January 14, 2014

Frederica von Stade Joins Trio Ariadne for Farewell Concert


Concluding their two years as Weill Hall Artists-in-Residence, the Carnegie Hall-trained Trio Ariadne present a farewell concert with special guests, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and the Argento Chamber Ensemble. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on March 29 in Weill Hall.

Recognized as one of the most beloved figures of our time, von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert and recital. On March 29, she performs Mahler’s epic Songs of a Wayfarer in a new orchestration by Argento Chamber Ensemble Director Michel Galante.The program also includes works by Giacinto Scelsi, Robert Schumann, Aldo Clementi and Gyorgy Ligeti.

The Trio can also be heard in Schroeder Hall on February 1 in a cello-piano recital and on a March 1 performance of Pierrot Lunaire as part of the Green Music Center’s Sundays at Schroeder series.

Schroeder and Weill halls are located at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center, near the intersection of Rohnert Park Expressway and Petaluma Hill Road.  






A CELEBRATION OF SOLOISTS with Frederica von Stade and Trio Ariadne

GIACINTO SCELSI – Kya, for solo clarinet and ensemble
Soloist: Carol McGonnell

ROBERT SCHUMANN - D-minor piano concerto fragment (6 minutes)
Soloist: Elizabeth Joy Roe

ALDO CLEMENTI - Concerto, for solo piano and ensemble (15 minutes)
Soloist: Elizabeth Joy Roe

MICHEL GALANTE - Megalomania, for solo piano (8 minutes)
Soloist: Philip Fisher


GYÖRGY LIGETI - Cello Concerto (12 minutes)
Soloist: Sæunn Thorsteinsdöttir

GUSTAV MAHLER (arr. A. Schönberg) - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) (16 minutes)
Soloist: Federica von Stade


Argento performs works by composers who explore the rich and varied relationship between a soloist and an ensemble. The featured soloists of the concert include all three members of the Ariadne Trio and world-renowned soprano Frederica von Stade.


Ligeti begins by playing one note for over a minute and a half. Beginning on the cello, the purpose of this opening is to create music, not by changing the pitch of the note, but by changing its timbre or sound. Listen as instruments blend in and out of the “melody”, constantly changing the single note’s sound. Note for example the introductions of the flute, horn, clarinet and trumpet, which all fade in and out, prior to the first change of note. In a way, the orchestra and cello are equal partners, who refuse as is traditional, to struggle with each other. In contrast to all the other pieces on the program, which feature virtuoso acrobatics or dramatic content, Ligeti’s Cello Concerto is like a dream in which, only after waking up do you realize that it was a concerto.


In 1839 Robert Schumann wrote a 2 piano score to an ultra-concise first movement to a piano concerto in d-minor. While the concerto as a whole was never completed, the first movement was completed in form (not in orchestration.) This movement is concentrated to an alarming degree, and is this may be one of the reasons why it has been performed only a handful of times. But to modern ears that have absorbed various styles of aphoristic music, this is an extremely exciting and unforgettable discovery.


Giacinto Scelsi is famous for his Quattro Pezzi su una nota sola, four pieces for large orchestra, each of which consist of a single note. In Kya, he explores combinations of timbre and color in such a way that the clarinet soloist weaves in and out of the fabric of the ensemble, sometimes perceptibly, and often imperceptibly.


Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen ('Songs of a Wayfarer') is a song cycle by Gustav Mahler on his own texts. The cycle of four Lieder for low voice (often performed by women as well as men) was written around 1884–85 in the wake of Mahler's unhappy love for soprano Johanna Richter, whom he met while conductor of the opera house in Kassel, Germany, and orchestrated and revised in the 1890s.  Later Mahler’s Protégé Arnold Schoenberg scored the work for two wind instruments, piano, percussion, and string quintet. Argento performs a new orchestration of the Wayfarer songs for fifteen players by Michel Galante.

—Notes by Carol McGonnell


Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. The mezzo-soprano is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television including several PBS specials and "Live from Lincoln Center" telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Miss von Stade was awarded France's highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.



The Argento Chamber Ensemble is the performance arm of the Argento New Music Project. The ensemble performs compositions that embody pressing musical concerns in Western music. Consisting of nine core members, the ensemble regularly expands to perform and record chamber orchestra works of up to 30 musicians. They have toured widely in the US and abroad, in festivals including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the International Festival of Spectral Music/ Istanbul, the American Festival of Microtonal Music, the Sounds French Festival, the Kilkenny Arts Festival/ Ireland, and Shanghai´s International Festival of Electroacoustic Music. Argento has worked closely with leading composers such as Pierre Boulez, Tania Leon, Tristan Murail, Elliott Carter, Philippe Hurel, Gerard Pésson, Joshua Fineberg, and Philippe Leroux.

Trio Ariadne, an ensemble comprised of clarinet, cello and piano, is beginning a year long residency at Sonoma State University, serving the campus and wider community as the first Weill Hall Artists-in-Residence. Trio Ariadne members are Carol McGonnell, clarinet, Sæunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello, and Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano.

Dublin-born clarinetist Carol McGonnell has served as artistic director for ambitious projects like the "Music for Museums" series (a collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland, the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA, the Gardner Museum in Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York) and the “New Music, New lreland" series (in association with the Irish Centre for Contemporary Music). She is a founding member of the cutting-edge Argento Ensemble, and she has also performed with the Zankel Band, Ensemble Modern, Santa Fe Chamber Music, and musicians from Marlboro. Her teaching credentials include faculty positions at the French American Academy at Fontainebleau, the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School, and auxiliary faculty at Juilliard's college division.

Cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdöttir is a native of Reykjavik, Iceland. She is a seasoned chamber musician who has spearheaded successful residencies for the Vid DjúpidMusic Festival in her home country, collaborated withItzhak Perlman and Mitsuko Uchida, and performed at the prestigious festivals of Prussia Cove and Marlboro. A laureate of the Naumburg International Violoncello Competition and a graduate of The Juilliard School, she has been featured on National Public Radio, Icelandic NationalRadio, and PBS. She currently coaches chamber music at Mannes College and is pursuing her doctorate at Stony Brook University.

Korean-American pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe hails from Chicago. She is a Steinway Artist, Soros Fellow, recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Classics, and editor for Alfred Music Publishing. Her multifaceted career includes a Lincoln Center solo recital debut, a US Embassysponsored artistic residency in Argentina, presentations at the EG Conference and other leadership symposia, and broadcasts on American Public Media, National Public Radio, and the Korean Broadcasting System. Her innovative endeavors as a duo pianist have attracted great attention: the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, reached the top of the Billboard Classical Chart, and amassed millions of views on You Tube. She recently completed a two-yearVisiting Artist fellowship at Smith College, and she holds degrees from The Juilliard School.





Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicist
Program Book Consultant, Green Music Center
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928