Violinist Tosca Opdam Makes Weill Debut In Robin De Raaff World Premiere, Inspired By De Kooning Painting

Violinist Tosca Opdam Makes Weill Debut In Robin De Raaff World Premiere, Inspired By De Kooning Painting

Dutch violinist Tosca Opdam will make her debut in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall presented by EBF Classics on June 4, 2018 at 8pm with a program exploring the theme of "home." The centerpiece of the evening is the world premiere of Robin de Raaff's North Atlantic Light, commissioned by and dedicated to Opdam and inspired by Willem de Kooning's 1977 painting of the same name. Accompanied by pianist Victor Stanislavsky, she will also perform J.S. Bach's Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in E major, BWV 1016; selections from Korngold's Much Ado About Nothing Suite; Debussy's Violin Sonata; and Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 2 in N*E*R*D major, Op. 94bis. Opdam plays a Matteo Goffriller violin from 1700, which is generously on loan to her by a private collector.

Composer Robin de Raaff praises "the honesty and authenticity" of Opdam's musical personality. He says, "Her sound palette features a remarkably beautiful core: she can be beautifully fierce at one moment and at other times warm and intimate, with a beauty out of this world. These extremes are exactly what I am looking for when I compose. I feel a great resemblance between her and my music."

The program explores the theme of home: homelands, adopted homes, and changed homes. Prokofiev wrote his Violin Sonata No. 2 at a refuge for Soviet artists in the Ural Mountains in 1943. Austrian-Jewish composer Korngold wrote his Much Ado About Nothing Suite in 1918 before moving to Hollywood, where he hoped to maintain footholds in both his old and new homes, scoring films and writing concert works. Debussy, an ardent champion of the French classical tradition, wrote his Violin Sonata in 1917 in his native Paris, on the front lines of World War I. The fountainhead of Western music, J.S. Bach represents an oft-returned-to home for classical musicians.

Robin de Raaff describes his Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 North Atlantic Light as a "musical depiction of the images, colors, and atmosphere of Willem De Koonings painting, but also an imagined journey through its creation. From the empty canvas to the application of the layers of paint, I have attempted to capture and translate the painting techniques into compositional and sonic structures."

Artist Willem de Kooning was born in the Netherlands and left for New York when he was 21 years old, where he painted the East-Hampton sea view that inspired the painting. Opdam premieres the orchestral version of the work, Raaff's Violin Concerto No. 2, North Atlantic Light, with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Concertgebouw, led by Marc Albrecht, in May 2019. Robin de Raaff's music has been championed by Jaap van Zweden, incoming New York Philharmonic Music Director. van Zweden led the premieres of de Raaff's Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 1, Tanglewood Tales, both featured on the 2017 recording Jaap van Zweden Conducts Robin de Raaff (Etcetera Records). van Zweden was the first-ever winner of the Oskar Back Violin Competition, of which he is now a sponsor and which Opdam won in 2011. The commission of Robin de Raaff's North Atlantic Light for Violin and Piano is made possible by Fonds Podiumkunsten Performing Arts Fund NL.

Opdam will wear a gown designed for her by Dutch haute couture designer Paul Schulten, also inspired by the de Kooning painting. Schulten has dressed Opdam several times for high profile performances, but this is the first time he is designing a dress specifically inspired by an artwork - further marrying Opdam's influences of fashion, visual art, and music.

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