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Romantic theme honors music greats

Above John Laughton (on clarinet), Tomoko Kanamaru (piano) and Howard Wall (French horn) opened the Brown Bag Series with a rendition of Kahn’s Trio Serenade. (Tim Lee / Photo Assistant)

By Ian Carr

Students were granted the opportunity to enjoy their lunch while listening to the music of acclaimed concert musicians on Thursday Sept. 9 in the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall. The program, dubbed the Brown Bag Series, launched its first of the semester.

The event opened with the dean of the school of Arts & Communication, John Laughton, introducing the Brown Bag Series and the first piece, German composer Robert Kahn’s Trio Serenade.

“When Kahn originally submitted (The Trio Serenade) to his publisher Simrock, it was a trio for oboe, horn and piano,” Dean Laughton said. “However, after his publisher refused it, he wrote the serenade again for nine different ensembles.”

Laughton played clarinet on this piece and associate professor / keyboard area coordinator, Tomoko Kanamaru, played piano. College faculty members weren’t the only performers, however. Howard Wall, who has been a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1994, and a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra before that, played French horn. The piece was reminiscent of German composer Johannes Brahms with a distinctly Romantic style, without being overblown.

Violinist Elmira Darvarova introduced the next piece, a Caoire Elegie that had, until then, never been performed in America before. Darvarova spoke about playing violin and about the history of violin greats, especially Niccolò Paganini, who she said was the greatest violinist of all time due to a finger deformity that granted him long, multi-jointed digits that were ideal for violin.

She also gave a brief history of Georgy Catoire, the composer of the piece that then performed, along with Kanamaru. Darvarova will be performing the piece in the New York Chamber Music Festival, of which she is the artistic and executive director, on Sept. 16.

Kanamaru, Darvarova and Hall performed the final piece, a Brahms Trio for piano, violin and French horn. This piece was in four movements.

The next edition of the Brown Bag Series will be at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16.


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