Winter Concert

Concert Information

January 27, 1980

Winter Concert

Robert Hart Baker, conductor
Gabriel Banat, violin
Justin Cohentrumpet

William Mayer: Essay for Brass and Winds
Sir William Walton: Portsmouth Point: An Overture
Gideon Waldrop: From the Southwest: Suite for Orchestra
Frank Wigglesworth: Adagio from "Three Portraits for String Orchestra"
Aaron Copland: Danzon Cubano
Ernest Bloch: Proclamation for Trumpet
Ernest Bloch: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Guest Artist

Gabriel Banat

Gabriel Banat began to study the violin at age six and performed in public a year later. At nine he was heard by Béla Bartók, who stopped in Banat’s hometown, Timisoara, while touring Romania with his regular sonata partner, Ede Zathureczky. As a result, the boy became Zathureczky’s pupil at the Royal Academy Franz Liszt in Budapest. At thirteen he made his debut as soloist with the OMIKE symphony, composed of Jewish musicians purged from their orchestras by Hungary’s anti-Jewish laws. In spite of those laws, while still a student he appeared as soloist with most of Budapest’s major symphony orchestras. At seventeen, just before going into hiding from the Nazis, Banat received his Masters by the Academy after playing his degree program in secret, with the faculty-jury hiding in the darkened hall.

Liberated by the Red Army in the fall of 1944, Banat made his way to Bucharest, where he became the protégé of Georges Enescu, who promptly joined him at the piano in a recital of sonatas by Beethoven, Brahms and Enescu. Alternately harassed and wooed by the Communists, Banat left Romania for Geneva’s International Music Competition; awarded the silver medal, he continued on to the U.S. Maestro Enescu, having left his homeland, performed with Banat again in his New York debut recital. After working with Nathan Milstein, Banat toured the U.S., Western Europe and later, Japan. He soloed with the London and Oslo Philharmonic, the Hague Residentie Orkest, the Paris, Zurich, and Hamburg Radio Orchestras, the Detroit, Baltimore, and Westchester Symphonies, the National Orchestral Society, the Tokyo Akademiker and Telemann chamber orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, which he joined in 1970. During the 1973 Philharmonic strike, elected by his colleagues as their Impresario Pro tem, Banat organized and carried out a historic concert tour of Spain and Portugal by the musicians of his orchestra, independent of its management.