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Inspired French Masterworks

Sunday
October 16, 2022
3:00pm

 

Trinity Chapel
Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato

Timothy Lovelace, piano

Susie Park, violin

David Auerbach, viola

Richard Belcher, cello

Zachary Cohen, double bass

Our opening concert features two French masterpieces from the 19th century. Gabriel Fauré’s beloved first piano quartet (1879) has been immensely popular ever since it was first premiered. This is paired with Louise Farrenc’s first piano quintet from 1839. Both are full of drama, featuring beautiful, lyrical melodies that flow seamlessly throughout. Very popular when it was written, and receiving high praise from luminaries such as Robert Schumann, Farrenc’s music was largely ignored for many years, but has rightfully returned to the spotlight recently.

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Inspired Knowledge

Sunday
December 11, 2022
3:00pm

Trinity Chapel
Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato

Bethel Balge, piano
Allison Ostrander, violin
Sarah Lewis, cello

Johann Hummel was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s only full time student. He went on to have a wonderful career as a virtuoso pianist and composer. As a teacher himself, he taught and mentored Louise Farrenc, who in turn went on to have her own highly successful career as a concert pianist and composer. At the latter end of the romantic period, and inspired by those who came before him, the 16 year old student Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his first piano trio, a triumph of romantic expression.

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Inspired Impressions

Sunday
March 5, 2023
3:00pm

Trinity Chapel
Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato

Hanna HyunJung Kim, piano
Rui Du, violin
Richard Belcher, cello

Reena Esmail’s first piano trio is paired with Ravel’s masterpiece in this concert of impressionistic music. Esmail’s music fuses elements of Indian traditional music with Western classical music, and this trio shows an unmistakable nod towards Ravel. Both trios feature exquisite, wistful sonorities that will be sure to transport you to another world!

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Inspired
Arts

Sunday
April 16, 2023
3:00pm

Trinity Chapel
Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato

Maureen Nelson, violin
Cecilia Belcher, violin
Hyobi Sim, viola
Richard Belcher, cello

Haydn’s op.77 #2 is the source inspiration for this concert. Composer Caroline Shaw heard a performance of this work which led to the composition of “Entr’acte”. Inspired by how Haydn’s music sometimes “takes you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass” (Shaw), this piece is structured on the classical minuet-trio form. Vaughan Williams’ second quartet was inspired by the playing of the violist to whom the work is dedicated, Jean Stewart. It appropriately shines a light on the viola throughout the work, which is dramatic, highly personal and incredibly serene at its conclusion.

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Inspired
Energy

Sunday
April 16, 2023
3:00pm

Trinity Chapel
Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato

Nikki Melville, piano
Natsuki Kumagai, violin
Rolf Haas, violin
Sabina Thatcher, viola
Richard Belcher, cello

Each of the works on our final program for the season comes from early in       each composer’s career. They all project a contagious energy, from an abundance of inspiration that so clearly shows the promise and vitality of youth.

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Richard Belcher

Music on the Hill Artistic Director

New Zealand cellist RICHARD BELCHER joined the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 2019. He was founding cellist of the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet with whom he toured for two decades, performing frequently in many of the great concert halls throughout the world, as well as making several highly acclaimed recordings. In addition to his quartet career, from 2008 Richard has been Principal Cello of ROCO in Houston, TX.

In 2018 the Enso Quartet disbanded, and Richard became Artistic Director of the chamber music series Music on the Hill in Mankato, MN. He continues to be a frequent guest at festivals throughout the USA, and is in demand as a teacher and chamber music coach.

Richard moved to the United States in 1998 to study with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, and it is there that he co-founded the Enso Quartet, He is married to Cecilia Belcher, the Assistant Principal 2nd Violin of the Minnesota Orchestra.