MBL Summer Concert

16G0432-MBL Summer Concert crop

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The MBL was pleased to welcome back Curtis On Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music, for its third performance in Woods Hole.

This summer’s program included a new work, “Forged Sanctuaries” composed by Curtis alumnus Jonathan Bailey Holland, written in inspiration of the Cape Cod National Seashore and in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. The commissioning and touring of this work is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Drawing upon 90 years of artistry, the Curtis Institute of Music pairs tradition and innovation, educating exceptionally gifted young musicians as artist-citizens who engage a local and global community through music-making of the highest caliber. Each year 175 students come to Curtis, drawn by a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture. In this intimate environment, they are nurtured by a celebrated faculty and inspired by the school’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach, offering more than 200 concerts each year in Philadelphia, as well as performances around the world through Curtis on Tour.

Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. An embodiment of the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, it offers students real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty.  In addition to performances, musicians offer master classes, interactive programs, and community engagement activities while on tour. Curtis on Tour also facilitates solo performances of Curtis students and alumni with professional orchestras and recital series. Since the program was established in 2008, students, faculty, and alumni have performed more than 200 concerts in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.


Youna Choi

RS4059_Kevin Lin-scr

Kevin Lin

RS3992_Meng-Chieh Liu-scr

Meng-Chieh Liu


Yoshihiko Nakano

RS4032_Laura Park (high def)-scr

Laura Park


Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
Trio in B-flat major, D.581
Allegro moderato
Menuett: Allegretto
Rondo: Allegretto 

Kevin Lin, violin
Yoshihiko Nakano, viola
Youna Choi, cello

Jonathan Bailey Holland (b. 1974)
Forged Sanctuaries*

Laura Park, violin
Kevin Lin, violin
Yoshihiko Nakano, viola
Youna Choi, cello


Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
Quintet in A minor, Op. 84
Moderato — Allegro
Moderato — Allegro

Kevin Lin, violin
Laura Park, violin
Yoshihiko Nakano, viola
Youna Choi, cello
Meng-Chieh Liu, piano

*New work inspired by the Cape Cod National Seashore and commissioned by the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival
and the Curtis Institute of Music for Curtis on Tour.
The commissioning and touring of this work is supported in part
by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Since the year my daughter was born our family has spent time during the summer months on Cape Cod.  We have explored many of the different beaches, from the South facing ocean beaches; to the popular beaches on the Eastern shore of the outer cape; to the calm, oyster-laden bay beaches; and even the lesser-known ponds.  The opportunity to compose a work that celebrates these and other treasures associated with the Cape Cod National Seashore National Park as part of the centennial celebrations of the National Park Service was a very welcomed opportunity.  

For me, like most, the cape is a destination for escape, relaxation and rejuvenation.   It is at times an unstable landmass, jutting out into the Atlantic, its shore constantly in a state of transformation from the ocean waves and the redistribution of the sands of the beaches.  It holds a great deal of historical significance for many people.  It is a daunting subject to embrace musically. The string quartet, as an ensemble, also presents its own challenges.  No other musical ensemble carries the historical weight and significance of the string quartet.  There is nowhere for a composers to hide when writing for the string quartet.  Many great composers are heralded as such in no small part because of their contributions to the genre. 

For this work, I chose to embrace the enormity of both the topic and the ensemble by imagining the formation of the Cape, as well as the significance it holds for me, and many others.  The first movement, titled Glacial Formation, is about the evolution of a glacier.  The music is intended to be programmatic, beginning with the sound of wind and snow.  As the snow accumulates and compresses it creates large crystals of ice that eventually become glaciers.  These glaciers, massive in size, move across the surface of the earth, carving landmasses as they go.  As the glaciers move away and melt, they reveal their creations. 

The second movement of this work, titled The Hypnosis of Tides, is about the allure of the beach and the soothing nature of waves.  The ocean waves are unpredictable, sometimes calm and sometimes violent, reshaping the beach with every ebb and flow.  The bay waves are often much calmer, but nonetheless hypnotic in their constant lapping of the shoreline.  The second movement ends peacefully, reminiscent of the end of the first movement, with a sense of being somewhat unfinished.

– Jonathan Bailey Holland