Performance Wednesday, November 5, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Itamar Zorman
Kwan Yi

Weill Recital Hall
A 2013 recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Tel Aviv–born violinist Itamar Zorman performs music that spans the 18th to 20th centuries. Zorman performs unaccompanied works by Bach and Hindemith, and is joined by pianist Kwan Yi, cited for his “ravishing control and pitch-perfect clarity” (Chicago Sun-Times), in sonatas by Brahms and Schnittke.

Part of Salon Encores.


  • Itamar Zorman, Violin
  • Kwan Yi, Piano


  • BACH Solo Violin Sonata No. 3 in C Major
  • SCHNITTKE Violin Sonata No. 2, "Quasi una sonata"
  • HINDEMITH Solo Violin Sonata, Op. 31, No. 1
  • BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor

At a Glance

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  Solo Violin Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005

A magisterial compendium of compositional styles and instrumental techniques, Bach’s six sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin have delighted listeners and performers since their rediscovery in the mid-1800s. The three sonatas share the standard layout of a four-movement Italian sonata da chiesa (“church sonata”). Each is centered on a mighty fugue—or, in the case of the C-Major Sonata, an ingenious double fugue.

ALFRED SCHNITTKE  Violin Sonata No. 2, “Quasi una sonata”

A Russian composer of German extraction, Schnittke is best known for his stylistically eclectic and richly expressive string quartets, symphonies, and concertos. The Violin Sonata No. 2, composed in 1968, signaled the composer’s embrace of a compositional principle that he called “polystylism.” The music blends avant-garde sounds and instrumental techniques with a recurring four-note motif based on the four letters of Bach’s name. 

PAUL HINDEMITH  Solo Violin Sonata, Op. 31, No. 1

Long before his expressionistic operas and other mold-breaking works made him a household name in Weimar Germany, Hindemith had a promising career as a chamber violinist. Both his virtuosity and his intimate knowledge of the instrument are apparent in this, the second of his three sonatas for solo violin. With its subliminal echoes of Bach’s unaccompanied violin music, this sonata is at once boldly modernist and deeply traditional. 

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 108

Brahms wrote the last of his three violin sonatas in the late 1880s. The D-Minor Sonata reflects his close friendship with Hungarian violin virtuoso and composer Joseph Joachim, to whom he often turned for artistic advice. Dark and impassioned, the music may also allude to his longtime platonic love affair with pianist and composer Clara Schumann.

Distinctive Debuts is supported, in part, by endowment gifts from The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
This performance is part of Distinctive Debuts.

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