Spring’s last Faculty Series recital highlights Russian composers

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The final Hugh Hodgson Faculty Series recital of the season brings Shakhida Azimkhodjaeva, violin faculty at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music, to the Ramsey Concert Hall stage on Thursday, March 24, at 8 p.m.

Accompanied by fellow School of Music faculty member Evgeny Rivkin, professor of piano, Azimkhodjaeva will perform works from a number of 19th and 20th century Russian composers.

The program begins with two sonatas, both composed early in their respective composer’s careers. Mikhail Glinka’s Sonata for Viola and Piano was first published in 1932, but its roots go back almost a century and highlight a raw talent.

“He composed the first movement, Allegro moderato, in 1825, while living in St. Petersburg,” said Azimkhodjaeva. “He was, at this point in his life, only moderately trained in the arts of music, though passionately devoted to them.”

Karen Khachaturian’s Violin Sonata was written in 1947, when the composer was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, and became an instant success. It would come to be performed by many great violinists, including David Oistrakh, Leonid Kogan and Jascha Heifetz.

“One can realize the reason for success: the innate natural musicality, an outstanding sense of proportions and quite fresh, though not so sharply innovative, musical language,” said Azimkhodjaeva.

Perhaps the most well-known of the recital’s composers, Dmitri Shostakovich and his Sonata for Violin and Piano bring the program to 1968. This sonata was actually dedicated to the aforementioned Oistrakh, a frequent collaborator with Shostakovich, on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

Rodion Shchedrin’s “In the Style of Albeniz,” written in the 1950s, rounds out the program. The version performed by Azimkhodjaeva and Rivkin was arranged for violin and piano by Dmitri Tsyganov, Russian violinist and professor of the Moscow Conservatory, in 1973.

Azimkhodjaeva describes the piece as a “Spanish-flavored morsel... with theatrical, offbeat accents, contrasts of dynamics and tempos, scalar runs and mordent ornaments.”

Tickets are $10 each or $5 with a UGA student ID and are available at pac.uga.edu, 706-542-4400 or by visiting the Performing Arts Center box office.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing or learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.