Superb American violinist Tai Murray and German pianist Silke Avenhaus present a programme that packs a punch from Beethoven right up to Ian Wilson.
Described as "superb" by The New York Times, violinist Tai Murray made her concert debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra aged just 9 and has since matured into an inspiring talent, widely lauded for her elegant and effortlessly vivacious performances. Tai will be joined by German pianist Silke Avenhaus, whose joyful and creative approach to chamber music has earned her the Diapason d’Or and a Grammy Award nomination.
Two of Beethoven’s finest violin sonatas bookend their programme. Zesty and cheerful, the “Spring” sonata definitely lives up to its nickname and is perhaps the most popular of all Beethoven’s sonatas. The boldly heroic Sonata No. 9 was originally dedicated to George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, a prodigious violinist who gave a dazzling premiere performance of the work. However, after an unfortunate falling out with Bridgetower – allegedly over a love interest! - Beethoven later rededicated the work to the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, who found it so difficult and baffling that he never performed it.
The filling in the Beethoven sandwich takes on a Polish flavour in Szymanowski’s subtle Mythes, before we’re treated to the duo’s performance of Ian Wilson’s impressionistic Spilliaert’s Beach, inspired by a painting of a moonlit beach by the Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert.
“Technically flawless... vivacious and scintillating...”Muso Magazine (on Tai Murray)
“Silke Avenhaus inspired... with a wonderful attack, sparkling glissandi, like a silky scale...”Bergische Morgenpost
Described as “superb” by The New York Times, violinist Tai Murray has established herself a musical voice of a generation. “Technically flawless… vivacious and scintillating… It is without doubt that Murray’s style of playing is more mature than that of many seasoned players…” (Muso Magazine)
Appreciated for her elegance and effortless ability, Murray creates a special bond with listeners through her personal phrasing and subtle sweetness. Her programming reveals musical intelligence. Her sound, sophisticated bowing and choice of vibrato, remind us of her musical background and influences, principally, Yuval Yaron (a student of Gingold & Heifetz) and Franco Gulli. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004, Tai Murray was named a BBC New Generation Artist (2008 through 2010). As a chamber musician, she was a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society II (2004-2006).
She has performed as guest soloist on the main stages worldwide, performing with leading ensembles such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra, and all the BBC Symphony Orchestras. She is also a dedicated advocate of contemporary works. Among others, she performed the world premiere of Malcolm Hayes’ violin concerto at the BBC Proms, in the Royal Albert Hall.
Tai Murray’s critically acclaimed debut recording for Harmonia Mundi of Ysaye’s six sonatas for solo violin was released in February 2012. Her second recording with works by American Composers of the 20th Century was released by the Berlin-based label eaSonus and her third disc with the Bernstein Serenade on the French label mirare.
Tai Murray plays a violin by Tomaso Balestrieri fecit Mantua ca. 1765, on generous loan from a private collection.
Numerous solo concerts and appearances in chamber music ensembles have taken Silke Avenhaus throughout Europe, the USA and South East Asia. She regularly appears in venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, the Brahms-Saal of the Wiener Musikverein, the Philharmonie in Cologne, Munich and Berlin as well as the Carnegie Recital Hall, New York. She has accepted invitations to the Marlboro Music Festival, to the Chamber Music Festivals in Prussia Cove and Moritzburg, to the Berliner Festwochen and the Rheingau Music Festival, the Salzburg Festspiele, the Lucerne Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and the Beethovenfest in Bonn. Silke Avenhaus has worked with orchestras such as the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the German Radiophilharmonie and the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
In her most recent recording, Avenhaus has arranged piano works by Wagner, Liszt and Rossini within a “Salon Chromatique et Harmonique“, thus putting them into a surprisingly new context. Additionally, her album TROUTS with Schubert´s “Trout Quintet” plus five contemporary new variations has received international acclaim.
Her approach to piano and chamber music, characterised by joy and creativity, has led to numerous distinctions by music critics such as the Diapason d’Or, the Supraphon Award, as well as earning a nomination for the Grammy Award. For EMI, ECM, Koch, Tudor, CPO, Berlin Classics, CAvi and Harmona Mundi she has launched more than 40 CDs, all of them dealing with a broad range of solo and chamber music repertoire.
Silke holds an honorary professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich and is a regular lecturer at the Villa Musica Music Academy. Bringing classical music to children and young people is of special importance to Silke, whether it be with audio books for children, via workshops or taking part in the "Rhapsody in School" project initiated by Lars Vogt. She is part of "artists for a better future", a group of artists who engage in welfare projects around the world, and is a co-founder of “Sounds and Science”, a concert series running at Konzerthaus Wien for several years.