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Artistry in Eastern Europe  

by Erika Boysen 

 

At the start of the convention’s final day, Ballroom B provided audience members with energy and inspiration to last flutists until the closing ceremonies, while also providing space for the great, late flutist, Robert Stallman, to be remembered. Artistry in Eastern Europe showcased a variety of composers and pieces, some long-time favorites of the canon and others soon to make their way into our mainstream repertoire.  

The concert started with the lush harmonies of Bartok’s Suite Paysanne Hongrois, performed brilliantly by Jennifer Grim and Katie Leung—a true display of virtuosity in technique, tone, style and collaboration. It was fitting that a concert dedicated to the memory of Stallman, a master arranger, showcased an arrangement by Karen Large. Bedrich Smetana’s “Z Domoviny,” written for violin and piano, boasts quintessentially romantic harmonies, with juxtaposition of legato lyricism in low register and bursts of energetic articulated passages in the third register. The piece was beautifully performed and arranged. Thank you, Karen! 

Nina Assimakopoulos, who has visited the eastern European country of Slovenia six times, transported audience members across the Atlantic Ocean with “Svocni Pajsaz” by Alojz Ajkič. Moments of grand display were combined with great intimate vulnerability.

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