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Live from Hochstein: Cello Music with Rochester Ties

Cellist Hilary Glen and pianist Priscilla Yuen highlight three composers with ties to Rochester – George Walker, who received a doctorate in composition from Eastman School of Music; Adolphus Hailstork, who was born in Rochester; and R. Nathaniel Dett, who earned his master’s degree at Eastman in 1932.

You're invited to hear this music on Live from Hochstein on Wednesday May 3rd at 12:10pm, in person* at the Hochstein Performance Hall (50 N. Plymouth Avenue, downtown Rochester) or by listening to the live broadcast on WXXI Classical.

George Walker completed his Sonata for Cello and Piano two years after attending ESM. This technically challenging work weaves complex rhythmic structures with passionate lyricism, with hints of blues harmonies and a third movement that is fast and fiery. Walker earned many firsts as a Black musician. In addition to being the first African American to earn a doctorate from ESM, he was also the first to graduate from Curtis, the first to earn a tenured position at Smith College, and the first to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Hailstork based his Theme and Variations on the Shaker song “Draw the Sacred Circle Closer” using a translation of lines of text by Friedrich Schiller. The same text was in the “Ode to Joy” in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Hailstork’s five variations move through many different characters and moods including playful, introspective, and enthusiastic.

R. Nathaniel Dett is known for his use of African American folk songs and spirituals as the basis for choral and piano compositions. Glen has selected three of his songs from the Sibley Library Special Collections and is arranging them for cello and piano: “Were Thou the Moon,” “A Thousand Years Ago or More,” and “O Lord, the Hard-won Miles.”

A versatile performer, Hilary Glen has played rock shows, orchestral concerts, chamber music, and everything in between, collaborating with such notable musicians and ensembles as Joshua Bell, Robin Thicke, New World Symphony, Gil Shaham, The Eagles, Atlanta Symphony, The Temptations, RPO, and The Who. She currently teaches music appreciation at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Suzuki and traditional cello at The Hochstein School and ROC Music.

Pianist Priscilla Yuen enjoys a rich and varied career as a soloist, collaborator, teacher, and administrator. Currently a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music, Yuen regularly supports instrumentalists and vocalists from across the Eastman community as they prepare for recitals, competitions, and recordings. Additionally, she serves on the piano faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Live from Hochstein with host Mona Seghatoleslami is a series midday concerts by some of the finest artists in our area broadcast live from The Hochstein Performance Hall. Each of these free concerts runs from 12:10-12:50 p.m., giving downtown business people, teachers, families, students, and friends an opportunity to enjoy classical music during the day. You can also hear an encore broadcast of Live from Hochstein later the same day at 10 p.m. on WXXI Classical.

* Masks and vaccination are encouraged but not required. Please note that only bottled water is allowed in the newly renovated hall.

Spring 2023