February 12th, 2023
Scandinavia House (58 Park Ave)
A recital by unparalleled artists, cellist Darrett Adkins and pianist Roberto Plano. Featuring stirring, unforgettable music by the Ukranian Romantic Mykola Lysenko, Malaysian-American Su Lian Tan, Guggenheim laureate Jeffrey Mumford and the Norwegian National treasure, Edvard Grieg.
DARRETT ADKINS, CELLO
Cellist Darrett Adkins enjoys a rich musical life as a pedagogue and performer. While serving on the cello and chamber music faculties at the Juilliard School and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he has been the inspiration and dedicatee of many important new works for cello and orchestra, serving to expand and enrich the repertoire. In addition to the concertos written for him by Su Lian Tan and Philip Cashian featured on his recording “Myth and Tradition”, with Tim Weiss and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, he premiered Stephen Hartke’s Concerto “Da Pacem” with Robert Spano and the Oberlin Orchestra. He also commissioned and premiered Jeffrey Mumford's concerto “billowing pockets, brightly layered”, with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Other important American premieres include the first New York performances of Rolf Wallin's concerto “Grund”, at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, Arne Nordheim's “Tenebrae” with Per Brevig conducting at Alice Tully Hall and Messiaen's Concerto for Four Instruments at Carnegie Hall. Birtwhistle's “Meridian” and Donatoni's “Un Ruisseau Sur L'Escalier” received their US premieres by Adkins at Tanglewood with Oliver Knussen and George Benjamin conducting, respectively. He made his Aspen professional debut on just three days notice, performing Berio's “Messagesquisses” with James Conlon, and has subsequently performed standard and contemporary repertoire with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Aspen Chamber Symphony, and the Aspen Philharmonic. He gave the first New York performance of Berio's just-discovered Sequenza XIV for solo cello and subsequently recorded it for Naxos' complete set of Sequenzas.
An avid chamber musician, Adkins performs and records regularly in The US and Europe with the Lions Gate Trio, which is in residence at the Hartt School. He is a former member of the Zephyr Trio and the Flux Quartet, with whom he gave the first complete performance of Morton Feldman's Quartet II, and the subsequent recording on Mode Records. He has recorded with the Juilliard Quartet and been a guest at many major festivals, including those of Melbourne (Australia), Oslo Chamber Music (Norway), Ojai, Aspen, Tanglewood, Kneisel Hall, Rio Cello Encounter (Brazil), the Sitka International Cello Seminar, and Chattaqua. He has performed standard concerto repertoire with the Orchestra of St, Lukes, the Tokyo Philharmonic (Orchard Hall), the SuWon Philharmonic (Seoul National Arts Center) , the National Symphony of the UFF in Rio de Janiero, and the orchestras of New Hampshire and North Carolina. He has performed for the King of Norway, and received the American Scandinavian Foundation's Cultural Arts Grant for his advocacy for Norwegian music and musicians.
His recording of duos by Ravel, Kodaly and Sessions with the violinist Gil Morgenstern reached Amazon's Top Ten Classical Recordings. His first Oberlin Music release was the solo recording Hypersuite II, featuring music of Bach interwoven with solo works by contemporary composers.
Darrett holds degrees from Oberlin, Rice, and Juilliard, and primarily studied with Norman Fischer and Joel Krosnick.
ROBERTO PLANO, PIANO
Italian native Roberto Plano performs regularly throughout North America and Europe – notably at Lincoln Center, Sala Verdi, Salle Cortot, Wigmore Hall and the Herkulessaal. He has appeared with orchestras all over the world, under the direction of renowned conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, James Conlon, Pinchas Zuckerman, Miguel Harth-Bedoya. He has been a featured recitalist at the internationally acclaimed Newport Festival, the Portland Piano Festival, Ravinia Festival and
the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (USA), Chopin Festival (Poland), the Bologna Festival - Great Soloists (Italy), and many others. He played with String Quartets such as the Takacs, Cremona, St. Petersburg, Fine Arts, Jupiter, Muir, as well as soloists such as Ilya Grubert, Pavel Berman, Jiri Barta, Enrico Bronzi, and in duo with his wife Paola Del Negro.
Mr. Plano was the First Prize Winner at the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition, Prize Winner at the Honens, Dublin, Sendai, Geza Anda and Valencia Competitions and Finalist at the 2005 Van Cliburn and the Busoni Competitions, in addition to having won 15 First Prizes in National Competitions in Italy. In January 2018 he won the American Prize in the solo professional division. Mr. Plano’s engaging personality has made him a favorite guest on radio programs such as NPR’s Performance Today.
He has recorded more than 20 commercial CDs for Briliant, Sipario, Azica, Arktos, DaVinci, Concerto, being awarded five stars by several music magazines. and he recently released several World Première CDs with music by Andrea Luchesi (1741-1801). Mr. Plano gave the world premiere of two Luchesi piano concertos with the Busoni Chamber Orchestra in Trieste, Italy; the US premiere took place with the Toledo Symphony, Stefan Sanderling conducting. Mr. Plano’s debut recording with DECCA Classics was also recently released, featuring the “Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses” by Liszt, which have not been recorded by Decca since the 60’s. Recent events include soloist appearances with Kremerata Baltica at the Portogruaro International Festival in Italy, with the Royal Camerata at the Athenauem Theater in Bucarest (Romania) and with the Boston Civic Symphony at Regis College, and recitals and chamber music concerts at the Stellenbosh Symposium, Sudafrica, at the Yamaha Center, Taiwan, at Vivace Vilnius Festival in Lituania, Gijon International Piano Festival in Spain and at the Boston Athenauem in USA. He was also invited to give several concerts in Russia, including two concerts at the Kremlin State Palace in Moscow, and a 10-concert chamber music tour in China with The Juilliard School’s faculty Laurie Smukler and Darrett Adkins.
Mr. Plano studied at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, the Ecole Normale “Cortot” in Paris, where he earned the Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste, obtaining first prize with unanimous decision and congratulations of the Jury, and the Lake Como Academy. Mr. Plano has been described by The Chronicle as the “Pavarotti of the Piano” for his lyricism and defined by Chicago radio commentator Paul Harvey as the heir to Rubinstein and Horowitz. In Italy, he has appeared on the cover of the most important music magazine, Amadeus, and has been awarded several prizes, including the Lumen Claro, previously assigned to such noteworthy people as soprano Barbara Frittoli, stylist Ottavio Missoni, and economist Mario Monti. NY Times music critic Anthony Tommasini has written: “This Italian pianist showed artistic maturity beyond his years… there was a wonderful clarity and control of inner voices in his performances…”.
After joining in 2016 the Faculty of Boston University, in 2018 he has been appointed as Associate Professor of Piano at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. One of the most sought-after teachers in the world, Mr. Plano also regularly teaches during the summer at Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival and at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. Starting in 2023, he will be on the Faculty of Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano, Switzerland) and Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (UK).