Tyler Michael James, Cello | Doris Stevenson, Piano | Nina Kasper, Voice
Tyler Michael James, Cello | Doris Stevenson, Piano | Nina Kasper, Voice
Latin-American vocalist, cellist, and pedagogue Andreina Kasper began her formal music training under her mother, María Antonieta Salas, at the age of twelve years old. She attended the prestigious New World School of the Arts in Miami, where she studied cello under Aaron Merrit. In 2010, she was the principal cellist at the International Music Festival in Philadelphia, where she was coached by members of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra such as: Kimberly Fischer and Udi-Bar David. In Miami, she participated in a series of master classes dictated at Florida International University where she worked with renowned violinist Laura Bossert (2016). She has also preformed with many internationally acclaimed artists at the Latin Grammys, Billboard Awards, Lo Nuestro Awards, and Premios Juventud. She has worked with a plethora of celebrities such as Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Andrea Bocelli, Marc Anthony, Jeniffer Lopez, Il Volo, Ruben Studdard, David Bisbal, Alejandro Fernandez, Luis Fonsi, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Oscar D’Leon. As a recording artist, she has also performed for several soap operas by Telemundo and Univision, for two participating movies at the Cannes Film Festival and for Micro-Teatro Miami. As a vocalist, Ms. Kasper has portrayed lead roles such as “Janet” from Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Emcee” from Cabaret, “Antonia” from Man of la Mancha, and most recently debuted in two different productions of Once the Musical as “Bank Manager,” in various regional theaters in Florida and Connecticut. In 2013, she was invited to sing at the Miami Life Awards and the World Out Games where she received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Major of Miami because of herartistic influence in the city. Her voice instructors have been Karen Hall, Carlo Gazanini and Mary Walkley. Ms. Kasper currently studies under Angela Gooch at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her acting coach has been Wayne LeGette and her piano teachers Odar Graterol and Javier Sardinas. She has studied cello with María Salas, Konstatine Litnevenko, and most recently with Dr. Terry King.
Doris Stevenson has won lavish praise from critics and public alike in performances around the world. She has soloed with the Boston Pops, played at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Wahington D.C., Salle Pleyel in Paris, Sala de Musica Arango in Bogota, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Her acute sensitivity and musicianship have made her a sought-after partner with some of the leading lights in string playing. She has performed with Gregor Piatigorsky, Ruggiero Ricci and Paul Tortelier, great players of the past. Early in her career she was invited by Heifetz and Piatigorsky to perform with them in their chamber concerts. She was pianist for the cello master classes of Piatigorsky, who described her as “an artist of the highest order.”
Her many recordings include the Saint Saens violin sonatas with Andres Cardenes, the complete Mendelssohn cello works with Jeffrey Solow and the Brahms cello sonatas with Nathaniel Rosen. Her Stravinsky CD with violinist Mark Peskanov received a Grammy nomination. Miss Stevenson taught for ten years at the University of Southern California and has been Lyell B. Clay Artist in Residence at Williams College since 1987.
Cellist Tyler James got his musical start attending the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts while working on his private teacher’s farm to pay for lessons. Tyler toured as principal cellist of the 2018 National Revival Tour of Miss Saigon. He has performed in venues across the globe including Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Radio City Music Hall, Mirabell Palace, the Kimmel Center, and the Boston Opera House. Tyler was recently featured in the Boston Globe for his performance of the Brahms B-Flat Sextet in Cambridge‘s Courtyard Concert Series. Tyler has performed chamber music with artists including Doris Stevenson, Peter Zazofsky, Andrés Càrdenes, Karen Dreyfus, and members of the Horzowski Trio. Tyler is currently a member of the Longy School‘s Intercultural Music Initiative String Quartet with Professor Sean Wang. As a soloist, Tyler has performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the NYU Symphony Orchestra under Dr. Adam Glaser and the Tan Dun Cello Concerto Snow in June with the NYU Percussion Ensemble under Jonathan Haas. He has had the honor of collaborating with Jessie Montgomery, Eve Beglarian, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Andrew Kozar, Amanda Berlind, and George Katehis on their music. Tyler recently performed Dina Pruzhansky’s Piano Trio Sound of the Land on her 92nd Street Y faculty concert.Tyler earned his Bachelor’s Degree Magna Cum Laude on full scholarship from New York University where he studied cello performance and political science. He has performed in masterclasses for cellists Alisa Weilerstein, Mark Kosower, Hans Jensen, Paul Watkins, Colin Carr, Bonnie Hampton, Natasha Brofsky, and Julian Schwarz. His primary cello influences have been Leslie Frittelli, Marion Feldman, Myron Lutzke and Ko Iwasaki. Tyler has held residencies with both the Ēnso String Quartet and the Zodiac Trio and has been coached by the likes of Joseph Lin, Paul Neubauer, Stephanie Chase, Giora Schmidt, Astrid Schween, and Laura Bossert. Tyler is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma with Dr. Terry King, protegé of the legendary Gregor Piatigorsky, at the Longy School of Music Of Bard College as a Kristen Mortimer Scholar.
Based on the poem Loisaida (1974) by Bimbo Rivas
I have recently been writing music that is inspired by my upbringing on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Bimbo Rivas was a Puerto Rican-born poet, activist, and community builder who became a hero of the Lower East Side, leading in the affordable housing development projects that shaped our community in the 70s and 80s, bringing it out of the ashes of neglect and decay that had taken over in the previous decades. Loisaida is an ode to the community he loved and fought for most of his adult life. I have set this poem to music in tribute to Bimbo who fostered my upbringing in immeasurable ways.
Permission to use the text is courtesy of Bimbo’s daughter, Sandra Rivas.
— Jessie Montgomery
“Hardly ever again did Brahms write such a movement as the first,” wrote Walter Neimann in his study of the composer, “so rich and fer- vent in its inspiration, both human and spiri- tual, or such an unalloyed record of intimate emotion.” The cello announces the move- ment’s main theme, a melancholy song that the Brahms (and Bach) scholar Karl Geiringer noted was reminiscent of the Contrapunctus III from Bach’s The Art of Fugue. The lyrical nature of the Sonata is reinforced by the sub- sidiary motive, a melody begun by an arpeg- gio that turns back upon itself before breaking into a large arch of wordless song. A brighter emotion is suggested before the end of the ex- position, but the development returns to the introspective melancholy of the opening theme. The second theme and then the third are treated in the development before a full re- capitulation of the earlier subjects rounds out the form of the movement.
The second movement is a microcosm of the history of the Austrian popular dance. The outer sections of its three-part form (A-B-A) are marked “quasi Menuetto,” and exhibit the polite demeanor associated with that old dance. The central trio, however, more ani- mated in character and more adventurous in its harmonic peregrinations, is one of the trib- utes to the Viennese waltz that Brahms em- bedded in a number of his instrumental works, and which also inspired the set of Waltzes for Piano whose opus number (39) immediately follows that of this Cello Sonata.
The finale is a fugue poured into sonata form, the sort of generic hybrid that also ab- sorbed much of Beethoven’s interest during his last years. The subject, a ribbon of triplets, was probably modeled on the Contrapunctus XIII from Bach’s The Art of Fugue; the countersub- ject (in eighth notes rather than triplets) is also used as the second theme in the sonata struc- ture. The movement bristles with precisely worked-out counterpoint in three and four voices, a circumstance requiring a fullness of texture from the piano that prompted Daniel Gregory Mason to commiserate with the cellist: “When you set a single cello to competing like this with the two hands of an able-bodied pianist, the odds are certainly on the pianist.” The cello manages to assert itself in the final pages, however, and leads through rousing stretto statements of the themes to bring the Sonata to a close.
— Dr. Richard E. Rodda
Many years ago, I became obsessed with the additional sketches that Beethoven made to his Trio in Eb, op.3 for violin, viola and cello. The Covid era made it possible for me to finalize the project and offer it to the public. The sketches were added to a Stichvorlage (an engraver’s pre-publication or fair copy made from the composer’s manuscript). This very tidy copy makes the detective work of deciphering Beethoven’s notoriously difficult handwriting manageable. The Stichvorlage hardly varies at all from the first edition of 1796 by the Viennese publisher Artaria (later merging with Breitkopf & Härtel). He managed to make a draft of the first movement and 43 bars of the second movement before abandoning the project. The fascinating sketches added two new voices: cello and piano.
—Dr. Terry King