Wednesday, September 11, 2013

John McLaughlin Williams, Violin, and Glen Inanga, Piano, in “Romanticism Renewed: The Inner Worlds of Karl Weigl” at Villa Aurora, California Oct. 2, 2013

Karl Weigl (Courtesy of Karl Weigl Foundation)

John McLaughlin Williams

Glen Inanga (Stephen Clarke)

PRESS RELEASE                                                
For Immediate release

“Romanticism Renewed:
The Inner Worlds of Karl Weigl”

“Forgotten” exiled composer’s works to be presented
at Villa Aurora October 2

September 11, 2013, Los Angeles, CA – Karl Weigl, the Austrian composer who was forced to flee the Nazis in 1938, is situated where early Viennese musical modernism intersects with political history.  Weigl was an important player in early twentieth-century Vienna, and with his exile to the United States he joined the ranks of Jewish musicians and intellectuals who transformed American culture. The Villa Aurora and the Karl Weigl Foundation will present several of his chamber works in the Salon of the Villa on October 2, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

John McLaughlin Williams, violin, and Glen Inanga, piano, will perform Weigl’s Two Pieces for violin and piano, two of the Six Fantasies for piano, and the two violin sonatas, which Williams has called “two of the few masterpieces of the early twentieth-century violin sonata repertoire.” Later this fall Williams and Inanga will record the works for violin and piano, none of which are presently commercially available, for the Sonos Luminos label.

Williams is a Grammy Award-winning conductor and violinist known for his relentless research into unfamiliar music. Weigl is a major interest of his, and as he explains, his first exposure to Karl Weigl's music “came about during my student days in Boston through the Chester Quartet's pioneering recording of Weigl's 3rd String Quartet. What I heard in Weigl's quartet was no petite maître, but the voice of a master composer steeped in the Austro-Germanic tradition who clearly warranted much further attention. I was hooked from then forth.”

Williams subsequently went to New York City to visit the Weigl archives and make copies of scores that had fallen out of the publisher’s catalogue, including the Violin Sonata No.1; these scores were to become the foundation of his longtime study of this composer, which continues to this day.

Glen Inanga is best known for his award-winning work in the Michallef-Inanga Piano Duo, which has appeared with, among others, the BBC Philharmonic and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.  Critics have described Inanga as “a most skillful partner” in chamber music, where he provides  “excitement and solid support.”  For Inanga, one of the compelling aspects of Weigl's work is the Mahler connection. “I hear a close connection between Mahler’s sound world and Weigl’s, and that has been a useful guide for me in formulating meaningful interpretations of these idiosyncratic compositions of Weigl’s for violin and piano.”

In his early years Weigl was centrally connected to the early twentieth-century Viennese avant-garde. He had been a student of Alexander Zemlinsky and was a lifelong friend of Arnold Schoenberg; together the three founded the Vereinigung schaffender Tonkünstler (Society of Creative Sound Artists) in 1904, with Mahler the honorary president. In his prime Weigl was the revered teacher of Kurt Adler, Ernst Bacon, Lukas Foss, and many others, and his works were performed by such musicians as Wilhelm Furtwängler, George Szell, Elisabeth Schumann, Ignaz Friedman, and the Rosé and Busch Quartets. After reaching New York in October 1938 Weigl struggled to make a living for his family, but despite the difficulties of exile and his full teaching schedule he never stopped composing. Performances of his music during these last ten years of his life were almost exclusively confined to his songs and chamber music, but he was championed by Roman Totenberg, Paul Doktor, Benar Heifetz, and Zita Carno, among others. Weigl did not live to experience his posthumous acclaim in 1968 when Stokowski gave the world premiere of his Symphony No. 5.

This concert is endorsed by The OREL Foundation, which was founded by conductor James Conlon for the purpose of encouraging the performance of music by composers lost to the musical repertory because they were suppressed for political and ideological reasons during the time of Hitler’s Germany and afterward.

The Villa Aurora, situated in Pacific Palisades, was once the home of the famous German émigré writer Leon Feuchtwanger and his wife, Marta.  It is now an artists’ residence center, hosting Fellows from all over the world.

Concert program: October 2 at 8:00 p.m. at the Villa Aurora
John McLaughlin Williams, violin; Glen Inanga, piano
Violin Sonata No. 1 in C major (1923)
Two Pieces for violin and piano (1942)
Six Fantasies for Piano, Nos. 1 and 4 (1944)
Violin Sonata No. 2 in G major (1937)

Tickets at $25 are available by reservation only and seating is limited.  For tickets go to and key in VILLA AURORA.

For further information on Karl Weigl, please go to  For Information about the Villa Aurora, please go to

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