Join Us For Our 2020-2021 Season!
Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players
“This was music-making of a very high order”
Fred Kirshnit, The New York Sun
Why the name Jupiter: When Jens Nygaard named his orchestra Jupiter, he had the beautiful, gaseous planet in mind—unattainable but worth the effort, like reaching musical perfection. Many, indeed, were privileged and fortunate to hear his music making that was truly Out of This World. Our Players today seek to attain that stellar quality.
Join us for our next concerts...
Monday, March 8 ♦ 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Avery Gagliano piano
Stefan Milenkovich violin
Njioma Grevious violin
Cong Wu viola
Connor Kim cello
Vadim Lando clarinet
Karl Kramer horn
Karol SZYMANOWSKI Paganini Caprice No. 24 Op. 40
In the view of Francis Pott, a music scholar, “Szymanowski had rented an apartment in Vienna before the War, but had found Viennese cultural life enclosed and stifling.... The...Caprice here proves to be none other than ‘that’ tune yet again, subjected to grandly ironic display.”
Szymanowski (1882–1937) was the most celebrated composer of the early 20th century. He began to compose and play the piano at an early age. In 1901 he went to Warsaw for 3 years to study harmony, counterpoint, and composition privately. But finding the musical life in Warsaw limiting, he went to Berlin, where he organized the Young Polish Composers’ Publishing Co. (1905–1912) to issue new works by Poles. World War I then triggered his return to Poland. From 1914 to 1917, isolated from the European musical community, he composed profusely and studied Islamic culture and ancient Greek drama and philosophy. With the establishment of an independent Polish state in 1918, Szymanowski dug into the Polish folk idiom and tried to create a Polish national style, a task ignored since Chopin. And he became more conservative, abandoning atonalism. He also traveled widely, promoting his works in London, Paris, and the United States. In 1927 he settled back in Warsaw to assume the directorship of the Warsaw Conservatory for 5 years, aiming to improve music education in Poland. During the 1930s Szymanowski retreated from using folk music directly in his compositions although he continued to use folk music material; his forms and orchestration of this period recall those of his earlier works.
Stanisław MONIUSZKO String Quartet No. 1 in D minor
Born into a family of Polish landowners in Ubiel, in today’s Belarus, Moniuszko (1819–1872) began piano lessons at age 9 when the family moved to Warsaw, and continued his studies at the Gymnasium in Minsk in 1830. He was then sent to the Sing-Akademie in Berlin in the fall of 1837 for further formal studies, including composition and choral conducting. In 1840 he returned to Poland and, after his marriage, obtained a post as organist at St John’s in Vilnius, taught piano, conducted the theater orchestra, and presented many concerts, introducing audiences to works of Mozart, Haydn, and Mendelssohn. Moniuszko was the soul of 19th century musical life in Vilnius and as his career flourished, he became known as the foremost 19th century composer of Polish song and was revered as the “Father of Polish National Opera.” Halka and The Haunted Manor are considered his best operas.
Franciszek LESSEL Grand Trio for Clarinet, Horn, & Piano Op. 4
Born in Warsaw, Lessel (1780–1838) was first taught by his father, Wincenty Ferdynand Lessel, a composer, pianist, and pedagogue of Czech descent. In December 1799 he left for Vienna to study composition under Joseph Haydn until Haydn’s death in 1809. Before leaving Vienna to return to Poland, Lessel performed as a pianist and in a string ensemble in Lwów with, among others, Karol Lipiński. Back in Poland, he gave piano recitals of his own works in Kraków and at the Warsaw National Theatre. He also played the glass harmonica, which was hugely popular at the time, taught music and, for some time, was director of the Warsaw Amateur Music Society. However, his musical activities ended in 1822 after a personal tragedy, although he continued to compose. In 1823 he was an agent of Duchess Maria of Württemberg’s estate in Pilica, and in the 1830s he managed the Poplawski estate in Pȩcice. In 1836 he was Inspector of the Marymont Institute of Farming, and the following year he was appointed Inspector of the regional Gymnasium in Piotrków Trybunalski, a tenure he held until his death. The New Grove Dictionary maintains that “His music displays mastery of the technical means of the Classics and the principles of polyphony, combined with a feeling for the new Romantic trends in music.”
Władysław ŻELEŃSKI Piano Quartet in C Major Op. 61
Żeleński (1837–1921) is regarded as the most influential post-Romantic Polish composer. His early lessons were on the violin, but from 1854 he studied the piano and composition at Kraków’s Nowodworski School. By the age of 20, he had composed 2 string quartets, trios, and an overture, which he conducted at its premiere on 29 July 1857. In 1859 he entered the renowned Jagiellonian University of Prague, where he continued his studies in philosophy and music (piano, organ, and counterpoint), graduating with a doctorate in philosophy in 1862. His piano teacher there was Alexander Dreyschock, famous for his facile execution of double thirds, double sixths, octaves, and other fingerbusters (he played the left-hand arpeggios of Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude” in octaves). Żeleński then studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1866 until 1871, when he returned to Poland. In 1872 he taught harmony and composition for 5 years at the Warsaw Music Institute, and in 1878 assumed the directorship of the city’s Musical Society. In 1881 he settled in Kraków and became director of the Kraków Music School, which he helped develop into a full-fledged conservatory, all the while teaching. Among his pupils was Zygmunt Stojowski, who headed the music department at New York’s Institute of Musical Art (later merged with Juilliard). Żeleński also is one of the important composers of songs that were popular in Polish salons. The New Grove Dictionary further asserts that he was “the foremost representative of dramatic music after Moniuszko.” Żeleński was buried in the family tomb at Rakowice Cemetery in Kraków.
By now you know the danger of gathering indoors with people outside your bubble. If you come, it’s at your own risk. If you are in the least bit fearful of CoVid-19, please do not come. We can, however, offer:
Please use the restrooms before or after the concert.
In addition to the above guidelines, New York State Covid-19 Travel Advisory requires visitors from certain states to quarantine for 14 days. If you are traveling to NYC from any of these states, visitors are required to complete the online Travel Health Form.
Jupiter 2020 - 2021 Season
Please visit our Media Page to hear Audio Recordings from the Jens Nygaard and Jupiter Symphony Archive
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Jupiter in the News
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As promised, here are the videos of John Field’s Divertissement No. 1 and Sir Hamilton Harty’s Piano Quintet. Fortuitously, our Jupiter musicians had the good sense to record the rehearsal in an impromptu decision, literally minutes before pressing the record button. Pianist Mackenzie Melemed (replacing Roman Rabinovich at the last minute) learned the music in 2 days! Bravo to him.
Both works are Irish rarities that were scheduled for the March 16 performances which had to be canceled because of the coronavirus epidemic. Even though the entire program could not be recorded because of technical issues, we are pleased to be able to share with you the 2 musical gems. Enjoy.
John FIELD Divertissement No. 1 H. 13
We thank the University of Illinois (Champaign) for a copy of the Divertissement music.
Mackenzie Melemed piano
Sir Hamilton HARTY Piano Quintet in F Major Op. 12
Andrew Clements of the Guardian proclaimed the beautiful Quintet “a real discovery: a big, bold statement full of striking melodic ideas and intriguing harmonic shifts, which adds Brahms and Dvořák into Harty’s stylistic mix, together with Tchaikovsky in some passages.” There’s folk music charm as well, reminiscent of Percy Grainger—notably in the Scherzo (Vivace) with its folksy quirks and nonchalance, and the winding, pentatonic melody in the Lento.
Our gratitude to the Queen’s University Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a copy of the autograph manuscript of the music. Much thanks, too, to Connor Brown for speedily creating a printed score and parts from Harty’s manuscript.
Mackenzie Melemed piano
I Allegro 0:00
Jupiter featured on Our Net News
American program opener on March 18, with grateful thanks to Michael Shaffer of OurNetNews.com for recording the matinee concert, and making available the Horatio Parker Suite video for our viewing pleasure.
Horatio Parker Suite in A Major, Op. 35, composed in 1893
Stephen Beus piano
More video from this performance can be viewed on our media page
Jupiter on YouTube
NEW YORK CANVAS : The Art of Michael McNamara is a video portrait of the artist who has painted iconic images of New York City for more than a decade, capturing the changing urban landscape of his adopted city. Our Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players provide the music from Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G Minor, underscoring the inspiration the artist has drawn from Jens Nygaard and the musicians. Michael was also our Jupiter volunteer from 2002 to 2010.
Here is a video of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players performance of the Rondo alla Zingarese movement:
The producer-director, Martin Spinelli, also made the EMMY Award-winning “Life On Jupiter: The Story of Jens Nygaard, Musician.”
For more information, visit our media
New York Sun Review
“Some great musicians get a statue when they pass away. Some get their name imprinted on the roof of a well-known concert hall. But the late conductor Jens Nygaard has a living tribute: an entire ensemble of musicians and a concert series to go along with it...
It is one of the city’s cultural jewels...
In the end, if Mr. Nygaard was known for anything, it was unmitigated verve. That’s what the audience regularly returned for, and that’s what they got Monday afternoon. To have a grassroots community of musicians continue to celebrate Mr. Nygaard with indomitable performances like these week after week, even without the power of world-famous guest soloists, is proper tribute. And with more large orchestras and ensembles needing more corporate sponsorship year after year, I, for one, hope the Jupiter’s individual subscriber-base remains strong.
New York’s musical life needs the spirit of Jens Nygaard, and Mei Ying should be proud she’s keeping it alive.”
Read the complete article on our reviews page.
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