DVORAK: Symphony 8; SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto
Antonin Dvorak, Robert Schumann
GERALD ROBBINS, piano
KENNETH KLEIN, conductor
REVIEWS“Robbins plays his heart out in Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor. And Klein conducts the Moscow Philharmonic with a sense of verve and confidence in [Dvorak’s Symphony No.8]. As familiar as both works are in the concert hall and on recordings, I’ve seldom heard better accounts”
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta - May 2012
"...Schumann's Piano Concerto reminds us of the talents pf pianist Gerald Robbins and conductor Kenneth Klein..."
BBC Music Magazine - July 2010
"I found this reading [of the Dvorak] quite refreshing and indicative of a conductorial preparedness and point of view. The orchestra sounds very good, especially the strings, while the brass are found to be quite upfront and vocal in their many punctuating declarations. The slow movement in particular is most affecting, and the results are a performance that is alive and lively in nature."
Steven E. Ritter, Fanfare - March / April 2010
PROGRAM NOTESPianist GERALD ROBBINS has distinguished himself internationally as a soloist, having performed throughout the world in virtually every major music center, including New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bonn, Munich, Athens, Frankfurt, Belgrade, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Jerusalem and Tokyo. He has appeared with major orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, London Mozart Players, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the New York Virtuosi. He has collaborated with such esteemed conductors as Zubin Mehta, Sir Neville Marriner, Okko Kamu, Jorge Mester, Lawrence Foster and Louis Frémaux.
A champion of neglected romantic repertoire, Mr. Robbins has received critical praise for his solo recordings for the London-Decca, Orion and Genesis labels. His world premiere recordings of concerti by Litolff and Reinecke, performed in collaboration with the Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra under van Remoortel were released on CD by Genesis to great critical acclaim. Other releases include a highly praised solo performance of Dvor(ák’s Poetic Tone Pictures and Goetz’s Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings. Mr. Robbins recorded the Leonard Bernstein and John Corigliano Sonatas for Violin and Piano with violinist Glenn Dicterow and the Mendelssohn complete works for cello and piano with cellist James Kreger.
In addition to his solo activities, Robbins has distinguished himself as a chamber musician in collaboration with many noted musicians such as Nathan Milstein, Pinchas Zukerman, Kyung-Wha Chung, Zara Nelsova and Ruggiero Ricci. A co-founder with Glenn Dicterow of the Lyric Piano Quartet, Mr. Robbins has recorded and toured with this ensemble. He has also appeared as a frequent guest artist with members of the New York Philharmonic as part of its subscription concert series at Avery Fisher Hall, as well as performing with them at Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Hall in New York. Mr. Robbins is also an accomplished conductor. With Kenneth Klein he co-founded the Westside Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles (now the Beverly Hills Symphony) and co-foundered the London Concertante, an ensemble that specializes in 18th- and early 19th-century concerto repertoire.
Gerald Robbins has received many important awards throughout his career, including a major prize at the Van Cliburn competition and a diploma from the Tchaikovsky International Competition. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from USC, where he assisted in the string master classes of Jascha Heifetz, William Primrose and Gregor Piatigorsky.
A native of California, Mr. Robbins served as Artist-in-Residence with the Lyric Piano Quartet at Queens College, where he developed a highly successful chamber music concert series. He was affiliated with the Hoff-Barthelson School of Music in Westchester, and has been is a member of the faculty of Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
KENNETH KLEIN, one of America’s major international conductors, acclaimed by The New Grove Dictionary of Music as “a champion of music of the Americas….equally well-versed in Classical and Romantic repertory” has conducted and recorded with such orchestras as the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he has conducted the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de France, Vienna Symphony and Moscow Philharmonic. He has appeared with Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House and with the New York City Ballet. Klein has performed in such distinguished European concert halls as the Musikverein, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall. For twelve years, Mr. Klein was Music Director and Conductor of the Guadalajara Symphony, giving more than 100 concerts a year, and championing the music of Latin American composers on five continents. As a result of an invitation to conduct by Pablo Casals, he guest conducted at the Casals Festival and at numerous concerts of the Puerto Rico Symphony.
In the early 1960s, Kenneth Klein co-founded with Gerald Robbins the Westside Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles, an orchestra that premiered and supported both American music and traditional repertoire, existing now as the Beverly Hills Symphony. While at the University of Southern California where he obtained his Bachelor of Music, Mr. Klein received the String Department award as a member of USC’s Trojan String Quartet. In 1982, Kenneth Klein founded the New York Virtuosi Chamber Symphony, principally made up of New York Philharmonic musicians. The orchestra has included gifted musicians from the entire New York metropolitan area, and gained a fine reputation for performing a large number of American premieres and traditional repertory, as well as for the variety of educational concerts it provided in New York area schools. Maestro Klein took the New York Virtuosi on an acclaimed tour encompassing Munich, Bonn, Stuttgart and thirteen other major German cities, and with them performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, Merkin Hall, Meyerhoff Hall, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University and at two summer festivals in New Hampshire. From 1998 to 2001, the Virtuosi was the Chamber Orchestra of the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Kenneth Klein has made critically acclaimed recordings for Angel-EMI Classics with the London Symphony and London Philharmonic, and has also recorded for Vox, ASV, Unicorn Kanchana, Collins Classics, 4-Tay, IMP, Ribbonwood and Fleur de Son. Among the artists who have performed with or invited Kenneth Klein to conduct are Claudio Arrau, Emanuel Ax, John Browning, Pablo Casals, Shura Cherkassky, Eugene Istomin, Yehudi Menuhin, Christopher Parkening, Ravi Shankar and Henryk Szeryng. Mr. Klein was the recipient of two coveted ASCAP awards for his work in promoting American music.
PROGRAMROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
PIANO CONCERTO IN A MINOR, OP.54
Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso
ANTONIN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
SYMPHONY NO. 8 IN G MAJOR, OP.88
Allegro con brio
Allegro ma non troppo