Day Lightspeed: Fanfare for Orchestra
Schumann Symphony No. 4, op. 120, d minor
Dvorak Cello Concerto, op. 104, b minor
Julian Schwarz, cello
Chelsea Tipton II, Conductor
As we begin our concerts with distinctive fanfares, Kevin Day’s Lightspeed is a fanfare for the entire orchestra rather than one section or another. It displays distinctive characteristics that signal or call attention- the rationale of a great fanfare. Our concert tonight reveals the splendor of full orchestral music, expressing the many colors of each instrumental section. What a fitting fanfare to prepare our audience for romantic symphonic music.
Schumann’s Fourth Symphony is the subject of considerable opinion- which version, what format, and just how did this masterpiece help define the Romantic era. Symphony number four had a couple of creations- the original in 1841 was lighter in nature; not as heavily orchestrated. It was composed during the height of his art song period, then due to its premiere of his first symphony, not published for ten years. Schumann’s later version defies the traditional symphonic movement form and is like a one movement format, with tempi and harmonies much different than what one might expect. So, our symphonic experience is quite different than expected, yet lush with broad sweeping melodies reminiscent of the art songs which preceded this symphony.
Our final work of the evening is yet another masterpiece that was the center of great discussion and is considered one of the finest and most difficult works for the instrument. It is in a traditional format of three movements, with the second movement a remembrance of his sister-in-law. The final movement, much like a rondo, also reintroduces the themes of the previous movements with touching orchestrations behind the soloist. Probably one of the most recorded concerti for cello, the Dvorak has been recorded by the great legends of cellists, even recorded three different times by Yo-Yo Ma.
The Romantic period of symphonic music is marked by vigorous criticism which challenged the composer and also delayed their premieres. Ironically, our performance tonight was delayed by compromised travel plans due to Covid-19!
Our soloist, Julian Schwarz, has grown up with music his entire life. His father, Gerard Schwarz was principal trumpeter of New York Philharmonic before becoming the music director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Like his father, he champions the music of new composers, both in traditional and new formats. He has performed with orchestras around the world, has created unique chamber groups, and as a teacher, is in residence at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in VA, as well as a summer appointment at the Eastern Music Festival, in Greensboro, NC.
Julian Schwarz Bio
Julian Schwarz was born to a multigenerational musical family in 1991. Heralded from a young age as a cellist destined to rank among the greatest of the 21st century, Julian’s powerful tone, effortless virtuosity, and extraordinarily large color palette are hallmarks of his style.
After making his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony and his father Gerard Schwarz on the podium, he made his US touring debut with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Since being awarded first prize at the inaugural Schoenfeld International String Competition in 2013, he has led an active career as soloist, performing with the symphony orchestras of Annapolis, Boise, Bozeman, Buffalo, Charlotte, Columbus, Des Moines, Hartford, Jacksonville, Louisville, Memphis, Modesto, Omaha, Puerto Rico, Richmond, Rochester, San Antonio, Sarasota, Seattle, Syracuse, Toledo, Tucson, Virginia, West Virginia, Wichita, and Winston-Salem, among others. Internationally, he made his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony, his Mexican debuts with the Boca del Rio Philharmonic in Veracruz and the Mexico City Philharmonic with frequent collaborator Jorge Mester, and his Hong Kong debut at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival. He has also appeared at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Verbier festival in Switzerland.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Schwarz performs extensively in recital with pianist Marika Bournaki. In 2016 the Schwarz-Bournaki duo was awarded first prize at the inaugural Boulder International String Competition’s “The Art of Duo”, and subsequently embarked on an extensive 10-recital tour of China in March 2017. Mr. Schwarz is a founding member of the New York based Frisson Ensemble (a mixed nonet of winds and strings), and the Mile-End Trio with violinist Jeff Multer and Ms. Bournaki. He performs frequently at Bargemusic in Brooklyn with violinist Mark Peskanov, on the Frankly Music Series in Milwaukee with violinist Frank Almond, as a member of the Palladium Chamber Players in St Petersburg FL, and has appeared at the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival. In addition, he is the co-coordinator of chamber music at Eastern Music Festival, running programming for the Tuesday evening chamber music series.
Julian Schwarz is an ardent supporter of new music and has premiered concertos by Richard Danielpour and Samuel Jones (recorded with the All Star Orchestra for public television in 2012, subsequently released as a DVD on Naxos). In the 17-18 season, he gave the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s first Cello Concerto with a consortium of six orchestras. Other premieres include recital works by Paul Frucht, Scott Ordway, Jonathan Cziner, Gavin Fraser, Alex Weiser, Ofer Ben-Amots, and the US Premiere of Dobrinka Tabakova’s Cello Concerto. On record, he has recorded Bright Sheng’s “Northern Lights” for Naxos, the complete cello/piano works by Ernest Bloch for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, and an album of concertos with the Seattle Symphony.
A devoted teacher, Mr. Schwarz serves as Assistant Professor of Cello at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA) and on the artist faculty of New York University (NYU Steinhardt). He spends his summers teaching and performing at the Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC). Past faculty appointments include artist-in-residence at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia, Canada), faculty teaching assistant to Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School, and artist-In-residence at the pianoSonoma Festival.
Born in Seattle, WA, Mr. Schwarz studied at the Academy of Music Northwest and the Lakeside School. He continued to the Colburn School in Los Angeles under Ronald Leonard, and then moved to New York City to study with mentor Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School (BM 14, MM 16). Other influential teachers include the late David Tonkonogui, the late Toby Saks, Lynn Harrell, Neal Cary, and chamber music mentors Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Jonathan Feldman, Toby Appel and Paul Coletti. Julian plays a Neapolitan cello made by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743 and multiple American bows made by the late Paul Martin Siefried. He is an active contributor to Strings Magazine’s Artist Blog, edits cello editions for Carl Fischer Publishing, and sits on the music committee of the National Arts Club. A Pirastro artist, he endorses and plays the “Perpetual” medium and edition sets of cello strings. Julian also proudly endorses Melos Rosin.