First Monday at Jordan Hall: Schubert, Iverson, & Brahms
Join us as we celebrate 37 years of First Mondays: 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 spring’s concerts curated by Artistic Director Laurence Lesser highlight works by Mozart, Iverson (premiere), Schubert, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Scriabin, Stravinsky, and others. Drawing on the talent of NEC’s piano and keyboard community, the concerts weave a thread throughout the centuries—all anchored in extraordinary music for keyboard.
* NEC student/alumni
Watch livestream from Jordan Hall:
WATCH LAURENCE LESSER'S PROGRAM NOTES:
Franz Schubert | Fantasy in F Minor for Piano Four-Hands, D. 940Artists
- Alessio Bax, piano primo
- Evren Ozel '23 MM, piano secondo
Ethan Iverson | Piano Sonata (2022)
- Ethan Iverson, piano
Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone). He catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and is now a familiar face on five continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but also as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 150 orchestras worldwide including the London, New York, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Cincinnati, Tokyo, NHK, Sydney, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Fabio Luisi, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden
Bax constantly explores many facets of his career. He released his eleventh Signum Classics album, Italian Inspirations, and recently debuted with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston, Melbourne, and Seattle symphonies. He and his regular piano duo partner, Lucille Chung, gave recitals at New York’s Lincoln Center and were featured with the St. Louis Symphony, and he embarked on a trio tour of Spain with violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Steven Isserlis. He has also toured extensively with Joshua Bell and presented the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano with cellist Paul Watkins in New York City. In addition, Bax made his solo recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, and gave concerts at L.A.’s Disney Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Since 2017 he has been the Artistic Director of the Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival, a Summer Music Festival in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany. He appears regularly in festivals such as Seattle, Bravo Vail, Salon-de-Provence, Le Pont in Japan, Great Lakes, Verbier, Ravinia and Music@Menlo.
Bax’s celebrated Signum Classics discography include Bax & Chung, a duo disc with Lucille Chung; Alessio Bax plays Mozart, recorded with London’s Southbank Sinfonia; Alessio Bax: Scriabin & Mussorgsky; Alessio Bax plays Brahms; Bach Transcribed; and Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies. Recorded for Warner Classics, his Baroque Reflections album was also a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice” as was his Signum Classics recording of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas. He can be seen performing Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata for Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass.
Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory in his hometown of Bari, Italy, and, after further studies in Europe, he moved to the United States in 1994. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila. He was invited to join the NEC piano in the fall of 2019.
Violinist Lucy Chapman, Faculty Emerita, was chair of NEC's chamber music faculty and also served as chair of the string studio faculty during her twenty years at NEC. Ms. Chapman is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Arnold Steinhardt and also earned a master's degree in education from the Antioch New England Graduate School, where she specialized in Waldorf Education. She has pursued an eclectic career spanning many musical worlds. She became acting associate concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony at the age of twenty-nine; from that position, she moved on to play two seasons as first violin of the award-winning Muir String Quartet. She has played solo and chamber music concerts throughout the U.S., Europe, Korea, and Japan. Her recording of Bartók, Stravinsky, and Ives with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and pianist Richard Goode won a Grammy nomination, and she has also recorded with Keith Jarrett, whose solo sonata she premiered in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. At NEC, Ms. Chapman performed regularly with her colleagues, including violinists Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein, violist Kim Kashkashian and Roger Tapping, and cellists Paul Katz, Natasha Brofsky, and Laurence Lesser. She spent many summers teaching at Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine and is now a resident of Vermont, where she teaches violin privately and plays each summer in the Marlboro Music Festival.
Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson was a founding member of The Bad Plus, a game-changing collective with Reid Anderson and David King. The New York
Times called TBP “Better than anyone at melding the sensibilities of post-60s jazz and indie rock.” Since leaving TBP, Iverson has kept busy, working with Billy Hart, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and in varied situations as a leader, including a big band tribute to Bud Powell and ECM records featuring Mark Turner or Tom Harrell. The current release is Every Note is True on Blue Note records, an album of original music with Larry Grenadier and Jack DeJohnette. For almost 20 years, Iverson’s website Do the Math has been a repository of musician-to-musician interviews and analysis. Time Out New York selected Iverson as one of 25 essential New York jazz icons: “Perhaps NYC’s most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition—the most admirable sort of artist-scholar.” Iverson has also published articles about music in the New Yorker, NPR, The Nation, and JazzTimes. He has taught at NEC since 2016.
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 the solo viola music of Kurtág and Ligeti in 2013. Kim was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and is an honorary member of the Royal Academy.
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 atBaltimore’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.
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.
Winner of numerous prizes including the Walter Naumburg International Competition, Tibor Varga International Competition, Astral Artists National Auditions, Young Performers Career Advancement, and Lili Boulanger awards, Ayano Ninomiya has performed with orchestras across the U.S., Switzerland, Bulgaria, and most recently in Carnegie Hall. Praised for her "deeply communicative and engrossing" (The New York Times) performances, she has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Moab, Bowdoin, Kingston, Adams (New Zealand), Canberra International (Australia), and Prussia Cove (England) festivals. She has been featured on Musicians from Marlboro tours in the U.S. and France, and gave a TEDx talk in 2012 at the University of Tokyo. She was first violinist of the Ying Quartet and was Associate Professor at the Eastman School of Music until 2015 when she joined the violin faculty of the New England Conservatory. As a recipient of the Beebe Fellowship, Ayano studied in Budapest, Hungary, at the Liszt Academy after graduating from Harvard University and The Juilliard School. In her spare time, she loves to paint and practice Aikido.
Peter Stumpf is Professor of Cello at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Prior to this appointment, he was principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Stumpf's tenure in Los Angeles followed twelve years as associate principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His professional orchestral career began at age sixteen when he joined the cello section of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory. A dedicated chamber musician, he is a member of the Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio and appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, in Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Cologne. He has performed with the chamber music societies of Boston and Philadelphia, and at numerous Festivals, including the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Marlboro, Santa Fe, Bridgehampton, Spoleto, and Aspen. He has toured with Music from Marlboro, and with pianist Mitsuko Uchida in performances of the complete Mozart Piano Trios. As a member of the Johannes Quartet he collaborated with the Guarneri String Quartet on a tour including premieres of works by Bolcom and Salonen. Concerto appearances have been with the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Boston Philharmonic among others. As a recitalist, he has performed at the Universities of Hartford, Syracuse and Delaware, at Jordan Hall in Boston, and at the Phillips and Corcoran Galleries in Washington, DC. His awards include first prize in the Washington International Competition, the Graham-Stahl Competition and the Aspen Concerto Competition. As a teacher, he has conducted master classes at the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, Manhattan and Mannes Schools of Music, Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Seoul National University and several U.S. universities.