Cellist Alan Weinstein and Pianist Tracy Cowden Perform at Sunday Recital

February 8, 2012

Mary Baldwin University is pleased to present cellist Alan Weinstein and pianist Tracy Cowden at the next Sunday Recital, February 12 at 3 p.m. in Francis Auditorium. The program, a wonderful mix of familiar and new, includes Beethoven’s appealing Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, Op. 102, No.1 and the passionate sonata for cello and piano of Rachmaninoff. The duo will also treat the audience to a world premier of a new work, Sonata Romantica for Cello and Piano, by Virginia composer Kent Holliday.

Kent Holliday, an award-winning composer on the faculty of Virginia Tech, composed Sonata Romantica for Alan Weinstein in 2011. Holliday describes the work as “a tonal composition, incorporating many elements of romanticism such as extremes of range and dynamics, virtuosic solo passages, and fluctuating major-minor modes in the harmonic structure.” The work’s three movements (Allegro Maestoso, Andante Cantabile, and Agitato) are largely traditional in form and promise to keep listeners in rapt attention with a wide variety of moods, melodies, and rhythms (including a quasi-tango rhythm in the second movement).

Alan Weinstein, a founding member of the Kandinsky Trio, is on the faculty of Virginia Tech. He has performed throughout North America and Europe in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, Spivey Hall, and the Kennedy Center. In addition, he has appeared in television and radio broadcasts throughout the United States and Canada and has recorded for Arabesque Records and the Brioso labels. Weinstein’s dedication to new music has led him to premiere numerous compositions.

Tracy Cowden is also on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is associate professor of piano and vocal coach. Audiences in our area will recognize her from her many performances at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and as the pianist for the Roanoke Symphony. In demand as a collaborative pianist, she frequently performs with a diverse array of soloists and chamber ensembles, including recent concerts with soprano Elizabeth Futral, tenor Paul Sperry, and oboist Joseph Robinson. Also active as a clinician and lecturer, she has presented master classes and workshops on topics related to collaborative music-making and creative programming at national and international conferences. Most recently, she presented a workshop on cross-disciplinary concert models at the College Music Society International Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia. She has received three Faculty Research Awards from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech to pursue creative programming ideas.