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Café Ludwig LIVE!

Orli Shaham

June 20, 3:00 p.m.Virtual Online Event

Dennis Kim, violin
Warren Hagerty, cello
Orli Shaham, piano and host

REENA ESMAIL: Saans (Breath) for Piano Trio
JESSIE MONTGOMERY: Peace for Violin and Piano
RACHMANINOFF: Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano (Andante movement) 
AMANDA MAIER: Sonata in B Minor for Violin and Piano (Allegro Molto Vivace)

Experience a new concert in our popular chamber music series, Café Ludwig, streamed LIVE into your living room from the Samueli Theater. Pianist and host Orli Shaham will be joined by Concertmaster Dennis Kim and Principal Cellist Warren Hagerty in chamber music by Reena Esmail, Jessie Montgomery, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Amanda Maier and Germaine Tailleferre.

This performance will be available for FREE streaming through July 19

Watch on YouTube or Facebook or click the screen below. Fast forward to 24:30 where the presentation begins.

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Program Notes

Pianist Orli Shaham reflects on her first live Café Ludwig program at Pacific Symphony since the pandemic began, taking us through the program piece by piece:

The idea of this program is to acknowledge what we've been going through over the past year and a half, and to begin to find a way out of it.

We open the program with Reena Esmail's Saans, which means “breath” in Hindi. It's almost a meditation, a kind of checking in and identifying what is on your mind during this time. It's very sensual and gorgeous, and very meditative. Reena lives in Southern California, and she came and worked with us as we prepared the piece, which was incredibly exciting. There is nothing more rewarding than playing a work for the composer in person.

The second piece is Jessie Montgomery's Peace, which she wrote during the pandemic. It’s a moment of quiet reflection for all that we're grieving right now. Part of the point of this piece is to explore how we make peace with sadness. It’s for violin and piano and the concertmaster Dennis Kim and I have a great musical closeness. Sharing this music with him feels very natural.

The Andante movement from the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata is one of the most moving works of classical music. After having “checked in” with our feelings for the first two pieces, now we can find catharsis. I'm particularly excited to play it with Warren Hagerty, because this is the first time he and I have played a duo. This piece is a great way to connect with this terrific cellist who is likely to become a long time colleague.

We're performing the last movement from Amanda Maier’s Violin Sonata, which is vivacious and joyful and just filled with a love of life. Now, having meditated and reflected on our feelings, and having let go of some of that baggage, we can begin to look to the future and see the beauty and the life-loving joy. One of the things I find special about this music is that it becomes a part of the discovery for all of us at this present moment, of reconnecting with the joy that we used to get out of life – but in a new way, coming out of our collective grief.

We’re finishing with a trio by Germaine Tailleferre, a piece of music that is expertly crafted. It’s the only complete multi movement work on the program, and brings home the idea that we can find wholeness once again.

The program was live-streamed on June 20, 2021, and is available on-demand through July 19, 2021. 

Orli Shaham

Guest Artist

Orli Shaham

A consummate musician recognized for her grace and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The New York Times called her a "brilliant pianist," The Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean” in a performance with the Chicago Symphony and London's Guardian said Shaham's playing at the Proms was "perfection."

Shaham has performed with nearly every major American orchestra, as well as many in Europe, Asia and Australia. A frequent guest at summer festivals, her appearances include Tanglewood, Ravinia, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, La Jolla, Music Academy of the West and Aspen. Shaham’s acclaimed 2015 recording, Brahms Inspired, is a collection of new compositions alongside works by Brahms and his compositional forefathers. Other recordings include John Adams' Grand Pianola Music with the pianist Marc-André Hamelin and the San Francisco Symphony, with the composer conducting, American Grace, a CD of piano music by John Adams and Steven Mackey with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, David Robertson conducting, and Nigunim - Hebrew Melodies, recorded with her brother, the violinist Gil Shaham.