Three great American works for violin and piano will be performed at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Monday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m., Roland Hayes Concert Hall, in the UTC Fine Arts Center, corner of Palmetto and Vine Streets.
Guest artists Ching-Yi Lin, violinist, and Zachary Lopes, pianist, are accomplished musicians on the faculty of Western Kentucky University. Their program will include sonatas by John Corigliano, who is well-known both for his film scores and his concert music; William Bolcom, whose work sometimes borrows influences from popular music; and Charles Ives, who was one of the most inventive of all American composers.
This concert is open to the public, and admission is free. This concert is sponsored by the Ruth S. Holmberg Professor of American Music at UTC, and presented by the Department of Music.
Dr. Ching-Yi Lin, violinist, was awarded the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service in Washington, D.C. in 2013, recognizing her work in bringing music into the lives of young people throughout her community. She has given performances and master-classes in Norway, China, Canada, and the USA. In addition to teaching at Western Kentucky University, where she also directs the Pre-College Strings Program, Lin is on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy. She earned each of her three degrees in Violin Performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and studied in the Vienna Conservatory from 2001–2003.
Dr. Zachary Lopes, pianist, is an active soloist and collaborative artist and has given performances across the United States, Italy, and the Czech Republic. He was the winner of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Piano Concerto Competition and has been a finalist in the Schlern International Music Competition, the MTNA Northwest Regional Young Artist Competition, and the University of Colorado College of Music Honors Competition.
He was also featured with his trio on CBS Sunday Morning’s “A Grand Plan for Pianos” in 2009. Lopes studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Composer John Corigliano is well-known for the beautiful score of the film The Red Violin; and he scored the film Altered States as well. He has won the Pulitzer Prize in music, five Grammy awards, an Oscar, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. He serves on the faculty of Julliard School of Music. He has written concerti for several high-profile soloists, as well as symphonies, opera, and chamber music. His Sonata for Violin and Piano was composed in 1963, and won the chamber music competition at the Spoleto festival in Italy in 1964. This four-movement work embraces a wide range of emotive states, from playful, energetic and even humorous, to profound depths and expressive heights.
William Bolcom has likewise won a Pulitzer Prize in Music, two Grammy awards, the National Medal of Arts, and was named the 2007 Composer of the Year by Musical America. Also a pianist, Bolcom has recorded many albums with his wife, the mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. Together they have focused on popular songs and show tunes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Bolcom’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano features more than a hint of influence from American popular music in the first and fourth movements. The inner movements are more serious and even “gritty” in nature.
Charles Ives studied music at Yale University (and played on Yale’s baseball team!). His Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano offers the following subtitles: “Autumn;” “In the Barn;” and “The Revival.” Ives loved “vernacular” music—hymn tunes, patriotic songs, sentimental parlor music, and band music, and often incorporated melodies from these songs and tunes in his compositions. Sometimes the musical references are clear and recognizable; sometimes they are more stylistic in nature, hinting at a familiar tune; and other times they are passing references that are hard to place but feel somehow familiar.
Ives chose to make his living in insurance, to keep his music-making independent of financial necessity. In this way, he could experiment freely without concern for success or failure. He made considerable contributions to the development of new ways of dealing with rhythm, meter, harmony, and texture in music. Ives was prolific in his output, considering that he worked full-time in the business world until health issues forced him to retire.