Inbal Segev’s playing is “characterized by a strong and warm tone . . . delivered with impressive fluency and style” (The Strad); and “first class,” and “richly inspired” (Gramophone). Segev brings interpretations that are both unreservedly natural and insightful to the vast range of music she performs.
Juho Pohjonen is one of today’s most exciting and vibrant instrumentalists. The Finnish pianist performs widely in Europe, Asia, and North America, with symphony orchestras, in recital and chamber music.
Juho Pohjonen returns to our series, this time in partnership with Inbal Segev, in a program of sonatas for cello and piano by Beethoven and Grieg. The program also includes a world premiere of Timo Andres’ piece Agita.
J. S. Bach (1685–1750): Sonata No. 3, BWV 1029 in G Minor
L. van Beethoven (1770–1827): Cello and Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 102, No. 2
Allegro con brio
Adagio con molto sentimento d’affetto – Attacca
Allegro – Allegro fugato
Timo Andres (b. 1985): Agita (world premiere)
— Intermission —
Edvard Grieg (1843–1907): Ballade in the form of variations on a Norwegian folk song, in G Minor, Op. 24 for solo piano
Edvard Grieg: Sonata for Cello and Piano in A Minor, Op. 36
Andante molto tranquillo
Allegro molto e marcato
Program is subject to change
Program notes will be provided closer to the concert date.
Inbal Segev, cello
Inbal Segev is “a cellist with something to say” (Gramophone). Combining “thrillingly projected, vibrato-rich playing” (Washington Post) with “complete dedication and high intelligence” (San Francisco Classical Voice), she makes solo appearances at leading international venues and with preeminent orchestras and conductors worldwide. Celebrated for her fresh insights into music’s great masterworks, the Israeli American cellist is equally committed to reinvigorating the cello repertoire, and has commissioned and premiered major new works from an international who’s who of today’s foremost contemporary composers.
Segev is personally responsible for commissioning, premiering, recording and championing new works by important contemporary composers from the U.S., Israel and beyond. Most recently, she launched the “20 for 2020” project, commissioning new chamber works from 20 of today’s most compelling composers, including Vijay Iyer, Viet Cuong and John Luther Adams, for a music video series and four-volume Avie Records set to document the challenging year. Other recent projects include Anna Clyne’s concerto DANCE, which Segev co-commissioned and premiered under Cristian Măcelaru’s leadership at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California (2019), before recording the work alongside Elgar’s iconic concerto with Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Released by Avie, the album was an instant success, topping the Amazon Classical Concertos chart and inspiring glowing praise from The Guardian, BBC Radio 3 and other outlets; DANCE’s opening movement was named among NPR Music’s “Favorite Songs of 2020,” receiving more than five million listens on Spotify.
Segev has also brought to life a host of other new works. It was she who gave the world premiere performance of Timo Andres’s concerto Upstate Obscura at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018); premiered Dan Visconti’s Cello Concerto with the California Symphony (2017); commissioned and premiered Gity Razaz’s multimedia piece Legend of Sigh at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust (2015); premiered and recorded Lucas Richman’s Declaration with the composer conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony (2015); co-commissioned and premiered Avner Dorman’s Cello Concerto with the Anchorage Symphony (2012); and commissioned and premiered Paola Prestini’s Oceano at Columbia University (2002). She also gave the overdue U.S. premiere of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s long-lost, posthumously reconstructed Cello Concerto, and joined the Albany Symphony for the first performance of Christopher Rouse’s Violoncello Concerto since its premiere 24 years earlier by Yo-Yo Ma.
The cellist’s premiere recordings crown a rich and wide-ranging discography. Having studied Bach’s solo cello suites for many years, she recorded the complete cycle over a six-month period with Grammy-winning producer Da-Hong Seetoo at New York City’s Academy of Arts and Letters for release by Vox Classics in 2015; documenting this process behind the scenes, a companion film by Nick Davis Productions was screened at Lincoln Center and in Maine and Bogotà. Segev’s other recordings include a Romantic program of Schumann, Chopin and Grieg with pianist Juho Pohjonen (Avie, 2018); Dohnányi serenades with the Amerigo Trio (Navona, 2011); and cello sonatas by Beethoven and Boccherini with pianist Richard Bishop (Opus One, 2000). The cellist can also be heard playing music by Peter Nashe on the soundtrack of Bee Season, a 2005 feature film starring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche.
A prodigy who first played for the Israeli president at just eight years old, Segev came to international attention ten years later when she made concerto debuts with both the Berlin Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Since then she has appeared as soloist with such leading orchestras as the London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Dortmund Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and St. Louis Symphony, collaborating with Marin Alsop, Stéphane Denève, Lorin Maazel, Cristian Măcelaru, Zubin Mehta and other of the world’s foremost conductors. She co-curated the Baltimore Symphony’s New Music Festival from its inception in 2017.
Segev has given solo performances of Bach’s cello suites at international venues from New York’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Shanghai Concert Hall and Jerusalem Theatre. Her other recital highlights include appearances at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chicago’s Harris Theater and Bogotá’s Teatro Mayor. Also a dedicated chamber artist, she has undertaken international tours with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and collaborated with such esteemed musicians as Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Anthony McGill, Jason Vieaux and the Vogler Quartet. With former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and violist Karen Dreyfus, she is a founding member of the Amerigo Trio.
Besides holding regular interactive live-streamed masterclasses and Q&A sessions at the CelloBello resource center, Segev has been featured in a live Q&A session at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse and a dedicated episode of The Musical Life podcast series. Available at her YouTube channel, the cellist’s popular masterclass series, Musings with Inbal Segev, has thousands of subscribers around the world and almost two million views to date.
A native of Israel, Inbal Segev began playing the cello at the age of five. At 16 she was invited by Isaac Stern to the U.S., where she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot, Joel Krosnick, Harvey Shapiro and Beaux Arts Trio co-founder Bernard Greenhouse, earning degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School. Today she lives in New York City with her husband, their three teenage children and her cellos, made by Francesco Ruggieri (1673) and Carl Becker & Son (1958) respectively.
Juho Pohjonen, piano
Juho Pohjonen is regarded as one of today’s most exciting instrumentalists. The Finnish pianist performs widely in Europe, Asia, and North America, collaborating with symphony orchestras and playing in recital and chamber settings. An ardent exponent of Scandinavian music, Pohjonen’s growing discography offers a showcase of music by Finnish compatriots such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho and Jean Sibelius.
In 2020-2021 Pohjonen opens the season at the Tampere Philharmonic following his debut with the orchestra in 2017-2018. After a highly successful debut last year with Minnesota Orchestra, he returns to perform Mendelssohn’s concerto for violin, piano, and strings, beside Erin Keefe and Maestro Juanjo Mena. He performs Daniel Bjarnason’s Processions with Finland’s Tapiola Sinfonietta and Sweden’s Norrlandsoperan Symphony Orchestra; the composer conducts Tapiola.. Continuing his longstanding relationship with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Pohjonen plays Brahms and Dohnanyi on a two-week national tour with CMS. In recital, Pohjonen will film a recital program for the Friends of Chamber Music in College Station, TX.
Following the September 2019 performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota, Pohjonen returned to the orchestra in January 2020 to repeat the program at Indiana University in Bloomington. Additional highlights included two orchestra debuts: with the New Jersey Symphony performing Grieg, conducted by Markus Stenz; and with the Rochester Philharmonic performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Fabien Gabel. Pohjonen made his Philadelphia recital debut at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and returned to Howland Chamber Music Circle in Beacon, NY with a recital. Pohjonen’s chamber performance took him to San Francisco Performances and Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach with violinist Bomsori Kim. An alumnus of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), Pohjonen enjoys an ongoing association with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with whom he played two performances in New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Chicago’s Harris Theater. Also in 2019, Pohjonen launched MyPianist, an AI-based iOS app that provides interactive piano accompaniment to musicians everywhere. Designed and programmed by Mr. Pohjonen himself and infused with his keen musical sensibility, MyPianist acts as a “virtual pianist” for musicians looking to hone their skills or learn new material. MyPianist carefully “listens” to the musician’s playing and recreates the piano part in real time, matching the timing and nuances of the live performance. More information at https://mypianist.app.
Pohjonen’s illustrious resume of concerto performances reveals a musician in demand internationally. He has appeared as a soloist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony & Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, with the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City, and a large number of additional North American orchestras. This includes the Atlanta Symphony where Pohjonen has performed three times. Pohjonen has collaborated with today’s foremost conductors, including Marin Alsop, Lionel Bringuier, Marek Janowski, Fabien Gabel, Kirill Karabits, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Markus Stenz, and Pinchas Zukerman.
The pianist has previously appeared in recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and in San Francisco, La Jolla, Detroit, Savannah, and Vancouver. He made his London debut at Wigmore Hall, and has performed recitals throughout Europe including in Antwerp, Hamburg, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw. Festival appearances include Lucerne; Savonlinna Finland; Bergen, Norway; and Mecklenberg-Vorpommern in Germany, as well as the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. With CMS he has performed significant chamber music repertoire with Escher and Calidore String Quartets in New York, Chicago, and at Wolf Trap, among many other programs. Other highlights of recent seasons include a recital debut at the 92nd Street Y in New York, in which Pohjonen performed a program that featured Scriabin’s Sonata No. 8 and Dichotomie by Salonen. In a review comparing Pohjonen’s performance of the same piece in 2019 to his 2009 performance, the New York Times commented that the Salonen “no longer seemed nearly impossible. You might say he played it like a master.”
Pohjonen’s most recent recording with cellist Inbal Segev features cello sonatas by Chopin and Grieg, and Schumann’s ’Fantasiestücke, hallmarks of the Romantic repertoire. Plateaux, his debut recording on Dacapo Records, featured works by late Scandinavian composer Pelle Gudmundsen Holmgreen, including the solo piano suite For Piano, and piano concerto Plateaux pour Piano et Orchestre, with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Ed Spanjaard. His recital at the Music@Menlo 2010 festival was recorded as part of the Music@Menlo Live series. Entitled Maps and Legends, the disc includes Mozart’s Sonata in A major, K. 331, Grieg’s Ballade (Op. 24), and Handel’s Suite in B-flat Major. Pohjonen joins violinist Petteri Iivonen and cellist Samuli Peltonen to form the Sibelius Trio, who released a recording on Yarlung Records in honor of Finland’s 1917 centennial of independence. The album, described by Stereophile as “a gorgeous debut,” included works by Sibelius and Kaija Saariaho.
Pohjonen began his piano studies in 1989 at the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and subsequently earned a Master’s Degree from Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna at the Sibelius Academy in 2008. Pohjonen was selected by Sir Andras Schiff as the winner of the 2009 Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship, and has won prizes at international and Finnish competitions.