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Hoffman, Gary

Picture: Hoffman, Gary

Vancouver (Canada), 1956. Gary Hoffman is one of the most prestigious cello players nowadays and combines his mastery of the instrument with a beautiful sound and poetic sensibility in his memorable and particular interpretations. He accomplished great fame for being the first U.S. player to win the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1986. He is frequently soloist with the most important orchestras worldwide. Gary Hoffman collaborates regularly with prestigious conductors such as André Prévin, Charles Dutoit, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Andrew Davis, Herbert Blomstedt, Kent Nagano, Jesús López Cobos and James Levine, to cite but a few. Gary Hoffman plays in chamber music series and recitals the world over as well as in prestigious festivals. He also plays frequently with the Emerson, Tokyo, Borromeo, Brentano and Ysaÿe String Quartets. He is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Has recently appeared at the Kennedy Center where he played Bach's Suites - that were a acclaimed by the Washington Post as "subliminal" - and he has also played with musicians such as Cho Liang Lin and Leon Fleisher, among others. He is regularly invited by the Kronberg Violoncello Academy. Gary Hoffman has premiered many concerts (Laurent Petitgirard, Joel Hoffman, Renaud Gagneux, Gil Shohat, Graciane Finzi...) and plays with orchestras in France, where he resides, and other European orchestras as well as others in America, Asia and South Africa. He premiered in France Elliott Carter's Concerto for cello with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. Participates in the summer festivals of Ravinia, Santa Fe, Bloomington, Lincoln Center, Kobé, Prades, etc. Gary Hoffman was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1956 and dedicates part of his time to teaching. He is the youngest musician ever nominated Professor of the Faculty of Music of the Indiana University where he stayed during eight years. He gives master classes around the world and has recorded for the BMG (RCA), Sony, EMI and Chant du Monde labels. Gary Hoffman plays a 1662 Nicolo Amati, the "ex-Leonard Rose" cello.

Biography

BRAHMS, Johannes

Picture: BRAHMS, Johannes

Hamburg, 1833 - Vienna, 1897. Brahms was born in Hamburg. His father, who gave him his first music lessons, was a double bassist. Brahms showed early promise on the piano and helped to supplement the rather meager family income by playing the piano in restaurants and theaters, as well as by teaching. Although it is a widely-told tale that Brahms had to play the piano in bars and brothels, recent research, for example that by Kurt Hoffman, suggest that this is probably false. For a time, he also learned the violoncello, although his progress was cut short when his teacher absconded with Brahms's instrument. The young Brahms gave a few public concerts, but did not become well known as a pianist (although in later life he gave the premieres of both his Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1859 and his Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1881). He also began to compose, but his efforts did not receive much attention until he went on a concert tour with Eduard Reményi in 1853. On this tour he met Joseph Joachim, Franz Liszt, and later was introduced to the great German composer Robert Schumann. Reményi was, however, offended by Brahms' failure to praise Liszt's 'Sonata in B minor' wholeheartedly on a visit to the Court of Weimar where Liszt was the court musician. Many of Brahms' friends cited that Reményi, being the polished courtier, had expected the younger Brahms to conform to common practice of politely applauding a celebrity's piece which Brahms either failed to do or did not appear to do so with condescending compliment. He told Brahms that their friendship must end although it was not clear as to whether Liszt felt offended or otherwise. Joachim, however was to become one of his closest friends, and Schumann, through articles championing the young Brahms, played an important role in alerting the public to the young man's compositions. Brahms also became acquainted with Schumann's wife, the composer and pianist Clara, 14 years his senior, with whom he carried on a lifelong, emotionally passionate, but always platonic relationship. Brahms never married. In 1862 he settled permanently in Vienna and began to concentrate fully on composing. With work such as the German Requiem, Brahms eventually established a strong reputation and came to be regarded in his own lifetime as one of the great composers. This may have given him the confidence finally to complete his first symphony; this appeared in 1876, after about ten years of work. The other three symphonies then followed in fairly rapid succession (1877, 1883, 1885). Brahms frequently traveled, both for business (concert tours) and pleasure. He often visited Italy in the springtime, and usually sought out a pleasant rural location in which to compose during the summer. In 1890, the 57-year-old Brahms resolved to give up composing. However, as it turned out, he was unable to abide by his decision, and in the years before his death he produced a number of acknowledged masterpieces, including the two clarinet sonatas Op. 120 (1894) and the Four Serious Songs (Vier ernste Gesänge) Op. 121 (1896). While completing the Op. 121 songs Brahms fell ill of cancer (sources differ on whether this was of the liver or pancreas). His condition gradually worsened and he died on April 3, 1897. Brahms is buried in the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna.

Biography

  • BRAHMS | Hoffman < Cello

    Sonata for cello and piano no. 2 in F major op 99

    III. Allegro passionato

    CLASS 4156: [O.V.: English]

    Content

    Part - 4' 54''
    Part - 28' 07''

DVORÁK, Antonin

Picture: DVORÁK, Antonin

Nelahozeves, 1841 - Prague, 1904. Dvorák was born in Nelahozeves near Prague where he spent most of his life. He studied music in Prague's Organ School at the end of the 1850s, and through the 1860s played viola in the Bohemian Provisional Theatre Orchestra which was from 1866 conducted by Bedøich Smetana. From 1892 to 1895, Dvoøák was director of the National Conservatory in New York City. The Conservatory was founded by a wealthy socialite, Jeannette Thurber, who wanted a well-known composer as director in order to lend prestige to her institution. She wrote to Dvorák, asking him to accept the position, and he agreed, providing that she were willing to meet his conditions: that talented Native American and African-American students, who could not afford the tuition, must be admitted for free. She agreed to his conditions, and he sailed to America. It was during his time as director of the Conservatory that Dvorák formed a friendship with Harry Burleigh, who became an important African-American composer. Dvorák taught Burleigh composition, and in return, Burleigh spent hours on end singing traditional American Spirituals to Dvorák. Burleigh went on to compose settings of these Spirituals which compare favorably with European classical composition. It was during his visit to the United States that he wrote his most popular work, the Symphony No.9 'From the New World'. Also while in the USA he heard a performance of a cello concerto by the composer Victor Herbert. He was so excited by the possibilities of the cello and orchestra combination displayed in this concerto that he wrote a cello concerto of his own, the Cello Concerto in B minor (1895). Since then the concerto he wrote has grown in popularity and today it is frequently performed. He also left an unfinished work, the Cello Concerto in A major (1865), which was completed and orchestrated by the German composer Günter Raphael between 1925 and 1929. Dvoøák was a colorful personality. In addition to music, there were two particular passions in his life: locomotive engines, and the breeding of pigeons. He eventually returned to Prague where he was director of the conservatoire from 1901 until his death in 1904.

Biography

  • DVORÁK | Hoffman < Cello

    Concerto for cello and orchestra in B minor op 104 (cello and piano reduction)

    I. Allegro

    CLASS 4159: [O.V.: English]

    Content

    Part - 55' 34''

GENERALITIES, GENERALITIES

Picture: GENERALITIES, GENERALITIES

Biography

SHOSTAKOVICH, Dmitry

Picture: SHOSTAKOVICH, Dmitry

St Petersburg, 1906 - Moscow, 1975. Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Leon Trotsky's chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the Stalinist bureaucracy. His music was officially denounced twice, in 1936 and 1948, and was periodically banned. Yet he also received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Despite the official controversy, his works were popular and well received. After a period influenced by Prokofiev and Stravinsky, Shostakovich developed a hybrid style, as exemplified by his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1934). This single work juxtaposed a wide variety of trends, including the neo-classical style (showing the influence of Stravinsky) and post-Romanticism (after Mahler). Sharp contrasts and elements of the grotesque characterize much of his music. Shostakovich's orchestral works include 15 symphonies and six concerti. His music for chamber ensembles includes 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two pieces for a string octet, and two piano trios. For the piano he composed two solo sonatas, an early set of preludes, and a later set of 24 preludes and fugues. Other works include two operas, and a substantial quantity of film music.

Biography

  • SHOSTAKOVICH | Hoffman < Cello

    Sonata for cello and piano in D minor op 40

    I. Allegro con brio

    CLASS 4160: [O.V.: English]

    Content

    Part - 8' 44''
    Part - 1' 45''
    Part - 6' 07''
  • SHOSTAKOVICH | Hoffman < Cello

    Sonata for cello and piano in D minor op 40

    III. Allegro assai vivace ma serioso

    CLASS 4160: [O.V.: English]

    Content

    Part - 4' 01''

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