Marie Tachouet and Beilin Han

Marie Tachouet, flute

Beilin Han, piano

November 4, 2020

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts

David Schwan, host


Fikret Amirov – Selections from Six Pieces for Flute and Piano (15′)

I. Song of the Ashuge

III. Dance

IV. In the Mountains of Azerbaijan

VI. Nocturne

William Grant Still – Summerland (4′)

Bohuslav Martinů – Flute Sonata H. 306 (20′)

I. Allegro moderato

II. Adagio

III. Allegro poco moderato

Marie Tachouet is Principal Flute of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, a position she has held since 2012. She serves on the flute faculty at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, and also coaches chamber ensembles at Northwestern University. She has performed as principal flute with the Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Joffrey Ballet, and Pittsburgh Opera orchestras and has also performed with the Pittsburgh and Oregon symphonies. An advocate of contemporary music, Marie has worked closely with composers including Charles Wuorinen, Elliot Carter, and John Zorn in venues such as the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, and the Guggenheim.  She has recently led masterclasses at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Virginia, DePaul University, University of Arkansas, and Western Illinois University, and has been a guest artist at The Consummate Flutist, Chicago Flute Symposium and Credo Flute workshops.

Praised by the New York Times for her “extraordinary agile” solo playing, she has been a soloist with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Olympia (WA) Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Akron Symphony, and University of Michigan Symphony Band. Marie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University as a student of Jeanne Baxtresser, Alberto Almarza, and Amy Porter. She is the sole recipient of the 2016 Paul Boylan award, a recognition given to Michigan alumni for outstanding contributions in the field of music.

Beilin Han was born in Shanghai, China and began studying piano at the age of three. She attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music for Primary and Middle School and also attended the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore on a full scholarship. Immediately after graduating from Academy in Singapore, Ms. Han was accepted into the University of Kansas for her Masters Degree, being the only full scholarship recipient at the time.

Beilin was invited to perform at the 7th Annual World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Las Vegas in 2002 and was honored as a Young Artist in 2003. In 2004, Ms. Han became a prize winner of the Vianna Da Motta International Piano Competition in Portugal. She toured internationally as a concert pianist performing throughout China, Portugal, Spain, and the US. She also appeared on radio programs in Singapore and the U.S., as well as a television program in China.

In 2008, Ms. Han graduated from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where she earned her Artistic Diploma with Solomon Mikowsky  and Meng-Chieh Liu.

In addition to Ms. Han’s successful solo career, she enjoys chamber music and collaborating with such artists as pianist Alberto Portugheis, world-renowned countertenor Paul Esswood, world-famous violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Yossif Ivanov, Ilya kaler, Kyoko Takezawa and Elmar Oliveira among others. She has also played for world-famous conductors such as Riccardo Muti and Christoph Eschenbach.

Currently, Ms. Han is a collaborative pianist at both Northwestern University and DePaul School of Music, Chicago Stradivari Society and joined the collaborative piano faculty at the Heifetz  International Music Institute since 2011 and Cremona International music festival in 2015.

Fikret Amirov (1922-1984)

Selections from Six Pieces for Flute and Piano (1972) 

Fikret Amirov, was an Azerbaijani composer and son of a famous tar singer and player. He grew up composing on the piano and eventually enrolled at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory. However, during his studies, he was drafted into the Soviet army after the USSR was attacked by Nazi Germany in 1941. Amirov was subsequently wounded and discharged, after which he completed his studies in composition.

Amirov was strongly influenced by the music of his home country, Azerbaijan which shares characteristics with the folk traditions of both Iran and Turkey. Amirov’s compositions include piano and symphonic works, opera, ballet, film scores, concerti and is credited with the creation of a new genre of symphonic mugams based on classical folk melodies that were performed by prominent orchestras such as the Houston Symphony. Six Pieces for Flute and Piano evokes Amirov’s native Persian folk background using recognizable musical figures such as ornamentations, melismas, and modal and rhythmic contours. Highlighted through this work, a hallmark of Amirov’s mugam composition style is his use of improvisational elements to demonstrate the marriage of music and poetry.

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

Summerland (1936) 

William Grant Still was born in Mississippi and is commonly referred to as the “Dean of African-American Composers”. Born into a family of musicians and teachers, he moved to Arkansas as an infant and later studied violin. While earning a bachelor of science degree at Wilberforce University, he conducted the band and began to orchestrate and compose. He later completed his formal studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Still entered the world of popular music before beginning his compositional career in New York and eventually moving to Los Angeles. His accolades include awards and honorary degrees from symphonic and educational institutions. Heavily inspired by black spirituals, he wrote over 150 musical works including operas, ballets, symphonies, chamber works, and arrangements of folk themes before his death in 1978.

  Summerland is the popularly adapted second movement of Still’s Three Visions, a three-movement suite for piano. Summerland was written for his wife, Verna Arvey, and has been transcribed for violin and orchestra as well as flute. Summerland tells the story of a dreamer’s soul after death, where the soul can pass into Summerland if its past life was a good one.

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)

Flute Sonata H. 306 (1945) 

Born in 1809, Bohuslav Martinů was from Bohemia, Austria-Hungary, now known as the Czech Republic. He studied violin and played in the Prague Philharmonic before moving to Paris to study composition with teachers such as Albert Roussel. In 1940, he fled Europe during World War II and settled in the United States, where he composed and taught music at Princeton University and the Berkshire (now Tanglewood) Music Center. Martinů wove characteristics of Czech folk music into his works while crafting a modern Neo-Classical style that showed elements of French musical tradition. A prolific composer of symphonic and chamber music, Martinů wrote mostly for strings, piano, and flute.

Martinů wrote his Flute Sonata in 1945 while residing in New England. During this time, he became intrigued by the call of the whip-poor-will bird, and wrote these bird calls into many of the sonata’s themes. Written in three movements, it displays his characteristic rhythmic motifs and folk melodies while providing equally engaging parts for both flute and piano.

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 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 Masha Lakisova and Lyudmila Lakisova

next week on the

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts!

Wednesday November 11, 12:15pm

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