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Tuesday, November 20 • 13:40 - 14:40
The 1919 Berkshire Festival Competition: A Centennial Review

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For most violists, 1919 brings to mind three-large-scale masterpieces for viola and piano that were written that year: Ernest Bloch’s Suite, Rebecca Clarke’s Sonata, and Paul Hindemith’s Sonata, op. 11, no. 4. The first two of these works owe their existence to the Berkshire Festival of Chamber Music Competition, established by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, an amateur pianist and lover of chamber music. Coolidge is remembered as one of America’s great patrons of music, commissioning a number of renowned chamber works, including Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Béla Bartók’s fifth string quartet, Anton Webern’s String Quartet, Sergei Prokofiev’s first string quartet, and Igor Stravinsky’s Apollon musagète. But her first major contribution to chamber music started one hundred years ago, with the organization of the first Berkshire Festival in 1918.

While Mrs. Coolidge solicited the popular medium of the string quartet for the first Berkshire  competition, she demonstrated her progressive nature with the selection of viola and piano as the medium for the second competition. Coolidge consequently became the catalyst for the composition of seventy-two new works that were entered into the 1919 competition, and she specifically encouraged both Bloch and Clarke to compose their winning works. But what of the other seventy works entered into the competition? The conditions of entry deemed that the works would remain anonymous, and though lists have survived naming entrants for other years of the Berkshire competition, the entrants for 1919 have remained lost to history. But violists have continued to speculate about what works might have been entered (particularly wondering whether Hindemith’s opus 11, no. 4 sonata one of them).

This panel will take a lecture-recital format divided into two parts. The first part will provide biographical information on Coolidge and details about the six Berkshire Festival Competitions with a focus on the 1919 competition (including conditions of the contest, the jury, and known details about the judging process). Panelists will also discuss the effect that the competition had on the development of viola repertoire and the careers of the two winners as well as the stylistic features of each winning work and the influences that shaped them. The second part will examine select works for viola and piano, evaluating the likelihood of their being entered into the competition based on a number of factors, including date of composition, the composer’s relationship with Coolidge, and whether the composer was known to have entered any other relevant competitions around the same time. Excerpts from several works will be performed, some for the first time in modern history (if not the first time ever), fulfilling the IVC theme of Exploring New Ways to Perform by highlighting unknown works. Panelists may also speculate on how individual judges voted during the 1919 competition and whether Hindemith’s opus 11, no. 4 sonata was entered into the competition.

Excerpts from the following works will be performed:

William Henry Reed: Rhapsody for viola and piano
Granville Bantock: Sonata for Viola and piano
Karel Boleslav Jirák: Sonata for viola and piano, op. 26
Francesco Pratella: Sonata for viola and piano, op. 23
Andrew Braddock, viola

Christian Geisler: Sonata for Viola and Piano
Domenico Brescia: Sonata for Viola and Piano, “Work and Trust”
Richard H. Walthew: Serenade Sonata in f minor
Katrin Meidell, viola

Joseph Ryelandt: Sonate alto et piano, op. 73.
Arthur Foote: Sonata for viola and piano, op. 78A
Marcelle Soulage Sonate pour piano et alto, op. 25
Hillary Herndon, viola

Arthur Honegger: Sonate pour alto et piano
K. Dorothy Fox: Sonata for Viola and Piano, op. 7
Gustav Strube: Sonata for Viola and Piano
Daphne Gerling, viola

Wei-Chun Bernadette Lo,  piano

avatar for Andrew Braddock

Andrew Braddock

Western Kentucky University (USA)
Violist Andrew Braddock is currently on the faculty of Western Kentucky University (WKU) and the WKU Pre-College Strings Program. He teaches viola at the university and maintains a full pre-college studio of young violinists and violists, and serves as the Director of the WKU Summer... Read More →

avatar for Daphne Gerling

Daphne Gerling

University of North Texas (USA)
Violist Daphne Gerling was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to a musical family. She enjoys a versatile career as a teacher, chamber musician, recitalist, and soloist performing on both modern and baroque viola in leading venues across the U.S., Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, England... Read More →
avatar for Hillary Herndon

Hillary Herndon

University of Tennessee (USA)
Violist Hillary Herndon has earned a national reputation for her brilliant playing, “sweetly soaring tone” (Time Out New York), creative programming and insightful teaching. She has been heard on NPR and PBS and has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost artists, including... Read More →
avatar for Katrin Meidell

Katrin Meidell

Columbus State University (USA)
Violist Katrin Meidell, DMA, enjoys a prolific career as a performer, pedagogue, and lecturer. Her diverse abilities have taken her across the USA, to Canada, Finland, Austria, Poland, Brazil, and New Zealand. A strong proponent of new music, she consistently premieres works commissioned... Read More →
avatar for Wei-Chun Bernadette Lo

Wei-Chun Bernadette Lo

Bernadette Lo is the Visiting Professor of Piano at the University of the South in Sewanee (Tennessee, USA) and performs regularly with artists around the region. She has served as the official accompanist for numerous music festivals and competitions, including UT Viola Celebration... Read More →

Tuesday November 20, 2018 13:40 - 14:40 CET
Hofplein Rotterdam, Main Theatre Benthemstraat 13, 3032 CC Rotterdam, Netherlands