Today’s track premiere comes to us from “Meditations on Family,” violinist Yevgeny Kutik‘s new commissioning and recording project. Each of the eight composers involved in the project–Timo Andres, Kinan Azmeh, Chris Cerrone, Andreia Pinto Correia, Paola Prestini, Gity Razaz, Joseph Schwantner, and Gregory Vajda–were prompted to choose a personal family photo to translate into a musical miniature for violin with or without accompaniment.
With one new piece coming out each Friday, the full Meditations on Family EP will be released on March 8, 2019 on Marquis Classics.
Here’s what Gity Razaz had to say about today’s premiere, Cadenza for the Once Young:
When Yevgeny explained to me the concept behind his extended project, “Meditations on Family,” I decided to write my short violin piece about my grandparents (pictured above), specifically about my grandmother. After the death of my grandfather, my grandmother (or Mamani, as we call her) moved to the U.S. to be close to her family. She and Babaee (my grandfather) were living in Iran all alone after their children immigrated to US and Europe, so it was only natural for Mamani to come live here after her husband of 60+ years had passed. However, after a short period of five years, Mamani decided to move back to Iran as she was homesick, missed visiting Babaee’s resting place and all their memories. This piece is dedicated to their lasting love and decades of companionship.
About Yevgeny Kutik
With a “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik has captivated audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of both standard works and newly composed repertoire. A native of Minsk, Belarus, Kutik began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and immigrated to the US with his family at the age of five. An advocate for the Jewish Federations of North America, the organization that assisted his family in coming to the US, he regularly speaks and performs across the country to promote the assistance of refugees from around the world. Kutik’s discography includes Words Fail (Marquis Classics 2016), Music from the Suitcase (Marquis Classics 2014), and Sounds of Defiance (Marquis Classics 2012).
Yevgeny Kutik made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. Committed to fostering creative relationships with living composers, Kutik has performed premieres of works by Timo Andres, Michael Gandolfi, Ron Ford, Sheila Silver, and George Tsontakis, and has also been involved in the performances of new and rarely played works by Kati Agócs, Joseph Schwantner, Nico Muhly, and Donald Martino. Kutik holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory and currently resides in Boston. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella. For more information, please visit www.yevgenykutik.com.
About Gity Razaz
Hailed by the New York Times as “ravishing and engulfing,” Gity Razaz’s music ranges from concert solo pieces to large symphonic works. Her music has been commissioned and performed by former cellist of the Kronos Quartet Jeffrey Zeigler, Washington National Opera, National Sawdust, National Ballet School of Canada, Chautauqua Opera Company, Ballet Moscow, Seattle Symphony, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, American Composers Orchestra, Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, Grammy-winning Norwegian string ensemble 1B1, Metropolis Ensemble, New York Choreographic Institute, Amsterdam Cello Biennale, and classical guitarists Duo Noire, among others.
Her compositions have earned national and international awards, such as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Composer Institute, Jerome Foundation award, the Libby Larsen Prize in 28th International Search for New Music Competition, Juilliard Composers’ Orchestra Competition, three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer awards, ASCAP Plus Award, Juilliard’s Palmer Dixon Award for the outstanding composition of the year in 2010 and 2012, as well as special recognition from the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, ASCAP, the Brian Israel Composition Prize, Margaret Blackburn Memorial Competition, and the League of Composers (ISCM). Razaz received her Bachelor and Master of Music in Composition at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of John Corigliano, Samuel Adler, and Robert Beaser. She is also active as a teacher and an educator, currently a composition mentor for the 2018 Luna Composition Lab and New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program. For more information, please visit www.gityrazaz.com.