NAKED CLASSICS: Homeland—Bartók, Ives, Vaughan Williams

Paul Rissmann, presenter & host
Katherine McLin, violin
David Danzmayr, conductor

Three diverse composers and three contrasting works. Delve into how each used, and was influenced by folk music to create these important works of the early 20th century.

BARTÓK – Romanian Folk Dances
IVES – Three Places in New England
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS – The Lark Ascending


Explore classical music in a fresh and approachable format! We will deconstruct a masterwork—using graphics, excerpts, and interviews to reveal fascinating aspects of the pieces, and the composer’s life and times. In the second half of the concert, the piece is performed in its entirety, providing a new perspective of the work. NAKED CLASSICS is for anyone—from the newcomer who wants to dip their toes into the world of classical music to the seasoned aficionado seeking a deeper appreciation.

Paul Rissmann's bio

Paul Rissmann was born on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. He studied composition and classical saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

His career involves writing music, talking about music and inspiring others to make and perform their own music. Paul works with people of all ages and all abilities.

He currently holds the position of Animateur for the London Symphony Orchestra and is Children’s Composer in Residence for Music in the Round. His diverse portfolio of compositions range from electronic music for Microsoft to an orchestral fanfare for the opening of the Twin Sails bridge.

Paul has produced a series of highly interactive works that enable thousands of people to perform as equals with professional musicians. His composition Bamboozled for audience and orchestra has been performed by over 45,000 people – from the USA to Australia. It was performed at an Olympic Torch relay in the UK by the Philharmonia Orchestra and in Avery Fisher Hall by the New York Philharmonic.

Paul is frequently commissioned to set children’s books to music. His partnership with Ensemble 360 has resulted in hundreds of performances around the UK, from the Crucible to the Wigmore Hall. In 2012 Paul won a British Composer’s Award for his composition The Chimpanzees of Happytown. This piece was recently recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, with Paul as narrator, and will be released in 2016.

As a passionate music educationalist, Paul is equally comfortable making music in a primary school or explaining the intricacies of Stravinsky’s motor-rhythms to an audience of adults. His work in this field has received awards from both the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Royal Television Society.

In 2014, Paul appeared as the LSO’s Creative Director in a Channel 4 (UK) documentary Addicts’ Symphony, exploring how music can be therapeutic in overcoming addiction.

As a concert presenter, Paul has worked with many leading orchestras in America, Australia, Europe, India, Malaysia and the Middle East. Recent engagements include concerts with the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Valery Gergiev and the LSO in Trafalgar Square, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia at the South Bank and a tour of India with Nicola Benedetti and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Paul has hosted Classics Unwrapped for BBC Radio Scotland, created a critically acclaimed series of music discovery concerts for adults called Naked Classics, and performs Uncovered with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Katherine McLin's bio

Violinist Katherine McLin enjoys an extremely varied and prolific performing career as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber and orchestral musician. Since her debut with the Oregon Symphony at the age of fifteen, Dr. McLin has made over 100 appearances as soloist with orchestras across the country. Recent and upcoming appearances include the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Symphony of the West Valley, Piazzolla’s Four Seasons with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Tempe Symphony Orchestra and Joel Puckett’s Short Stories with the University of Michigan Wind Ensemble.

Dr. McLin appears on 20 compact disc recordings under the Summit, Centaur, and Opus One labels. Her live and recorded performances have been broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today, NYC’s WQXR (Bob Sherman’s “Listening Room” program), and local television and radio stations throughout the country. As a member of the McLin/Campbell Duo with pianist Andrew Campbell and frequent chamber music collaborator with colleagues around the world, Dr. McLin performs extensively throughout the United States and abroad. She serves as a guest artist at numerous summer chamber music festivals, most recently with the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival (OR), Saarburg Chamber Music Festival (Germany) and the Orlando Chamber Players at the Festival of the Black Hills (SD).

Since 2007, Dr. McLin has held the position of Concertmaster of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio. Previously she served as Concertmaster of the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the Michigan Sinfonietta, and the Aspen Sinfonia Orchestra, and Principal Second Violin of the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra.

A committed and passionate teacher, Dr. McLin was awarded the Evelyn Smith Professorship in Music at Arizona State University in 2016, a three year endowed position that recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding leadership in their field. In 2004 she was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award for the College of Fine Arts, chosen from over 170 faculty, and was a finalist for the 2007 university-wide ASU Professor of the Year award.

Dr. McLin received her doctorate in violin performance from the University of Michigan as a student of Paul Kantor. She holds additional performance degrees from Indiana University and the Oberlin College Conservatory, and for three years was an orchestral fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival. Her former teachers include Franco Gulli, Josef Gingold, and Kathleen Winkler.

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