SoM woodwind, brass, harp students to perform in final solo recital

School of Music students Ivo Shin de Souza, Josean Delgado and Jocelyn Zhang rehearse Sunday afternoon in Bellinger North for their recital at 7 p.m. tonight in Fletcher Music Hall. Jess Kszos/Staff Photographer

Zoe Kolenovsky
Staff writer

In the past week, Chautauquans have been exposed to the talents of the School of Music’s violin, opera, percussion, cello, bass and piano students through a series of concerts designed to showcase their individual artistic voices. 

The string of recitals will conclude as members of the Instrumental Program’s woodwind, brass, and harp sections perform at 7 p.m. tonight in Fletcher Music Hall.

The night will begin with a performance by Zibin Zhou, the Music Festival School Orchestra’s sole harpist. She will be playing Phil Young’s Suzhou River Fantasia for Harp, a piece she said became very special to her when she met the composer last May.

“I gave him a recording of my version of the piece, and so I was able to get feedback from him and learn his original intention,” Zhou said. “The final result is very beautiful, as you can see both Chinese and Western elements.”

This cultural combination is very important for Zhou, who finds that her harp repertoire contains mostly Western works.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to present this work to Chautauqua,” she said.

Zhou’s rendition of the work will be followed by a performance of three movements from French composer Jacques Casterede’s Flutes en Vacances. Flutists Jocelyn Zhang, Ivo Shin de Souza and Josean Delgado will work together on the piece.

Next on the setlist is Alexander Lake’s performance of Five Sacred Trees, composed in 1995 by John Williams. His bassoon will be accompanied by resident collaborative pianist Akiko Konishi.

Delgado and Shin de Souza will then return to perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s London Trio No. 3 in G Major. They will be joined onstage by Danny Sesi on bass to showcase the Austrian composer’s work.

Brian Stewart will follow in a performance of Robert Schumann’s Three Romances for Oboe and Piano, with collaborative pianist Shannon Hesse. 

“I started working on this piece a few years ago, then I put it away for a while,” he said. “This summer I wanted to brush off some of my old repertoire.”

Stewart said preparations for the performance were physically taxing, as making it through the full score requires significant stamina.

“It’s a pretty tiring piece to play,” he said. “Playing an instrument is a skill, and it waxes and wanes. There are points where you feel more confident, and I wanted to take advantage of that to play this piece while I still can.”

Shin de Souza and Delgado will then take the stage for a third and final time to perform Franz Doppler’s Duettino Sur Des Motifs Americains, Op. 37. They will be joined by Hesse on piano to close out the evening.

The students are excited for the chance to perform solo repertoire, as the rest of their summer is devoted to larger orchestra and chamber music shows.

“Rehearsing large ensembles is very different because each person is connected,” said Zhou. “When it’s a solo piece, you’re only onstage for a few minutes, and it requires a lot of practice. To be able to present your own view, you need a good attitude and a lot of mental control.”

Stewart echoed the sentiment, noting that the personal touch of the selected works gives the recital a more engaging quality.

“I feel like I have more autonomy in the solo recital,” he confirmed. “With the orchestra it’s often really great music, but it’s more special when you get to choose the pieces yourself.”


The author Zoe Kolenovsky