By Michael Johns
The fifth and final concert of USCB Chamber Music’s 42nd season will take place on Sunday, April 10 at 5:00pm. It will satisfy every musical urge from classical style through blues and jazz, sedate introspection through ecstatic letting-go, and time-tested masterworks paired with a brand-new-not-to- be-missed creation. New artists will display their cutting-edge performance skills alongside two formidable returning collaborators. The first among many highlights will be the world premiere of a work commissioned by Walda Wildman of Columbia.
USCB Chamber Music is honored to present composer Jeremy Turner’s Six-Mile House, for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano. Mr. Turner studied cello at The Juilliard School and at age 21 prior to his graduation became the youngest member ever to join the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. A man with a creative mind, wide-ranging talents and high energy, he left the orchestral-performance world to concentrate on composition, orchestration and conducting and has steadily risen to the top of the crowded film, television, and concert field. Accepting USCB Chamber Music’s commission, Mr. Turner chose a lurid Charlestonian tale as his inspiration, a perfect narrative for a colorful, evocative, engaging, and theatrical musical creation.
During the early 1800s, Lavinia and John Fisher operated the Six Mile Wayfarer House, an inn located six miles north of Charleston, and were convicted of murdering numerous unattached male guests although no bodies were ever found. Lavinia has the distinction of being called the first female serial killer in the US. Six-Mile House has four movements or episodes: “Wayfarer’s Tea” “The Bed” “Old City Jail” and “Gallows Leap.” Each refers to a specific act of treachery, incarceration or demise. The innovative and diverse approach Mr. Turner has brought to multiple projects for Disney+, HBO, Netflix, and Hulu should ensure a vivid and unforgettable musical experience.
The evening’s program begins with a composition by the late nineteenth-century English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. He began his musical training at age five, enrolled at the Royal College of Music at age fifteen and became a respected colleague of London’s premiere artists. Written in the traditional tonal and melodic language of the late Romantic era, African Dances for Violin and Piano exploits both the violin’s lyrical and virtuosic qualities.
Following Six-Mile House and intermission there are two dance-music sets
arranged for clarinet and piano. Both unleash finger-snappin’ energy and ear-worming melodies. The first, Vals Venezolana y Contradanza, is by Cuban composer Paquito d’Rivera; the second is home-grown American: Three Preludes by George Gershwin. A major work of the piano, violin, cello trio repertoire concludes the concert: Johannes Brahms’ Trio No. 3 in C minor, Opus 101. This is a tightly coiled, tense, nervous, and compact composition. With it Brahms brought the piano-trio genre, in its classical-romantic, nineteenth-century form, to its ultimate perfection.
Violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti is the Director of the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, GA. Her musical career has demonstrated high accomplishment and broad versatility, including multiple concertmaster positions, solo recitals, and chamber music performances. Amy is a welcome returning presence to the series and has always provided keen musical intellect and a collaborative mindset while displaying a soloist’s command of the violin. Clarinetist Igor Begelman’s virtuosity and imagination has been praised by critics as a “remarkable display of music-making” and earned him an impressive list of awards, engagements, and honors. Mr. Begelman is equally accomplished as a soloist and chamber musician, appearing with major orchestras and music festivals in the US and abroad.
Cellist Raphael Bell enjoys a varied career as a principal cellist, chamber
musician, teacher and festival director. Currently principal cello of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in Belgium, Mr. Bell is a graduate of The Juilliard School where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro (as was composer Jeremy Turner), and has performed with the Munich Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
This concert closes the first season led by Artistic Director, Host, and Resident Pianist Andrew Armstrong. Seventeen composers have been represented, providing a stimulating mix of the familiar, the less familiar, and the brand new. He has also demonstrated unflappable equanimity in the face of pandemic-caused cancellations and a personal commitment to Lowcountry audiences. While on a recent tour, he tore his Achilles tendon. Although in a boot, he will be ready for the show to go on and hopes you will be also.
There are multiple ways to enjoy the concert—In-Person, Live-Stream and On-Demand. All concert videography is professionally produced: you will feel as if you are onstage with the performers. Live-stream is available at 5:00pm on the tenth, and on-demand is accessible four-five days after the concert for three weeks to all ticket holders. For concert information, including pandemic precautions, or to purchase tickets, either live or virtual, go to http://www.uscbchambermusic.com or call 843-208-8246, Monday through Friday. Located at 805 Carteret Street, the doors of the USCB Center for the Arts will open at 4:15, April 10th.