The Gearan Center for the Performing Arts at Hobart and William Smith Colleges will welcome the celebrated Irrera Brothers Piano & Violin Duo on Saturday, Nov. 12. Brothers Joseph and John will perform a diverse collection of works, featuring Franck’s “Sonata in A major,” Vitali’s “Chaconne,” Josef Suk’s “Four Pieces,” and selections from George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”
“We chose these works so that we can present a myriad of styles and time periods to the audience and to showcase different types of music that we enjoy playing” says John.
“Just as an audience prefers variety in a program, John and I too crave this same thing,” Joseph says. “There will be something for everyone.”
Trained in Rochester at the Eastman School, the brothers have performed to critical acclaim both internationally and domestically, and in such venues as the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, where the New York Concert Review hailed their 2013 performance as “riveting and dynamic.”
The brothers believe that their sibling bond is crucial to their music. “So much of the communication in chamber music is non-verbal and extremely subtle — almost, in a way, telepathic,” says Joseph.
“We, as brothers, have an instinctual way of knowing what the other may be thinking, or wanting to express in the music,” adds John.
The Geneva performance is particularly sweet for Joseph, who formerly taught piano in HWS’ Music Department.
“I am excited to reconnect with my colleagues at HWS as well as all of my students; I am looking also forward to performing in the new state of the art Gearan Center for the Performing Arts,” he says.
The brothers will introduce the varied works by sharing stories of their own experiences with the pieces, or interesting facts about each piece’s history. “We find when audiences gain a ‘behind the scenes’ view or deeper understanding about a work, they are able to appreciate it all the more as they listen and experience it,” Joseph says.
The concert is free for students, $12 general admission and $10 for seniors.