Middlebury

Violinist Isabelle Faust and Pianist Alexander Melnikov Perform January 23

August 11, 2014

Recital Features Works by Weber, Schubert, and Beethoven

 
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Middlebury, VT—Consummate collaborators, violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov will perform together at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts on Thursday, January 23, 2014. The award-winning duo will play two Beethoven sonatas, two Weber Sonatas, and Schubert’s Fantasy in C Major for the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series.

 

isabellefaust-melnikov1-photomarcoborggreveFaust and Melnikov won the chamber music category of the 2010 Gramophone Awards for “a searching and very poetic collection of Beethoven’s sonatas.” The duo will perform two of these sonatas at the concert at Middlebury. The British newspaper The Guardian wrote, “[they] are ideal partners, wrestling with the musical dialogue with poise, imagination and freshness.”

Violinist Isabelle Faust began her musical career at a very early age. She founded a string quartet when she was just eleven years old. Her early chamber music experiences inspired her fundamental belief that performing is a process of giving and taking, where listening is just as important as expressing your own personality. Her victory at the 1987 Leopold Mozart Competition, at the age of 15, raised the prospect of a solo career. After winning the 1993 Paganini Competition, she moved to France, where she grew to love the French repertoire, particularly the music of Fauré and Debussy. She came to international attention with her first recording—sonatas by Bartók, Szymanowski and Janácek—and gradually refined her command of the most important works in the violin repertoire. Now, her mature artistry includes both technical mastery and deep musical exploration. The New York Times says her sound has “passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music’s hidden strains of lyricism.”
 

Faust has collaborated with her duet partner, pianist Alexander Melnikov, in acclaimed chamber music recordings for the Harmonia Mundi label. Their recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas received the ECHO Klassik Award, a Gramophone Award, and a Grammy nomination. Their latest CD, featuring chamber works of Weber, was released in January 2013.

Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied under classical pianist and educator Lev Naumov, the “Godfather of the Russian piano school.” Melnikov’s most formative musical moments in Moscow include his early encounter with the great Soviet pianist Svjatoslav Richter, who then invited him to festivals in Russia and France. As a soloist, Melnikov has performed with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic. This season Melnikov will debut at the BBC Proms with the Warsaw Philharmonic, followed by performances in the Czech Philharmonic’s season-opening concerts under Jiří Bělohlávek, and solo engagements in such venues as the Maison symphonique de Montreal, Wigmore Hall in London, De Singel in Antwerp, and the Mozarteum Salzburg. Audience members who enjoy Melnikov’s performance in this duo concert will have a chance to hear him as a soloist when he returns to Middlebury on February 23 to play works by Schumann and Shostakovich.

The concert by Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov will take place on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at 7:30 P.M., in the Concert Hall of Middlebury College’s Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. Associate Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin will give a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 P.M. in Room 221. For more information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

Photos by Marco Borggreve