Taking place in the Peabody Institute’s beautiful Griswold Hall, Judith Ingolfsson and Vladimir Stoupel, two artists in residence, performed a reinvigorating and challenging joint chamber program on Saturday evening. Named “Duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel,” their powerful collaboration allowed their perfect take on the works of Dubois, Ysaÿe and Franck to touch the hearts of the audience that night.
Ingolfsson, a recent addition to the Peabody violin and chamber music faculty, has positively impacted the students at the Peabody Institute. A world-renowned violinist, Ingolfsson studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, a private music conservatory. The Curtis Institute is one of the highest-ranked music conservatories in the country, next to the likes of the Juilliard School in New York and our very own Peabody Institute in Baltimore.
She then studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, also known as one of the highest-ranked music schools in the U.S. and home to such renowned, world-class violinists as David Cerone and Donald Weilerstein.
Ingolfsson has also worked with notable conductors, including Wolfgang Sawallisch, Raymond Leppard, Gilbert Varga and Leonard Slatkin. Ingolfsson’s climb to stardom also coincided with a myriad of opportunities to perform with orchestral groups across the world, from Germany to France, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, Panama and many more. Ingolfsson has clearly proved her dedication and mastery of her craft.
The New York Times has characterized her sound production as “both fireworks and a singing tone,” while Strings Magazine described her tone as “gorgeous, intense, and variable, flawlessly pure and beautiful in every register.”
However, as acclaimed as Ingolfsson is, the concert would not have been as successful and mesmerizing as it was had it not been for her colleague, Vladimir Stoupel.
As a piano soloist, Stoupel has appeared with famous orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic. In recent years, Stoupel has also made a name for himself as a conductor, leading chamber operas all around the world.
The two musicians actively seek to revive compositions that have often been eclipsed by the destruction of the First and Second World Wars.
“It is our goal to bring this pivotal music back onto the stage, so that it will again become a permanent part of regular concert life,” they state in their joint biography.
According to their Duo website, their first joint CD, En Hommage: Simon Laks, was issued in 2010 on the EDA label. Their second CD, with works by Stravinsky and Shostakovich, appeared in 2011 on the Audite label and was nominated for the International Classical Music Awards in 2013. Echoing the great praise they’ve received from many different outlets, RBB Kulturradio, a radio station based in Berlin, described the duo’s playing as “a technically perfect interpretation with a huge range of expression.”
The students and staff at the Peabody Institute have been honored with the opportunity to be able to collaborate with and learn from such a professional pair right at the heart of the institution.
The performance itself was honestly and outstandingly beautiful. It was one of the selected few performances I’ve attended during my student years that I genuinely learned from and enjoyed very much. Being able to watch Ms. Ingolfsson perform on stage with such a musical and audibly seasoned pianist was incredibly educational.
The second piece on the program, “Poème élégiaque for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op. 12,” was composed by Eugène Ysaÿe. In this unique piece, Ysaÿe has the violinist tune the G string down to an F (the strings on a violin from highest to lowest are E, A, D and G).
While it seemed a bit odd at first that a composer would ask for the strings to be tuned differently, Ingolfsson demonstrated the differences and played the open strings for the audience before they began the piece, which turned out to be super cool.
The performers executed the rest of the program beautifully. Their perfect renditions of both the Dubois Sonata for Violin and Piano and the Franck Sonata for Violin and Piano not only inspired and moved me as a musician and as a student, but also provided a one-of-a-kind experience for me as I observed their technique and sense of musicianship.
I would definitely recommend that everyone, musicians and non musicians alike, attend Duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel's next performance.