This installment of Chamber Connect honors the memory of pianist Peter Serkin (1947–2020). This is the second half of his 2015 Austin Chamber Music Festival performance with violinist Ida Kavafian. View part one here.
12 Variations on “Se vuol ballare,” WoO 40 | Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonata No. 8 in G Major, Opus 30, No. 3 | Ludwig van Beethoven
- Allegro assai
- Tempo di minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso – in E-flat major
- Allegro vivace
Violinist/violist Ida Kavafian just recently retired after 35 successful years as artistic director of Music from Angel Fire, the renowned festival in New Mexico. She leaves a legacy of over 40 World Premieres commissioned by the festival. Her close association with The Curtis Institute continues with her large and superb class, the endowment of her faculty chair by former Curtis Board President Baroness Nina von Maltzahn, and the awarding of the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, which is presented in recognition of outstanding service in stimulating and guiding Curtis students. In addition to her solo engagements, she continues to perform with her piano quartet, OPUS ONE and Trio Valtorna. Co-founder of those ensembles as well as Tashi and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival (which she ran for ten years), she has toured and recorded with the Guarneri, Orion, Shanghai, and American string quartets; as a member of the Beaux Arts Trio for six years; and with such artists as Chick Corea, Mark O’Connor, and Wynton Marsalis. A graduate of The Juilliard School, where she studied with Oscar Shumsky, she was presented in her debut by Young Concert Artists. Ms. Kavafian and her husband, violist Steven Tenenbom, have also found success outside of music in the breeding, training, and showing of champion Vizsla dogs, including the 2003 Number One Vizsla All Systems in the US and the 2007 National Champion.
Peter Serkin (1947–2020)
Peter Serkin held a singular place among today’s classical music artists, admired equally for his performance of established repertoire and as a consummate interpreter of contemporary music. His music-making demonstrates keen understanding of the masterworks of J.S. Bach as well as an exceptional grasp of diverse musical styles, ranging from Stravinsky to Messiaen, Tōru Takemitsu and Oliver Knussen.
Mr. Serkin has performed with the world’s major symphony orchestras, led by such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle, Herbert Blomstedt, as well as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. In chamber music, Serkin has collaborated with Alexander Schneider, Pamela Frank, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Budapest, Guarneri, Orion, Shanghai, and Dover String Quartets, among others. He was a founding member of the TASHI Quartet, with violinist Ida Kavafian, cellist Fred Sherry, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.
Peter Serkin’s musical legacy extends to his grandfather, the distinguished violinist Adolf Busch, who established the Busch Quartet, the Busch Chamber Players, and was a founder of the Marlboro School of Music. Busch was also a notable composer in most every genre—orchestral and choral works, concertos, chamber music, and songs. Peter Serkin recently made arrangements of Busch’s music as well as that of Mozart and Schumann for various chamber ensembles and orchestra. He has also transcribed Brahms’s organ Chorale-Preludes for one piano, four-hands. Serkin is the son of the distinguished pianist Rudolf Serkin, who taught at the Curtis Institute of Music and led with distinction the Marlboro School for forty years.