Past Performances

“American Voices”

Sunday, September 20, 2pm

Ann Moss, soprano
Hillary Nordwell, piano

Leonard Bernstein – A Little Bit in Love
Lee Hoiby – The Serpent
Vartan Aghababian (from A.A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young) –
Lines and Squares & Market Square
John Duke – The Last Word of a Bluebird (as told to a child)
Charles Ives – Old Home Day
Harold Arlen – Somewhere Over the Rainbow

 

Ann Moss, soprano, acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music, joins us for a livestream concert of “American Voices” in poetry and song!

Including poetry from  A.A. Milne (yes, we realize he’s British, but the music is American!) to Robert Frost – our colorful program of talking animals, story-telling songs, and broadway tunes has something for everyone.

Ann has long been a Comfy Concert favorite and we will be drawing from past Comfy Concert programs, combined with live interactions, to create a new online concert experience for families.

Registration for this concert is free through Brown Paper Tickets. Registration is required to access the Zoom link. We invite you to make an optional donation with your registration, if you are able.

A Carnival Tale
…to bring us together

Sunday, August 16, 4pm

Robert Schumann (1810-1856):
Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26
(Carnival Tale from Vienna)

Hillary Nordwell, piano

Join us for Comfy Concerts’ first livestreamed concert, a Sunday afternoon of piano music and musing, interspersed with the beautiful childrens book, I am Enough by Grace Byers (pictures by Keturah A. Bobo).

Robert Schumann composed this “Carnival Tale” while attempting to establish himself in Vienna, where he felt isolated and lonely despite the entertaining and beautiful city bustling around him. He longed for his fiancée back in Germany, and was frustrated that things weren’t going as planned with his career.

In the midst of his loneliness and frustration, he wrote us a piece both exuberantly joyful and at times unapologetically melancholy. Back in March, I chose this piece to accompany me during pandemic life, and it has allowed me both to express my sadness at the world’s current situation, and to rise above it.

Grace Byers’ uplifting book, I am Enough, opens our eyes to our common humanity and Schumann’s music serves as a wonderful backdrop for her beautiful language of inclusion and understanding.

The music portion of the program will be pre-recorded, in order to provide the best sound quality, and the reading will happen in real time to allow interaction with audience members of all ages.

Sharing our Stories

Sunday, February 2, 1pm

J.S. Bach (1685-1750): Selections from Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849): Selections from Sonata for Cello and Piano, and more!

Megan Titensor, cello
Hillary Nordwell, piano

Share with us in an afternoon of music built around the theme of finding connection and maintaining ties with our past.

Frédéric Chopin found great inspiration in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, who enjoyed immensely renewed appreciation in Europe around thetime young Chopin made his way to Paris. Chopin became well-known in his adopted home, but must have felt like an outsider in various ways. He didn’t like the spotlight of a concert stage, preferring to play for small gatherings, and he longed for his homeland of Poland, writing many pieces inspired by his heritage.

In this Comfy Concert program, we will share a modern-day story of finding one’s place in a new community, The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson, interspersed with the music of Bach and Chopin. We hope our audience will be inspired to share their own stories and build bridges with others!

Comfy Concerts: A Holiday Celebration!

Sunday, December 8 – Bellevue – 4pm
Saturday, December 14 – Berkeley – 1pm

Seasonal favorites for Piano Trio (violin, cello, and piano!) and a family sing-along of your favorite holiday tunes, accompanied by live musicians!

One of our most popular events, the Comfy Concerts Holiday Celebration has become something of a tradition, for five years running!

This year, we’ll celebrate with an inaugural concert in our new Bellevue home, AND return for a Berkeley program with our faithful Bay Area fans. Both programs will feature delightfully quirky arrangements of some wintertime favorites, alongside a reading of Frosty the Snowman, and will finish with a heartwarming opportunity to lift our voices together in song!

July  21- Oakland – 3pm

Schumann’s Carnaval, Op. 9 Hillary Nordwell, piano

A “Musical Masquerade,” interwoven with a unique and inspiring new book, this program is bound to open the imaginations of children and adults alike! Schumann’s Carnaval consists of 21 short musical character sketches for piano, which pair themselves beautifully with the profound words of Kobi Yamada’s book, What Do You Do With An Idea. The marvelous and intricate illustrations by Mae Besom are the icing on the cake of this wonderful combination! Robert Schumann, who was very interested in the idea of disguised identity, put many of his friends and acquaintances into this work of music. Chopin (a composer contemporary to Schumann) and Paganini (a “rock-star” status violinist of the day) both appear undisguised, but the two women vying for Schumann’s affections appear as Estrella (Ernestine von Fricken, to whom Schumann was engaged) and Chiarina (Clara Wieck, who later became his wife). Schumann even includes characters from the Commedia dell’Arte, such as Pierrot and Arlequin, and his own pseudonyms for the two sides of himself, Eusebius (the quiet, introverted one) and Florestan (the dynamic, outgoing one). While young children in the audience will enjoy the unfolding of the story, and the descriptive musical moments, adults and older children will be able to learn about the context of each small piece, and what Schumann might have had in mind while writing it.

March 24 – Pacifica – 4:30pm

Dance of the Cello!

Beethoven: Cello Sonata in F Major Frédéric Chopin: Polonaise Brillante Franz Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata Adrienne Taylor, cello Andrei Baumann, piano It is my privilege to welcome cellist Adrienne Taylor as she visits us from the East Coast, and shares highlights from a program she has prepared with Bay Area pianist Andrei Baumann. This energetic and varied program features the work of three composers who lived and worked in the cultural centers of Vienna and Paris during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. All of them wrote small dances for people of all ages to enjoy, and incorporated the feeling of dance into their larger works as well. Interspersed with a story about mistakes, perseverence, and success, this music will lift our hearts and minds, not to mention provide plenty of opportunities for dancing and imagination! Please join us for this final concert in our Pacifica location!

Around the World in Eight Cafes!

February 3 – Pacifica – 2pm

February 8 – Alameda Pajama Party! 5:30 Dinner, 6pm Concert

February 9 – Berkeley – 4:30pm

Paul Schoenfield: Café Music Felix Mendelssohn: Scherzo (Trio in D Minor) Astor Piazzolla: Spring (“Four Seasons”) Butterfly Lovers’ Concerto Mammals of Southern Africa Join us for a whirlwind tour across the continents, experiencing sound just as the locals would, while enjoying thier beverage of choice! Woven throughout our program, the three movements of Schoenfield’s Café Music bring to mind a lively jazz club scene in North America. Mendelssohn’s Scherzo brings us back to the time in Europe when cozy house concerts were the norm. Piazzolla’s Spring brings to life the freshness of the season in South America, and the Butterfly Lovers’ Concerto depicts a Chinese folk legend. Mammals of Southern Africa transports us to the African wilderness, to experience the sound world one might find amongst the wildlife. Don’t miss this live performance of music from five continents for Piano Trio (violin, cello, and piano), and get up close and personal with both the music and the musicians themselves! Erica Ward, violin Lucas Chen, cello Hillary Nordwell, piano

Comfy Concerts: A Holiday Celebration!

Seasonal favorites for Piano Trio (violin, cello, and piano!) and a sing-along of your choice in Christmas and Hanukkah tunes, accompanied by live musicians! One of our most popular events, the Comfy Concerts Holiday Celebration has become something of a tradition, four years running! This year, we’ll celebrate with two separate programs featuring music selected to compliment two wonderful holiday-themed stories. Both programs will feature a mix of secular and sacred holiday music, and will finish with a heartwarming opportunity to lift our voices together in song! December 9 – Berkeley – 3pm Featured Book: Simon and the Bear, A Hanukkah Story December 16 – Pacifica – 3:30pm (please note the unusual time!) Featured Book: Peef, the Christmas Bear Justin Ouellet, violin Robin Reynolds, cello Hillary Nordwell, piano

November 11 – Pacifica – 2pm

Schumann’s Carnaval, Op. 9 Hillary Nordwell, piano A “Musical Masquerade,” interwoven with a unique and inspiring new book, this program is bound to open the imaginations of children and adults alike! Schumann’s Carnaval consists of 21 short musical character sketches for piano, which pair themselves beautifully with the profound words of Kobi Yamada’s book, What Do You Do With An Idea. The marvelous and intricate illustrations by Mae Besom are the icing on the cake of this wonderful combination! Robert Schumann, who was very interested in the idea of disguised identity, put many of his friends and acquaintances into this work of music. Chopin (a composer contemporary to Schumann) and Paganini (a “rock-star” status violinist of the day) both appear undisguised, but the two women vying for Schumann’s affections appear as Estrella (Ernestine von Fricken, to whom Schumann was engaged) and Chiarina (Clara Wieck, who later became his wife). Schumann even includes characters from the Commedia dell’Arte, such as Pierrot and Arlequin, and his own pseudonyms for the two sides of himself, Eusebius (the quiet, introverted one) and Florestan (the dynamic, outgoing one). While young children in the audience will enjoy the unfolding of the story, and the descriptive musical moments, adults and older children will be able to learn about the context of each small piece, and what Schumann might have had in mind while writing it.

 

September 29 – Pacifica – 4:30pm September 30 – Berkeley – 3pm

Mozart’s Melodies with Ann Moss, Soprano Selected Art Songs 12 Piano Variations on “ah! Vous-dirai-je, maman” (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star) Come relax after a sunny Pacifica day at Fog Fest, and delight in the drama and lyricism of Mozart’s lovely vocal lines! This program runs the gamut, touching on sorcery, flowers, birds, and – of course! – LOVE (innocent, star-crossed, and simply frivolous)! Ann Moss, one of our favorite featured Comfy Concert performers, offers engaging interpretations, audience acting opportunities, and vocal mastery at its finest in this introduction to Mozart’s art songs. Also featured will be Hillary Nordwell’s performance of Mozart’s sparkling piano variations on a nursery tune we all know and love. As if that weren’t enough, we will even have some surprise guest performances by a few young artists in the Comfy Concert family! It’s never too early – or too late! – for Mozart, so bring the whole family along for some glorious music!

July 15 – Oakland – 2:45pm

July 15: Tickets and information at Summer Suzuki HNU

Frédéric Chopin Polonaise Militaire, Op. 40 No. 1 Selected Preludes and Waltzes The small-scale works of Frédéric Chopin provide a perfect opportunity for introducing children to his distinctive style and the picturesque variety in his music. Please join Hillary Nordwell, pianist, for a program featuring the “Raindrop” Prelude, “Cat” Waltz, “Polonaise Militaire,” and more, along with an entertaining and informative story by author Ann Rachlin about Chopin’s childhood.

April 14 – Berkeley – 4:30pm April 15 – Pacifica – 2pm

Poulenc: Babar, the Little Elephant Eric Satie: Parade, for piano 4 hands Catherine Kautsky, piano and narrator (Click below for a preview!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogJLPVZss_E Enjoy the timeless Story of Babar, the Little Elephant, beautifully illustrated in music by Francis Poulenc. Guest artist Catherine Kautsky, a professor at Lawrence University in Wisconsin (one of Comfy Concert founder Hillary Nordwell’s most influential teachers) has delighted children the world over with her recording of Poulenc’s Babar, and other pieces for narrator/pianist. Her engaging narration, along with her sparkling musical interpretations, promise a captivating experience you won’t want to miss! Also featured on the program will be an introduction to Eric Satie (one of Poulenc’s mentors) through an arrangement of his ballet Parade for 2 pianists.

March 10 – San Francisco – 10:30am March 11 – Pacifica – 2pm

March 10: Tickets and information at Noe Valley Chamber Music

Johannes Brahms Cello Sonata in F Major, Op. 99 Emil Miland, cello Hillary Nordwell, piano SF Opera cellist and Bay Area native Emil Miland shares with us the transcendent Cello Sonata in F Major by Johannes Brahms. This glorious, large-scale work has such life and joy in it that we know it will appeal to young and old alike. Introduce your children to one of the quintessential Romantic composers, while enjoying one of the most magnificent chamber works from the 19th century (and that’s coming from a huge Schumann fan!). 

 

February 4 – Pacifica – 2pm Frédéric Chopin Polonaise Militaire, Op. 40 No. 1 Selected Preludes and Waltzes The small-scale works of Frédéric Chopin provide a perfect opportunity for introducing children to his distinctive style and the picturesque variety in his music. Please join Hillary Nordwell, pianist, for a program featuring the “Raindrop” Prelude, “Cat” Waltz, “Polonaise Militaire,” and more, along with an entertaining and informative story by author Ann Rachlin about Chopin’s childhood. December 10, 2017 Berkeley December 17, 2017 Pacifica Holiday Celebration Come enjoy the story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, accompanied by delightful arrangements of holiday favorites for piano and strings, as well as a Christmas and Hanukkah sing-along, to finish off Comfy Concerts’ 2017 Season! Hillary Nordwell, piano Erica Ward (Dec. 10) & Akiko Kojima (Dec. 17), violin Robin Reynolds, cello September 24, 2017 Berkeley October 8, 2017 Pacifica Songs of Vartan Aghababian and Poetry of A.A. Milne (with a bit of Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay thrown in!) Enjoy an afternoon of lighthearted poetry and song featuring the delightful and inspiring Ann Moss! When We Were Very Young, a song cycle by Vartan Aghababian on A.A. Milne’s poetry of the same title, features both silly and serious songs for the young and young at heart! For those who know Milne’s poetry, the cycle includes The Christening, Lines and Squares, Market Square, The Mirror, and Spring Morning. Also included will be readings from Milne’s Now We Are Six, as well as selected songs of Vartan Aghababian chosen for their lovely music and youthful poetry by Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Composer Vartan Aghababian lives and works in the Boston area. A faculty member in Music Theory and Composition at Boston University and Massachussetts Institute of Technology, he also taught for many years at the Longy School of Music, and gives public lectures and private lessons in addition to composing and conducting. He studied composition with William Bolcom, Leslie Bassett, and James Hartway. Come experience new, wonderful, and easily approachable American music from the pen of a living composer steeped in a long rich history of musical composition. *July 16, 2017 NURTURING YOUR SUZUKI EXPERIENCE with Special Comfy Concert featuring Hillary Nordwell! *10am-4pm at Holy Names University HillaryNordwell-0042-e1473048785142-835x1024.jpgpianobecky.jpgcarolineAcard.jpg

Caroline Fraser, BlancaMaria Montecinos, and Hillary Nordwell will be sharing this workshop with parents, prospective parents of Suzuki students and new/experienced Suzuki teachers.  Parents are encouraged to come to learn more about their role in their child’s musical education, share practice suggestions and reinforce their skills as effective teachers at home with their child.  The class is open to parents and teachers of all instruments.

April 2, 2017 Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata in F-sharp Major, Opus 78 Für Elise, WoO 59 “Moonlight” Sonata, Op. 27, No. 1: Adagio sostenuto Variations on a Theme by Giovanni Paisiello, WoO 70 Sonatina in F Major, Anh. 5, No. 2 Get to know Beethoven as a little boy, while listening to music he composed throughout his life. This introduction to some of Beethoven’s most famous works, and a few inspiring pieces you may be hearing for the first time, will also include a glimpse into some of his beloved symphonic works. beethoven4One of the great masters of solo piano writing, Beethoven composed many sonatas, sets of variations, and smaller pieces for the instrument. His famous “Für Elise” (“For Elise”) may not have been written for an Elise at all- it is suspected there may have been an error in the title, which could have been “For Therese,” a woman to whom Beethoven proposed (and was refused) near the time the work was published. The Piano Sonata in F-sharp Major (1809) comes with a dedication to another Therese, who was a close friend, former student, and patron of Beethoven’s. The Variations on the program were composed around 1795 on an operatic duet by Paisiello, which had been performed in Vienna Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 3.33.18 PMsoon after Beethoven took up residence there. According to  Franz-Gerhard Wegeler, Beethoven composed them for a woman sitting next to him at the opera, who mentioned she had once owned a set of variations on the duet, but had lost them. 25-year-old Beethoven sent the new set of variations to her the next morning.  The slow movement of the “Moonlight” Sonata, composed in 1801, is one of the most famous and best-loved pieces Beethoven ever wrote. January 15, 2017 (Pacifica) – 2pm January 29, 2017 (Berkeley) – 3pm American Art Song amtumblrpic Acclaimed recording artist and chamber musician Ann Moss, soprano returns to perform a program of American Art Song, featuring works by Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, and John Duke; plus some of our favorites by living composers Vartan Aghababian (Boston) and Jake Heggie (San Francisco). Ann Moss is the artistic director of CMASH, a New Music repertory group committed to establishing and nurturing long-term collaborative relationships between composers and performers, and has long been a champion of new works by American composers. I couldn’t imagine anyone better to introduce our young audience _DSC0180 members to the wonderful world of American Art Song. Ann and I so much enjoyed offering “story through song” with Robert Schumann’s Lieder this summer, and are looking forward to allowing the children an even more direct connection with the songs this time, since they will be in our native language! This delightful program includes (among others) the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and none other than A.A. Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories! December 11, 2016 Holiday Celebration Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 8.47.47 PMCome enjoy the story of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, accompanied by delightful arrangements of holiday favorites for piano and strings, as well as a Christmas Carol sing-along to finish off Comfy Concerts’ 2016 Season! Emily Packard, violin Robin Reynolds, cello Hillary Nordwell, piano and viola November 13, 2016 Clara Schumann (1819-1896) Clara Schumann: Soirées Musicales, Op. 6 Robert Schumann: Widmung (Dedication), transcribed by Franz Liszt Clara_Wieck_im_Alter_von_15_JahrenPlease join us as we revisit the composer featured on Comfy Concerts’ premiere performance in August 2015. Clara Wieck Schumann, one of the most prominent pianists of her time, was also an avid composer of music for the piano. Clara began her musical studies with her father, Friedrich Wieck, who later took on Robert Schumann as a student. Thus the beginning of a musical romance… and the many struggles that went along with it.  The Soirées Musicales were written when Clara was a teenager, in love with a young man for whom her father was a mentor. Her father, however, was dead set against the relationship developing between his daughter and composer Robert Schumann. He did everything in his power to stop it, including a law suit, in which Robert and Clara won the right to marry before her 21st birthday (and they did, the very day before she turned 21!). Widmung, by Robert Schumann, was part of a set of Lieder (art songs) that he wrote as a wedding gift for Clara. October 2, 2016 Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) Sonata for Viola and Piano Op. 11, No. 4 “Let’s Build a Town!” Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 7.21.05 PMA treat for adventurous listeners, Hindemith’s viola sonata intertwines soaring melodic lines, folk-inspired tunes, intense declamatory energy, and even a few moments that hint at French Impressionism. Hindemith enjoyed presenting his music at intimate gatherings, with serious and receptive listeners, rather than in big, well-publicized concert events. He said, “Music is meaningless noise unless it touches a receiving mind.” Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 7.28.02 PMThe Viola Sonata is quite a magnificent journey, and Hindemith preferred it to be performed without any pause between the movements. However, we hope he would support our idea to help young minds receive his music; we will play individual sections within his through-composed piece, interspersed with a beautifully written and illustrated new childrens story by David Litchfield, The Bear and the Piano. Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 7.45.03 PMHaving lived through two world wars, we presume Hindemith knew what he was talking about when he said, “People who make music together cannot be enemies, at least while the music lasts.” We wholeheartedly agree, and hope that our musical offerings and our efforts to create interest and passion for music in the younger generation will help promote peace in a troubled world. “Your task it is, amid confusion, rush, and noise, to grasp the lasting, calm and meaningful, and finding it anew, to hold and treasure it.” Paul Hindemith Justin Ouellet, viola Hillary Nordwell, piano July 31, 2016 Selected Songs of Robert Schumann (And CD Release! Schumann: A Musical Journey) Magic, Feelings, Nature, and more! Explore the broad range of Schumann’s personality through one of his most intimate, and influential, forms- the Art Song (Lied). Themed sets geared toward childrens’ sensibilities and interests will cover the gamut of all of our emotions, and the beauty of Ann Moss’ “powerful expression” will leave children and adults alike wanting more! RobertSchumann_40JahreAnn Moss is a frequent performer at Comfy Concerts and a versatile and beloved artist. For her full bio, and information on her other projects, please see her website. This will also be the first concert on the newly restored Steinway Grand (the same piano as always with brand new inner workings!), and will serve as the release for Robert Schumann: A Musical Journey, my brand new album featuring my reading of Ann Rachlin’s engaging story about Schumann as a young boy, alongside my performance of Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, featuring a Comfy Concert style format of story and music intertwined. May 15, 2016 Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata in F-sharp Major, Opus 78 Für Elise, WoO 59 “Moonlight” Sonata, Op. 27, No. 1: Adagio sostenuto Variations on a Theme by Giovanni Paisiello, WoO 70 Sonatina in F Major, Anh. 5, No. 2 beethoven4One of the great masters of solo piano writing, Beethoven composed many sonatas, sets of variations, and smaller pieces for the instrument. His famous “Für Elise” (“For Elise”) may not have been written for an Elise at all- it is suspected there may have been an error in the title, which could have been “For Therese,” a woman to whom Beethoven proposed (and was refused) near the time the work was published. The Piano Sonata in F-sharp Major (1809) comes with a dedication to another Therese, who was a close friend, former student, and patron of Beethoven’s. The Variations on the program were composed around 1795 on an operatic duet by Paisiello, which had been performed in Vienna soon after Beethoven took up residence there. According to  Franz-Gerhard Wegeler, Beethoven composed them for a woman sitting next to him at the opera, who mentioned she had once owned a set of variations on the duet, but had lost them. 25 year old Beethoven sent the new set of variations to her the next morning.  The “Moonlight” Sonata, composed in 1801 is one of the most famous and best-loved pieces Beethoven ever wrote. *April 10, 2016 Classical Kids at Noe Valley Chamber Music 1:30pm and 3:00pm RobertSchumann_40JahreCome out to Classical Kids at Noe Valley Chamber Music for a reprise of the Schumann program from this summer- it would be wonderful to see some familiar faces! Please see their website for more information: http://nvcm.org/classical-kids/kids2016/hillary-nordwell/ Robert Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6 Robert Schumann sent Clara these words, along with the Davidsbündlertänze, during their time of separation, enforced by Clara’s father because he didn’t approve of their relationship: “You will, I know, make a little place in your heart for them, because they are mine… But my Clara will know how to find the real meaning of these dances, for they are dedicated to her in a quite special sense… I never spent happier moments at the piano than in composing these.” March 13, 2016 Allan Crossman, Bay Area Composer The Eusebius Duo: Monika Gruber, violin and Hillary Nordwell, piano Florébius (composed in 2015 for The Eusebius Duo) Selections from Musical Theater compositions, including “I Know Exactly Where I Am” “Piano Teachers’ Problem Waltz” bio-allan-crossmanCome and meet Allan Crossman, a composer who currently lives and works in the Bay Area! Mr. Crossman will share stories of himself as a young person, his motivations and inspirations for becoming a musician and composer, as well as a few works he composed in his early years. The Eusebius Duo will perform Florébius, a work composed by Crossman early last year, which the duo will be professionally recording in March, and Allan Crossman will introduce the kids (and adults!) to some musical theater pieces he has composed for young performers. This is a chance in a lifetime for children to meet a living and local composer, who will answer their questions, speak on his evolution as a composer, and introduce them to the compositional process. Program note for Florébius by Allan Crossman: EusebiusDuo_photo1Florébius was written in 2015 for the Eusebius Duo. The piece has the features of expression associated with the characters Florestan (extraverted) and Eusebius (introverted), which, in Schumann, usually appear as separate and distinct passages. In the present composition, those moods/qualities are intertwined, so that there is always one within the other, or one lurking behind the other, ready to take center-stage. And thus the title of the piece… I’ve been enjoying writing in this dramatic-concert tradition, and what a pleasure working with the Eusebius Duo – seeing how their own personalities and expressiveness intertwine with this music. Applauded for their “exquisite balance of control and passion,” Monika Gruber and Hillary Nordwell of the Eusebius Duo offer a wide range of music for violin and piano, including repertoire from four centuries, written by composers of many nationalities. They share a special love for the life and music of Robert Schumann. February 28, 2016 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K. 423 Aria from the Opera “Il Re Pastore” for voice, violin, and piano Das Veilchen (The Violet) Piano Sonata in C Major, K 330 (Allegro Moderato) mozart2Comfy Concerts welcomes back Justin Ouellet and Ann Moss, plus violist Nellie Freed, in this program featuring one of the most famous child prodigies of all time. In his short life (1756-1791), Mozart composed over 600 works of music, including operas, symphonies, chamber music, piano music, concertos, and art song (Lied). While not able to present symphonic music in such a small space(!), we will cover many of the various genres of Mozart’s composition, and give your child a hands on experience with the instruments of the string family. November 29, 2015 Holiday Celebration images-12Come enjoy “Frosty the Snowman” accompanied by holiday favorites played by piano trio (Violin, Cello, Piano), as well as a Christmas Carol sing-along to finish off Comfy Concerts’ 2015 Season! Guest performers Emily Packard, violin and Robin Reynolds, cello,  join in the fun! October 4, 2015 Franz Schubert schubertArpeggione Sonata, D. 821 Selected Lieder: Im Frühling and Ganymed We welcome Justin Ouellet, viola, and Ann Moss, soprano, in this program including Schubert’s beloved Arpeggione Sonata and two of his many beautiful art songs (Lieder). Originally written for the “arpeggione,” an instrument like a bowed guitar, the Sonata was only published after Schubert’s death, when the instrument had already faded into obscurity. It is now performed most often by violists and cellists. AJFoothillsIm Frühling, the text written in 1815 by Ernest Schulze, depicts the remembrance of love and loss, as set against a backdrop of a valley coming alive in the springtime.  Ganymed, written in 1774 by Goethe and also set in springtime, describes human-kind and the divine becoming one through nature. August 16, 2015 Robert Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6 Robert Schumann sent Clara these words, along with the Davidsbündlertänze, during their time of separation, enforced by Clara’s father because he didn’t approve of their relationship: RobertSchumann_40Jahre“You will, I know, make a little place in your heart for them, because they are mine… But my Clara will know how to find the real meaning of these dances, for they are dedicated to her in a quite special sense… I never spent happier moments at the piano than in composing these.” August 2, 2015 Clara Schumann: Soirées Musicales, Op. 6 Robert Schumann: Widmung (Dedication), transcribed by Franz Liszt Clara_Wieck_im_Alter_von_15_JahrenBecome acquainted with Clara Wieck Schumann, one of the best pianists of her time and an avid composer of music for the piano. Clara began her musical studies with her father, Friedrich Wieck, who later took Robert Schumann on as a student. Thus the beginning of a musical romance… and many struggles that went along with it.