First Monday at Jordan Hall: Ives, Schnittke, Brahms
Join us as we celebrate 39 years of First Mondays, curated by Artistic Director Laurence Lesser. Programs feature well-loved classics and new compositions, performed by some of the finest chamber musicians in the world, free and open to all. First Mondays are fresh and full of imaginative pairings of well-loved classics and new works, performed in one of the finest places on the planet to hear music of this caliber: NEC’s own Jordan Hall.
This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live
Charles Ives | Violin Sonata No. 4, "Children's Day at Camp Meeting"
- Stefan Jackiw, violin
- Max Levinson, piano
Alfred Schnittke | Piano Quintet
In tempo di valse
- Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, piano
- Masha Lakisova '24 and Kristy Chen '24, violin
- Njord Fossnes '24, viola
- Julia Yang, cello
Johannes Brahms | Piano Trio in C Major, op. 87
Andante con moto
Scherzo: Presto - poco meno presto
Finale: Allegro giocosoArtists
- Max Levinson, piano
- Stefan Jackiw, violin
- Jonah Ellsworth, cello
A native of Princeton, NJ, Kristy Chen began studying the violin at the age of six and is currently pursuing her B.M. under Soovin Kim at New England Conservatory. Previously, she studied under Hirono Oka of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and has spent several summers under the instruction of Shmuel Ashkenasi, Vadim Gluzman and Ilya Kaler, among others. She has also had the privilege of collaborating with the Borromeo String Quartet and has participated in masterclasses led by the Takács, Brentano, Johannes and Verona quartets.
At the age of eleven, Kristy made her solo debut with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra and has since performed as a soloist with various orchestras across the tri-state area. Most recently, she was a senior division Silver Medalist as part of Quartet Luminera at the 50th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Her quartet was also named a New England Conservatory Honors Ensemble. Previously, she has been the winner of several National YoungArts Foundation awards and was recognized as a recipient of the Starling scholarship through Temple University, where she served as concertmaster of the Youth Chamber Orchestra. Kristy has been awarded scholarships to attend prestigious festivals worldwide, including the Heifetz Institute, NYO-USA, Keshet Eilon International MasterCourse in Israel, and the Taipei Music Festival & Academy where she collaborated with LA Philharmonic concertmaster, Martin Chalifour. This summer, she was a full scholarship recipient at the Fontainebleau School in France and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland.
Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jonah Ellsworth started playing the cello at age 5. He received hisBachelor and Master of Music from New Englanf Conservatory and Master of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music. His principle teachers have been Laurence Lesser, Kim Kashkashian, Lluís Claret, Natasha Brofsky, Andrew Mark, Peter Wiley, and Paul Watkins. At Yale, he was awarded the Aldo Parisot Prize and the Yale School of Music Alumni Association Prize. He is now a cellist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Jonah has been featured as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Symphony By the Sea and the New England Conservatory Philharmonia. In 2016, Jonah filled in for Nicolas Altstaedt on 72 hours notice to play the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida. He also toured Europe as soloist in 2015 with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, alternating solo performances with Natalia Gutman. He has participated in many music festivals, including Marlboro Music Festival, Verbier Festival, Steans Institute of Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Rockport Music Festival, and Orford Musique Academy. Jonah has devoted much of his professional life honing his skills as a chamber musician. He joined the Boston Trio in 2016 and with them, he has performed in some of the most prestigious concert venues in the United States including Carnegie Hall, Newport Music, and Jordan Hall.
Njord Fossnes is a Norwegian violist and composer who studies at New England Conservatory with Kim Kashkashian. Njord is a prize-winner as both a soloist and chamber musician at multiple national and international competitions such as the Midgard Competition, Youth National Music Competition and Virtuoso & BelCanto International Competition. Furthermore, in 2023 he was the youngest semifinalist at the prestigious ARD International Music Competition, performing and leading his own arrangement of Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and in 2021 won second prize in the first ever Hindemith International Viola Competition. Njord has also appeared as a soloist in Bartók Viola Concerto, Mozart Sinfonia Concertante and Hindemith Kammermusik No. 5 with Peter Tilling and HSO München in addition to Kurt Atterberg’s Suite for violin, viola and orchestra with violinist Gustav Rørmark and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Together with solo performances, Njord is passionate about chamber music and is a member of Quartet Luminera, an NEC Honors Ensemble, coached by Mai Motobuchi. In 2023 they participated in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and won the silver medal in the finals. He is also grateful to be part of the Evnin Rising Stars atCaramoor and to be invited to Marlboro Music Festival in 2024-25.
Njord has always been an avid composer and his newly written work Dyade for two flutes was performed at the festival Ose Kammerspel. Additionally, his orchestral piece Etyde was performed in 2018 by the Oslo Philharmonic.
Njord plays on a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Piacenza 1745 viola, generously on loan from Anders Sveaas’ Charitable Foundation.
Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of "uncommon musical substance” that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others. Abroad, Jackiw has appeared with such ensembles as the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. He regularly performs at important festivals and concert series, including the Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, the Celebrity Series of Boston, the Philharmonie de Paris, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
An active chamber musician, Jackiw is a member of the Junction Trio, together with pianist Conrad Tao and cellist Jay Campbell. Jackiw’s discography includes the complete Brahms violin sonatas with pianist Max Levinson on Sony, and a forthcoming recording of the complete Ives violin sonatas with his frequent collaborator, pianist Jeremy Denk. Jackiw also recently recorded the Beethoven Triple concerto with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, pianist Inon Barnatan, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, conducted by Alan Gilbert and released on Decca.
Jackiw is also a committed teacher. He is on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music, and he frequently gives masterclasses at prestigious conservatories and universities, such as the Colburn School, Harvard University, University of Michigan, Bard College, Manhattan School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Sydney Conserva-torium, and the Australian National Academy of Music.
Jackiw holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University as well as an Artist Diploma from New England Conservatory. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Chicago-based violinist Masha Lakisova is fast becoming one of the rising stars of her generation, having been awarded numerous prizes — in 2020, both at the Stulberg Competition (3rd prize) and at the Klein Competition (3rd prize and the Bach prize); in 2018, at the Tibor Junior International Competition (1st prize); and in 2015, at the Postacchini Competition (2nd prize). Lakisova is also an avid chamber musician, having won two consecutive Gold Medals at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. As both a soloist and a chamber musician, she has performed in esteemed concert venues in the United States and all over the world including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. She has previously studied with Grigory Kalinovsky, Itzhak Perlman, and Li Lin, and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at New England Conservatory, where she is a student of Miriam Fried. Miss Lakisova is the proud recipient of a magnificent violin by Giovanni Francesco Pressenda, Turin, 1845 on loan from The Stradivari Society of Chicago thanks to the generosity of her patron, Edward Manzo.
Pianist Max Levinson is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a fearless technique. Levinson's international career was launched when he won First Prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction. He is also recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Award. He has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New World Symphony, Utah Symphony, Boston Pops, San Antonio Symphony, Louisville Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Ho Chi Minh Symphony, and others, and in recital at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Jordan Hall in Boston, and throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. Levinson is a graduate of Harvard and the New England Conservatory. His teachers include Patricia Zander, Aube Tzerko and Bruce Sutherland.
An active chamber musician, Levinson has performed with the Tokyo, Vermeer, Mendelssohn, Parker, Ulysses, and Borromeo Quartets, and appears at major music festivals including Santa Fe, Rockport, Perugia, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Bravo/Vail, La Jolla, Seattle and Cartagena. He is a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society and Artistic Director of the San Juan Chamber Music Festival in Ouray, Colorado. Max Levinson received his Artist Diploma and the Gunther Schuller Medal from NEC and is in his twelfth year as a faculty member at New England Conservatory. Max Levinson is the director of NEC’s “Connections” Chamber Music Series.
Vivian Hornik Weilerstein has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the world and is a frequent collaborator with many of today’s most eminent artists and ensembles. She has appeared as a soloist with the Kansas City Symphony and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale di Torino, and has toured throughout Europe, China, South America, and Japan.
Ms. Weilerstein is a member of the highly acclaimed Weilerstein Trio. Their recordings include trios of Dvořák, Schumann, and Janáček. With violinist Donald Weilerstein, Ms. Weilerstein has recorded the complete works of Ernest Bloch for violin and piano, sonatas of Janáček, Dohnányi, and Enescu, and the complete Schumann sonatas . They recently released their recording of the Ives third violin and piano sonata. The Duo premiered Joseph Hallman’s concerto for violin and piano with the NYCP orchestra in NYC. Ms. Weilerstein has also recorded for the EMI Debut Series.
In addition to performing at major American and International Festivals such as Marlboro, Aspen, The Banff Centre, Music Academy of the West, Femusc in Brazil, el Sistema in Venezuela, and Verbier, Ms. Weilerstein returns regularly to the Yellow Barn Music Festival and the Perlman Music Program.She has performed and given masterclasses at Guildhall in London, Aldeburgh, Hamburg, the Hannover Hochschule, and at the Lubeck Conservatory. She has been invited to direct a piano trio program at the Holland Music Sessions.
Widely sought after for masterclasses, Ms. Weilerstein is the director of the Professional Piano Trio Training Program at New England Conservatory, where she serves on the piano, collaborative piano, and chamber music faculties. She has also been on the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School and the piano and chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music School. Her students can be heard at many acclaimed venues throughout the world.
Praised for “her sense of joyful virtuosity” as concerto soloist (South Florida Classical Review), cellist Julia Yang is multi-faceted performer, and founding member of the “riveting” (Reading Eagle) and “impeccably elegant” Merz Trio (All About the Arts).
On stage as soloist and chamber musician, Yang has been described as the “stunning find of the evening” (New York Classical Review) and has recent and forthcoming recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Chamber Music Houston and Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw. She has been featured as a Young Artist in Residence on Performance Today with Fred Child and has performed at numerous festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, and Poland’s Krzyzowa-Music.
Yang’s Merz Trio are winners of the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Prize as well as first prize winners of the Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff and Chesapeake International Chamber Music competitions. The Trio tour widely and present innovative multidisciplinary concert experiences that interweave repertoire of the traditional piano trio genre with diverse art forms.
Yang holds wide orchestral experience as a guest and newly appointed principal cellist of the Colorado Music Festival under Peter Oundjian as well as having performed and toured as principal of the New World Symphony. As educator and pedagogue, Yang serves as a cello instructor and chamber music coach at the University of Pennsylvania and at the College of the Holy Cross. She holds degrees from Northwestern University and New England Conservatory, studying with Hans Jørgen Jensen, Laurence Lesser and Yeesun Kim. Away from the cello, you’ll find her reading or checking out the local arts scene, enjoying the outdoors, or cooking and crafting cocktails.