"A Little Lunch Music" | French Flute & Piano With Nicolas Duchamp & Barbara McKenzie

Jan 25, 2018

Join us on Friday, February 2 at Noon at WHQR for a casual lunchtime mini-concert a la Paris. French flutist Nicolas Duchamp and Pianist Barbara McKenzie perform music by Gaubert, Debussy, and Leclair--with the Louis Lot flute once owned by Gaubert!  

This is an interactive concert, meant to draw in the listener, get them to ask questions and discuss the music on their terms with the artists. Duchamp and McKenzie will talk about French culture and musical traditions. We'll have special treats and refreshments, and feel free to bring your lunch! 

Nicolas Duchamp

No reservation is required for this free event. If you have questions, please email Gina Gambony, classical@whqr.org

Selections: 

Leclair:  Sonata in E Minor , Op. 2 No. 1

French ballet master, violinist, composer, and founder of the French violin school, Jean Marie Leclair the Elder was acclaimed in his day as the equal of Telemann, Handel, and Bach. While historians have not been as kind to him, there is no question that his contributions to the art of violin playing were highly significant.  This sonata is a flute transcription of the violin sonata.

Gaubert:  Fantaisie (1910)

A Conservatory competition piece, the Fantaisie is in two parts: a pensive first section and a lively second.  The virtuosity in the first section is in expression.  There is plenty for the fingers to do, but the dynamic and emotional range requires absolute mastery of the instrument.  The second section demonstrates Gaubert’s harmonic debt to Fauré.  The cadenza in this performance is Gaubert’s original version, which appeared in the first printed edition but was subsequently replaced.  When Nicolas Duchamp examined the manuscript, he discovered the original cadenza underneath a pasted-on copy of the version to which modern flutists are accustomed.  

Barbara McKenzie

Debussy:  Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1892)

Debussy’s familiar masterpiece, based on the eponymous poem by Mallarmé, is of course one of the great flute works of all time in its original orchestral clothing.  This evening’s version is the reduction for flute (or violin) by composer and critic Gustave Samazeuilh (1877-1967).  In addition to its originally-intended role, the flute changes its voice to brilliantly represent high strings, while the piano colorfully represents the rest of the ensemble.  The effect is not a compromise at all, but a wholly transparent examination of the pure music that underlies Debussy’s lush orchestration.

Duchamp met pianist Barbara McKenzie in 2006 and invited her to create a French music performance duo. What a treat in musical synthesis!  At a recent performance for the New York Arts Club, Francis Dubois, former French Ambassador to the US, noted that Duchamp-McKenzie play “as if they were born to make music together”. 

Funded by grant awards from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and La Société Des Amis de Philippe Gaubert, Paris,  Duchamp-McKenzie became known as the creators of GAUBERT VIVANT! -- a musical homage to the legendary French master, Philippe  Gaubert.  They have presented tribute concerts at Carnegie Hall, Spivey Hall, and several leading American conservatories and European performance festivals.   

Mr. Duchamp will perform on the magnificent Louis Lot flute which once belonged to Philippe Gaubert.  A “Stradivarius” of the flute world, its exceptional sound will bring an authentic presence to the music of Leclair and Debussy -- a musical window into past centuries.

Nicolas Duchamp

Professional flutists the world over remark on Duchamp’s huge color spectrum, flexibility and pianissimi. He brings to life the refined French repertoire with his duo partner of several years, pianist Barbara McKenzie, a true artist collaborator.

After two decades of an elite Paris-based orchestral and world-wide teaching career, Duchamp decided to move to New York City in 2011 and base his international performance-teaching career in the United States.  (In 2015 he moved to Durham, where he currently resides.)

Duchamp’s mesmerizing performance style is praised world-wide as the “embodiment of the Art of French Flute playing,” together with his huge color palette, sound flexibility and dynamic range.  He is the rare true artist-pedagogue and master artist teacher and regularly gives masterclasses in Tokyo, Paris, Berlin and New York. 

Barbara McKenzie

Barbara McKenzie is a dynamic performer, internationally hailed for her “…sensitivity and intensity that one rarely finds, even from the most venerated artists” (Westfälische Rundschau-Münster), and gifted teacher, educated in the highest German and French musical traditions through the legacies of Artur Schnabel and Alfred Cortot. She delivers great depth of musical understanding with passion, joy, infinite color and refinement whether as solo recitalist, chamber musician or art song collaborator. “… incomparable differentiation of tone colors.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) “….a discovery which has charmed us all.” (Le Matin). A passionate and dedicated musician, her background encompasses the entire career spectrum: teacher, performer, mentor, entrepreneurial arts leader and educator.

Born in the southeastern state of North Carolina, she studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, receiving her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with renowned artists Leon Fleisher and Walter Hautzig. She continued her artist studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold and Schubert Institute in Vienna with legendary artists of the 20th century including Günther Weissenborn, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Andre Navarra, Jörg Demus, Dalton Baldwin, Jost Michaels and Bruno Giuranna.

Ms. McKenzie’s performance career has taken her into the concert halls and music festivals of over 40 countries where she has been featured as solo recitalist, chamber music partner and collaborative pianist in such prestigious halls and international festivals as the Schubert Festival-Kassel, Avingnon’s Festival du Provence, Frankfurt’s Hindemith Salle & Alte Oper, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, New York’s Kaufman Music Center & Merkin Recital Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, New York. She has been heard in live and recorded performance broadcasts throughout Europe and the US including WDR West German Radio Köln, Hessische Rundfunk Frankfurt, BBC London, Radio France-Paris, RTBF-Brussels, WGBH Boston and American Public Media’s Performance Today. She has won many international competitions and awards as soloist and chamber player, including First Prize, International Chamber Music Competition, Paris; Young Concert Artist Guild Competition, New York; Third Prize International Brahms Competition Hamburg; and the Peabody Conservatory Prize in Piano and Young Artist Auditions, Baltimore.

Selected by the National Endowment for the Arts, she served as a musical ambassador for the US State Department and has been presented in concerts and guest lectureships in the former Soviet Union, North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.