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365体育滚球Davis High School grad Eunghee Cho will return to Davis on Friday, Feb. 14, with his annual Mellon Music Festival. Here, the cellist and fellow musicians perform during a previous year's festival. Courtesy photo

Arts

Cellist Eunghee Cho and friends to perform romantic Valentine’s Day concert

Cellist Eunghee Cho, a 2012 graduate of Davis High School, returns to his home town for a concert of romantic music on Valentine’s Day (Friday, Feb. 14) at 7:30 p.m. in the Melon Ball performance space at Watermelon Music, 1970 Lake Blvd., Suite 1.

After graduating from DHS, Cho earned a bachelor’s degree in cello performance at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and then completed a master’s degree in cello performance at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he is now pursuing a doctorate.

Cho will perform alongside two similarly young musicians.

365体育滚球Japanese-born pianist Tomomi Sato has studied at USC and at The Juilliard School in New York. Sato won the Seattle International Competition in 2013 and is a staff pianist at The Juilliard School’s college and pre-college divisions.

365体育滚球Violinist Tatjana Roos, born in London, has studied at the Royal Academy of Music, the Yehudi Menuhin School and the New England Conservatory.

Cho established the Mellon Music Festival in Davis in 2017; Roos and Sato were featured artists in 2018 and 2019.

365体育滚球On the program will be mostly Romantic-era European music  from the 1800s, plus one American selection from the first half of the 20th Century:

* “Three Romances” for violin and piano, composed in 1853 by Clara Schumann, who was married to composer and conductor Robert Schumann and was a longtime friend of the pianist and composer Johannes Brahms. Robert Schumann’s deteriorating mental health led to his voluntary commitment to a mental asylum in 1854, where he died in 1856 (at age 46). Clara, who regarded Robert as the love of her life, never remarried.

365体育滚球Brahms remained a lifelong bachelor, but Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms remained close friends and musical associates for the rest of their lives. Brahms would show his new scores to Clara and seek her opinion and Clara performed the premiere of a number of Brahms’ piano works. Clara died in 1896 at age 76 and Brahms died in 1897 at age 63.

365体育滚球* The Jascha Heifetz arrangement (for violin and piano) of selections from the George Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess.” Gershwin’s opera premiered in 1935 and Gershwin died in 1937 at age 38. The Heifetz arrangement was completed in 1944.

365体育滚球* The “Introduction and Polonaise Brillante” of Frédéric Chopin, one of his comparatively early works for cello and piano that was published in 1831. A few years later, Chopin began a romantic relationship with the French novelist George Sand (a woman about six years older than Chopin who preferred to wear gentleman’s attire in public and smoked cigars). Chopin was already ailing from tuberculosis at the time he met Sand; he died in 1849  at age 39.

* The Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor by composer/conductor Felix Mendelssohn, completed in 1839, the year that he turned 30. It remains one of his most popular and is highly regarded by critics (including Robert Schumann, who heard an early performance of the piece and dubbed Mendelssohn “the Mozart of the nineteenth century.”

Mendelssohn married Cécile Charlotte Sophie Jeanrenaud (the daughter of a French clergyman) in 1837 and they had five children. Mendelssohn was introduced to the Swedish soprano Jenny Lind in 1844 and he was so taken with her that he began composing an opera with her in mind and sending her passionate love letters. Mendelssohn’s extremely busy work schedule, compounded by the devastating loss of his sister Fanny due to a stroke in 1847, sent his health into a swift decline. He died (after a series of strokes) at age 38, just six months after his sister; Schumann was one of the pallbearers at his funeral.

365体育滚球In 1849, Jenny Lind established the Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation (awarded to promising young composers). Mendelssohn’s wife Cécile died in 1853 at age 36, about five years after her husband. Lind enjoyed a long and prominent musical career and died in 1887 at age 67.

* The concert will be topped off with additional “classic love song favorites.”

365体育滚球Tickets are $15 if reserved in advance online and $20 at the door. There are also free tickets for “kids and students,” which must be reserved online in advance at .

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