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Music by Members - Oct 20, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 10:00am
Music by Members
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT
Michelle Duffy

Member program, featuring music composed by Nino Rota, Claude Debussy, and Heinrich von Herzogenberg; as well as some "Gypsy" music.

Performed first on the program will be a twentieth century piece The Trio for Flute, Violin, and Piano (1958), by Nino Rota (1911 –1979). Mother and son, Michelle Davis, flute, Elliott Davis, violin, will play the piece with Bridget de Moura Castro, piano. In style, the outer movements are neoclassic, reminiscent of Rota’s contemporary Stravinsky, but the heart of the work is the melancholy second movement. Rota, an Italian composer, pianist, conductor and academic is best known for his film scores. He composed the music for two of Franco Zeffirelli's Shakespeare films, and for the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy, receiving the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Godfather Part II (1974) (Wikipedia)

Next, Susan Mardinly, soprano, accompanied by pianist Stacy Cahoon, will perform a series of songs with Gypsy influences from nineteenth century Europe: two songs from Johannes Brahms’s Zigeunerlieder ("He, Zigeuner" and "Brauner Bursche führt zum Tanze"), one by Franz Liszt, "Im Liebeslust," and Dvořák’s "Rings ist der Wald so stumm und still" and "Als die alte Mutter."  Brahms learned Hungarian Gypsy music from accompanying the violinist Reményi on a concert tour. All of his Gypsy Songs have rhythmic styles found in original Gypsy melodies. In 19th century Hungary, Gypsy music was in fashion, and Liszt embraced the vibrant rhythms.  Czech composer, Dvořák, was determined to save these traditions, a part of the doctrine of his musical personality.  All these songs reflect themes from the gypsy cycles of life: birth, coming of age, the wisdom of the elders, and death.   

Third, Diane Day, piano, will perform “Clair de Lune” from Suite Bergamasque and L'Isle Joyeuse, both by Claude Debussy. Most of Debussy’s music captures moods and colors, usually soothing through the use of tonal chords and scales, touch and pedaling. L'Isle Joyeuse is often more forceful and driving in its approach, yet with underlying melodies and gentleness. 

The concert program ends with Piano Quartet No. 1 in E minor, Op. 75, by Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843 – 1900) performed by Virginia Allen, violin, Margaret Walker, viola, Herbert Walker, cello, and Michelle Duffy, piano.  A contemporary and admirer of Brahms, Herzogenberg composed this work during and after the final illness of his beloved wife, Elisabet von Stockhausen, who had been a piano pupil of Brahms.

This concert is the third in the Musical Club’s 2016-2017 season and takes place on October 20, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford. Admission is free for members of the Musical Club and $5 for members of the general public who are warmly welcome.

The Musical Club of Hartford’s mission is to develop the musical talent of its members and to encourage the study and appreciation of music through programs, lectures and concerts. In addition, the Club gives financial assistance to promising young artists and aid to musical projects in the community.


Brief biographies of the musicians who are performing in the concert Include:

Michelle Davis (Avon) - Michelle Davis is a graduate of The New England Conservatory where she studied with Fenwick Smith. She is a member of The West Hartford Symphony Orchestra and performs frequently with Bridget de Moura Castro and others on solo and chamber music program, as well as with Tony Rauche at Avon Memorial United Methodist Church. She has taught all ages of flute students and has directed children’s choirs for almost thirty years. Her son, Elliott, will perform with her at the Musical Club concert on October 20th.

Elliott Davis (Avon) is fifteen years old and studies violin with Annie Trepanier, who teaches at the Hotchkiss School. He also studies piano with Bridget de Moura Castro. He plays in the Connecticut Youth Symphony and in the West Hartford Symphony where he was recently awarded a scholarship for summer study. He is a guest artist for this performance.

Bridget de Mouro Castro (Avon) - Pianist Bridget de Moura Castro holds degrees from Reading University (England) and Texas Christian University where she studied with Lili Kraus. A British Council Scholarship holder, she did graduate studies at Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest and specializes in organ, clarinet, piano, and chamber music. Ms. de Moura Castro was recorded on two CDs of French music–one of four-handed piano with her husband Luiz de Moura Castro and one of flute and piano 19th/20th century music. She has performed and taught in Spain, Czechoslovakia and Brazil.

Susan Mardinly (Rocky Hill) - Susan Mardinly, has enjoyed operatic roles such as Gingerbread Witch (Hansel and Gretel) for Connecticut Opera and Opera Theatre of Connecticut; Rosina (Barber of Seville); Susanna (Marriage of Figaro); Pappagena (Magic Flute); Dido (Dido and Aeneas); Estella (La Perichole). She sang Senta in the Scena/Duet from Flying Dutchman opposite David Rae Smith of New York City Opera. Soprano oratorio roles include opposite Jennifer Larmore and Jacques Trussel in Handel's Judas Maccabeus; Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, Haydn's Missa Brevis, Vivaldi's Gloria; Handel's Messiah, and the premiere of Fanny Mendelssohn's Faust with Peter Harvey. As soloist on Public Radio and TV in Boston and San Francisco, in Carnegie Hall, and as a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Touring Artist, Mardinly has sung jazz, solo cabarets, and on concert series throughout the Northeast. She has also directed/coached musical theatre, winning Best Musical Director for Into The Woods. Mardinly received 5 grants to research Fanny Mendelssohn, Amy Beach, and Barbara Strozzi, resulting in feature journal articles, publication of 60 scores by ClarNan, and lecture/recitals throughout the world including Venice, Boston, and New York. Mardinly is also a published poet, nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Elected to Pi Kappa Lambda, Who's Who in America, Women and the World, she holds a B.Music degree from New England Conservatory, M.M from The Hartt School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

Stacy Cahoon (West Hartford) holds performance degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and a Master of Music Degree from the Hartt School of Music in Accompanying. She is an active accompanist in the area working with singers and instrumentalists. In addition, she is the accompanist for the Travelers Chorale and the CitiSingers of Hartford. As a composer, she has had vocal compositions premiered at Bushnell Hall, and the Women Composers Festival of Hartford.

Diane Day (West Hartford) - Diane M. Day holds an artist’s diploma in Piano from Hartford Conservatory. She performs chamber music, accompanies soloists and groups, including dance, and has performed many solo concerts over her career. She has studied with Juan Nazarian, Maria Luisa Faini, and Howard Parsons.

Virginia Allen (West Hartford) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in Special Education. Additionally, she is a registered nurse and has recently retired from a 20-year nursing career. Ms. Allen is Concertmaster of the Connecticut Valley Orchestra and teaches violin at Charter Oak Cultural Center.

Michelle Duffy (West Hartford) - While in high school, Michelle Duffy studied piano with Miklos Schwab at the New England Conservatory. She received her BA with a major in music from Mount Holyoke College, studying with Ronald Hodges and Alexander Fiorillo. After receiving her M.S.L.S. from Florida State University in 1969, she embarked on a career as a librarian, which lasted 28 years. While working at Colby College in the mid-1970’s, she studied piano with William Wallace, but did not seriously play the piano again until discovering the Musical Club of Hartford in 2000.

Margaret Walker (Bloomfield) and Herbert Walker (Bloomfield) are co-founders of Con Brio, a chamber music ensemble active in the Greater Hartford area since 1988.