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Piano Duo Debuts at Simon’s Rock Faculty Concert

August 31, 2018 10:26 am

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Pianists and faculty members Manon Hutton-DeWys and Larry Wallach will perform music written for two pianos on Saturday, September 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kellogg Music Center on the Bard College at Simon’s Rock campus.

A new Mason and Hamlin model BB grand piano, one of two donated by Jonathan Easton, affords the opportunity to hear music written specifically for two pianos. The new instrument joins the Steinway B that has been in the Kellogg Music Center for 25 years.

Hutton-Dwys and Wallach find that the two instruments match each other well while still retaining their distinctive characters, which will be exhibited during their concert performance. Their program will demonstrate of a variety of ways that two pianos can be used together, from sounding like an enlarged single instrument to mimicking a full orchestra. It will include Brahms’ weighty Sonata for Two Pianos, Debussy’s kaleidoscopic “En Blanc et Noir,” Stravinsky’s lean neo-classical “Sonata for Two Pianos,” and Copland’s spikey and spicy “Danzon Cubano.” The concert in Kellogg Music Center is free and open to the public. For more information, call 413-528-7212.

American pianist Manon Hutton-DeWys has long been earning praise and recognition for her performances of classical and modern music. In Musical America, Christian Carey wrote: “Hutton-DeWys did an admirable job creating legato lyricism in a solo line that resides amidst a tremendously active accompaniment. Her sensitive dynamic shadings and subtle use of rubato demonstrated an artist possessing a great deal of promise.” Dr. Hutton-DeWys has performed in some of classical music’s best-known venues, including Weill and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, and the Salle Cortot at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. She has also appeared at Symphony Space, Bargemusic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Northeastern and Tufts Universities, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, home to radio station WNYC.

Dr. Hutton-DeWys holds degrees from the City University of New York Graduate Center, Mannes College of Music, Bard College, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Her research, for which she received a 2017 Elebash Research Grant, focuses on early 20th century American music. A native of New York’s beautiful Hudson River Valley, Hutton-DeWys is on the faculty of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and the Bard Academy. She formerly served on the faculty of Lehman College and Greenwich House Music School and on the Executive Board of the Piano Teachers’ Congress of New York.

Larry Wallach is the Livingston Hall Chair in Music at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He is a performer, composer, musicologist, and educator whose interests span the history of Western music up to the present day, with particular focus on baroque and modern repertories. He has published articles about Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms, and as pianist performed all the Ives violin sonatas. Dr. Wallach is active as a keyboard player on piano and harpsichord, collaborating with Nancy Bracken, Ronald Gorevic, the Avanti Wind Quintet, John Cheek, Daniel Stepner, Stephen Hammer, Lucy Bardo, Paul Green, Susanna Ogata, Allan Dean, Ronald Barron, Maureen O’Flynn, and Anne and Eva Legêne. He has organized and performed in concerts for the Bard Retrospective Festival for Charles Ives, for the Housatonic River Festival Concert, for the Boston Early Music Festival, and organized a program of music for four harpsichords that was performed in Norfolk, Connecticut, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Albany and Hunter, both in New York in 2009 and 2010.

His compositions, primarily of chamber music, have been performed in New York, New England, Texas, California, and elsewhere. A recent orchestral work, “Berkshire Rhapsody,” was premiered in April 2017 in Milford, Massachusetts.