A taste of violin and piano

Concert includes Beethoven, Grieg and Pablo de Sarasate

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2002

Two professors at the Peabody Conservatory of Music are leaving Johns Hopkins University for Alaska.

It's a temporary displacement. The virtuoso violinist and pianist are touring Alaska as part of the Sitka Summer Music Festival Winter Classics Concert Series. The two will be joined by Juneau violinist Paul Rosenthal for a concert Wednesday night at Northern Light United Church.

Violinist Martin Beaver and pianist Boris Slutsky have accomplished careers as recording artists and performers. Both have won many prestigious competitions and played with symphonies and in recitals all over the world.

Rosenthal is the founder of the Sitka Summer Music Festival, which has brought a host of national and international musicians to Sitka every June since 1971. The winter concert series is an outgrowth of the festival.

The program Wednesday features the festival guests on sonatas for violin and piano: Beethoven's "Violin Sonata in E-Flat" and Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's "Violin Sonata in C Minor."

"Grieg is particularly beautiful and charming," Rosenthal said. "Grieg is good for the northern climes."

Rosenthal will join the two for a performance of "Navarre" by Spanish virtuoso violinist and composer Pablo de Sarasate.

"He wrote all kinds of beautiful music," said Rosenthal. "He got in just under the wire to make recordings. You put them on and there's the old scratchy atmosphere and this guy fiddling like mad. He sounds great."

Beaver will be featured alone on a violin piece by Belgian composer Ysaye.

"It's a spectacular solo piece," Rosenthal said. "Very difficult."

Slutsky will play alone on Mendelssohn's "Three Songs Without Words," a composition for piano.

The Alaska tour opens in Juneau and then moves to Sitka. The musicians will do a series of performances in Anchorage and then travel to Talkeetna, Kenai and Dutch Harbor.

The Juneau concert will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $14 each for the general audience and $12 for students and seniors. They can be bought at Hearthside Books and at the door.

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