Music of Richard Danielpour

Curtis Presents | April 19, 2023 8:00 p.m.

The Curtis Institute of Music honors distinguished composition faculty member Richard Danielpour in a celebratory evening of new work by the Grammy Award winner. Praised as “an outstanding composer for any time” (New York Daily News), Danielpour is one of the most sought-after and recorded American composers of his generation. These striking pieces capture three unique facets of his singular compositional voice.  

Written in honor of his friend Nicola Bulgari’s eightieth birthday, Canti Della Natura, a trio for soprano, violoncello, and piano, utilizes the Italian text of original sonnets written by composer Antonio Vivaldi to accompany his violin Concerto Grosso in D minor, Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons). In what will surely be a high point of the night, the concert features a newly commissioned work for solo piano entitled Four Portraits, with Amy Yang (’06), “jaw-dropping pianist” (The Washington Post) and associate dean of piano studies and artistic initiatives at Curtis. The evening concludes with Danielpour’s string quintet (“A Shattered Vessel”)—an elegant, introspective work that contemplates life, death, loss, and healing.

Run Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes including one 15-minute intermission

View the program book.

View the libretto.

DANIELPOUR Four Portraits (world premiere)

Amy Yang, piano

Canti Della Natura

Elena Perroni, soprano
Matthew Christakos, cello
Lisa Keller, piano

DANIELPOUR String Quintet ("A Shattered Vessel")

Ida Kavafian, violin
Yehun Jin, violin
Cara Pogossian, viola
Peter Wiley, cello
Francis Carr, cello

  • April 19, 2023
  • 8:00 p.m.
  • Curtis Institute of Music, Field Concert Hall
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  • Richard Danielpour has been commissioned by many international artists, including soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Anthony McGill, and Gary Graffman; the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets; and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. He has also received commissions from the New York City, Pacific Northwest, and Nashville ballets; the Philadelphia and Stuttgart Radio Symphony orchestras; the Mariinsky and Vienna chamber orchestras; the New York Philharmonic; Orchestre National de France; the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, among others.

    Dr. Danielpour has received a Grammy Award, two Rockefeller Foundation grants, the Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Joseph H. Bearns Prize in Music from Columbia University.

    Recent works include Carnival of the Ancients for piano and orchestra, String Quartet No. 8, and The Passion of Yeshua, a passion oratorio in Hebrew and English.

    Dr. Danielpour has recorded for the Naxos and Sony Classical labels. His music is published by Lean Kat Music and Associated Music Publishers.

    Dr. Danielpour served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music from 1993 to 2017, and has served as professor of music at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA since 2017. He joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1997.

  • Internationally acclaimed as a violist as well as a violinist, the versatile Ida Kavafian is an artist-member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and former violinist of the Beaux Arts Trio. For 34 years she has been artistic director of Music from Angel Fire in New Mexico, where some 200 Curtis students have participated in the Young Artist Program to date. She was a founder of the Bravo! Colorado festival, serving as its artistic director for ten years; and co-founded the chamber ensembles Opus One, Tashi, and Trio Valtorna. She also performs as a soloist and in recital with her sister, violinist Ani Kavafian.

    Ms. Kavafian has premiered numerous works, including concertos by Toru Takemitsu and Michael Daugherty, whose Fire and Blood she recorded with the Detroit Symphony. She has toured and recorded with jazz artists Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, and with fiddler/composer Mark O’Connor.

    Born in Istanbul of Armenian parentage, Ms. Kavafian is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Oscar Shumsky. She made her debut through Young Concert Artists with the pianist Peter Serkin, and also received the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. She resides with her husband, violist Steven Tenenbom, in Philadelphia and Connecticut, where they breed and train prizewinning Hungarian vizsla show dogs.

    Since 1998 Ms. Kavafian has served on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received the 2013 Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. She also teaches at the Juilliard School and the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

  • Danny Yehun Jin, from Seoul, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2013 and studies violin with Ida Kavafian and Erin Keefe. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Jin is the Sandra G. and David G. Marshall Fellow.

    Mr. Jin has performed as a soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic, Suwon Philharmonic, and Mokpo-City Philharmonic. He has also been featured on the Korean Broadcasting System television. Mr. Jin has participated in several competitions, including the Menuhin International Violin Competition, where he received fifth prize. He has also participated in the Orchestra of the Korean National School for the Gifted in Arts, as well as the International Great Mountains Music Festival.

    Mr. Jin began violin lessons at age two and previously studied with Jinseung Kim. His nonmusical interests include sports such as soccer and basketball. Mr. Jin began his Curtis experience alongside his younger sister, Yeyeong.

  • Armenian-American violist Cara Pogossian is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Hsin-Yun Huang and Misha Amory. She served as co-principal viola of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during the 2019–20 season, which included a U.S. tour in early 2020. Prior to her studies at Curtis, Ms. Pogossian attended the Colburn Music Academy, where she studied with Paul Coletti and Che-Yen (Brian) Chen. As an Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Scholarship recipient, she has performed at several high-profile concerts, including a joint recital with her brother, Edvard, at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Pogossian is an alumna of NPR’s “From the Top” radio show, and her quartet was the Junior Bronze Medal winner of the 2017 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition. An avid chamber musician, she has attended numerous summer festivals, including the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Taos School of Music, Perlman Music Program, and Yellow Barn Young Artists Program. Committed to musical outreach, Ms. Pogossian has frequently performed at schools, retirement centers, and hospitals in the greater Los Angeles and Philadelphia areas, and is also an organizer of several Music for Food performances, raising funds for local food banks.

    Ms. Pogossian is lucky enough to have an entire family of musicians, with whom she frequently performs. During the pandemic, the Pogossian/Manouelian Clarinet Quintet collaborated with composers Timo Andres, Ian Krouse, Artashes Kartalyan, and Aida Shirazi, premiering each of their works in a series of online concerts. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory with Kim Kashkashian.

  • Peter Wiley, a 1974 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, has played at leading festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, for which he also tours and records. As a recitalist he has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. A member of the Beaux Arts Trio from 1987 to 1998, Mr. Wiley also succeeded his teacher, David Soyer, as cellist of the Guarneri String Quartet from 2001 to 2009. He is a member of the piano quartet Opus One, with Curtis faculty members Ida Kavafian and Steven Tenenbom and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott.

    Mr. Wiley entered Curtis at age thirteen. At twenty he was named principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony, after one year with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He made his concerto debut at Carnegie Hall in 1986 with the New York String Orchestra conducted by Alexander Schneider.

    A past recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Wiley joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1996. He also teaches at the University of Maryland and Bard College Conservatory of Music.

  • Born into a family of string players, Francis Carr, from Oxford, England, started playing the cello at age four. Early career highlights include a radio broadcast in the Netherlands, concerto appearances with the Oxfordshire Youth Orchestra and the Abingdon Symphony Orchestra, and chamber and solo appearances in Munich, Warsaw, Montpellier, New York, and throughout the United Kingdom.

    Mr. Carr has given recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Milton Court in Surrey, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Brussels Bozar, and Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw. He has attended the Greenwood Music Camp, Four Seasons Winter Workshop, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival. Additional festival appearances throughout the United States and Europe have included Loon Lake Live Summer Concert Series, Stichting Kamermuziek Amsterdam, Young Pianists Foundation Piano Concours Amsterdam, Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy, and Music from Angel Fire.

    Mr. Carr has studied with Melissa Phelps, Thomas Carroll, Darrett Adkins, Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, and his father, the cellist Colin Carr. He has worked closely with Johannes Goritzki, Joel Krosnick, Gary Hoffman, and the Chiara, Emerson, and Juilliard string quartets and has attended the Juilliard and Yehudi Menuhin Schools and the Curtis Institute of Music. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, and bird watching.

  • Praised by the Washington Post as a “jaw-dropping pianist who steals the show…with effortless finesse,” pianist Amy Yang balances an active career as soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Among Ms. Yang’s numerous collaborators are Yefim Bronfman, Roberto Díaz, Miriam Fried, Richard Goode, Kim Kashkashian, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Anne-Marie McDermott, Tito Muñoz, and Joseph Silverstein; the St. Paul and Mahler chamber orchestras; Third Coast Percussion; A Far Cry; members of the Guarneri String Quartet; and the Dover, Jasper, and Aizuri string quartets. She has appeared as a soloist with the Houston, Tuscaloosa, and Mansfield symphony orchestras; the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, and Orquesta Juvenil Universitaria Eduardo Mata de la UNAM. Ms. Yang has also performed in solo and chamber recitals for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society—including a solo recital and collaborations with Jasper String Quartet in piano quintets by Tania Léon and Joan Tower for their 35th season. She was also featured in a full episode of Emmy® Award-winning producer Jim Cotter’s Articulate, which aired on PBS in 2021.

    At the Curtis Institute of Music, she is the Associate Dean of Piano Studies and Artistic Initiatives. She previously held the roles of Program Director and piano faculty of Curtis Summerfest’s Young Artist Summer Program for nine summers. She will make her debut playing Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in April 2023.

    Ms. Yang has premiered music by Caroline Shaw, Avner Dorman, Michael Hersch, Ezra Laderman, and Hua Yang. She has appeared in such prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall; at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Aldeburgh, Bravo! Vail, Chelsea, Olympic, and Ojai music festivals; Verbier Academy; Cal Performances; Caramoor; IMS Prussia Cove; Music from Angel Fire; and Chamber Music Northwest, among others. Ms. Yang’s discography includes a debut solo album (MSR Classics); recordings with violinists Tessa Lark (First Hand Records) and Itamar Zorman (BIS Records) and clarinetist José Franch-Ballester (iTinerant Records); and a live recording of music by Michael Hersch, performed at the Aldebergh Festival (New Focus Records).

    Ms. Yang is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Yale School of Music, and joined the Curtis faculty in 2011.

  • Praised for her “velvet soprano voice” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Elena Perroni has gained recognition on the international stage. She is a 2018 graduate of the world renowned Curtis Institute of Music and made her professional opera debut with Opera Philadelphia, singing the role of Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird (Schnyder), at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York City. She reprised the role at English National Opera, in 2017.

    Learn more about Elena.

  • Matthew Christakos, from Toronto, a student of Gary Hoffman and Peter Wiley, is the Joseph Druian Fellow and entered Curtis in 2019.

    Learn more about Matthew.

  • Lisa Keller was educated at Catholic University, receiving a degree in piano performance; and at the Brevard Music Center summer program. She received her master’s degree with the same distinction from Duquesne University, where she studied with Metropolitan Opera coach Warren Jones.

    Upon finishing her graduate work, Ms. Keller was invited by Pittsburgh Opera general director Tito Capobianco to join the company as principal répétiteur, as well as coach and accompanist for its young artist program. She later served as pianist and vocal coach for the Hartt School of Music, Connecticut Concert Opera, and West Chester University School of Music.

    Ms. Keller has studied with Maurizio Arena and served as vocal coach for the Ezio Pinza Council for American Singers of Opera program in Oderzo, Italy. She has served on the music staffs of Opera Philadelphia, Opera Colorado, New Jersey Opera Theater, Wexford Festival Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Santa Fe Opera. She was principal pianist for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s recent performances of Salome; workshops of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain; and, with Opera Philadelphia, the world premieres of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD by Daniel Schnyder and Breaking the Waves by Missy Mazzoli.

    Ms. Keller joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2004.

Curtis Presents

Past and future meet through Curtis Presents, which features a diverse collection of artists—alumni, faculty, students, and contemporary creators—whose musical foundations are rooted in the Curtis community. This series of intimate and innovative recitals offers a unique experience with exceptional artistry and one-of-a-kind programs.

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