John Frayne: Springing forth again with Krannert season preview

John Frayne: Springing forth again with Krannert season preview

The major offering of Lyric Theatre30 p.m. Feb. 22-24, and 3 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Tryon Festival Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The Vienna Piano Trio, with Stefan Mendl, piano, David McCarroll, violin, and Matthias Gredler, cello, will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 1 in Foellinger Great Hall. They will perform two piano trios, No. 1 in D Minor, and No. 2 in F Major, both from the year 1847, by Robert Schumann, and the 1882 Piano Trio No. 2 by Schumann's friend, Johannes Brahms.

Stacy Garrop, the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, will have some of her music performed at a concert called "Music of Destiny" at 7:30 p.m. March 2 in Foellinger. Garrop's best-known piece is her "Mythology Symphony" and Stephen Alltop will conduct Movement 3 of this work, entitled "The Lovely Graces," to be followed by Movement 4, the menacing "Fates of Mankind," and then Movement 5, "Pandora Undone." Also on the program, Stefan Milenkovich will be soloist in one of the most famous of violin concertos, Felix Mendelssohn's Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64. The program will end with Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, which begins with the most famous four notes in music history, an opening that Beethoven himself is supposed have described as "Thus Fate knocks at the door."

Coming from California, as suggested by their name, "Calidore String Quartet," this youthful string quartet will perform — at 3 p.m. March 4 in Foellinger — Mendelssohn's String Quartet No. 3, Dimitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 9, and the first of Beethoven's middle period "Razumovsky" Quartets, No. 7 in F Major.

As spring break approaches on the UI campus, the Sinfonia da Camera, led by Ian Hobson, will perform on March 9 in Foellinger an all-Beethoven concert, beginning with the intense "Coriolan" Overture. Then Hobson will play solo at the piano and conduct Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major. The program will end with Beethoven's rhythmic whirlwind, the Symphony No. 7 in A Major.

The next night will be dominated by the third of Hans von Bulow's "Three Bs," Brahms. From the German city that was for long the home of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as well as Franz Liszt, the Staatskapelle Weimar, conducted by Kirill Karabits, will perform Brahms' unbuttoned "Academic Festival Overture." Then, violinist Valeriy Sokolov will join the orchestra in the Brahms Violin Concerto. The concert will end with that composition on which Brahms had been working on for 21 years, his mighty 1876 Symphony No. 1 in C Minor.

At 7:30 p.m. March 14 in Foellinger, a recital will be given by the Gold Medal winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

On June 12, it was announced that 28-year-old Yekwon Sunwoo had become the first Korean to win this prestigious competition. Sunwoo had come from South Korea in 2005 to study at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He has since earned a master's degree at Juilliard School in New York and his artist diploma at the Mannes School of Music, also in New York. At the competition, Sunwoo had soloed in Sergei Rachmaninoff's formidable Piano Concerto No. 3.

Sunwoo appeared with violinist Benjamin Beilman on January 29, 2012, in a recital in Foellinger. Of his playing in the Richard Strauss Sonata for Violin and Piano, I wrote in my review that "Sunwoo's stormy piano playing made one sit up and take notice."

John Frayne hosts "Classics of the Phonograph" on Saturdays at WILL-FM and, in retirement, teaches at the UI. Reach him at frayne@illinois.edu.

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