Isabella Brown and Milana Pavchinskaya

Isabella Brown, violin

Milana Pavchinskaya, piano

October 7, 2020

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts

David Schwan, host


Amy Beach – Romance for violin and piano, Op. 23 (6’30”)

Ludwig van Beethoven – Violin Sonata no. 8 in G major, Op. 30 no. 3 (19′)

I. Allegro assai

II. Tempo di Minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso

III. Allegro vivac

James Newton Howard – 133…At Least (2′)

Camille Saint-Saëns – Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28 (9′)

This concert is generously sponsored by Neal Ball

Violinist Isabella Brown has recently been making a name for herself on the classical music scene.  Isabella was awarded a top prize in the 2019 Cooper International Competition and consequently debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra at the age of sixteen.  Her performance was praised by critics who wrote that Isabella “delivered an intensely lyrical and scintillating performance of the Dvořák Violin Concerto.”

More recently, Isabella was named the Winner of the 2020 Crain-Mailing CSO Young Artist Competition, and as such, she will be debuting with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the upcoming season.  She was also awarded First Prize in the Professional Division of the 2020 Chicago International Music Competition, from a pool of over 400 musicians from 22 countries.

Prior to this, Isabella received First Place in numerous competitions, including the Alexander and Buono International Competition, the Asian-American International Competition, the Rockville Competition, the Confucius Competition, the Sejong Competition, the Open Junior String Division of the MYA Walgreens National Competition, and the DePaul Concerto Festival Competition.  Additionally, Isabella was named a 2019 National YoungArts Foundation Winner, and she won the 2019 Lakeview Orchestra Competition, the 2019 DuPage Symphony Orchestra Competition, and the 2020 Kishwaukee Symphony Montzka Young Artist Competition.

Isabella made her solo debut with orchestra at the age of ten, performing with the Capital Symphonic Youth Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.  She has gone on to play with many other orchestras, including Oistrakh, Waukegan, New North Shore, Northbrook, Lakeview, DuPage, Elmhurst, Kishwaukee, Chicago Civic, and Cleveland.  Additionally, has been featured on radio and television, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, Severance Hall, Harris Theater, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, and Chicago’s Symphony Center.

Isabella studies violin with Almita Vamos as a Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy.  She is very thankful to be playing on a Dom Nicolo Marchioni detto ‘Amati’ of Bologna circa 1740, generously on loan to her from Kenneth Warren and Son, Ltd.

Milana Pavchinskaya is a well-known concert pianist, teacher, and experienced accompanist. She was born in Odessa, Ukraine, where she graduated from the famous Special Music School of Stolarsky. She continued her music education in Moscow, Russia, in the Gnessin Institute of Music with her teacher Maria Gambarian, where she got her degree in piano performance, chamber music, and accompaniment. When Milana Pavchinskaya moved to Chicago, she got her masters of music in pedagogy and performance from Northwestern University, where she was the recipient of the Hoverson Piano Award.

Mrs. Pavchinskaya performs in various venues around the Chicago area, and especially enjoys collaborating with other musicians.  She participates in many chamber music festivals, and can be heard at local venues, including WFMT, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She also made an appearance on the Oprah Show with a student, and is a frequent collaborator with members of the CSO. Currently, she is on the faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago, where she teaches piano and coaches advanced string players.

Amy Beach (1867-1944)

Romance for Violin and Piano,

Op. 23 (1893

Amy Beach, a prominent American composer and pianist, dedicated Romance Op. 23 to internationally recognized violinist Maud Powell. Powell and Beach premiered the piece together at the 1893 World’s Exposition in Chicago, and the performance was reportedly a huge success. This lush and charming piece showcases the melodic potential of the violin while interweaving dramatic dynamic shifts and an intimate relationship between both the violin and piano. The piece ends as it begins, with the music dwindling and ending with a beautiful arpeggiated piano chord.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Violin Sonata no. 8 in G major,

Op. 30 no. 3 (1802) 

Written during a particularly painful and traumatic time, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30, No. 3 was composed while Beethoven was coming to terms with his impending hearing loss. Despite this, Beethoven composed a sonata that contains some of the most lighthearted and cheerful music he ever wrote, perhaps a way for him to escape his pain. The first movement begins with an energetic theme shared by both the violin and the piano, engaging in a thrilling dialogue throughout. The second movement, marked to be played in the tempo of a minuet, opens with a soaring melody that repeats throughout. Throughout this second movement we get flashes of tragedy, alongside the minuet feel throughout. In complete contrast, the third movement, in the form of a Rondo, is lively, vivacious, and full of humor.

James Newton Howard 

(b. 1951)

133…At Least (2013)  

James Newton Howard is an eight-time Oscar nominee and one of the film industry’s most prominent and versatile composers, with over 120 movie and television scores to his name, including The Hunger Games and The Dark Knight. 133…At Least was written for violinist Hilary Hahn’s commissioned project: “In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores.”  According to Howard, the short piece “strives to achieve a crystalline clarity and confidence between violin and piano, but also expresses momentary uncertainty.”  The title of the piece is in reference to the tempo, indicating that it should be played at least 133 quarter note beats per minute.

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28 (1863)

Camille Saint-Saëns wrote his Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28 in 1863 for Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate, who was renowned for his flawless technique and daring style of playing. This piece was tailor-made to show off Sarasate’s incredible technique, filled with difficult arpeggios, fast passages, and large leaps. As indicated by the title, it begins with a slow and reflective opening, followed by a dazzling and spirited Rondo. The Rondo opens with a syncopated theme which is the centerpiece of the work, repeated throughout. This theme also offers a distinct Spanish flavor, a clear homage to Sarasate’s culture. The piece concludes with a thrilling coda that consists of rapid sixteenth notes ending with a bang.

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are made possible through the generosity of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Union League Club of Chicago.
Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are presented in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and 98.7 WFMT

Don’t miss Jennie Shin and Beilin Han

next week on the

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts!

Wednesday October 14, 12:15pm

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