This preview has been provided as part of a publicity exchange with ECU‘s Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival. For more information about CVNC’s publicity exchanges, follow this link.

“He is the Mozart of the nineteenth century, the brightest musician, who most clearly understands the contradictions of the age and is the first to reconcile them.” – Robert Schumann upon hearing Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D Minor.

The classical perfection of Felix Mendelssohn paired with the effusive sentimentality of Robert Schumann – there are perhaps no two composers who better represent the sometimes-contradictory nature of music from the Romantic Era. Schumann’s Piano Trio in G Minor and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D Minor reveal this juxtaposition in a performance featuring pianist Gilles Vonsattel, violinist Ara Gregorian, and cellist Michael Kannen, continuing Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival’s Signature Series.

Greenville Concert – Fri, Nov 10 @ 7:30 PM
A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall on the campus of East Carolina University & Online

Raleigh Concert – Sun, Nov 12 @ 3:00 PM
Hayes Barton United Methodist Church & Online

Tickets for both concerts can be purchased online or at the door.

Robert Schumann – Piano Trio No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 110
brief pause
Felix Mendelssohn – Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49

About the Musicians

Swiss-born American pianist GILLES VONSATTEL is an artist of extraordinary versatility and originality. He is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2016 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, and a winner of the Naumburg and Geneva competitions. He has appeared with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and has performed recitals and chamber music at many major festivals. He has premiered numerous works by composers including Jörg Widmann, Heinz Holliger, Anthony Cheung, and George Benjamin. An alum of the Bowers Program, he holds degrees from Columbia University and the Juilliard School. Vonsattel is Professor of Piano at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serves on the faculty of Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Violinist/violist ARA GREGORIAN made his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in Symphony Hall and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and the Kennedy Center, and in cities throughout the world including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Helsinki. Gregorian is the founder and artistic director of Four Seasons and has appeared at the SpringLight (Finland), Storioni (Holland), Casals (Puerto Rico), Intimacy of Creativity (Hong Kong), Voice of Music (Israel), Vail, Taos and Sante Fe festivals. He has performed extensively as a member of the Cooperstown and Daedalus quartets and the chamber music ensemble Concertante. Gregorian is the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Distinguished Professor in Music at East Carolina University where he has been on the violin/viola faculty since 1998.

Cellist MICHAEL KANNEN was a founding member of the Brentano String Quartet and for seven years performed with that group on concert stages around the world. During those seven years, the Brentano Quartet was awarded the first Cleveland Quartet Award, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and appeared regularly in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw and the Sydney Opera House. Kannen has been a member of the Apollo Trio and the Meliora and Cooperstown string quartets, has appeared at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has performed at the Spoleto Festivals in Charleston, Italy and Australia. Kannen is a member of the faculty of the Yellow Barn Music Festival and is currently the Director of Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory.

About the Signature Series

Now in its 24th season, the Signature Series is Four Seasons’ flagship initiative. Comprising six residencies throughout the year, the Signature Series features classical music’s preeminent performers and personalities in thrilling performance – in both Greenville and Raleigh!

The 2023-2024 Signature Series features works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Béla Bartók, Johannes Brahms, Rebecca Clarke, Gabriel Fauré, Aram Khatchaturian, Robert Schumann and more, as well as the return of our popular “Behind the Scenes” concert, this time focusing on string quartets of W.A. Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn. Hand-picked by artistic director Ara Gregorian, our musicians hail from the world’s finest stages and ensembles and are brought together in never-before-seen combinations. In short, our Signature Series performances are must-see events for classical music aficionados and newcomers, alike.

For more than 23 years Four Seasons has brought world-renowned musicians, unforgettable performances, innovative community engagement, and unrivaled educational initiatives to North Carolina and beyond. In residence at the East Carolina University School of Music, Four Seasons has presented more than 2,000 concerts and initiatives, featured more than 950 musicians, and created vibrant homes in both Greenville and the Triangle. 

Four Seasons highlights include multiple concerts at Carnegie Hall; a six-concert tour of Israel; 23 years of Signature Series concerts; the Dose of Hope initiative (110+ mega vaccine clinic concerts in Winter/Spring 2021); a series of four educational videos viewed by 45,000 schoolchildren and counting; 45 Next Generation residencies; 12 Children’s Residencies; 9 Winter Workshops; and 7 Summer Chamber Music Institutes. Throughout all 23 seasons, a commitment to artistic and educational excellence has formed the core of all that Four Seasons presents.

The 2023-2024 season features Signature Series concerts in Greenville and Raleigh; the launch of our Soirées; Next Gen residencies in Greenville and Raleigh; a Next Gen on the tour to schools in central and western North Carolina; Donor Celebrations; Spring Workshop 2024; and countless master classes, children’s concerts, and community engagement initiatives.