Amy Barston Takes the Stage with Ieva Jokubaviciute

Amy Barston began her Swarthmore College Featured Artist residency in fall 2018, hosting master classes with student chamber groups and playing the famous Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Swarthmore College Orchestra. On March 29th, Barston returns to Lang Concert Hall alongside pianist Ieva Jokubavaciute to perform a full-length concert program.

Barston is an accomplished solo and ensemble performer as well as an acclaimed private cello teacher, giving lessons both from her home and through the Juilliard Pre-college program. She regularly plays as a soloist with orchestras around the world, and is a member of the critically acclaimed Corigliano Quartet.

Shira Samuels-Shragg ’20, who played piano in a master class under Barston along with Herbie Rand ’21, gushed about Barston’s inspiring guidance: “With grace and enthusiasm, Amy Barston pushed us to see the piece and our respective roles within it from new vantage points. A particularly memorable breakthrough moment came when she gave us permission to ‘play against each other sometimes!’ We had been working so hard to operate as one unit that we had inadvertently smoothed over interesting textures and harmonies in the sonata. Once Ms. Barston helped us bring out an argumentative exchange here, an emphatically clashing rhythm there, the piece came alive in new ways.”

Since her graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, Ieva Jokubavaciute has been wowing critics and audiences all across Europe and North America. Jokubavaciute is the pianist of the award-winning Trio Cavatina, and an assistant professor of Piano at the Shenandoah Conservatory.

Barston and Jokubavaciute have an extensive and exciting set of repertoire planned for the upcoming concert, starting with the classic J.S. Bach Arioso fromCantata no. 156, followed by a series of more contemporary works for solo cello, consisting of the fiddle tune “Julie-O” by Mark Summer, Giovanni Sollima’s “Lamentatio,” and “Poucha-Dass” by Francois Rabbath, rearranged from its original designation for solo bass by Barston herself. The first half of the concert is concluded with the lyrical and virtuosic Polonaise Brillante for cello and piano by Frederic Chopin.

The second half of the concert will feature Samuel Barber’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, and conclude with Béla Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances.

Andrew Hauze ’04, who connected with Barston last summer and helped coordinate her visits to Swarthmore this year, expresses his excitement to see Barston in concert.

“I’m very much looking forward to Amy’s recital in Lang Concert Hall, a cornerstone of her residency here this year. Amy is such a communicative musician, and to hear her play with a fantastic pianist like Ieva Jokubaviciute in the intimacy and acoustic splendor of Lang Concert Hall promises to be an unforgettable musical experience for our campus community.”

Amy Barston and Ieva Jokubavaciute will perform in Lang Concert Hall on Friday, March 29th at 8:00 P.M, and Barston will give a master class with Swarthmore musicians on April 5th 4:00 P.M., also in Lang Concert Hall.

Andy Zhang ’22