Barnes & Noble isn’t a venue one expects a world-class violinist (in this case, Rachel Barton Pine) to premiere a work, but that was exactly what happened last night.
Keep in mind that the venue was the Barnes & Noble directly across the street from Lincoln Center, which has a dedicated space for presentations and performances, and a pretty impressive range of performing arts books and a healthily-stocked CD/DVD/Blu-Ray department.
The debut was that of José Serebrier’s Aires de Tango for solo violin, beautifully performed by Rachel (who is recording the work for Chicago-based indie label Cedille), which kicked off a panel discussion of recent and upcoming recordings from Naxos and Warner featuring four of the artists in question: Rachel, José, Carole Farley, and the entertainingly sardonic Ned Rorem. Barnes & Noble’s event room was packed, and the attendees included a number of prominent musicians: the exciting young composer Wang Jie, violinist-immpressario Elmira Darvarova, and pianist Suzanne Kessel. Kudos to Naxos of America’s Sean Hickey, who put the entire event together.