Gratwick Concert Captivates Straus
by Faith Pang on Friday, November 22nd, 2013
The annual Gratwick Concert was held on Wednesday, November 6th in a packed Straus Library in memory of Katherine Perkins Gratwick of the Class of 1924. Since 1932, Milton Academy has invited scores of famous and influential musicians to expose students to the professional music world. Previous Gratwick musicians include Joshua Bell, a Grammy-winning violinist, and Eric Owens, a world-renowned baritone bass opera singer.
This year, Milton welcomed world-renowned concert violinist Midori and concert pianist Ozgur Aydin. A Japanese-American violinist, Midori Gotō made her debut in the New York Philharmonic at the age of 11, and has played professionally since, soloing for orchestras around the globe. At 21, she created the organization “Midori and Friends,” which provides musical educations to underprivileged children. Accompanying Midori was Özgür Aydin, one of my favorite pianists. Hailing from Turkey, he made his debut in 1997 in the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest at Wigmore Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York, among others.
This year’s agenda began with the duet’s rendition of the Sonata in F Major by Mozart and its three movements Allegro, Thema mit sechs Variationen: Allegro, and Tempo di Menuetto, classic, yet challenging, violin pieces. The next piece was Poéme Mystique, Sonata No.2 by Bloch, an American-Swiss composer, a dreamy piece with complex harmonies between the piano and the violin. Afterwards, Midori and Aydin played Sonata in E Major by Hindemith and its two movements Ruhig bewegt and Langsam, Sehr Lebhaft, elegantly flowing and brashly dissonant in turns. This piece was followed by Fauré’s Sonata in A Major, Op. 13 and its four movements Allegro molto, Andante, Allegro vivo, and Allegro quasi presto, each movement at a drastically different pace and all over the map with emotion and tone. Finally, the duo concluded the concert with Rondo Brilliant in B minor by Schubert, a twisting and turning piece.
A Class III violinist was struck by the precision and technical aptness that Poéme Mystique exuded. Kate Blauer (II) simply stated, “It was incredible.” Sydney Adedamola (I), first violinist in the Chamber Orchestra, gushed, “It was so amazing. She plays with so much passion and life, and I was really impressed. The reputations of these two world-renowned artists preceded them, as the students left the concert excited and inspired.”
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