BAC Salon: Biber + Nancarrow
Mark Fewer, violin
James Kennerley, organ
Charles Weaver, theorbo and guitar
Daniel Swenberg, theorbo
Robert Willey, Yamaha Disklavier and synthesizer
Heinrich von Biber and Conlon Nancarrow were composers who took virtuosity to unprecedented heights. Biber experimented with differently tuned strings to expand the possibilities of the violin, while Nancarrow wrote for the mechanical “player piano,” as his compositions surpassed human performance capability.
This program juxtaposes Biber sonatas with a selection of Nancarrow Player Piano Studies.
Biber: Sonata Representativa
Nancarrow/Willey: Study for Player Piano No. 7
Biber: Sonata III (from 8 Sonatas published in 1681)
Nancarrow/Willey: Studies for Player Piano Nos. 2b, 6 and 21
Biber: Sonata V (from 8 Sonatas published in 1681)
BAC Salon: The Originals is a series of music by composers with uncompromising visions, performed by some of today's most respected musicians in an intimate salon setting.
Leadership support for music programming in 2017 provided by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation.
Known for his exceptional versatility, violinist Mark Fewer has toured worldwide in famous halls such as Wigmore, Carnegie, and Salle Pleyel, to smaller venues such as Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), Bartok House (Budapest) and The Forum (Taipei).
He is a regular member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players (DC), where he performs on their priceless collection of decorated Stradivaris, and with whom he has made several critically acclaimed recordings. Fewer was appointed William Dawson Scholar at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in September 2015, prior to which he was Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University, where he performed regularly as a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. He is a Juno and Prix Opus winner, a host of CBC’s This is My Music, and is the subject of an episode of People Uncut on the Biography Channel.
Hailed as “a great organist” displaying “phenomenal technique and sheer musicality” (Bloomberg News), James Kennerley is a multi-faceted musician, working as a conductor, keyboardist, singer, and composer. His performances are known for their illustrious flair and thrilling virtuosity, subtlety and finesse.
Mr. Kennerley recently made his Carnegie Hall solo début with the celebrated ensemble the Sejong Soloists. Performances this season include concerts at Alice Tully Hall, the Frick Collection, the feature holiday concert at the Metropolitan Museum’s MetLiveArts series, a West Coast tour, performances of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and a recording of Handel’s Messiah. He has also given concerts at Washington National Cathedral, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Princeton University, the Royal Albert Hall, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and other major venues throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Kennerley was a prizewinner at the 2008 Albert Schweitzer International Organ Competition, and a finalist at the inaugural (2013) Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition.
A recognized specialist in the realm of early music, he has collaborated with William Christie, Richard Egarr, Nicholas McGegan, Sir Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Monica Huggett, Julian Wachner, and Gary Thor Wedow. He has given solo harpsichord concerts throughout the United States and Europe to great acclaim. A member of NYC-based early music ensemble, Sonnambula, Mr. Kennerley recently recorded virtuosic works for harpsichord by sixteenth-century English composer John Bull to be released on Centaur Records.
A native of the United Kingdom, Mr. Kennerley is Organist and Choirmaster at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church, New York City, where he directs the professional choir and coordinates the church’s extensive concert series. He holds degrees from Cambridge University and The Juilliard School.
Lutenist Daniel Swenberg concentrates on Renaissance and baroque performance practices with special devotion to the role of basso-continuo playing and the instruments central to its practice: the theorbo/chitaronne, renaissance and baroque lutes, early guitars, and the gallizona/callichon.
He works regularly with ensembles: ARTEK, REBEL, Visceral Reaction, The New York Collegium, The Metropolitan Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Staatstheater Stuttgart, New York City Opera, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Stadtstheater Klagenfurt, Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, Les Violons du Roy, Piffaro, Spiritus Collective, Les Voix Baroques, Musica Pacifica, the Sejong Soloists, Les Voix Baroques, Apollo's Fire, and Lizzy and the Theorboys. He studied previously with Pat O'Brien at Mannes College of Music (New York City), receiving a Masters Degree in Historical Performance-Lute. Prior to his concentration on lutes, he studied Musicology at Washington University and received a B.M. in classical guitar from North Carolina School of the Arts.
Charles Weaver performs on early plucked-string instruments both as a recitalist and as an accompanist. Chamber music appearances include Early Music New York, Hesperus, Piffaro, Parthenia, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Folger Consort, TENET, ARTEK, Musica Pacifica, and Blue Heron.
He is on the faculty of the New York Continuo Collective, an ensemble of players and singers exploring the poetic and musical antecedents of opera in semester-length workshop productions. He has also taught at the Lute Society of America Summer Workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Western Wind Workshop in ensemble singing. He is also assistant director of the St. Mary's Student Scholar program in Norwalk, CT, teaching Gregorian chant and renaissance music theory to children.
Robert Willey grew up on the San Francisco peninsula, studied classical piano and performed with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, attended Stanford University, earned a bachelor’s degree in music from University of North Texas, a master’s in computer music, and a Ph.D. in theoretical studies from University of California San Diego.
A loan of a Disklavier and MIDI grand was arranged through Yamaha for two years, and a repertoire of music for interactive systems developed using Max and custom PC software. Willey worked for five years in a technology exchange program between UCSD, Stanford, and LIPM, a studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. He received a Fulbright grant to teach computer music performance and composition in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where he participated in the development of the Brazillian Computer Music Association. Willey analyzed the music of Antônio Carlos (Tom) Jobim, wrote a book on Brazilian piano styles, and is now synthesizing the piano studies of Conlon Nancarrow and producing original music.