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Program for Robin Sutherland-celebrating a towering musical genius

Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 8 pm

download a copy of this program here.

Old First Concerts and the Ross McKee Foundation present
Robin Sutherland – celebrating a towering musical genius

Christopher Basso, Elizabeth Dorman,
Keisuke Nakagoshi & Marc Shapiro,

Jack Van Geem & Daniel Hallett, marimbas


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Partita in B-flat major, BWV 825
    Menuet 1
    Menuet 2
            Elizabeth Dorman, piano

Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
selections from Children Corner, L113
    V. The little shepherd
    IV. The snow is dancing

Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936)
Notturno from Sei Pezzi per pianoforte, P044
            Christopher Basso, piano

Leonard Bernstein & Roger Edens, arr. Marc Shapiro
Some Other Time
            Marc Shapiro, piano

William Bolcom (b. 1938)
Graceful Ghost Rag

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943), arr. Earl Wild
Dreams, Op. 38, No. 5
            Keisuke Nakagoshi, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54
    In tempo d’un menuetto (attacca)
            Christopher Basso, piano

Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. Daniel Hallett
Goldberg Variations Suite
    Variation 16
    Variation 5
    Variation 25
    Variation 7
    Aria arrangement
            Jack Van Geem and Daniel Hallett, marimbas

About the artists

Christopher Basso’s piano performances have been heralded as “riveting, with a multi-dimensional array of colors and shapes” (San Francisco Classical Voice) an “undeniably extraordinary” (Wilmington News Journal). The Boston Globe writes of his Prokofiev 8th Piano Sonata: “Basso used his coruscating virtuosity, his flexible rhythmic spine, and his chameleon colors to communicate the sorrow, the irony, the rage and the compassion of this great score.” His playing has also been described as thoughtful, expressive and above all, deeply moving and engaging.

Basso was named First Place Prizewinner in the Second International Van Cliburn Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Ft. Worth, Texas. National performance venues include recitals at The Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Rockport, Massachusetts, the Shandalee Music Festival in Livingston, New York, and The Nicolaï Hall Series in Mill Valley, California. Basso has performed in the Bay Area with local artists, including violinists Ian Swensen and Krista Bennion Feeney, violist Jodi Levitz, cellists Jennifer Culp and Jean-Michel Fonteneau, pianists Robin Sutherland and Keisuke Nakagoshi, and the Ives Quartet.

Christopher Basso received B.M. and M.M. degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His piano mentors are many, and include Paul Hersh, Mack McCray, Nina Svetlanova, David Brown, and Marcia Spitz. Basso teaches piano at San Francisco Community Music Center. As an educator, Basso imparts in his students — youngsters and adults alike — a lifelong appreciation for music, helping nurture creative examination and practice, while guiding in finding a standard for self-expression and personal fulfillment.

Praised by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle for her “elegance and verve,” pianist Elizabeth Dorman enjoys performing music both new and old as a soloist and chamber musician. A finalist of the 2018 Leipzig International Bach Competition, Elizabeth has been widely recognized as a leading performer for her inquisitive interpretations of Bach’s music on the modern piano.

Elizabeth has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Louisville Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Leipzig Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Symphony Parnassus, Folsom Lake Symphony, and as a soloist for interdisciplinary projects at New World Symphony. She has been presented as a soloist and chamber musician at venues including the Kennedy Center, Davies Symphony Hall, Herbst Theater, Merkin Hall, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Leipzig’s Hochschule für Musik, and her live solo performances have been nationally broadcast on NPR and public radio. She has appeared at festivals including Tanglewood, Britt, Sarasota, Aspen, Toronto Summer Music, Icicle Creek, and Banff Centre.

Working with the Bridge Arts Ensemble, Stony Brook University, and the Ross McKee Foundation, Elizabeth has produced concerts, lectures, and workshops for music students and was honored with the Father Merlet Award from Pro Musicis for her work training high school music students in community engagement.

A native of San Francisco, Elizabeth began her training in piano and double bass at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Paul Hersh and Stephen Tramontozzi. She was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University where she studied with Gilbert Kalish. Other important mentors in her musical development include Robert Levin, the Emerson String Quartet, Christina Dahl, Wu Han, Mark Sokol, Emmanuel Ax, and Arthur Haas.

Jack Van Geem served for 32 years as Principal Percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony, spent 38 years teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and nine at the Colburn School of Music. He is the author of five publications and featured on three solo CDs. He is a prominent wood worker in Mendocino for the last five years.

Daniel Hallett enjoys a multifaceted musical career that ranges from collaborations with contemporary composers to creating transcriptions of classical works. He is passionate about bringing unknown music to light and advancing the marimba as a serious musical instrument in the public eye.

Hallett began his studies at Berklee College of Music with marimba virtuoso Nancy Zeltsman. In his time at Berklee he collaborated with composer Phil Carlsen on the world premiere of Susurrus, a new solo marimba work, and a recording of the composer’s landmark marimba quartet Evening’s Sabres with three colleagues at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

In recent years, Hallett performed two works for solo marimba at the annual Hot Air Music Festival: Derek Tywoniuk’s Savino for marimba and tape, and Reflections on the Nature of Water by Jacob Druckman, commonly recognized as one of the masterworks for solo marimba. He was also invited by Jacob Nissly, Principal Percussionist at the San Francisco Symphony, to demonstrate Reflections for the Percussion Audition Committee at SFS in spring of 2020.

Upcoming projects include a recording and concert of the complete Goldberg Variations with professor Jack Van Geem; a chamber recital of works for violin and marimba with colleagues at SFCM; a collaboration with Bay Area composer Charles Boone on a new piece for marimba and glockenspiel; a solo recital replete with adaptations of works by Schubert, Debussy, Thomas, and Beethoven; and a lifelong goal to adapt Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas (yes, all 32 of them) for two marimbas.

Keisuke Nakagoshi began his piano studies at the age of ten, arriving in the United States from Japan at the age of 18. Mr. Nakagoshi earned his Bachelors degree in Composition and Masters degree in Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music., where he studied composition with David Conte and piano with Paul Hersh. Graduating as the recipient of multiple top awards, Keisuke was selected to represent the SFCM for the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project, a program featuring the most young musicians from major conservatories across the United States.

Mr. Nakagoshi has performed to acclaim on prestigious concert stages across the United States, including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. He has received training from some of the most celebrated musicians of our time – Emanuel Ax, Gilbert Kalish, Menahem Pressler, Robert Mann, Paul Hersh, David Zinman – and enjoys collaborating with other accomplished musicians such as Lucy Shelton, Ian Swensen, Jodi Levitz, Robin Sutherland, Lev Polyakin, Axel Strauss, Mark Kosower, Gary Schocker and also conductors such as Alasdair Neale, George Daugherty, Nicole Paiement, Michael Tilson Thomas and Herbert Blomstedt. In 2014, he made a solo debut with San Francisco Symphony on Ingvar Lidholm’s Poesis with Herbert Blomstedt conducting.

In 2009, Keisuke and Swiss pianist Eva-Maria Zimmermann formed ZOFO, a piano duet team commissioning and performing music for piano four hands and their first CD was nominated for Grammy award for best chamber music/small ensemble in 2013. Mr. Nakagoshi is currently Pianist-in-Residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and he serves as pianist in the production team for Opera Parallèle.

Marc Shapiro is an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony, principal keyboardist for both the California Symphony and Berkeley Symphony, and an active chamber music performer throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

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