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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Alexi Kenney, Violin
Renana Gutman, Piano

Friday, December 1, 2017 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
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Alexi Kenney by Yang Bao, Renana Gutman
The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been praised by The New York Times for “immediately drawing listeners in with his beautifully phrased and delicate playing.” Kenney has performed chamber music and concertos across the US and abroad, while also appearing on NPR’s Performance Today and From the Top.

Part of: Distinctive Debuts

Performers

Alexi Kenney, Violin
Renana Gutman, Piano

Program

BACH Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major
GEORGE CRUMB Four Nocturnes (Night Music II)
SCHUBERT Fantasy in C Major, D. 934
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN Lachen verlernt
RESPIGHI Violin Sonata in B Minor

Encore:
MASSENET Meditation from Thaïs

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

Distinctive Debuts is supported by endowment gifts from The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

At a Glance

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006

Bach’s six sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin have delighted listeners—and tested the mettle of performers—ever since their rediscovery during the 19th-century Bach revival.The E-Major Partita is a suite of five stylized dances prefaced by a bright, bravura Preludio.  

GEORGE CRUMB  Four Nocturnes (Night Music II)

George Crumb’s music is characterized by richly evocative poetic imagery and exotic timbral effects, often produced by unconventional instrumental techniques. These four short “night” pieces seem to emanate from a surreal world in which both the passage of time and traditional rules of musical syntax are suspended.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Fantasy in C Major, D.934

Schubert’s richly melodious Fantasy is recognized as a masterpiece today, but it received mixed reviews at its premiere in 1828. One newspaper tartly observed that the lengthy piece “occupied rather too much of the time a Viennese is prepared to devote to pleasures of the mind.”

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN  Lachen verlernt

The title Lachen verlernt (Laughing Unlearned) alludes to Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, in which the narrator begs Pierrot to teach her to laugh again. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s somberly lyrical music is based on a repeated sequence of chords—half heard and half implied—that underlies the solo violinist’s increasingly agitated antics.

OTTORINO RESPIGHI  Violin Sonata in B Minor

Respighi was still smarting from the disappointing reception of Fountains of Rome—the first of his symphonic poems and destined to be a concert-hall staple—when he wrote this bracingly virtuosic sonata in 1917. The two works share a lyrical, richly textured late-Romantic idiom.

Bios

Alexi Kenney, Violin

The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Alexi Kenney has been praised for his keen sense of musical structure and nuanced tone. At the age of 19, he was named a winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition.

Highlights of Mr. Kenney’s 2017–2018 season include debuts with the Detroit, Columbus, California, and Amarillo symphonies, and return engagements with the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Las Vegas Philharmonic. He performs additional recitals with Renana Gutman at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; Lee University in Tennessee; and the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in California.

Mr. Kenney has appeared as a soloist with the Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Portland, Riverside, Santa Fe, and Tulare County symphonies, as well as Germany’s Philharmonische Orchester des Staatstheaters Cottbus and the Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry. As a recitalist, he has performed at Caramoor, Boston’s Jordan Hall and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. He has been profiled by Strings magazine and The New York Times, written for The Strad, and been featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today, WQXR-NY’s Young Artists Showcase, WFMT-Chicago, and NPR’s From the Top.

Chamber music is a primary focus for Mr. Kenney, who tours with Musicians from Marlboro and the fellows at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. He regularly performs at festivals, including ChamberFest Cleveland, Festival Napa Valley, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, and Yellow Barn. He has collaborated with such artists as Pamela Frank, Steven Isserlis, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, and Christian Tetzlaff. He was recently made a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program, beginning in the 2018–2019 season.

Born in Palo Alto in 1994, Mr. Kenney received his bachelor’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory, where he is currently completing his artist diploma as a student of Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried.

Renana Gutman, Piano

Renana Gutman has performed across four continents as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and collaborative artist. She has appeared at France’s Louvre Museum and Museum of Grenoble, New York’s Merkin Concert Hall and Peoples’ Symphony Concerts, Russia’s St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Italy’s Stresa Festival, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Boston’s Jordan Hall and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art and Freer Gallery, and the University of South Africa.

A top prizewinner at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, International Keyboard Institute and Festival, and Tel-Hai International Piano Master Classes, Ms. Gutman has performed concertos with the Jerusalem and Haifa symphony orchestras, I Fiamminghi, and Mannes Orchestra. Her performances are frequently heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today, WQXR-NY’s Young Artists Showcase, and WFMT-Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts. Recent projects include a recording of Chopin’s Etudes, Op. 25, to be released this year by The Chopin Project.

In high demand as a chamber musician, Ms. Gutman tours with Musicians from Marlboro and regularly serves as collaborative pianist at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. In recent seasons, she has performed with violist Kim Kashkashian and violinist Miriam Fried. Frequent duo partners include violinists In Mo Yang, Yoojin Jang, and Tessa Lark. As a founding member of piano trio Terzetto, Ms. Gutman won first prize at the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. The trio was also featured at the Banff Centre, Great Lakes and Swannanoa chamber music festivals, and Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck.

Ms. Gutman has served on the faculty of the Yehudi Menuhin School in England alongside her mentor, Marcel Baudet. She currently teaches at New York’s 92nd Street Y and Bard College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division.

A native of Israel, Ms. Gutman received scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and Jewish Foundation for Education of Women. She studied with Natasha Tadson and Victor Derevianko in Israel, and Richard Goode at the Mannes College of Music in New York, where she completed her degrees. She has also studied with Israeli composer Arie Shapira.

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