Overheard after Sunday afternoon's concert was "The best ever!!" Such was the audience's reaction at the Wellesley Chamber Players' performance on December 8 at Beveridge Hall at the Dana Hall School.
Pianist Jayoung Kim, Ph.D., University of Indiana, student of Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Art Trio, is the founder of the Wellesley Chamber Players, which is in its fourth season. In addition to teaching at the Dana Hall School of Music and NEC's Preparatory School and Continuing Education, she has been the in-house pianist at the New England Conservatory and Boston University. She has won many competitions, and has performed in concert halls internationally.
She brings playing energy and musical sensitivity to her audience, and dazzles with her dexterity. Her interpretive range of tone was evidenced in the Beethoven and Brahms, where powerful passages or strong chords were followed by sudden shifts into pianissimo. Her arpeggios were flawless, with a lot of impressive cross over hand work, played with harp-like perfection.
New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis is studying at the New England Conservatory with master violinist Miriam Fried. She has played in a number of prize winning chamber groups, most recently winning the Bronze Medal in the Fischoff National Chamber Competition, where hers was the youngest group in the competition. She has played at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, and will be returning there this summer. She plays a historic violin, a 1731 Carlo Antonio Testore, on loan from the Ravinia Steans Music Institute in Chicago.
Cellist Timotheos Petrin, who is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma degree at the New England Conservatory while studying with Laurence Lesser, demonstrated the artistry of playing collaboratively. Playing the Tchaikovsky Trio in A minor, Opus 50, he and Ms. Lewis took cues from each other as they passed the music back and forth in a dazzling display of timing. They synchronized perfectly, playing difficult glissando passages that resolved with a punctuated culminating note.
The son of musicians in his native Thessaloniki, Greece, Petrin was the winner of a prestigious international cello competition in Finland, and has played internationally, in connection with his being named Young Artist in Residence at the Performance Today radio program of American Public Media.
The pieces on the program were by Beethoven, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky, all in the key of A. Tchaikovsky's third movement had so many key changes coming so quickly that it made for interesting listening. The Beethoven and Brahms pieces featured movements with multiple variations and changing moods.
The Wellesley Chamber Players' next concert will be on Sunday, March 8. It is entitled, "B for Brahms." Geneva Lewis will return to Beveridge Hall, together with outstanding cellist Jonah Ellsworth and popular violist Zhanbo Zheng, playing with Jayoung Kim at the piano.