Pianist Christopher Tavernier and clarinetist Matthew Hanna will be in concert Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Campagna Italian Grille Restaurant at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort in Mill Spring, NC. They will perform their popular “Cappuccino,” concert of both solos and duets, the most noted being the modern classic “Sonata for Clarinet in B flat and Piano” by the late French composer Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc. The restaurant will have bar service only, opening at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $15.
“This will be a very diverse concert,” 16-year-old Tavernier said. “The Poulenc piece is classical, but there are definite jazz-like elements. It has three movements, and each is very different giving the listener a wide range of emotional feelings. It helps to know that jazz musician Benny Goodman commissioned the piece in hopes of debuting it with Poulenc, who wrote it in honor of his friend Swiss composer Arthur Honegger. Unfortunately Poulenc died suddenly, and Leonard Bernstein was called in for the premier, which was in 1963 in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. So here you have a French composer, honoring a Swiss composer, at the request of an American jazz musician. It’s not your typical classical concert. If you’ve not heard this piece, you’ll be surprised. In addition, we’ll be playing several pieces representing a wide range of international music.”
Also on the program are several other selections. The solos will include three clarinet pieces by Igor Stravinsky; “Fantasie” by Jorg Widmann; and “Rhapsody for Clarinet” by Willson Osborne. The piano solos will be Sergei Prokofiev’s “Sonata No. 7 in B flat Major, Op. 83” and Claude Debussy’s “Reflections in the Water.” The duets will be four short pieces by Howard Ferguson, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise for Clarinet and Piano Op. 34 No. 14.”
In partnership with The Music Foundation of Western North Carolina and Freeburg and Perzina Pianos, Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort presents this concert as part of its Winter Event Series. Tavernier and Hanna have performed “Cappuccino: Rich Swiss Blend” several times to rave reviews in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina. It has been described as “like its namesake, this concert combines clarinet and piano to create a complex experience of tastes, flavors, and aromas that you will remember for a lifetime!”
A Hendersonville native, Tavernier began his piano studies at the age of six, and in recent years, he has played sold out concerts in venues from Spartanburg to Asheville. He has won several regional competitions, and in 2014 placed second in the National Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition in Kingsport, TN, making him the youngest performer in the competition’s history. Last year, Tavernier won the Asheville Symphony’s Concerto Competition and was a semifinalist in the Midwest International Piano Competition. His concerto repertoire includes works by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Liszt. His pianistic lineage and training extend from Beethoven and Liszt through his teacher Dr. John Cobb. He is the first International Perzina Artist in Perzina Pianos’ 145-year history.
Hanna studied clarinet with Dr. Robert Chesebro at Furman University. During that time, Hanna was active as a competitor and placed first in the International Clarinet Association 1995 Young Artist Competition. He placed first in the Southeastern Clarinet Workshop Competition and won the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) state and divisional woodwind competitions. He is currently active in the Upstate South Carolina music scene, performing regularly with local orchestras, including the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Foothills Philharmonic, and GAMAC Orchestra. He is currently principal clarinet with the Brevard Philharmonic. He is a founding member of the Papageno Woodwind Quintet and performs as a singer and clarinetist on the frontline of the Foothills Oompah Band.
Campagna Italian Grille Restaurant is located in Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd., Mill Spring, NC. For concert information, please call (828) 707-2604. For reservations, please call (828) 863-1127.