Austrian-born Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), unquestionably one of the greatest composers in history, began his career touring Europe as a 6 year-old piano prodigy, and he absorbed and mastered all the contemporary musical trends he was exposed to along the way. Composed in 1786, this Trio was originally written to be played by clarinetist Anton Stadler (for whom Mozart also wrote a Concerto and Quintet), with Mozart playing the viola part and with one of Mozart’s students on piano. Legend has it that Mozart wrote the work while simultaneously occupied in a game of skittles (i.e., lawn bowling), hence the subtitle “Kegelstatt,” a German term indicating the skittles playing field.
Along with Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich, the Armenian Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) became among the best-known of Soviet composers, and several of his works, such as his piano and violin concertos and music from the ballets Spartacus and Gayane (with its famous Sabre Dance), continue to command a place in the world’s concert halls. Although the Trio was written while Khachaturian was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, it demonstrates the marked influence of the Armenian folk music that fascinated him as a child and continued to color his mature compositions, so much so that he was posthumously honored by having his image used on Armenian currency!
Seattle-born composer and pianist William Bolcom (b.1938), who entered into private composition studies at the University of Washington when he was just 11 years old, has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Arts and four Grammy awards, among many other honors. His works range from solo piano pieces to symphonies and opera, and last year he was named “Composer of the Year” by Musical America magazine. Ghost Rag is perhaps his most frequently performed piano piece, and in 1979 Bolcom arranged it for clarinet, violin and piano, along with his Incinerator Rag and four additional rags by the most famous composers of the genre. The resulting suite, Afternoon Cakewalk, was originally performed as a ballet by the Murray Lewis Dance Company.
--Notes by Ed Lein, Music Librarian
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
Artie Clifton is Associate Professor of Music at Jacksonville University, where he teaches courses in music education and performance.
Mr. Clifton holds degrees from Stetson University and the University of Cincinnati, and has done post-graduate study at New York University and Brooklyn College. He has taught in public schools in Florida and Ohio. Formerly, Mr. Clifton was Director of Instrumental Ensembles at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania where, in addition to collegiate groups, he conducted a professional concert series, Music for Winds, and professional theatre productions. He was also principal clarinetist of the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, and remains a member of several professional music organizations and honorary societies.
As a clarinetist, Mr. Clifton maintains an active performance schedule that includes recitals and chamber music, and he is a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He conducts the First Coast Wind Ensemble, and serves as a guest conductor and adjudicator in music festivals.
A member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1990, violinist Marguerite Richardson began her violin studies at the age of four. Ms. Richardson has performed symphonic and chamber music throughout the United States, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and Central America, and performs locally with the Florida Arts Trio. Between 1995 and 2003, Ms. Richardson began and developed the String Program at the University of North Florida, where she maintained a studio of violin and viola students and conducted the UNF Orchestra.
Currently, Ms. Richardson maintains a private teaching studio and serves as Chamber Music Coordinator and Premiere Strings Orchestra conductor for the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. At Jacksonville University she is an Assistant Professor, teaching violin and viola, directing the Orchestra and coaching string chamber ensembles.
She holds a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Music (ABD) from Florida State University.
Scott Watkins, Assistant Professor of Piano at Jacksonville University, is well known to First Coast audiences for his appearances with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, his numerous solo recitals, and his frequent collaborations with many of the areas finest singers and instrumentalists. His 1985 U.S. debut, an all-Bach recital given in Chicago, was broadcast live nationwide, and has been followed by a steady flow of solo and concerto performances in North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean. He has been heard often in the United States and Canada on National Public Radio and Television, and in South America and Europe on The Voice of America. Performances have included the world premieres of Elie Siegmeister’s From These Shores and Ned Rorem’s Song and Dance.
An active chamber musician, Watkins is a founding member of the Florida Arts Trio and has appeared with the LaSalle Quartet and violinist Eugene Fodor, and a recent performance with violinist Hillary Hahn was broadcast on NPR's "Performance Today." Much in demand as an accompanist, he appeared with soprano Elizabeth Futral and baritone Steven White in a recital of Wolff's Italian Song Book in Chicago, and he has released a disc of late romantic lieder with White. Watkins has also released two solo discs, one featuring works from his New York debut at Carnegie Hall, and another, Christmas Cards, featuring music for the holiday season, with works by Bach, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Grainger, and others.
Professor Watkins is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Philip Sousa Award for Outstanding American Musicians, Rotary Club of Florida's Annual Artistic Merit Award, and France's Jeunesse Musicales. In 1985, he became the youngest winner ever of The U.S. Department of State's Artistic Ambassador Award. His degrees include a Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Music from University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Musical Arts (ABD) from Florida State University.
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ABOUT THE INTERMEZZO SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES
Showcasing the talents of prominent First Coast musicians, Intermezzo Free Sunday Concerts are open to the general public and reservations are not required. The monthly concerts, which began in March 2006 and will conclude in June 2008, have been the best-attended series of adult programs in the history of Jacksonville Public Library -- you won't want to miss our last two concerts!
Intermezzo concerts begin at 2:30 p.m. and are presented in the Main Library's Hicks Auditorium, located on the Conference Level of the Library near the Main Street entrances. Post-concert receptions encourage audience members to meet and mingle with the artists.
Library customers who use the public garage at the corner of Duval Street and Main Street may take their garage tickets to our ground-floor Popular Services Desk to get validation for free Sunday and evening parking. Free on-street parking is also available on weekends and evenings.
Library: Main Library Location: Hicks Auditorium Contact:Ed Lein, Music Librarian Contact Number: 630-2665 Presenter: Ed Lein, Music librarian