, Anne Akiko Meyers, Sharon Robinson, and Jaime Laredo. Her recording with Jennifer Koh, "String Poetic" was nominated for a Grammy Award. She is a past member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two and is a founding member of the ARK trio with S. Ms. Uchida holds a Bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, a Master's degree from the Mannes College of Music, an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School, and is currently an associate faculty member at Columbia University.
Swedish cellist Kajsa William-Olsson is frequently heard as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician throughout the world. As a founding member of the VITALIS and the Hanna String Quartets, Ms. William-Olsson has performed extensively throughout Europe. She regularly teaches and performs at the MMCJ Festival in Japan, and appears as a chamber musician in festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Sangat Festival in Mumbai and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Ms. William-Olsson is a founding member of the ARK trio with soprano Allison Charney and pianist Reiko Uchida. Ms. William-Olsson's solo career has taken her throughout the globe, having performed concertos in the United States, Europe and Asia. She was the featured soloist in Tan Dun's Cello Concerto, with the composer conducting, in both Norway and China. Amongst many others, Ms. William-Olsson has collaborated with composer Marc Neikrug, and renowned chamber musicians including Eric Kim, Emanuel Ax, Joyce Yang, and her husband Alan Gilbert. Ms. William-Olsson has been a member of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra since 1996.
IF YOU GO:
PREFORMANCES WITH Allison Charney
featuring New York City Opera mezzo-soprano Hyona Kim; Royal Stockholm Philharmonic cellist Kajsa William-Olsson; Orchestra of St. Luke's principal flutist Elizabeth Mann with pianist Donna Weng; ARK trio (soprano Allison Charney, cellist Kajsa William-Olsson and pianist Reiko Uchida) with PREformances collaborative pianist Craig Ketter and founder/host Allison Charney
November 27, 2017 at 7:30PM
At Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th Street, New York, NY 10036
Tickets: $30 General Admission
Purchase Online: or at the Box Office (212 501 3330)
Hours: Sun-Thu, 12-7 pm, Fri, 12-4 pm, Closed Sat