First Monday at Jordan Hall: March (Not April) in Paris
This year, we bring Jordan Hall to you, with streaming editions of First Mondays at Jordan Hall—as brilliant with music as ever, performed by some of the world’s best chamber musicians.
Now in its 36th season, First Mondays are fresh and full of imaginative pairings of well-loved classics and new work, performed in one of the finest places on the planet to hear music of this caliber: NEC’s own Jordan Hall.
* NEC alum/student
WATCH CONCERT STREAM:
Can't wait for the concert?
- Balourdet String Quartet
- NEC Early Jazz Ensemble
- Laurence Lesser, artistic director
Maurice Ravel | Cinq mélodies populaires grecques
Chanson de la mariée
Là-bas, vers l'église
Quel galant m'est comparable
Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques
Maurice Ravel | Deux mélodies Hébraïques
Maurice Ravel | Tripatos
All of tonight's Ravel works were arranged for viola and piano by Kim Kashkashian and Robert Levin.
Hailed as “an artist who combines a probing, restless intellect with enormous beauty of tone,” Kim Kashkashian’s work as performing and recording artist and pedagogue has been recognized worldwide.
She won the coveted Grammy Award for her recording of Ligeti and Kurtág solo viola works in 2013, and received the George Peabody Medal and Switzerland’s Golden Bow Award for her contributions to music. In 2016, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2020, was named an Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music.
As soloist Kashkashian has appeared with the orchestras of Berlin, London, Vienna, Milan, New York and Cleveland in collaboration with Eschenbach, Mehta, Welser-Moest, Kocsis, Dennis Russel Davies, Blomstedt, and Holliger. Recital appearances include the great halls of Vienna, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Tokyo, Athens, London, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia where Ms. Kashkashian appears with the Trio Tre Voce, and in duo partnerships with pianist Robert Levin and percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky. She is also a regular participant at the Verbier, Salzburg, Lockenhaus, Marlboro, and Ravinia festivals.
Pursuing her lifelong search for new directions in music making, Ms. Kashkashian has forged creative relationships with the world’s leading composers—including György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli, and Arvo Pärt and commissioned compositions from Eötvös, Ken Ueno, Betty Olivero, Thomas Larcher, Lera Auerbach, Tigran Mansurian, and Toshio Hosokawa.
Ms. Kashkashian’s long association with the ECM label has yielded a discography that has garnered an abundance of praise and international awards—including a Grammy in 2013 for her solo recording of works by György Ligeti and György Kurtág, a Cannes Classical Award in 2001 for her recording of the viola concertos of Kurtág, Béla Bartók, and Péter Eötvös, and an Edison Prize in 1999 for her recording with pianist Robert Levin of the sonatas of Johannes Brahms. Ms. Kashkashian’s most recent recording of the six unaccompanied suites of J.S. Bach, was released to critical acclaim in October 2018 and garnered the Opus Klassik Prize.
Ms. Kashkashian, who studied with Karen Tuttle and Walter Trampler at Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory and Felix Galimir at Vermont’s Marlboro Festival, has held teaching positions at Indiana University, the Freiburg Hochschule für Musik, and the Hans Eisler Hochschule of Berlin. Currently, Ms. Kashkashian makes her home in Boston where she coaches chamber music and viola at New England Conservatory of Music.
Ms. Kashkashian is Founder and Artistic Director of “Music for Food” a musician-led hunger relief initiative that to date has presented hundreds of artists in concert which have created more than one and a half million free meals for people in need. To learn more, visit www.musicforfood.net.
Pianist and conductor Robert Levin has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia, appearing with the orchestras of Atlanta, Berlin, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, Philadelphia, Toronto, Utah, and Vienna on the Steinway and with the Academy of Ancient Music, the English Baroque Soloists, the Handel & Haydn Society, the London Classical Players, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique on period pianos. Renowned for his improvised cadenzas in Classical period repertoire, Robert Levin has made recordings of a wide range of repertoire for Bridge, DG Archiv, Decca/London, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, ECM, Hänssler, Hyperion, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Le Palais des Dégustateurs, New York Philomusica, Philips, and SONY Classical. His recordings include Bach’s complete keyboard concertos, the six English Suites and both books of the Well-Tempered Clavier (Hänssler Edition Bachakademie); a Mozart concerto cycle with Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music for Decca/Oiseau Lyre; the Beethoven concertos with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique for DG Archiv; the complete piano music of Dutilleux for ECM; Bernard Rands’ Preludes and Impromptu for Bridge; and the complete Beethoven sonatas and variations for fortepiano and cello with Steven Isserlis for Hyperion. Recent releases include the six Bach Partitas (Grand Prix International du Disque) and the complete Schubert piano trios with Noah Bendix-Balgley and Peter Wiley (both for Le Palais des Dégustateurs). ECM will release the complete Mozart sonatas on Mozart’s Walter piano in May.
A passionate advocate of new music, Robert Levin has commissioned and premiered numerous of works, including Joshua Fineberg’s Veils (2001), John Harbison’s Second Sonata (2003), Yehudi Wyner’s piano concerto Chiavi in mano (Pulitzer Prize, 2006), Bernard Rands’ Preludes (2007), Thomas Oboe Lee’s Piano Concerto (2007), and Hans Peter Türk’s Träume (2012).
Robert Levin has long performed and recorded with violist Kim Kashkashian. He appears frequently with his wife, pianist Ya-Fei Chuang, in duo recitals and with orchestra, and with cellist Steven Isserlis. A noted Mozart scholar, Mr. Levin’s completions of Mozart’s Requiem and other unfinished works have been recorded and performed throughout the world. In 2005 his completion of the Mozart C-minor Mass, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, was premiered there and has since been widely heard in the United States and Europe. He has been an artist teacher at the Sarasota Music Festival since 1979 and was its Artistic Director from 2007-2016. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and member of the Akademie für Mozartforschung, he is President of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition (Leipzig, Germany). He was awarded the Bach Medal of the City of Leipzig in 2018. From 1993 to 2013 he was Dwight P. Robinson, Jr. Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and is presently Visiting Professor at The Juilliard School.Artists
- Kim Kashkashian, viola
- Robert Levin, piano
Vincent Scotto/Géorge Koger/Henri Varna | J'ai deux amours (I have two lovers)
About Matthew Shifrin
Matthew Shifrin is a composer, singer, and accordionist. As a countertenor he has performed at National Sawdust in NYC, The Museum Of Fine Arts in Boston, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He studies at New England Conservatory, with Michael Meraw for voice and Hankus Netsky for composition, and will graduate in 2021 with a Bachelor of Music degree.
He recently placed first in the Boston, and New England competitions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. As a composer, Matthew writes musicals, and is currently working on a one-man show about escaping from a school for the blind.
He recently had his acting debut as a blind subway musician in Mark Turtletaub's Puzzle, with Kelly McDonald, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is available for streaming on Amazon. Matthew loves helping blind people enjoy previously inaccessible forms of entertainment. He and a friend, Lilya Finkel, created a system of text-based instructions which lets blind people build Lego sets independently. The system has been featured in Popular Science, MentalFloss, Time for Kids, Msn, Aol, and on YouTube, where PBS's Documentary How Lego Helps Blind People See has received over 85,000 views. He's now collaborating with Lego to generate text-based instructions using artificial intelligence.
Matthew also created a mapping system that uses Lego bricks to help blind rock-climbers climb better, using different Lego bricks to represent the various rocks on a climbing wall.
With an engineer from the MIT Media Lab, Matthew started Project Daredevil, a start-up which creates Virtual-reality comics for the blind using 3D sound and a motion simulating helmet. Matthew's podcast, Blind Guy Travels, will be released in June by NPR.Artists
- Matthew Shifrin *, vocals, accordion
Joseph Kosma/Etienne Beaurouge | Clair de lune
Django Reinhardt, arr. | Les yeux noirs (Dark eyes), based on "Valse Homage" by Florian Hermann
About the performers
David Eure currently teaches jazz violin at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education. He bridges the classical and jazz divide, and, following his work with jazz pianist Yasko Kubota, he continues to explore African and Latin American cultural roots.
Eure has performed concerts with Yusef Lateef, Wayne Newton, Yasko Kubota, Aaron Goldberg, Burt Teague, Jimi Bell, Richard Doron Johnson, Avi Rothbard, Carlos del Pino, Jorge Najarro, Osmany Paredes, Gary Valente, Cecil McBee, George Russell Jr., Kim Trusty, Frank Wilkins, Joan Watson-Jones, and Christine Correa. He did a solo performance for President Bill Clinton. His performance history also includes masterclasses with Harry Connick Jr., performances at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Contemporary composers (as a member of the New Bohemian String Quartet), the New England Fiddle Contest and the Hartland Folk Festival. He has performed with Rick Danko, Taj Mahal, Richie Havens, and has opened for Kirk Whalum and Alex Bugnon. He continues to perform and record locally.
Korey Brodsky is a Boston-based mandolinist and guitarist. Expanding upon his early roots in bluegrass music, he now also studies and performs old time, solo Bach, and jazz. He has been featured in numerous publications such as Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and Bluegrass Unlimited, was a 2013 IBMA Youth All Star, a member of the 2018 Acoustic Music Seminar, and currently attends the Berklee College of Music. Over the years, he has toured and recorded with various national and local bands.
An award winning multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and bandleader, G Rockwell has performed and competed on stages across the country. His unique style of Americana sits somewhere between the traditions of bluegrass and gypsy jazz; with the modern influences of artists like David Grisman and Tony Trischka. G has had the honor of sharing the stage with Michael Daves and Bela Fleck. He has studied banjo with Tony Trischka, and Ryan Cavanaugh; guitar, mandolin and vocals with Michael Daves; guitar with Grant Gordy; and has participated in workshops with artists including Sierra Hull and Ronnie McCoury. G studies Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory and has worked on four studio album/EP projects, including the 2019 release of Spark! his album of original works, produced in concert with Stash Wyslouch.
Anna Abondolo was raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Boston. She is in her third year studying bass and composition at New England Conservatory where her teachers have included Donald Palma, Dominique Eade, Frank Carlberg, and John Clayton. She performs with her own groups as well as performing with artists including Sean Jones, Dianne Reeves, and Tom Kubis.
- David Eure, violin
- G. Korth-Rockwell *, guitar
- Korey Brodsky, guitar
- Anna Abondolo *, double bass
Claude Debussy | String Quartet in G Minor, op. 10
Animé et très décidé
Assez vif et bien rythmé
Andantino, doucement expressif
Balourdet String Quartet
The Balourdet String Quartet, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is currently in residence at New England Conservatory in NEC's Professional String Quartet Program. The quartet received the Gold Medal in the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Second Prize in the 2019 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition. The Balourdet has shared the stage with renowned artists including Cho-Liang Lin, as well as members of the Dover Quartet. It has studied and performed at festivals including the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, and Accademia Musicale Chigiana.
Formed in 2018 at Rice University in Houston, Texas under the tutelage of James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Cho-Liang Lin, the Balourdet String Quartet works primarily with Paul Katz at New England Conservatory. The quartet takes its name from Antoine Balourdet, chef extraordinaire at the Hotel St. Bernard and beloved member of the Taos School of Music community.Ensembles
- Balourdet String Quartet
- Angela Bae * and Justin DeFilippis *, violin
- Benjamin Zannoni *, viola
- Russell Houston *, cello