Pro Musica Presents Virtuoso Violinist Nicholas Kitchen

Pro Musica Presents Virtuoso Violinist Nicholas Kitchen

By Linda Laino

Violinist Nicholas Kitchen is one of the most sought after and innovative performers in the music world today. In addition to being a renowned solo violinist, he is also a teacher, video artist, technology innovator, and arts administrator. At age 16, after studying at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute, he formed the world famous Borromeo String Quartet. They immediately won international acclaim and won important prizes including The Cleveland Quartet Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Now one of the most sought-after quartets in the world, and with Kitchen still at the helm, they perform 100 concerts a year over four continents and were hailed by the Boston Globe for their “edge of the seat performances.” Kitchen will give two violin and piano recitals for us, accompanied by renowned pianist Sean Gallagher.

Kitchen researched Beethoven’s original manuscripts in Germany and discovered the composer’s own markings, which no other musicians were using. He now plays the master’s works from facsimiles of these original scores and uncovers the composer’s every subtlety not available in modern editions. At Friday’s concert, we will experience this when he plays Beethoven’s Sonata No. 7 in D Minor. The piece shows Beethoven moving away from his earlier models to an unconventional sequence of themes and is considered his first truly great work in the genre. The concert also includes Mozart’s Sonata in E Minor, written near the time of his mother’s death. Despite the somber subject, the haunting nostalgia of this piece—his only sonata in a minor key among 36—it is considered the jewel in the crown.

Kitchen will also play Paul Hindemith’s Sonata for Solo Violin. A violist himself, Hindemith wrote a sonata for every instrument in the orchestra! This work, lyrical and expressive, is a virtuoso piece in which Kitchen’s skills will be displayed to their utmost. Similarly, he will dazzle you with Ravel’s much loved, gypsy style Tzigane. Finally we have Bach’s unparalleled Chaconne, which is the fifth and final movement of the Partita No. 2 in D Minor, widely considered one of the greatest and most challenging compositions ever written.

Sunday’s concert begins with Camille Saint-Saëns’s Havanaise. Based on the habanera, a Cuban dance with African rhythms, the dreamy and lyrical violin melody is a peaceful refrain between strong classical rhythms. The centerpiece of the concert will be Bach’s great Sonata No. 3 in C Major, one of six sonatas for violin, and the most challenging, in which the violin slowly builds to a beautiful and powerful complexity in the finale. We will also hear Gabriel Faure’s A Major Sonata, a dramatic and emotional work with beautiful melodies and elegant, exquisite expression. The concert also includes works by Olivier Messian, Bartok, and Saint-Saens.

Tickets for the concerts at St Paul’s are 200, 350, and 450 pesos donation each and are on sale at the Tesoro shop in the Biblioteca Pública, through our website with no booking fee, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our website, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com.