April 15, 2016 @ 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
MCASD Sherwood Auditorium
700 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
$80 | $55 | $30

Tango, Song and Dance

Augustin Hadelich, violin, Joyce Yang, piano & Pablo Villegas, guitar

Acclaimed violinist Augustin Hadelich is joined by dazzling pianist Joyce Yang and dynamic guitarist Pablo Villegas perform an evening of Spanish-themed music built around André Previn’s three-part piece of the same name and include works by Rodrigo, Falla, Piazzolla, Ginastera, Ysaÿe, and Villa-Lobos.

Experience passion, fire and romance!

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ANDRÉ PREVINTango from Tango, Song and Dance
RODRIGOInvocación y Danza (Homage to Manuel de Falla)
FALLACanciones Populares Espaňolas
GINASTERADanzas Argentinas
ANDRÉ PREVINSong from Tango, Song and Dance
PIAZZOLLAHistoire du Tango
YSAŸESonata for Solo Violin No. 6 in E Major, Op. 27/6
ANDRÉ PREVINDance from Tango, Song and Dance
VILLA-LOBOSAria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5

Click here to view the complete March-April 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Tango Song and Dance

by Augustin Hadelich


Over the years, Augustin and I have had a great time putting together recital programs that we thought were both coherent and intriguing. We recently decided it was time for something new and bold!

Among the many works for violin and piano that we were considering, André Previn’s three-movement work Tango Song and Dance (written in 1997 for Anne-Sophie Mutter) jumped out at us. It’s a break from the usual: it’s not a sonata; it’s American; it swings —we loved it immediately! Augustin started to program it in some recitals with pianist Joyce Yang, and audiences love it too!

An interesting factor is that every movement is approximately five minutes long — three balanced movements, each of which stands quite well on its own. Having been drawn to the concept that classical music must, in order to survive, introduce visual elements into its presentation, I began to SEE these three movements as separated pillars of a recital program. We would use lighting and a non-verbal narrative that would thread through various pieces and make the concert a coherent entity.

Since the music is the most important element of Tango Song and Dance, we spent many hours finding the right music for Previn’s pillars to frame. When they finally fell into place, I called the director Ed Berkeley, asking him to create the narrative and find an excellent lighting director.
- Patricia Handy, Artistic Advisor

About Tango Song and Dance:

As with any conceptually solid program, various connections and resonances between the pieces continued to arise as Patricia and I worked on putting this program together, and several possibilities for the narrative emerged. In Ed Berkeley’s words, “The first step is to study the emotional connections between and among the instrumental lines in each work. Where do the instruments argue? Where do they agree? Where do they flirt? Where seduce? Where do they celebrate, where despair?” It all starts with Previn’s Tango. Ed elaborates: “The violin and piano in Previn’s Tango seem to be having an emotional problem connecting with each other. There is a struggle. This is the core of the evening, the starting point that cries for resolution.”

It is then that guitarist Pablo Villegas appears playing Rodrigo’s Invocation and Dance, drawing me into his own mysterious world. I join him in five Falla songs, after which the piano explodes jealously in Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas. Ed feels that “private thoughts are explored in the solo works until a synthesis is found among the violin, piano and guitar”. At the end, in Villa-Lobos’s gorgeous Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, we finally all play together. It’s a truly beautiful way to end both the narrative and the musical program!

To reinforce the non-verbal narrative, Ed asked lighting designer Kate Ashton to create lighting that would further communicate the story. Ed asked that “spaces become smaller and larger to connect and separate the musicians; color and image change to imply the passage of time and further explore the emotional voice of each instrument.” The lighting is atmospheric, reinforcing the character and emotional message of each work. In order that the musical content of the recital remain dominant, we decided not to use motion graphics. We want the audience to reflect upon where the pieces take them, and to make their own connections. We hope that you will have as much fun with this music as we do!

About the Music:

André Previn (born 1929) wrote Tango Song and Dance for violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. This three-movement work will frame tonight’s program, with the first movement, Tango, played at the start of the concert; the second, Song, at the beginning of the second half; and the third, Dance, at the end. Tango is full of theatrical flair. In Previn’s own words: “At the time, the tango revival craze had not yet been born, and so the first movement with its purposeful and exaggerated tango clichés was still possible. The clustered harmonies are not terribly far removed from the sound the traditional accordion makes, and the whole movement should be full of self-conscious poses”. Below the surface, however, there is a troubled and uneasy feeling. Song is poignant and extremely sentimental. The piano accompaniment’s textures and harmonies evoke sad piano bar music, over which the violinist sings wistfully. The finale, Dance, is a wild ride. It is here that the jazz influence is felt most strongly. That said, it would be rather hard to dance to since Previn likes to make the bars trip over themselves by leaving out the final eighth note. Much of the piano playing sounds like boogie woogie patterns played on a broken piano: lots of “wrong” and “missed” notes and general mayhem! Above all this, the violin plays jazz riffs intermingled with more percussive, atonal passages. Overall, the mood of the movement is frenzied and jubilant.

Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) is one of Spain’s most celebrated composers, particularly famous for his works for guitar. His rhapsodic solo guitar work Invocación y danza is an homage to the great Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, and it contains subtle quotes of Falla works such as the Three-Cornered Hat, and El amor brujo, although the quotes are disguised in such a way as to be barely recognizable.

Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) wrote his Siete canciones populares españolas originally for voice and piano. The work was first transcribed for violin and piano by Paul Kochanski in the early 20th century. The guitar is a very prominent instrument in Spanish music, and many of the folk forms, for example the jota, would originally have been sung with guitar accompaniment. In his piano accompaniments, Falla is often trying to imitate the sounds of the guitar. We have chosen five of Falla’s original seven songs. El paño moruno is a lament about a piece of Moorish cloth that has been stained and will now fetch only a low price at the market. The overly dramatic tone (with many cries of Ay! Ay!) is enigmatic. Could the stained cloth be a symbol of lost innocence? Asturiana is an extremely mournful song. The weeping protagonist seeks consolation near a green pine. Instead of giving comfort, the pine tree starts weeping as well. Jota is a passionate song about two lovers. Since they are not seen talking to one another, people around them don’t think they love each other—but anyone who looks into their hearts knows the truth. The next song, Nana, is a tranquil lullaby. The Moorish influence is most clearly heard in this song. Occupying Spain from 711 until 1492, the Moors left a strong mark on Spanish music and architecture, in addition to many other areas of their culture. The cycle ends with Polo, a type of flamenco. The singer, in great despair, is cursing love and fate.

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) wrote his Danzas Argentinas Op. 2 in 1937. The first of the three dances, Danza del viejo boyero (Dance of the Old Herdsman) is a quirky piece full of sudden dissonances which are caused by the left hand playing only black keys and the right hand playing only white ones. Danza de la moza donosa (Dance of the Beautiful Maiden) is a melancholic, sensual piece full of sighing, chromatic gestures. The final movement, Danza del gaucho matrero (Dance of the Arrogant Cowboy) is highly virtuosic and at turns wild, savage, angry and jubilant.

Roland Dyens (born 1955) is a French guitarist, composer, arranger and improviser, and Tango en Skaï is his most famous original composition. The work is a light-hearted homage to Argentinian tango. “Skaï” is a French slang term for imitation leather, and is a reference to the distinctive leather outfits of the Gauchos (cowboys) of Argentina.

Originally written for flute and guitar (the earliest tango instrumentation), the four movements of Histoire du Tango by Ástor Piazzolla (1921-1992) retrace the history of Argentine tango throughout the 20th century: The first movement, titled Bordel 1900, is written in the fast and lively style of the first tangos - played and danced in the bordellos of Buenos Aires starting around 1882. Café 1930 strikes a very different note. Tango has evolved to become slower, more melancholic, and no longer just for dancing. People are now listening to tango orchestras, and violins are featured for the first time. By the time we reach Nightclub 1960, the tango has been enriched by the influence of bossa nova from Brazil. This is the passionate, rambunctious style of the tango that made Piazzolla world-famous. Finally, in Concert d’aujourd’hui, the tango has arrived in the concert hall. This movement showcases Piazzolla’s unique compositional style, with influences from great 20th century composers such as Bartók and Stravinsky. Having started out in seedy red-light districts and survived eras when it was outlawed in Argentina, the tango is now being celebrated in the most illustrious concert halls throughout the world.

In 1923 the Belgian virtuoso Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) was nearing the end of his career. Inspired by Bach’s six sonatas and partitas (which form the core of the solo violin repertoire) he set out to write six of his own solo sonatas, each dedicated to another great violinist of his time. After dedicating the first five to Joseph Szigeti, Jacques Thibaud, George Enescu, Fritz Kreisler and Mathieu Crickboom, he dedicated the sixth and final sonata to Manuel Quiroga, one of the greatest Spanish violinists of the 20th century. Perhaps Ysaÿe’s most technically challenging sonata, it is cast in one single rhapsodic movement and is very much an homage to Spanish music and to Quiroga’s passionate and dramatic playing style. After many displays of virtuosity and improvisatory detours, the music comes to a stop, and a charming and seductive habanera dance emerges from the silence. After the dramatic opening returns, the fireworks quickly build towards a heroic ending.

When Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) wrote his nine Bachianas Brasileiras, he intended them primarily as homages to Bach. His music often shows the strong influence of Brazilian folk music, and in these pieces, the Brazilian rhythms and idioms are combined with counterpoint and harmony directly inspired by Bach’s music. To conclude tonight’s program, we will perform the first movement, Aria, from the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, undoubtedly the most famous of this cycle. The arrangement for violin, guitar and piano has been composed by Stefan Malzew.

A conversation with Augustin Hadelich hosted by Marcus Overton

Augustin-HadelichContinuing to astonish audiences with his phenomenal technique, poetic sensitivity and gorgeous tone, Augustin Hadelich has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists of his generation. His remarkable consistency throughout the repertoire, from Paganini to Adès, is seldom encountered in a single artist.

Worldwide appearances include multiple engagements with the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and internationally, with the BBC Philharmonic/Manchester, BBC Symphony/London, NHK Symphony/Tokyo, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, to name a few.

Highlights of Mr. Hadelich’s 2014/2015 season include debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, and the London Philharmonic, as well as return engagements with the New York Philharmonic and the symphonies of Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis, Liverpool, Saint Louis, and Seattle. Other recent and upcoming projects include debuts with the Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, as well as his recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in London, an Artist-in- Residency with the Netherlands Philharmonic, and tours with both the Toronto and San Diego symphonies.

In addition to several recital CDs, Mr. Hadelich’s first major orchestral recording, featuring the violin concertos of Jean Sibelius and Thomas Adès (Concentric Paths) with Hannu Lintu conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, was released to great acclaim in March 2014 on the AVIE label. The disc has been nominated for a Gramophone Award, and was listed by NPR on their Top 10 Classical CDs of 2014. A recent recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Bartók’s Concerto No. 2 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Miguel Harth-Bedoya is scheduled for release on AVIE in the spring of 2015.

The 2006 Gold Medalist of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Mr. Hadelich is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant (2009), a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in the UK (2001), and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award (2012). He received an artist diploma from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Joel Smirnoff. Mr. Hadelich plays on the 1723 “Ex-Kiesewetter” Stradivari

Augustin Hadelich last performed for La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2015.

For more information visit augustin-hadelich.com

Joyce-Yang Blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism” (Washington Post) and a “wondrous sense of color” (San Francisco Classical Voice), pianist Joyce Yang captivates audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity. As a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition silver medalist and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Yang showcases her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians.

Yang came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she took home two additional awards: the Steven De Groote Memorial Award for Best Performance of Chamber Music (with the Takàcs Quartet) and the Beverley Taylor Smith Award for Best Performance of a New Work.

Since her spectacular debut, she has blossomed into an “astonishing artist” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). She has performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Sydney, and Toronto symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the BBC Philharmonic (among many others), working with such distinguished conductors as Edo de Waart, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Bramwell Tovey, Peter Oundjian, and Jaap van Zweden. In recital, Yang has taken the stage at New York’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum; the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; Chicago’s Symphony Hall; and Zurich’s Tonhalle.

During the 2014-15 season Yang returns to the New York Philharmonic to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 under Bramwell Tovey at Lincoln Center and the Bravo! Vail Festival, and enjoys a full schedule of North American concerto engagements. She joins the Takács Quartet for Dvorak in Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series, tours and records with violinist Augustin Hadelich, plays chamber music and solo recitals with Musica Viva Australia, as well as gives performances in Aspen, Montreal, and for the Van Cliburn Foundation in Fort Worth. In her return to the Aspen Music Festival this summer she plays the Grieg Concerto under Osmo Vänskä and reunites with Hadelich and guitarist Pablo Villegas for a reprise of their acclaimed “Tango, Song, and Dance” program in which “Yang shone” (Washington Post) at its Kennedy Center premiere.

Additional highlights of recent seasons include Yang’s Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin debuts, the conclusion of a four-year Rachmaninoff cycle with de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, to which she brought “an enormous palette of colors, and tremendous emotional depth” (Milwaukee Sentinel Journal), collaborations with the Alexander, Modigliani and Takács Quartets, and “ravishing performances” (Dallas Morning News) with Hadelich in Dallas and Los Angeles. Yang also made her UK debut in the Cambridge International Piano Series, and impressed the New York Times with “vivid and beautiful playing” of Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet with members of the Emerson String Quartet at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.

In spring 2014, Yang “demonstrated impressive gifts” (New York Times) with a trio of album releases: her second solo disc for Avie Records, Wild Dreams, on which she plays Schumann, Bartók, Hindemith, Rachmaninoff, and arrangements by Earl Wild; a pairing of the Brahms and Schumann Piano Quintets with the Alexander Quartet; and a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra that International Record Review called “hugely enjoyable, beautifully shaped … a performance that marks her out as an enormous talent.” Of her 2011 debut album for Avie Records, Collage, featuring works by Scarlatti, Liebermann, Debussy, Currier, and Schumann, Gramophone praised her “imaginative programming” and “beautifully atmospheric playing.” Yang made her celebrated New York Philharmonic debut with Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall in November 2006 and performed on the orchestra’s tour of Asia, making a triumphant return to her hometown of Seoul, South Korea. Subsequent appearances with the Philharmonic included the opening night of the Leonard Bernstein Festival in September 2008, at the special request of Maazel in his final season as music director. The New York Times pronounced her performance in Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety a “knockout.”

Born in 1986 in Seoul, South Korea, Yang received her first piano lesson at the age of four. She quickly took to the instrument, which she received as a birthday present, and over the next few years won several national piano competitions in her native country. By the age of ten, she had entered the School of Music at the Korea National University of Arts, and went on to make a number of concerto and recital appearances in Seoul and Daejeon. In 1997, Yang moved to the United States to begin studies at the pre-college division of the Juilliard School with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. During her first year at Juilliard, Yang won the pre-college division Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Haydn’s Keyboard Concerto in D with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. After winning the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, she performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with that orchestra at just twelve years old. She graduated from Juilliard with special honor as the recipient of the school’s 2010 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, and in 2011 she won its 30th Annual William A. Petschek Piano Recital Award.

Yang appears in the film In the Heart of Music, a documentary about the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. A Steinway artist, she currently lives in New York City.

Yoyce Yang last performed for La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2015.

PabloVillegas“virtuosic playing characterized by its vividly shaded colors and irresistible exuberance…” – The New York Times

The soul of the Spanish guitar runs in Pablo Villegas’s blood. Born and raised in La Rioja, Spain – the country with unique and deep ties to his chosen instrument – Villegas is distinguished by performances as charismatic as they are intimate. With his singing tone and consummate technique, his interpretations conjure the passion, playfulness, and drama of his homeland’s rich musical heritage, routinely drawing comparisons with such legendary exponents of his instrument as Andrés Segovia. Indeed, at just 15 he won the Andrés Segovia Award, launching a succession of international wins that include Gold Medal at the inaugural Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition. The first guitarist to win El Ojo Crítico, Spain’s top classical music honor, Villegas also became the youngest of his generation to appear with the New York Philharmonic, in an auspicious debut under the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at Avery Fisher Hall. He has since performed for both the Dalai Lama and the Spanish royal family, and it was he who gave the world premiere of Rounds, the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams. A born communicator, the guitarist explains: “Music is a social tool, and opening people’s hearts, and helping them connect to the inner life of the emotions, is my mission.”

Villegas launches the 2015-16 season with the international release of his solo album, Americano, which marks his debut on the Harmonia Mundi label. Exploring the multiple guitar traditions of the New World from tango to bluegrass, this colorfully eclectic selection features the world premiere recording of Williams’s Rounds; music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story; preludes by Brazilian master Heitor Villa-Lobos; and the popular standard Granada by Mexico’s Agustin Lara. In concert, Villegas makes no fewer than seven orchestral debuts in the coming season, with ensembles including the Pacific, Cincinnati and Santa Barbara Symphonies, Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic, and Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, where he reunites with Alondra de la Parra. Following his triumphant debuts with the two orchestras last season, the guitarist also makes welcome returns to the Pittsburgh and Oregon Symphonies.

Known for a sound so rich and full that it does not need amplification, Villegas’s concerto collaborations regularly inspire immediate reengagements. Since his international breakthrough after his triumphs at the 2003 Tárrega Competition and 2006 Parkening Competition, he has appeared with orchestras in more than 30 countries, including the New York, Los Angeles, and Israel Philharmonics, and the Boston, San Francisco, Houston, and Toronto Symphonies. He made a series of important debuts under the baton of Frühbeck de Burgos, and has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with conductors including Giancarlo Guerrero, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Carlos Kalmar, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Helmut Lachenmann, Juanjo Mena, Alondra de la Parra, and composer George Crumb. Last season, Villegas enjoyed an increased American presence, making debuts with seven U.S. orchestras. For his first appearances with ensembles including the Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Oregon Symphonies, he played Rodrigo’s soul-stirring Concierto de Aranjuez, a signature work that also served as the vehicle for his collaboration with Spain’s National Radio & Television Orchestra (RTVE). In recital, he appeared at Carnegie Hall, the New York City Classical Guitar Society, the Guitar Foundation of America Convention, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Puerto Rico’s Festival Casals, and Italy’s Merano Festival, as well as in duet with violinist Augustin Hadelich at Ohio’s Linton Music Series and Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival.

Dedicated to expanding the guitar’s repertory and audience, Villegas is an ardent champion of new music. Besides John Williams, whose Rounds he premiered at the 2012 Parkening Competition in Malibu, he has worked closely with contemporary composers including Sérgio Assad, of whose Concerto of Rio de Janeiro, written for and dedicated to Villegas, he gave the world and European premieres at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention and Cordoba Guitar Festival. He has also given first performances of works by Maria Dolores, and looks forward to premiering a new concerto by Lorenzo Palomo in the 2016-17 season.

An active recording artist, in addition to making his Harmonia Mundi debut with Americano Villegas recently recorded a trio of Rodrigo concertos with the National Orchestra of Spain, thereby becoming the first in more than 20 years to capture the Concierto de Aranjuez with the ensemble. His previous releases include Histoire du Tango, a collection of violin-guitar works with Augustin Hadelich for the AVIE label, and Manuel Ponce’s Concierto del sur, a platinum title that he recorded with Alondra de la Parra for Sony Classical. Besides inspiring rapturous reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, Villegas has been featured on Spain’s national television and radio, and in such leading Spanish outlets as El Mundo. His U.S. coverage includes interviews on Fox 5, WQXR, and other local stations, and a cover story in Classical Guitar magazine.

In 2007 Villegas founded the Music Without Borders Legacy (MWBL), a non-profit organization that seeks to bridge cultural, social, and political boundaries through classical music. Since its inception, the foundation has reached more than 15,000 at-risk children and youth around the world, through music programs in the U.S.A., Mexico, and Spain, and is now supported by La Caixa Bank. Villegas also serves as cultural ambassador for La Rioja’s Vivanco Foundation and its Museum of Wine Culture, considered the most prestigious wine museum in the world.

Born in 1977 in La Rioja in Northern Spain, Villegas was inspired to take guitar lessons after seeing Segovia on television. He gave his first public performance at just seven years old, and went on to graduate at the top of his class at the Royal Conservatoire in Madrid. After several years in Germany, in 2001 he relocated to New York City, where he studied for his Masters and Doctorate with David Starobin at the Manhattan School of Music, and where he lives to this day.

For more information please visit pablosainzvillegas.com

Pablo Villegas last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Discovery Series on April 10, 2011.