RUTLAND HERALD

RUTLAND HERALD

Friends open Manchester Music Festival

by Jim Lowe

They played like they had known each other for decades, opening Manchester Music Festival’s 2017 season Thursday at the Southern Vermont Art Center — perhaps because they had.

Pianist Adam Neiman, the festival’s new artistic director, and his excellent colleagues — violinist Stefan Milenkovich, violist Che-Yen (Brian) Chen and cellist Bion Tsang — proved their mettle in a brilliantly rhapsodic performance of Richard Strauss’s youthful Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 13.

Their sheer joy and deeply personal sense of ensemble, to say nothing of virtuosity, resulted in a performance of this not-quite-a-masterpiece that was both exciting and sheer pleasure.

Tsang’s cello was not only expressive, but provided the bedrock.

Neiman is an able pianist, and he played with power and clarity, and a convincing musical sense throughout. Violinist Milenkovich’s understated expressiveness drew the listener in, while Chen’s overt viola expressiveness brought out the inner lines. And Tsang’s cello was not only expressive, but provided the bedrock. Most importantly, the four played together with a collegial comfort that allowed them to share the work’s unfettered passion and joy. In particular, the slow movement, Andante, was richly exquisite. The four applied these same qualities to one of the great masterpieces of the repertoire, Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, K. 493. Although some unwarranted rhythmic freedom and flourishes (“ornaments”) by Neiman proved distracting, the playing was virtuosic and expressive, yet respectful of Classical era strictures. In short, it was elegant and at the same time muscular — a compelling performance.

The program opened with Beethoven’s String Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3, a precursor to his great string quartets. This is delightful music and these three delighted in its intimacy. The playing not only combined — as Beethoven does — muscularity and lyricism, it proved simply a pleasure.

Read the full review...

Turina Encore

Turina Encore

Bion Tsang is back on American Public Media's Performance Today. Heard today during Hour 2 of the broadcast, and for the second time this spring, is Bion's performance of the Turina Trio No. 2 in B minor for Violin, Cello, and Piano with violinist Scott Yoo and pianist John Novacek. The performance will also be featured on the Performance Today Weekend show this Saturday, April 29. The live recording was made at Festival Mozaic on February 22, 2015.

APM's Performance Today is America's most popular classical music radio program and a winner of the 2014 Gabriel Award for artistic achievement. The show is broadcast on over 280 public radio stations across the country, and reaches approximately 1.2 million listeners each week. To find out where and when Performance Today is broadcast in your area, visit performancetoday.publicradio.org.

More info...

KMFA Special Interview

KMFA Special Interview

As a preview to a one-night-only pop-up concert tonight in the Atrium of Austin City Hall to celebrates 15 years of music-making in Austin, Bion Tsang stopped by the KMFA studios to talk with host Chris Johnson about his new recording THE BLUE ROCK SESSIONS and to share some of the inspiration behind it.

Hear the entire interview at www.KMFA.org.

Schubert Encore

Schubert Encore

Bion Tsang is back on American Public Media's Performance Today. Heard today during the first hour of the broadcast is Bion's performance of Franz Schubert's "Adagio and Rondo Concertante," D. 487, for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello with pianist Inon Barnotan, violinist Alexander Velinzon and violist Michael Klotz. The recording was made from a concert in Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall in Seattle on July 23, 2014.

APM's Performance Today is America's most popular classical music radio program and a winner of the 2014 Gabriel Award for artistic achievement. The show is broadcast on over 280 public radio stations across the country, and reaches approximately 1.2 million listeners each week. To find out where and when Performance Today is broadcast in your area, visit performancetoday.publicradio.org.

More info...