Saturday, January 27, 2018

Cellist Hakhnazaryan is Next SFP “Young Master”

Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan (courtesy of San Francisco Performances)

Next month will see the second concert in the annual Young Masters Series organized by San Francisco Performances (SFP). The program will present the San Francisco debut of Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan. His accompanist will be pianist Noreen Polera, who will be appearing under SFP auspices for the third time. (At her first appearance she accompanied cellist Clancy Newman.)

Hakhnazaryan moved to the United States at the age of 22 to begin his studies at the New England Conservatory. This was in 2011, the year in which he won Cello First Prize and Gold Medal at the fourteenth International Tchaikovsky competition. Prior to making the move, he had been mentored by Mstislav Rostropovich. Since then he has accumulated an impressive track record of performances as a concerto soloist, a recitalist, and member of a chamber ensemble.

Hakhnazaryan’s program for SFP will consist of original compositions and arrangements. Nineteenth-century romanticism will be represented by both Robert Schumann’s Opus 70 coupling of Adagio and Allegro movements and Johannes Brahms’ Opus 99 (second) sonata in F major. He will play an arrangement (probably the one by Jules Delsart) of the “Meditation” music from the second act of Jules Massenet’s opera Thaïs. He will also play an arrangement of the opening prelude (also known as both “Asturias” and “Leyenda”) from Isaac Albéniz’ Opus 232 suite Cantos de España (songs of Spain). This will be coupled with Rodion Shchedrin’s “In the Style of Albeniz,” which he originally composed for violin and piano in 1973. Also from the twentieth century will be Gaspar Cassadó’s Requiebros” (complements), which was dedicated to Pablo Casals.

Those who have been following the Young Masters Series may recall that, when cellist David Requiro gave his performance in this series in March of 2014, he concluded with a fascinating encore selection. This was “Sachidao,” the third of the set Five Pieces on Folk Themes by the Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze. Hakhnazaryan’s recital will include all five pieces in this set as the most recent selection on his program.

This performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 16. The venue will be the Concert Hall of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, located at 50 Oak Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. All tickets are being sold for $40. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.

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