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Flutist Justin Lee and cellist Anne Suda will bring ‘folk tales’ to CMC

Flutist Justin Lee and cellist Anne Suda
Flutist Justin Lee and cellist Anne Suda
by Matthew Washburn and Irwin Lewis, respectively

Flutist Justin Lee and cellist Anne Suda have been playing together since their participation in a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music by an ensemble that would eventually call itself Nonsemble 6. More recently they have formed a flute-cello duo, which will be giving its first performance later this month at the Community Music Center (CMC). The program will be entitled Folk Tales and will be framed by two duets by Persian composers, both of whom draw upon folk resources.

The opening selection will be the premiere of a work commissioned from Shahab Paranj, a Persian composer now living in the Bay Area. As cellist for the Aleron Trio, Suda has already participated in giving the world premiere of Paranj’s first piano trio, which he subtitled “A Bitter Letter.” His new piece is entitled “The Unattained” and is in two parts, the first evoking the sounds of a shepherd’s pipe and the second based on dances for which that pipe and the Persian dohol drum provide the accompaniment. Paranj’s initiation of this program will be complemented by the concluding work, which is a collection of Persian folk songs arranged for modern instruments by Reza Vali, currently Associate Professor of Music at Carnegie Mellon University. To date Vali has composed fifteen of these collections for different instrumental and vocal resources, and the ninth is for flute and cello.

The “Oriental flavor” of the program will be complemented with two Hungarian compositions, both of whose composers were involved with serious ethnomusicological studies of their geographical setting. In the first half of the program, Suda will perform Zoltán Kodály’s Opus 8 sonata in B minor for solo cello. In the second half Lee will perform Paul Arma’s Suite Paysanne Hongroise, a series of transcriptions for flute and piano of folk song arrangements for piano originally composed by Béla Bartók. The pianist for this performance will be Anne Rainwater. Lee will also give a solo performance of Claude Debussy’s “Syrinx;” and all three musicians will perform Belinda Reynolds’ “Cover.”

This concert will take place on Saturday, April 26, beginning at 8 p.m. The venue will be the CMC Capp Street Concert Hall at 544 Capp Street in the Mission. Single tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance from an Eventbrite event page. Tickets for students and children are $10. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.