Concerts on Kentmere: Pyxis Piano Quartet “What’s Past is Prologue”
Luigi Mazzocchi, violin / Jennifer Jie Jin, cello / Hannah Rose Nicholas, viola (guest artist) / Hiroko Yamazaki, piano
Delaware Art Museum’s resident classical ensemble returns “home” to the galleries where they played their very first (2009) concert.
Recorded in the Museum’s renowned British Pre-Raphaelite collection, Pyxis will play British works – Two Intermezzi for String Trio by C.H.H. Parry and Gordon Jacob’s Six Shakespearian Sketches – along with Richard Strauss’ blazingly virtuosic Piano Quartet in C minor. Parry and Strauss wrote these pieces in 1884 (the era of the Pre-Raphaelites), while Jacob’s 1946 work is a musical exploration of the Shakespearean literature that also inspired Rosetti and his Brotherhood.
The concert’s title, taken from The Tempest (one of the plays in the suite by Gordon Jacob), epitomizes the ensemble’s arc and their continuing artistic commitment. It also evokes how these 19th century visual artists looked back to the earlier time of Raphael as the impetus that propelled them forward to new horizons.
Tickets are now available for this concert premiering on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7 pm. Ticket holders for the hour-long performance can join the online event premiere via an exclusive link and will also have unlimited viewing through May 5.
Two Intermezzi for String Trio (1884) C.H.H. Parry (1848-1918)
I. Lento espressivo
Six Shakespearian Sketches (1946) Gordon Jacob (1895-1984)
(for String Trio)
I. “How sweet the moonlight sleeps on yonder bank” (Adagio misterioso, from The Merchant of Venice)
II. “Foot it featly” (Allegro leggiero quasi presto, from The Tempest)
III. “In sad cypress” (Molto adagio ed elegiaco, from Twelfth Night)
IV. “Grace in all simplicity” (Tempo di minuetto, from the poem The Phoenix and the Turtle)
V. “And ‘a babbled of green fields” (Andante con moto, from Henry V)
VI. “Here a dance of clowns” (Molto allegro e con brio, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 13 (1883-84) Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
II. Scherzo. Presto
IV. Finale. Vivace
About the Artists
Pyxis Piano Quartet
Founded in 2009 as the Delaware Art Museum’s resident classical artists for Concerts on Kentmere, Pyxis Piano Quartet – a vibrant musical presence in the mid-Atlantic region – has been heard to acclaim along the East Coast from Virginia to Pennsylvania. Their compelling, engaging, and informative concerts feature chamber music works from the sonata, duo, and trio repertoire as well as traditional and contemporary masterpieces for piano quartet. In their Museum concerts, the ensemble strives to speak to the visual art that surrounds them and the audience.
The group takes its name from the Pyxis constellation, also known as the Mariners’ Compass, whose symbol is the compass rose. The points of the compass rose represent the new artistic directions that the group explores together while recognizing the differing backgrounds and experiences of its four musicians. For more information, visit pyxispianoquartet.com.
Luigi Mazzocchi (violin) studied in the renowned Venezuelan musical training program “El Sistema” and at the Latin American Violin Academy. He was first violinist of the Simón Bolívar Symphony, touring Europe and Latin America and recording on the Dorian label. Currently Luigi is Concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Black Pearl and Ocean City Pops Orchestras, and Associate Concertmaster of the Delaware Symphony. He is a member of Opera Philadelphia, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philly Pops, West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Gaudeamus and Cachasa ensembles, and plays with Camerata Philadelphia, Pagode Project, and Alô Brasil. Luigi lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children.
Hannah Rose Nicholas (viola, guest artist) is the principal viola of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and plays with the East Coast Chamber and the Philadelphia Orchestras as a substitute. Hannah has given chamber music performances at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, 92nd St. Y (New York City), and Lincoln Center Atrium 360 Series and performed solo at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Lucerne Festival Academy (Switzerland), New World Symphony, and the ‘O, Miami’ Poetry Festival (featured for three seasons). Following a contemporary music residency at Philadelphia’s Barnes Museum, Hannah co-founded the Shizuka Viola Duo (2017) and has written, recorded, and performed her own compositions with musicians from Philadelphia’s world music, jazz, and rock scenes. She teaches viola, songwriting, and improvisation for string players at the University of Pennsylvania and in her studio.
Jennifer Jie Jin (cello) has performed in Europe, Asia, and the United States and is a member of Delaware Symphony and Copeland String Quartet. Jie has been soloist with the Shanghai Symphony, Bay Atlantic Symphony, and National Repertoire Orchestra; principal cello of the Bay Atlantic and Mansfield Symphonies; and a member of Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestras, and Harrisburg Symphony; and has participated in many national and international festivals. She began cello studies at age five and received her bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Master of Music from the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University), and the Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Hiroko Yamazaki (piano) has performed in America and Europe (Italy, Finland, and Switzerland). Collaborations with instrumentalists and vocalists include members of Tonhalle and Philadelphia Orchestras and Delaware Symphony at venues such as the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center, Swarthmore College, Aspen Music Festival, and in New York City and Puerto Rico, as well as numerous festival appearances here and abroad. As an orchestral pianist, she appears often with Delaware Symphony and Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Hiroko holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the University of Maryland, where she received the Presser Foundation Award and was initiated into Pi Kappa Lambda.
Gail Obenreder O’Donnell (producer) has worked with Pyxis since its founding. She has been an arts administrator in multiple disciplines and produced events, concerts, programs, television, and theatre independently and for organizations in Washington DC, New York City, Atlanta, Seattle, southeastern Pennsylvania, and Wilmington. Gail has also worked for several prominent Delaware arts institutions and was a founding member of Market Street Music and Delaware Arts Alliance. An arts consultant and choral musician, she also writes about theatre, music, and visual art for the Philadelphia online journal Broad Street Review and was a 2016 Fellow of the O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute.
Top image: Spring and Autumn, c. 1892. Lydia Field Emmet (1866-1952). Tiffany Studios (1878–1933). Leaded glass, 37 × 51 1/2 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935.