The Odessa Record -

Cello and piano performance at opera house; local rummage sale

Series: Harrington News | Story 35

Karen Robertson

Dr. Kevin Hekmatpanah on cello and his accompanist Dr. Archie Chen on piano performed last Saturday at the Harrington Opera House.

HOHS Event

The Harrington Opera House presented a recital for cello and piano on June 22 to an audience of about 50. Linda Wagner introduced Dr. Kevin Hekmatpanah on cello and his accompanist Dr. Archie Chen on the piano as "a special treat to have musicians of their caliber come to our community." The loud applause signaled that this audience was familiar with Dr. Hekmatpanah, as he noted that this as his third appearance on the Harrington Opera House stage. He introduced Dr. Chen, who also received fine recognition. Quotes from the program are abbreviated below.

"A native of Chicago, cellist Kevin Hekmatpanah has presented hundreds of solo and chamber performances throughout the country, including concerts at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Society of the Cincinnati Artist Series in Washington, DC, the Sitka Music Festival, the Lower Makefield Performing Arts Society in Pennsylvania, the Camerata Musica Concert Series in Salem, Oregon, the Russian Chamber Music Foundation and the Kirkland Performance Center in Seattle. Additional recitals include appearances at the Princeton Music Club, the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, the Hornby Island Recital Series in Victoria, BC, the Bing Performing Arts Center in Spokane, the John Addison Cultural Arts Recital Series in Washington, DC, Daniels Recital Hall in Seattle, the Duck Creek Cello Festival in Utah, the Lake Chelan Bach Feste, the Cutter Theatre, the Battelle Auditorium as well as the Merc Playhouse Theatre. He has also presented concerts of the complete works for Cello and Piano by Beethoven and over twenty cycles performing all six Bach suites. He has made over 120 solo concerto appearances with various ensembles, including the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Philharmonic, the Pueblo Symphony, the Kingsport Symphony Orchestra, the Middle Tennessee Symphony, the Oregon East Symphony, the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs in Colorado, the Southern Arizona Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony and the Vashon Chamber Orchestra."

"He is currently a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. He has previously served on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University and has taught cello at the Governor's School for the Arts. He has served on competition juries, and he has presented master classes and clinics throughout the country. In addition to being the first cellist to earn a DMA from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, he also holds a MM from Indiana University and a BM from the University of Southern California. His teachers have included such nationally renowned pedagogues as Stephen Kates, Fritz Magg and Gabor Rejto, and has received coachings from such internationally celebrated artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell and Janos Starker. For more information, visit his web site at ."

"Described by the Irish Times as a pianist who performs with 'gorgeously full tone and daring velocity' and whose playing 'suggests a fiery temperament with the necessary elements of technique to support it,' Taiwanese-American pianist Archie Chen has gained international recognition for his poetic imagination, drama and virtuosic technical prowess. Dr. Chen's performances have led him throughout the U.S., Asia, the Middle East and Europe in such prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Gewandhaus, Vatican Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, National Concert Hall (Dublin) and concert halls throughout China. Archie's performances have also been featured on radio and television with broadcasts in the United States and Europe and in movies including BBC Films 'Loving Miss Hatto' a moving about 'Hattogate' the recording scandal involving British pianist Joyce Hatto which features Dr. Chen's performances of the fiendishly difficult Godowsky-Chopin Etudes. An active chamber musician, he also enjoys performing regularly with English cellist William Butt while collaborating with other notable musicians including trumpeters Alan Vizutti and John Wallace."

"Dr. Archie Chen studied extensively with Mary Toy and was taken under the wing of Maestro Gunther Schuller at the age of 16, becoming a regular guest artist at the Festival at Sandpoint. He obtained his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he continued his studies with Menahem Pressler and the late Edmund Battersby. Among his many scholarships and awards at Indiana University were the Nina Neal Piano Scholarship and the prestigious Performer's Certificate, the school's highest honor. Following his training at Indiana University he earned his Recital Artist Diploma and Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance, with focused research on Chopin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the direction of John O'Conor. Other influential teachers include Leonard Hokanson and Alicia De Larrocha. Dr. Chen enjoys teaching and feels honored to share his knowledge with students who are passionate about music."

Their program began with Dr. Hekmatpanah describing the setting for the creation of Schumann's masterpiece. He presented "Fantasiestucke For Cello and Piano, Op. 73" (Robert Schumann, 1810-1856) in three movements: "Zart Und Mit Ausdruck", "Lebhaft Leicht", and "Rasch Und Mit Feuer". The exuberant applause revealed what a powerful performance was being given. Following a few brief explanations, "Sonata No. 3 in A Major For Cello and Piano, Op. 69" (Ludwig Van Beethoven, 1770-1827), as "Allegro Ma Non Tanto", "Scherzo; Allegro Molto", and "Adagio Cantabile-Allegro Vivace." Again the applause was as though a multitudinous audience was in attendance. A short intermission allowed the audience to mingle and newcomers to the auditorium were allowed to view the stage and dressing rooms with graffiti still visible. Comments in the audience were exchanged remarking on the precision with which these two artists were playing with no visible connection or cues as to when either would start or cease playing.

Following intermission, Dr Hekmatpanah described Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) as a notable teacher rather than being recognized for her skill at playing or writing during her lifetime. They then performed Boulanger's "Three Pieces for Cello and Piano" in the movements: "Modere", "Sans Vitesse Et A L'Aise", and "Vite Et Nerveusement Rythme." Again the audience responded with great applause for a superb performance. For their concluding number they chose Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) music, "Sonata In C Major For Cello and Piano, Op. 119" in '"Andanta Grave" and "Moderato." The audience's appetite could not be quelled as they applauded and yearned for more, only to realize that "more" means waiting for a return performance of Dr. Kevin Hakmatpanah with an accompanist.

HOHS Community Rummage Sale

In conjunction with the Harrington Food Bank's "Commodity Day" and with "God's Closet," the Opera House Rummage offers a community rummage sale. This Saturday was one such event. It was only advertised locally and was open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., closing after the other two functions had closed. This week boxes of used goods that had not moved in previous sales were offered for $1 per box, as were selected boxes of books. A couple from Soap Lake saw the activity and stopped to see what was available.


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