MARLBORO >> Marlboro College announced its fall series of weekend concerts, starting with acclaimed pianists Ieva Jokubaviciute and Renana Gutman on Sunday at 3 p.m. The series of four concerts features leading classical performers and is presented in the memory Luis Batlle, world-renowned pianist and beloved Marlboro faculty member for 30 years, who died in May. All performances are on Sundays at 3 p.m, in Marlboro's Ragle Hall, and are free and open to the public, but contributions to the Luis C. Batlle Chair in Music will be gratefully accepted.
"All of these musicians are at the height of their artistic vitality, and each has been eager to play in honor of Luis," said Geraldine Pittman de Batlle, Luis' widow and professor of literature and writing at Marlboro. "It is a fitting tribute to his memory, and a wonderful way to celebrate his influence on these gifted artists and his contribution to the world of music."
For the opening concert of the series on Sunday, Ieva Jokubaviciute and Renana Gutman will present a program of music for two and four hands by Schubert and Mozart. Jokubaviciute has earned critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and Europe for her powerfully and intricately crafted performances, described as "an artist of commanding technique, refined temperament, and persuasive insight" (The New York Times). A Marlboro favorite, Gutman has performed across three continents as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and collaborative artist, and serves as the staff collaborative pianist of Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, where she performs extensively.
On Sept. 25, acclaimed pianist Jonathan Biss will play a program of Beethoven sonatas, including Sonata in E-Flat Major, op. 7, Sonata in D Minor, op. 31, and Sonata in C Minor, op. 111. Biss has appeared with the foremost orchestras in the U.S., including the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics and the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco symphonies, and is the winner of the Leonard Bernstein Award and many other awards. The Neubauer Family Chair on the faculty of his alma mater the Curtis Institute of Music, Biss is halfway through recording all 32 Beethoven sonatas, a project he began in 2011.
On Oct. 2, cellist Judith Serkin, pianist Cynthia Raim, and violinist Lucy Chapman will play a program of trios by Haydn, which Serkin fondly recalls playing many times with Luis Batlle. Serkin is a founding member of the Brattleboro Music School, and has served on the faculty of American University. She has performed around the world, has been a member of the Iceland Symphony and the Guilford and Mendelssohn String Quartets, and has participated in the Yellow Barn and Marlboro Music School and Festival. Cynthia Raim gives recitals throughout the world, has collaborated with several chamber music ensembles, and has received awards including first prize at the J.S. Bach International Piano Competition. Lucy Chapman is chair of the string department at the New England Conservatory, was a member of the Muir String Quartet, and has played chamber music and solo concerts throughout the U.S., Europe, Korea, and Japan.
The series concludes on December 4, with pianist and conductor Ignat Solzhenitzyn, who will play selections from Muczinsky, Shubert, Messiaen, and Beethovan. Fittingly one of Luis Batlle's most highly regarded former students, Solzhenitzyn is now on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center. He has frequently appeared at international festivals and collaborated with the Emerson, Borodin, Brentano, and St. Petersburg String Quartets. The New York Times calls Solzhenitzyn "An uncommon ly thoughtful, communicative musician." He is also much in demand as a guest conductor, including as principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.
Marlboro College Fall Concert Series: Sept. 11 — Ieva Jokubaviciute and Renana Gutman; Sept. 25 — Jonathan Biss; Oct. 2 — Cynthia Raim, Judith Serkin, and Lucy Chapman; and Dec. 4 — Ignat Solzhenitzyn