Alexi Kenney & Renana Gutman

Violin and Piano

December 3, 2017, 4 PM

The Warne Ballroom at the Cosmos Club

Winner of a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2016, Alexi Kenney was born in Palo Alto, California, in 1994. Pianist Renana Gutman was born in Israel and now lives in New York City. Both these young artists have been praised for their rare musical insights as well as their virtuosity, and both have studied with distinguished teachers: Kenney with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried, Gutman with Richard Goode and in masterclasses with Leon Fleisher. This recital features Baroque works for solo violin, including Bach’s mighty Chaconne alongside Esa-Pekka Salonen’s unaccompanied Lachen verlernt. The works for violin and piano are Schubert’s expansive late Fantasie and Respighi’s stirring late-Romantic Sonata in B minor.

PROGRAM:

NICOLA MATTEIS (1650-1714)
Fantasia for Solo Violin in B-flat Major (from Ayrs for the Violin)

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Fantasie in C Major Op. 159, D. 934
     Andante molto
     Allegretto
     Andantino
     Allegro
     Allegretto
     Presto

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Partita No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004
     Chaconne

INTERMISSION

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN (b. 1958)
Lachen verlernt 

OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in B minor, P. 110 
     Moderato
     Andante espressivo
     Allegro moderato ma energico


Please note that this concert takes place at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been praised by the New York Times for “…immediately drawing listeners in with his beautifully phrased and delicate playing.” His win at the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition at the age of nineteen led to his critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut recital at Weill Hall.

Alexi’s 2016/2017 season began with unaccompanied recitals at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival at David Geffen Hall, and at Festival Napa Valley. Concerto highlights this season include performances with the Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Portland, Santa Fe, Riverside, and Tulare County symphonies, as well as A Far Cry and the Staatstheater Orchester in Cottbus, Germany.

He has given recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Jordan Hall and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Napa’s Festival del Sole, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess series, and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and he has been featured on Performance Today, WQXR-NY’s Young Artists Showcase, WFMT-Chicago, and NPR’s From the Top. Recent concerto engagements include the Santa Fe Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic and Roswell Symphony in New Mexico, the Hofheim Academy Orchestra in Bad Soden, Germany, and the NEC Philharmonia at Symphony Hall in Boston in a performance of John Adams's Violin Concerto with Hugh Wolff.

A passionate chamber musician, Alexi has performed at Caramoor, “Chamber Music Connects the World” at the Kronberg Academy, ChamberFest Cleveland, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, Ravinia, Yellow Barn, and on tour with Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute, collaborating with artists including Pamela Frank, Miriam Fried, Gary Graffman, Steven Isserlis, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, and Christian Tetzlaff. He has an upcoming tour with Musicians from Marlboro in 2017.

He is the recipient of top prizes at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition (2012), the Mondavi Center Competition (2010), and the 2013 Kronberg Academy master classes. He was praised by Strings magazine for his “beautiful, aching tone” for a performance of the Sibelius Concerto with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing during the Menuhin Competition.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi Kenney received his Bachelor’s of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he is currently the only violinist in its selective Artist Diploma program. At NEC he studies with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried on the Charlotte F. Rabb Presidential Scholarship. Former teachers include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong.

Praised by the New York Times for her “passionate and insightful” playing, Renana Gutman has performed across four continents as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and collaborative artist. She has performed at many prestigious venues and festivals such as The Louvre, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia, Stresa Music Festival, Ravinia Rising Stars, Jordan Hall, Herbst Theatre, Menuhin Hall, UNISA, Marlboro, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

High in demand as a chamber musician, Gutman serves as the staff collaborative pianist of the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival. In recent seasons she has collaborated with chamber musicians such as Kim Kashkashian, Miriam Fried, Alexi Kenney, InMo Yang, Yoojin Jang, and Tessa Lark.

Gutman is a top prize winner of the Los Angeles Liszt competition, International Keyboard Festival in New York, and Tel-Hai Internationl Master Classes. From 2008-2010 Gutman was on the piano faculty of the Yehudi Menuhin Music School in the UK, as an assistant to Marcel Baudet. She currently teaches at 92nd Street Y, and Bard College Preparatory in New York.

A native of Israel but based in New York, Gutman started piano playing at the age of six. Soon after, she garnered multiple awards and honors, and became a recipient of the America Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship with distinction from 1992-2004, and later on received the Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women Scholarship.

Her most influential teachers were pianists Natasha Tadson and Victor Derevianko in Israel, and Richard Goode at Mannes College of Music in New York where she completed her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Her musicianship teacher was the established Israeli composer Arie Shapira.