By Martin S. Hussey Jr., Correspondent
This is dedicated to Sharon and Carol Ann. I want to thank you both for giving me your extra ticket and for the wonderful time at the concert. Hopefully, I will see you again at more concerts!
On Jan. 16, 2022, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., the first concert of the 2021–2022 season of the Yavapai Symphony Association (YSA) began at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center in Prescott, Arizona. It featured violinist Steven Moeckel, accompanied by pianist Paula Fan. The YSA was excited to have started this season, as the last two seasons of 2019 – 2020 and 2020 – 2021 were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and major roof and HVAC repairs between May and October 2021. They were also thankful for the audience members purchasing tickets and for their sponsors, among them being Jim and Linda Lee, the same couple who helped fund Embry-Riddle’s planetarium.
Steven Moeckel was a talented violinist since childhood. He toured as the principal soprano soloist of the renowned Vienna Boys Choir since he was 11 years old. He graduated with honors from Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria at the age of 19 and immediately assumed the position of Co-Concertmaster of Germany’s Ulm Philharmonic. After his return to the United States, Moeckel continued his career as a concertmaster, soloist, and chamber artist. He has performed with Leon Fleisher and Menachem Pressler at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and with William Wolfram. His website can be found here: [https://www.stevenmoeckel.com/].
Paula Fan was one of the first recipients of the doctorate in collaborative piano from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, and she lectures on the subject worldwide, from the University of Arizona at Tucson, Arizona, to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, as well as multiple conservatories throughout China. She has performed on five continents, recorded 25 albums, and served as the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s principal keyboardist for over 30 seasons. She has also broadcast for the BBC, NPR, Radio Television China, and international stations from Bosnia to Australia.
Moeckel and Fan first performed the “Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82”, which has three movements: I. “Allegro”, II. “Romance andante”, and III. “Allegro non tropo.” It was first written by Sir Edward Elgar (1857–1934) in 1918 and was first performed in 1919. The next two pieces were “Liebesfreud” (German: Love’s Joy) and “Liebesleid” (German: Love’s Sorrow), which were composed by the Austrian American violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962). The next two pieces played were “Salut D’Amour, Op. 12”, and” La Capricieuse, Op. 17”, both composed by Elgar. After those pieces wrapped up, there was an intermission period. When the period ended, they performed the final piece of the concert: “Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 18”, which also has three movements: I. “Allegro ma non tropo”, II. “Improvisation Andante cantabile”, and III. “Finale: Andante – Allegro”. That piece was written by the German composer Richard Strauss (1864–1949) between 1887 and 1888.
After the end of the concert, audience members could go purchase an album of the concert for $20.00. Additionally, one could get Moeckel’s autograph on the CD if they wished, at no extra cost. After this concert, the Yavapai Symphony Association has six more concerts for this season. For more information on these concerts, visit their website at http://yavapaisymphony.org/events/2020-2021-concert-season/.