Now Hear This: an Interview with Chloé Trevor, violin

Chloé Trevor travels the world as a solo violinist, and lives her life as an ambassador for the instrument, particularly to young audiences and members of her generation. Ms. Trevor will be joined on stage by pianist Jonathan Tsay for the July 9 Feature Presentation, “Dances & Romances,” opening the 2017 Basically Beethoven Festival. Read below to get to know the artist, and click HERE to sample some audio clips of Ms. Trevor.


 

Trevor, Chloe 2017 (violin)What piece on the program are you most excited about? What should audience members listen for? I’m most excited for Prokofiev’s four pieces from Romeo and Juliet. Prokofiev is one of my all-time favorite composers and this piece embodies a lot of my favorite musical characteristics of his. There’s a lot of intensity and sardonic wit alongside extremely elegant and heart-rendering melodies. I hope the audience members can pick out different characters from the story as we go through the movements.

As a violinist, what do you love about chamber music? How is it different from playing in a large symphony or solo? I love playing chamber music because to me it feels like a combination of playing in a symphony and playing as a soloist at the same time. You can’t quite get that feeling doing anything else — it’s really special, especially when you get to play alongside some of your closest friends.

How old were you when you started playing violin? Why did you choose it? Did you learn other instruments? I started playing the violin when I was 2. My parents saw me reaching for my mom’s violin when she would practice and so they eventually found a tiny — but real! — violin for me to play. My mom was my first teacher for the first few years of my studies. I began taking piano lessons when I was 6.

What type of music did you listen to as a child, and what do you listen to now? As a kid I listened to classical music, non-stop. Now I listen to classical music, non-stop. It’s what makes me feel the most comfortable and at home. Every so often I might put on some j-pop [Japanese pop music] though.

You grew up in the Dallas area. What would surprise visitors about Dallas? What’s your “hidden gem” in Dallas? I’m not sure what would really surprise people about Dallas, except that very few people who live here have Texan accents. At least that’s what people always seem to be surprised about when they find out I’m from Texas! But my “hidden gem” in Dallas would probably be the Bishop Arts District, or some of the many amazing coffee shops such as Mudsmith, Pearl Cup, or 1418 Coffeehouse. I really like coffee. And pie. Go to Emporium Pies!

It’s not unusual to hear of humorous stereotypes for certain musicians and their instruments in an orchestra. What’s a typical violinist like? I think a lot of us are very “high-strung.” I know that’s true for me though I combat it as much as possible. We’re also extremely analytical in and out of music, which can be annoying at times (because our brains can’t ever turn off), but does definitely have its benefits — especially when you want to make sure something is done right the first time.

Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play? Probably Prokofiev and Shostakovich for both.

What’s your favorite sound (musical or non-musical)? Least favorite? My favorite sound is rain, and my least favorite is the sound of people chewing.

Once you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert are you looking forward to? Definitely a recital by my late violin teacher, Arkady Fomin.


Inaugural scholarships from Rogene Russell Fund awarded

Young composer and promising pianist receive Rogene Russell Scholarships

Supporters of Fine Arts Chamber Players help musicians begin college on positive note

We are proud to announce Quinn Mason and Kenoly Kadia as the recipients of the first annual Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund. Mason, an award-winning young composer, will attend Texas Christian University in the fall. Kadia is a pianist and plans to attend the University of Texas. Both are graduates from Dallas ISD: Mason from North Dallas High School in 2015, Kadia from David W. Carter High School in 2017.

Scholarship recipients Quinn Mason (left) and Kenoly Kadia (right) flank donors Norma and Don Stone.

Scholarship recipients Quinn Mason (left) and Kenoly Kadia (right) flank donors Norma and Don Stone.

“I am very honored and grateful to receive this generous gift, as I could not have paid the tuition myself,” said Mason. “I am hoping that this college education will allow me to provide a comfortable living for myself, and allow me to provide for my mother. I plan to reach new heights in music and do important things that will make an impact on future generations. I will work to the best of my ability to make the Stones proud that they invested in my education.”

The scholarship was established at The Dallas Foundation in March 2016 by longtime FACP supporters Don and Norma Stone, and it was named in honor of Rogene Russell, the artistic director and cofounder of FACP.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of talented candidates who applied for the first year of the Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund, and are eager to see the progress that Quinn and Kenoly will make in their college music studies,” explained FACP Executive Director Rachel Assi.

Applications were considered by a committee representing FACP, Southern Methodist University, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, The Dallas Foundation, and the local philanthropic community. After the initial review of material, select applicants were asked to perform for or present their compositions to the committee for further consideration.

Rogene Russell added, “FACP has been honored to support Kenoly and Quinn in their pre-college artistic growth. As anyone currently attending college knows, the cost of tuition is daunting. Through the vision and generosity of Norma and Don Stone, these scholarships will enable Kenoly and Quinn to pursue a college education without the burden of immense debt.”

“I am very grateful for all the support that I have had from FACP,” echoed Kadia. “I am very humbled and honored to receive the scholarship. I intend to use this scholarship to the best of my ability, and hopefully one day I will be an inspiration to others and be an asset in the music industry.”

Since the Fund was established in 2016, the Stone’s initial $500,000 gift has grown by 38%, totaling $691,000 through additional contributions.

“Our highest hope,” Mr. Stone stated, “is that the fund will increase to at least $1 million to provide support for the college careers of other young aspiring musicians in future years.”

“Don and I know this scholarship has made a huge impact on the ability of these two winners to continue their music education,” added Mrs. Stone. “How many other gifted youngsters such as Quinn and Kenoly can we help in the future?”

“The Dallas Foundation manages a variety of scholarship funds made possible by the generosity of our donors,” said Mary Jalonick, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. “For many students, these scholarships can be a valuable resource that allows them to achieve lifelong dreams. We’d like to extend our sincerest congratulations to Quinn and Kenoly, and special thanks to Don and Norma Stone, as well as Fine Arts Chambers Players, for their continued leadership and commitment to nurturing the future leaders of the arts community.”

For more information about contributing to the Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund, please contact Dallas Foundation Grants Officer Lynsie Laughlin at 214-741-9898 or llaughlin@dallasfoundation.org; or visit DallasFoundation.org, click on “I’d like to give to a fund,” then search for “Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund.”


Teacher Profile: Sarah Kienle, viola

Violist Sarah Kienle teaches beginning violin for 20 fourth graders at Peak Preparatory Academy, an East Dallas charter school. The FACP violin program at Peak, which just concluded its fifth year, is the only music program on campus and fourth graders are the youngest students to participate in our program. Ms. Kienle has taught for FACP for two years and, in general, her students are not only receiving violin instruction for the first time, but it is their first exposure to music class.

Kienle, Sarah 2017How old were you when you started playing? Do you play other instruments? I’m a “full-blood” violist and started playing at age 7. I took six years of piano lessons when I was young and I can still find my way around a keyboard, albeit a little clumsily.

So, your instrument is viola, but you’re teaching violin. Is there a lot of crossover between the two instruments? Both playing and teaching violin and viola are very similar. In fact, it is not uncommon for violinists to switch to viola or play both. Every once in a while, a violist will switch to the violin. They are held and played the same way, although there are some minor idiosyncrasies to each instrument that require a little adjustment. The viola is slightly larger than the violin and rather than having E, A, D, G for strings, violas have A, D, G, C. Viola music is also written with the alto clef, or C-clef, although sometimes our music switches to treble clef when there is a risk of too many ledger lines (it gets difficult to read because it is too high).

What did you study in college, and where did you study? I received my Bachelor of Music in viola performance from the Colburn School and my Master of Music in viola performance from Indiana University. My outside major in college was beginning violin and viola pedagogy — I love to teach beginning violin.

Who is your favorite composer to play? Beethoven.

What do you love about teaching young violin students? Their excitement! Violin is still so new and fascinating to them and it’s inspiring to see.

Have you taught other ages? I have taught ages 8 – 65.

What is a particularly memorable recital or performance of yours? I’ll never forget my first experience playing a real symphony when I first moved away from home. My youth orchestra was playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, and I was blown away by the experience of sitting in the middle of such a powerful sound.

What piece of advice would you give 11-year-old Sarah? Always make sure to have FUN while you play!

What’s your favorite sound (musical or non-musical)? Least favorite? I love the sound of choirs, especially small ensembles or those singing early music. My least favorite sound is any sound that wakes me up when I’m sleeping.

Once you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert are you looking forward to? I’m excited to see what the old masters (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven) do with today’s music technology.


2017 Basically Beethoven Festival announced

37th annual series presents students, professional musicians in free concerts

2017 BBF logo w datesFine Arts Chamber Players will present the 2017 Basically Beethoven Festival on Sunday afternoons in July. Held at Dallas City Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District, every program starts with a Rising Star Recital at 2:30 pm followed by a Feature Performance at 3 pm. Rising Star Recitals present local, gifted young musicians; Feature Performances showcase professional musicians from the area. All concerts are FREE. Details on each afternoon can be found HERE.

“Classical music is the most diverse form of western music, spanning centuries and continents,” explained Basically Beethoven Festival Director Alex McDonald. “Anything can be expressed in beautiful, profound ways: from love to loss, patriotism and exile, thoughtfulness to abandon. This year’s Festival will bring together as many of these different threads as possible. In addition to Beethoven, we will feature several living composers whose voices speak both eloquently and powerfully to our own time.”

McDonald added, “Something I’m particularly excited about this year is our Rising Stars, who represent part of the future of classical music. In the past, we have always used a young soloist with an adult accompanist, but this year we are presenting collaborative duos: two young artists performing together. Some of our performers are only 14 years old and have already played all over the world!”


OVERVIEW: Basically Beethoven Festival 2017

  • Sundays in July
  • July 9, Dances & Romances 
  • July 16, A Spirited Afternoon
  • July 23, Stephen Nielson and friends
  • July 30, Americana!
  • Rising Star Recital at 2:30 pm; Feature Performance at 3 pm; Doors open at 2 pm
  • Dallas City Performance Hall: 2520 Flora Street, Dallas 75201
  • As always, Festival concerts are FREE for all. Paid parking is available in surface lots and garages in the Dallas Arts District. Families with children are welcome. For questions, call 214-520-2219 or email music@fineartschamberplayers.org.

Teacher Profiles: Bo and Gretchen Gerard–the Dream Collectors

Read Hat - DCHusband and wife performing duo Bo Gerard and Gretchen Walz Gerard are co-founding members of FACP’s education outreach program, joining Rogene Russell and Winston Stone to become the Dream Collectors. Their first performance in April 1989 was part of the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration at the Dallas Museum of Art where they won “Best Live Performance.”

They were off and running from there! For 28 years, Bo and Gretchen have been busy writing plays, choreographing, performing, and teaching as part of this award-winning group. Dream Collectors’ shows combine live theater, music, magic, and circus skills to explore topics like learning differences and character in a fun, engaging way. Their original, cross-curricular musical programs are for schools in the Dallas area, and each performance is customized with grade-appropriate curriculum in compliance with State of Texas mandated Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). 

Read more and get to know our FACP educators, Bo and Gretchen!


What did you study in college, and where did you study? 

Gretchen:  I was fortunate to have received a full Presidential Scholarship to study theatre at Adelphi University in New York. My college experience was quite exceptional because it was more like attending an intensive four-year conservatory where I graduated with a BFA in Theatre Arts, summa cum laude.

Bo:  I studied Architecture at the City College of New York, and made a sudden and fortuitous left turn into the world of New York Theater.

What is your professional background?

Gretchen:  After graduating from Adelphi, I did voice work for Sesame Street cartoons. I also performed in numerous New York City theatre productions at Playwright’s Horizon, Lamb’s Theatre, Drama Committee, and the Lincoln Center Festival, etc. Bo and I met while creating and performing with Bond Street Theatre: it’s an incredible company that pioneers theatre-based projects for conflict resolution, education, and empowerment worldwide in countries such as Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Azerbaijan. After New York, I did regional theatre, finally landing in Dallas where I performed in local theatre productions, TV commercials, and country music videos. I had a lot of fun hosting 30 episodes of the children’s television show, “Club 27.” For 10 years, I performed and taught with Young Audiences before they became Big Thought.

Bo:  I began in music as a recording artist in NYC, and segued into musical theater. I studied with a host of amazing NYC teachers and have performed in shows with Glenn Close, Jim Dale, and Stacy Keach. As a Comedy Magician I have performed over 14,000 shows so far & have shared the stage with: Bill Gates, Lee Iacocca, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Bodett, “Mary Kay” Ash and many other celebrities.

What instruments do you play and what other performances specialties do you have?

Gretchen:  I play flute and I can juggle. Off stage, I am a painter and mask maker.

Bo:  Percussion is my main instrument, but I also play piano and electric bass. I also perform magic, incorporating juggling and a variety of circus skills.

How old were you when you started studying music/theater?

Gretchen:  I started performing theatre when I was 13 at the Lexington Children’s Theatre in Kentucky where we performed at the University of Kentucky’s Guignol Theatre.

Bo:  At 15 I simply had to play the drums, so I carved a pair of drumsticks out of some wood my Dad had and played on an array of pillows – every day!

What is a typical Dream Collectors performance like?

Gretchen:  Currently, Bo and I are performing our original musical comedy, “Escape from Couch Potato Land” in schools. In this play two kids are stuck on the sofa watching TV and eating junk food. Super Chef and Vita Girl come to their rescue with the Brilliant I.D.E.A. – a plan to help them escape. We get students and teachers up singing and dancing about the importance of imagination, a good attitude, and fun exercise. We share information about a balanced, healthy diet.  We hope to inspire kids to lead active, healthy lives. We write the lyrics and music, and record our songs. Some titles are “Read All About It,” “Imagine That,” and “Turn It Around” which is a song about having a good attitude.

What do you love about teaching and performing for elementary school students?

Gretchen:   It is such a blessing to get to teach and perform for these students and their amazing teachers. Their openness and enthusiasm are so inspiring. They are ready for a hopeful message and crave an opportunity to learn and to laugh. Although their lives already have so many challenges, they aren’t cynical yet. When our show is over we go out into the audience so we can look in the eyes and share a smile with each and every child. They all want to be seen and valued.

Bo:   Many of the kids we perform for have not been exposed to live theatre, so this is their first experience with it. This is an honor and a great responsibility – to usher them into the world of musical theater and enrich them with topics that are relevant to their lives.

What is a particularly memorable performance of yours?

Gretchen:  We just love seeing the students and teachers up singing and dancing to our original songs like “Be the Hero,” “Work It Out” (about compromise), and “Prove It” (about the scientific method). Also, it was very inspiring performing our show about dyslexia called “The L.D. Zone” at a time when very little was understood about learning differences in the general public.

What piece of advice would you give 8-year-old Bo or Gretchen?

Gretchen:  What a wonderful age. Actually, I think she could probably give me some advice! Play, enjoy each day, be fully present as much as you can because time goes by fast. Appreciate your parents and teachers.  It’s more important to be kind than to be right.

Bo:  Finding myself content and fulfilled in my career, I have no advice to my 8-year-old self, except “You are in for a great ride!

What’s your favorite sound (musical or non-musical)? Least favorite?

Gretchen:   Right now my favorite sound is the laughter of our grandson. Also, song birds in the morning. My least favorite is a child crying out in distress.

Bo:   My favorite sound is the sound of pure joy when expressed through an instrument or voice. My least favorite is when I hear people say they could never sing or play an instrument.

Once you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert are you looking forward to?

Gretchen:  Maya Angelou singing, dancing, and reciting her poetry.  If I don’t make it through the pearly gates then perhaps I’ll dance (as I did as a child) to Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

Bo:    I would put together a band comprised of Albert Einstein on violin, Alexander Graham Bell on the piano, Charles Dickens on accordion, Neil Armstrong on the baritone horn, and me on percussion.


Cezanne Quartet closes 2016-2017 season

Bancroft Family Concert season concludes with Cézanne Quartet

We are so pleased to announce The Cézanne Quartet will perform at our final free Bancroft Family Concert of the 2016-2017 season on Saturday, May 13, 2017. As always, the performances will be held in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art, and the program begins at 3 p.m. with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. The concert is FREE TO THE PUBLIC with no tickets required. The afternoon, which is also the 11th annual Charles Barr Memorial Concert, includes music by Schubert, Mozart, and Bartók.

Cezanne3The quartet’s members are Eleanor Dunbar, violin; Lauren Densinger, violin; Steven Juarez, viola; and Elizabeth White, cello. The program includes Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K. 575; Franz Schubert’s Quartettsatz, D703; and Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114.


The Cliburn in Concert, April 15

April concert features Cliburn pianist, Dallas musicians

2017-04-15 Cliburn Caryatid sqIn partnership with the Cliburn in the Community program, Fine Arts Chamber Players is pleased to announce The Cliburn in Concert, the next free Bancroft Family Concert on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Held in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood Street, Dallas 75201), the program begins at 3 p.m. with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. The concert is FREE TO THE PUBLIC with no tickets required.

The afternoon’s performers are Claire Huangci, piano, 2013 Cliburn Competition semi-finalist and Jury Discretionary Award recipient; Emmanuelle Boisvert, violin, Associate Concertmaster-Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO); Lucas Aleman, DSO violin; and Jeff Hood, DSO cello. The program includes the last movement of Erik Korngold’s dynamic Suite for Piano (Left Hand), Two Violins and Cello. The piece was commissioned by pianist Paul Wittgenstein after losing an arm in World War I. After the concert, audience members are invited to visit the Dallas Museum of Art’s Wittgenstein Vitrine, a jewel-encrusted masterpiece of early 20th century Viennese design, once owned by Paul Wittgenstein’s family.

Solo piano works on the program include Domenico Scarlatti’s Four Sonatas, K. 443, 208, 29, and 435; Sergei Prokofiev’s excerpts from Romeo and Juliet; and Johannes Brahms’ Handel Variations, op. 24.

Immediately following the performance, audience members are encouraged to stay for CODA: a moderated Q&A conversation with Claire Huangci.

The Cliburn in Concert – Saturday, April 15, 2017

  • Concert begins at 3 p.m., doors open at 2:30 p.m.
  • Horchow Auditorium in the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas 75201)
  • No tickets required. General admission to the DMA is also free.
  • Families with children are welcome.

CODA


Filip Fenrych, violin

Now Hear This: an interview with Filip Fenrych

Get exclusive insight on this month’s Bancroft Family Concert! An accomplished musician, violinist Filip Fenrych has the added feather in his cap of being Jaap van Zweden’s first hire at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra nine years ago. He joins DSO french horn player Kevin Haseltine and concert pianist Dr. Zahari Metchkov on stage this Saturday. As always, the free concert begins at 3 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art. Doors to the Horchow Auditorium open at 2:30. Come early to guarantee seating!


Fenrych, Filip 2017

Filip Fenrych

What piece on the program are you most excited about? What should audience members listen for? Very qood question. I think we’re most excited about playing Brahms, but we have spent so much time learning the Ligeti it’s hard not to feel excited about that. Normally, you would expect to have one piece on a program that you’re excited about, but this time our attention is divided. One piece is so close to the heart (Brahms) and one is so close to the brain (Ligeti) that the analytical aspect of it is another challenge all together.

When listening to the Brahms, the audience should know it is a very, very special piece of chamber music. Brahms’ melodies are to die for, really, and the sadness of some of the melodies relates to the death of his mother. It was a piece that was close to him; therefore, the intimacy is palpable.

As far as the Ligeti goes – an audience member has to be like a sponge trying to soak up the sounds that are coming at one’s ears. For instance, there are very unexpected intervals played. It can be challenging for an audience member to listen to, actually, but we’re hoping our performance makes it less tough.

What do you love about chamber music? How is it different from playing in a large symphony?  Playing chamber music is my favorite–absolute favorite–thing to play. It’s the immediacy of communicating ideas with the other performers, the ability to communicate what you individually want to hear and play, versus in a big orchestra you’re told what to play and how to play it. The camaraderie on stage with chamber music is my favorite thing.

How old were you when you started playing the violin? Why did you choose it? Did you learn other instruments?  I was 6 ½. My dad took me to a classical music concert as my sixth birthday gift. We were on a train for many hours, arrived at the hall, and I was blown away by the music, the soloist, by the hall. When I came home after the concert, I told my parents “that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.” They didn’t listen at first! But, eventually, I got the violin and started playing.

I also learned piano through my public school’s music program in Poland. And we learned recorder! My music teacher said that my violin lessons wouldn’t count for my music credits in school. You will not catch me with a recorder in my hand any more.

What type of music did you listen to as a kid?  I listened to classical music, and whatever I could get my hands on growing up in communist Poland. I found and listened to some jazz. As a teenager, I came across Depeche Mode, Metallica, and I was a huge fan of Queen. I was trying to listen to things other than classical, but for sure, classical music was the main thing.

You had the initial idea for this concert program—what was it about these pieces that inspired you to put them together for Fine Arts Chamber Players?  Surprisingly, I have never played chamber music with the french horn before. I have played so much string music, but never played with the horn. So, with the original idea to pair violin and french horn, Brahms came up immediately. Then as a companion piece, Ligeti was added to the mix.

Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play?  I enjoy listening to Beethoven a bunch, but I don’t necessarily seek out violin works to listen to – I enjoy listening to Beethoven’s piano sonata, and there’s always Bach! I enjoy his choral music. I think performing Romantic composers are probably closer to my heart and more satisfying. The list isn’t limited to one composer in each category. 

What’s your favorite sound (musical or non-musical)? Least favorite?  My favorite is the ocean. My least favorite is the sound of an alarm, especially a morning alarm (I’m not a morning person).

Once you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert are you looking forward to?  Because it would be fun, I’d like to see Mozart playing and see if he was actually as funny as we think he was.


2017 Internship

FACP seeks intern through ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program

FACP is now accepting applications for Assistant Festival Director of the 37th annual Basically Beethoven Festival, a paid summer internship position for current undergraduate college students. The Assistant Festival Director oversees major administrative elements of the Festival, including artist relations and event management. Experience in music or arts administration discipline preferred. The dates of the internship are June 5 through July 30, 2017; more details can be found here or below.

Interested college students should email their cover letter and résumé to Executive Director Rachel Assi at rachel@fineartschamberplayers.orgdeadline to apply is April 12.  Eligible students must be an undergraduate returning to college as a full-time (minimum 12 credit hours per semester) sophomore, junior, or senior student in the fall of 2017

ExxonMobil_CSJP logoThe internship is made possible through a grant from the ExxonMobil
Foundation. The ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program provides full-time college students with an eight-week paid internship to gain experience in the nonprofit sector.

https://www.fineartschamberplayers.org/intern-flyer/