Salonline 2021-05-09 Benjamin Scott & Rosanna Butterfield

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Sunday May 9, 2021

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Benjamin Scott


Rosanna Butterfield

violin & cello

Dances and Dreams:

Music for Violin and Cello

Tune in this Mother’s Day and dance into the evening with an eclectic program of soon-to-be favorites from the violin and cello repertoire!  National Symphony Orchestra violinist Benjamin Scott and cellist Rosanna Butterfield share the stage again to perform works that span four centuries of cheer and repose. Music by American composers abounds on this program, and even the cicadas will find something to enjoy!


Franz-Anton Hoffmeister

Duo in F Major, op. 6 no. 2

William Shield, arr. Mark O’Connor

When Bidden to the Wake or Fair

Traditional, arr. Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

“The Scandinavian”

Augusta Read Thomas

Silent Moon

I: Still: Soulful and Resonant
II: Energetic: Majestic and Dramatic
III: Suspended: Lyrical and Chant-like — “When twofold silence was the song of love.”

Adolphus Hailstork

Evensong (Suite of Nocturnes)

I. Twilight
IV. Hymn
V. Lullaby

José L. Elizondo

Danzas Latinoamericanas

Otoño en Buenos Aires (Autumn in Buenos Aires)
Pan de Azúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain)
   Atardecer Tapatío (Sunset in Guadalajara)

Dave Richarson & John McCusker, arr. Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

Calliope Meets Frank

Program Notes

Even today, some of the first pieces played by the youngest string players come from the dances of the Baroque and Classical eras, dances with which Franz Hoffmeister, a renowned music publisher in the 18th century, would have been intimately familiar. This Duo in F Major, Op. 6 No. 2, explores the range of both violin and cello within the concise two-movement work.

Around the end of Hoffmeister’s lifetime, William Shield was working as a violinist, composer, and Master of the King’s Music in London. For his comic opera Rosina, Shield included original compositions as well as songs by his contemporaries including folk and popular music. Most notably, the melody of Auld Lang Syne can be heard in the opera’s overture, sparking debate over its origins. There isn’t much debate when the character William, a rustic countryman, sings “When bidden to the wake or fair, the joy of each free­hearted swain, till Phoebe promis’d to be there, I loiter’d, last of all the train.” Lucky for him, Phoebe loves him in return. This arrangement by American violinist and composer Mark O’Connor was created for performance with Yo-Yo Ma and was featured in the PBS documentary miniseries “Liberty! The American Revolution”.

The Scandanavian is a set of dances originating in Sweden and Denmark. The first tune is a “throw polka,” a dance with jumps and spins popular in southern Sweden until the mid-19th century. Notice how Alasdair Fraser incorporates the Shetland fiddle tradition, a lively style of “ringing strings” characteristic of Scandinavian fiddle music. The second tune is from the small Danish island of Taasinge. Called “The Rumbling Quadrille,” it is regarded as a masterpiece of Danish folk music.

Augusta Read Thomas describes her work, Silent Moon, as a break in stillness that is indicative of a gathering of energy. As Janus looks simultaneously backward at the past and forward to the future, a silent moon is an opportunity to cleanse the past and shift our attention to future growth. As we emerge from our pause, the suspension of our familiar lives, Silent Moon reminds us that from stillness a vivid energy can unfold.

Night’s tranquility inspired Adolphus Hailstork to compose Evensong, a suite of lyrical nocturnes. The three movements featured tonight, Twilight, Hymn, and Lullaby acquaint the listener with the simple beauty of night.

Danzas Latinoamericanas by José L. Elizondo is based on dances from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Otoño en Buenos Aires (Autumn in Buenos Aires) celebrates the tangos of Astor Piazzolla and Carlos Gardel and is followed by Pan de Azúcar (Sugar Loaf), named for the famous mountain in Rio de Janeiro and an homage to Brazilian composers Antonio Carlos Jobim and Heitor Villa-Lobos. Listen for the joyful sound of Mexican mariachi bands at Atardecer Tapatío (Sunset in Guadalajara), a tribute to the composer’s homeland.

The final piece on tonight’s program is a set of tunes that makes the perfect soundtrack for your daydreams. Transcribed and arranged by Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Calliope Meets Frank combines the Calliope House jig by and MacArthur Road reel by Dave Richardson of the Boys of the Lough with Frank’s Reel, a tune by John McCuster.


Benjamin Scott joined the violin section of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2018 after years as a dynamic freelance musician. He performed and recorded with the Pittsburgh Symphony and The Philly POPS, and acted as associate concertmaster of the National Philharmonic. As a frequent substitute violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2012-2018, Benjamin enjoyed many new and unique experiences ranging from tours throughout Europe and Asia to performing for Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in 2015. He has performed in cities throughout North America, Europe, and Asia with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra, the Star Wars “In Concert” Symphony, the Pacific Music Festival, Artosphere’s inaugural season, and on Branford Marsalis’s “Well-Tempered” Tour, and he has recorded music for the NFL’s use at Super Bowls XLVII to LII.

As the third Fellowship Recipient to be appointed to the NSO, Benjamin values the many ways that his community engages in music. He has performed more than fifteen benefit concerts for the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association, and he has collaborated with members of the Nottingham Ensemble for performances in support of Encircle and the Boulanger Initiative, organizations with missions of inclusivity. Benjamin participates in concerts that bring music to different neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, curates music therapy sessions in partnership with the Levine School of Music, and volunteers as Musician on Call at the Children’s National Hospital.

When he isn’t playing his 2016 Guadagnini copy by Samuel Payton, exploring new corners of the world with his wife, learning to cook new cuisines, or playing with his cat, Benjamin loves to craft leather goods by hand!

Praised for her “supple phrasing” and “singing tone” (South Florida Classical Review), Canadian cellist Rosanna Butterfield is a versatile performer and teaching artist. After studying with Judith Fraser at the Vancouver Academy of Music throughout high school, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in 2012 at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas, under the tutelage of Norman Fischer. Rosanna then became a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, where she honed her skills as an orchestral and chamber musician, and participated in a variety of educational outreach projects (2012-2016). She was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for three summers (2009-2011), and also a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland (2012-2014). For the past several years, Rosanna has enjoyed a multifaceted career in the Washington, D.C. area, where she lives with her husband, violinist Foster Wang. She has performed with the Washington National Opera Orchestra, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, and Maryland Lyric Opera, and is on the faculty at the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program.