2006 Highlights


The Providence Mandolin Orchestra acknowledges with deep gratitude the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts for their support of our 2006 season.
Hingham Library Concert, Sunday, November 19, 2006

The concert will be at 3:30 pm at 66 Leavitt Street.

Yale University Concert, Saturday, November 11, 2006

This concert will be at 2:00 pm at Sprague Memorial Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven, CT.

Song of Japanese Autumn

Yasuo Kuwahara (1946-2003)

Song for My Father

Clarice Assad

Concerto de Media Luna

Jose Luis Barroso

   Recuerdos
   Elegia
   Danza

Program notes by Robert A. Margo

As a classical instrument, the mandolin has its origins in the eighteenth century, but it was around the turn of the twentieth century that the instrument reached its zenith of popularity in the Old and New Worlds. By World War I interest in the mandolin had largely died out in America, but the instrument retained a passionate following in other countries, particularly Germany and Japan. Beginning in the 1970s the United States has experienced a revival of interest in classical mandolin, including the mandolin orchestra. The contemporary American mandolin orchestra is made up of sections of first and second mandolins (tuned in fifths like the violin), the tenor mandola (viola), the mandocello (cello), the mandobass (string bass), and classical guitar as harmonic support.

Yasuo Kuwahara was a virtuoso performer on mandolin and perhaps the most important Japanese composer for mandolin ensemble during the latter half of the twentieth century. While many of his pieces utilize extended techniques and unconventional harmonies, “Song of Japanese Autumn” is a more traditional romantic work in several contrasting sections, including a virtuosic cadenza, here performed by concertmaster Joshua Bell.

The Providence Mandolin Orchestra has longed maintained an active program of commissioning new works for mandolin ensemble. Clarice Assad is a composer, vocalist, and pianist living in New York City, and the daughter of the celebrated classical guitarist Sergio Assad. Ms. Assad has a lengthy catalog of vocal, piano, guitar, and orchestral works, including a violin concerto composed for and recorded by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Commissioned for the Orchestra by Robert Margo and written in honor of Sergio Assad, “Song for My Father” is filled with the subtle harmonies and infectious rhythms of the composer’s native Brazil.

The final work on the program, Jose Luis Barroso’s “Concierto de Media Luna” was originally composed for an ensemble of bandurrias and laudes – instruments tuned in fourths but otherwise played like mandolin family instruments. Barroso’s music is Spanish to its core, with many explicit references to flamenco in its harmonic and rhythmic structure. His “Concierto” is in three movements – a mysterious “Recuerdos” followed by a moving “Elegia”, and ending with a dynamic and fleet “Danza”.

The Providence Mandolin Orchestra was founded by the late Hibbard Perry in 1971. Since then it has become one of the leading American mandolin ensembles, with regular appearances throughout the Eastern United States, Canada, and Western Europe. With well over two hundred pieces in its repertoire, the Orchestra features a wide range of musical styles from Renaissance dances to Baroque concertos, turn-of-the-century nostalgia, and avant-garde expressions. The group’s unique tonality has inspired exciting new works by Clarice Assad, Will Ayton, Owen Hartford, Eva Kendrick, Barbara Kolb, Robert Martel, Michael Nix, Stephen Funk Pearson, Francine Trester, and many others. The Providence Mandolin Orchestra is under the direction of Mark Davis. Mr. Davis pursues an active career as a solo and ensemble performer, educator, and conductor. Mark Davis directs a multi-level guitar ensemble program at the Wheeler School in Providence RI.

All three works on today’s program are included on the Providence Mandolin Orchestra’s new recording, “Spectrum”.

The Providence Mandolin Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support of the D’Addario Foundation.

Mattapoisett Concert, Sunday, October 29, 2006

This concert will be held Sunday evening 7:30 pm, at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church, 27 Church Street, Mattapoisett, MA. Concert tickets $15

Take 195 eastbound to the Mattapoisett exit (it's the next one after Fairhaven). The ramp will spit you out southbound on North Street. Continue on North Street; you will cross US 6 at a stop light, then come to a stop sign at the corner of North & Church. Turn right onto Church Street. The church is in the next block. There's a small parking lot behind the church - to get there, continue past the church and take a right onto Barstow Street; just beyond the white horse shed, turn right into the parking lot.

WaterFire "CD Release" Concert

September 23, 2006. 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. RISD Auditorium, Providence.

The Providence Mandolin Orchestra will give two free public performances at the September 23 WaterFire, to celebrate the release of their new CD, Spectrum. The performances will take place in the RISD Auditorium at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

The PMO, directed by Mark Davis, will perform contemporary compositions by Clarice Assad, Claudio Mandonico, Yasuo Kuwahara, Jose Barroso, and others.

June 10 concert with Carlo Aonzo

June 10, 2006. 8:00 p.m. St. Martin's Church, 50 Orchard Ave, Providence. $15 ($10 seniors/students)

I.

Suite No. 6

Hermann Ambrosius

Concierto de Media LunaJose Luis Barroso

Concerto per orchestra a pizzico

Victor Kioulaphides

Concerto in A Minor, Op. 3, No. 6 (RV 356)

 Antonio Vivaldi

  Carlo Aonzo, mandolin

II.

Prelude No. 10, Op. 112

Raffaele Calace

  Carlo Aonzo, mandolin

Burlesca

Silvio Ranieri

Serenata

Fabrizio Guidice

Kaze

Katsumi Nagoaka

  Carlo Aonzo, mandolin, Mark Davis, guitar

Song for My Father

Clarice Assad

Concerto in C Major (RV 425)

Antonio Vivaldi

   Carlo Aonzo, mandolin

Italy is the ancestral home of the mandolin, spiritually and literally.  It was in Italy that the “mandolino” and “mandoline” first made their appearances in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The mandolino had six courses (double strings) tuned mostly in fourths while the mandoline had four courses tuned in fifths like the modern mandolin (or violin).  Vivaldi wrote his “mandolin” works such as the familiar RV 425 for the six course instrument although these are frequently performed on the modern mandolin.  Originally for violin (from the collection of concerti known as “L’estro Armonico”) the “Concerto in A Minor” also transfers beautifully to the modern mandolin.

By the mid nineteenth century the mandolin had fallen into disuse in European art music but remained popular as a folk instrument in Italy.  A revival ensued in the late nineteenth century, and the mandolin soon became one of the most widely played instruments in the Old and New Worlds.   Virtuosos burst on the scene, tutors written, ensembles of all sizes and types formed, and vast quantities of music published.  Perhaps the greatest of all the early twentieth century mandolinists was the Italian Raffaele Calace who performed widely and also personally constructed some of the finest instruments of the era.  If this were not enough Calace composed many of the mandolin’s greatest works, perhaps none greater than a series of unaccompanied preludes -- immensely attractive musical jewels, fiendishly difficult, of which No. 10 is one of the most spectacular.

If mandolin-cum-guitar conjures up an image of the proverbial tourist version of “O Sole Mio” the combination is also responsible for chamber music of a very high order.  Silvio Ranieri, who was born in Italy but spent most of his creative life in Belgium, was a performer of the first rank and an important composer.  Ranieri’s “Burlesca” is characteristic of his music, full of rapid scales, elegant phrases, and Italianate charm. Fabrizio Guidice’s “Serenata” is another work in a traditional style while Kaze Nagaoka’s “Kaze” draws on popular musical idioms of Brazil.

At the other end of the ensemble spectrum resides the mandolin orchestra, modeled after the bowed strings variety. Calace dreamed of a time when mandolin family instruments would figure prominently into symphonic music, a dream that despite important counter-examples from Mahler to Boulez has yet to be realized.  However, orchestras of plucked string instruments thrive today in Europe, the United States, and Japan, and much new music has been written.  Today’s concert features one of the classics of the modern repertoire, Hermann Ambroisus’ “Suite No. 6” written in a friendly, neo-baroque style.  Jose Luis Barroso’s “Concierto de Media Luna” evokes a Spanish atmosphere with its allusions to flamenco harmonies and rhythms.  The concert also highlights a remarkable new work, Victor Kioulaphides’ “Concerto per orchestra a pizzico”, composed for the Dutch ensemble Het Consort and given its United States premiere in February by the Providence Mandolin Orchestra.  Written for the Providence Mandolin Orchestra, Clarice Assad’s “Song for My Father” is filled with the subtle harmonies and infectious rhythms of the composer’s native Brazil.

Born in Savona, Italy, Carlo Aonzo is one of the world’s premier performers on mandolin. From a musical family, his first teacher was his father, and he went on to study with Ugo Orlandi at the Cesare Pollini Conservatory of Padua. He has received numerous awards including the Vivaldi prize of the Vittorio Pitzianti National Mandolin Competition in Venice and first prize in the Walnut Valley National Mandolin Contest in Winfield, Kansas. Aonzo has toured throughout northern Europe, Italy, and the United States as a soloist or with chamber ensembles and orchestras. He has recorded Paganini’s complete works for mandolin on period instruments (“Integrale per Amandorlino e Chitarra Francese”). Other recordings with guitarist Beppe Gambetta and mandolinist David Grisman have featured the works of early twentieth century Italian composers (“Serenata” and “Traversata”). For Mel Bay Publishers he has recorded a video concert (“Carlo Aonzo: Classical Mandolin Virtuoso”) and his work was also featured in “Mandolin 2000”.

Program notes by Robert A. Margo

June 10 Workshop with Carlo Aonzo

June 10, 2006. 1:00 p.m. 302 Morgan Hall, Wheeler School, 216 Hope Street, Providence. Workshop price $30. Workshop plus concert discount price $40.

Carlo's workshops are filled with knowledge and inspiration about the instrument. Take advantage of this opportunity to extent your technique and musicality. Carlo's unique teaching style accomodates players of widely differing levels of experience.

Directions to Wheeler School, Providence, RI

June 17 First Parish Church in Concord, MA

The concert will be held Saturday evening 7:30 pm, June 17, 2006. Concert tickets $15.

I.

Suite No. 6

Hermann Ambrosius

Song of Japanese Autumn

Yasuo Kuwahara

Song for My Father

Clarice Assad

Concerto per orchestra a pizzico

Victor Kioulaphides

Concerto in C Major (RV 425)

Antonio Vivaldi

  Robert Paul Sullivan, mandolin

II.

American Songs

Traditional

  Robert Paul Sullivan, mandocello

Abendmusik: Nocturne de Salon, Op. 227

Ferdinando Carulli

Summer Music

Robert Martel

  Robert Paul Sullivan and Mark Davis, guitar

Concierto de Media Luna

Jose Luis Barroso

Chagall’s Mandolin

Hankus Netsky

  Robert Paul Sullivan, mandolin

This concert features two of the classics of the modern repertoire for mandolin orchestra, Hermann Ambrosius’ “Suite No. 6” written in a friendly, neo-baroque style; and Yasuo Kuwahara’s “Song of Japanese Autumn”, a neo-romantic work whose cadenza is spiced by pentatonic scales and arpeggios that hazily evoke the music of the composer’s homeland. Jose Luis Barroso’s “Concierto de Media Luna” wears its Spanish origins on its sleeves with pointed references to flamenco harmonies and rhythms. The concert also features a remarkable new work, Victor Kioulaphides’ “Concerto per orchestra a pizzico”, composed for the Dutch ensemble Het Consort and given its United States premiere in February by the Providence Mandolin Orchestra. Written for the Providence Mandolin Orchestra, Clarice Assad’s “Song for My Father” is filled with the subtle harmonies and infectious rhythms of the composer’s native Brazil.

Robert Martel is a classical guitarist and composer from Massachusetts. His works for mandolin orchestra have been performed widely, including by the Providence Mandolin Orchestra, which included his piece “Sky Colored Lake“ on its recording “Songs Without Words“. True to its title, Martel’s “Summer Music” for guitar duo features breezy melodies, wide open harmonies, and relaxed rhythms.

A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and scholar, Hankus Netsky teaches improvisation and Jewish music at the New England Conservatory. He is the founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, an internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble. He has composed extensively for film and television, and has collaborated with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Robin Williams, Joel Grey, and Theodore Bikel. Inspired by the painter’s use of the mandolin (as, for example, in Chagall’s portrait of his brother David), Netsky’s four movement concerto deftly mixes both Yiddish sounds and improvisation (by the soloist).

Robert Paul Sullivan studied guitar with Hibbard Perry, Rey de la Torre, Oscar Gighlia, and Emilio Pujol, among others. He has taught at the University of Rhode Island, Syracuse University, Clark University, and the New England Conservatory. A master of all instruments plucked, his recent performances have included the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s opening Gala concert of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with conductor James Levine in Boston and New York; Boston Celebrity Series; Alea III; New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra; Rhode Island Symphony Orchestra; Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra; Boston Ballet; Boston Opera Company; Musica Viva, and Broadway productions of Chicago, Ragtime, Fiddler on the Roof, and Man of La Mancha. Several of Sullivan’s students have gone onto major careers, including John Muratore and Hopkinson Smith.

Program notes by Robert A. Margo

Directions to First Parish Church, Concord, MA

Arts in the Village

Saturday, April 29, 2006. 7:30 p.m.
Goff Hall
The Arts in the Village concert series is sponsored by the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society and is supported in part by a grant from the Rehoboth Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Goff Memorial Hall
124 Bay State Rd, Rehoboth, MA

$12 Adults, $10 Seniors, $5 Children & Students
Season Pass $50 Adults, $40 Seniors

Directions to the Goff Hall

Spring Fling

Friday, March 24, 2006.
7 :00 to 8:00pm
Holiday Inn
31 Hampshire Street
Mansfield, MA 02048

Directions to the Holiday Inn

Tamara Volskaya and Anatoliy Trofimov

On February 25, 2006 the Providence Mandolin Orchestra will be performing a free concert at the Providence Public Library with Tamara Volskaya and Anatoliy Trofimov at 2:00 p.m. This concert will feature the American premiere of Concerto for Plucked String Orchestra by Victor Kioulaphides.

Directions to the Providence Public Library