October 19, 2014
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota Presents
The World Premiere of Chamber Accord in
“A Romantic Journey from Schubert to Mahler and Beyond“
November 16, 4 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church
The celebrated pianist Gabrielius Alekna joins cellist Ann Alton to perform chamber music for piano and strings. The duet will be joined by Sean O’Neill, violin, and Shawn Snider, viola, to perform Mahler’s rarely heard piano quartet and other works. Alekna will also perform solo pieces by Lithuanian composer, Vytautas Bacevičius.
(Sarasota, FL) The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota presents a world premiere concert by Chamber Accord, Sunday, November 16, 4 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. The concert, entitled “A Romantic Journey from Schubert to Mahler and Beyond,” features chamber music for piano and strings. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.uusarasota.org/concerts/tickets.php or at the door on the day of the concert. For more information, call 941-371-4974 or visit www.uusarasota.org.
The prizewinning, New York-based pianist Gabrielius Alekna teams up with Venice-based cellist Ann Alton in this debut concert of their group Chamber Accord. The duet will perform Chopin’s “Cello Sonata,” and then be joined by Sarasota musicians, Sean O’Neill, violin, and Shawn Snider, viola, to perform Mahler’s rarely heard “Quartet for Piano and Strings” and other works. Alekna will also perform solo pieces by the 20th-century Lithuanian composer, Vytautas Bacevičius.
“We performers feast on the lyricism and rich emotion of Romantic era music, but the Bacevičius pieces will cleanse the palate. It’s a rare treat to hear a live performance by one of the key exponents of Bacevičius music,” says Alton.
Alekna, winner of the second prize at the 2005 International Beethoven Piano Competition has garnered more than a dozen top prizes in competitions on both sides of the Atlantic. He appears regularly as soloist with orchestras in the United States and abroad, and has won critical praise for his “sterling virtuosity and assured but refined pianism.” Daniel Barenboim has recognized him as “a highly gifted pianist and musician.” On Alekna’s recent release of Vytautas Bacevičius’ “The Complete Mots” for the Toccata Classics label, Fanfare commented: “Gabrielius Alekna gives masterly performances of seriously challenging scores.”
Called “an exquisite performer” by High Performance Review and “an outstanding artist” by Albany Times Union, Alton has appeared as recitalist, orchestra soloist, and chamber musician in major halls throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. She has won awards from the Woolley Foundation, the National Federation of Music Clubs, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and the National Arts Club. She is principal cellist of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and has recorded on the Albany and Vox labels.
Alton and Alekna have enjoyed collaborating together in chamber music for over a decade since first meeting at Juilliard where they were both teaching. O’Neill is concertmaster of the Venice Symphony and violinist with the Sarasota Orchestra. Snider is principal violist with the Venice Symphony and a member of the Southwest Florida Orchestra.
“We’re honored to be able to host this concert,” says Don DeMaio, concert coordinator. “Gabrielius Alekna is a virtuoso for the 21st century. He gives masterful performances that have earned him rave reviews from leading music critics. It will be a pleasure and a privilege to introduce him to music lovers in our area.”
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota is the largest Unitarian church in Florida with nearly 500 members and friends. Founded in 1952 with 12 members, it is now a growing church with an active calendar of cultural and social events, including its popular series of Freethinkers presentations on the first Friday of every month.