• Ilona Oltuski

Yefim Bronfman and Friends make Contact! with the audience at SubCulture



An artist of the highest integrity, Mr. Bronfman has recently stated in an interview with Zinta Lundborg:”..I like to be able to get into the composer’s mind as much as I can in every way possible. I don’t like eccentricity…it’s not interesting,” an ambition, he clearly mastered in his performance.


Both institutions’ involvement with this performance of this season’s Contact! at Subculture series sold out the event’s 120-person space.  Funding was helped by generous support of private benefactors Linda and Stewart Nelson.

With Mr. Bronfman, this season’s artist-in-residence at the New York Philharmonic, the production gained a most significant impetus in that he not only has the personality and the knack for thinking ‘outside of the box,’ as his pianistic stunt to benefit New York’s Food Bank at Grand Central Terminal proved in 2007. Already for quite some years now, Mr. Bronfman, world-renowned for his big concert stage performances with an emphasis on esteemed romantic masterworks, has increasingly devoted his attention to contemporary works and for that has been extensively lauded by Neikrug.


Poul Ruders’ String Quartet No.4 had been performed previously at a private event at the Morgan Library in 2013, but here for the first time publicly, in New York. The work constitutes the first composition for String Quartet within his large oeuvre. It was performed admirably by New York Philharmonic violinists Fiona Simon and Sharon Yamada, violist Robert Reinhardt, and cellist Eileen Moon. The composer himself had pointed out in the program notes: “…it is in five movements and is about nothing but itself.” It was one of the works co-commissioned in 2013 by the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Britten-Pears Foundation in honor of Benjamin Britten’s centennial.


For his second performance of the evening, Mr. Bronfman shared the bill with two other, eloquent members of the New York Philharmonic, violinist Qaun Ge and cellist Maria Kitsopoulus, in sparkling interaction. The three performed Trio No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Piano by French composer Marc-André Dalbavie, leaving the audience perhaps not with the most memorable work of the evening, but with the most optimistic and elated outlook.




This work, premiered by Mr. Bronfman in 2008 at Carnegie Hall, builds on an intriguing simplicity of musical motives, most perceptibly its scale patterns, which build intensely in momentum during the course of the single movement work. This is the second performance of the composers work by the Philharmonic, whose work Melodia was commissioned for CONTACT!’s inaugural program in 2009.



from left: Marc Kaplan, Yefim Bronfman, Hanna Gaifman-Arie, Marc Neikrug, Steve Kaplan.photo credit:getClassical 


With Alan Gilbert



Not surprisingly, audience members congregated around the bar area after the show, up-close and personal, to congratulate the artists, who were happy to interact without the usually necessary Green Room list.#MarcNeikrug #MaryandJamesGWallachArtistinResidence #CONTACT #HannaArieGaifman #YefimBronfman #NewYorkPhilharmonic #92ndStreetY #PoulRuders

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