Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
Featured performers are the composer's granddaughter, violinist Eva Lindal; cellist Robert Martin; and pianist Idith Meshulam

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—A centennial celebration concert for Nikos Skalkottas (1904–1949) will held at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, at Bard College. The concert, presented by the Bard Center, is free and open to the public and will be held in Olin Hall.

The all-Skalkottas program features two pieces for cello and piano, Tender Melody (1949) and Bolero (1949); a selection from the Thirty-Two Piano Pieces (1940); and the world premiere of his Piano Trio No. 1 (1936) for piano, cello, and violin. Featured performers are the composer's granddaughter, violinist Eva Lindal; cellist Robert Martin; and pianist Idith Meshulam.

Nikos Skalkottas is considered one of the most gifted students of Arnold Schoenberg, with whom he studied in Berlin from 1921–1933. According to Skalkottas scholar John G. Papaioannou, Skalkottas composed in a personal atonal idiom. While he only received posthumous acclaim, during his 25-year career he composed 170 works, 110 of which are held at the Skalkottas Archives in Athens. Papaioannou notes that after his return to Athens from Berlin, Skalkottas spent many years in isolation, refusing to talk about music to all but a few people who he thought appreciated contemporary music, but still composing feverishly until his death. Practically his entire oeuvre remained unknown, unpublished, and unperformed during his lifetime.

Other upcoming music programs presented by The Bard Center include "Da Capo Celebrates Bard," on Wednesday, April 21, at 8:00 p.m., which will feature the Da Capo Quartet performing works by Bard faculty and alumni/ae, including the world premiere of a new quintet written for Da Capo by Harold Farberman. The jazz trio Jackalope will perform on Saturday, April 24, at 8:00 p.m. All concerts are held in Olin Hall and are free and open to the public.

This concert is made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. For further information about the program, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

About the Artists:

Violinist Eva Lindal, granddaughter of Nikos Skalkottas, studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, with Aida Stucki in Switzerland, and in Canada at the Banff Arts Center with Hungarian violinist Lorand Fenyves. She was a member of the Festival Strings of Lucerne, a chamber orchestra directed by Rudolf Baumgartner; the Swedish Radio Orchestra, under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen; and the Swedish band Katzen Kappell. She performs regularly in New York City with jazz pianist and singer Carol Liebowitz, and with the contemporary group MA in Stockholm. Her performances include the Stockholm New Music Festival; Skalkottas's Sonata for Violin and Piano on Greek television; and the world premiere performance of Skalkottas's Concerto for Two Violins in Paris with Anna Lindal. She received the special prize for best performer of new music in the Lyceum competition (Lausanne, Switzerland) in 1982.

Cellist Robert Martin "offers polished, vital music making in an imaginatively conceived program," according to the Los Angeles Times. He is artistic codirector of the Bard Music Festival and vice president for academic affairs of Bard College. Martin studied cello at the Curtis Institute of Music with Leonard Rose and Orlando Cole, and liberal arts at Haverford College. He made his New York recital debut in the Young Concert Artist Series with pianist Richard Goode. During his doctoral studies in philosophy at Yale University, Martin was principal cellist of the New Haven Symphony and cellist of the Group for Contemporary Music, then at Columbia University. After receiving a Ph.D. he pursued a dual career in music and in philosophy, holding joint appointments at SUNY/Buffalo and Rutgers University. He was cellist of the Sequoia String Quartet from 1975 to 1985, during which time the ensemble made many recordings and toured internationally. Martin was assistant dean of humanities at UCLA, and also founded and produced the Los Angeles chamber music series "Music for Mischa." He produced and performed in the series "Music for the Exhibitions: Musicians from the Bard Festival" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Martin is cellist of the Bard Festival String Quartet and serves as president of Chamber Music America.

Pianist Idith Meshulam, born in Israel, first studied piano with her mother, Shelly Asher-Meshulam. At age nine, she performed with the Tel Aviv Chamber Orchestra, and then for several years with the Kibbutzim Orchestra, while also performing solo and in broadcast concerts throughout Israel. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv, Meshulam focused on the works of contemporary composers, among them Olivier Messiaen, for whom she has played in person. She received a master’s degree from the University of South Florida, where she studied with Jacque Abrams and Robert Helps. While at New York University, where she received a Ph.D. and taught for 10 years, she researched the unpublished piano music of Stefan Wolpe. In 1999, she organized a first all-Skalkottas concert in New York, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death. At that time Meshulam met, and was mentored by, the now-deceased Skalkottas scholar John Papaioannou. This work led her to collaborate with composer and conductor Gunther Schuller, a scholar and editor of Skalkottas’s music. Meshulam organized and performed in a recent memorial concert for Robert Helps, held at New York’s Cooper Union, that was in part recorded for National Public Radio. Meshulam has also been active in the programming and performance of a two-day festival of new music presented by American Composers Alliance at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City. In 2004, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Nikos Skalkottas’s birth, Meshulam will perform his music in various venues.

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This event was last updated on 03-19-2004