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Music by Members - Nov 3, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 10:00am
Music by Members
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT
Karen deBergh Robinson

The Musical Club of Hartford will present its fifth concert of the season on November 3rd at the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 10 a.m.  The first piece on the program will be the Flute Sonata in E Minor by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier written in 1742.  A French Baroque composer of instrumental and vocal music, Boismortier was one of the first composers to have no patrons.  Instead he made enormous sums of money by publishing his music for sale to the public because he was one of the first to obtain a royal license for engraving music.  Susan Allen is the flutist accompanied by Anne Mayo, harpsichord and Laura Mazza-Dixon, viola de gamba.

Next on the program is a piano piece by the 20th century French composer, Francis Poulenc.  Commissioned in 1935 to write incidental music for a play about Margaret of Valois, wife of the future King Henry IV of France, Poulenc used a Renaissance suite by Claude Gervaise; originally scored for oboes, bassoons, trumpets, trombones, percussion and harpsichord; Poulenc arranged the 20th century version for solo piano.  Linda MacGougan performs the piece.
The third section of the program will be performed by the ensemble Deborah Robin, recorder; Anne Mayo, harpsichord and Laura Mazza-Dixon, viola de gamba. They will play one of the Concerts Royaux written in 1722 by François Couperin, a member of a family dynasty of organists at the church of St. Gervais in Paris and one of the most celebrated composers and musicians of the Baroque period. Couperin’s Concerts Royaux (Royal Concerts) are four suites composed for the French court of Louis XIV between 1714 and 1715 and intended for listening more than dancing
Next on the program are three pieces for flute and piano from the 21st and 20th centuries, performed by Bridget Gilchrist, flute, and Linda MacGougan, piano. They will play the first movement of Sonata No.1 by Eric Ewazen composed in 2011, a virtuosic, lyrical piece in the 19th century Romantic tradition.  Next they will play the second movement of a Sonata for Flute and Piano by Francis Poulenc written in 1957 and, then, the third movement of the Sonata for Flute and Piano by Robert Mols, written in 1949. A member of the music faculty at the University of Buffalo, Mols died three years ago, leaving a lifetime of musical achievements.  He was a composer, teacher, and wrote the UB fight song.
Finally, Karen de Bergh Robinson, soprano, and Diane Day, piano, perform songs by Debussy, Reynaldo Hahn, and Kurt Weill. Claude Debussy, most well known for his works for piano solo, wrote 55 songs for voice and piano throughout his career.  His first published work at the age of 18 is the song to be performed at this concert, Nuit d'étoiles (Starry Night), written to the text of a poem by Théodore de Banville, a 19th century French poet. Next, they will perform Le Rossignol des lilas by the French composer, Reynaldo Hahn (1874 – 1947), a popular writer of songs, who was close to and admired by major poets and writers, including Verlaine, Daudet, Mallarmé, and Marcel Proust. The duo will end with a song by Kurt Weill from the musical, Marie Gallante, “Je ne t’aime.”  Marie Gallante was staged first in 1934 in Paris but not until 2008 did it make its New York debut. The play is a melodramatic tale of a woman forced into prostitution in order to survive. The song is a quintessentially bittersweet Weill piece.
This concert is the fifth in the Musical Club’s 2016-2017 season and takes place on November 3, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford.  Admission is free for members of the Musical Club and $5 for members of the general public who are warmly welcome.

The Musical Club of Hartford’s mission is to develop the musical talent of its members and to encourage the study and appreciation of music through programs, lectures and concerts.  In addition, the Club gives financial assistance to promising young artists and aid to musical projects in the community.

Biographies of the Performers

Susan Allen was born into a family of musicians and music teachers. She studied with Lou Soloway, and then with Paula Robison at the New England Conservatory in Boston. A flute instructor and ensemble director at Trinity College, Susan’s busy flute studio in Glastonbury has produced a number of advanced students who have won scholarships and important regional awards.

Diane Day holds an artist’s diploma in Piano from Hartford Conservatory.  She performs chamber music, accompanies soloists and groups, including dance, and has performed many solo concerts over her career.  She has studied with Juan Nazarian, Maria Luisa Faini, and Howard Parsons.

Karen de Bergh Robinson received her undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence and has performed In New York City with several modern dance companies, as well as playing the soprano leads in numerous Gilbert and Sullivan productions, including the role of Princess Ida with the Village Light Opera Company.  She sang for 15 years with the CT Opera Company as a member of their AGMA chorus, has been a soloist in Hartford area churches, and performed in numerous duo concert performances with the pianist Paul Bisaccia at the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Wood Memorial Library and other venues.

Bridget Gilchrist has been an educator, in schools and a private flute instructor, for most of her life.   She presently enjoys conducting, composing and coaching flute ensembles and master classes in several school systems in Ct.  She has performed with numerous Bands and Symphonies, and Chamber Ensemble groups, as well as the Ariel Flute Choir, which she founded 22 years ago.  She is also active in the Connecticut Music Educators Assoc., having been head flute judge for All State Festival and many Regions for over 30 years.

Linda MacGougan, pianist, lives, performs as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician and teaches in West Hartford and throughout the State.  She is a member of and serves as an adjudicator for the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association.
In the 1970s, Anne Mayo and her husband, Walter, constructed a harpsichord from a Zuckermann kit, igniting a decades-long study of solo and chamber repertoire for that instrument. She and her husband, are past Co-Presidents of The Musical Club of Hartford, long-time members the Hartford Chorale,  and currently sing with the Madsingers, a madrigal group.

Laura Mazza-Dixon teaches classical guitar and viola da gamba at the Windy Hill Guitar Studio in Granby, CT. With a degree in classical guitar from Penn State University and an MFA in Early Music from Sarah Lawrence College, she has also performed and directed concerts of Renaissance, Baroque and traditional folk music.

Deborah Robin studied recorder with Ilse Schaler, Bernard Krainis, and Frans Brueggen. She can be heard on the Smithsonian Institution’s 1978 recording of the Bach Brandenburg Concerto #4 as second recorder soloist with Bernard Krainis and Stanley Ritchie.  Deborah has a BA in art from Yale and an MBA from UCLA. Her business – Robin Research Group – designs and conducts qualitative research for clients in many different industries.