Clarion Concerts

Lark & Thurber In Concert!

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Program Notes

Lark & Thurber met years ago as alumni of ‘From The Top’. They began developing their duo collaboration in 2016 after a one-off performance at  an event for WXQR in New York City.  The two quickly realized how much they had in common musically. “This duo is a place for us to explore our varied musical influences” explains Lark. “I grew up in Kentucky playing bluegrass long before I started my career as a classical musician, so I’ve always longed for an outlet to integrate my American music roots into my performances”. Thurber adds, “Our diverse musical appetite is what has always drawn Tessa and I together. The fiddle and bass are both such versatile instruments that have played vital roles in so many different musical traditions around the world. It feels very natural to explore the full range of our musical heritage and not be bound by genre”.

Prior to forming their duo, both Lark and Thurber have enjoyed successful careers of their own.  In the classical music world, Tessa has earned many of the top competition prizes available to young artists including, among many others: a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medal in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and a First-Place finish in the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition.



Michael has a reputation as one of the most versatile musical talents of his generation. Whether playing bass on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, composing music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, co-founding the smash YouTube channel CDZA, or hosting his “Thurber Theater” variety show at Joe’s Pub, Thurber’s musical voice defies genre and category.



In their respective careers thus far, Tessa and Michael have had the privilege of collaborating with some of the world’s leading musicians in a wide variety of genres — to name just a few: Mitsuko Uchida, Edgar Meyer, Itzhak Perlman, and Mark O’Connor (Tessa), and Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Vulfpeck, Jon Batiste and Cee Lo Green (Michael)."

 

Artist Bios

Lark & Thurber
Photo: Lauren Desberg

Tessa Lark and Michael Thurber

Award-winning violinist Tessa Lark and virtuoso composer/bassist Michael Thurber have come together to create a duo unlike any other. By fusing their classical and American music influences, they have created a wholly original sound, which they bring to audiences around the country in a charismatic live show. Highlights of their 2019-20 season include a headlining debut performance at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival; a debut at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center in collaboration with legendary flautist Marina Piccinini; the guest-hosting of a live broadcast of NPR’s From The Top; and engagements with Palm Arts (Telluride, CO), Musical Masterworks (Old Lyme, CT), Joye in Aiken (Aiken, SC), the Fine Arts Society of Southeastern Kentucky (Corbin, KY), and Coastal Concerts (Lewes, DE).

Lark and Thurber met years ago as alumni of From The Top. They began developing their duo collaboration in 2016 after a one-off performance at an event for WQXR in New York City. The two quickly realized how much they had in common musically. “This duo is a place for us to explore our varied musical influences,” says Lark. “I grew up in Kentucky playing bluegrass long before I started my career as a classical musician, so I’ve always longed for an outlet to integrate my American music roots into my performances." Thurber adds, “Our diverse musical appetite is what has always drawn Tessa and me together. The fiddle and bass are both such versatile instruments and have played vital roles in so many different musical traditions around the world. It feels very natural to explore the full range of our musical heritage and not be bound by genre.”

Outside of their duo, Lark and Thurber have enjoyed successful careers of their own. In the classical music world, Tessa has earned many of the top honors available to young artists, including a GRAMMY nomination for her 2019 recording of Michael Torke’s Sky: Concerto for Violin with the Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra; a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship; a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant; Silver Medal in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis; and a First-Place finish in the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition. Michael has a reputation as one of the most versatile musical talents of his generation. Whether he's playing bass on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, composing music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, co-founding the smash YouTube channel CDZA, or hosting his Thurber Theater variety show at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Thurber’s musical voice defies genre and category.

In their respective careers thus far, Tessa and Michael have had the privilege of collaborating with some of the world’s leading musicians in a wide variety of genres, among them Mitsuko Uchida, Edgar Meyer, Itzhak Perlman, and Mark O’Connor (Tessa), and Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Vulfpeck, Jon Batiste, and Cee Lo Green (Michael).

The duo's debut album Invention, which intersperses arrangements of J.S. Bach's Two-Part Inventions with original compositions by Lark, Thurber, and Eddie Barbash, was released on August 8, 2019.

The duo Tessa Lark & Michael Thurber is represented worldwide by New York-based Sciolino Artist Management.

J. Henry Fair

J. Henry Fair

J. Henry Fair uses visual media to tell stories about people and things that affect people. He is based in New York City and Berlin, but travels constantly. Whether it’s portraits or environmental issues, he strives to create imagery that gives viewers new insights into the subject.

Speaking about his “Industrial Scars” series, Roberta Smith, chief art critic of The New York Times said “The vivid color photographs of J Henry Fair lead an uneasy double life as potent records of environmental pollution and as ersatz evocations of abstract painting…information and form work together, to devastating effect.”

His third book, the first in his series on coasts, looks at the natural and the man-made, with an eye to the impacts of the climate crisis and ocean rise, and received much laudatory press.

Ryan McCullough

Ryan McCullough

Windowpane Audio, founded in 2015 by pianist and composer Ryan McCullough, is a Kingston-based audio engineering firm specializing in Classical music and field/location recording, mixing and mastering, electro-acoustic solutions for live performance, and audio equipment modifications for discerning ears. WPA has recorded for Albany and PARMA labels, and will be making inaugural releases in 2020 through its own in-house label, "False Azure," featuring piano music by American composer Dante De Silva. McCullough trained as a pianist at the Colburn Conservatory and Glenn Gould School with renowned pedagogue John Perry, and holds additional degrees in music from Humboldt State University, the University of Southern California, and Cornell University.

 

Stissing Center

Stissing Center
Photo: Paul Clemence

Originally constructed in 1915, The Stissing Center is a non-profit performance venue in Pine Plains and the entire Hudson Valley community. It is a beacon of cultural vibrance and civic pride. Currently open virtually via website and YouTube with the innovative Stissing Summer Variety Show, The Chair Series, and LIVE! from The Stissing Center! TSC features arts, music, voice, drama, dance, and the spoken word. Something for everyone at The Stissing Center.

Friends!

Clarion Concerts has been bringing live classical chamber music to the Hudson Valley and Berkshires region for decades and we can only do that with your help. Won’t you please consider making a donation to our organization? We are an entirely volunteer-run non-profit so ALL of your donations go directly to paying musicians, concert hall fees and to our educational programs in area schools. While we suggest a $20 donation to enjoy this concert, any amount will be welcome. Thanks so much and enjoy the concert!

Donors

We thank the following foundations, businesses and individuals for their generous support of this concert. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Columbia County Arts Fund, a project of the J.M. Kaplan Fund
Stewarts Shops
The Wallace Fund
 
The Farmer’s Wife
Guido’s Supermarket
Harney & Sons
Herrington’s Hardware
The Kinderhook Group
Kinderhook Toyota
Lance Vermeulen Real Estate, Inc.
MetzWood Insurance
Prairie Whale Restaurant
Red House Design
 
Ann Beckley Barasch
Sherwood & Saida Baxt
Bronwyn Bevan
John & Tricia Bevan
Myron & Harriet Bussel
Edwin Chinery
Agi Clark
Richard Collens
Alfred Daiboch
Emily & Martin Daughtry
Matthew Deming
Vicki Dodson*
George Faison
Amy Goldin
Dave Hall & Joe Romano
Rita Jakubowski
Laraine Lippe*
Benjamin Lipton
Virginia Martin
Belinda Mello & Michael McDonnell*
Michael Mollenkamp
Richard Mousseau
Carol Saginaw
James Sciales & Jennifer Kim*
Monica Sinclair & Brian Hailes*
Sharon Smullen
Margareta & Edward Thaute
Eugenia Zukerman

* In memory of Josh Lipton

Members of the Clarion Concerts Board
Eugenia Zukerman, Artistic Director
Dave Hall, President
George Faison, Vice-President
Amy Goldin, Treasurer
Alice Platt, Secretary
Richard Collens
Emily Daughtry
Matthew Deming
Virginia Martin
Jay Rohrlich
Special Thanks
Julian Bevan, Graphic Design
John and Tricia Bevan, Volunteer Coordinators
Ruth Seidler, Website Monitor