Gabriel Martins, cello
Victor Asuncion, piano
March 9, 2022
Dame Myra Hess Concerts
Dave Schwan, host
Ludwig van Beethoven (1780-1827) – 7 Variations on ‘Bie Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’, WoO 46 (1801) (10’)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) – Cello Sonata No. 2 in F Major, Op. 99 (1886) (25’)
I. Allegro vivace
II. Adagio affettuoso
III. Allegro passionato
IV. Allegro molto
Cellist Gabriel Martins (b. 1998) has established himself as one of the world’s most enthralling young artists, with a deep commitment to the timeless masterpieces of classical music. His artistry has already been recognized through an extensive list of accolades including the 2020 Concert Artists Guild – Young Classical Artists Trust Grand Prize, the 2020 Sphinx Competition Gold Medal, the David Popper International Cello Competition Gold Medal, the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians Silver Medal, the Schadt String Competition Gold Medal, the Orford Music Award, and the Prague Spring Czech Music Fund Prize. These successes have led to a number of high-profile debuts including Wigmore, Carnegie, and Merkin Halls, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, and the Arkansas, Memphis, Indianapolis, New Russian State, Pacific, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras. According to legendary cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, he has “revealed heart, passion, intellect, and a finely-nuanced palette of colors in a compelling manner worthy of a seasoned artist.”
In addition to his commitment to the great classics of the cello repertoire, Martins composes his own works and arranges many others. His “Songs of Solitude” received their World Premiere in the spring of 2021 in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library, and his new cello arrangements of Bach’s Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas have received high acclaim and a feature in The Strad Magazine.
Born of American and Brazilian heritage, Martins grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. His primary teachers have been Susan Moses at IU and Ralph Kirshbaum at USC. He plays on a composite Francesco Ruggieri cello made in Cremona, c. 1690 and a François Nicolas Voirin bow made in Paris, c. 1880.
Hailed by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey and the USA, as a recitalist and concerto soloist. He played his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra, and his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999.
A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, and many others. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival, and the Garth Newel Summer Music Festival. He was also the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons. His recordings include the complete Sonatas of L. van Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, Sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff with cellist Joseph Johnson, and the Rachmaninoff Sonata with the cellist Evan Drachman. He is also featured in the award winning recording “Songs My Father Taught Me” with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and WFMT-Chicago.
He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 2007 from the University of Maryland at College Park under the tutelage of Rita Sloan. Victor Asuncion is a Steinway artist. www.victorasuncion.com
Read program notes here
Don’t miss Brandon Patrick George and Jacob Greenberg
next week on the
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts!
Wednesday March 16, 12:15pm