Cyprus Mail

A violin, a piano and a cello unite

The Pharos Arts Foundation, with the support of the Embassy of Austria in Nicosia, will present a concert with one of Austria’s most celebrated musicians, violinist Gerhard Schulz, on Friday in Nicosia.

Schulz, who was a member of the world renowned Alban Berg Quartet for over 30 years, will be joined by pianist Noam Greenberg and cellist Lilia Schulz-Bayrova for an all-Viennese programme of works by Schubert, Brahms and Alban Berg.

The Austrian musician studied with Franz Samohyl in Vienna, Sandor Vegh in Düsseldorf, and Shmuel Ashkenasi in the USA. He was a founding member of the Salzburg String Trio, the Schulz Ensemble, and the first violinist of the Düsseldorf String Quartet. During his time with the Alban Berg Quartet he regularly appeared in the world’s most important concert venues. The quartet had an exclusive contract with EMI Records and released a great number of award-winning albums.

Since 1980 Schulz has been a violin professor at the University for Music in Vienna, and has also been a guest professor for chamber music at the Hochschule für Music in Cologne, Germany since 1993. After the Alban Berg Quartet’s final concert in 2008 Schulz founded the Waldstein Ensemble (a piano quartet). In 2009 he made his debut as a conductor with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Greenberg studied at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv and at Yale University before moving to London to study with Maria Curcio. The musician now enjoys a busy concert schedule as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in both the traditional repertoire and new music, and appears regularly on many European stages including the Wigmore Hall in London. He has also given many master-class courses and has participated in a number of chamber music concerts.

Bayrova, from Sofia, started taking cello lessons with her father at the age of six, and won the National Cello Competition in Bulgaria in 1982 and 1983. At the age of 12, she made her first recording with the Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

After moving to Vienna she graduated in 1989 and in the same year became the first woman to win the Special Prize of the Vienna Philharmonic. She currently appears as a soloist with many international orchestras in Europe and the USA. Also she is a professor at the Vienna Conservatory.

The three musicians will perform Schubert’s G Minor sonatina, D.408, which was written in early 1816 when he was 19. The three works weren’t published until 1836, eight years after Schubert’s death.

Brahms’ Rhapsody in G minor, Op.79 No.2 will also be showcased on Friday. The two Rhapsodies of Op.79 were written in 1879 and Brahms dedicated them to Elizabet von Herzogenberg, one of his piano students and secret loves.

Berg’s Piano Sonata, Op.1 piano sonata is the third piece to be performed. It was written in 1907-8 while Berg was studying with Schönberg. Originally it was intended to have three movements but, after completing the first, Berg found that for a long time nothing worthwhile occurred to him, whereupon Schoenberg remarked, “In that case, you have said everything there was to be said.”

The final piece on the programme is Schubert’s Trio No.2 in E-flat major, D.929. The piece was composed in 1827 and the composer held a private performance of it in celebration of the forthcoming marriage of his long-time friend Josef von Spaun.

The Pharos Arts Foundation presents violinist Gerhard Schulz, pianist Noam Greenberg and cellist Lilia Schulz-Bayrova. March 6. The Shoe Factory, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €15/10. Tel: 22-663871

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