The Daily Nexus
April 22, 2015
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Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner performing Bridge to Beethoven: Finding Identity Through Music

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner performing Bridge to Beethoven: Finding Identity Through Music in concert, featuring the world premiere of Bridgetower Fantasy for piano and violin by Vijay Iyer. Wed., April 22 at 7 p.m. at Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road, in Santa Barbara.

Fresh from the success of her widely lauded Bach and Beyond, Jennifer Koh undertakes an ambitious new project. This time, with pianist Shai Wosner, she probes the impact of Beethoven on a diverse group of composers and musicians, exploring ideas about art making and identity.

Jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer is a 2013 MacArther Fellow and GRAMMY® nominee who has been described by LA Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” Iyer’s Bridgetower Fantasy takes its name after the famed 18th-century virtuoso concert violinist George Bridgetower. Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9 in A Major, op. 47, known otherwise as the “Kreutzer” sonata, was not actually premiered or even performed by the French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer. Instead Beethoven enlisted Bridgetower to perform the premiere with him in the spring of 1803. Though the performance was by all accounts a success, their spirited collaboration was short lived, as Iyer describes in his program note: “While celebrating afterwards, the two quarreled about what Beethoven construed as Bridgetower’s insult of a female acquaintance; the composer then revoked the original dedication, adding Kreutzer’s name instead.”

For the occasion of Jennifer Koh’s “Bridge to Beethoven” series, Iyer composed a piece that he describes as “a collection of imaginings about George Bridgetower.” The work was written to “feature the embodied expertise and expressivity” of Koh and Wosner, while assuming “an episodic character, assembled from contrasting fragments.” Bridgetower Fantasy will be bookended by Beethoven’s Sonata No. 1 in D Major to open the program and his “Kreutzer” Sonata to close.

Writes the Los Angeles Times: “Koh has become one of the most impressive and expressive violinists on the scene.”

Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat Major, op. 97 (“Archduke”)
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A Minor, op. 50

Tickets to Bridge to Beethoven: Finding Identity Through Music are $30 for the general public and $9 for all students with a current student ID. (A Hahn Hall facility fee will be added to each ticket price.)

For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or purchase online at

The Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner performance is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. Event Sponsors: Annette and Dr. Richard Caleel. The Up Close & Musical series in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West sponsored by Dr. Bob Weinman.

UCSB Arts & Lectures thanks for its major corporate support of the 2014-2015 season.

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