MOVSES POGOSSIAN WINS 2011-2012 FORTE AWARD

Professor Pogossian, professor of violin and Chair of Strings in the UCLA Department of Music, has been awarded the 2011-2012 Forte Award, awarded by Jacaranda for achievements and contributions in new music.  The awards ceremony, at which Deborah Borda will also be honored,  will take place on January 21st, and more information can be found at:

http://jacarandamusic.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=427775

 

For those inaterested in hearing some of Professor Pogossian's performances, he also received the following review of his latest CD, In Nomine, by British critic Paul Griffiths:

Record of the Week

Movses Pogossian proved himself as a Kurtág performer in 2009, partnering Toni Arnold in a vital account of the Kafka Fragments. Now, on his recital album In Nomine (Albany TROY 1301), he offers ten solo pieces form the composer’s Signs, Games and Messages, done with the same extraordinary keen musicianship. Across a seemingly limitless range of timbres, nuances and – not least – dynamic levels, everything is perfectly in focus and immediate. By no means does such control compromise expressive force. On the contrary, because every gesture – every note – is exactly as it is, with no weakening by approximation or gradual approach, the music’s voice is at once impeccable and strong.

It is so through quite a variety of moods and stylistic regions, from sly dance to folk lament. The longest item is the piece that gives the album its title, an almost-five-minute stretch of unbroken melody, superbly maintained in this performance. Equally telling is Pogossian’s handling of a line that keeps whipping back through recurrence in ‘Hommage à J.S.B.’ Later in this intelligently composed selection come two touching studies in muted stumblings, one after the other: ‘Hommage à John Cage’, which is a kind of postscript to What is the Word, and ‘…féerie d’automne…’, whose frail leaves carry plainsong traces.

Though these Kurtág pieces, seemingly not recorded by a violinist hitherto, last for under eighteen minutes, the disc would be worth having for them alone. The playing is breathtaking. The music, even (or perhaps especially) when most simple, opens a long perspective for future encounters that will yield more and more.  Hardly less remarkable is an eight-and-a-half-minute solo piece by Tigran Mansurian, Lamento, whose first half seems to be shifting around in search of stable ground from which to lament, the second half coming when this has been found.

Pogossian’s way with the long diminuendo, of structure as well as volume, is astonishing. Also included are encounters with musicians close to him: his wife, Varty Manouelian, in Prokofiev’s Sonata for two violins and the pianist-composer Artur Avanesov.

Paul Griffiths, Dec. 31, 2011
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