SF State's Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar, Festival celebrates virtuosity

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, January 9, 2013 — San Francisco State University’s Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival celebrates the legacy of the great violinist with performances by today’s and tomorrow’s top talents February 1 – 3. SF State’s Alexander String Quartet and piano Professor Roger Woodward, plus violist Toby Appel, cellist David Requiro and mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich, will coach and perform with advanced and emerging ensembles from Toronto, New York, the Pacific Northwest and Bay Area.

Alexander String Quartet leads renowned faculty in seminars, master classes, concerts February 1–3

The seminar and festival are productions of SF State’s Morrison Chamber Music Center. This year’s theme is “The Old Song and Dance,” exploring influences of the vocal and dance arts on instrumental music. More than 50 youth and college students are expected to attend the seminar.

Concerts and master classes

The Febuary 1 concert will include Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano, performed by Requiro, and Woodward; Barber: “Dover Beach,” Op. 3 — after the poem by Matthew Arnold, performed by the Arkadas String Quartet with Scharich; Beethoven: String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 74 “The Harp” (first movement), performed by the Arkadas String Quartet; Murphy: “Give Me Phoenix Wings to Fly,” performed by the Allant Trio; and Brahms: String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36, performed by the Alexander String Quartet with Appel and Requiro.

The February 2 concert will include Schumann: selections from Liederkreis, Op. 39, performed by Scharich and Woodward; Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44 (first movement), performed by the Arkadas String Quartet with Woodward; Schumann: Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47, performed by the Allant Trio with Appel; Brahms: Zwei Gesangen, Op. 91, performed by Scharich, Woodward and Paul Yarbrough, viola; and Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18, performed by the Alexander String Quartet with Appel and Requiro.

The Febuary 3 concert will feature the combined forces of all faculty and advanced ensembles participating in the Menuhin Seminar and Festival, including the Arkadas String Quartet, Allant Trio, Aleron Trio, Trio Consonare and ensembles from SF State. Woodward and Scharich are featured soloists. Alexander String Quartet violinist Zakarias Grafilo will direct the concert.

Master classes are open to the public to observe and feature emerging and advanced ensembles coached by the Menuhin Seminar faculty. They will be held Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and Feb. 3 from 1 to 3:15 p.m.

All concerts and master classes are admission-free.

About the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival

The Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival, begun in 2003 to honor the late American violinist’s association with San Francisco and SF State, was founded on the deep belief that music has the power to create understanding and transcend differences between people. In addition to festive concerts, it incorporates a seminar for ensembles of all ages, intensive coaching, public master classes, workshops and lessons led by the festival’s distinguished artist-faculty beginning January 30.

Menuhin had one of the longest and most distinguished careers of any 20th century violinist. He gained international fame by age 7 for his technical mastery and emotionally charged playing, beginning with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Legend has it that at age 13, Menuhin inspired Albert Einstein to declare at a Berlin concert, “Now I know there is a God in heaven!” Over decades, he performed thousands of concerts, made classical recordings and collaborated with Béla Bartók on the Sonata for Solo Violin, considered one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century. He died in 1999 at age 82.

The Alexander String Quartet first met Menuhin at the 1982 London International String Quartet Competition, a momentous, inspiring occasion for the then-emerging ensemble. “An exponent of international and intercultural cooperation, Lord Menuhin saw chamber music as a means to achieving understanding and brotherhood,” said Paul Yarbrough, Alexander String Quartet violist. “Through this event, we aim to share his everlasting passion for chamber music and his infectious spirit with young musicians and new audiences.”

More information about this event

Media Contact: 

Matt Itelson, 415-338-1442, matti@sfsu.edu, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, California, 94132

News Release