Faculty violist Timothy Deighton is joined by Hartt School faculty saxophonist Carrie Koffman and harpist Anne Sullivan for a recital of duets and trios composed or transcribed for this unusual instrument combination. Highlighting the program is the world premiere of "Summer Dances" by Penn State professor emeritus Bruce Trinkley.
ProgramSonatine en trio ♦ Maurice Ravel
- Mouvement de minuet
Duo ♦ Hilary Tann
Chanson dans la nuit ♦ Carlos Salzedo
Nocturne et sicilienne (2003) ♦ Armando Ghidoni
Two Pieces ♦ Frank Bridge
- Allegro appassionato
Summer Dances ♦ Bruce Trinkley (world premiere)
- Lovely October
- Courtyard Tango
- Milonga del Sol
Sometimes, a new idea can lead to grand adventures!
A few months ago, violist Tim Deighton, saxophonist Carrie Koffman and harpist Anne Sullivan came up with an idea: could they put together a concert for all three; saxophone, viola and harp? Carrie and Tim have concertized for many years as a duo called “The Irrelevants,” and Tim and Anne have given a few performances in the State College area, but the three musicians had never played together.
The trio had two big obstacles right from the start. First, if the ensemble was a string quartet, it would have its choice of music from a large and well-known repertoire. But this creative instrumental combination not only doesn’t have a large repertoire, it doesn’t really seem to have any at all! So the musicians borrowed, stole, and transcribed other repertoire until they achieved a program that seemed agreeable from both a listener’s and a player’s perspective.
The second difficulty? Tim and Anne both live in the State College area, but Carrie lives in Connecticut, meaning that the rehearsals would be limited to the week of the concert. On the plus side, this ensemble has the potential for fabulous combinations of sound, with the richness of each instrument contributing its own essence to the blend. And the duo possibilities – saxophone and viola, saxophone and harp, viola and harp – are interesting as well. And, all three players share an adventurous musical spirit that pushes them outside the stereotypes of their instruments.
The trio has put together a program of music that is beautiful and colorful. Ravel’s Sonatine is an old favorite that takes on a new flavor. Some newer music by Hilary Tann and Armanda Ghidoni, a composition by a Penn State friend, Bruce Trinkley, arranged for the trio, and another work or two round out our debut program.
These wonderful musicians have the sense that, not only will this trio “work” as an ensemble, it will be actually be rather spectacular!
Timothy Deighton is professor of viola at Penn State, where he teaches viola, chamber music, viola literature and pedagogy, and orchestral excerpts classes, and directs the Penn State Viola Ensemble. He also serves as the coordinator of the Professional Performance Certificate (PPC) program and is the faculty advisor of the Penn State Viola Society.
A committed teacher, Deighton has received several teaching awards, including the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association’s String Teacher of the Year, and the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. His former students hold positions in professional orchestras and on the faculties of music schools in the United States and overseas. Recent teaching engagements include master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and in South and Central America. His articles have appeared in such publications as Strings, the American String Teacher, Journal of the American Viola Society, the New York Violist, and the Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Viola Society. He is a board member of New York Viola Society and formerly served on the board of the American Viola Society. “ViolaFest,” an event he directed at Penn State, involved more than 200 violists from across North America and abroad. The Penn State Viola Ensemble, which he directs, performs on and off campus, and has been regularly featured on New York Viola Society concerts, where they have presented several world premieres.
Deighton enjoys a wide variety of performance opportunities. He has appeared at four International Viola Congresses as recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra, and as master class presenter and panelist. In 2014, he presented the prestigious William Primrose Memorial Concert at Brigham Young University. Having long held a fascination for new music, he has performed premieres of more than fifty new works for viola, most of which were commissioned by or written for him. His solo CD, Viola Aotearoa, featuring music for viola by New Zealand composers, was released in 2002 on the Atoll label. His playing on this disc was described in The Strad as “brilliant and differentiated.” As a member of the contemporary music duo The Irrelevants, he and saxophonist Carrie Koffman have commissioned and premiered many new works. Their "excellent playing" of several new works in a recent New York recital was noted in The Strad, and their CD, Dialogues, is available at CD Baby. The Chihara Trio, with Anthony Costa, clarinet, and Enrico Elisi, piano, performed its New York debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in March 2010, in which, according to the New York Concert Review, "Deighton's technical aplomb and precision were very impressive."
Other chamber music collaborations include those with the American String Quartet, Quartet Accorda, and the New Zealand String Quartet, and with musicians outside the traditional classical field such as the Mäori (Taongo Puoro) instrumentalist Richard Nunns. Many of Deighton’s solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast on U.S., European, and Australasian radio. He is a National Recording Artist for Radio New Zealand, and former member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has also worked with the Boston-based chamber orchestra, A Far Cry. He also appears in recital with his wife, pianist Ann Deighton.
He has been associated with a number of music festivals, including the International Musical Arts Institute in Fryeburg, Maine, where he served for a time as artistic director. Other festivals at which he has appeared include the Killington Music Festival (VT), the Pierre Monteux Festival (ME), the Gold Coast Music Festival (CA), Music at Penn’s Woods (PA), the Dublin International Symphonic Festival (Ireland), the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music, the ASM Festival (Panama), and Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves (France).
Carrie Koffman teaches on the faculty of The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Prior to this, she held positions at Penn State University, the University of New Mexico, and Boston University. Koffman’s performances have included the World Saxophone Congresses in St Andrews, Scotland, Bangkok, Thailand, and Minnesota; the SaxArt International Saxophone Festivals in Faenza, Italy; a tour throughout New Zealand; the Xi'an International Clarinet and Saxophone Festival in China; the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan; the Virginia Arts Festival; the International Viola Congress; several North American Saxophone Alliance National Conventions; and the International Double Reed convention in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Koffman has appeared as a featured soloist with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Centre Chamber Orchestra, the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, the Hartt Wind Ensemble, the PSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the UNM Wind Symphony, and the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble while touring Europe. Among her ensemble performing credits are appearances with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Sequitur and Le Train Bleu in New York City, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Symphony. She performs in a contemporary chamber music duo, The Irrelevants, with violist Tim Deighton. Their “excellent playing” of several new works in a recent New York recital was noted in The Strad. Additionally, she appears frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician.
Recent recording projects include the CD's Carillon Sky, Dialogues, and Dragon Rhyme. One review in Fanfare Magazine calls her playing “suave, subtly nuanced, and technically secure in its every gesture,” while another refers to her “melting tone and touching sensitivity.” She also has an ongoing recording and performing series entitled "Pink Ink" that is dedicated to promoting the music of living women composers.
Koffman is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and teaches Yoga for Performers at The Hartt School. She is also a Conn-Selmer artist/clinician, and performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones.
Anne Sullivan began her career as a concert harpist at age twelve when she appeared twice as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. A native of the Philadelphia area and a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, she is in demand as a recitalist, chamber musician and symphonic soloist. Her orchestral appearances have included engagements with the Baltimore Symphony, the Delaware Symphony where she was principal harpist, the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She has accompanied many classical and popular artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra and Roger Daltrey of The Who. She has been listed in “Who’s Who of Rising Young Americans” and “2000 Notable American Women.”
Recent accomplishments include the release of her second solo CD, Break Forth, and a live concert recording Duo Parisienne with Nancy Bean, former assistant concertmaster with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has also founded the Shade Mountain Winery Chamber Music Series in Middleburg, PA, and the Harp in the Mountains Summer Festival, a summer music camp for student harpists.
In 1986, she co-founded the flute and harp duo SPARX with flutist Joan Sparks. The duo has appeared in concert across the country and received numerous national awards, including awards from Chamber Music America and the National Flute Association. SPARX was featured in 2009 the national convention of the National Flute Association in New York City, performing the Sonata for Flute and Harp that they commissioned from composer Lowell Leibermann. The duo has released three CD recordings: Reflections, The Power of Two and Christmas Echoes.
Sullivan was a member of the music theory faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music from 1982-2002. She is the author and arranger of more than three dozen works for harp and has published a series of ear training books specifically for the harp student. Her online resource for harpists contains podcasts, articles, downloadable courses and sheet music designed for performers and students of all ages. Currently, she serves as harp instructor at the University of Delaware and Swarthmore College (PA).