Concert and Conversation with Yehudi Wyner
Sunday, June 20, 2021
On WCRB In Concert with the Concord Chamber Music Society, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer performs his own music as well as that of Florence Price and Franz Schubert, with violinist Wendy Putnam.
Wendy Putnam, violin
Yehudi Wyner, piano
WYNER Piccola Fantasia Davenniana
WYNER Four Times Twenty
PRICE Andante con Espressione
WYNER Three Informal Pieces
SCHUBERT Sonatina in D, D. 384
WYNER Three-Fingered Don
Recorded on September 24, 2020 in GBH's Fraser Performance Studio.
CRB's Brian McCreath on this concert:
That phrase, though - "Pulitzer Prize-winning" - barely begins to encompass Yehudi Wyner's musical life and language. To be sure, his Chiavi in Mano, a Boston Symphony Orchestra commission premiered with pianist Robert Levin in 2005, brought his work to a wider audience than had experienced it before. But with decades of that work in circulation and teaching positions at Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Brandeis, and the Tanglewood Music Center, the Pulitzer only confirmed Wyner's place as one of the most engaging musical voices of our time.
Now Yehudi Wyner has been honored again, with a Gold Medal for Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, who describe him as "a true ambassador in the belief that the history of civilization is written in art whose creation and appreciation is universal across continents, cultures, and languages."
To those lucky enough know Wyner, as I have for a number of years, there is no one who deserves such honors more. Yet such accolades also only hint at the warmth, humor, and humanity of who Yehudi Wyner is. As he describes his ambition in this program, "I'm not trying to please an audience, I'm trying to reach another soul."
That's why I was delighted when Wendy Putnam, the founder of the Concord Chamber Music Society, asked me to participate in this program in GBH's Fraser Performance Studio. In the five short parts below, you'll see and hear what makes Yehudi Wyner so remarkable as both a musician and a person.