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From Beethoven to Bennington (and back again!)

Bennington Museum is pleased to begin the 2017 Music at the Museum concert series with “From Beethoven to Bennington (and back again!)”, a performance by cellist Maxine Neuman and friends.   Included in the musical offering is Josef Bodin de Boismortier’s, Duo in d, Op. 14, No. 3;  Ludwig van Beethoven’s  Sonatina (Op. post.); Allen Shawn’s Serenade (1990);   Lionel Nowak’s,  Suite for Two Cellos (1980); and Beethoven’s Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1.  Sponsored by Alison Nowak and Robert Cane, all concerts are free and open to the public.  Reservations are not required.  This first concert is on Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 pm in the Ada Paresky Education Center and Paul Paresky Court of the Bennington Museum.  Admission to the galleries is not included. “The Museum is entering its third year of these wonderful concerts.  Having met with huge success, you can look forward to enjoying high quality music for years to come,” stated Deana Mallory, Director of Public Programs.

Performing with cellist Maxine Neuman will be cellist Mark Humburg, pianist Allen Shawn, and pianist Elizabeth Wright.

Maxine Neuman’s solo and chamber music career spans North America, South America, Europe and Japan. A grant recipient from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts and a three-time Grammy Award winner, her biography appears in “Who’s Who in the World.” She is a founding member of the Claremont Duo, the Crescent String Quartet, the Vermont Cello Quartet, and the Walden Trio.  She has appeared as soloist before a sold-out audience in New York’s Town Hall in the American premiere of Giovanni Battista Viotti’s only cello concerto, and has recorded Schumann Cello Concerto in Count Esterhazy’s historic palace in Austria. A longtime champion of contemporary music, she has commissioned and premiered works by many of today’s leading composers.  Neuman is on the faculty at the New York’s School for Strings and Hoff-Barthelson Music School, she has taught at Bennington College, Williams College and C.W. Post University.  Her cello is a J.B.Guadagnini, dating from 1772.

Born in New York City, Mark Humburg started playing the cello at the age of 5.  He attended LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, winning the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Young Artists Competition. He holds a performance degree from Mannes, the New School for Music, where he studied with Wolfram Koessel and Fred Sherry. In addition to Duo Cellissimo, his current ensembles include Duo Ocado, performing with guitarist Matthew Kaplan.  Mark shares his passion for performance and chamber music with a dedication to teaching. He is faculty at the Brooklyn Waldorf School, the Harlem School of Music, Suzuki on the Island, and the Brooklyn College Preparatory Center.  An avid performer, Mark has played in major venues across the US, as well as overseas in Germany, Holland and China. He plays on a Knopf cello made in 1900.

Composer-pianist Allen Shawn grew up in New York City and moved to Vermont in 1985 to be on the faculty of Bennington College, where he still teaches. His work list as of 2016 includes  five piano sonatas, several pieces for piano four-hands and two pianos; chamber music; vocal music; a one-act children’s opera;a chamber opera composed to a libretto by his brother, Wallace Shawn; and a dozen orchestral works including a Symphony, two Piano Concertos, a Violin Concerto, and a Cello Concerto. In 1995 Shawn was the recipient of a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2001 he received an Academy Award from the same institution. His recordings include numerous chamber works, four volumes of piano music, and his piano concerto performed by Ursula Oppens, with the Albany Symphony.  Over the years he has composed many pieces for his friend cellist Maxine Neuman, including the 1990 Serenade for cello and piano they will be performing at the Bennington Museum Concert. The two have also frequently recorded together, and released a CD of Shawn’s cello music last year.  Shawn has also written four books: Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey, which won the 2003 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, Wish I Could Be There, Twin, and Leonard Bernstein–An American Musician.

Elizabeth Wright, Artist Associate in Piano at Williams College, has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, the USSR and Japan. She has appeared in recital with many distinguished artists and was awarded the prize of Outstanding Accompanist at the Fourth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.  She is principal pianist with the American Symphony Orchestra and was for many years piano soloist for both the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Wright has been an artist-teacher for the Lincoln Center Institute and has served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Bennington, and Princeton.