On Sunday, April 22nd at 7:00 p.m., St John’s resident orchestra, the Providence Chamber Orchestra, presents its spring concert. Tom Snyder, Director of Music at St. John’s, serves as conductor of the ensemble. The 35-member group was founded in 1999 to meet the musical needs and aspirations of its members, a group of talented, amateur musicians from the greater Philadelphia area, all of whom share a common passion for playing music.
This year’s concert is dedicated to the music of Franz Joseph Haydn. It begins with his Overture to Il Ritorno Di Tobia, his first oratorio, composed in 1775. Successive oratorios The Creation and The Seasons are better known. It is followed by his Cello Concerto in C and features Danish born cellist Steve Kramer. Since immigrating to the United States of America in 2010 and being sponsored in 2016 for his extraordinary abilities as a musician, the enchanting and dexterous cellist, Steve Kramer, has proven to be one of the most prominent and colorful musicians of today, ascending into classical music’s highest class of performance and musical education. His silvery, singing tone, perspicacious intelligence, musical inquisitiveness and charismatic personality have led him to build memorable bridges to his audience while exploring versatile repertoire from the four corners of the world. His childhood experience studying the art of chamber music with Yehudi Menuhin and Peter Norris has most certainly contributed a significant element to his enlightening style and the invigorating and very expressive musical individuality that distinguishes his playing and teaching.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Steve Kramer started playing the violin at the age of three with his grandfather, Vladimir Yeshayavitch Novak. Picking up the cello at age five, Steve Kramer soon continued his studies with his first formal cello teacher, Erling Blondal Bengtsson. He made his debut at 12 years of age, playing as a soloist while touring with orchestras in Scandinavia. He further developed his musicianship under the supervision of five other giants of classical music: violinist Yehudi Menuhin and pianist and composer Peter Norris, with whom Steve Kramer studied chamber music at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London; cellist Karine Georgian at the Hochschule fur Musik-Detmold in Germany and receiving private lessons by cellist Boris Pergamentshikov in Berlin, Germany, and cellist Alexander Sinelnikov in Jerusalem, Israel.
The program concludes with Symphony No. 101 known as the Clock Symphony. Haydn completed the symphony in 1793 or 1794. He wrote it for the second of his two visits to London. The second movement, from which the symphony gets its name, begins with plucked strings and a bassoon. Towards the middle of the movement, there is a dark, fierce passage in G minor, followed by Haydnesque humor and finally the clock theme once again. Michael Steinberg said, “Haydn has a gratifying number of different clocks in his shop, offering ‘tick-tock’ in a happy variety of colors.”
Plan now to attend the evening’s concert of glorious music on April 22nd. There is no charge for tickets, although a free-will offering will be accepted.