NEW YORK – New York Philharmonic cellist Maria Kitsopoulos and pianist Maria Asteriadou will perform Beethoven Sonatas for Cello and Piano at the Church of the Ascension Fifth Avenue at Tenth Street in Manhattan on April 25, 8 PM. The concert featuring these two talented Greek-born musicians is presented by the Voices of Ascension which according to its mission statement, “seeks to enthrall its audiences through outstanding performances and exemplary interpretations of choral music” and “sustains a vibrant artistic community of professional vocal and instrumental musicians in New York City through a broad repertory, dynamic programming, and strategic collaborations across the tri-state area.”
The event’s description from the Voices of Ascension website is as follows: “From the opening phrase of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 3 in A Major, Op. 69 for cello and piano, the relationship between the two instruments is established. It is a partnership of yearning and fulfillment, of balance, of energy and repose. The music etches a path that traverses familiar and unforeseen terrain before reaching its destination. Each movement reveals fresh glimpses into a world where the listener’s mind is free to dwell. The adagio is heartbreakingly poignant. The final allegro overflowing with exuberance. In these sonatas, Beethoven demonstrates an uncanny ability to distill the enormity of human experience into perfectly constructed musical phrases, exploiting every nuance of each instrument’s timbre and expressivity. The result is breathtaking.”
As noted in her biography, Kitsopoulos is from a musical family. Her mother is an opera singer, one brother is a conductor, and her other brother a composer. She was a finalist in the first Emmanuel Feuermann Cello Competition and a prizewinner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Cello Competition, and won fellowships from the Aspen and Tanglewood music festivals. Kitsopoulos received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor of musical arts degrees from The Juilliard School where, upon graduation, she was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership.
Asteriadou is an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician who has performed in major halls throughout the United States and Canada as well as Austria, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany. Asteriadou holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Constance Keene. She received her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Jacob Lateiner. Following her undergraduate studies at the State Conservatory of Music in Thessaloniki, Greece, Maria Asteriadou was accepted at the Musik Hochschule in Freiburg, Germany as a student of Tibor Hazay and received her Graduate Soloist Diploma with high honors. She has also worked with Gyorgy Sebok, Richard Goode, Domna Evnouchidou and Vitalji Margulis.
She has also performed premieres of works by many of Greece’s most important composers including Manos Hadzidakis, Perikles Koukos, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Emilios Riadis, Christos Samaras, Yiorgos Sicilianos, Nikos Skalkottas, as well as American-born Greek composer George Tsontakis. Asteriadou is also a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music since 2002 where she teaches piano.
More information and tickets are available online at: www.voicesofascension.org.