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Metamorphoses

Jean Johnson clarinet

Roeland Jagers viola

Ilona Timchenko piano

Programme - 14 February 2020

Mozart Kegelstatt Trio KV 498

Julius Rontgen Trio for clarinet, viola & piano in E flat major (1921)

R. Schumann  Marchenerzhlungen, opus 132, for clarinet, viola and piano:

Bruch 3 pieces from Eight pieces for clarinet, viola, and piano, Op. 83 (1910)

Francaix Trio (1990)

Metamorphoses is a new trio (clarinet/viola/piano) made up of world class musicians from the US, the Netherlands and Russia. The trio members have established themselves individually as soloists and chamber musicians in the world’s most prestigious concert halls.

For their debut CD, Metamorphoses presents a varied, cosmopolitan program consisting of repertoire from five different countries. Once upon a time “is a cross-pollination of a wide range of sounds, colors and music styles” just as the group itself is an inspiring exchange between musicians from three different countries and cultures. A musical statement of mutual understanding, behind which we stand wholeheartedly, especially in these times of uncertainty and division in the world.

Mozart’s beautiful Kegelstatt Trio is one of the earliest existing works for the unusual combination of clarinet, viola and piano. Robert Schumann, the composer of Marchenerzhlungen (Fairy Tales) was inspired by Mozart’s work. In these relatively seldom played works, both composers explore the beautiful combination of timbres of the clarinet and the viola, instruments which share a similar range of pitches. From France one can’t leave out the devishly difficult and therefore rarely performed Trio of Jean Francaix.

The opportunity to share their work in this way will allow the trio to continue developing, both as individuals and a group, using feedback from peers, reviewers and audiences. In sharing their skills and passion for underplayed composers such as Rebecca Clarke and works such as the Trio of Jean Francaix via workshops with young people just starting their relationship with classical music, the trio hope to inspire a new generation of musicians to explore a range of works and instrumental combinations.

British-American clarinettist Jean Johnson is an international collaborator in chamber music and as such has played in some of world’s finest venues notably the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, and the Esplanade Singapore. As a soloist, Ms. Johnson has been featured with the Singapore Symphony, the Wuhan Symphony (China), and in Scotland performing concertos by Mozart, Weber, and John McLeod among others. As part of her varied music life Ms. Johnson concertises regularly around the UK performing recitals with her husband, pianist Steven Osborne, and is a member of the critically acclaimed trio ensemble, €ťMetamorphoses€ť. She has collaborated with groups including Hebrides Ensemble, Heath Quartet, Edinburgh Quartet, T’ang Quartet, and the Barony Ensemble. Forthcoming events include recitals around the UK, Netherlands, America, and further afield.

Jean Johnson was a student of Michael Sussman at the University of Massachusetts. She attended Indiana University as an Associate Instructor in Clarinet, studying with Eli Eban and Alfred Prinz. As a Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival she studied with Theodore Oien. Ms. Johnson began her career with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in the posts of Associate and Acting Principal. Jean has released a recording of both Brahms and Rozsa Sonatas on the Avie label with Steven Osborne.  According to the New York Times, ”fine recording by the poised clarinetist Jean Johnson. Beautiful renditions of Brahms’s Clarinet Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 round out this lovely album.”

Roeland Jagers is the founding violist of the Rubens Quartet, which has won several international prizes, including the Tromp Competition in Eindhoven (2004), the Prague Spring Competition (2005) and Schubert Competition in Graz (2006).

Roeland performs regularly in prestigious concert venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Tonhalle in Zurich, Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Berlin’s Philharmonie. He is also a frequent guest at international festivals such as Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Schleswig Holstein (Germany), Larzac (France), Kuhmo (Finland), El Paso Pro Musica, Sitka Music Festival and Indiana University Summer Music Festival (US).

Roeland studied viola with Gisella Bergman and Ferdinand Erblich. In 2001 he received his Bachelor of Music diploma from the Brabant Conservatory, and continued his studies with Vladimir Mendelssohn at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he received his Master of Music diploma with distinction in 2004. As soloist he has appeared with various ensembles, including the Philips Symphony Orchestra in the Concertgebouw. Some years ago he performed the Solo Sonata of Gyorgy Ligeti, a highlight of the viola repertoire which is considered by many to be unplayable, to great acclaim. As a chamber musician he is, in addition to the Rubens Consort, a member of Metamorphoses, a new trio of world-class musicians (clarinet, viola and piano). Roeland is a regular faculty member of the Summer String Academy at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Roeland plays on a viola made my Giovanni Pistucci, from the collection of the Dutch National Instrument Foundation (NMF), and a bow made by Joseph Henry (1865).

Born in the Crimea, Ilona Timchenko, won first prize in the Third Abstract Securities Landor Competition in 2007, beating off strong international competition and winning a contract with Landor Records- her first CD on their label came out in 2009 and was selected for one of the inaugural 'Outstanding' accolades in International Record Review in January.

Blessed with phenomenal technique and powerful musical and expressive skills, she brought the packed audience at the Buxton Festival to their feet in July 2008 at her debut recital there and in April 2010 she made her debut at Unione Musicale, one of the most prestigious festivals in Europe. She is now travelling the world's concert halls as her international career gathers momentum; having already appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall, Philips Hall in Holland, the Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and Madrid's Monumental Theatre.

Ilona's playing blends Russian tradition with European style and warmth. Her Mozart is classically idiomatic and her Romantic repertoire, both in concerto and recital performance,

In addition to her solo activities Timchenko is a keen chamber musician and makes regular appearances at festivals in the Netherlands, Spain, France and Russia alongside artists such as Rivka Golani, Mark Lubotsky, Philippe Graffin, baritone  Wolfgang Holzmair and Elias Quartet.

She studied in Moscow with the Bunins, Maria Polivanova and also studied composition with Albert Leman and Roman Ledeniov. She moved on to the Netherlands to work on interpretation and technique with Alexander Gold and Rian de Waal, in Italy with Lazar Berman and in France with Michel Beroff. She went on to win numerous other competitions including first prize in the Enesco Competition in Bucharest, as well as special awards in the Beethoven Competition in Vienna, the Liszt Competition in Utrecht, and the Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens. In total Ilona has won more than 20 prizes at International Competitions, among them 7 First Prizes.

Timchenko is a founder and Artistic Director of International Festival "Peregrinos Musicales”, which takes place in Santiago de Compostela.

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