A Tucson-based husband-wife team, Clark and Schuldmann have achieved national acclaim for their performances across America and abroad over the past three decades. They are co-founders of Chamber Music PLUS, with a history of some 600 concerts featuring more than 2,500 works performed throughout the U.S. at major concert venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Library of Congress.
Tuesday’s concert will be a return visit for the couple to Academy Village, where they have been among the most popular guest artists at this active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East.
Clark and Schuldmann have appeared as a duo on every important musical stage in America and abroad, having premiered and recorded some five dozen works by this country’s most prominent composers.
Tuesday’s concert will feature Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata in C, Op.119 for cello and piano, composed in 1949. It was Prokofiev’s last major work, dedicated to and premiered by the then 22-year-old Mstislav Rostropovich, who went on to become what many consider the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of all time.
Other selections on the program will be:
- A short French set consisting of “The Swan,” by Camille Saint-Saens, Ravel’s “Habanera” and “Apres un reve,” by Gabriel Fauré.
- Three pieces by Amy Beach (1867-1944): “La Captive,” “Mazurka” and “Romance.” The Beach works are among the duo’s favorite repertoire, and “Romance,” originally for violin and piano, is their own arrangement.
- A short work or two by Astor Piazzolla, who revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed “nuevo tango,” incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. Clark and Schuldmann have made their own arrangements of some of Piazzolla’s work and will perform them Tuesday for the first time ever.
Clark and Schuldmann founded their first Chamber Music PLUS in 1980 when they were living in Connecticut, where they received that state’s highest artistic achievement, the 2002 Governor’s Arts Award. They founded Chamber Music PLUS in the Southwest after they moved to Tucson, Clark’s hometown. They were presented with the Tucson Pima Arts Council LUMIE Award in 2005.
Clark, who began playing cello at the age of 10, has added playwriting to his repertoire in recent years, interpreting the lives of composers for the stage. This fusion of theater and music, nearing 40 scripts, is titled Rhythms of Life. The Hartford Courant described it as “an extraordinary interweaving of music and biography.”
Schuldmann’s concert career was interrupted in 2010 by a stroke that temporarily took away her ability to play the piano. After a remarkable recovery that included rehab to relearn basic skills, she was back at the keyboard in just three months delivering flawless performances with her husband.