Johannes Brahms’ (1833-1897) third symphony is his shortest, and his most personal. It’s peculiar in its restraint, with all four movements ending in whispers rather than bangs and frequent dips toward a minor key. Moody and complicated, it is a tremendously rewarding experience. Perhaps surprising today, early audiences found Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 far too contemporary for their taste – prompting several hundred people to walk out of the first Boston Symphony performance in 1884. Now, however, it is a well-loved and appreciated work, carrying listeners along on a sweeping and emotional journey.
Thomas Cabaniss (1962- ) has been a faculty member of Julliard for the past 20 years. His “Double Rainbow” concerto, inspired by the search for a perfect moment, features two pianos heavily in the first two movements, with the orchestra taking a supporting role until the third and final movement invites them in, filling the piece with richness and depth.
Michael Shinn and Jessica Chow Shinn are co-founders of pianoSonoma Music Festival. They both have roots at Julliard, and currently live in Boston, where Michael is dean of music and Jessica is an associate professor at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. The couple frequently performs together in concerts across the country, including at the world premiere of the “Double Rainbow” concerto with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra last year.