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Program IV:
Virtuosity

Saturday, August 17, 2024 | 7:30 PM

Hannaford Hall, USM | Portland 

A multi-faceted tribute to Bach’s immortal Chaconne makes for one epic season finale! David Ludwig, Dean of Music at The Juilliard School, draws on ECCO’s extraordinary ensemble of all-virtuoso players with a work inspired by “this one epic movement by Bach that would define string playing forever after.” Finally, the stunning Chaconne itself, originally written for solo violin, in a breathtaking arrangement for the full forces of string orchestra. You’ll see why the New York Times declared, "ECCO delivers performances that are nothing short of electrifying." 

David Ludwig Virtuosity: Five Micro-Concertos for String Orchestra (2013)

J.S. Bach (arr. Michi Wiancko) Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004 (1717-1720/2019)

* Programs and artists subject to change

Concert run time is approximately 90 minutes including a brief intermission. The concert will be live-streamed for free on our YouTube channel. The archived stream will be available to view for 24 hours.

Meet The Artists

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Nathan Farrington
bass

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J Freivogel
violin

Rachel Henderson Freivogel.jpeg

Rachel Henderson Freivogel
cello

Nick Kendall, violin

Nick Kendall
violin

Kristin Lee (Lauren Desberg).jpeg

Kristin Lee
violin

Li Mei Liang.jpeg

Li-Mei Liang
violin

Anthony Marwood.jpg

Anthony Marwood
violin

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Tai Murray
violin

Kenneth Olsen.jpg

Kenneth Olsen
cello

Susie Park (Zoe Prinds-Flash).jpeg

Susie Park
violin

Raman Ramakrishnan.jpeg

Raman Ramakrishnan
cello

Melissa Reardon (Lauren Desberg).jpeg

Melissa Reardon
viola

Dov Scheindlin.jpeg

Dov Scheindlin
viola

Jessica Thompson.jpeg

Jessica Thompson
viola

Shai Wosner.jpg

Shai Wosner
piano

Meet The Composers

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J.S. Bach
1685-1750

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the late Baroque period. He is known for his prolific authorship of music across a variety of instruments and forms, including orchestral music such as the Brandenburg Concertos; solo instrumental works such as the cello suites and sonatas and partitas for solo violin; keyboard works such as the Goldberg Variations and The Well-Tempered Clavier; organ works such as Toccata and Fugue in D minor; and choral works such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B Minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival, he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music.

Bach's Chaconne, which forms the fifth and final movement of the Partita No. 2 in D Minor, is one of the longest and most challenging solo pieces ever composed for the violin. Bach’s string compositions, including a half dozen partitas and sonatas for solo violin, were composed in the late 1710s and early 1720s, while the composer was employed at the court in Köthen, Germany. It was a period of great freedom and creativity for Bach. The Chaconne draws upon the Baroque dance form of the same name, in which a basic theme stated at the opening is then restated in several variations. In the words of Johannes Brahms, "On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind."

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David Ludwig
b. 1974

David Ludwig is an American composer, teacher, and Dean of Music at The Juilliard School. He holds positions and residencies with nearly two dozen orchestras and music festivals in the US and abroad. His choral work, The New Colossus, was performed at the 2013 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.

In the words of the composer, Virtuosity is "a piece is built on the format of the Baroque Concertino, with parts for a core group of soloists surrounded by a larger ensemble. The first micro concerto is for two violins (like the Baroque trio), and follows with solo viola, cello, and contrabass, with some movements sliding into each other without pause. The final movement is a concerto for the whole orchestra, including a double fugue for the ensemble and then soloists in the middle of it (the fugue as a form is about a kind of compositional virtuosity that has challenged composers for hundreds of years)."

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Michi Wiancko
b. 1976

Michi Wiancko is a composer, arranger and violinist whose work has been performed by ensembles, bands and orchestras around the world. She has collaborated with artists from across a wide musical spectrum and performed with some of the great musical artists of our time, including Rhiannon Giddens, Missy Mazzoli, Steve Reich, Silkroad, Yo-Yo Ma, Wye Oak, and Laurie Anderson. She also directs the summer music festival, artists’ retreat, and community organization, Antenna Cloud Farm.

Wiancko has written several compositions for the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, many of which fall into the genre of what she calls her “reimagining” works. These are arrangements of works from the past that she draws inspiration and source materials from, but ultimately fashions into something fresh and new. Wiancko's breathtaking arrangement of one of Bach's most recognizable solo violin movements was commissioned by the East Coast Chamber Orchestra in 2019.

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