Sunday, February 16th @ 7pm
The Violin-Viola Duet in Revolutionary France: A Survey of Exemplary
repertoire for String Duet in the late 18th century
(ca. 1740 – 1789)
“Duo pour un Violon et Alto Viola” in C Mineur, Op. 3, No. 3
(18 June 1757 – 14 November 1831)
“Grand Duo pour Violon et Alto” in E-flat Majeur, Op. 69, No. 3
Jean-Baptiste Boulougne “Le Chevalier de Saint-George”
(25 December 1745 – 10 June 1799)
Sonata for Violin duet in A Majeur, Op. 3, posth.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791)
Duo No. 1 for Violin and Viola in G Dur, K. 423
Les Sauvages Américains
(The American Savages)
JP Tobin, Viola
Violist John Paul Tobin has enjoyed an extremely active and widely varied free-lance career since moving to Los Angeles in the summer of 2004. JP serves as Artistic Director for Les Sauvages Américains. He is a member of the DaKah Hip Hop Orchestra, for which he has also served as librarian. Other groups in California include: Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Riverside/Inland Empire Philharmonic, Corona Symphony, New Valley Symphony, and the Monterey Symphony, to name a few. A former guitarist and bluegrass mandolinist, in 1998 JP attended Penn State University where he initially studied Physics. While at Penn State he took-up the viola under the instruction
of Timothy Deighton, and has been performing on that instrument exclusively ever since. In 2007 he completed his M.M. in Viola Performance with Minor Wetzel at Cal State Fullerton. JP has also received specialized training in period performance, studying with Tafelmusik in 2001 and the Penn State Baroque Ensemble under Rob Nairn from 2000 to 2003. In 2004 he attended the Henry Mancini Institute. In 2010, JP co-founded the ensemble Les Sauvages Américains in a presumptuous attempt to perform with a group which does not leave its audiences with an overwhelming sense of ennui. He occasionally performs on the television shows “American Idol” and “The Voice” (on weeks during which the producers are not particularly concerned with the physical beauty of the guest musicians). JP Tobin plays one of the remarkable American violas by Sarah and Alan Balmforth.
Lindsey Strand-Polyak, Violino
Violinist and scholar Lindsey Strand-Polyak is the one of the co-founders of the UCLA Early Music Ensemble in 2009, serving as both Managing Director and Director, and has performed with period ensembles such as Pacific MusicWorks, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Tesserae, Jouyssance, and Jeune Orchestre Atlantique. Masterclasses
include Robert Mealy, Stanley Ritchie, Jeanne Lamon, Alexander Janiczek, Elizabeth Blumenstock, and Ilia Korol. She has worked with both baroque and modern artists such as Stephen Stubbs, Elisabeth LeGuin, Ian Pritchard, Peter Yates, Anne Akiko Meyers, Paul Coletti, and Antonio Lysy, and performed at festivals both in the US and Europe. A Phd/MM
graduate of UCLA?s Herb Alpert School of Music, Dr. Strand-Polyak has presented papers at numerous universities including Harvard, McGill, University of Washington, and UCLA, and conferences, including National Meeting of the American Musicologial Society. Dr. Strand-Polyak is currently on the music history faculty of both the Colburn School and UCLA.
“April the 16th, 1776
Lord Fauconbery sent me a ticket for Bach and Abels Concert at the Assembly room in Hanover Square. The performers were the two above mentioned, the second played a solo extremely well; the others were Giardini, who plays on the Violin supprising well is Cramer; Crosdill on the Violoncello plays exceeding well, Fischer on the hautboy the same, all Capital performers… this concert is reckoned the best in the world, every thing executed with the greatest taste and exactness; a very fine room 115 feet long 40 broad; it was almost full, every body Dressed; very elegantly painted; between the acts they go in another room underneath where you have tea; it is by subscription; it begins at 8 and ends at 10 every thing is elegant.”
This enthusiastic excerpt, from the diary of 23-year-old Edward Piggot in April of 1776, gives a colorful, first-hand description of one of the famous Bach-Abel concerts at the Hanover Square Rooms in London. Johann Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel, who had been together organizing subscription concerts in London since1763, endeavored to bring their acclaimed musical festinos to the Rooms beginning in 1775. In 1783, violinist Wilhelm Cramer assumed direction of programming at the Rooms in performances subsequently billed as “The Professional Concerts,” comprised of “eminent professors of music, many years resident in London.”
~on the programme~
Carl Friedrich Abel Op. 16, No. 2: String Trio in D Major, WK 93
Felice Giardini Op. 25, No. 2: Oboe Quartet in F Major
Antonin Kammel Op. 7, No. 3: Oboe Quartet in D major
Andreas Lidl Op. 4, No. 6: String Trio in E Major
Andreas Lidl Op. 7, No. 4: Oboe Quartet in C Major
In this programme, members of Les Sauvages Américains undertake to capture the spirit and presence of the concerts presented at the Hanover Square Rooms (by those very musicians mentioned in young Mr. Piggot’s diary) during this extraordinary 25-year period in London’s musical legacy –a period during which a spectacular array of first-class musicians from around continental Europe gathered in the British capital to thrive in the well-supported performance atmosphere which had been created there. Accordingly, and to that effect, the repertoire is comprised of an exemplary collection of works by Lower Saxon (Abel), Bohemian (Kammel), Italian (Giardini), and Austro-Hungarian (Lidl) transplants to late-18th-century London.
In keeping with this authentic spirit, audience members will receive printed replicas of original tickets from the venue, in keeping with the convention that “The Ladies’ tickets are Black, and the Gentlemen’s Red.”
Les Sauvages Américains
(The American Savages)
Violist John Paul Tobin has enjoyed an extremely active and widely varied free-lance career since moving to Los Angeles in the summer of 2004. JP serves as Artistic Director for Les Sauvages Américains. He is a member of the DaKah Hip Hop Orchestra, for which he has also served as librarian. Other groups in California include: Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Riverside/Inland Empire Philharmonic, Corona Symphony, New Valley Symphony, and the Monterey Symphony, to name a few.
A former guitarist and bluegrass mandolinist, in 1998 JP attended Penn State University where he initially studied Physics. While at Penn State he took-up the viola under the instruction of Timothy Deighton, and has been performing on that instrument exclusively ever since. In 2007 he completed his M.M. in Viola Performance with Minor Wetzel at Cal State Fullerton. JP has also received specialized training in period performance, studying with Tafelmusik in 2001 and the Penn State Baroque Ensemble under Rob Nairn from 2000 to 2003. In 2004 he attended the Henry Mancini Institute.
In 2010, JP co-founded the ensemble Les Sauvages Américains in a presumptuous attempt to perform with a group which does not leave its audiences with an overwhelming sense of ennui. He occasionally performs on the television shows “American Idol” and “The Voice” (on weeks during which the producers are not particularly concerned with the physical beauty of the guest musicians).
JP Tobin plays one of the remarkable American violas by Sarah and Alan Balmforth.
Ryan Zwahlen is one of Southern California’s most sought-after oboists. He has performed multiple times with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Diego Symphony under the batons of Zubin Mehta and Bramwell Tovey. Additionally, he has played with many orchestras in the region including the LA Ballet, Les Sauvages Américains, Culver City Chamber Orchestra, Riverside Philharmonic, Bakersfield Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Santa Monica Symphony, and the Center Stage Opera Orchestra. In 2009 he joined the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Washington) as Principal Oboe. Zwahlen has also been featured in the recording studio on feature films and commercials.
Zwahlen’s passion for music is not limited to orchestral performance. He is deeply committed to chamber music as the Executive Director of the Definiens Project, a non-profit, contemporary chamber music organization. Thanks largely to his leadership, the group completed a residency at UCLA in 2007 and was the Resident Ensemble of the 2009 Fresno New Music Festival. Residency activities were also conducted at LA Valley College, Biola University and USC throughout the 2009-2010 school year. Ryan’s other chamber music activities have included the Tonoi Ensemble, LA Harmonie Ensemble, Santa Monica Symphony Wind quintet along with the award-winning Vientos Trio and West Coast Wind Quintet. Ryan has also been featured as a conductor. He conducted works at the 2009 Fresno New Music Festival and will be conducting David Conte’s America Tropical (libretto by Oliver Mayer) in October 2010 as part of USC’s Vision and Voices program.
In the fall of 2010, Ryan joined the faculty of the Idyllwild Arts Academy as Chair of the Music Department. He has taught at both UCLA and Citrus College in California and he joined the faculty of the Las Vegas Music Festival for its 2006 season. He has also committed his time and energy to the Children’s Music Workshop of Los Angeles and to the Santa Monica/Malibu United School District.
Ryan is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Chamber Music and Oboe at UCLA. He received his Master of Music degree from Arizona State University and his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He has studied with Marion Kuszyk, Martin Schuring, and Nancy Ambrose King.
Mishkar Nunez-Mejia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Luther College in Iowa and a Master’s degree in Violin Performance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is currently involved in pursuing a doctorate in Early Music from this latter prestigious institution. Having performed as soloist with the Cibao Philharmonic, the Corona Symphony, the Dorian Festival Orchestra, Les Sauvages Américains, Symbiosis Chamber Orchestra, among others, Nunez-Mejia has delighted audiences nationally and internationally. In the Spring of 2012 Mishkar was honored with the Cultural Personality of the Year 2011 Award from the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic.
Mishkar has had the honor of working with great artists of the classical world such as Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, Carl St.Clair, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Anne Akiko Meyers, among others. In some cases as conductor and lecturer.
Mishkar has participated in several Hollywood films not only as a violinist but also as an actor. His short “Stringing in the Streets” was awarded Best Short at the Chicago International Film Festival, was chosen for the Cannes Film Festival, in France, and was featured on HBO.
The versatility of style of Nunez-Mejia also allow him to venture into the fields of Rock, Pop, Ballad, among other styles, having collaborated with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Five for Fighting, Natalie Cole, Shaila Durcal, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Julio Iglesias, Marco Antonio Solis, Alvaro Torres, Ana Gabriel, Macy Gray and Burt Bacharach, among others. In addition, although posthumously, Mishkar participated with the late singer Selena for her new album “Enamorada de Ti” which was released in April, 2012.
In November of 2011 he was the guest soloist for the debut of the Cibao Regional Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the young conductor Santy Rodriguez which was received with great enthusiasm. He has also been invited by Maestro Jose Antonio Molina to play the Dominican premiere of the Stravinsky Concerto in Re in the near future with the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra.
As the daughter of a violin maker father and violinist mother, Leah Metzler was surrounded by music at a very young age. Practically raised in the family violin shop in Los Angeles, she was lucky enough to discover her passion for the cello at the age of four. Leah holds her B.M. in cello performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied with cellist Darrett Adkins and her M.M. in cello performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with former member of the Kronos Quartet, Jennifer Culp.
Currently based in Los Angeles, Leah is an active teacher and performer of chamber, orchestral, contemporary, and early music. An experienced orchestral musician, Leah has been the principal cellist of multiple orchestras including the YMF Debut Orchestra, Golden State Pops Orchestra, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, and Aspen Concert Orchestra. She had the pleasure of traveling with the Oberlin Orchestra to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall and to Los Angeles to perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Adding a little spice to her life as a classical musician, Leah is also a member of the Bella Electric String Quartet and enjoys an active performance schedule playing rock music on her Yamaha electric cello. (e.g. Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Weezer, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson)
As a baroque cellist and treble viola da gambist, Leah plays renaissance and baroque music with various groups in southern California.
Leah is a passionate cello teacher and maintains a private cello studio in Los Angeles.