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A trio of local talent tackles Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for violin, cello and piano

February 19, 2019

The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra’s (GJSO) 40th Anniversary Season continues with Beethoven Triple on March 2nd and 3rd. GJSO Concertmaster Brian Krinke, Co-Principal cellist Kristen Yun,  and CMU Professor of Music and pianist Arthur Houle combine forces on Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major, Op. 56, more commonly known as the Triple Concerto. The concert will also feature Stephen Griebling’s Vision of a Noble Land, Peter Schikele’s Unbegun Symphony, and Franz Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony.

Concerts will be held Saturday, March 2nd at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 3rd at 3pm in the Avalon Theatre.

Described by the New York Times as an “accomplished and intrepid young player,” Brian Krinke has performed extensively as a recitalist throughout the country and in Central America. As a chamber musician he has collaborated with Orli Shaham, Simone Dinnerstein, Lukas Foss and with members of the Pro Arte, Daedalus and Maia Quartets, among others. He has appeared as concerto soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and the Boca Raton Symphonic Pops.

He holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with renowned Carl Flesch students Szymon Goldberg and Felix Galimir, as well as former Juilliard Quartet member Joel Smirnoff. Krinke may be heard on the Naxos label performing chamber music by Jacobi and has recorded several violin works by Caroline Steinberg.

Yeon-Ji (Kristen) Yun, DM, is active as a soloist, chamber musician, musical scholar and clinician. She is a prize winner in numerous competitions around the world, including the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale, the IBLA World Competition in Italy in 2008, the eleventh Annual Competition in the Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America, Travel Grant Competition, Walton Concerto Competition at Indiana University, Chunchu Music Competition, Seoul National Competition, Nan-Pa Music Competition, Korean-American Competition, etc.

Before she moved to Grand Junction, she taught at Indiana Wesleyan University, at DePauw University as an adjunct professor, Indiana University String Academy, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and at Seoul National University as an instructor.

Arthur Houle, DMA, is a professor of music at Colorado Mesa University where he teaches applied and class piano, piano pedagogy, keyboard literature, piano ensemble and accompanying techniques. He is founder and director of the Festival for Creative Pianists, a unique competition for young pianists that promotes classical and jazz improvisation, versatility, composition, individuality and repertory excellence in all styles. The festival’s website contains a treasure trove of educational information on how to incorporate more spontaneity and creativity into piano teaching and performing.

A private teacher since the age of 13, Houle taught previously at New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, the College of Idaho and the Universities of Iowa, North Dakota and Texas-Austin. Houle is editor of a newly published scholarly edition of Clementi’s Sonatinas, Op. 36, an important set of pieces used worldwide in piano teaching. Houle’s edition is the first and only one that accounts for every primary source, eliminates all the errors found in every other past and present edition, and includes extensive footnotes on creativity and performance practice.

Stephen Griebling’s Vision of a Noble Land was written in 1976 as a patriotic work for the bicentennial of the United States. The “Noble Land” of the title refers to our country. The work is in two main sections, an introduction and then a chorale. At the opening of the work a scalar motive represents the year 1776. Starting on the opening note, the motive jumps up a seventh, repeats that note, then steps down one note using the 1-7-7-6 notes of the scale. Later on, when the chorale section is introduced, a new motive 1-9-7-6, is used to commemorate the anniversary. The work, like Griebling’s others, is neo-romantic and filled with lovely colors and harmonies.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major, Op. 56, more commonly known as the Triple Concerto, was composed in 1803. The choice of the three solo instruments effectively makes this a concerto for piano trio, and it is the only concerto Beethoven ever completed for more than one solo instrument. Beethoven wrote this unusual concerto during the spring and summer of 1804, a time of unbelievable creativity for him. In those months he revised the recently-completed First Symphony, began the Waldstein Sonata, and made sketches for the Appassionata Sonata and for his opera Leonore (later re-named Fidelio). Beethoven himself was apparently unsure how to classify his new orchestral work with three soloists. After the work was completed he referred to it as a “concertante for violin, violoncello and pianoforte with full orchestra.”

Schickele’s Unbegun Symphony is a quodlibet. Quodlibet is Latin for “whatever you wish” from quod, “what” and libet, “pleases” and is a musical composition that combines several different melodies—usually popular tunes—in counterpoint, and often in a light-hearted, humorous manner. It is in two movements, numbered 3 and 4, and references several pieces from composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Brahms, Saint-Saens, and popular folk songs like Camptown Races, Clementine, You Are My Sunshine, Anchors Aweigh, and many more.

Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor, commonly known as the Unfinished Symphony, is a musical composition that Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years. To this day, musicologists still disagree as to why Schubert failed to complete the symphony. Some have speculated that he stopped work in the middle of the scherzo in the fall of 1822 because he associated it with his initial outbreak of disease—or that he was distracted by the inspiration for his Wanderer Fantasy for solo piano, which occupied his time and energy immediately afterward. It could have been a combination of both factors.’

Beethoven Triple is sponsored by Karen Combs & Lynn Wegener.

Tickets are $20-$40 for adults and $5 for students and children. They can be purchased online at GJSO.org, by phone at 243-6787, or from the GJSO office at 414 Main Street. Tickets are also available one hour prior to each performance from the Avalon Theatre box office.

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