. Interchanging Idioms: Concertmaster Jonathan Carney Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Concertmaster Jonathan Carney Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto

Concert also features artists from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, including faculty member and cellist Amit Peled, and Peabody Director and pianist Jeffrey Sharkey

Concertmaster Jonathan Carney will lead and perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto on Friday, May 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 9 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. A shortened program will be performed on Saturday, May 8 at 11 a.m. as part of the Casual Concert Series. Also on the program is Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8. The concerts on Friday and Sunday also include Richard Strauss’ Duett-Concertino.

Beethoven was always fascinated by the chamber ensemble of the piano trio: piano, violin and cello. In his Triple Concerto, Beethoven masterfully showcases not one, but three soloists within the context of a concerto for orchestra. Beethoven reduces the orchestral part considerably in order for each soloist to receive equal time. As further testament to his skill, he ensures that the darker-timbered cello is not covered by the more brilliant tones of the violin and piano by setting that instrument’s part at the top of its register. The BSO welcomes cellist Amit Peled, a faculty member at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and pianist and Peabody Institute Director Jeffrey Sharkey, who join BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney as soloists.

Many classical music enthusiasts incorrectly assume that it was Schubert’s untimely death at age 31 that prevented him from completing his Symphony No. 8. Rather, Schubert composed the first two movements and a sketch of the third movement at the age of 25. The work’s radically new sound was so innovative at the time that he likely abandoned the work, being unsure of how to develop its revolutionary new thematic ideas.

Duett-Concertino was Richard Strauss’ last exclusively instrumental work and typifies his later style of a smaller orchestra performing in the highly refined style of the 18th century. Strauss intended for the work to suggest a “Beauty and the Beast” scenario of a beautiful princess (the clarinet) who is frightened by a bear (the bassoon). The bear eventually wins the princess over and upon dancing with her, the previously grotesque bear turns into a handsome prince. The work features BSO musicians in the solo roles: clarinetist Steven Barta and bassoonist Phillip Kolker, both of whom also serve on the faculty of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

Jonathan Carney, leader and violin
BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney is currently in his eighth season with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra after serving 12 seasons in the same position with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also appointed concertmaster of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and the Basque National Orchestra in 1996.

Born in New Jersey, Mr. Carney hails from a musical family with all six members having graduated from The Juilliard School. After completing his studies with Ivan Galamian and Christine Dethier, he was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship to continue his studies in London at the Royal College of Music.

Recent solo performances have included concertos by Bruch, Korngold, Khatchaturian, Sibelius, Nielsen, Brahms’ Double Concerto and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, which was featured as a live BBC broadcast from London's Barbican Hall. He has made a number of recordings, including concertos by Mozart, Vivaldi and Nielsen, sonatas by Brahms, Beethoven and Franck, and a disc of virtuoso works by Sarasate and Kreisler with his mother Gloria Carney as pianist. New releases include Beethoven’s “Archduke” and “Ghost” trios, the cello quintet of Schubert and a Dvorak disc with the Terzetto and four Romantic pieces for violin.

He currently serves as artistic advisor for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras. He is also an artist-in-residence at the Baltimore School for the Arts and serves on its board of directors.

COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
Classical Concert: Beethoven Triple Concerto
Friday, May 7, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Jonathan Carney, leader and violin
Steven Barta, clarinet
Phillip Kolker, bassoon
Amit Peled, cello
Jeffrey Sharkey, piano

Schubert: Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”
R. Strauss: Duett-Concertino
Beethoven: Triple Concerto

Tickets for these performances range from $26 to $60 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

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