Violinist Itamar Zorman performs with UGA School of Music faculty

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Award-winning violinist Itamar Zorman comes to the Hugh Hodgson School of Music for a special performance with a faculty ensemble in Ramsey Concert Hall on Thursday, October 13, at 8 p.m.

Joined by Michael Heald, associate professor of violin, Maggie Snyder, associate professor of viola, David Starkweather, professor of cello, and Liza Stepanova, assistant professor of piano, Zorman will perform works from Antonín Dvořák, Henry Purcell and Maurice Ravel.

The admission-free recital is a particular highlight for Zorman—who is married to Stepanova—after moving to Georgia nearly one year ago.

“When Liza and I came to Athens a year ago, we were very warmly greeted by Liza's new colleagues at the school,” said Zorman. “For the past year, I have attended many concerts at the school and have been continuously impressed by the virtuosity, energy and creativity of the music-making. 

“It is a great pleasure to now join the faculty on stage, and the three pieces offer the opportunity to engage in musical dialogues in different instrumental combinations and styles."

The program opens with Purcell’s Sonata No. 9 or “Golden Sonata.” Purcell is noted for his songs and contributions to opera, but his trio sonatas for two violins and basso continuo earned significant recognition as well, thus the golden nickname. Stepanova described this sonata as combining “joyful inventiveness with deep feeling.”

“[Purcell] is very concise in this sonata, but there is no lacking in nuance and substance,” said Heald. “There is wonderful interplay between the four parts in true chamber music fashion.”

Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello follows, a piece added to the program after Zorman and Starkweather discovered their shared affinity for and experience with the work

“It is late Ravel, in a style that is tonal but with strident dissonances and with the rhythmic integrity that is central in Ravel’s music,” said Starkweather. “Pizzicato (plucking the string) is used frequently, and often with immediate and challenging changes from and to arco (use of the bow).”

The recital closes with Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, a renowned piece from the Czech composer that offers each musician some time in the spotlight.

“This deservedly famous piano quintet has an abundance of wonderful melodies,” said Zorman. “Every one of the five musicians gets a moment to shine in beautiful solos. Oftentimes, Dvořák begins phrases in major and ends them in minor, which creates a uniquely bitter-sweet, nostalgic atmosphere."

The recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust award, Zorman was also joint winner of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition. He has appeared with dozens of symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles in venues around the world, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

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.