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From the Archives:Tom Stone, Violin; Tanya Tomkins, Cello; Eric Zivian, Piano
October 18, 2018
From the Archives:Tom Stone, Violin; Tanya Tomkins, Cello; Eric Zivian, Piano

Live Concert was Performed on October 2, 2018

Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49

Molto Allegro agitato

Andante con molto tranquillo

Leggiero e vivace

Finale. Allegro assai appassionato

Franz Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio in E Major, H. XV. 28,

Allegretto

FELIX MENDELSSOHN

(1809-1847)

German Composer, Conductor, Pianist, Organist, and Violinist of the Romantic Era

Felix Mendelssohn’s youthful accomplishments were unrivaled, eclipsing even the precocious talents of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Having written four operas, concertos, symphonies, cantatas, and piano music by the age of sixteen, his early display of genius is unparalleled in the entire history of music. As he matured, the hallmarks of his compositional style became fecundity of ideas, technical ease, mastery of form and content, flawless craftsmanship and immediate accessibility. Being, perhaps, the most beloved composer of his day, he was considered close to divine. His music was universally adored. Robert Schumann, a contemporary pianist/composer of the highest stature, characterized Mendelssohn as perfection itself.  The piano trio of today’s online concert is proof of all the above.

The first movement is in classic sonata form with exposition, development, and recapitulation of various musical ideas and motives.  In Mendelssohn’s music, there is almost invariably a song destined to unfold. The movement opens with a longing melody in the cello accompanied by syncopated (agitated) chords in the piano part. The second movement is a tranquil, melodious short melody, a kind of “song without words” that Mendelssohn was fond of writing for solo piano but in this case joined by violin and cello. The scherzo is typical Mendelssohn with light, fleeting rhythmic motives presented throughout interspersed with a more lyrical middle section that resembles material from the first movement. The finale is full of technical display contrasted by more songful moments. This masterpiece is a staple of piano trio repertoire.

written by Carl Blake

Tom Stone was born in Chicago where he studied music with Hillel Kagan. At age 16 he attended Tanglewood where he coached with Eugene Lehner of the Kolisch Quartet and played in an orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. After this experience, his focus on music became increasingly intense. Mr. Stone went on to pursue musical studies at the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  His major teachers have included Donald Weilerstein, Zvi Zeitlin, Gyorgy Sebok, and Bonnie Hampton. Mr. Stone has also performed in masterclasses for Issac Stern and members of the Amadeus, Emerson, Juilliard Quartets and LaSalle Quartets. He has performed with many distinguished artists including Awadagin Pratt, Leon Fleisher, Zuill Bailey, Jon Nakamatsu, Ian Hobson, and Donald Weilerstein.

During his 20 years as a founding member of the Cypress String Quartet, Mr. Stone performed in major musical venues all over the world including the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress and the Ravinia Festival.  He also commissioned and premiered works by George Tsontakis, Jennifer Higdon, Benjamin Lees, Philippe Hersant and Elena Ruehr.

Mr. Stone has served as artistic director of the Centrum Chamber Music Festival and has worked closely with educational and arts organizations throughout the country to conceptualize and implement some of the nation’s most innovative educational programs. He has also served as treasurer of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, board member of Chamber Music America, and panelist for the San Francisco Arts Commission. Mr. Stone plays on a violin made in Cremona, Italy by Carlos Bergonzi in 1734.

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, cellist Tanya Tomkins is equally at home on Baroque and modern instruments. She has performed on many chamber music series to critical acclaim, including the Frick Collection, “Great Performances” at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, San Francisco Performances, and the Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal.

She is renowned in particular for her interpretation of the Bach Cello Suites, having recorded them for the Avie label and performed them many times at venues such as New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, Seattle Early Music Guild, Vancouver Early Music Society, and The Library of Congress.

Tanya is one of the principal cellists in San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Portland Baroque Orchestra. She is also a member of several groups including Voices of Music and the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio (with Monica Huggett and Eric Zivian). On modern cello, she is a long-time participant at the Moab Music Festival in Utah, Music in the Vineyards in Napa, and a member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. As an educator, Tanya has given master classes at Yale, Juilliard, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is devoted to mentoring the next generation of chamber musicians through the Apprenticeship Program at the Valley of the Moon Music Festival.

Eric Zivian grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music. At age fifteen, he left home to attend the Curtis Institute of Music, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree. He holds graduate degrees from the Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music. He studied piano with Gary Graffman and Peter Serkin and composition with Ned Rorem, Jacob Druckman, and Martin Bresnick. He attended the Tanglewood Music Center both as a performer and as a composer.

He has given solo recitals in Toronto, New York, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. He has played concertos with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.

Since 2000, he has performed extensively on original instruments, playing fortepiano in the Zivian-Tomkins Duo and the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio. A longtime member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, he has performed with the Empyrean Ensemble and Earplay. He is a frequent guest artist on the San Francisco Conservatory’s faculty chamber music series.

Eric Zivian’s compositions have been performed widely in the United States and in Tokyo, Japan. He was awarded an ASCAP Jacob Druckman Memorial Commission to compose an orchestral work, Three Character Pieces, which was premiered by the Seattle Symphony.