Pianist, violinist do double-duty for String Theory, CSO - March 13

Pianist, violinist do double-duty for String Theory, CSO - March 13

March 13th, 2014 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Music

Arnaud Sussmann, violin

Arnaud Sussmann, violin

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Gloria Chien, piano

Gloria Chien, piano

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Jose Franch-Ballester

Jose Franch-Ballester

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Classical music lovers will have the chance to witness two rare events this week.

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera is collaborating for the first time with String Theory, a chamber music series presented by the Hunter Museum of American Art and Lee University.

The String Theory concert, tonight, March 13, at the Hunter Museum, will feature Jose Franch-Ballest (clarinet), Arnaud Sussmann (violin) and the series' executive director, Gloria Chien (piano). They will perform Mendelssohn's Violin Sonata in F, Poulenc's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano and Schoenfield's Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano.

Then, on Saturday, March 15, Sussmann and Chien will join cellist David Finckel at the Tivoli Theatre for a CSO Masterworks concert featuring a rare performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto. The CSO also will present Sergei Prokofiev's 5th Symphony.

""It's a really unique opportunity," Chien says. "Our patrons will hear us performing in a chamber music setting and then a concerto with a full orchestra. The Hunter is a very intimate setting, and then you get to see us in the grander setting. I hope everyone will come to both."

Peter Bay will take over the baton as guest conductor during the CSO concert.

Ludwig van Beethoven's Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano in C Major, Op. 56, is often referred to as the Triple Concerto. A concerto normally features a soloist being accompanied by the orchestra. This one features three soloists and is the only concerto Beethoven wrote for more than one solo instrument. It was composed in 1803 and published in 1804.

"It is a very joyful piece in C major," Chien says. "It was written for one of the dukes that Beethoven composed for, and he was an amateur piano player so the piano part isn't very complicated, but the cello is greatly featured and gorgeous, and the second movement goes right into the third movement.

"It is one of the greatest pieces of music."

Prokofiev composed his 5th Symphony in a House of Creative Work, a haven run by the Soviet Union during WWII in the summer of 1944. The safe house, 150 miles north of Moscow, was a place where composers could work away from the noise and hubbub of a city at war. He said at the time that he created it as "a hymn to free and happy man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit."

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.


¦ What: String Theory

¦ Who: Concert featuring Jose Franch-Ballest (clarinet), Arnaud Sussmann (violin) and Gloria Chien (piano).

¦ When: 5:30 p.m. today, March 13. Evening will begin with Art Connection featuring former Hunter chief curator Ellen Simak and CSO conductor emeritus Robert Bernhardt discussing works in the Hunter collection. 6:30 p.m. concert featuring works by Mendelssohn, Poulenc and Schoenfield.

¦ Where: Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View Ave.

¦ Admission: $35 general, $25 members, $10 students.

¦ Phone: 423-267-0968.

¦ Website: www.stringtheorymusic.org.


¦ What: Concert of Beethoven and Prokofiev music.

¦ When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15.

¦ Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

¦ Admission: $19-$52.

¦ Phone: 423-267-8583.

¦ Website: www.chattanoogasymphony.org.