Recent News
12.12.18
Keith Lockhart
KEITH LOCKHART JOINS THE ROSTER
12.10.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Classical Album of the Week: Vienna Boys Choir Sings Strauss
WRTI
12.07.18
JoAnn Falletta, Mariss Jansons, David Alan Miller, Peter Oundjian, Patrick Summers, Alexandre Tharaud, Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider , Mason Bates, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Academy of St Martin in the Fields , Les Violons du Roy , Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nathan Gunn
2019 Grammy Nominees
Grammy Awards
12.07.18
New York Philharmonic String Quartet , Yefim Bronfman
Bronfman, NY Philharmonic Quartet impress at Linton Series
Cincinnati Business Courier
12.06.18
Aaron Diehl
Pianist Diehl in jazz trio plays varied concert in Palm Beach
Palm Beach Daily News
12.06.18
Julian Wachner
This Is the Best ‘Messiah’ in New York
The New York Times
12.04.18
Sir Andrew Davis
ELGAR The Music Makers. The Spirit of England (Davis)
Gramophone
12.03.18
Chanticleer
Chanticleer Christmas concert, 11/30/18
Divamensch
12.01.18
Ward Stare
Twin pianists deliver impeccable style in ‘Perfect Pairs’ concert
Sarasota Herald Tribune
11.27.18
Richard Kaufman
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA HAUNTS THE SOROYA IN REAL TIME
Broadway World

News archive »

Koh, Wosner build a 'Bridge to Beethoven' at the Herbst in San Francisco

11.05.15
Jennifer Koh & Shai Wosner
San Jose Mercury News

With Herbst Theatre newly reopened after two years of renovations, San Francisco's premier recital hall is once again open for business. 

Wednesday evening brought violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner in a dynamic duo recital, performing the first of four programs titled "Bridge to Beethoven." Presented by San Francisco Performances, it's an intriguing concept, one that pairs Beethoven violin sonatas with specially commissioned new works by contemporary composers. 

Wednesday's program featured Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata, paired with the composer's earlier Sonata in D major, Op. 12, No. 1, and Vijay Iver's "Bridgetower Fantasy." Koh, who made her San Francisco Performances debut in 2003, is simply remarkable -- an artist who combines a questing spirit with tonal refinement and a kind of fearless virtuosity. Anyone who witnessed her extended violin solo in Philip Glass' "Einstein on the Beach" at Cal Performances a few years back can attest to her brilliance.

Yet Wosner, making his first San Francisco Performances appearance on this program, was every bit her match. Together, these two musicians traversed the evening's works with superb style and insight.

The performance of the "Kreutzer" sonata was especially fine. Koh sounded fervent and focused in the prayerful opening phrases, and her delicately etched lines supplied alluring contrast to Wosner's expressive playing in the second movement's theme and variations. The finale's headlong rush to the double bar was smoothly calibrated, with both artists delivering Beethoven's impassioned score with verve and precision.

The D-major Sonata, which opened the program, also received a terrific reading. Koh's impetuous, bright-toned phrasing was attractively set against Wosner's flowing, articulate pianism; the second movement's variations deftly captured Beethoven's high-spirited mix of wit and turbulence.

In between the Beethoven sonatas, there was Iyer's "Bridgetower Fantasy." Commissioned by MusicBridge, Inc., it is named for George Bridgetower, the 18th-century Afro-European violinist for whom Beethoven wrote the "Kreutzer" Sonata and who partnered with the composer to perform its 1803 premiere.

Read the rest of the review here