Friday, January 22, 2021 at 8 pm
Download a copy of the program here.
Samantha Cho, piano
Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983)
Pastorale from L’Album des Six
Hommage à Debussy
Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
Images, Book I
Reflets dans l’eau
Hommage à Rameau
Images, Book II
Cloches à travers les feuilles
Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut
Edvard Grieg (1843–1907)
Piano Sonata in E minor, Op. 7
Alla Menuetto, ma poco più lento
Finale: Molto allegro
About the program
Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983) was a French composer, famously known as the only female member of Les Six. The group of six composers collaborated to write an album for solo piano L’Album des Six, and Pastorale is the last movement of the album. Tailleferre would continue writing character pieces throughout the rest of her life. Hommage à Debussy is about her dedication to the famous French composer Claude Debussy. She also excelled in writing more intimate works: Rêverie and Romance are written in a style reminiscent of salon music.
Claude Debussy (1862–1918) composed Images, Books I & II between the years 1901–1907. The imagery of each movement is colorful and evocative: ranging from the reflections of light on water, bells singing through shifting leaves, or a goldfish that wants to be set free. Debussy wrote in a letter after completing Book I: “Without false pride, I feel that these three pieces hold together well, and that they will find their place in the literature of the piano … to the left of Schumann, or to the right of Chopin…”
Edvard Grieg (1843–1907) composed his Piano Sonata in E minor in 1865 at the age of twenty-two. Although this sonata is filled with charm and vivacity, Grieg did not compose any more piano sonatas, choosing instead to write sonatas for other instruments: he wrote three sonatas for violin & piano and a sonata for cello. The piano sonata is distinct from the other sonatas by Grieg in that he used a special technique of imprinting his name: the opening melody of the 1st movement begins with E H G (H is the German name for note B). This is a very personal style of writing that was also used by other classical composers, most famously by J. S. Bach.
About the performer
Born in Los Angeles, pianist Samantha Cho is active professionally as a performer and educator. Her recent appearances include Seattle’s Classical King FM 98.1, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert in Chicago Cultural Center, San Francisco’s Noontime Concert Series, Los Angeles Harbor College, and more. Samantha has collaborated with members of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Houston Symphony, and she has also performed with Kenwood Symphony as winner of the 19th Annual Master’s Concerto & Aria Competition. Her performances have been broadcast on radio and television in Chicago, Seattle and Korea.
Samantha joined the piano faculty at Los Angeles Pierce College and Los Angeles Southwest College in 2019, and she has coached pre-college chamber music groups at San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 2016. Because of her passion for education, Samantha founded a blog Sam Loves Mozart where she introduces classical music to a broader audience.
Samantha received her Bachelor of Music at Northwestern University, Master of Music at Cleveland Institute of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts at University of Minnesota. Her childhood teacher, Robert Turner, was renowned as protegee of the Lhevinnes at the Juilliard School. She continued her studies with the following teachers: Paul Schenly, Kathryn Brown, Sylvia Wang, and Alexander Braginsky.