For Justice and
Peace

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 4pm

BUY TICKETS

For Justice and
Peace

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 4pm

BUY TICKETS

For Justice and
Peace

Season Subscriptions are currently on sale, to purchase call Patron Services 203.325.1407 x10

Questions? Email Patron Services at office@stamfordsymphony.org

Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 4pm

BUY TICKETS

Time to event

 

Duration

75 minutes
no intermission

Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 4pm

About this performance:

Opening night includes a profound work for our time by African American composer Xavier Foley. For Justice and Peace was created to mark the 400 years of slavery with the arrival of the slave ship White Lion in Jamestown. Also on the program, optimistic, vivacious and fun works by Prokofiev and Bizet.

Please note that in order to provide a safe concert experience the following protocols are in place. 
  • Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or a negative COVID test.
    Fully vaccinated means, on the day of the show, the person is at least 14 days after their second dose of an FDA or WHO approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (such as the BioNTech, Pfizer, or Moderna vaccines) or at least 14 days after their single dose of an FDA or WHO approved single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (such as the J&J vaccine). Proof of vaccination must come directly from the healthcare provider who administered the vaccination. Patrons may display proof on a smartphone or present a physical copy.
    A negative COVID test must be either a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time and administered by an official healthcare provider.
  • In addition, a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, will be accepted for all patrons 18 years and older. Patrons younger than 18 may use a government-issued photo ID or school photo ID. An adult who meets the above requirements must accompany patrons under 12. In addition, a valid ticket is also required for admission.
  • Masks are required for the duration of your time at the Palace Theatre.
  • Patrons must follow all posted instructions at the Palace Theatre.
  • Contactless ticket scanning.
  • There will not be an intermission during this shorter program.

Musical Program to include:

Prokofiev Symphony No.1 Classical

Xavier Foley For Justice and Peace

Eunice Kim, violin

Xavier Foley, double bass

Bizet Symphony in C

Michael Stern, conductor

A Message From Music Director Michael Stern

Featured Artists:

Xavier Foley, double bass

Xavier Foley is known for communicating his virtuosity and passion for music on the double bass, which is rarely presented as a solo instrument. Winner of a prestigious 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he was recently recognized on New York WQXR’s “19 for 19” Artists to Watch list, and featured on PBS Thirteen’s NYC-ARTs.
Also a composer, Mr. Foley was co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Sphinx Organization for a new work entitled “For Justice and Peace” for Violin, Bass, and String Orchestra, which was recently performed at venues including Carnegie Hall as part of a program designed to promote social justice.
As concerto soloist with orchestra, he has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Brevard Concert Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Sphinx Symphony and Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Foley won the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions along with four Performance Prizes and a Paiko Foundation Fellowship, and First Prizes at Astral’s 2014 National Auditions, Sphinx’s 2014 Competition, and the 2011 International Society of Bassists Competition.
In 2018, he made his acclaimed New York recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall and his Washington, DC debut at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on the Young Concert Artists Series. The program included two of his own compositions. He has also performed at Carnegie Hall as a Laureate of the Sphinx Competition, at the Young Concert Artists Series at Alice Tully Hall and the Morgan Library, and for Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Paramount Theatre in Vermont, Harriman-Jewell Series in Missouri, and Buffalo Chamber Music Society. This season, invitations for Mr. Foley to perform include Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Alys Stevens Performing Arts Center, Shriver Hall Discovery Series, Virtuosi Concert Series of Winnipeg, as well as the Zenith and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festivals.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Foley has appeared at the Marlboro Music Festival, Tippet Rise Music Festival in Fishtail, MT, Bridgehampton and Skaneateles (NY) Festivals, New Asia Chamber Music Society in Philadelphia, South Mountain Concerts, Wolf Trap, and with New York’s Jupiter Chamber Players.
A native of Marietta, GA, Xavier Foley is an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, and earned his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music working with Edgar Meyer and Hal Robinson. His double bass was crafted by Rumano Solano.

Eunice Kim, violin

A young artist with a unique voice, violinist Eunice Kim has been proclaimed “just superb” by The New York Times and “a born performer” by Epoch Times. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Astral Award-winning violinist has been featured soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Louisville Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Seongnam Philharmonic, Bakersfield Symphony, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra, with which she has recorded George Tsontakis’s Unforgettable, released on Naxos Records. As a guest artist for Curtis on Tour, she has performed in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Germany with violist Roberto Díaz, and appeared at both the Library of Congress and the United Nations for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
In concerto repertoire from Mozart and Sibelius to Piazzolla and Jeremy Kittel, Eunice Kim has proven herself a gifted interpreter with a combination of exacting technique and thoughtful musicality. Recent engagements have included the Beethoven Romance, Mozart Duo Concertante and Kittel’s “Pando” with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A delightful and charismatic personality, Ms. Kim has also served as host and performer for the SPCO’s Club2030.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Kim has appeared at Music at Angel Fire, Music@Menlo, Ravinia’s Steans Institute of Music, Marlboro Music School and Festival, and as a guest artist at the Tippet Rise Art Center among other prominent festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Eunice enjoys has an ongoing performance collaboration with award-winning double bassist Xavier Foley. The pair give deeply connected performances of works from Bach and Piazzolla to improvised sets and works by Foley himself. In 2021, the pair began performing his new double concerto ‘For Justice and Peace’ with orchestra. Eunice has also collaborated with distinguished artists Miriam Fried, Nobuko Imai, Peter Wiley, Gary Hoffman, Ralph Kirshbaum, Cynthia Raim, and eighth blackbird. Her creative work includes time with Ensemble39, a contemporary quintet of strings and winds devoted to commissioning new music and pushing the boundaries of the concert experience.
In addition to her Astral award, she has received prizes from the California International Violin Competition, the Pacific Music Society, and the Korea Times String competitions. Eunice Kim has degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she was awarded the Milka Violin Artist Prize
Eunice Kim has partnered with Astral and The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Department of Education to perform in outreach series and has served as a teaching artist for Astral’s William Penn Residency at schools in the Philadelphia area. She has performed and taught at numerous international music festivals, most recently at the Teatro Del Lago Festival in Chile and the Valdres Music Academy in Norway.
Her musical talent was recognized early, and she began violin studies at the age of six with Wei He in the preparatory division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She made her solo debut at the age of seven with the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in Seoul. A student of Ida Kavafian, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she was the recipient of the Rose Paul Fellowship. At Curtis, she served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and as a mentor in the Curtis Community Engagement program.

Program Notes:

For Justice and Piece
Concerto for Violin and Double Bass
Xavier Foley Double Bass
b. 1995
A native of Marietta Georgia and an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, bassist Xavier Foley graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2014 Sphinx Competition and the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has performed as soloist with many major orchestras and as chamber musician in venues like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Jointly commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, Carnegie Hall and the New World Symphony, For Justice and Piece was premiered in 2019. Foley writes: ” My double concerto For Justice and Peace was created to mark the 400th year of slavery ever since the arrival of the first slave ship in Jamestown Virginia, and to embody the struggle that African Americans went through colonial times to modern times.”
In an interview on the Violin Channel, Foley said: “For Justice and Peace ended up featuring both a gavel and a chorus – the players in the string orchestra would sing the vocal parts in addition to playing their instruments …”
“Both the gavel and the chorus represent past experiences of the first African slaves in Jamestown. The gavel in the work represents the multiple occasions where African Americans attempted to seek justice in a courtroom that, over time, became less of a place of fair judgement for the person of color. The chorus in the concerto was used to represent the moments where African slaves would sing together in an attempt to evoke feelings of comfort and joy during a time where a majority of privileges and basic human rights were revoked on the basis of skin color. The lyrics were personally chosen to reflect the slaves’ plea for equity and justice…”
The two principal themes in the single-movement Concerto bear echoes of the spirituals and hymns that have formed the backbone of much African-American music.
Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25, “The Classical”
Sergey Prokofiev
1891-1953
Prokofiev was a composer caught between two cultures. Born into an affluent musical family, he left the Soviet Union in the summer of 1918, shortly after the 1917 Revolution. For the next 17 years he lived in Paris and toured the United States, returning to his native country in the mid-1930s never to leave again.
The year 1917 was a traumatic one for Russia. The February Revolution had deposed the Tsar, and the October Revolution brought the Bolsheviks to power. Meanwhile, on the international front, Russia was losing disastrously in its war against Germany and Austria. In the spring and summer of that year Prokofiev retired to a village not far from Petrograd (now and formerly St. Petersburg) and, as if oblivious to the earth-shattering turmoil around him, composed at a furious pace. Among the creations of that period was his sunny Symphony No. 1, which he subtitled “The Classical.”
The Symphony was an experiment. An accomplished pianist, Prokofiev routinely composed at the piano, although he noticed: “…thematic material composed without the piano was often better in quality…I was intrigued with the idea of writing an entire symphonic piece without the piano…So this was how the project of writing a symphony in the style of Haydn came about…it seemed it would be easier to dive into the deep waters of writing without the piano if I worked in a familiar setting.” This delicate, nostalgic Symphony premiered in Petrograd in April 1918 with the composer on the podium, amidst civil war and social upheaval.
The overall Classical style of the Symphony makes it easy to forget that it is a twentieth-century creation. The opening Allegro conforms to the standard first movement sonata allegro form, with occasional twentieth-century harmonies. The second theme is a caricature of the eighteenth-century Rococo style, played on the tips of the violin bows “con eleganza” like a mincing dancing master – but with a less than elegant surprise sforzando at the cadence. The graceful Larghetto theme in the second movement, introduced first by the violins then joined by a flute, shows what a little musical creativity can do with a simple descending scale.
The short Gavotte replaces a traditional minuet/trio movement. Prokofiev’s is a clumsy dance, whose melody contains awkward octave leaps and strange grace notes in the bassoon. The Trio is accompanied by a bagpipe-like drone. Prokofiev loved this movement, recycling and expanding it some 20 years later in the Capulets’ Ball for his ballet Romeo and Juliet.
The Molto vivace finale is a sonata form, rather than the usual rondo, but has the persistent dynamic drive of a Haydn finale. In composing it, Prokofiev played a game with himself, in which he attempted to eliminate all minor chords.
Symphony No. 1 in C major
Georges Bizet
1838-1875
Georges Bizet was yet another of those composers who showed precocious brilliance but never lived long enough to fulfill the promise. The difference, however, between Bizet and Mozart, who died at about the same age, is that Mozart left over 600 completed compositions, many of them masterpieces, while Bizet is known primarily for a single work, the opera Carmen.
Although he did not come from a family of professional musicians, Bizet’s parents recognized his talent and supported his ambition to become a composer. Encouraged by his father, he entered the Paris Conservatory at the extremely young age of ten. There, he excelled to the point of winning the coveted Prix de Rome, a composition prize that allowed the winners to study abroad for three years.
At age 17, during his final year at the Paris Conservatoire, Bizet wrote the Symphony in C, a youthful masterpiece that was not published – and probably never performed – during his lifetime. Perhaps its resemblance to the Symphony No. 1 by Charles Gounod, which Bizet had transcribed for piano, deterred him from making it public. The manuscript lay uncataloged for over 60 years among his papers at the Conservatory. It was eventually brought to the attention of famed conductor Felix Weingartner, who finally premiered it in Basle in 1935.
The Symphony exudes youthful energy, excluding the second movement, which is achingly romantic. The opening movement is an energetic Allegro, classical in form but employing thematic material more characteristic of the mid nineteenth century. The second movement is an oboist’s dream and nightmare. In performance it’s one of the repertory’s great licks. But its long, sinuous chromatic theme often shows up on orchestral auditions to test whether the first and second oboes create the kind of blend that will make them virtually indistinguishable from each other. While two oboists share the long phrase, it should sound as if only has been playing.
The third movement, a lively scherzo, opens almost like a fanfare in triple, time followed by a contrasting whirling theme in the violins. Oddly, the trio is based on the same theme but transformed and re-orchestrated into a country dance accompanied by faux bagpipes. The long finale begins with a quiet chattering theme in the violins and flutes but breaks into a contrasting fanfare-like melody; these two themes plus a third reminiscent of the second strain of the scherzo are repeated in various permutations but not truly developed in the classical sense. Bizet learned a little trick from Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 in making his initial theme into the final cadence of the piece. Bizet’s youth shows in the Symphony’s wealth of wonderful melodies but in a relatively unsophisticated harmonic development.
Program notes by:
Joseph & Elizabeth Kahn
Wordpros@mindspring.com
www.wordprosmusic.com