Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts opens its 2023 classical season with the perfect, spring-time chamber music program on Sunday, March 5, at 2 PM in Lincoln Hall with an afternoon of sublime music making by world class artists as international competition winner, David Allen Wehr returns with an ensemble of world class musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Duquesne University from his acclaimed and sold out “Music on the Bluff” series in Pittsburgh.
The ensemble will perform two joyous, exuberant and extroverted piano quintet masterpieces that are the pinnacle of the chamber music repertoire: Franz Schubert’s “The Trout” based on the song of the same name and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat major.
David Allen Wehr’s distinguished colleagues from the Pittsburgh Symphony and Duquesne University faculty include Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola (Pittsburgh Symphony); Adam Liu, cello (Assistant Principal Cello, Pittsburgh Symphony); Aaron White, contrabass (Bass, Pittsburgh Symphony); Charles Stegeman, violin (Concertmaster, Pittsburgh Opera/Ballet Orchestra); and Rachel Stegeman, violin (Concertmaster, Youngstown and Wheeling Symphonies). Mezzo soprano Katherine Soroka will sing in English the song on which Schubert’s fourth movement variations are based – his song “Die Forelle” or “The Trout”.
A favorite of Foxburg audiences, David Allen Wehr will also serve as the program host for the concert, providing enlightening and delightful insights on the music and the composer. And no one does it better!
David’s international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid and Buenos Aires
Wehr’s November 2022 all-Chopin concert for ARCA in Lincoln Hall was exquisite – during which he told the raptly attentive audience that he was inspired by their listening… a concert to be forever remembered. And, it could be said of his November 2021 two-piano performance with Cynthia Raim of Rachmaninoff duets that gleaned them the 1998 Recording of the Year for the American Record Guide, that on that day – anywhere in the music capitals of the world – there was no more exultant performance of classical music.
Known for his ability as a “Living Program Note”, David Allen Wehr has a warm personality that welcomes an audience member into the emotion of the music and makes imaginative and simple the intricacies of glorious works of master composers. It was David’s thirteen seasons touring the United States and Canada for Community concerts as a soloist and in chamber music partnerships that honed his unique ability to make great works of music accessible to the public.
Post-COVID, open theatre style seating has returned to 100% capacity. There is neither a mask nor a vaccine passport requirement. Please refrain from attending if you are ill or if you have been exposed to anyone with COVID.
Tickets are $30 for Adults, $25 for ARCA Members and $5 for Students. Buy online here or call to reserve: 724-659-3153 Cash or check at the door.
Duquesne University’s “Music on the Bluff” comes to Foxburg
David Allen Wehr returns each season to the Lincoln Hall stage by popular demand and has been delighting ARCA audiences for more than a decade in both solo and chamber music – frequently with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony and Duquesne Piano Trio in programs developed for his sold-out, Duquesne University “Music on the Bluff” series.
In 2023, David is bringing musicians from recent Bluff performances to the banks of the beautiful Allegheny River to perform the piano quintet masterpiece of the twenty year old Franz Schubert, “The Trout” – and Robert Schumann’s extroverted and exuberant Piano Quintet in E flat major.
David Allen Wehr, Piano
Charles Stegeman, Violin
Rachel Stegeman, Violin
Marylene Gingras-Roy, Viola
Adam Liu, Cello
Aaron White, Bass
Katherine Soroka, Mezzo Soprano
The famous Piano Quintet in A Major is written for the unusual combination of piano, violin, viola, cello AND contrabass. The fourth movement of Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet – Theme and Variations: Andantino – is based on Schubert’s charming song, “Die Forelle” or “The Trout,” which tells the story of a trout’s demise from the vantage point of a sympathetic by-stander. Mezzo soprano Katherine Soroka will perform the song on which it is based in English with pianist David Allen Wehr prior to the quintet performance.
Concluding the program is Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in A Major – one of the finest chamber music works of the nineteenth century. The work, which revolutionized the piano quintet instrumentation and established it as quintessentially “Romantic”, was dedicated to his wife and great pianist, Clara Schumann, who pronounced the work, “full of vigor and freshness”.
Indeed, both will be musical harbingers of Spring!
Franz Schubert: Die Forelle (The Trout), D. 550
Katherine Soroka, mezzo soprano
David Allen Wehr, piano
Franz Schubert: Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 (Trout)
Theme and Variations: Andantino
David Allen Wehr, piano
Rachel Stegeman, violin
Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola
Adam Liu, cello
Aaron White, contrabass
Robert Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, op. 44
In modo d’una marcia. Un poco largamente
Scherzo: Molto vivace
Allegro ma non troppo
David Allen Wehr, piano
Charles Stegeman, violin
Rachel Stegeman, violin
Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola
Adam Liu, cello
David Allen Wehr
David Allen Wehr holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at the Mary Pappert School of Music. His international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid and Buenos Aires. Over 1,000 concerts include 13 seasons of touring the United States and Canada for Community Concerts as soloist, pianist with the Sartory Trio, and duo-recital partner with violinist Linda Wang and cellist Zuill Bailey. Wehr has been soloist with the London Symphony, National Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Houston Symphony, New Zealand Symphony and all the major Spanish and Latin American orchestras.
Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Wehr grew up in Boise, Idaho, where his parents, graduates of Westminster Choir College, were ministers of music at the Methodist Cathedral of the Rockies. Piano lessons began on his fourth birthday with his mother and continued with his father. Later teachers were Peggy Erwin, Edward Zolas and Sequeira Costa. Wehr studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Taos School of Music, the Dartington Summer Music School in England, and holds degrees from the University of Kansas. He coached extensively with Leon Fleisher, Jorge Bolet and Malcolm Frager. Early in his career, Wehr won the 1975 Kosciuszko Chopin Prize in New York City, the 1983 National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Award, and Second Prizes in the 1983 Naumburg International Piano Competition at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the 1986 Kapell Competition at the Kennedy Center.
David Allen Wehr has amassed a large and critically acclaimed discography with Connoisseur Society, Inc., with programs by Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, Schumann, Delius, Czerny, Gershwin, Brahms, Griffes, Wagner-Liszt, Dvoř-k and Joe Utterback. The complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle has been released in four double-CD albums. His CDs are available through the Mary Pappert School of Music by calling (412) 396-6082 and at amazon.com. Since 2007, Wehr has served each summer as Principal Keyboard at the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest in Marion, Massachusetts.
Wehr was first associated with Duquesne from 1991-1994, when the Sartory Trio was chamber ensemble-in-residence, and his current tenure began in 2001, when he was named the first Hillman Distinguished Chair. His previous performance projects here include the complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle (2002-2004), Beethoven’s “Dynamic Duos”: the complete violin-piano sonatas with Charles Stegeman, the complete works for cello and piano with Anne Martindale Williams, and the Ninth Symphony in Liszt’s two-piano transcription with Helene Wickett (2004), “Brahms on the Bluff”, (Brahms’ complete instrumental chamber music, 2005-2008), “Musique on the Bluff” (French music, 2008-2010), “Bicentennials on the Bluff” (Chopin and Schumann, 2010), “Dvořák at Duquesne” (2011), and “Budapest on the Bluff” (2012) and “Beethoven on the Bluff” (2013-14) presenting the major piano chamber works of Beethoven. “Schubert on the Bluff” debuts during the fall of 2015 and the first concert in the series is being brought to Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall on Saturday, September 26 at 2:00 PM.
A native of Québec City, Canada, Marylène Gingras-Roy joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra viola section in the 1997 season, and in 2004 was promoted to fourth chair. She studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis and graduated in 1993 with unanimous First Prizes in both in viola and chamber music. She was then the recipient of Canada and Québec Arts Councils’ Scholarship Grants, enabling her to attend the Harid Conservatory with Victoria Chiang and the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Karen Tuttle and Joseph DePasquale, where she earned an Artist Diploma in 1997.
Marylène has participated in many festivals, including the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall, the Jerusalem Music Festival, the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, where she served as Principal violist, and since 2000 she is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.
Marylène is heard regularly in chamber music concerts and maintains a full teaching schedule at Duquesne University, privately and is the viola coach for the Three Rivers Young People Orchestra. Marylène has also taught at summer music festivals such as: Domaine Forget, Québec, Interharmony Festival in Germany and Advanced Chamber Music Seminar in Pittsburgh.
Adam Liu joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Cello in 2003. Prior to this appointment, Liu held the position of Associate Principal Cello with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit for six seasons, including the entire 1999-2000 season as acting principal cello. He participated in many international tours and is featured on CD recordings with Montreal.
Liu was born in Tianjin, in north China. He came to the United States in 1986 on a full scholarship from the Piatigorsky Foundation to study at the Peabody Conservatory of Music with Stephen Kates. H then studied at the University of Southern California with Lynn Harrell.
Liu began his musical life at the age of 6 with intense study of the erhu – a two-stringed Chinese musical instrument. Taking the advice of his family, he switched to the cello, with the newly available study of western music.
Liu has been a soloist with orchestras worldwide, including the symphonies of Montreal, Victoria, Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, San Antonio, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
He plays on a fine Italian cello made in 1759 by Paolo Antonio Testore. Liu has held the artist in residence position at the Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music since 2009 and is a member of the Duquesne Piano Trio.
Professor of Violin at Duquesne University, Canadian-born violinist Charles Stegeman made his recital debut at age seven in Banff and debuted as soloist with the Banff Festival Orchestra at age nine. He was awarded a full scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 14 where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree, then continued his studies at the Juilliard School where he earned a Masters Degree.
Charles studied chamber music with Mischa Schneider, Isadore Cohen, Menahem Pressler, Michael Tree and David Soyer, and attended such international summer music festivals as Music Academy of the West, Banff School of Fine Arts, Meadowmount School of Music, Ravel Festival and the International Master Classes with Nathan Milstein.
Stegeman has appeared as soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, Toulouse Orchestre Symphonique, RTB Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and New York Chamber Players. He is Artistic Director of the Sunflower Music Festival and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest.
Stegeman appeared under Columbia Artist Management auspices with the Canterbury and Sartory Trios. He has collaborated with Cynthia Phelps, Carter Brey, Peter Salaff, Jerome Lowenthal , Ron Leonard, Paul Coletti, Timothy Cobb and the Takacs Quartet. A winner of five national competitions and one international violin competition (CMC in Montreal), Mr. Stegeman currently performs approximately 60 concerts a year as Concertmaster, Chamber Musician, and Soloist in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Since 1980 Stegeman has played for over 3 million people and performed over 2400 concerts! He has performed in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, Paris, Zurich, Brussels, and London. Since 1989, he has been Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras.
Violinist Rachel Stegeman is Concertmaster of the Wheeling and Youngstown Symphony Orchestras and Associate Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Orchestras. She previously was Principal Second Violin of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As a Los Angeles studio musician, she recorded over 600 major motion pictures, 250 television shows, commercials and 300 records from 1989-2004.
Ms. Stegeman has been Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, Opera Pacific, Pacific Symphony, Mozart Camerata, National Chamber Orchestra, and has played with the National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival, National Symphony, Capistrano Valley Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony. She has been a guest at such music festivals as St. Barth’s, Sunflower, Buzzards Bay, and Cabrillo.
Ms. Stegeman is an Adjunct Professor of Violin at Duquesne University, where she earned bachelors and masters degrees as a student of Sidney Harth. Many of her students have performing careers in professional orchestras and are teaching at Universities themselves. She and her husband Charles Stegeman have 2 children together, Gabrielle and Adam.
Aaron White is a Bassist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, bassist Aaron White began his musical studies in the public school system after moving to Irving, Texas. He continued his studies at Southern Methodist University and then Duquesne University. His principal teachers include Thomas Lederer and Jeffrey Turner.
White has given master classes and recitals at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Pennsylvania State University, Southern Methodist University, Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University. In 2012 and again in 2014, he performed with the All-Star Orchestra lead by Gerard Schwarz, which aired locally and nationally on PBS.
Prior to joining the Pittsburgh Symphony, White was a member of the Louisville Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra.
Katherine (Kathy) Soroka is known for her moving and vivid performances as a singer-actress whose world premiere of David Stock’s “Solomon Songs” with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble was acclaimed for “finding both lush lines and dramatic intensity… commanding the stage”. (TribLive)
A winner of Pittsburgh’s Concert Society Major Auditions, she is an avid recitalist and has performed chamber music with the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, Chatham Baroque in a Music for Exhibitions concert at the Frick Museum and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members in an If Music Be The Food concert. In NYC, she performed Betty Oliviero’s “Juego de Siempre” with Joel Sachs and Continuum contemporary ensemble.
Orchestra performances include the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra and educational concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; operatic roles include Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Klytaemnestra in Elektra with Chatham Concert Opera and Baba in The Medium. Katherine has performed musical theatre at The Colonial Theatre in RI, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Barrow Civic Theatre and cabaret in NYC at Don’t Tell Mama and in Pittsburgh with Aria412.
Recently retired from the voice and collaborative piano faculty of Mercyhurst University, she teaches private voice in Pittsburgh, Foxburg and online. Last November, Katherine performed ARCA’s 16th Anniversary concert in Lincoln Hall and as an ARCA Board member with professional arts management experience in some of the country’s major musical institutions including the New York Philharmonic, Grand Teton Music Festival and Manhattan School of Music volunteers to manage ARCA’s concert programming, education, marketing and media.