Jonah Ellsworth is acclaimed as one of the greatest cellists of his generation. Ellsworth has won critical acclaim for his solo performances with the Boston Symphony, Akron Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, and New Bedford Symphony, among others. Ellsworth has been referred to as “a kind of unrepentant Tannhäuser” and “a player to watch,” by The Boston Globe and Clevelandclassical.com. The Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote that he is “fearless, [with a] complete range of expressive richness” and “definitely a player to watch.” These praises were earned after performances of the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto with the Boston Philharmonic, the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Akron Symphony, and his performance of Strauss’s Don Quixote with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO).
Ellsworth was featured as a soloist with the New Bedford Symphony on their regular subscription series in 2012, performed as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Symphony Hall in 2011, and with Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra under the baton of the late Gunther Schuller. He was invited to participate at Marlboro Music Festival for 2014, 2015, and will return next summer. He is a member of the cello section of the Boston Philharmonic.
When Ellsworth recently performed Strauss’s Don Quixote with conductor Benjamin Zander and the BPYO in Prague, former Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer wrote “Ellsworth’s grasp of what the notes mean, of the stories they tell, of the feeling behind and within the notes, is firm, and very deep. His playing of some of the quieter episodes, the yearning that Don Q feels for the idealized Dulcinea, was profoundly moving, and there was a high amount of energy as he tilted against windmills and scattered sheep. And he plays the death sigh of Don Quixote as tenderly and movingly as I have ever heard it – it is with a profound content that this Don Quixote he leaves this life, and not with a sigh of regret.” On this same tour, Ellsworth performed the Dvořák Concerto in Basel, Switzerland. The following is Dyer’s comparison of this performance to that of Natalia Gutman (a legendary Russian cellist who was also soloist with BPYO on this tour): “Ellsworth’s performance was the more mature, serene and centered, and he played with technical mastery, imagination, passion and deep feeling and he was fearless, despite the fact that moments before the concert his cello was knocked over and the bridge was cracked.”
His performance of the Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with YPO in Slovakia prompted the critic from The Boston Musical Intelligencer to write, “… Any praise of Jonah’s technical abilities is likely to be an understatement. He is completely assured and intensely musical; each of the variations had a distinctive character and tone color… This is a young man on the verge of an international career.”
Ellsworth was finalist of the 2011 Stulberg International String Competition in Michigan and received top prize from the Harvard Musical Association in 2012. He appeared on the PBS TV show of the “From the Top” taped live in Carnegie Hall in New York City which has been broadcast on PBS stations nationwide.
Ellsworth has studied with Lawrence Lesser at New England Conservatory and Peter Wiley at Curtis Institute of Music. Other teachers include Andrew Mark and Natasha Brofsky. He has attended Meadowmount Music School where he studied with Hans Jansen, Greenwood Music Camp, Orford Arts Center in Canada.
The Boston Trio violinist, Irina Muresanu, has won international acclaim as an outstanding young soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Muresanu has achieved top prizes in numerous international violin competitions. These include the Montreal International, Queen Elizabeth Violin, UNISA International Sting, Washington International, and the Schaefer String Competitions. She is the winner of the Po Musicis International Award, the Presser Music Award and the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association.
The Boston Globe has come to praise her as “…not just a virtuoso, but an artist,” and the Los Angeles Times has written that her “musical luster, melting lyricism and colorful conception made Irina Muresanu’s performance especially admirable,” while Strad Magazine called her Carnegie/Weill Hall performance “…a first-rate recital.”
Muresaby has participated in recent concerts with the Boston Pops, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), the Syracuse Symphony, the Metropolitan Orchestra (Montreal), the Transvaal Philharmonic (Pretoria), the Orchestre de la Radio Flamande (Brussels), the Boston Philharmonic, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Romanian National Radio Orchestra, and the Miami Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Irina Muresanu has collaborated with Kim Kashkashian, Cynthia Phelps, Sharon Robinson, Ronald Thomas, Andres Cardenes, Ilya Kaler, and Nathaniel Rosen. Ms. Muresanu’s performances have been frequently cited as among the “Best of” classical music performances by the Boston Globe, and her recital in the Emerging Artist BankBoston Celebrity Series was named one of the Top 10 musical events by TAB Magazine. Irina is also often heard on Boston’s WGBH and other NPR radio stations.
As an active chamber musician, Ms. Muresanu has appeared in a variety of festivals and venues which include, Bargemusic in New York; the Rockport Festival in Massachusetts; Bay Chambers concert series and Bowdoin Festival in Maine; the Strings in the Mountains festival in Colorado; Maui Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, Reizend Music festival in Netherlands; Festival van de Leie in Belgium; and the Renncontres des Musiciennes festival in France.
Ms. Muresanu’s discography includes the Thomas Oboe Lee concerto on the BMOP label, works Elena Ruehr dedicated to Irina Muresanu on Avie Records, the integrale of William Bolcom violin and piano sonatas with pianist Michael Lewin on the Centaur label, and the Guillaume Lekeu and Alberic Magnard late Romantic violin and piano sonatas (with the pianist Dana Ciocarlie) for the AR RE-SE French label. The artist has also recorded the world premiere recording of Marion Bauer’s Sonata for Violin and Piano (with pianist Virginia Eskin) on Albany Records, a CD with works of Andy Vores, and a CD featuring chamber works of Erich Korngold released by the VPRO Radio Amsterdam.
Irina Muresanu currently serves on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory. She is a Bucharest, Romania native and has received the prestigious Artist Diploma and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory.
Irina Muresanu plays an 1856 Joseph Rocca violin and a Charles Peccat bow, courtesy of Mr. Mark Ptashne.
Irina Muresanu will be performing alongside The Boston Trio on February 9 at 2 PM at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Waverly, Iowa.
“Whenever this trio plays, drop everything and go hear them!” hailed the Boston Globe during The Boston Trio’s Tanglewood debut at Ozawa Hall. Since their formation in 1997, the trio has quickly become one of today’s most exciting chamber ensembles. The trio is known for their superb sense of ensemble and wondrous balance. These virtuosic and profound musicians are committed to creating exceptional and daring performances of standard and contemporary repertoire.
Violinist Irina Muresanu, cellist Jonah Ellsworth, and pianist Heng-Jin Park each have distinguished careers as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and have appeared with major orchestras and premier chamber music festivals throughout the United States and Europe. Highlights for the ’17-’18 season include the trio’s second performance at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, a tour of Florida featuring a performance at the Flagler Museum and a return to the Sanibel Music Festival, and tours from California to Maryland to upstate New York. Recent highlights for the Boston Trio include performances at UCLA, Detroit Pro Musica, University of Arkansas, Maui Classical Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Virtuosi Concerts in Winnipeg, and performances of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Boston Philharmonic.
The Boston Trio has been invited to perform on numerous prestigious music series including the Bank of America Celebrity Series, Seiji Ozawa Hall in Tanglewood, Sanibel Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Utica, Gualala Arts Chamber Music Series, ‘First Monday’ series at NEC, Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine, Harvard Musical Association, Concerts at the Point, Brigham Young University, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Howland Chamber Music Circle, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, performances of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Boston Classical Orchestra, and a nationally televised performance at Belgrade Music Festival at Kolarac Foundation Hall in Serbia. The Boston Trio has collaborated with such artists as the Borromeo Quartet and Bill T. Jones Dance Company and has been frequent guests on Boston’s WGBH Radio and NPR.
The trio has coached chamber music at the Tanglewood Institute of Music and served as Ensemble-in-Residence at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge from 1997 to 2004. The ensemble was in residence at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. The Trio is committed to bringing chamber music to a broader audience through outreach activities at public schools and assisted living centers. The individual members serve on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, the Boston Conservatory, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and are in demand as master class teachers throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.
Learn more about the ensemble at https://www.bostontrio.com/
Join pianist, John Krebs and composer and violinist, Philip Wharton at their performance Sunday, January 19. The musicians will be performing at 2 p.m. in the Narthex of St. Paul´s Lutheran Church and School in Waverly, Iowa.
Iowa native, Krebs holds degrees in piano performance from Northwestern University, the University of Illinois and the University of Maryland. Krebs has been teaching at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas for the past 20 years. At Hendrix, he has taught music theory, music history and literature, an opera survey course, jazz history and studio piano. He has also served as chair of both the Hendrix music department and humanities area.
Krebs has performed in Canada, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia and Thailand. He has been an active member of Music Teachers National Association at the local, state and national levels, and in 2011 he was named an MTNA Foundation Fellow. He previously taught at Central Missouri State University and Prince George's Community College and was a professor of music at Luther College from 1989-92.
Few artists enjoy such high praise for both of their disciplines as composer and violinist Philip Wharton. Of his playing, The New York Times proclaimed, “a rousing performance!” and The Waterloo Courier wrote, “a golden tone with breathtaking execution.” His compositions, heralded from coast to coast, are described by the New York Concert Review as, “…decidedly contemporary…both engaging and accessible.”
Writing from symphony to song, past seasons saw the Santa Fe Opera’s remounting of Two Saintes Caught in the Same Act as part of their apprentice scenes program, the Grammy-nominated Borealis Wind Quintet perform his Quintet on their concert tours, his chamber symphony, Passing Season performed by regional orchestras, premiere of his Symphony, his tribute to Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, a song cycle entitled Fools, and concerts with Grammy-nominated soprano, Caroline Worra.
Other projects include collaborations with author Janet Burroway and illustrator John Vernon Lord to create musical settings of their books for children: The Giant Jam Sandwich, The Truck on the Track, and a vocal monodrama, The Perfect Pig. Recent recordings include Albany Records’ release of his Flute Sonata--performed by flutist, Katherine Fink, and pianist Rose Grace, Crescent Phase Records’ release of his Woodwind Quintet--performed by the Madera Woodwind Quintet, and Kenneth Thompkins’ (principal Detroit Symphony Orchestra) recording of his Alto-Trombone Sonata.
Join us this Sunday to enjoy the music of John Krebs and Philip Wharton.
Most people know that the (normally catchy) verse that repeats itself multiple times in modern songs is called a chorus, but what most people don’t know is that the chorus was created during the Baroque era of classical music. This was from the year 1750 to the year 1820 and is also known as the “golden age of music.” An increase in instruments and instrumental music, as well as an increase in solo voices really define this classical music era. During this time, the sonata, symphony, fugue, concerto, the opera, and mixed vocal-instrumental music styles were born.
Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to.This style of classical music is the first that comes to mind when one considers “Classical” music. Handel, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi were prevalent during the Baroque era.
The Classical era followed the Baroque era and took the structures of classical movement into different creative directions. It was during this era that Mozart, Hadyn, and Beethoven composed their music.
Classical music is normally very serious and conventional, and closely follows certain musical principles. Because of this, many people don’t recognize the connection between music and composers from the classical era to modern genres and artists.
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and many other composer’s music continues to be played and listened to around the world today. Classical music is a genre that has stood the test of time, in more ways than one. Classical music structure and inspiration has continued to shape the way music is written across genres.
Classical music was never written to transcend generations, but that is exactly what it did. People listen to classical music when the want to study, when they want to wind down and relax, when they want to hear the passionate instrumentals, and when they want to feel the emotions that classical music evokes.
People listen to classical music without even knowing that they are. The genre has made its way into movie soundtracks, video game backgrounds, cartoons, and you can even find it hidden in quite a bit of mainstream music.
Many popular songs today are based on a few main chords and sequences that originated during the classical era.
A lot of artists, such as Radiohead, Muse, and OneRepublic, include classical styles of sweeping string bands, complex piano and organ music, unconventional time signatures, and reliance on harmonies. Some artists also get their inspiration directly from specific composers and pieces from the classical era.
The band Little Mix used Pavane’s “Fauré” in their song, “Little Me.” The intro to Lady Gaga’s popular single, “Alejandro,” is the tune from Monti’s “Csárdás.” Beyoncé even made her own version of Shubert’s “Ave Marie.” All of these artists have been influenced strongly by classical music, and modern artists continue to take cues from the classical era.
Join the Mirandola Ensemble as they perform, "Jewel of the Baroque", a program featuring anthems of Henry Purcell, excerpts of Claudio Monteverdi's Sestina and sacred works of Jean-Baptiste Lully.
The Mirandola Ensemble is performing at 2 p.m. in the Narthex of St. Paul's Lutheran Church & School in Waverly, IA.
The Mirandola Ensemble was established in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2011. The group is a professional choral ensemble that is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of choral music, the notion of choral music as “high art” in the Western tradition, and the aesthetics of the Renaissance.
The Mirandola Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization and has served multiple years as a Class Notes Artist-in-Residence for Classical Minnesota Public Radio.
The group’s name comes from the esteemed Renaissance philosopher, Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (1463-1494), who wrote in his sentimental treatise “Oration on the Dignity of Man”: "[Adam,] to you is granted the power, contained in your intellect and judgment, to be reborn into the higher forms, the divine."
The Mirandola Ensemble has been inspired by Mirandola’s philosophy to not take life too seriously. They believe that vocal music should be not only entertaining and fun, but also enlightening. They aims for the highest standards in vocal music performance through the use of the most recent scholarships and elite professionals in the field today.
The group is comprised of the vocalists Nick Chalmers, artistic director and tenor; Andrew Kane,baritone; Matthew Culloton, bass; Clara Osowski, alto; Alyssa Anderson, mezzo soprano;Chelsie Propst, soprano; Hannah Armstrong Stanke, soprano; Krista Costin, mezzo-soprano;Brody Krogman, bass-baritone; Ben Kunkel, classical guitarist and Christopher Ganza, a continuo.
The group’s studio albums “Unquiet Thoughts: The Lute Songs of John Dowland” and “Nymphs & Angels” are available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other streaming music services.
Movies and classical music are the perfect duo. Classical music has a timeless and recognizable quality, and it contains such passionate emotional and intellectual expression that it simply cannot be left out of the soundtrack behind a great fight scene or an emotional speech.
Movies were created to use pictures to evoke emotions and feelings among audiences, and classical compositions were written to do the same thing using instrumentals and vocals, so it makes sense that they are so commonly pieced together.
If you turn on any movie or TV show, there is a chance that you will hear at least one piece of classical music. Whether it is a full chorus of brass during battle or a clip of strings during a suspenseful moment, there is a major likelihood that you will experience at least one classical piece coming from the speakers.
Back in the 18th century and early 19th century, classical pieces were the backbone of operas. An opera is a dramatic performance set to music with singers and instrumentalists. Movies are the modern-day opera and the popular performance art of our time. The standard classical music style originated shortly before the creation of operas, and thus, the two were made to fit together. Because movies are akin to operas, it is apparent that classical music belongs in the soundtracks of movies.
When you see a movie, the music reflects what is happening on the screen. Somber music adds to somber images, suspenseful music adds to suspenseful actions, etc. When used correctly, using classical music in movies will increase the overall impact of emotions and feelings that the movie is trying to evoke.
While some movies use classical music from classical era composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Wagner, other movies use music from contemporary classical composers.
Movies such as “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List” and “Titanic” all have very famous soundtracks that were commissioned from contemporary-classical composers. Contemporary-classical composers are people that write classical music in modern times. Contemporary-classical music follows the same style and structure of the classical era, but it’s written more recently and has more modern influences.
“Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List” soundtracks were created by the same composer: John Williams. Williams is arguably the most prominent movie soundtrack composer of the 21st century, doing movies such as “Star Wars,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Home Alone,” “Jaws” and many more.
Pieces from composers such as Williams are constantly being played by bands of all ages and skill-levels alongside classical era pieces. The prominence of contemporary classical music in movie soundtracks is creating a musical environment in which modern works are becoming almost as recognizable as those from the 18th to 19th century.
Waverly Chamber Music Series wants to bring together members of the community who enjoy music, including Wartburg students. Musicians often say that their inspiration to pursue music often came from another group or musician. People learn from the power of observation their entire lives, and that doesn’t stop once you reach adulthood. In the same way someone would learn a magician’s tricks, by watching and paying close attention, musicians can gain knew knowledge watching other musicians perform.
Waverly Chamber Music Series features many different styles of chamber music, and many different types of groups as well. It is very beneficial for a student to be exposed to all styles of music to increase their repertoire.
Watching concerts will help young musicians discover new sounds. Often, music students are exposed to high school, maybe some college, and one or two professional concerts before they transition into post-secondary education. Every music group has a different sound, different instruments, and different skill sets. Hearing a wide range of music is very important to expand a student’s musical knowledge.
If anything, watching other musicians perform is inspiring for a young student. Seeing the skills of a particular musician or group can encourage someone to continue practicing and improving their own abilities.
Waverly Chamber Music Series’ mission is to bring together members of the community. When Wartburg students attend a concert, they’re able to be around and talk with music lovers from all walks of life, and they’re not just exposed to other students and their experiences. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, both music and otherwise, and getting to know people outside of a peer group can help develop a student’s worldview.
Seeing a live concert with the community is a great way for Wartburg students to spend their time and expand their horizons.
The Waverly Chamber Music Series is pleased to announce the fourth concert in their 2017-18 inaugural season featuring The WolfGang.
The WolfGang performs instrumental chamber music from the time of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, playing on musical instruments of the type that were used during Mozart’s life. The fortepiano is a replica of a Stein fortepiano. The violin, viola and cello are either originals from the 18th century or are carefully modeled after 18th century instruments. The keyed flutes are copies of classical keyed flutes made by some of the great woodwind makers of the late 18th century. A Twin-Cities based ensemble, The WolfGang has been performing, recording, and touring for over 22 years in a style that “fits” the Mozart era.
For its Waverly Chamber Music Series debut, The WolfGang combines two curious quartets by Giuseppe Cambini with two magnificent trios by Franz Josef Haydn, topped off by a miracle: a new transcription by The WolfGang's flutist Paul Jacobson of Haydn’s MiracleSymphony, No. 96 in D Major. This will perhaps also be topped off with one of the groups magical favorites: the overture from Zauberflöte, also transcribed for The WolfGang by Paul.
Haydn’s “Miracle” Symphony earned its name because of a somewhat miraculous event at its premier performance in London. (The remarkable nature of this event will be revealed at the March 4th.) The symphony was composed and premiered in 1791, the same year as Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte (“The Magic Flute”), and, sadly, as Mozart’s untimely death.
The WolfGang will perform March 4, 2018 at 2:00 PM in the Narthex of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School. The concert is free and open to the public.
Thank you to our talented performers and to all who attended our first very first concert! We heard from countless community members that they greatly enjoyed the music, atmosphere, and community gathering that our first concert provided.
Here's what a few of our board members had to say about the concert:
"Having Julia, Hannah, Ross, and Sean here to start the season was truly amazing! They are such incredible performers and the crowd welcomed them enthusiastically. What a great kick-off concert!" - Eric
"The concert was outstanding! The performances were excellent, the pieces performed were gorgeous, and the large audience's response was very enthusiastic. Bravo to all!" - Ted
"It was gratifying to see so many community members come together to see a wonderful group of talented musicians. The selections they chose for that day were complex and interesting; the group was engaging and dynamic. To see the community and musicians engaged in conversation after the concert really reaffirmed for me that the WCMS really is a treasure." - Penni
"The UNI Faculty Piano Quartet presented an intensely beautiful program, playing with unforgettable precision and passion. Within the gently live acoustic of the St. Paul's Narthex, we enjoyed an open, airy atmosphere, intimate enough to feel as one with the performers and fellow full-house audience members. This community vibe extended into a warm post-concert reception where audience and performers lingered and conversed freely over tasteful refreshments. An exceptional experience not to be missed, this is the beginning of something sensational." - Jennifer
We'd love to hear your feedback on our first concert! Like us on Facebook and leave us a review to tell us what you liked!
Thanks to our photographer, Dani Gordon, for the great shots of the concert!