Exceptional Students' Recital - Summit Music Festival

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Donald Isler
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Exceptional Students' Recital - Summit Music Festival

Post by Donald Isler » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:33 pm

Exceptional Students’ Recital – Summit Music Festival at Manhattanville College
Purchase, New York
August 1st, 2015

Bruch: Kol Nidre
Jasmine Lee, Cello
Yoni Levyatov, Piano

Scriabin: Fantasy in B Minor, Op. 28
Jonas Aumiller, Piano

Tchaikovsky: Pezzo Capriccioso
Esther Holliday, Cello
Yoni Levyatov, Piano

Bizet/Waxman: Carmen Fantasy
Samuel Nebyu, Violin
Yoni Levyatov, Piano

Liszt: Sonetto di Petrarca No. 104
Chopin: Etude in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 10, No. 4
Michael Davidman, Piano

Sarasate: Introduction and Tarantella
Sarasate: Basque Capriccio
Robert Lakatos, Violin
Yoni Levyatov, Piano

J. Strauss: Fledermaus Overture For Piano Four Hands
Jonas Aumiller, Piano
Michael Davidman, Piano

Exceptional Students’ Recital wasn’t the official name of this program. I used it to point out how remarkable these young players are. Because the three-week long Summit Music Festival, in Westchester County, founded 25 years ago by pianist Efrem Briskin and cellist David Krieger, now has 180 students who come from all over America, and other countries, to have lessons, attend master classes, and participate in student recitals. They also hear concerts by the artist faculty, and distinguished guest artists. And the best of these students are, indeed, exceptional.

The first performer was cellist Jasmine Lee, a native of China who currently lives in Los Angeles and studies with Lynn Harrell. She played Bruch’s Kol Nidre with a deep, rich tone, spot-on intonation, and her performance had the gravitas of an adult’s. She will have her tenth birthday next week.

Jonas Aumiller is a 16 year old pianist from Munich who won First Prize at the Schumann Competition in Zwickau, Germany, the composer’s birthplace. He studies with Massimiliano Mainolfi. His remarkably mature performance of the dark and turbulent Scriabin Fantasy sizzled with tension, but also had moments of sweetness.

Cellist Esther Holliday is 21, studies with Wendy Warner and comes from Hinesville, Georgia. Her playing of the Tchaikovsky Pezzo Capriccioso was strong and elegant, yet with some whimsy in the slow section, and had terrific clarity in the fast section.

Samuel Nebyu, a 21 year old violinist, studies with Eduard Schmieder at Temple University and has won First Prize at a major competition in Canada. In his hands the Carmen Fantasy was sensuous and spirited, with impressive harmonics, double stops, and a thrilling accelerando to the end. The ensemble of Mr. Nebyu with the excellent pianist, Yoni Levyatov, was impressive.

An 18 year old New Yorker, pianist Michael Davidman is a student of Efrem Briskin. He is a natural Liszt player, with elegance and individuality. His Chopin Etude was extremely fast and, while some people think it could be very effective a little slower, it was great fun to hear him play it his way.

Violinist Robert Lakatos is 23, and comes from Novi Sad, Serbia. He has studied with Rudolf Koelman, Aaron Rosand, and his own father. Last month he won First Prize at the Sarasate Competition in Spain. His playing of the Introduction to the Sarasate Tarantella was warm, with beautiful shadings, and the Tarantella was exciting, with impressive intonation. He has certainly mastered the idiom of this music. Kyoung Im Kim was the excellent pianist. The Basque Capriccio was lively, spirited, and featured some remarkable effects, such as a legato melody and, simultaneously, other notes being plucked.

The program ended with a four-hand version of Strauss’ Fledermaus Overture, played by Messrs. Davidman and Aumiller. They conveyed its wonderful Viennese charm, with its sentimental melodies and high spirits, and, at the end, they took the audience for a wild ride!

More attention should be paid to this Festival, and its remarkable performers.

Donald Isler
Donald Isler

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