UA Little Rock to Host Opus Two Recital March 2

Opus Two features violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock.
Opus Two features violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host a recital by Opus Two featuring violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock.

Opus Two’s recital will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Building at UA Little Rock. Presented by the UA Little Rock Music Program, the event is free and open to the public.

“This chamber music recital is an innovative program featuring music from the 20th Century,” said Dr. Linda Holzer, professor of music at UA Little Rock. “Opus Two will be sharing a fresh, elegant mix of music by Arkansas composer William Grant Still, arrangements for violin and piano by Stephen Sondheim and George Gershwin created especially for Opus Two, and the virtuoso sonata for violin and piano by French composer Maurice Ravel.”

The program opens with the poignant “Suite for Violin and Piano” by William Grant Still, a famous African American composer from Little Rock who holds the distinction of being the first African American to have a symphony performed by an American orchestra. This will be followed by “Sonate pour violon et piano” by Maurice Ravel.

Following intermission, Opus Two will perform pieces that celebrate American musical theater: “A Little Night Music Suite for Violin and Piano” and “Two Songs” by Stephen Sondheim as well as “Suite from Girl Crazy” by George Gershwin.

The lovely arrangements of songs by Sondheim and by Gershwin that fill the second half were created especially for Opus Two by Eric Stern, a Broadway conductor, composer, pianist, and arranger who now teaches conducting at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Opus Two has been internationally recognized for their “divine phrases, impelling rhythm, elastic ensemble and stunning sounds,” as well as their commitment to expanding the violin-piano duo repertoire. The award-winning duo, which has served as longtime artistic ambassadors of the U. S. State Department, has been hailed for its “unanimity of style and spirit, exemplary balance and close rapport.”

Terwilliger and Cooperstock have performed together across six continents, including engagements at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s St. John’s Smith Square, and on Hong Kong’s Hell Hot! New Music Series. The two have served as artist-faculty at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Brevard, Round Top, and the Saarburg Festival (Germany), among others, and they have presented master classes worldwide from Juilliard to the China Central Conservatory.

Champions of American music, Opus Two has recorded a critically acclaimed series of single-composer discs dedicated to the music of Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Paul Schoenfield, Lowell Liebermann, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim.

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