Puget Sound Piano Trio Presents A Couple of Jokes and a Few Hymns

November 10, 2012

Jacobsen Series, Friday, Nov. 16: Schubert, Ives, Mendelssohn

TACOMA, Wash. – Jokes and hymns, sure to entertain, is how pianist Duane Hulbert describes the fall concert program for the Puget Sound Piano Trio—an evening including elements of American folk songs, hymn tunes, and a familiar whiff of a melody written for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Piano Trio members Duane Hulbert, piano; Maria Sampen, violin; and David Requiro, cello, will host the Jacobsen Series concert on Friday, Nov. 16, starting at 7:30 p.m., in Schneebeck Concert Hall on campus. Ticket information and directions to the concert are below.

The program features works by Franz Schubert, Charles Ives, and Felix Mendelssohn.

Franz Schubert’s Notturno in E-flat Major, Opus 148, D. 897 is a single movement, consisting of a beautiful tune set in several different keys. A variety of accompanying figures in the piano part make the piece, in a sense, a theme and variations. Originally titled as “nocturne,” the notturno, or “night” in Italian, was composed in 1827, near the end of Schubert’s life.  

Charles Ives’ (pictured below) Piano Trio incorporates hymn tunes into a brocade of rich melodic textures. The middle movement is titled TSIAJ, which means “This Scherzo is a Joke,” and plays off the Italian word scherzo meaning “joke.” Woven into the music are several American folk songs, including “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Long, Long Ago.” The last movement is a rather dissonant assembly of hymn tunes, ending with a beautiful cello theme from the hymn “Rock of Ages.”

Felix Mendelssohn’s Trio in c minor, Opus 66, No. 2 is a lesser-known piece that features a light, fairy-like texture in the third movement’s scherzo that is reminiscent of the incidental music Mendelssohn wrote for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The finale closes with the triumphant “Old Hundredth” hymn tune from the Christian tradition, reminding the listener of Mendelssohn’s close association with the Protestant Reformation movement. 

The Puget Sound Piano Trio was revived in autumn 2010, after a 15-year hiatus, bringing Sampen and Requiro together with Hulbert, who was a member of the original trio with the late Edward Seferian, violin, and retired Puget Sound cellist Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel.

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.

Duane Hulbert, distinguished professor and chair of piano at Puget Sound, has toured the United States and Europe, winning rave reviews. He has won prestigious prizes at numerous competitions, including the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, and Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition in Spain. During his 27 years at Puget Sound, Hulbert’s students have won major competitions and held distinguished positions in colleges and conservatories across the country. His recording of works by Alexander Glazunov was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002.

Maria Sampen, associate professor and director of strings at Puget Sound, has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras across the United States, and as a chamber musician in Europe, Asia, and North America. She is in demand as a performer of both standard and experimental works, and frequently collaborates with leading composers. In addition to the Puget Sound Piano Trio, Sampen is a member of The IRIS Orchestra and Brave New Works. She also is on the violin faculty at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.

David Requiro is the Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel Artist in Residence at Puget Sound. He has taken first prize awards at the Walter W. Naumburg International Violoncello Competition and the Washington International and Irving M. Klein International string competitions, as well as a top prize at the Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition in Japan. Requiro has made concerto appearances with the Tokyo Philharmonic, National Symphony, and Seattle Symphony orchestras, among others, and has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center.

FOR TICKETS: Order online at http://tickets.pugetsound.edu or call Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.6013 to purchase with a credit card. Admission is $12.50 for the general public; $8.50 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty and staff. The concert is free for current Puget Sound students with Puget Sound ID. 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.

For directions and a map of the campus: www.pugetsound.edu/directions
For accessibility information please contact accessibility@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3236.

Press photos of the Puget Sound Piano Trio may be downloaded from: www.pugetsound.edu/pressphotos
Photos on page: Top right: Piano Trio, by Ross Mulhausen ; Above left: Composer Charles Edward Ives in his "day" job as the director of a successful insurance agency (1913).

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