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Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle


June 3, 2023

Add to Calendar2023-06-03 8:00 pm2023-06-03 8:00 pmEDTEspressivo!Olin Hall,
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Kick off the return of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle series with Espressivo! piano quartet.

Jaime Laredo violin
Milena Pájaro-Van de Stadt viola 
Sharon Robinson cello
Anna Polonsky piano


Rebecca Clarke
Morpheus for viola and piano

Gabriel Fauré
Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15

Johannes Brahms
Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26


Jaime Laredo violin

Performing for over five decades before audiences across the globe, Jaime Laredo has excelled in the multiple roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his stunning orchestral debut at the age of 11 with the San Francisco Symphony, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics, and fellow musicians with his passionate and polished performances. That debut inspired one critic to write: “In the 1920s, it was Yehudi Menuhin; in the 1930s, it was Isaac Stern; and last night, it was Jaime Laredo.” His education and development were greatly influenced by his teachers Josef Gingold and Ivan Galamian, as well as by private coaching with eminent masters Pablo Casals and George Szell. At the age of 17, Laredo won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition, launching his rise to international prominence. With 2009 marking the 50th anniversary of his prize, he was honored to sit on the jury for the final round of the competition.

In past seasons Laredo has conducted and performed with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others. Abroad, Laredo has performed with the London Symphony, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Royal Philharmonic, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which he led on two American tours and in their Hong Kong Festival debut. His numerous recordings with the SCO include Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (which stayed on the British best-seller charts for over a year); Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Italian” and “Scottish” symphonies; Beethoven’s Violin Concerto; Rossini overtures; and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll.

Laredo and his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, recently gave the world premiere of a commission by Richard Danielpour dedicated to and inspired by their marriage, entitled Inventions on a Marriage, which explores in “musical snapshots” the bond of long-term relationships. The 2011-12 season marked Laredo’s 35th anniversary as the violinist of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. The Trio celebrated its three-and-a-half decades together with a national tour and three new commissions by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, André Previn, and Stanley Silverman. Founded by Laredo, Robinson, and pianist Joseph Kalichstein in 1976, the Trio performs regularly at Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y in New York, and Kennedy Center, where they are the ensemble in residence. They have toured internationally to cities that include Lisbon, Hamburg, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Helsinki, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, and Melbourne. The Trio was named Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2002.

For fifteen years, Laredo was the violist of the piano quartet consisting of renowned pianist Emanuel Ax, celebrated violinist Isaac Stern and distinguished cellist Yo-Yo Ma, his close colleagues, and chamber music collaborators. Together, the quartet recorded nearly the entire piano quartet repertoire on the SONY Classical label, including the works of Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, Fauré, and Brahms, for which they won a Grammy Award.

Laredo has recorded close to one hundred discs, received the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize, and has been awarded seven Grammy nominations. Laredo’s discs on CBS and RCA have included the complete Bach sonatas with the late Glenn Gould and a KOCH International Classics album of duos with Robinson featuring works by Handel, Kodaly, Mozart, and Ravel. His releases on the Dorian label include Schubert’s complete works for violin and piano with Stephanie Brown and Virtuoso!, a collection of favorite violin encores with pianist Margo Garrett. Other releases include Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and Concertone with Cho-Liang Lin for Sony. In May 2000, KOCH released the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio’s two-CD set of the chamber works of Maurice Ravel to follow the complete trios and sonatas of Shostakovich. More recently, the Kalichstein-Laredo- Robinson Trio has released multi-disc sets of the complete Brahms’, Beethoven, and Schubert piano trios. Laredo has also released an album on Bridge with Robinson and the Vermont Symphony entitled “Triple Doubles,” which includes three double concertos dedicated to the Duo: Daron Hagen’s Masquerade, a new, fully-orchestrated version of Richard Danielpour’s A Child’s Reliquary (originally written as a piano trio for the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio); and David Ludwig’s Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra. The next major endeavor for the husband-wife duo was a Double Concerto written for them by André Previn, which premiered in November 2014.

A recent project titled Two x Four celebrates the relationship between the teacher and the student through music. With his colleague and former student Jennifer Koh, Laredo kicked off the inaugural season with the Delaware Symphony performing the Double Concerti for Two Violins by J.S. Bach, Philip Glass, and two newly commissioned concerti by composers Anna Clyne and David Ludwig. Subsequent performances have taken the duo to the IRIS orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Kennedy Center, Miller Theater of Columbia University, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Alabama Symphony. It was recorded on Cedille Records in 2014.

Recognized internationally as a sought-after violin teacher, Laredo has fostered the education of violinists, including Leila Josefowitz, Hillary Hahn, Jennifer Koh, Ivan Chan, Soovin Kim, Pamela Frank, and Bella Hristova. After 35 years of teaching at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and seven years at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Laredo began teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2012, where his wife, Sharon Robinson, also holds a teaching position. Additionally, Laredo is the conductor of the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, which brings young musicians from around the world to the stage every December.

In demand worldwide as a conductor and a soloist, Laredo has held the position of music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra since 1999. Laredo began his tenure as principal guest conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic in 2014. In 2009, Laredo and his wife were named the artistic directors of the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, Ohio. As former Artistic Director of New York’s renowned Chamber Music at the Y series, Laredo created an important forum for chamber music performances and developed a devoted following. His stewardships of the annual New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis have become beloved educational pillars of the string community. A principal figure at the Marlboro Music Festival in years past, he has also been involved at Tanglewood, Aspen, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, and the Hollywood Bowl, as well as festivals in Italy, Spain, Finland, Greece, Israel, Austria, Switzerland, and England.

Born in Bolivia, Laredo resides in Guilford, Vermont, and Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, Sharon Robinson.

Milena Pájaro-Van de Stadt viola 

Praised by Strad magazine as having “lyricism that stood out…a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines,” violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt has established herself as one of the most sought-after violists of her generation. In addition to appearances as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she has performed in recitals and chamber-music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, which was described in Strad as being “fleet and energetic…powerful and focused.”

Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt was the founding violist of the Dover Quartet and played in the group from 2008-2022. During her time in the group, the Dover Quartet was the First Prize-winner and recipient of every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2013 and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prize in the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Her numerous awards also include First Prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the Sphinx Competition and the Tokyo International Viola Competition. While in the Dover Quartet, Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt was on the faculty at The Curtis Institute of Music and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and a part of the Quartet in Residence of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

A violin student of Sergiu Schwartz and Melissa Pierson-Barrett for several years, she began studying viola with Michael Klotz at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2005. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Roberto Diaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale. She then received her Master’s Degree in String Quartet with the Dover Quartet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music as a student of James Dunham.

Sharon Robinson cello

Winner of the Avery Fisher Recital Award, Piatigorsky Memorial Award, Pro Musicis Award, and a GRAMMY nominee, cellist Sharon Robinson is recognized worldwide as a consummate artist and one of the most outstanding musicians of our time. Whether Ms. Robinson appears as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, or member of the exciting new Espressivo! piano quartet—critics, audiences, and fellow musicians respond to what the Indianapolis Star has called “a cellist who has simply been given the soul of Caruso.” Her guest appearances with orchestras include the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, National, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Francisco symphonies; and in Europe, the London Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Zürich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, and the English, Scottish and Franz Liszt chamber orchestras.

Recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the state of Vermont, Robinson divides her time between teaching, solo engagements, performing with her husband, violinist, and conductor Jaime Laredo, and is much in demand as a chamber player. She is co-artistic director of the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati and of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle at Bard College. As of 2012, she began teaching on the renowned instrumental and chamber music faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. She previously was a full professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and has an Honorary Doctorate from Marlboro College. In 2015, Robinson established the Cleveland Chapter of Music for Food, which raises funds for food assistance for hungry families in NE Ohio. Highly sought after for her dynamic master classes, she brings insight to her teaching from the rare combination of her life experiences as a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Ciompi String Quartet of Duke University, 45 years with the Kalichstein‐Laredo‐Robinson Trio, plus countless solo recitals and concerto performances.

Committed to the music of our time, Robinson works closely with many of today’s leading composers, including Ned Rorem, Leon Kirchner, Arvo Pärt, Stanley Silverman, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Joan Tower, David Ludwig, Katherine Hoover, Richard Danielpour and André Previn. She is admired for consortium building, putting together multiple presenters as co‐commissioners of both chamber music works and concertos with orchestra. This season, she gathered ten presenters to co-commission Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s Elegy for Piano Quartet, which was written as a response to the tragic events and social reckoning of 2020. Currently, Robinson is in the midst of putting together a consortium to commission Shawn Okpebholo’s Wind Quintet, which mourns racial inequity.

Anna Polonsky piano

Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Ms. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She has performed chamber music at festivals such as Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Music@Menlo, Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City. Ms. Polonsky has given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-2004. In 2006, she took part in the European Broadcasting Union’s project to record and broadcast all of Mozart’s keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007, she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet’s Perspectives Series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.

Anna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990 and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College and in the summer at the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals.

Together with violinist Jaime Laredo, violist Milena Pájaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Sharon Robinson, Polonsky is a member of the Espressivo! Piano Quartet. With the clarinetist David Shifrin and cellist Peter Wiley, she performs with the Polonsky-Shifrin-Wiley Trio.

Ms. Polonsky is a Steinway Artist.

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