concert for tolerance and humanity


concert for tolerance and humanity
September 30, 2014 * Linnéplatz 4
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
String Quartet No 12 (American String Quartet) in F major
Opus 96
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Lento
III. Molto vivace
IV. Finale: Vivace ma non troppo
Stephanie Oestreich – First Violin
Aniko Schmidt – Second Violin
Ana Moreno Martínez – Viola
Norbert Spoerk – Violoncello
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Today’s concert is part of the 13th Daniel Pearl World Music Days – a global network
of concerts that use the power of music to reaffirm our commitment to tolerance
and humanity. Since 2002, Daniel Pearl World Music Days has grown to include
the participation of more than 11,900 performances in 132 countries. The project
is inspired by the life and work of Jewish American journalist and musician Daniel
Pearl, who in 2002 was murdered by terrorists while investigating a story in Pakistan.
His friends and family decided to carry on Daniel’s work and promote cross-cultural
understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communication.
Das heutige Konzert ist Teil der 13. Daniel Pearl World Music Days – eines globalen
Konzertnetzwerks, das die Macht der Musik nützt, um unser Bekenntnis zu Toleranz und
Humanität zu bekräftigen. Seit der Gründung im Jahr 2002 fanden im Rahmen der Daniel
Pearl World Music Days mehr als 11900 Konzerte in 132 Ländern statt. Das Projekt ist
inspiriert von Leben und Arbeit des jüdisch-amerikanischen Journalisten und Musikers
Daniel Pearl, der im Jahr 2002 während Recherchen in Pakistan von Terroristen ermordet
wurde. Seine Freunde und Angehörigen beschlossen Daniels Arbeit fortzusetzen und
mittels Journalismus, Musik, und innovativer Kommunikationsformen interkulturelle
Verständigung zu fördern.
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Ana Moreno Martínez grew up in Spain and studied the viola with
Katarzyna Grenda at the Manuel Massotti Littel Higher Conservatory
of Music in Murcia, Spain. She participated in master classes with
Christian Euler, Viorel Tudor, Jesse Levin, Emile Cantor, Wolfgang
Klos and Georg Hamann and is a co-founder of the Arrau Murcia
X String Quartet, which won first prize at the X Francisco Salzillo
National Competition in 2011. Until 2012, when she moved to Vienna, Ana Moreno
Martínez taught viola at the Conservatory of Music in Murcia. She regularly performs
and records with various orchestras and chamber music groups and teaches viola.
Aniko Schmidt was born in Germany in 1986 and received her
first violin lessons at age five. She studied the violin with Prof. K.-G.
Deutsch of the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar and has
studied violin teaching at the University for Music und Performing
Arts Vienna and Orientalism at the University of Vienna since 2008.
Her teachers have included Prof. C. Altenburger, Prof. M. Frischenschlager and Prof. S. Kamilarov. Since 2012 Aniko Schmidt has been a student of Prof.
K. Weitz at the Prayner Conservatory for Music and Dramatic Arts. She attended master
classes with Prof. M. Frischenschlager, Prof. U. Danhofer, Prof. S. Kamilarov, Prof. K. Weitz,
Prof. I. Turban, and Prof. E. Haffner. For several years, Aniko Schmidt took part in the
international orchestra workshop “Junge Philharmonie Thüringen” with conductor
Hans Rotman and soloist Ivo Pogorelich, among others, as part of the art festival
Weimar “pélerinages” under the artistic leadership of Nike Wagner. Since 2010 she
has played with the Akademischer Orchesterverein in Wien conducted by Christian
Birnbaum, und at the annual summer orchestra course Junges Tonkünstler Orchester
Bayreuth with conductor Manfred Jung. Aniko Schmidt plays on a violin made by
David Christian Hopf in 1760.
Stephanie Oestreich has played the violin since age five and studied
with Reinhold Wolf, concert master of the German Opera Orchestra
Berlin, and Grigory Kalinovsky, assistant of Pinchas Zukerman in
New York. Her extensive orchestra experience includes concerts
with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. She has
also performed at the Salzburg Festival and at the Verbier Festival
in concerts and master classes and in ensembles with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra New York, the German Opera
Orchestra Berlin, the Mozarteum Salzburg, the Opera Graz, and the Essen Philharmonic
Orchestra. She plays a violin made by Nicola Gagliano in 1727.
Stephanie Oestreich conducted the research for her PhD in biochemistry in the laboratory of a Nobel Prize winner at Harvard Medical School. With a McCloy Scholarship
from the National German Merit Foundation, she concurrently earned a MPA from the
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Stephanie Oestreich
joined Novartis in 2003 and currently works in Vienna, Austria.
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Norbert Spoerk studied Mechanical Engineering at Montan Universität Leoben and holds a PhD from the Technische Universität
Wien. He works for Siemens Austria in the area of Urban Transport.
Since age seven, he has studied with Hans Ujj from the Grazer
Philharmonisches Orchester at the music school in Bruck an der
Mur. Playing the cello is a welcome contrast to Norbert Spoerk’s
technical profession. He also plays with the Akademischer Orchesterverein in Wien as
well as in a cello quartet.
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n 1891, Jeannette Thurber, a wealthy patron trying to create not just a new
American music school but, more broadly, a new American school of music,
invited Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, one of the greatest composers of the
day, to the United States. Dvořák’ was invited to spend three years in the United States
teaching at her National Conservatory of Music of America in New York, where he was
to divide his attention between his duties as musical director of the conservatory;
preparing students for concerts; giving instruction in composition and instrumentation
to the most talented pupils; and composing. The summer months he was free to spend
in Spillville, Iowa, a vibrant Czech community of immigrants where he could speak his
native language and feel somewhat at home. The folk tunes he heard in Spillville were
to inform Dvořák’’s music as did the spirituals that he was introduced to by his AfricanAmerican students at the National Conservatory of Music of America.
Dvořák’ accepted the National Conservatory of Music of America’s offer and indeed
succeeded in creating a bridge between the music of the “Old World” and the “New
World” as is epitomized in his Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” among others.
The poignant second movement offers a tearful central theme, first heard in the first
violin, though soon reappearing in the cello. The movement’s central section is more
impassioned than its opening, though it closes gently, much as it had begun.
For the third movement scherzo, Dvořák opted for light and danceable dotted rhythms,
as reminiscent of his own Bohemian folk music as that of the United States. Here the
usual contrasting theme of the central section is instead a slower, more-reflective
treatment of the first scherzo theme.
Dvořák’s final movement is lively and exuberant, especially for the first violin. For contrast,
there is an almost hymn-like tune that appears midway through the movement.
However, Dvořák brings the movement full circle with a resumption of the exuberant
theme from its opening section, and the work concludes with energy.
Antonín Dvořák’s notion of bridging gaps between cultures through music is one that
is also at the heart of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days.
String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Opus 96, also called the American String Quartet,
written during the composer’s residency in the United States, premiered on January
1, 1894, in Boston, Massachusetts. Dvořák began the piece in Spillville in early June
1893, only three days after his arrival in Iowa, and finished it before the month was
out. Although he quotes no actual American melodies, in his American String Quartet
Dvořák set out to capture the spirit of American music in his work’s melodic flow and
harmonic construction.
The sonata-form first movement opens with violin trills and a lyrical viola solo, which
soon reappears in the violin. At one time or another, each member of the ensemble is
granted time in the spotlight. The two main melodies draw on pentatonic (five note
per octave) scales, which are often found in American folk music, though they also are
found in the music of other lands.
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327 East 17th Street, New York City, where the Dvořák’s lived in 1892-95
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