The Drinkall-Baker Duo will premiere a sonata written for them by American composer Robert Kelly at a recital Tuesday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall of Brigham Young University's Harris Fine Arts Center.
Besides Kelly's Sonata No. 2, the program will include sonatas of Beethoven and Sammartini, and Falla's "Suite Populares Espanola." Admission is free.The duo, composed of cellist Roger Drinkall and pianist Dian Baker, is also celebrating the release of a new recording of modern romantic music as well as the recent signing of a contract with the French company Pyramid for three CDs of music by early 20th century masters. Husband and wife, the two have just completed their first year in residence at BYU and will also present concerts in Israel and the Far East next fall.
Drinkall, who has recorded an album of Kelly's cello music, was a student at the University of Illinois when he became acquainted with the composer, who was on the faculty. Drinkall isn't the only BYU faculty member with ties to Kelly; both Merrill Bradshaw and David Sargent of the composition faculty are former Kelly students as well.
Kelly attended Juilliard and has degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, and was chairman of composition and theory at the University of Illinois. His works have been performed by the Cleveland Orchestra, the NBC Symphony and the Walden and Fine Arts quartets.
Under the sponsorship of BYU's Barlow Foundation for Music Composition, Kelly will travel to Provo to attend the premiere and to conduct master classes with BYU students. "We're performing in the de Jong Concert Hall so that the sonata can be digitally recorded for entrance in the Friedheim International Composition Competition," Baker added.
The de Jong Hall was also the site for the duo's recent recording, "The Modern Romantics," which includes music of Barber, Schumann, Saint-Saens and former BYU faculty member Reid Nibley. It will also likely be the site of the first two French recordings, to consist of trios and sonatas. For the third CD the two will travel to Bulgaria in March to work with an orchestra there on an album of first recordings of cello pieces by Hindemith, Milhaud, Honegger and Martinu.