SooBeen Lee and Elliot Wuu
SooBeen Lee, violin
Elliot Wuu, piano
July 21, 2021
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts
David Schwan, host
Claude Debussy – Violin Sonata in g minor (14′)
I. Allegro vivo
II. Intermède: fantasque et léger
III. Finale: très animé
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 3 (8′)
Igor Frolov – Concert Fantasy on themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Op. 19 (15′)
Violinist SooBeen Lee has been praised by the Washington Post for her “poised presence, a luxurious sound, spot-on intonation, and a bow arm that will surely be the envy of her peers”. She has already appeared as soloist with every major Korean orchestra, including the Seoul and Busan Philharmonics and KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) Symphony Orchestra. First Prize Winner of the 2014 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, she was also honored with YCA’s Slomovic Prize for support for her Washington, DC recital debut, and the Michaels Award, which provided support for her New York recital debut. Additional performances have included the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Gulf Coast and Rockford Symphonies, the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Plymouth Philharmonic, the Sibelius Concerto with the Longwood Symphony, and the Brahms Concerto with the Palm Beach Symphony. SooBeen Lee began studying the violin at the age of four. At eight years old she won the National Competition of the Korean Chamber Orchestra, she won First Prize at the Russia International Youth Violin Competition the following year, and she captured First Prize at the 2013 Moscow International David Oistrakh Violin Competition. Ms. Lee currently studies with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory, where she performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto as winner of their Concerto Competition.
Praised for his “power, speed and finesse of artists twice his age” (Tribune Star), Young Steinway Artist and Gilmore Young Artist Elliot Wuu has captured audiences with sensitive musicality and emotional depth in his music. Wuu has performed in major venues in the U.S., France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Romania and China. In NYC, Wuu performed at the United Nations Headquarters, WQXR Greene Space, and at Carnegie Hall for the Grammys Salute to Classical Music concert. Other notable concert performances include Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Aspen Festival, and Ravinia Festival. Wuu has also won top prizes and special awards in numerous state, national and international competitions including Hilton Head International Piano Competition for Young Artists, Cleveland International Piano Competition for the Young Artists, International e-Piano Junior Competition, and the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition. Born in Fremont, CA, Elliot is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School, and is currently studying piano performance under the tutelage of Robert McDonald.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Violin Sonata in g minor (1917) (14′)
Claude Debussy was already suffering with the cancer which prematurely ended his life when he began to compose his Violin Sonata in G minor. He began to sketch the work in 1916 and completed it the following year. It was to be his final composition and was in fact part of a projected cycle of six sonatas for various instruments, of which only three were written. Its three short movements provide an astonishing range of moods and emotions within a relatively short time span and, according to a typically self-deprecating remark by the composer, it represents “an example of what may be produced by a sick man in time of war.” Debussy was profoundly affected by the war. In particular, he wished to assert a strong sense of nationalism in his music, which bordered on a definite anti-German feeling and even signed the score “Claude Debussy—musicien français.”
-Brendan Carroll, 2014
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 3 (1893) (8′)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was fifteen when, in 1890, Sir George Grove admitted him to the Royal College of Music. From September 1892, just weeks after his seventeenth birthday, he began studying composition with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. The young student developed rapidly as a composer, showing remarkable assurance and craftsmanship, and his student chamber works form a well-delineated chapter of his output. During the four years that Coleridge-Taylor studied under Stanford, he produced eleven chamber works for various combinations of instruments including this Suite.
The Suite de Pieces is a four-movement work (Pastorale; Cavatina; Barcarolle; Contemplation) that meets all the requirements of ‘light’ music and reflected Novello’s [his publisher’s] appetite for this commercially profitable genre (teste the violin works of Elgar, Parry’s Twelve Short Pieces of 1894 and Stanford’s Characteristic Pieces of 1895).
-Catherine Carr, 2005
Igor Frolov (b. 1937)
Concert Fantasy on themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Op. 19 (1991) (15′)
When Igor Frolov was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, jazz was banned and it was practically impossible to obtain recordings, but Frolov went to screenings of foreign films and, on his return home, would attempt to recreate the harmonies and improvisations of his favourite melodies. Interest in this style has stayed with him throughout his life, and the elements of jazz can be found in many of his compositions.
Concert Fantasy on Themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Op. 19, for violin and piano, dates from 1991. The work was written in three short weeks, keeping the composer awake at nights during all this time. Frolov calls this composition ‘a poem about love’ that tells the story of two very different people who fall in love against all odds. It begins with a short piano introduction, after which a theme of Porgy appears in the violin. Other themes used here are those of “Serena’s Lament”, “Sportin’ Life”, and “Summertime.” This work contains various changes of mood and a multitude of virtuosic passages for the violin, before the brilliant coda concludes this challenging fantasy.
– Anastasia Belina, 2008
Don’t miss pianist Julia Hamos
next week on the
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts!
Wednesday July 28, 12:15pm