Wednesday 6th June
1 Portobello Harbour, D8.
The final chapter of the 9th Kaleidoscope season presents an eye-widening line up that won’t so much bring the curtain down on the season as send it into the stratosphere. As well as the return of Kaleidoscope favourites, the Esposito Quartet (playing Schumann on this occasion), violinist Mia Cooper and multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, the evening hosts debutants Suzie Thorn (oboe), principal with RTE Concert Orchestra, and renowned UK piano soloist, Viv McLean, who will partner with bassist Dan Bodwell and drummer Guy Rickarby as the night’s jazz piano trio. Another special series debutant is Rhiannon Giddens, folk musician extraordinaire, who recently added two 2017 solo Grammy nominations to her 2011 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album with the ground-breaking group, Carolina Chocolote Drops. Other accolades, of many, include of BBC 2 Folk Singer of the Year (2016). Every Kaleidoscope night is a night not to be missed but this redefines the meaning of the word “unmissable”.
Schumann: String Quartet Op. 41 No. 1
The Esposito Quartet (Mia Cooper, Anna Cashell (violins), Joachim Roewer (viola), William Butt (cello) makes its second appearance of the ‘18/’19 season, on this occasion playing music by Robert Schumann. Schumann was known to concentrate solely on a single musical genre for extended periods of time and following his “song” year (1840) and his symphony year (1841), he wrote his only 3 string quartets in the space of two weeks in June 1842. This burst of enthusiasm came after a period of depression and inability to write, during which time he immersed himself in the greats of the quartet form- Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Having heard the latter’s seminal Op. 127 and 131 quartets, Schumann remarked “We can find no words to describe their greatness… they seem to mark the furthest limits which man’s art and imagination have yet attained.” A further mark of his constant homage to his predecessors, he dedicated these 3 quartets to Felix Mendelssohn.
Marcello: Oboe Concerto in D Minor
On June 6th, we welcome, for the first time to the series, oboeist Suzie Thorn, who recently (ish) moved to Dublin to become the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s principal oboe. Suzie is a Birmingham lady who made her mark on the UK orchestral and chamber music scene having graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London with prizes and scholarships to beat the band. She will perform the beautiful oboe concerto in D minor by Venetian composer Marcello, which one of the best known works of the Baroque era, in large part because Bach transcribed it for solo harpsichord. Ironically, Bach believed it to be by Vivaldi and grouped the transcription with a group he labeled XVI Concerto nach A. Vivaldi. A century after his death, a German researcher reviewed Bach’s manuscripts and assumed that Bach’s identification of the music as Vivaldi’s was correct. When copies of the original concerto surfaced in libraries in Mecklenburg and Darmstadt, bearing the name Marcello, two different German scholars attributed the piece to the prolific Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739.) As it turned out, they were still incorrect- it was his written by his brother Alessandro!
Bolling: Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano Trio
Another RTE Concert Orchestra star appearing on the night is violinist Mia Cooper, first violinist of the Schumann Quartet, performing an extraordinary work by French composer Claude Bolling. The Cannes-born 88 year old shot to fame initially as a jazz pianist, playing professionally since the age of 14, but within another 20 years was a well established and renowned film composer. When he ventured into the world of classical music, he garnered a huge commercial hit with his 1973 “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio”, a collaboration with flautist Jean Pierre Rampal, a recording of which stayed in the Billboard charts Top 40 for nearly 10 years! In the company of UK piano soloist, Viv McLean, bassist Dan Bodwell and drummer Guy Rickarby, Mia will perform 4 movements of Bolling’s 1978 suite for violin & jazz trio, a work that resulted from collaboration with Pinchas Zukerman. Little point leaving a good formula go to waste!
Francesco Turrisi and Rhiannon Giddens
We are always thrilled to present series’ friend, the multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, who curated our season finale last year, to memorable acclaim. Always the inquisitive collaborator, Francesco brings to us on this occasion another special series debutant. Rhiannon Giddens is an extraordinary American musician, who needs little introduction in the international folk scene. She recently added two 2017 solo Grammy nominations to her 2011 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album with the ground-breaking group, Carolina Chocolote Drops. Other accolades, of many, include of BBC 2 Folk Singer of the Year (2016). Exploring the folk traditions of Francesco’s Mediterranean heritage and Rhiannon’s American South and where these two musical histories meet, a musical journey like no other is promised!
The Esposito Quartet comprises four musicians (Mia Cooper, Anna Cashell, violins. Joachim Roewer, viola William Butt, cello) with a combined bounty of experience as orchestra leaders, principals, professors, recital and recording artists, whose common love of the
quartet treasury drove them in 2010 to ignore it no longer and seek each other out. Their name reflects their admiration for Michele Esposito, pianist and composer, who for forty years from 1888 was the initiator for much of the chamber music making in Dublin through the establishment of The Royal Dublin Society. In February 2017 the Quartet participated in Music for Galway’s mid Winter Festival. They toured in Ireland in 2016 and will again in September 2017.
Suzie studied at the Royal College of Music Junior Department before being awarded an Elton John Scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst at the Academy she won both the Janet Craxton and Leila Bull Oboe Prizes. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious RAM Club Prize. Suzie represented the Academy as a soloist in Europe and Japan as well as throughout the UK. She also played on several BBC Radio 3 broadcasts with chamber ensembles from the Academy. On graduating she was awarded the HRH Princess Alice’s Prize for exemplary studentship.
In 2011 Suzie won the Royal Over-Seas League Wind Solo Prize and was also a Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) Finalist. She was a founder member of the St James Quintet – winners of the Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Prize in 2009 and is also a member of the Rose Trio – Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Prize winners in 2010.
Suzie has been principal oboe with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the Britten-Pears Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra. She has also played principal oboe with the CBSO, the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She made her Wigmore Hall debut in June 2011 and has recorded the Poulenc and Saint-Saëns oboe sonatas for EMI.
She is currently Principal Oboe with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Viv McLean won First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona and has performed in all the major venues in the UK, as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. He has performed concertos with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva and the Scottish Concert Orchestra under the baton of such conductors as Wayne Marshall, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, Carl Davis and Marvin Hamlisch. As a keen chamber musician he has collaborated with many groups including the Leopold String Trio, Ysaye String Quartet, Ensemble 360 and the Sacconi String Quartet as well as artists such as Natalie Clein, Daniel Hope, Guy Johnston and Lawrence Power. Viv has appeared at festivals including the International Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Festival des Saintes in France, Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Cheltenham International Festival in the UK, and has recorded for Sony Classical Japan, Naxos, Nimbus and RPO Records. Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 as well as for radio in Germany, France, Australia, Norway and Poland. “ Viv McLean revealed extraordinary originality, superb simplicity, and muscles of steel hidden by fingers of velvet. He plays with the genius one finds in those who know how to forget themselves, naturally placing themselves at the right point to meet the music, this mystery of the moment.” Le Monde (Paris)
Francesco Turrisi and Rhiannon Giddens
Rhiannon Giddens is an American artist of folk and traditional music, played on fiddle and banjo; Francesco Turrisi is an Italian pianist and percussionist well versed in jazz, early music and Mediterranean music; at first blush, their worlds don’t overlap.
But at a chance musical meet-up in Ireland they found that her 19th century American minstrel banjo tunes and his traditional Sicilian Tamburello (tambourine) rhythms fit very naturally together. They soon discovered the reason for that – their respective roots coexisted in the past. Pictures of early minstrel bands all represent banjo and tambourine (called tambo) together, where in many cases the tambo is held in the same manner of Southern Italian tamburello traditions today.
The massive effect that West African music and dance has had upon American culture is by now well known; but centuries before, European music was being transformed by Arabic and North African modes, instruments, and rhythms. Working together they trace this musical globalism by reimagining the encounter of the banjo and the frame drum, and other instruments, through their journey from Africa, the Middle East, through southern Europe and England, and over to the Americas….
Rhiannon Giddens – vocals, banjo, fiddle
Francesco Turrisi – percussion, accordion, piano