Sunday, February 4, 2018

Evan Kahn Announces Second Graduate Recital

Cellist Evan Kahn (from his Facebook Events page)

Readers may recall that it was almost exactly two months ago when cellist Evan Kahn gave the first of his two Graduate Recitals at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). Details have now been released about the second recital, which, out of a somewhat perverse sense of symmetry, will take place in almost exactly one month! This will be a program of personal favorites, most of which are not performed very often. However, most of the selections will subsequently be performed in April during Kahn’s residency at NPR’s Performance Today program hosted by Nicholas Dodd.

Much of the program will be devoted to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, whose appreciation of the cello emerges even in music for which that instrument is not the center of attention. (Think of the “White Swan” pas de deux from Swan Lake, where the coupling of dancers on stage is matched by an equally intimate pairing of solos for violin and cello.) He will begin with an arrangement of “Valse sentimentale,” originally the sixth of the six piano pieces published as Tchaikovsky’s Opus 51. This will be followed by an arrangement of Lensky’s aria from the second act of Eugene Onegin, “Kuda, kuda vï udalilis.” The program will conclude with the Andante cantabile movement from the Opus 11 (first) string quartet in D major, performed in an arrangement for cello and string orchestra.

The other composer to be represented by more than one composition will be Bohuslav Martinů. Martinů’s catalog includes ten duos for cello and piano, from which Kahn has selected two pieces, the first (of three) of his cello sonatas, composed in Paris in 1939, and the “Variations on a Theme of Rossini,” composed in New York in 1942. The program will also include selections from a partita for solo cello written by Ahmed Adnan Saygun.

Finally, the program will be distinguished by a “family affair.” Kahn will play the second movement from a concerto for cello and string orchestra written by his father George. Kahn gave the premiere of this concerto with the Carnegie Mellon University Orchestra conducted by Daniel Nesta Curtis on April 30, 2015. That performance was documented on a video now available through YouTube:

This recital will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8. SFCM is located at 50 Oak Street, about halfway between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. This is a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. The event will be free, and neither tickets nor reservations will be required.

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