Thursday, November 7, 2019

Four Seasons Arts Presents Duo MemDi in Oakland, CA Nov. 9, 2019, 7:30 PM

Duo MemDi

The 2019-2020 Four Seasons Arts series presents Duo MemDi with pianist Rochelle Sennet and violinist Igor Kalnin on November 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM at the Regents’ Theater located at the Valley Center for Performing Arts at Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd. in Oakland. Free parking is available.  See the Four Seasons Arts web site for tickets: - or call 510-845-4444.

Duo MemDi believes that classical music should serve as a tool in promoting social justice.

The program is: Tchaikovsky: Souvenir d’un lieu cher, Op. 42 (Memory of a dear place); James Lee III: Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano (2018); Beethoven: Sonata for Piano and Violin in C minor, Op. 30, No. 2; Paganini/arr. Kreisler: La Campanella.

Duo MemDi was founded by violinist Igor Kalnin and pianist Rochelle Sennet in the summer of 2010, when they served on the faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. The objective of Duo MemDi is to perform music that embraces the diversity of world cultures. The duo focuses on commissioning and performing music of composers from underrepresented groups. Sennet and Kalnin believe that classical music should be an integral part of the inclusivity and equality movement.

All of the Duo’s live performances are from memory – a rare feat in the world of chamber music. They feel that it allows for a connection to composers’ ideas in a more holistic, insightful way. These ideals inspired the name of the duo: Mem[ory] and Di[versity] = MemDi.  Duo MemDi has performed a broad variety of repertoire, including sonatas of Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Franck, Prokofiev, and James Lee III, a prominent African American composer.

Dr. Rochelle Sennet’s recital programs showcase her versatility at the keyboard, with frequent performances of works by Bach, Beethoven, and African American composers such as H. Leslie Adams, Jeffrey Mumford, James Lee III, and Pulitzer-Prize winning composer George Walker. She received the Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Master of Music degree from University of Michigan, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Illinois.  She is currently Associate Professor of Piano at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Violinist Igor Kalnin has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. A native of Russia, he started his professional career as a faculty member at Glinka State Conservatory and later joined Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in Moscow. Presently, he is Assistant Professor of Violin at Luther College and Concertmaster of Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois. As a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, he performed in various venues around the world, including the Golden Hall at Musikverein in Vienna, Austria, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and DiMenna Center in New York, Slovak National Theater in Bratislava, Slovakia, Rachmaninov Hall at Moscow Conservatory in Russia, and the Grand Hall  in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

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