Fondation des États-Unis | Tuesday, May 9 @7:30pm: Printempo – John Kamfonas & Friends
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John Kamfonas

Tuesday, May 9 @7:30pm: Printempo – John Kamfonas & Friends

The first recital of the Fondation’s new Printempo concert series, featuring the musicians currently in residence at the FEU, will provide the audience with a wonderful opportunity to hear John Kamfonas play Chopin, Debussy and Szymanowski.

John Kamfonas, piano
Leo Marillier, violon
Christopher Gellert, narrator

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Prelude: Improvisation by John Kamfonas
Reading: « Encart » by René Char, from Le Nu Perdu
F. Chopin: Polonaise-Fantaisie, op. 61
Reading: « À Même Rive » by Yves Bonnefoy from Les planches courbes
C. Debussy: Images, 1ere Serie

Reading: « L’Ange » by Paul Valéry
K. Szymanowski: Trois Mythes pour violon et piano

This program will begin with the majestic and melancholic Polonaise-Fantaisie, op. 61 by Chopin, his last major work written for piano that evoked the love he had for his homeland. The first series of Images by Debussy will follow; categorically impressionistic, these sound paintings exhibit Debussy’s innovative harmonic language alongside a fluid pianism that came out of his admiration for Chopin’s music. Finally, our voyage ends with the three Mythes for violin and piano by Szymanowsky, a Polish composer naturally influenced by Chopin during his younger years, and later by the french impressionists like Debussy whom he met during his travels through Europe (among many other musical personalities.)

Textual works of Char, Bonnefoy, and Valery will be read in between the musical works, with each reflecting various aspects of the musical work that follows.

The artists

Embracing his penchant for improvisation alongside his passion for the classical and contemporary repertoire, the pianist John Kamfonas has given performances around the world, from Italy to India, Beijing to New York, which have been described as possessing « a grandeur that lifted the music into the sublime…and a delicacy that took one’s breath away. » He was Harriet Hale Wooley scholarship in 2015-2016. John is currently a musician in residence at the Fondation des Etats-Unis and is pursuing a graduate diploma at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris under the guidance of Marian Rybicki and Jean Fassina.

Léo Marillier, violinst, earned his Bachelor and Masters with the highest distinction from the Paris Conservatory and NEC in Boston, thanks to a scholarship from the Florence Gould Foundation. Invited by numerous festivals in Europe, America, and Korea, he participated in the Aspen Music Festival on a full scholarship. Also a composer, he is edited by Delatour.

Christopher Alexander Gellert’s poems have appeared in Belleville Park Pages and FORTH Magazine. Since September, he has been collecting testimonies from readers across France on the accompaniment of literature in their lives. As reading is as once both intimate and shared, he asks readers to tell their stories in their homes over a meal he cooks, in thanks for their voices. Each meal will be a chapter in a book he is writing. This autumn, an exhibition of photos and audio recordings will launch a series of reading workshops here at la Fondation de États-Unis and Paris 7.