Chamber Players

Williams Chamber Players

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The Williams College Department of Music presents the Williams Chamber Players in a concert on  Friday, March 11, at 8 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus. This free event is open to the public.

The Williams Chamber Players continue their tradition of presenting chamber music old and new. Violinist Joanna Kurkowicz, along with pianist and director Doris Stevenson open the the program with Sonata for Violin and Piano in E Major BWV 1016 by J.S. Bach. Pianist and composer Allen Shawn then takes the stage together with Joanna Kurkowicz to perform Mr. Shawn’s Movements 4 and 5 from Winter Sketchbook for violin and piano (1989). Next, Mr. Shawn performs Cello Notebook, a piece composed by him last year, together with cellist Nathaniel Parke. The evening is capped by the trio of Joanna Kurkowicz, violin; Ronald Feldman, cello; and Doris Stevenson, piano performing Tchaikovsky.

About Allen Shawn
Allen Shawn (born 1948) grew up in New York City in a literary family. He started composing music at the age of ten, and was encouraged in his composing by his piano teachers, Francis Dillon and Emilie Harris, who introduced him to the music of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Berg, Prokofiev, and Ives. Later on his composition teachers included Leon Kirchner, Earl Kim, Nadia Boulanger and Jack Beeson.

Shawn lives in Vermont and has been on the music faculty of Bennington College since 1985.  An active pianist, he is also the author of four books, Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey (2002); Wish I Could Be There (2007); Twin (2011); and Leonard Bernstein- American Musician (2014), as well as articles for the New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The Musical Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and the New York Times Magazine. He has been a recipient of both a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, and an An Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Among his works are a dozen orchestral pieces, including a Symphony, two Piano Concertos, a Violin Concerto, a Cello Concerto, and a Double Concerto for Clarinet and Cello; five Piano Sonatas and many additional piano pieces, including several for piano four-hands and two pianos; much chamber music; vocal music; and three chamber operas. His recordings include numerous chamber music CDs; four volumes of piano music, including a recent CD devoted to his work by the German pianist, Julia Bartha; his Piano Concerto performed by Ursula Oppens with the Albany Symphony, conducted by David Alan Miller; and his chamber opera, The Music Teacher, to a libretto by his brother Wallace, on Bridge Records.

The Williams Chamber Players is a resident performance faculty chamber music ensemble at Williams. The ensemble offers performers and audiences the opportunity to explore chamber music over a range of periods and styles. Distinguished performance faculty share the joy of making music together to the delight of student and community audiences.