published Thursday, December 13th, 2012

String Theory tonight at Hunter

The second installment of String Theory at the Hunter will feature the return of two acclaimed violinists from last season’s Season Finale of Octets.

Sean Lee and Kristopher Tong will be joined by cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer, hailed by The New York Times as “imaginative and eloquent.” Accompanying them will be pianist Gloria Chien, artistic director of the chamber music series.

The program will feature two rarely heard works by 20th-century masters: Piano Trio II from American composer Leo Kirchner and Suite for Two Violins, Cello and Piano Left Hand, Op. 23, by Austrian composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Written 63 years apart, the works share the lush lyricism of the late Romantic era, echoing the shadings of Mahler and Strauss, according to organizers.

Piano Trio II is a single-movement work written at the request of the Laredo-Robinson-Kalichstein Trio. Kirchner has described the work as his subconscious recapitulation of the past “in an effort to empower an alternative future.”

Korngold, a two-time Academy Award winner as a film composer, composed the suite for an unusual combination of instruments as a commission by pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in World War I.

The evening will begin with Musical Dialogues at 6 p.m., with insights on the program offered by Patrick Castillo, director of artistic planning of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m.

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