Musical Duo

Nothing is as intriguing as a musical duo, two people who come together as one in order to express themselves through music. On March 19th-20th the Greenwich Symphony will present an interesting program of Stravinsky, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Husband and wife duo comprised of violinist Barnabas Keleman and his spouse Katalin Kokas will perform. The couple has performed all over the world and won numerous competitions of repute. Everybody loves a performing couple and classical music has known too few of them, so this performance promises to be a refreshing experience not to be missed. For more information log onto

Perhaps you’ve heard about the movie “Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky.” It is a lavishly produced biopic with fantastic costumes and music, depicting the affair between the Russian composer and the famous fashion designer. In 1920’s Paris, Coco Chanel was a newly wealthy and successful but grief-stricken woman after the love of her life’s fatal car crash. Igor Stravinsky, following the Russian Revolution was a penniless refugee living in exile in Paris. Coco was introduced to Igor by Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes. The attraction between them was instant. Coco invited Igor along with his wife, who was sick with consumption, along with his four children and a menagerie of birds to stay at her new villa, Bel Respiro, in Garches. This interesting living arrangement has sparked the imagination of many a writer, filmmaker and composer.

After the deaths of his daughter, his wife, and his mother within a period of less than a year, Stravinsky immigrated to America settling in California with his second wife in 1940. His works between coming decades show a mixture of styles, but still seem centered on Russian or French traditions. Igor Stravinsky was one of music’s truly epochal innovators. No other composer of the twentieth century has exerted such a pervasive influence or dominated his art in the way that Stravinsky did during his seven-decade musical career. Aside from purely technical considerations such as rhythm and harmony, the most important hallmark of Stravinsky’s style is, indeed, its changing face. Emerging from the spirit of late Russian nationalism and ending his career with a thorny, individual language steeped in twelve-tone principles. Stravinsky assumed a number of aesthetic guises throughout the course of his development while always retaining a distinctive, essential identity.

The upcoming Greenwich Symphony performance promises audience members an interesting classical music experience, especially with the added pleasure of watching a husband and wife duo perform. It is up to you now to judge if Stravinsky’s larger than life personality can be captured in their renditions of his music.

Victoria Baker of Greenwich is an opera singer. A winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists across the world (notably at Lincoln Center). She teaches piano & voice privately in Greenwich. For questions that deserve answers, and may be in print, please call (203) 531-7499 or send e-mail to [email protected]

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