TACOMA, Wash. – In the vast repertoire of Johann Sebastian Bach’s more than 1,000 works, violin solos make up only a tiny sliver of the whole. Yet Bach was a proficient violinist himself—he played “cleanly and powerfully,” his son Carl Philipp said—and he knew the power and versatility of the modest instrument.
Audiences, too, can appreciate the joy of the violin’s range of expression at an upcoming all-strings chamber concert of classical masterpieces at University of Puget Sound.
The Jacobsen Series concert, Strings Attached, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, in Schneebeck Concert Hall on campus. Everyone is welcome and ticket information is below.
Strings Attached will feature distinguished School of Music artists Maria Sampen, violin; Timothy Christie, viola; and Alistair MacRae, cello; plus guest artist Brittany Boulding, violin.
The evening will include string works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Felix Mendelssohn. The program (see below) opens with solo violin and progressively adds instruments until it culminates with Mendelssohn’s string quartet.
Sampen will perform Bach’s G minor fugue for solo violin, which demonstrates how a single instrument can perform multiple melodies at once. Sampen will then be joined by her husband, Tim Christie, for Mozart’s duo for violin and viola. MacRae will join Sampen and Christie for Beethoven’s trio in G major, and finally, Boulding will complete the ensemble for Mendelssohn’s quartet No. 2.
“This program is designed to show the versatility of the violin,” Sampen said. “It highlights the instrument’s many roles: as a soloist, a duo and trio partner, and finally as a member of the string quartet.
“We chose this program thinking we would showcase some of the finest composers doing their magic with works that delight audiences and demand a lot from the players. We welcome everyone for a warm night of music.”
The program will include:
Bach, Sonata No. 1 for Solo Violin in G minor, BWV 1001
Mozart, Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K. 423
Beethoven, String Trio in G Major, Opus 9, No. 2
Mendelssohn, String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Opus 13
Maria Sampen, professor and chair of the string department at Puget Sound, is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer, recording artist, and teacher. She has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras across the United States, and as a chamber musician in Europe, Asia, and throughout North America. She is in demand as a performer of both standard and experimental works, and frequently collaborates with the leading composers of our time. Sampen is a member of the Puget Sound Piano Trio, The IRIS Orchestra, and the ensemble Brave New Works. She also performs for the Brevard Music Festival, in North Carolina, and Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, in Washington.
Brittany Boulding, violin, has appeared as a soloist with the Northwest Sinfonietta, Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, Seattle Festival Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, and Orquesta de Cámara Concierto Sur (Cuba), among others. She performs recitals across the United States and internationally. A passionate chamber musician, she is a member of the Finisterra Trio and concertmaster of the Northwest Sinfonietta and Auburn Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Opera. Boulding grew up performing with her family, the internationally acclaimed Magical Strings.
Tim Christie, affiliate faculty artist, violin, is artistic director and founder of the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival. He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, and is active as a chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. Solo violist of the contemporary ensemble Brave New Works since the group’s inception in 1997, Christie has performed and premiered numerous solo and chamber works of the 20th and 21st centuries. He performs throughout the United States, including as violinist with The IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, Tenn., and as a member of the violin faculty at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.
Alistair MacRae, cello, is the new Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel Artist in Residence at Puget Sound. He has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal throughout North America and in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. He has performed on radio and has recorded music by Mozart and Scott Joplin. MacRae premiered new works at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Harvard universities. His eclectic collaborations have found him on stage with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Westminster Choir, tap dancer Savion Glover, jazz bassist Ben Wolfe, and the rock band Scorpions. He is the principal cello of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and a passionate advocate for new music.
The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.
FOR TICKETS: Tickets are available online at tickets.pugetsound.edu, or at Wheelock Information Center, 253.879.3100. Admission is $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty and staff. The concert is free for current Puget Sound students. Group ticket rates are available for parties of 10 or more by calling 253.879.3555 in advance. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.
Press photos of the artists are available upon request.
Photos on page: Top right: Jakob Stainer 1658 violin, by Frinck51; Above: Maria Sampen, by Ross Mulhausen
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