Traversing the Americas

11 November, 2019, 7:30PM, Old Dominion University

Martín Malharro, Las parvas (1911)

As the 51st season of the Norfolk Chamber Consort continues, Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn, Artistic Co-Directors of the Consort since 2009, spoke recently with Rebecca Evans of WHRO Public Media to discuss their inspiration for a unique concert program they are calling “Traversing the Americas.”

 

 

Click here for the complete interview.

Oksana:

“We tried to maintain the same idea of introducing some pieces which are not well-known in the area or in the world. It’s our main focus — to emphasize pieces which are unique, and these pieces deserve to be in front of the audience.”

Appearing at Old Dominion University’s Chandler Recital Hall, the Chamber Consort will present an assortment of Pan-American keyboard works resplendent with the colors and cultures of countries stretching from the northern climes of Canada to the southernmost islands of Tiera del Fuego.

Andrey:

“We start with ‘Cinco Canciones Populares Argentinas’ by Alberto Ginastera. These are actually very, very influential songs because [Ginastera] wrote them as a protest against Juan Perón’s policy of giving a small group of authorized officials the power over music in Argentina. They are strongly influenced by Argentine folk music and genres and tunes.”

Featured in the performance of Ginastera’s “Cinco Canciones Populares Argentinas” (1943) will be tenor Brian Nedvin and pianist Stephen Coxe. The program continues with “Canções típicas brasileiras” by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, sung in Portuguese and various indigenous tongues by soprano Elizabeth Hogue. She will be accompanied at the piano by Dr. Andrey Kasparov:

Andrey Kasparov

“We are very fortunate to have Elizabeth Hogue as a soloist, because of her Portuguese heritage, so that does help with the language and also her research skills. For the life of me, I could not find the translations of those songs in those native indian tongues. And she found a dissertation that was recently written with a person who went to Brazil, traveled around the country, and found the translations…. We learn together. That, by the way, is another feature of the Consort. We’re always educating.”

Monica Rose Slater, soprano and prizewinner of the Lisa Relaford Coston Voice Competition (2018), continuing the Brazilian theme, will perform the aria “Diga em quantas” from the opera Domitilla by João Guilherme Ripper; as well as the song “Dengues da mulata desinteressada” by Marlos Nobre, with Kasparov at the keyboard. To conclude the first half of the program, Dr. Kasparov will lead the Old Dominion University New Music Ensemble in the “Folk Suite No. 4” by African-American composer William Grant Still.

Following a brief intermission, pianist Oksana Lutsyshyn will perform the “Suite Cubana” (1916) of Mexican composer Manuel Ponce.

Oksana Lutsyshyn

Oksana:

“These concerts are very educational, not only for the audience but for me personally. I never played any compositions by Manuel Ponce, and this time I will play his ‘Suite Cubana’ which contains three movements: Serenata marina, Plenilunio, and Paz de ocaso. I can hear some Romanticism in this composition, and some [French] Impressionism in the last movement…. It’s very educational for me…. I’m learning a lot of music for the Norfolk Chamber Consort.”

To round out the evening, as Invencia Piano Duo, Lutsyshyn and Kasparov will perform selections for piano duo by American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The program will close with the Virginia premiere of Paul Bowles’ “Little Suite” (1939). A piano work heretofore unknown to Invencia, they will be joined by soprano Elizabeth Hogue.

Invencia’s recordings of the otherwise complete works for piano of Paul Bowles were released in two volumes by the American Classics division of Naxos Records in 2016.

The program will begin at 7:30PM, with a pre-concert discussion by Dr. Kasparov from 7:15PM.

A catered reception follows the performance, with food provided by friends of the Norfolk Chamber Consort.

Tickets at the door $25.00, Students $10.00.

E-mail invenciaduo@gmail.com for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2019-2020 performance schedule.

Click here for the complete 2019-2020 F. Ludwig Diehn Concert Series schedule of events.

© Norfolk Chamber Consort, Invencia Piano Duo, Old Dominion University, WHRO Public Media

Canonic Opener Rings a Pachelbel

7 October, 2019, 7:30PM, Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

The 51st season of the Norfolk Chamber Consort opened at Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on 7 October, 2019.

Invencia Piano Duo‘s Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn appeared in a program of music from the pens of Johann Pachelbel and his two sons, Wilhelm Hieronymus and Charles Theodore. The pupil master of Johann Christoph Bach (elder brother of Johann Sebastian), Johann Pachelbel was just one of many Pachelbels living within the borders of Bavaria. However, he was among the last great composers of the Nuremberg tradition, and the last important composer from southern Germany.

Reflecting on the start of yet another exciting season of live concerts, Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn, Artistic Co-Directors of the Norfolk Chamber Consort since 2009, spoke recently with Amy Poulter of The Virginian-Pilot to discuss their inspiration for the program and their relationship as musicians:

“We’re calling the opening show ‘¡Yo Quiero Pachelbel!’,” Lutsyshyn said….

“Google reports that people are searching for ‘Taco Bell canon’,” Kasparov elaborates….

Andrey Kasparov & Oksana Lutsyshyn

Sitting side by side on a burgundy couch in their Norfolk home studio, the two are dwarfed by the two baby grand pianos a few feet away…. When asked if either prefer a particular piano, they go back and forth about which is oldest and conclude that it’s the brown Steinway nearest Kasparov. That’s the one he favors. Lutsyshyn points to the black Steinway.

“I like this one,” she proclaims of the larger piano, its lid covered up by a bright purple tapestry and framed photos. The practice space was an addition to their home. Years before, a giant oak tree stood in what is now the center of the room….

For years, other musicians have asked the pair what it’s like to work together, day in and day out. Before she answers, Lutsyshyn sits quietly for a moment, her wry smile slowly reappearing.

“Like vinegar and honey.”

Jokes aside, Kasparov said their mutual love of music and the ability to leave their egos outside makes each version of their partnership successful.

“Since we have been together and played together for so long, we always have each other’s backs, and …” Kasparov says, trailing off.

“… and the love of music,” Lutsyshyn offers up. “That’s for eternity.”

Click here for the full interview or see the 6 October, 2019, edition of The Virginian-Pilot.

The first program of the Consort’s 51st-anniversary season opened with three works for organ by Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), including his familiar Chaconne in F Minor, with Dr. James Kosnik on Christ and St. Luke’s magnificent and recently refurbished Casavant Frères organ.

The program continued with selections from Johann’s “Hexachordum Apollinis” as performed on harpsichord by Oksana Lutsyshyn; the first half of the recital concluded with a rare rendition of the senior Pachelbel’s best-known composition, the Canon and Gigue in D Major, in its original setting.

With Dr. Andrey Kasparov at the harpsichord, the program’s second half began with the Prelude and Fugue in C Major by Wilhelm Hieronymus (1686-1764), Johann’s eldest son; followed by “God of sleep, for whom I languish” by the younger Charles Theodore Pachelbel (1690-1750), and “Christ ist erstanden” by father Johann.

The evening ended with four more selections for organ by Johann Pachelbel, as performed by Kevin Kwan, Music Director for Christ and St. Luke’s Church. One of these selections was Pachelbel’s Chaconne in D Minor which presaged many elements and stylistic features of later organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Pachelbel’s musical legacy is limited largely to the impact of his style and instruction on his students, including Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Heinrich Buttstett, and Andreas Nicolaus Vetter.

His son, Charles Theodore, would later become one of the first European composers to emigrate to the American colonies. This, in turn, would lead to the senior Pachelbel’s indirect influence on American sacred music of the era.

E-mail invenciaduo@gmail.com for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2019-2020 performance schedule.

© Norfolk Chamber Consort, Invencia Piano Duo, The Virginian-Pilot

For the Record: 51st Season of Norfolk Chamber Consort

7 October, 2019, 7:30PM, Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

The 51st-anniversary season of the Norfolk Chamber Consort will open at Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on 7 October, 2019, at 7:30PM.

Invencia Piano Duo‘s Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn will appear on a program of music from the pens of Johann Pachelbel and his two sons, Wilhelm Hieronymus and Charles Theodore. The pupil master of Johann Christoph Bach (elder brother of Johann Sebastian), Johann Pachelbel was just one of many Pachelbels within the borders of Bavaria. However, he was among the last great composers of the Nuremberg tradition, and the last important composer from southern Germany.

On the verge of yet another exciting season of live concert events, Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn, Artistic Co-Directors of the Norfolk Chamber Consort since 2009, spoke recently with Montague Gammon III of Veer Magazine to discuss their approach to programming for the Chamber Consort:

Andrey Kasparov & Oksana Lutsyshyn (Photographer, Glen McClure)

“We always have a theme for the concert…. Then you can program around it. Secondly [we look] for works that are not as frequently performed in the area.”

“Now that does not mean by unknown composers. If we name 100 [frequently played Bach compositions], there are still 900 left!”

“Warhorses are almost entirely eliminated from the repertoire. It’s for someone else to do, not for us…. Our guiding principle is not to go by the composer’s name but by the work.”

“We also look for new works by lesser-known names. We have to pay attention to every individual work and not generalize as to who is a big name.”

Click here for the full interview or see the June, 2019, edition of Veer Magazine.

The first program of the Consort’s 51st-anniversary season will open the Chaconne in F minor and Hexachordum Apollinis of Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), followed by his Canon and Gigue in D Major for 3 Violins and Basso Continuo. Next on the bill, the Consort will present the Toccata in G Major of Johann’s son, Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelbel (1686-1764). The evening will conclude with God of sleep, for whom I languish by the younger Charles Theodore Pachelbel (1690-1750).

Pachelbel’s musical legacy is limited largely to the impact of his style and instruction on his students, including Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Heinrich Buttstett, and Andreas Nicolaus Vetter.

His son, Charles Theodore, would later become one of the first European composers to emigrate to the American colonies. This, in turn, would lead to the senior Pachelbel’s indirect influence on American sacred music of the era.

The program will begin at 7:30PM, with a pre-concert discussion by Dr. Kasparov from 7:15PM.

A catered reception follows the performance, with food provided by friends of the Norfolk Chamber Consort.

Tickets at the door $25.00, Students $10.00.

E-mail invenciaduo@gmail.com for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2019-2020 performance schedule.

© Norfolk Chamber Consort, Invencia Piano Duo, Veer Magazine

Many Keys Unlock 50 Years of Norfolk Chamber Consort

1 October, 2018, 7:30PM, Old Dominion University

Gerard Terborch (1617-1681), The Concert

The 50th-anniversary season of the Norfolk Chamber Consort will open at Old Dominion University’s Chandler Recital Hall on 1 October, 2018, at 7:30PM.

Along with guest artists James Kosnik and Kevin Kwan, the Invencia Piano Duo of Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn will perform in works by François Couperin, Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Antonio Vivaldi.

Dr. Andrey Kasparov spoke recently with Jeff Maisey of Veer Magazine to discuss the upcoming concert, the history of the Norfolk Chamber Consort, and his joint role as Artistic Co-Director, an office he has shared with with fellow pianist Oksana Lutsyshyn since 2009. The first concert program of the 2018-2019 season will highlight the harpsichord as both a solo and as an ensemble instrument, expressive in groups of up to four harpsichords, or in solo accompaniment of string and wind instruments:

According to Dr. Allen Shaffer, the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s former Artistic Co-Director,… “the Norfolk Chamber Consort was founded in 1969 by Kay Gardner, who was a flutist with the Norfolk Symphony (now Virginia Symphony) and adjunct instructor of flute at Norfolk State College (now University).”

“… The new group’s earliest seasons were played at the Norfolk Theater Center on Freemason Street. The second floor featured a large room with a thrust stage like a theater-in-the-round. The piano was an old and occasionally out-of-tune spinet. Admission was $3.00.”

“… Clarinetist F. Gerard [“Gerry”] Errante joined the faculty at Norfolk State in 1970 and joined the group soon thereafter. The following year, Allen Shaffer, an organist and harpsichordist who specialized in Baroque music, also joined. Kay Gardner left the area in 1972, asking Shaffer to become director. He accepted, but on one condition: that Gerry Errante be a part of the leadership team.”

“They went on to lead the Norfolk Chamber Consort as co-directors for the next thirty-eight years…. Early venues for the Consort included the Unitarian Church on Yarmouth Street and the Chrysler Museum Theater. In the mid-1980s Walter Chrysler invited the Consort to become Artists in Residence at the [Chrysler] Museum, but Norfolk Chamber Consort leadership chose to remain independent. In 1991 Chandler Recital Hall at Old Dominion University was completed and the Consort moved in.”

“… Errante left the area in 2008 and pianist/ composer Andrey Kasparov became the Consort’s new director. Shaffer became artistic advisor (2008 – October, 2013). In 2009, Oksana Lutsyshyn joined Kasparov as Artistic Co-Director.”

Andrey Kasparov & Oksana Lutsyshyn (Photographer, Glen McClure)

Since Oksana and I became Artistic Co-Directors, we have striven to maintain the Consort’s themed, diverse and adventurous programming. In order to bring these creative ideas to fruition, we have sought to develop collaborative ties with other organizations and to recruit top performing talent in the area.

… The works [on the first concert of the 2018-2019 season, 1-2-3-4 Harpsichords,] were chosen to showcase the expressive capabilities of the harpsichord as a solo instrument as well as in combination with other harpsichords, strings and wind instruments.

… The historical aspects of the harpsichord are highly valuable to those seeking to experience the original environment, whether it be the general public, students, performers or scholars. But the harpsichord is also very much alive today as a concert instrument, which is absolutely indispensable for performing certain compositions written for it and that simply do not work on any other keyboard instrument.

Oksana and I would like to extend our utmost thanks to our dedicated board members, subscribers, fans, sponsors, advertisers, media outlets, and, of course, our enthusiastic audiences.

Click Here for the full interview or see the September, 2018, issue of Veer Magazine.

The first program of the Consort’s 50th-anniversary season will open with Andrey Kasparov at the keyboard in a performance of J.S. Bach’s Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue for solo harpsichord. Next on the bill, Dr. Kasparov will lead from the keyboard in François Couperin’s Concert Royal No. 4 in E Minor, for flute, harpsichord and cello continuo; with flutist Wayla Chambo and cellist Jeffrey Phelps. Before intermission, Invencia Piano Duo will present the Sonata in C Major for two claviers by C.P.E. Bach, Johann Sebastian’s most talented son, as rendered on two harpsichords.

Additional works for two and three harpsichords by C.P.E. and J.S. Bach, respectively, have been scheduled for the second half. Complemented by the artistry of past collaborators, James Kosnik and Kevin Kwan, the program will also feature solo keyboard concerti by J.S. Bach and François Couperin.

This concert event honors Vernon A. McCart, Norfolk’s resident aficionado of antique keyboard instruments. Recognized in Hampton Roads and beyond for his broad expertise in clavichords and fortepianos of the 18th and early 19th Centuries, he also constructed and later restored one of the four harpsichords to be featured in this recital.

The program will begin at 7:30PM, with a pre-concert discussion by Dr. Kasparov from 7:15PM.

A catered reception follows the performance, with food provided by friends of the Norfolk Chamber Consort.

Tickets at the door $25.00, Students $10.00.

E-mail invenciaduo@gmail.com for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2018-2019 performance schedule.

© Norfolk Chamber Consort, Invencia Piano Duo, Veer Magazine

The Teacher & His Two Students

23 April, 2018, 7:30PM, Old Dominion University

The Norfolk Chamber Consort, under the direction of Dr. Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn, concludes its 49th season with reflections on the legacy of composer and pianist Anton Arensky (1861—1906), in a program entitled The Teacher & His Two Students. From Arensky’s Moscow studio there would arise the great talents of Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninoff. As Invencia Piano Duo, in selections for duo and solo piano, Kasparov and Lutsyshyn will demonstrate their virtuosity through the music of all three artists.

Karl Tavaststjerna, Portrait of Anton Arensky (1901)

The concert begins with Arensky’s lyrical Four Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op. 56. Inspired by the exoticism of Asian musical motifs, the cycle opens with Orientale. Cellist Jeffrey Phelps joins pianist Oksana Lutsyshyn on this work.

The evening continues with Alexander Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 2, one of his best-known works. Oksana Lutsyshyn will perform this celebrated composition with her own lighting design — Scriabin was a strong proponent of synesthesia and a pioneer of multimedia.

The first portion of the recital will conclude with Invencia Piano Duo’s rendition of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 2 for two pianos. Written in Italy in 1901, the work signaled the composer’s first return to creativity after a prolonged four-year period of silence and depression.

Stanislav Zhukovsky, Sunny Day

The second half will open with Andrey Kasparov’s rendition of Four Piano Pieces, Op. 25, by Arensky. This Romantic cycle – the exact year of its composition unknown – reveals an eclectic approach wherein various European trends are combined with a Chinese theme in the Etude and unusual meters in the Scherzino. Some of the composition’s texture and harmony foreshadow the style of Scriabin.

The program continues with selections of lieder by Rachmaninoff written at various stages of his career: from the poignant “Lilacs” to the symbolic “Daisies.” Accompanied by Andrey Kasparov, Tenor Brian Nedvin of Old Dominion University is the featured vocalist for this portion of the program.

The concert will conclude with the world premiere of Andrey Kasparov’s piano duo arrangement of Vers la flamme (“Toward the flame”), one of Scriabin’s last works, originally composed for solo piano. The title symbolizes a gradual accumulation of heat and intensity that eventually blossoms forth in a cataclysmic blaze. Rendered expertly by Invencia Piano Duo, this masterwork by Alexander Scriabin will be presented with an original lighting projection designed by Kasparov and Lutsyshyn.

The concert begins at 7:30PM at ODU’s Chandler Recital Hall, with a pre-concert discussion by Dr. Kasparov from 7:15PM.11168153_761115160667805_825347124670488533_n

A catered reception follows the performance, with food provided by The Green Onion restaurant of Norfolk’s historic Ghent.

Tickets at the door $25.00, Students $10.00.

E-mail invenciaduo@gmail.com for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2017-2018 performance schedule.

© Invencia Piano Duo, Old Dominion University & Norfolk Chamber Consort

Lenny & His Friends

29 January, 2018, 7:30PM, Old Dominion University

The Norfolk Chamber Consort, under the direction of Dr. Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn, present Lenny & His Friends, celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with a showcase of works that illuminate the variegated talents of this great American composer, conductor, and musical personality.

Leonard Bernstein

The concert begins with Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, with clarinetist Kevin Clasen accompanied at the piano by Dr. Andrey Kasparov. Written between 1941 and 1942, the Sonata was the composer’s first published composition.

The program continues with a selection of Bernstein’s keyboard works, including those dedicated to his friends, Aaron Copland and Paul Bowles. Performed by Oksana Lutsyshyn, there also will be piano music by Virgil Thomson, Bernstein’s close friend and mentor, written in tribute to Copland and Bowles, respectively.

(from left to right) Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, Walter Piston, William Schuman, and Aaron Copland (Photographer, Bruce Davidson)

These miniatures will then be followed by the brilliant aria, “Glitter and Be Gay,” from Bernstein’s operetta, Candide, performed for the occasion by virtuoso coloratura soprano Elizabeth Hogue, with Dr. Kasparov at the piano.

Kasparov and Lutsyshyn shall then join forces as the award-winning Invencia Piano Duo, concluding the first half with three of Paul Bowles’ original pieces for piano duo: “Night Waltz,” “Nocturne” and “Turkey Trot.”

All three selections were included on the second of two compact discs produced by Invencia Piano Duo, released by the American Classics Division of Naxos Records, and which featured Paul Bowles’ complete piano works.

The Invencia Duo will open the second half with Aaron Copland’s Danzón Cubano and Danza de Jalisco, both of which highlight Bernstein’s shared affinity for Latin American motifs.

Cailin Crane, © Hampton Roads Photography

Next on the bill, vocalist Cailin Crane, Runner-Up of the 2015 Lisa Relaford Coston Voice Competition, will appear in two of Bernstein’s art songs, “Piccola Serenata” and “Silhouette” (Galilee), as well as, “My New Friends,” from the 1979 Broadway musical production, The Madwoman of Central Park West.

To include the talents of flute soloist Wayla Chambo (Associate Artistic Director, Norfolk Chamber Consort), percussionists David Walker, Sara Williams and Jon Wudijono, and pianists Oksana Lutsyshyn and Nichole Dorobanov, the evening will conclude with Bernstein’s, Halil: Nocturne for Flute, Percussion and Piano, all under the baton of Dr. Andrey Kasparov.

The concert begins at 7:30PM, with a pre-concert discussion by Wayla Chambo from 7:15PM.11168153_761115160667805_825347124670488533_n

A catered reception follows the performance, with food provided by The Green Onion restaurant of Norfolk’s historic Ghent.

Tickets at the door $25.00, Students $10.00.

E-mail olutsysh@odu.edu for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2017-2018 performance schedule.

© Invencia Piano Duo, Old Dominion University & Norfolk Chamber Consort

Best Frenemies Forever: Handel Revisited

 

Encore for George Frideric & His Frenemies

George Frideric Handel (Original Portrait by Philip Mercier)

On the evening of 18 September, 2017, at Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, in a program that featured the music of Handel and his contemporaries, Johann Matheson and Nicola Porpora, the Norfolk Chamber Consort presented George Frideric & His Frenemies. A detailed account of the performance is recorded on the website for Artsong Update, courtesy of Adelaide Coles.

Click here to read the complete review.

The program opened with “La Follia,” a violin sonata by Corelli, written in the form of a chaconne or passacaglia. Additional works will included arias by Handel and Porpora. Also on the bill was a selection of operatic arias by Handel, with Johann Mattheson’s Sonata in G minor for Three Flutes.

ncconsortlogoConducted by Dr. Andrey Kasparov, the first half concluded with Handel’s Organ Concerto in F Major, with Dr. James Kosnik at the keyboard, accompanied by oboists Harvey Stokes and Sandra Richards, violinists Loyola and Anna Dobrzyn, violist Anastasia Migliozzi, cellist Jeffrey Phelps, double bassist Madeline Ditrich, and harpsichordist Oksana Lutsyshyn. The second half began with a rendition of Handel’s Suite in G Minor for harpsichord, followed by the Sonata for three flutes by Johann Mattheson. The evening finished with Handel’s Organ Concerto in B-flat Major, with organist Kevin Kwan, Music Director of Christ and St. Luke’s, as soloist.

M.D. Ridge

The event was dedicated to the memory M.D. Ridge, a liturgical composer, musician, writer and editor, who passed away in June of 2017.

E-mail invenciaduo@gmail.com for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2017-2018 performance schedule.

© Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Artsong Update, Adelaide Coles, Norfolk Chamber Consort