Experience great music with ORCMA as we present an inclusive and diverse range of orchestral, choral, and chamber music in its many forms. In March, the Cumberland Piano Trio performs music by Felix Mendelssohn and William Grant Still in a virtual concert. If you're not already an ORCMA email subscriber, sign up by sending your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cumberland Piano Trio
Karen Kartal, violin
Dan Allcott, cello
Emi Kagawa, piano
ORCMA's 2020 strategic plan immediately better serves our membership and better connects our association with our larger community. The plan also enables all ORCMA concerts to include music by underrepresented composers and arrangers, specifically women and people of color who have been marginalized in our industry.
Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, Op. 49 (1839) by Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)
I. Molto allegro ed agitato
II. Andante con moto tranquillo
“Mother and Child” for Cello and Piano (1943) by William Grant Still (1895–1978)
This recorded performance of the Cumberland Piano Trio is made possible with generous support from UT-Battelle/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Spectra Tech, Inc., the Tennessee Arts Commission, TN Specialty License Plates, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Chamber Music Series is supported by Bill Schwenterly, the Carlson Estate, and the Feldman Family in memory of Cyrus & Rose Feldman.
The Cumberland Piano Trio thanks the Clayton Performing Arts Center at Pellissippi State Technical Community College for facilities to record their performance.
About the Artists
The Cumberland Piano Trio performs regularly in middle and east Tennessee.
Violinist Karen Kartal recently replaced founding violinist Dr. Sue Eddlemon. Ms. Kartal has performed throughout the United States from Lincoln Center to Oregon, and in Italy, Taiwan, and Japan. Her extensive solo and orchestral experience includes concerto performances with the Oak Ridge Symphony, the Lake Charles Symphony, and the South Arkansas Symphony, full time positions with the Knoxville and Shreveport Symphonies, and concertmaster of the Lake Charles Symphony and Baton Rouge Opera. She has spent summers performing in Spoleto Italy, Round Top International, Chautauqua Institute, Britt Festival and Oregon Coast Music Festival. In 1991, her piano trio won first prize in the MTNA National Chamber Music Competition. A trained Suzuki teacher, Karen also has a busy teaching schedule. Before moving to Knoxville in 1998, Karen taught at McNeese State University in Louisiana. She is currently on the faculty at Pellissippi State College. Karen has been concertmaster of the Oak Ridge Symphony and first violinist of the Oak Ridge String Quartet since 2004. Cellist Dan Allcott, is Professor of Music at Tennessee Tech University where he teaches cello, conducts the university orchestra, and is Music Director of the Bryan Symphony. He is also Music Director of the Tennessee Philharmonic and the Oak Ridge Symphony. Previously Music Director of the Atlanta Ballet, Mr. Allcott is recognized for leading daring collaborations and for introducing audiences to off-the-beaten-path classical works. Pianist Emi Kagawa has performed throughout Japan, the United States, Canada, and Italy, and is a frequent performer on ORCMA’s Chamber Music Series as a founding member of the Cumberland Piano Trio. Dr. Kagawa is a past winner of the Juilliard School of Music’s Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and is currently Principal Keyboard of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and faculty member of St. Joseph’s University and Bryan College.
Program Notes by Lisa Muci Eckhoff
Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op. 49
Born in the independent Germanic city-state of Hamburg, Felix Mendelssohn was a well-known composer, keyboardist, and conductor in Western music’s early Romantic period. While much can be read about his family and his short, but productive musical life, you’ll want to put the program notes aside for any performance of his masterful Piano Trio in D minor, composed when he was only 30 years of age. It is perhaps one of his most recognizable chamber music compositions, for its energy, flair, melodic character, and brilliance of the piano part. Pure genius.
Program Notes by Mike Cates
William Grant Still (1895–1978) “Mother & Child” from Suite for Violin and Orchestra
Sometimes called "the Dean" of African-American composers, William Grant Still was the first American composer to have an opera produced by the New York City Opera. His first symphony, called the "Afro-American" is one of the best-known American symphonies. Still received three Guggenheim Fellowships in music composition (1934, 1935, 1938), his home in Los Angeles was designated a Historic-Cultural Monument, and he received nine honorary doctorate degrees, along with many other awards and accolades. He published about 40 works, including three symphonies, and many with an emphasis on the African American culture embedded in American history and tradition.
Completed in 1943 his Suite for Violin and Piano, later extended to orchestral accompaniment, was inspired by sculptures, with photograph shown above of Mother and Child by Sargent Johnson (1888–1967). The [Suite's] music unfolds in a variety of tempos, all dance-like, all with a blues twist to the melody, very much in the African American style that has transformed music around the world. The second movement “Mother and Child” can be described as plaintive, and is performed in this virtual concert in Still’s own arrangement for cello and piano.