Chatham Eden Hall Campus concert inspired by outdoors
Concert pianist Pauline Rovkah of Squirrel Hill likened “The Trout” by Franz Schubert to a 19th century pop hit.
“It was such a popular song ... just like any modern song right now by Adele or Beyonce,” said Rovkah, assistant professor of music at Chatham University.
“There was an instrumental hook that people recognized immediately,” Rovkah said about Schubert's music for a poem about a hooked fish.
Rovkah, who grew up in Ukraine, will perform the “Trout Piano Quintet,” Schubert's sequel to his hit song, during a free concert set for 7:30 p.m. July 15 in the Hilda Willis Amphitheater on Chatham's Eden Hall campus in Richland.
Rovkah's resume includes past outdoor performances at the Chautauqua Institution in New York and the Rome Festival in Italy.
The daughter of two physicians, Rovkah is a graduate of the Kharkov Conservatory in Ukraine. She and husband, Paul Rovkah, an engineer, have one son.
“She's so passionate about her craft,” said Angie Jasper, director of cultural and community events for Chatham University.
Joining Rovkah for the Music and Nature concert will be Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra cellist Adam Liu; violist Erina Laraby-Goldwasser; violinist Dennis Boyle; and double bassist John Moore, plus, mezzo-soprano Katherine Soroka, who will sing “The Trout.”
Their 90-minute concert — with a 15-minute intermission — will include “Silent Woods” by Antonin Dvořák; “Papillon” by Gabriel Fauré; “The Elephant” and “The Swan” from “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns; “Daisies” by Sergei Rachmaninoff; “Gardens in the Rain” from “Estampes” by Claude Debussy: “June: Barcarolle” from “The Seasons” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; and “The Trout” song by Franz Schubert, followed by Schubert's “Trout Piano Quintet.”
“Composers have always been inspired by nature,” Rovkah said.
During the concert, an exhibit of art also inspired by nature will be on view in the Dairy Barn Café near the amphitheater.
“I really do hope that people enjoy our program inspired by nature,” Rovkah said. “But I hope that they will also take something more, something like a new, stronger sense of awareness of the beauty of this world surrounding us, and that we really all need to work harder to protect it.”
The Music and Nature concert is part of Chatham's third annual series of summer performances in the outdoor theater.
About 3,000 people attended events in the circular venue last summer and Chatham officials expect about 4,500 people to attend performances in the amphitheater this year.
Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-772-6369 or email@example.com.