Three extraordinary young classical musicians performed a dynamic and varied program at Easton’s Ebenezer Theater on Sunday afternoon, February 5th, with selections ranging from Mozart’s iconic Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola to Florence Price’s recently-rediscovered two Fantasies for violin and piano.
Violinist Randall Goosby, protégé of Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho, is now an international star and has debuted with the world’s most important orchestras. This past summer, he gave a sensational performance of Florence Price’s two violin concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In 2020, Decca Classics signed Randall and sponsored his and pianist Zhu Wang’s debut album, Roots, which features music by African American composers. Reflecting on the album, Randall stated, “For me, music has always been a way to inspire others. It’s part of my quest as an artist to amplify Black voices in classical music, bringing heightened recognition to this incredible music.”
Pianist Zhu Wang, a post-baccalaureate Artist Diploma student of Robert McDonald at the Curtis Institute of Music, won first prize at the 2020 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. The New York Times praised Zhu as “a superb pianist” and “a thoughtful, sensitive performer,” and other reviewers have praised his “technical mastery and deep sense of lyricism.” Zhu has performed in partnership with Randall since 2019, and, as a duo, they have been acclaimed for the sensitivity and intensity of their musicianship. Zhu began the February 5th concert with Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Major, Opus 31, No. 1.
In 2021, violist Natalie Loughran won first prize at the prestigious Primrose International Viola Competition. She has performed extensively with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and toured internationally with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, directed by Ivan Fischer. Natalie recounted her musical collaboration with Randall stating, “I’m inspired by him every day! He’s doing amazing things and has an important voice right now. We have been rehearsing Sinfonia Concertante together and looking forward to performing it at the Ebenezer Theater.” Natalie also performed Schumann’s Fantasiestücke with Zhu Wang.
Randall and Zhu inaugurated Chesapeake Music’s Interlude Concert series just as they were beginning their rapid ascent to international acclaim. When the February 5th program was finalized Randall commented, “It was such a joy to present a virtual program for Chesapeake Music last season, especially given that we were all isolated due to COVID. Now that we’ve all adjusted to our new normal, Zhu and I are thrilled to perform ‘live – in person, this time joined by the incredible violist Natalie Loughran.”