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Saturday, April 1, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Composers reveal their national origins in subtle yet distinctive musical terms throughout this sampling of four works dating from the past 125 years.

FEATURED SOLOIST: Robert Belinić, Guitar

Robert Belinić plays, “with the most intense passion, energy and charisma of any guitarist I have heard.”
—The New York Concert Review

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  • Robert Belinić is described by the New York Concert Review as playing “with the most intense passion, energy and charisma of any guitarist I have heard.” Mr. Belinic has performed extensively, both as a soloist and a collaborator. Among his many appearances in the U.S., Mr. Belinić has performed with orchestras including the Sarasota Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the Phoenix, Edmonton, Quad City, Victoria, La Crosse, Hilton Head, El Paso, Milikin-Daecatur, Wichita, Fox Valley, Meridian, and South Bend Symphonies and in recital and residency at Spivey Hall in Atlanta and the University of Florida in Gainesville. He has appeared at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, with the La Jolla Music Society, and on the Grand Teton Music Festival’s Medalist Series. Mr. Belinić also concertizes with clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester in the YCA ensemble MiXt.

    Important New York appearances include Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez in 2008 at Lincoln Center with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by Michael Stern, and a solo recital at the Morgan Library & Museum. In Europe, Mr. Belinić has been heard in Slovenia, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, the Czech Republic, and as soloist with the Zagreb Philharmonic.

    A champion of new music, he premiered YCA composer Chris Rogerson’s Air for solo guitar, at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, as well as at the Kravis Center and the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Belinic also recorded the premiere of a guitar concerto on a CD of composer Roberto Di Marino’s works on the Classic Concert Records label.

    Mr. Belinić won the Young Concert Artists European Auditions in Leipzig, Germany and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York in 2002, the only guitarist ever chosen for the YCA roster. He made his New York debut at the 92nd Street Y sponsored by the Claire Tow Debut Prize and his Washington, DC debut at the Kennedy Center sponsored by the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Prize, and also debuted that season at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He was awarded the Fergus New Artist Prize of YCA and the Beracasa Foundation Prize for an appearance at the Montpellier Radio-France Festival.

    Born in 1981 in Zagreb, Croatia, Mr. Belinić grew up in the nearby town of Popovača. When he was eight years old, Mr. Belinić became a national celebrity as the child star of “Tale from Croatia,” the first film released in newly-independent Croatia. He began his study of classical guitar at the age of eleven at the music school in Kutina with Zvonko Šušnjar, continuing his studies with Ante Čagalj in Zagreb. Mr. Belinić was the recipient of the 2002 Ivo Vuljević Award for outstanding young Croatian musicians, and was a prize winner of the 2006 Parkening International Guitar Competition in California. He was a founding member of the Croatian Guitar Quartet. He earned a Master’s Degree from the Leopold Mozart Hochschule für Musik in Augsburg, Germany, where he held a two-year assistantship with Prof. Franz Halász.

    Copyright @ 2016 Young Concert Artists, Inc.

NOTES ON THE PROGRAM:

  • MAURICE RAVEL
    Born March 7, 1875, in Ciboure, France
    Died December 28, 1937, in Paris, France

    Originally composed as a six-part piano solo commemorating comrades felled in World War I, Ravel’s relentlessly ravishing Le Tombeau de Couperin is more wistful than elegiac. An impression of dear recall haunts the work, belying its surface cheer and endless coloristic delights to uncanny, ineffable effect.

    The four movements selected for orchestration were premiered by the Pasdeloup Orchestra of Paris on February 28, 1920. As in any Ravel orchestral transcription, indeed any Ravel orchestral work, it is hard to imagine the music in any other instrumental guise. Like all great “painters,” the composer’s exquisite handling of color in all shadings and combinations is as deft as it is emotionally precise.

    In strictly musical terms, “Le Tombeau” was conceived as an homage to Francois Couperin, giant of the French Baroque period. The opening Prelude suggests a Baroque keyboard allegro; the second movement, Forlane, recasts this ancient dance (somewhat akin to the French Jig), while movements three and four, Minuet and Rigadoun (or English Rigadoon), example the close relationship between Baroque suites and the dance.

    Copyright © 1987, 2016 by Anthony Korf

  • SERGEI PROKOFIEV
    Born April 23, 1891, in Krasne, Russia
    Died March 5, 1953, in Moscow, Russia

    A celebrated pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Prokofiev acknowledges only his conservatory conducting teacher Nicolas Tcherepnine in connection to the creation of this early masterpiece. The composer’s autobiography recounts how he often sat by Tcherepnine during St. Petersburg Conservatory Orchestra rehearsals, score in hand, while his teacher might suggest “Now listen to that delightful little bassoon there”—to which Prokofiev adds how he found himself, “acquiring a taste for Mozart and Haydn, which later found expression in the Classical Symphony.” The lessons were evidently well-learned as this work has been a mainstay of the standard repertory, virtually since its debut under the composer’s baton in 1918.

    Much has been written about the prankish ingenuity Prokofiev applied in composing a “Classical” symphony. The inevitable contradictions of expectation that arise when an old model is freshly adapted invariably introduce a fine element of humor. But it would be misleading to ascribe too much of this beautiful piece’s substance to musical commentary. Rather, the Classical Symphony’s immense success testifies that Prokofiev, quite naturally, was telling an old story in his own words.

    Copyright © 1993, 2016 by Anthony Korf

  • DONALD CROCKETT
    Born in 1951 in Pasadena, California

  • GUSTAV HOLST
    Born September 21, 1874, in Cheltenham, United Kingdom
    Died May 25, 1934, in London, United Kingdom

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