Fall 2021 Season Announcement

Hands Playing Organ

Organ recitals this semester bring you the multifaceted music of the Northern European baroque, balancing the splendid with the learned, the glittering with the melancholic. The opening recital on the Cornell baroque organ in Anabel Taylor chapel (September 11) revisits the works of Buxtehude, his student Bruhns, and their young admirer J. S. Bach, as their music rang out on the glorious organs of the wealthy north German cities of the Hanseatic League. The concert pays tribute to Cornell music-lover and native of Lübeck, the late Sigrid Peterson. In a mid-semester festival (October 20–23), we celebrate the ‘Orpheus of Amsterdam’ Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-October 16, 1621). Highlights of that festival include guest artists Jonathan Schakel (organ and harpsichord) who will explore the vivid traces of Italy in Sweelinck’s music, and baroque violinist Martin Davids who will improvise and elaborate in extravagant style with David Yearsley. The lunchtime series Midday Music for Organ begins on the Italian organ in Sage Chapel (September 15) with a performance by graduate students Anna Steppler (organ) and Zoe Weiss (treble viol), followed by programs across the semester in Anabel Taylor Chapel and at the Italian organ in Sage Chapel, that will explore the musical world of early 17th-century Europe and the extraordinary riches of the music of Sweelinck, his friends, and his students. The semester concludes with two evening recitals by graduate students Nathan Mondry and Anna Steppler.

Prof Bjerken and students

The semester’s piano events will begin with a solo lecture-recital by Mike Lee that juxtaposes seldom-performed works by Haydn from the 1760s with J. S. Bach’s magisterial Partita in C minor, BWV 826, both played on one of the Center’s latest acquisitions, a copy of the famed fortepiano by Gottfried Silbermann that Bach himself was known to have endorsed. The Center will also resume Future Imperfect: Brahms and the Passage of Time in person, hosting a reprise of a performance of the original 1854 version of Brahms’ Op. 8 Piano Trio, presented by Roger Moseley, John Haines-Eitzen, and Rebecca Anderson. On the preceding day, Mike Lee and Ji Young Kim will explore Brahms’ special relationship with Clara Schumann through the variation genre, with two variation sets that Brahms dedicated to Clara performed on our 1835 Simon piano. The semester likewise sees the launch of a new series at the CCHK: interactive salons, which will be accompanied by a complimentary light supper with drinks. Our first salon will engage the topic of Beethoven’s pianism, and the second will make use of the collection’s 1859 Pleyel pianino to investigate Chopin. The term concludes with a gala celebration, in which Xak Bjerken, Malcolm Bilson, and Mike Lee will share the Barnes Hall stage alongside students on multiple instruments from the Center’s collection. This will be followed the next day by a mini-symposium on the topic of instrument conservation and collection management, in part to honor Cornell’s longtime piano technician Ken Walkup.

We look forward to seeing you (Covid-permitting) at our exciting set of events this fall!