Music At Oakmont (5/1/2019)

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  • Rosemary Waller


Music at Oakmont is delighted to present violinist Nigel Armstrong with pianist Elizabeth Dorman in the last concert of our season, at Berger Center on Thursday, May 9 at 1:30 pm.

Mr. Armstrong made his solo debut at age 12 with the Baroque Sinfonia in Santa Rosa. He has performed internationally as a recitalist and soloist with major orchestras. After an appearance with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Music Director Jeffrey Kahane described Mr. Armstrong as “one of many violinists with technique to burn … but to find that depth of musicianship in a young person is very unusual.” A winner of the Menuhin and Tchaikovsky Competitions, Mr. Armstrong is a graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Colburn School. He serves currently as concertmaster of the Santa Cruz Symphony.

Elizabeth Dorman has been praised by Joshua Korman in the San Francisco Chronicle: “What’s more remarkable than a pianist who can play the demanding Bartok [Piano Concerto No. 3] with elegance and verve? How about one who returns after intermission to lead the orchestra’s double bass section?” Winner of numerous awards and competitions, Ms. Dorman is currently a doctoral candidate at New York’s Stony Brook University, where she also serves as Adjunct Lecturer of Piano Pedagogy. She performs frequently as soloist and chamber musician, and is a member of New York’s Bridge Arts Ensemble.

Look for May 9 program notes at our website An excerpt follows.

Beethoven Sonata No. 10, Op. 96:
The celebrated French violinist Pierre Rode visited Vienna in 1812. He was plainly past his prime, but his arrival inspired Beethoven to write his tenth and final sonata for violin and piano, dedicated to the composer’s student and patron, Archduke Rudolph.

The premiere, performed by Rode and the Archduke, took place Dec. 29, 1812. Beethoven had explained to Rudolph, “I have not hurried to compose the last movement … In our finales we like to have rushing and resounding passages, but R[ode] does not care for them—and so I have been rather hampered.” Beethoven settled for a non-traditional finale. A folk-like melody is the theme for a set of variations, followed by unconventional exchanges between the two instruments, a canon, a return to the theme, a short final adagio, and a witty, spirited ending.

Two months later, Beethoven himself performed the work with Rode. Incensed by the violinist’s shortcomings, the composer never played with him again.


Our 2019 Donor Drive continues. Envelopes will be found in the May 9 programs. Checks should be made out to Oakmont Community Foundation, with “Music at Oakmont” on the memo line. Look for the 2019-20 season brochure in this issue of Oakmont News. Season passes may be purchased at the May 9 concert, with checks for $125 made out to “Music at Oakmont.”

WHAT: Music at Oakmont
WHEN: Thursday, May 9 at 1:30 pm
WHERE: Berger Center
ADMISSION: $20, or your season pass, at the door



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