Artistically Compelling & Popular WA Concert Series, Run by Distinguished Clarinetist Charles Neidich, to Open Third Season at New York’s Tenri Cultural Center
August 27, 2018 | By Allison Abbott
Publicity Associate, Hemsing Associates
After two resoundingly successful seasons, the WA Concert Series is expanding its offerings this year. Seven concerts, led by renowned clarinetist Charles Neidich, are slated to take place at the Tenri Cultural Institute,
43 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011, from September 2018 to May 2019. Inspired by the Japanese word “wa”—meaning circle, but also harmony and completeness—each performance will be supplemented by carefully curated culinary offerings. These programs, conceived by Mr. Neidich and his wife and fellow clarinetist Ayako Oshima, are intended to bring lesser-known composers and works to the attention of the international music community, synthesizing Mr. Neidich’s lifetime of musical knowledge, exploration, and thoughtful reflection.
During the 2017-18 season, the Tenri Cultural Center was packed with widely diverse audience members of varying ages. Frank Daykin from New York Concert Review marveled: “Clarinetist Charles Neidich impeccably curates a gem of a concert series called Wa,” (April 24, 2018) he writes. “A word to the wise music lover: Run, don’t walk, to this series” (May 7, 2018).
This season will begin on Saturday evening, September 29, 2018, with a John Harbison/Joan Tower birthday celebration and includes the New York premiere of Mr. Harbison’s Rasas for viola, clarinet, and piano. Additional performances are scheduled for Saturday evening, November 10, 2018; Friday evening, December 7, 2018; Saturday evening, February 23, 2019; Saturday evening, March 30, 2019; Friday evening, April 12, 2019; and Friday evening, May 10, 2019, all at 7:30 pm.
More detailed performance and program information follows, where available:
JOHN HARBISON AND JOAN TOWER BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Saturday evening, September 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Artists: Charles Neidich, clarinet; Sally Chisholm, viola; and Mohamed Shams, piano
Schumann Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132
Harbison 9 Rasas for clarinet, viola, and piano **New York premiere**
Tower Fantasy (Those Harbor Lights) for clarinet and piano
Francaix, trio for viola, clarinet, and piano
VIRTUOSITY AND BEYOND
Saturday evening, November 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm
INTELLECT AND EXCITEMENT, The Music of Milton Babbitt and Charles Wuorinen
Friday evening, December 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm
OLD IS NEW, A Program with Historical Instruments
Saturday evening, February 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE: Prague, Budapest, and Vienna (with a brief visit to New York via Paris)
Saturday evening, March 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Artists: Charles Neidich, clarinet, with the Parker Quartet, including violinists Daniel Chong and Ken Hamao, violist Jessica Bodner, and cellist Kee-Hyun Kim
Featuring the music of Martinu, Kurtag, and Brahms
WIND POWER with the New York Woodwind Quintet
Friday evening, April 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Artists: The New York Woodwind Quintet, including clarinetist Charles Neidich, flutist Carol Wincenc, oboist Stephen Taylor, bassoonist Marc Goldberg, and French horn player William Purvis
THE NORDIC VOICE, with Denmark’s Ensemble Midtvest
Friday evening, May 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Artists: Charles Neidich, clarinet with the Ensemble Midtvest, including: violinists Ana Feitosa, Karolina Weltrowska, and Matthew Jones; violist Sanna Ripatti; cellist Jonathan Slaatto; Flutist Charlotte Norholt; oboist Peter Kristein; clarinetist Tommaso Lonquich; hornist Neil Page; bassoonist Yabor Petkov; and pianist Martin Qvist Hansen
Nielsen Canto Serioso for horn and piano
Phantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano
Mozart Clarinet Quintet
Mahler Piano Quartet
Dohnányi Sextet for violin, viola, cello, clarinet, horn, and piano
Admission starting at $40 includes food and drink, and will be available for purchase at www.waconcertseries.com.
Clarinetist and conductor Charles Neidich has gained worldwide recognition as one of the most mesmerizing virtuosos on his instrument. With a tone of hypnotic beauty and a dazzling technique, Mr. Neidich has received unanimous accolades from critics and fellow musicians both in the United States and abroad; but it is his musical intelligence in scores as diverse as Mozart and Elliott Carter that have earned for Mr. Neidich a unique place among clarinetists. In the words of The New Yorker, “He’s an artist of uncommon merit -- a master of his instrument and, beyond that, an interpreter who keeps listeners hanging on each phrase.”
Mr. Neidich’s re-recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, 26 years after his celebrated recording with Orpheus for Deutsche Grammophon, was reviewed by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in the New York Times:
"The mellow, woodsy tone of the basset horn stars in this pleasing recording of works for basset horns and/or clarinets (in various configurations) and orchestra by Mozart and his Bohemian contemporary Jiri Druzecky. Charles Neidich’s reading of Mozart’s Concerto for Basset Clarinet in A (KV 622) radiates sunny serenity. But over the course of the following works, including Druzecky’s Concerto for three basset horns and orchestra in F and a reconstruction of Mozart’s Adagio in F for clarinet and three basset horns (KV 580a), the music takes on an inescapably narcotic quality (February 18, 2015).
In recent seasons, Mr. Neidich has added conducting to his musical accomplishments. He has led the Cobb Symphony Orchestra and Georgia Symphony in performances of the Franck Symphony in D Minor and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (also playing the solo clarinet part). Mr. Neidich continues to serve as conductor of the Queens College Chamber Orchestra in Queens, New York City, with whom he has performed the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven in historically informed interpretations.
In past seasons Mr. Neidich has appeared in recital and as guest soloist all over the world and has been making his mark as a conductor. In wide demand as a soloist, Mr. Neidich has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Halle Staatsorchester of Germany, Orpheus, the St. Louis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, San Diego Symphony, New City Chamber Orchestra of San Francisco, Athens Chamber Music Festival, Tafelmusik, the Juilliard, Guarneri, American, and Mendelssohn String Quartets, and the Peabody Trio.
Mr. Neidich commands a repertoire of over 200 solo works, including pieces commissioned or inspired by him, as well as his own transcriptions of vocal and instrumental works. A noted exponent of 20th-century music, he has premiered works by Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, Edison Denisov, William Schumann, Ralph Shapey, Joan Tower, and other leading contemporary composers. With a growing discography to his credit, Mr. Neidich can be heard on the Chandos, Sony Classical, Sony Vivarte, Deutsche Grammophon, Musicmasters, Pantheon, and Bridge labels. His repertoire ranges from familiar works by Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, and Brahms, to lesser-known compositions by Danzi, Reicha, Rossini, and Hummel, as well as music by Elliott Carter, György Kurtág, and other contemporary masters.
A native New Yorker of Russian and Greek descent, Charles Neidich had his first clarinet lessons with his father and his first piano lessons with his mother. Mr. Neidich’s early musical idols were Fritz Kreisler, pianist Artur Schnabel and other violinists and pianists, rather than clarinetists. However, the clarinet won out over time, and he pursued studies with the famed pedagogue Leon Russianoff. Although Mr. Neidich became quite active in music at an early age, he opted against attending a music conservatory in favor of academic studies at Yale University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Anthropology. In 1975 he became the first American to receive a Fulbright grant for study in the former Soviet Union, and he attended the Moscow Conservatory for three years where his teachers were Boris Dikov and Kirill Vinogradov.
In 1985 Mr. Neidich became the first clarinetist to win the Walter W. Naumburg Competition, which brought him to prominence as a soloist. He then taught at the Eastman School of Music and during that tenure joined the New York Woodwind Quintet, an ensemble with which he still performs. His European honors include a top prize at the 1982 Munich International Competition sponsored by the German television network ARD and the Geneva and Paris International Competitions. Mr. Neidich has achieved recognition as a teacher in addition to his activities as a performer, and currently is a member of the artist faculties of The Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College of Music and Queens College. During the 1994-95 academic year, he was a Visiting Professor at the Sibelius Academy in Finland where he taught, performed and conducted. Mr. Neidich is a long-time member of the renowned chamber ensemble Orpheus.
For more information please contact Hemsing Associates at 212-772-1132 or visit www.hemsingpr.com.