San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Program for Clara and Marie Becker

Friday, May 13, 2022 at 8 pm

download a copy of this program here.

Clara & Marie Becker, piano four-hands

Program

Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
Fantasy in F minor

Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)
Andante & Allegro brillant, Op. 92

Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)
Slavonic Dances, Op. 72
      No. 2
No. 1

Bedřich Smetana
Vlatava (Moldau) from My Country

About the music

This recital invites you to come on a trip through Europe that is going to let you discover some of the most important works written in the romantic era.

Franz Schubert did not only compose the well-known Fantasy for piano four-hands. We could listen to seven concerts with music written by him for this genre. During this time most composers dedicated themselves to composing or arranging works for two pianists.

Also Bedřich Smetana reworked his widely appreciated orchestral work My Country and arranged it for piano four hands to make this music accessible to a larger audience.

During this musical travel we will furthermore encounter music by another important Czech composer: Antonín Dvořák. Interestingly enough he first composed the Slavonic Dances for piano four-hands and orchestrated them later.

Felix Mendelssohn’s highly gifted sister Fanny was the ideal partner to make music together. Although he did not write many works for this genre his virtuoso Andante & Allegro brillant is a veritable jewel.

About the musicians

Being born into a musical family, Clara and Marie Becker’s talent and special interest in the piano was recognized and encouraged early.

Their recent interpretation of Oliver Messiaen’s Visions l’Amen at the Festival Neue Musik in Rockenhausen, Germany, brought them wide reaching recognition and acclaim.

Highlights from last season were appearances on German TV (SWR), and they were featured in an article in the June 2020 edition of BBC Music Magazine with their recital in Lecce, Italy at the Festival ClassicheFORME.

The twins are dedicatees of the newly composed Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra by Mathias Christian Kosel. Their close collaboration with the composer represents a significant achievement in their work to date. A short behind-the-scenes documentary about this project is available in German.

In September 2019, the young piano duo performed in the United States for the first time (New York City). In addition to recitals and concerts with orchestras in Germany and abroad (Italy, France, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Israel, and Russia to name a few), the sisters regularly receive invitations to festivals such as Musikfest der Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany, Festival Pianoscope in Beauvais, France, and International Piano Fest Subotica in Serbia.

In 2016 Clara and Marie were guests at Carrefour de l’Odéon performing Dialog, a piece written especially for them by Birgitta Lutz. This performance was broadcast live from Paris on Radio France (Katia, Marielle Labèque & friends).

The young pianist’s multifaceted repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary for either one or two pianos and they hope to encourage new compositions for this genre.

They broaden their horizons by taking Master Classes with internationally acclaimed artists like piano duo Hans-Peter & Volker Stenzl as well as Jean-François Heisser and Jean-Frédéric Neuburger.

For the second year in a row, the twins were awarded a scholarship for Tel Hai International Master Classes (Tel Aviv), where they worked with Tami Kanazawa & Yuval Admony. This summer they were laureates of the prestigious Académie Ravel (St-Jean-de-Luz, France).

Clara and Marie studied with Bruno Canino in Florence, and regularly work with Isabelle and Florence Lafitte in Paris.

Since beginning of the year the twins commit themselves to the new chamber music series MUSIKEN in their home city Kirchheimbolanden inviting and bringing together emerging and acclaimed musicians from all around the world.

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:

ushering

distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact curtishuth@oldfirstconcerts.org for more information.