Concerts highlights

Bridge of Song

Thu—1-10-2019
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THUJAN 10—7:30 PM
$20 ($15 ASF Members)

Scandinavian-American ensemble Bridge of Song, with pianist Collin Hansen, violinist Frida Backman, and soprano Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, present the new composition Vintergarten, by Harri Wessman, based on Finnish poet Zacharias Topelius’s beloved poem about astral love.

A four-movement violin sonata by Yrjö Kilpinen, the Finnish father of lied, recently discovered and completed by Walter Wolff; and other works by American and Finnish composers.

About the Performers

Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, soprano, is a concert soloist and specialist in  the music of the 20th and 21st century. She has been a featured singer with many music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Britten-Pears Institute and the Tanglewood Music Festival. The soprano has appeared frequently with the Grammy award-winning Southwest Chamber Music Society of Los Angeles, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the New York New Music Ensemble, in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and San Diego. International performances include concerts in Sweden, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, and Germany. Recordings include a CD created with American composer Libby Larsen of her song cycle, Songs from Letters: from Calamity Jane to her daughter Janey, Aura, for orchestra and soloists, and Spirals XII, both by Cambodian composer Chinary Ung. Dr. Roland is a Fulbright senior scholar, and an American Scandinavian Foundation grantee.  She is a frequent lecturer and master class clinician on the topic of Scandinavian song, and has taught at the Tanglewood Festival, the Songfest festival in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, the Eastman School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music.

Collin Hansen, pianist, is a collaborative pianist, appearing regularly in concert with leading Finnish singers, including soprano Karita Mattila, basses Matti Salminen and Jaakko Ryhänen, baritone Jorma Hynninen and sopranos Ritva Auvinen, and Margareta Haverinen. He has performed on major Scandinavian stages and in festivals such as The Savonlinna Opera Festival, the Copenhagen Biennale, the Helsinki Festival, Jyväskylän Kesä and the Turku Festival, as well as Scandinavia Today (Carnegie Hall) in the US and major concert stages in Canada, Mexico, Russia, Estonia,China, Latvia, Romania, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, Austria, and Israel.

Finnish concert violinist Frida Backman enjoys many violinistic roles and styles. First appearing as a concerto soloist at the age of ten, she has performed the major violin concertos of Brahms, Sibelius and Samuel Barber with orchestras in the United Kingdom, including Dorset Chamber Orchestra, Solent Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Academy Orchestra. She is a member of the Finnish Soloists’ Association. Collaboration with contemporary composers has resulted in many premieres and recordings of new works. Harri Wessman composed the Anna Variations, a suite for violin and piano in 2016, which Frida premiered and performed in Finland and the UK with pianists Warren Mailley-Smith, Gustav Nyström, Martin Segerstråle and Lynda Smith, at festivals including the Warminster Music Festival 2017. Frida has performed with Backman Trio since 2009, and in the UK and Finnish festivals and venues including Helsinki Music Centre, Blackheath Halls, St James Piccadilly, Fairfield Halls, Emäsalo Music Festival. The trio recorded the Bergman piano trio for Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE and released their recording Fantasia (FUGA-9371) of Finnish and British romantic repertoire. Frida has recently recorded solo violin repertoire spanning five centuries – some performed using a baroque instrument and bow – and one (Intruder, by Zura Dzagnidze) performed with a backing track created solely of violin sound effects. The CD will be released during 2019 on Finnish label Fuga.

The Bridge of Song gratefully acknowledges financial support received from the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, MES — The Finnish Music Foundation, Sophie von Julin Foundation, the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Svenska folkskolans vänner SFV, and the Syracuse University 2017 ‘CUSE grant. The commission of Wessman’s Vintergatan was made possible with the aid of SLS — The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland.