WITRAŻ RECORDING PROJECT
Shannon Lee and Arseniy Gusev
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The music in this program spans the period between two world wars, about one hundred years ago, by composers from Eastern Europe. Centered around Bartók's first violin sonata and Stravinsky's Duo Concertante for violin and piano, it also includes shorter pieces by Szymanowski, Lyatoshynsky (transcribed by Arseniy), Martinů, and Bacewicz, which reflect the myriad of ways that these composers reacted to and were affected by the aftermath of war. From Greek influences to impressionist techniques and neoclassicism, there are many imaginative threads to follow which connect the pieces to each other and bring out key elements in this mysteriously, movingly inventive music.
We are very excited to be making our first CD as a duo with Azica Records and Grammy-award-winning producer Alan Bise, to be released in Spring 2024! Our project is called Witraż, or stained glass window in Polish, named after one of the pieces in the program.
Karol Szymanowski: Mythes, La fontaine d’Arethuse (1915)
Béla Bartók: Sonata No. 1 (1921)
Boris Lyatoshynsky (arr. Gusev): Reflections, op.16 No.5 (1924)
Bohuslav Martinů: Impromptu (1927)
Grażyna Bacewicz: Cradle Song and Stained-Glass Window (1952, 1934)
Igor Stravinsky: Duo Concertante (1932)
Photo by Olivia Crumm
Violinist Shannon Lee has been praised for her “remarkable fire, impeccable intonation, and big, vibrant tone” (Gramophone). She has won prizes in several international competitions, such as top prize and audience award at the Sendai Competition in Japan, 4th prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, co-winner in the 2020 Shanghai Isaac Stern Competition, 2nd place at the Naumburg Competition in New York City, and Laureate/Ysaÿe Sonata prize at the Indianapolis Competition. Shannon also received generous support from the Sylva Gelber Foundation in Canada through their Award for career development. She has appeared as soloist with the Tokyo Symphony, Antwerp Symphony, Belgian National Orchestra, and New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Her festival appearances as a chamber musician include Creative Dialogue France, Krzyżowa-Music, Music@Menlo, Music From Angel Fire, and Heifetz International Music Institute, where she was Artist-in-Residence and teaching assistant for Jan Mark Sloman.
Born in Canada, Shannon began playing the violin at age four in Plano, Texas, with Ann Grosshans and Paul Landefeld. In the following ten years she studied with Jan Mark Sloman, then Principal Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and director of The Institute for Strings. She made her solo debut at the age of twelve with the Dallas Symphony, and two years later performed in Germany with Maestro Christof Perick and the Nuremberg Philharmonic. In 2008 she made her debut recording for Telarc International, “Introducing Shannon Lee,” featuring 19th and 20th century works with pianist Pamela Mia Paul.
Shannon is currently based in the Netherlands following an artist certificate program at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Vera Beths. Previously she was in the joint studio of Jaime Laredo and Jan Sloman at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was the recipient of the inaugural Mary Hamlin Memorial Presidential Scholarship as well as the Starling Foundation Scholarship. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Judson Manor from 2020-22, curating and performing monthly recitals for their retired residents. In Philadelphia, she received a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Ida Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt. Shannon completed her Bachelor’s degree in computer science from Columbia University while taking violin lessons with David Nadien, formerly concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein. Shannon performs on a violin made in 1902 by Enrico Rocca, on loan by the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.
Arseniy Gusev, pianist and composer, was born in St. Petersburg in 1998 and has been studying music since the age of five. In 2015, he went to the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. In 2017, he graduated with honors from the Specialized Music School of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, and in afterwards studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 2018, he moved to the US, and in 2022, received his bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and now continues his studies at Yale University. Among his teachers are Sergei Babayan, Keith Fitch, Chris Theofanidis, and David Lang.
He actively performs in the US and abroad, and has given solo concerts in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Slovakia, Russia, and Germany. His compositions are performed in Mariinsky Theater, Carnegie Hall, Konzerthaus Dortmund, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and other major venues. He collaborated with such conductors as Arkady Steinluht, Dmitry Vasiliev, Robert Carter Austin, Alexander Titov, Ilya Derbilov, Mikhail Golikov, and Mikhail Mosenkov, and performed together with such musicians as Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Olga Kaler, and Anthony Roth Costanzo. Arseniy participated in master classes of Garrick Ohlsson, Samuel Adler, Andrew Norman, Joan Tower, Dmitry Bashkirov, Grigory Gruzman, Jerome Rose, Alexander Mndoyants, Nina Lelchuk, and others.
Arseniy is a laureate of many prestigious competitions, such as the Dorothy McKenzie Artist Award, Cleveland Piano Virtu(al)oso Competition, Singapore International Piano Competition, Three Arts Piano Competition, Cleveland Composers Guild Contest, “Another Space” Composition Competition, International Gavrilin Competition, International Competition "Performer-Composer", and others.