It was fitting to perform Syrinx at the exhibition “A Sense of Place: Modern Japanese Print” at Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. Among the artworks displayed were works by Hiroshige and Hokusai, artists who inspired Claude Debussy.
This concert, on May 14, 2015, was one of Dolce Suono Ensemble’s series at Arthur Ross Gallery, offered in conjunction with its exhibitions.
Performed with Charles Abramovic, piano, in Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, April 12, 2015
From Dolce Suono Ensemble’s performance for Curtis Presents
“This piece by my friend Jennifer Higdon has always been special for me, having given the Philadelphia premiere in 1997 I’ve performed it frequently on tour. The poignancy of the sweeping lines, the brightness of the colors tempered by the melancholy of the passing of time is deeply expressive.” – Mimi Stillman
Today marks the birthday of Claude Debussy, born in 1862, and the first anniversary of the completion of my Syrinx Journey, my personal tribute to the great composer through daily video recordings of his masterwork for solo flute, Syrinx, with commentary on my blog.
To celebrate Debussy’s birthday this year while I was performing with Dolce Suono Ensemble in residence at the Lake George Music Festival in New York, I recorded Syrinx at The Sembrich, the museum dedicated to the golden age soprano Marcella Sembrich located in her former studio on the banks of Lake George. It was fitting that I should be there, for she was a contemporary of Debussy and his songs were part of her repertoire. Fascinating memorabilia of her dazzling career fills the museum, including autographs by Brahms, Verdi, Puccini, and Mark Twain.
A photograph of Debussy hangs in the studio.
With curator and composer Richard Wargo, who welcomed my parents and me most warmly and gave us a fascinating tour.
Now posted on Mimi’s YouTube channel: Claude Debussy’s songs Romance, Les Cloches, and Voici que le printemps from Mimi’s book of arrangements Nuits d’étoiles: 8 Early Songs (Theodore Presser Company). Performed by Mimi Stillman, flute and Natalie Zhu, piano from Dolce Suono Ensemble’s “Debussy as Painter of Song” concert at Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, May 2013.
This is a recent performance I gave with Charles Abramovic of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, arranged by Gustave Samazeuilh. We have been performing it at many of our recitals this season as part of our celebration of Debussy’s 150th anniversary.
We gave this performnace on Dolce Suono Ensemble’s “Dialogue of the Winds” concert on February 17, 2013 at Trinity Center for Urban Life, Phildaelphia.