Chalifour leads all-star lineup in ‘Four B’s’: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Bartok

Celebrated violinist Martin Chalifour, principal concertmaster for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will join musicians from Washington University and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra for a chamber music recital 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22.


The performance — sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences and the Symphony Orchestra’s Community Partnership program — is free and open to the public and will take place in the 560 Music Center’s E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall. A dessert reception with the performers will immediately follow.

Titled “The Four B’s,” the concert will open with Chalifour and pianist Seth Carlin, professor of music, performing Beethoven’s “Spring” sonata. Next, Chalifour will perform “Adagio” and “Fugue in G minor,” a solo from “Sonata No. 1” of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas. Chalifour then will join violinist Taras Gabora, professor emeritus at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, for a set of Bartok duos.

The program will conclude with Brahms’ “Piano Quartet in C minor.” Performers will include Chalifour and Carlin as well as Jonathan Vinocour, principal violist of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Bjorn Ranheim, a cellist with the orchestra.

Born in Montreal, Chalifour began playing violin at age 4 and graduated from the Montreal Conservatory — where his teachers included Gabora — at age 18. He then studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and began his orchestral career in 1984 as associate concertmaster for the Atlanta Symphony. In 1986, he won a Certificate of Honor at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the following year was a laureate of the Montreal International Competition.

In 1990, Chalifour left Atlanta for the Cleveland Orchestra and in 1995 was named concertmaster for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has performed chamber music with YoYo Ma, Emmanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, among others, and has appeared as soloist with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Neville Marriner and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Internationally, he has appeared as a soloist with the Auckland Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony, the Queensland Symphony (Australia), the National Orchestra of Taiwan, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Malaysian Philharmonic.

Chalifour also serves as a professor at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. His daughter, Stephanie Chalifour, is a junior majoring in anthropology in Arts & Sciences at WUSTL.

Carlin has performed with orchestras around the world and with conductors such as Nicholas McGegan, Leonard Slatkin and Roger Norrington. In 1991-92, he performed the complete Schubert fortepiano sonatas in New York City — concerts that were broadcast nationally on National Public Radio. More recently, he appeared as soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto as well as with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque, the period-instrument orchestra.

Gabora has performed widely as a soloist and chamber musician and is a founding member of Chamber Music Chicago, Le Groupe Baroque de Montréal, the Vienna Academy String Quartet, the Gabora String Quartet and “Trio Tre Musici” in Milan.

In addition to Oberlin and the Montreal Conservatory, Gabora has taught at McGill University, the St. Louis Conservatory of Music and the Vancouver Academy of Music.

Vinocour joined the Saint Louis Symphony in 2007 and previously served as guest principal of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig and of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. An active solo performer, in 2006 he won First Prize in the Holland America Music Society Competition and recorded his first solo album.

Ranheim joined the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and also holds the principal chair of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder.

He previously served as associate principal cellist of the Fort Worth Symphony and has held principal and assistant principal cello positions with the New World Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Quebec City’s critically acclaimed Les Violons du Roy.

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