This Sunday: An Afternoon with Beethoven and Shostakovich

March 28, 2013

An Afternoon with Beethoven and Shostakovich

at Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

New Brunswick, NJ – Pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass and violinist Yen Yu return to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers for “Crosscurrents: Beethoven and Shostakovich” on Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the front desk of the museum on the day of the concert, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Prices are $5 for Rutgers faculty, staff, and students (with valid ID); $10 for museum members; and $15 for nonmembers (does not include museum admission). The performance complements the Zimmerli’s extensive collection of Russian and Soviet art, from the 14th century to the present. Visitors may explore the special exhibition “Leonid Sokov: Ironic Objects,” or the permanent Dodge and Riabov Collections, before and after the concert. More information is available at or by calling 848.932.7237.

Two Zimmerli favorites, pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass and violinist Yen Yu, team up for a virtuoso concert of German and Soviet music. The duo begins with Beethoven’s “Violin Sonata No. 9,” also known as the “Kreutzer” (which inspired Leo Tolstoy’s 1889 novella “The Kreutzer Sonata”). The piece premiered in 1803 and is known for its demanding violin part and emotional scope. This “conversation” between the two instruments opens with a first movement that is predominantly furious; the second, meditative; and the third, joyous and exuberant. Nahass and Yu also perform the “Sonata for Violin and Piano” Op. 134 by Dmitri Shostakovich. He composed and presented it to violinist David Oistrakh in 1968 as a birthday gift, much to Oistrakh’s delight. The work is representative of Shostakovich's final period, covering roughly the last decade of his life, with a refinement, and a darkening, of his musical language. As Shostakovich's only violin sonata, it is a “big” work – in duration and intensity – and demonstrates his experimentation with traditional techniques.

Rosanne Vita Nahass helps non-musicians cultivate a better understanding and appreciation for classical music with her innovative style. The Paterson, New Jersey, native earned the Fellowship Diploma from Trinity College London and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University. She continued at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and practiced internal medicine for 18 years. After her hiatus from performing, she returned to music to pursue her passion full time. On the surface, music and medicine seem disparate, but the musician fervently believes music is a healing art, essential to our humanity. Nahass has appeared on stage with the New Jersey Symphony, North Jersey Philharmonic, and other local orchestras. In 2011, she also took on the role as independent music producer and released “Bartok and Ives,” her first CD.

A faculty member at the Preparatory Center for the Arts, a division within the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, Yen Yu grew up in China and began studying the violin with her father at an early age. She entered WuHan Conservatory of Music at age 14, under the tutelage of Professor Zhou Xin Min. Yu then studied at the University of Cincinnati and Juilliard School of Music, and spent many summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Festival. For more than ten years, she was a member of the Richmond Symphony and served on the music faculty at the University of Richmond and the Virginia Commonwealth University. Yu remains an active chamber musician and recitalist and has been praised by critics for her "mellow tone and rich timber."


The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in nineteenth-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is supported by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as well as the income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment Fund, and the Voorhees Family Endowment Fund, among others. Additional support comes from the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from other corporations, foundations, and individuals, as well as earned income, also provide vital annual support for the Zimmerli’s operations and programs.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street at George Street on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August. Holidays are January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday, and December 24 and 25.

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for 65 and over; and free for museum members, Rutgers students, faculty and staff (with ID), and children under 18. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 848.932.7237 or visit the museum’s website:


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