Central United Methodist Church
Central Avenue at Palm Lane
In the Phoenix Central Arts District
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Viola Soloist
Violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt makes her solo début with the MusicaNova Orchestra playing the “Viola” concerto by Sir Edward Elgar – actually Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85, transcribed with the composer’s approval by Lionel Tertis in 1929. Elgar agreed to conduct the first performance of this arrangement, which gives a new perspective on a familiar work. The version in our concert has been further updated by the soloist.
A member of the Dover Quartet, a renowned ensemble of young players with impeccable musical credentials, Milena currently lives in Philadelphia while her family are residents of Paradise Valley. She was an undergraduate at the Curtis Institute of Music, and received her Master’s of Music from Rice University in May 2013. A violinist and trombonist in her early years, Milena was drawn to the viola by its “lower, darker, more human sounds,” and fell in love with it when she began playing the instrument in a string quartet as a high school junior.
Milena is the First Prize winner of the 2010 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. In addition to appearances as soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe, including an acclaimed 2011 début recital at London’s Wigmore Hall. With the Dover Quartet she is a winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prize in the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Also on the program is the first work selected by MusicaNova Conductor Warren Cohen from submissions to the MusicaNova Composition Fellows Program. “Gaslight” by Nicholas Landrum is an evocative and brilliantly orchestrated score that uses a wonderful range of colors and sounds. P. I. Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 is is perhaps the closest he came to the Russian nationalism of Rimsky-Korsakov and the other members of the Mighty Handful. It might be the composer’s most cheerful and light-hearted large work, hailed by critics for “its verve, its deftness of instrumentation, its ingenuity of structure and its wealth of melodic invention.”
(Photo: Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, (c) 2014 Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)