Konzertreise 2009

New York
April 2009


The Concerts 

April 20th New York  College of Staten Island
April 21st New York  Baruch College

The Musicians

Frank Dodge 'Cello
Naomi Niskala  Piano

The Repertoire

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Sonata for Piano and 'Cello in g minor, Op. 5, No. 2

ROBERT HELPS
Duo for 'Cello and Piano, 1977

ERNST TOCH
Impromptu for 'Cello in Three Movements, Op. 90 c, 1963

JOHANNES BRAHMS
Sonata for 'Cello and Piano in F Major, Op. 40

Monday, April 20th New York
College of Staten Island,
Springer Concert Hall at the CSI Center for the Arts

6:30 PM Film “Next Stop Manhattan”
A documentary Film about Spectrum Concerts Berlin by RBB and DW-TV
7:30 PM Concert

Tuesday, April 21st New York
Baruch College
Engelman Recital Hall at Baruch College

55 Lexington Avenue (entrance on 25th street)

7:00 PM Film “Next Stop Manhattan”
8:00 PM Concert

After twenty acclaimed seasons in one of Europe’s musical ca pitals, Spectrum Concerts Berlin has found itself getting younger: younger and more energetic in a its adventurous chamber mu- sic repertory, alongside the players’ great breadth and reach of musical interpretation. So in 2005, the group’s American-born founder and artistic director Frank Dodge established a transatlantic sister organization, Spectrum Concerts Berlin-USA, Inc. which is following the same path of accomplishment on the American musical scene.

Spectrum’s first USA appearance, in 2006, featured two memorable concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. A second tour, in 2008, demonstrated Spectrum’s virtuosity in the powerful but little known works of Ernst Toch, the brilliant self-taught Austrian composer whose reputation was eclipsed by exile in America. Spectrum gave all-Toch performances at The Times Center and the College of Staten Island in New York City, and at the Villa Aurora and Goethe Institut in Los Angeles.

For Spring 2009 Spectrum brings the moving and masterful music of Beethoven, Brahms, Helps and Toch, performed by pianist Naomi Niskala with Frank Dodge as cellist. They will play in New York on the evenings of April 20, at the College of Staten Island, and April 21, at Baruch College’s Engelman Recital Hall. There will also be a bonus viewing of Renate Lie- berenz and Petra Koelsch’s recent documentary, short “Next Stop Manhattan,” which offers a glimpse of the ensemble’s 20 year history and development.

For additional Information www.ffub.us, www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac
Tickets at www.ffub.us

THANK YOU FOR THE GENEROUS SUPPORT

Delta Air Lines
Michael Shugrue
The College of Staten Island
Baruch College
Friends of Freie Universitaet Berlin

NAOMI NISKALA

Pianist Naomi Niskala has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan, and her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio and NPR’s Performance Today. Her competition awards include first prize at the Kingsville International Isabel Scionti Solo Piano Competition and a top prize at the International Stravinsky Awards Competition in Illinois. Attending two summers each at Tanglewood’s Music Center and Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, Niskala also toured on the first “Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute” tour with violinist Miriam Fried, and, upon invitation from Zarin Mehta and the Ravinia Festival, she performed chamber music in Israel, Turkey, and Greece. Niskala also performs as a member of ADCA, a chamber ensemble based in New York City. She has established herself as one of the prominent scholars of the solo piano works of American composer Robert Helps (1928-2001), and has been invited to perform and lecture on these works at universities and halls in the United States, Canada, Japan and Germany. Her release of the first complete recordings of Helps’ solo piano works on two discs with Albany Records in 2007 was met with high acclaim, and the first volume was declared one of the “2007 Best of the Year” discs by Classics Today. Recent performance highlights include the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Series at Davies Symphony Hall and Spectrum Concerts Berlin at Philharmonie Hall in Germany, as well as performances this season in Jacksonville, Florida, at the Icicle Creek Music Center in Washington State, the Eastman School of Music, Eastern Washington University, the University of Manitoba, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Born to Japanese/Finnish-American parents, Niskala began studying piano at the age of three in Rochester, New York and then later in Tokyo, Japan. Niskala holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Stony Brook University and the New England Conservatory of Music, and also attended Tufts University. She received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Piano Performance with Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook, and an Artist Diploma with Claude Frank at Yale. Other teachers include the late pianists Patricia Zander and Maria Luisa Faini. Niskala also studied chamber music with pianists Leon Fleisher and Peter Serkin, violinists Louis Krasner and Eugene Lehner, and bassist Julius Levine. Niskala has taught on the faculties of Wesleyan University (Connecticut), the University of South Florida, and the University of North Dakota. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Music at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania where she teaches piano, history, and theory.

FRANK SUMNER DODGE

Frank Dodge is a native New Englander, born in Boston. His instructors were Jacobus Langendoen, Aldo Parisot, Pierre Fournier, Eberhard Finke and Maurice Gendron. He received a BM from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1973 and a MM from the Yale Graduate School of Music in 1975. He founded the Strawbery Banke Chamber Music Festival, Inc. in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1969 and was its artistic director and cellist for eleven years. Frank Dodge was founding member of the Portsmouth Chamber Players, winners in 1981 of the Artists International Competition in New York City and frequent guests on series including the Cleveland Museum of Art at University Circle, the Harvard Musical Association, Carnegie Recital Hall, Bay Chamber Concerts, the Machais Bay Chamber Concerts and others. The group was often heard on the Eastern Public Radio Network and on Robert J. Lertsema's Morning Pro Musica program. Frank Dodge lived in New York City from 1978 to 1982 playing with the Opera Orchestra of New York, the St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble, and the Orchestra of our Time and as principal cellist of the Stanford Symphony. Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., the New Hampshire Commission on the Arts, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, Inc. and the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation supported his endeavors.

Frank Dodge moved to Berlin, Germany in 1982 with a two-year fellowship from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians. From 1983-1993 he performed regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Jesús Lopez Cobos invited Frank Dodge to Madrid to perform with the National Orchestra of Spain for the 1984-85 season. This was followed by a Highlands tour as principal cellist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jaime Laredo. He then returned to Berlin where he has lived since.

He founded Spectrum Concerts Berlin in 1988. The Ernst von Siemens Foundation in Munich, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Robert Helps Music Trust, the Körber Foundation and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation have supported Frank Dodge’s work in Berlin. Dodge also founded American Music Week Berlin, 1990 and 2000 and the cultural exchange program "Berlin Music Students Meet American Composers", a project, which introduces young European music students to American composers and their music. In 2005 Spectrum Concerts Berlin-USA, Inc. was founded to help extend the work of Spectrum Concerts in Berlin. The beginning of Spectrum’s USA chapter began with two memorable concerts in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in November 2006. The Berlin series is presently in its 21st season.

Frank Dodge has recorded for Naxos, Teldec, CRI, SFB and RIAS-BERLIN. He performs on a violoncello by Antonio Casini dated 1676 from Modena, Italy.