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The Big Name Coming to the Nasher's Soundings Series: Midori

by Jerome Weeks 27 Jul 2012 4:05 PM

She’s just been a hotshot violinist for 30 years. But hers is the most conventional performance for Soundings’ new season. We’re talking quadrophonic sound, plus two.


If you don’t know who Midori is, she’s the Japanese-American violinist who made her debut at age 11 — with conductor Zubin Mehta, no less.  And she currently heads up the strings department at USC’s Thornton School of Music, holding the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Music. For the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Soundings series, she’ll be playing an all-Beethoven program with pianist Ozgur Aydin.

That may sound a little conventional for Soundings, which has generally aimed for more striking and unusual fare. But this is a preview performance of Midori’s upcoming Carnegie Hall appearance. It marks the 30th anniversary of her debut.

At any rate, that’s the marquee name for the new season of  Soundings.  More in the Soundings’ vein is an entire evening devoted to Baroque figures (Purcell, Bach pere et fils) paired with world premieres by young, contemporary composers, and another for Charles Ives’ Concord Sonata performed by avant-garde acoustic trio Tin Hat.

But my favorite? Le Noir de l’Etoile (Dark Star), a work based on the 1967 detection of a pulsar, a work that entails six percussionists placed all around an audience.

Quadrophonic, plus two. How cool is that?

Here’s the release:

Nasher Sculpture Center Announces 2012-2013 Season:

Soundings: New Music at the Nasher

Innovative Music Series Returns on October 30 with Midori;

Season Tickets Now On Sale.

DALLAS, Texas (July 27, 2012) – The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to welcome back for a third season, Soundings: New Music at the Nasher, the critically-acclaimed new music series featuring groundbreaking performances created under the direction of Seth Knopp, a founding member of the Peabody Trio and artistic director of Yellow Barn Music School and Festival.

The first concert will take place on Tuesday, October 30 at 7:30 pm and feature internationally renowned violinist Midori and pianist Özgür Aydin in a preview of their upcoming Carnegie Hall recital. The series continues in the spring with three distinct concerts on Friday, March 8, 2013; Friday, April 26, 2013 and Wednesday, May 29, 2013.

Full season ticket packages are now on sale and guarantee seating to all four performances at a discounted rate of $65 for Members and $80 for non-Members. To purchase season tickets, please call 214.242.5133. Individual concert tickets for the October 30 concert are on sale September 4 and available on-line at or by phone at 888.695.0888 for $20 for Members and $25 for Non-members.


Midori in Concert

Featuring Midori, violin, and Özgür Aydin, piano

October 30, 2012, 7:30 pm (Individual tickets on sale September 4)

Midori comes to the Nasher Sculpture Center with pianist Özgür Aydin to open its 2012-2013 Soundings season. This preview performance of their upcoming Carnegie Hall recital celebrates the 30th anniversary of Midori’s debut, and an artistic life defined by an intense commitment to exploring and sharing music.


Sonata No.2 in A Major, Op. 12, No. 2; Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Four Pieces, Op. 7; Anton Webern (1883-1945)

Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1; Ludwig van Beethoven

Four Nocturnes; George Crumb

Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47, “Kreutzer”; Ludwig van Beethoven

About Midori:

The violinist Midori is recognized not only for the evolution and scope of her 30-year career as one of the most dazzlingly gifted performers before the public, but increasingly for the prescient and innovative community engagement initiatives to which she devotes a substantial amount of her energies and resources worldwide on an ongoing basis. Named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, she has created a new model for young artists who seek to balance the joys and demands of a performing career at the highest level with a hands-on investment in the power of music to change lives.

About Özgür Aydin:

Noted for his “elegance and strength” by the Salzburger Nachrichten, Turkish pianist Özgür Aydin

made his major concerto debut in 1997 in a performance of the Brahms D minor Piano Concerto with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. In the same year, he won the renowned ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the Nippon Music Award in Tokyo, thus achieving standing as a welcome guest in concert halls throughout the world.

Counterpoint and Invention

Featuring Jay Campbell, cello and piccolo cello, and Conor Hanick, piano and harpsichord

March 8, 2013, 7:30 pm (Individual tickets on sale February 5)

Inspiration can be undeniably felt in a heartbeat, while invention is tested by time, and its fundamental value to those that build upon it. Pioneering composers of the Baroque era provide the foundation for a program that explores the richly varied musical language of the present: composers achieving unique design, unified by reverence of a shared heritage.


Figura V/Assonanza; Matthias Pintscher (b. 1971)

Viola da gamba Sonata in C Major, Wq.136; Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)

World premiere of new work; David Fulmer

Viola da gamba Sonata in G Minor, BWV1029; Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Voicelessness (the snow has no voice); Beat Furrer (b. 1954)

Suite in G Minor, Z.661 for harpsichord; Henry Purcell (1650-1695)

World premiere of new work for piano/harpsichord and cello; Wei-Chieh Lin (b. 1982)

About Conor Hanick:

The diverse artistic interests of New York City-based concert pianist Conor Hanick have lead to solo and chamber music performances across the world, a radio show on WNYC’s streaming contemporary music station Q2, teaching roles at The Juilliard School and Smith College, concert and festival curation, and collaborations with the country’s most accomplished conductors, ensembles, and composers. At age eight Conor began studying violin and viola in the Iowa City Community School District before starting piano at age ten, two years later becoming a private student of Daniel Shapiro and Rene Lecuona at the University of Iowa. In 2005 he completed studies with Alan Chow and Ursula Oppens at Northwestern University, graduating with honors in piano and journalism. Now a student at the Juilliard School, where he finished his master’s degree in 2008 and was awarded the Helen Fay prize in piano, Conor is a full-scholarship C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Matti Raekallio. He is on the piano faculty at Smith College and hosts Hammered!, a radio show devoted to contemporary piano music on WNYC’s streaming modern music station Q2.

About Jay Campbell:

With a diverse spectrum of repertoire and eclectic musical interests, cellist Jay Campbell has collaborated with an array of significant musicians and composers ranging from Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez to members of Radiohead. Originally from Berkeley, CA., Jay is a core member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble in New York City and has performed with leading contemporary music ensembles in the United States including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), Da Capo Chamber Players, Talea Ensemble and others. As a soloist, he has appeared in venues such as Carnegie Hall (Stern), Alice Tully Hall, Kultur und Kongresszentrum Luzern (KKL), the Aspen Festival’s Benedict Music Tent, with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Jeffrey Milarsky and with ensembles including The Juilliard Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Academy, and others. Upcoming highlights include recitals at John Zorn’s venue The Stone, world premiere performance and recording of a new concerto by David Lang, and centenary performances of Pierrot Lunaire with Paula Robison. Still an undergraduate at the Juilliard School, Jay currently studies with Fred Sherry, has been accepted as a participant at the Yellowbarn and Marlboro festivals.

Ives’ Concord Sonata and the Poetry of E.E. Cummings

April 26, 2013, 7:30 pm (Individual tickets on sale March 5)

Featuring pianist Gilbert Kalish and Tim Hat’s Ben Goldberg, clarinets; Carla Kihlstedt violins, viola, voice; Mark Orton acoustic guitar, dobro; Rob Reich, accordion, piano

Edward Estlin Cummings (1894 – 1962) and Charles Edward Ives (1874 – 1954), two of this country’s great visionary artists of the 20th century were unacquainted with one another in life in spite of their common connection to New England. They are joined in a single program by Tin Hat, whose members have drawn inspiration for their settings of e.e.cummings poetry from the author’s own intensely lyrical readings of his own work, and pianist Gilbert Kalish’s performance of Ives’ monumental Concord” Sonata.

About Tin Hat:

The music of Tin Hat is born of long-standing friendships and deep musical connections. It is subtle, introspective and generous, with the uncanny ability to be both melancholy and joyful, sprightly and sinister. Collectively, their writing focuses on evocative melodies, subtle textures and elegant arrangements, moving through the musical languages of folk, classical, Americana, and countless others. The group started in 1997 as Tin Hat Trio. Then, coinciding with a change of personnel in 2004, they became known simply as Tin Hat.  From the beginning, they’ve held themselves to an ambitious creative schedule that includes composing for chamber orchestra, accompanying early Russian animated movies, and extensive touring in the U.S. and abroad.

About Gilbert Kalish:

A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, Mr. Kalish studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford and Isabella Vengerova.  He was the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a group devoted to new music that flourished during the 1960’s and 70’s.  He is a frequent guest artist with many of the world’s most distinguished chamber ensembles.  His thirty-year partnership with the great mezzo-soprano Jan De Gaetani was universally recognized as one of the most remarkable artistic collaborations of our time.  He maintains longstanding duos with the cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, and he appears frequently with soprano Dawn Upshaw.  In 2007 he was invited to be an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Gérard Grisey’s Le Noir de l’Etoile

Featuring percussionists, Gregory Beyer, Timothy Feeney, Ayano Kataoka, Eduardo Leandro, Douglas Perkins, Ian Rosenbaum

May 29, 2013, 7:30 pm (Individual tickets on sale April 2)

In 1967, a young astronomer detected in the heavens a rapidly varying radio signal. First taken to be signals coming from extraterrestrial civilizations, astrophysicists determined that the signals were being emitted by a pulsar, the fantastic compact residue created by the supernova explosions that long ago disintegrated massive stars. More than 20 years later, inspired by this discovery and those sounds, the composer Gérard Grisey wrote Le Noir de l’Etoile for six percussionists placed around an audience.

About Seth Knopp, Artistic Director, Soundings:

Pianist Seth Knopp is a founding member of the Peabody Trio, recipient of the 1989 Naumburg Award. Since making their Alice Tully Hall debut in 1990, the trio has performed on the most important chamber music series, nationally and internationally. Their reputation as champions of new music garnered them an invitation to the first Biennale for contemporary music, Tempus Fugit, in Tel Aviv. The ensemble is in residence at the Peabody Conservatory, where Mr. Knopp serves on the piano and chamber music faculties. He is the Artistic Director of the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival, an international chamber music festival, which brings musicians to Putney, Vermont each summer. Seth Knopp studied with Leonard Shure at New England Conservatory, Nathan Schwartz at San Francisco Conservatory, and with Leon Fleisher.  His solo and chamber music performances can be heard on the Artek, Koch, and New World Records labels.