NEC Philharmonia + Hugh Wolff: Abels, Chen, & Dvořák

NEC Philharmonia presents works by Michael Abels, Chen Yi, and Antonín Dvořák, performed live in Jordan Hall and streamed to your home.
"The three pieces on this evening’s concert exploit the folk traditions of the composers’ home countries and cultures. Rich musical vernaculars form some of the essential building blocks of what we call classical music. Each of tonight’s composers has expressed this connection in a very personal way." —Hugh Wolff

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  • NEC Philharmonia
  1. Michael Abels | Delights and Dances

    Michael Abels

    Black American composer Michael Abels was born in Arizona in 1962 and grew up on a farm in South Dakota.  His compositions include award-winning scores to the films Get Out and Us.  His 2007 work, Delights and Dances for string quartet and string orchestra, was written for the Harlem String Quartet.  Filled with blues, bluegrass, and Latin dance elements, it’s a brilliant showcase for the string quartet and, as its title suggests, an infectious romp for all.

  2. Chen Yi | Shuo

    Chen Yi headshot. Ms. Chen smiles at the camera. She is wearing glasses and has short dark hair. The background is grey.

    Chen Yi was born in 1953 to a family of medical professionals and amateur musicians.  Her education was interrupted by the Cultural Revolution, when she spent two years working in rural China.  There she was exposed to Chinese folk music.  Her compositions often explore the territory between traditional Chinese music and Western modernism.  Shuo means “initiate” in Chinese; it also refers to the first day of each lunar month.  Thus, the initial materials of the piece come from Chinese folk music: a mountain song for the opening viola solo and later a lyrical melody from the Shui people of southwestern China.  These are developed in rich contrapuntal fashion.

  3. Antonin Dvořák | Serenade in E Major, Op. 22

    I Moderato

    II: Tempo di Valse

    III. Scherzo: Vivace

    IV. Larghetto

    V. Finale: Allegro vivace

    Black and white portrait of Antonin Dvorak. He is wearing an ascot and suit jacket and a mutton-chops style moustache and beard.

    Thirty-three year-old Antonín Dvořák, struggling for recognition and the means to feed his young family, was the happy recipient of a stipend from the Austrian government in early 1875.  Among the judges awarding the prize was Johannes Brahms.  That spring, Dvořák wrote his Serenade in E major, Op. 22 in just two weeks.  Full of the Bohemian atmosphere that forms the bedrock of Dvořák’s style, the music unfolds in five concise movements.  Dvořák’s astonishing melodic gift is on display in all five, as is his sophisticated handling of the small string ensemble.  A resounding success, the work significantly enhanced Dvořák’s growing reputation and has remained one of his most popular pieces.

  4. Personnel

    First Violin
    *Isabelle Ai Durrenberger
    Tiffany Chang
    Alison Kim

    Nozomi Murayama
    Cameron Alan-Lee

    Evan Hjort

    Second Violin
    *Hannah Goldstick
    Grant Houston
    Victoria Pan
    Jordan Hadrill
    Jason Qiu

    *Zhanbo Zheng
    Ayano Nakamura
    Karlie Roberts

    Anabel Tejeda

    *Sameer Apte

    Dilshod Narzillaev
    Mari Nagahara

    Wen Peng
    Gregory Miguel Padilla

    *Abels quartet

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Watch live stream from Jordan Hall:

A violinist in rehearsal with the N E C Philharmonia

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