Virgil Boutellis-Taft and Anna Polonsky

Violin and Piano

December 16, 2018, 4 pm

Music Room

French violinist Virgil Boutellis-Taft won a first prize at the Paris Conservatoire before continuing his studies in Budapest, London, and Tel Aviv. After winning the international competition at the ISA in Austria in 2010, Boutellis-Taft established a reputation as an exciting young soloist, with Le Canard enchaîné describing him as “an unrivaled violinist.” His 2016 album Entre Orient et Occident included the Violin Sonatas by Debussy and Janáček as well as well as Aminollah-André Hossein’s Caravan, which he will perform at the Phillips, alongside works by Schumann, Brahms, Franck and Saint-Saëns. Pianist Anna Polonsky was born in Moscow and later emigrated to the US where she studied with Peter Serkin at the Curtis Institute and Jerome Lowenthal at the Juilliard School. Former Chamber Music Society Two member, she has collaborated with artists such as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo


La Follia

F-A-E Sonata

Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105


Caravan for Violin and Piano (arr. Tara Kamangar)

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-90)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major

Danse macabre

Hailed as an “unrivaled violinist,” “of fiery temperament,” Virgil Boutellis-Taft regularly performs throughout Europe and the US.

He has played in halls such as Carnegie Hall, Salle Gaveau, Theatre des Champs-Elyssées, Banaroya Hall, Tel Aviv Opera House, and Wigmore Hall, as well as with orchestras such as the Dayton Philharmonic, the Springfield Symphony, the Israel Chamber Orchestra Emeritus, the Mid Atlantic Symphony, and the Sinfonia Varsovia. He has also performed at major international festivals including Bowdoin (US), Eilat and the Red Sea Valery Gergiev (Israel), Valdres (Norway), Prussia Cove (England), Les Violons de Légende, the Roque Anthéron, the Folle Journée (France)...

Virgil’s chamber music partners include the harpist Emmanuel Ceysson, the pianists Guillaume Vincent, Vanessa Wagner and Abdel Rahman El Bacha, the guitarist Thibaut Garcia, the cellists Anne Gastinel and Camille Thomas…

Works have been dedicated to him by Paul Cantelon, Tara Kamangar, Drew Hemenger, and since 2015, Virgil forms the Duo La Rose and Reseda with the violinist Irene Duval.

In 2016, Virgil recorded for Evidence Classics/Harmonia Mundi the album Entre Orient & Occident that was acclaimed by the critics and praised for its “incandescent intensity”…

As First Prize of the Paris Conservatory and winner of the Bleustein-Blanchet Foundation, Virgil decided to pursue his musical career abroad, invited by the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and at the Royal College of Music in London where he obtained his Masters and his Artist Diploma. He then spent two years in Israel, invited by Tel Aviv University for a postdoc, as part of its International Music Program. He has worked with pedagogues such as Zakhar Bron, Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel, Schlomo Mintz, Igor Oistrakh, Haim Taub, Hagai Shaham, Almita Vamos. In 2010 he won the first prize of the ISA International Competition in Austria. Virgil plays the Domenico Montagnana "ex Régis Pasquier" Venice 1742, on generous loan from an anonymous benefactor.

Pianist Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She has performed at chamber music festivals such as Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Music@Menlo, Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City. Polonsky has given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-04. In 2006, she took a part in the European Broadcasting Union’s project to record and broadcast all of Mozart’s keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet’s Perspectives Series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.

Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the US in 1990, and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College, and in the summer at the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals.

Highlights of Polonsky’s 2017/2018 season included performances in China with Yo-Yo Ma, and at Carnegie Hall with Peter Serkin. Beginning in 2019, she will perform as part of a trio with clarinetist David Shifrin and cellist Peter Wiley.