Rachmaninov vs. Shostakovich

Odeon Quartet with Pianist Natalya Ageyeva

Friday, February 5th, 2010 at 8:00PM
Nordstrom Auditorium at Benaroya Hall
Tickets: $25 (seniors/students $20)
(www.seattlesymphony.org OR 206-215-4747 OR at the box office with no service charge)
Click here to download the flyer.

The Russian Chamber Music Foundation will donate 10% of all ticket revenues from this “Winter Nights” concert to Mercy Corps to support relief efforts in Haiti.

KING-FM will present music from this concert program on Northwest Focus at 8:00 p.m. each evening February 2-4. Sean MacLean will do a live interview with Artistic Director Natalya Ageyeva on Tuesday, February 2 at 8:00 p.m.

The Odeonquartet

“Just a few seasons old, this young, vibrant group has made a Kronos-like commitment to a 20th century music all over the artistic map – from serialism, evocations of folk and pop music from around the world, American classics and European neo-romanticism, “ wrote music critic Gavin Borchert in the Seattle Weekly. Thus the mission of the acclaimed odeonquartet was noticed early on.

Formed in 1999, odeonquartet (their preferred spelling) is comprised of distinguished artists who are dedicated to presenting concerts of the highest artistic quality and building new audiences for chamber music through performances and educational outreach programs.

The artists include Gennady Filimonov and Artur Girsky violin(s), Heather Bentley viola and Hélène Ferret cello. The quartet was the Lehmann Ensemble-in-Residence at Cornish College of the Arts from 2001-2003, a residency made possible by a generous gift from Thelma Lehmann.

The odeonquartet enjoys featuring works that reflect the diversity of American and International musical styles including fresh and imaginative performances of standard and lesser known masterpieces. Their musical journey often leads them to unusual repertoire, performing music that weaves in threads of tango, American prison blues, Persian folk music, Jazz, Minimalism & European Neo-Romanticism. Odeonquartet has premiered dozens of new works written for them. They also feel just as comfortable playing Mozart, Sibelius, Ravel and Shostakovitch among others.

For the past few years the quartet has been at the forefront of groundbreaking events. In April 2003, Gennady Filimonov of the odeonquartet created and produced, Playing the Game a panel discussion on composition for interactive video which received national attention. The event featured several top composers in the gaming industry: Alistair Hirst, Marty O’Donnell, Jeremy Soule, Ben Houge and Scott Selfon, all award-winning composers in the gaming industry. Topics for discussion included: linear music elements, non-linear elements (game play), compositional elements, programming elements, sound elements/sound design, and internet-based game play. Two time Emmy-Award winning Canadian film score composer Hummie Mann moderated the discussion.

Playing the Game was sponsored by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and was co-hosted by the Seattle Composer’s Alliance and Cornish College of the Arts.

Odeonquartet has also been instrumental in helping launch several prominent chamber music series including: Sound Currents, Simple Measures & the Pilchuck Chamber Music Series. They were the first classical string quartet “ever” to have appeared at Seattle’s own “Triple Door” (one of the hottest Jazz/Night Clubs around).

In 2006, odeonquartet opened the Earshot Jazz Festival along with Wayne Horovitz, Gravitas and Bill Frissel.

The odeonquartet has been recipients of the prestigious King County Arts Commission Grant, and have been guests of the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, PONCHO Concert Hall at Cornish College of the Arts, Belle Arte Chamber Music Series, Olympic Chamber Music Festival, the Lopez Center for the Arts in San Juan Islands and the Pilchuk Chamber Music Series.

Other appearances include Benaroya Hall, KCTS/PBS, the Gala opening of Experience the Music Project, Seattle Chamber Music Festival with composer/narrator Bruce Adolph, Under Forte Series, KING FM, KSER KUOW/NPR as well as The Triple Door in Seattle with jazz favorites Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb.

The odeonquartet is dedicated to nurturing the human spirit by promoting and perpetuating greater understanding through music. Recent tours include a trip to Odessa, Ukraine, and appearance by Gennady Filimonov and Artur Girsky as soloists with the Odessa Philharmonic at the Philharmonic Hall in Odessa, Ukraine.

Since 2002 the odeonquartet has had an exclusive artist endorsement agreement with Connolly & Co., Inc on behalf of Thomastik-Infeld company (manufacturers of superior strings for the violin family). The odeonquartet joined the roster of accomplished professionals which include the legendary Pinchas Zukerman, Ann-Sophie Mutter, Modern String Quartet, Turtle Island String Quartet, Chee Yun, American String Quartet, Hilary Hahn among others.

Natalya Ageyeva

Natalya Ageyeva has dazzled audiences throughout the United States and internationally, including Italy, Austria, and Israel, as well as on tour in her native Russia. Her performances have also been broadcast several times locally on KING-FM in Seattle and televised in Moscow and Chicago. She has appeared at a broad range of venues, including the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow. Her pianism prompted one reviewer to write “Immediately apparent was a tremendous technique at the command of a sharp musical intelligence and fingers of steel.”

Her artistry has earned her awards and recognition around the world, including the Young Artist Competition in Moscow, Rotary Club Scholarship in Chicago, Brechemin Scholarship at the University of Washington, Solo Competition Award from the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, the Green Lake Music Festival Competition in Wisconsin, Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New-York, and the Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. An artist of great versatility, Ageyeva has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestras internationally. She has also been an active participant in many music festivals, including the Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Summer Festival, Methow Valley Music Festival in Winthrop (Washington), the Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series in Seattle, the Second City Chamber Series in Tacoma (Washington), and the Green Lake Music Festival in Wisconsin.

Ageyeva began formal piano lessons at the age of thirteen when she was accepted by the prestigious Special Music School for Talented Children in Moscow, and graduated with honors in the Masters Program from the world-renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she studied with Valeriy Kastelsky. While at the Moscow Conservatory, Ageyeva was offered extensive solo and orchestra appearances throughout the former Soviet Union.

She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Washington with distinguished pianists Bela Siki and Robin McCabe. She has also worked with well-known pianists John O’Conner, Victor Merjanov, and Helene Grimaud, and collaborated with conductors Vladimir Vais, Alexander Rudin, and Peter Erös.

Ageyeva is currently focusing on her solo career and is performing extensively in the U.S. She previously taught at Moscow Conservatory and University of Washington, and has adjudicated piano competitions in Chicago and Seattle.

Ageyeva is a founding member and Artistic Director of the Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle.

HEATHER BENTLEY, viola, holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Viola and Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

She has also attended Indiana University where she studied chamber music with Rostislav Dubinsky of the Borodin Quartet, Joseph Gingold and Menachem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio. Ms. Bentley was a fellow and Principal Violist at the Tanglewood Festival, and was Associate Principal of the New York String Orchestra with Alexander Schneider.

She has appeared as soloist with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta, the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. Local chamber music performances include appearances with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Olympic Music Festival, Second City Chamber Music Series, and the Bell’ Arte Series in Bellevue, as well as the New Performance Group at the Cornish College of the Arts. Ms. Bentley teaches a private class of young violinists and is on the music faculty of the Northwest School.

Recent tours with the ODEONQUARTET include a trip to Odessa, Ukraine where they performed in the Philharmonic Hall.

HELENE FERRE, cello, was born in Paris, France in 1977 and began her cello studies at the age of 12. She studied with Rene Benedetti, principal cellist of the Paris National Opera and Roland Pidoux, teacher at the Paris National Conservatory. At the same time, she studied chamber music with the Ysayie Quartet and Martin Lovett (Amadeus Quartet).

After she had won the first prize at the Paris Conservatoire, she studied with Francois Guye, principal cello of the Switzerland Orchestra, in the Geneva Conservatory where she obtained a first prize for virtuosity in 2002. During the years she spent in Switzerland, she participated in several master classes with artists such as Anner Bylsma, Gabor Takacs, Christoph Henkel.

Hélène also held an assistant principal position in the Sinfonietta De Lausanne and held a teaching position in the Sion Conservatory. She enjoys cooking and travelling. Hélène has been a part of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra since 2002. Upon coming to Seattle in 2009, she has recently joined the ODEONQUARTET and appeared in performances at Benaroya Hall and PONCHO Concert Hall at Cornish College of the Arts.

GENNADY FILIMONOV, violinist and a native of the former Soviet Union, emigrated to the United States at age 10. At age 7, he was accepted at the School of Stoliarsky (school for gifted children in Odessa, which produced such luminaries as David Oistrakh, Emil Gillels, Nathan Milstein and many more). Still in his teens, he made his solo debut playing Lalo’s Symphony Espagnole and was subsequently featured on Robert Sherman’s Young Artists Showcase on WQXR (NYC): Classische Musica (live broadcast) in Meinz Germany and Radio Nationale de France. He has appeared as soloist with, Kensington Philharmonic of London, Manhattan Symphony Orchestra, South Jersey Symphony, Downeast Chamber Orchestra, Jersey City Symphony, Carmel Bach Festival, New York Symphonic Ensemble and Seattle Symphony. Recent tours with the ODEONQUARTET include a trip to Odessa, Ukraine, and appearance with Artur Girsky as soloists with the Odessa Philharmonic at the Philharmonic Hall in Odessa, Ukraine.

ARTUR GIRSKY, violinist, was born in Riga, Latvia into a family of violinists. He began playing violin at the age of five. He later entered the Special Music School in Riga studying for seven years, and moved to Moscow 1989 where he was accepted in the class of Prof. Maya Glezarova at the Moscow Central Music School. A year later Girsky won the third prize in International Violin Competition of Naples in Italy (Alberto Curci). From 1991 to 1993 he took part in a postgraduate program in Royal College of Music in London, working with Prof. Felix Andrievsky. After returning to Moscow, Girsky became the Concertmaster of the well known ” Moscow Soloists”‘ Chamber Orchestra under the baton of the world renowned violist Yury Bashmet. In 1997 Girsky moved to the US where he joined Florida Orchestra in Tampa as Principal Second Violin. He has been a member of Seattle Symphony Orchestra since 2006.

Recent tours with the ODEONQUARTET include a trip to Odessa, Ukraine, and appearance with Gennady Filimonov as soloists with the Odessa Philharmonic at the Philharmonic Hall in Odessa, Ukraine.

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