Ren Martin-Doïké – Waves of Romantic Inspiration

The FEU is delighted to welcome back Ren Martin Doïké, former resident and Harriet Hale Woolley scholar (2015-2016), for a recital entitled Waves of Romantic Inspiration.

The Program

Arnold Bax
Sonata for viola & piano (1922)
I. Molto moderato – Allegro
II. Allegro energico, ma non troppo presto
III. Molto lento

Atar Arad
Caprice No. 8 (Paul)

Paul Hindemith
Sonata for viola & piano, Op. 11, No. 4
I. Fantasie
II. Thema mit Variationen
III. Finale (mit Variationen)

About the Program:

Arnold Bax’s Sonata for viola and piano was premiered in 1922 by its dedicatee, violist Lionel Tertis and the composer himself at the piano. Bax studied piano and composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music in London, where he met the preeminent violist Tertis, a professor at the school. Their relationship led to many other great romantic works for viola, all dedicated to Tertis, including a Concerto for viola and orchestra, Sonata for viola and harp and the Elegiac Trio for flute, viola, and harp. The last of which was finished a year after the most famous work for that instrumentation by Debussy, a composer whose inspiration you may hear at times in this piece. Composed at the height of his career, this sonata is at once a love letter to Bax’s mistress and muse, English pianist Harriet Cohen, and a nod to the uniquely Celtic musical idiom he cultivated.

Caprice No. 8 (Paul) is one of twelve caprices written by Israeli-American living composer and violist Atar Arad for the viola. In this collection each caprice bears the first name of the composer who wrote a famous work for viola quoted by Arad, which he describes as “a little personal ‘thank you’ note to the author.” This particular caprice is as you have probably guessed inspired by the sonata by Hindemith which follows it in tonight’s program. In it, Arad re-imagines Hindemith’s original theme into his own virtuosic variations, designed to show off the ability of both viola and violist.

Sometimes nicknamed the Fantasy Sonata after its opening movement, this early work by Hindemith is one of the most loved romantic masterpieces written for the viola. Like Bax, Hindemith had a great respect for Claude Debussy, whose influence you may especially hear, reflected through a German lens, in the first movement of this sonata. In addition to teaching composition and writing books on the subject still used today at conservatories around the world, Hindemith played numerous instruments, including the viola, which his nearly 50 works including the instrument suggests was one of his favorites. Despite his strong favoritism towards the viola, Hindemith also prided himself upon the fact that he composed sonatas for virtually every orchestral instrument in addition to the organ and piano. This work shows off his true mastery of both writing for this particular instrument, and use of classical forms in composition, which is particularly evident in the last movement of this work, which is in  “sonata allegro” form and builds up to a heroic climax after a vigorous fugue between the viola and piano. ~ Ren Martin Doïké

About the Artists

Ren Martin-Doïké is a versatile performer on a mission to share music with diverse audiences around the world. Ms. Martin-Doïké has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas as a soloist and member of a diverse range of ensembles including Duo RenJi, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Benny Rietveld Jazz Quintet. Often heard on the radio, Ms. Martin-Doïké has notably played for broadcasts on Radio France, American Public Radio, National Public radio as well as RTHK television in Hong Kong. Passionate about contemporary music, Ms. Martin-Doïké has premiered numerous works, notably Toccatina à la Turk by virtuoso violist and composer Atar Arad, Unusta IV by Riho Esko Maimets, as well as the Sonate pour deux altos by Alain Louvier with renowned violist Pierre-Henri Xuereb. In the 2015-2016 season Ms. Martin-Doïké performed regularly at the Fondation des États-Unis as a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar. She is the recepient of many prizes including the Fontys prize and the loan of a Pfretzschner bow from the Rubinstein International Viola Competition in Germany, as well as the prize for the Best String Quartet at the Maurice Ravel Foundation Competition in France. Ms. Martin-Doïké has benefited from masterclass instruction from some of the world’s top violists, including Bruno Pasquier, Gérard Caussé, Bruno Giurana, Nobuko Imai, and Atar Arad. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Ms. Martin-Doïké earned her master’s degree in 2017 with a unanimous first prize from the jury at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Follow Ren on Facebook and Youtube !

A native of Japan, pianist Shinobu Tanaka began her musical studies at the age of  3 years old. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Hiromshima, and the 3rd Grand Prize of the Japan Classical Music Competition in 1999. In Japan she performed as a soloist with orchestras, but her passion for chamber music inspired her to move to Paris in 2003 to pursue further studies with Théodore Paraskivesco, Haruko Ueda, and Jean-Jacques Kantorow. In France, Ms. Tanaka studieed at the CRD in Gennevilliers, where she graduated with a Premier Prix in piano (mention très bien) as well as a Premier Prix in chamber music (mention très bien) with honors from the jury. She is a laureate of several international competitions, notably the Concours musical de France, where she took 1st Prize in the four hands piano division. Contemporary music is another passion of Ms. Tanaka’s, and she performs with the Ensemble 2e2m as well as Ensemble Court-Circuit. Currently, Ms. Tanaka teaches at the CRD de Genvilliers and is a staff accompanist at the École Normale de musique de Paris.

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