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The Eusebius Duo – April 17, 2015

Johannes Brahms Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 100Charles Ives Second Sonata for Violin and PianoAaron Copland Nocturne and Ukelele SerenadeAllan Crossman Florébius World PremierePraised for their “musical zeal” and “sensitive and ingenious” interpretations, Monika Gruber and Hillary Nordwell present a program with ties to both of their homelands in this German-American mix. As the Eusebius Duo, they took first prize in the 2006 CMFONE International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, resulting in a performance at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall, New York). They perform regularly at San Franciscos Noontime Concerts, Old First Concerts, and 405 Shrader, among many other Bay Area venues. Concert tours have brought them to Washington State, where they were featured on KONP Radios ‘Art Beat,’ as well as Germany, where a reviewer commented on their “quick-tempered displays of strength [which] paired themselves with irresistibly melting tone.” The duos mutual love for the life and music of Robert Schumann brought them together under the name “Eusebius,” one of the two pseudonyms Schumann used in his writings for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. This love for Schumann and his contemporaries also inspired their most recent collaboration with composer Allan Crossman, in bringing his Florébius (the title a combination of Schumanns pen names, Florestan and Eusebius) to its World Premiere alongside one of the best-known pieces of German Romantic literature, the Brahms Sonata in A major. Paired with Crossman and Brahms will be two pillars of American composition, Aaron Copland and Charles Ives. Copland’s alluring yet peaceful Nocturne and rousing Ukulele Serenade were first performed in 1926 Paris at a concert organized by Nadia Boulanger, intended to introduce the music of several young American composers to the European musical community. The Ives Sonata is a grand work with juxtaposed moments of reverence and winsome playfulness, incorporating quotes from hymns, folk songs, and his own Ragtime Dances—everything from Turkey in the Straw to Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. For more information, please visit eusebiusduo.org.

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