February 16, 2020

On our next concert I am pleased to be joined by three of my Houston Symphony colleagues:  Pianist Scott Holshouser, Violist Joan DerHovsepian, and Cellist Christopher French. We are looking forward to performing for you the piano quartet in E flat Major, Op. 87 by Antonin Dvořák.  Towards the end of the 19th century, the piano quartet was gaining popularity as a chamber music genre.  This piano quartet is one of Dvořák’s finest chamber works - the work of a master composer written during the summer of 1889, at the height of his creative abilities. It was written just before he began composing his eighth symphony.  Dvořák’s 8th symphony, Op. 88, will be performed by the Houston Symphony next season. 

In addition to the piano quartet, Scott Holshouser and I will open the program with Dvořák’s Sonatina, Op. 100. This is a delightful little piece written by Dvořák for his children. He hoped that the piece would be possible for young people to perform, but that the music would be sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy. Dvořák wrote the piece while he was in the United States, and there are clear references to music he heard during his time in this country.

We will also play two pieces called “From My Homeland” by Bedrich Smetana. He wrote these pieces shortly after completing his tone poem cycle for orchestra, “Ma Vlast”. Smetana said of these pieces “They are genuinely national in character, but with my own melodies.”

We look forward to sharing these beautiful Czech chamber music compositions with you.  We hope to you can join us!


Eric Halen
Artistic Director,
Musica Tra Amici