Jon Lee


Website Guide



Schubert Piano Sonata in A major, op. 120, D. 664

Program Notes

In 1819, while vacationing in the town of Steyr, Schubert wrote a piano sonata for his student Josefine von Köhler, the daughter of one of his hosts. She, as well as the idyllic scenery, may have served as inspiration. (During this time he writes another work in A major, the famous Trout Quintet.)

Chopin Piano Sonata in b minor, op. 58

Program Notes

Chopin completed his third piano sonata in 1844, five years after his second Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35, which received mixed reviews. Critics, acknowledging his mastery in “smaller” forms like nocturnes and ballades, questioned his ability to navigate sonata form. Schumann famously remarked that Chopin “gathered up four of his most unruly children, using this title perhaps to smuggle them into places where they could not otherwise have penetrated.”1

  1. Petty, Wayne C. “Chopin and the Ghost of Beethoven.” 19th-Century Music 22, no. 3 (1999): 285. 

Beethoven Six Bagatelles, op. 126

Program Notes

Beethoven composed the Six Bagatelles in 1824, partly to settle a debt owed to his brother Johann. In a letter addressed to a prospective publisher, he declared the Bagatelles “the best” he had written.1

  1. von Irmer, Otto, ed. Beethoven: Klavierstücke, 7. G. Henle Verlag, 1975. 

Pärt Mozart-Adagio

Score Map

Source: Universal Edition (rev. 2005)
Measures of Adagio from Mozart's Sonata in F major, K. 280/189e are highlighted.

Program Notes

Arvo Pärt’s Mozart-Adagio was written in 1992 as a commission by the Helsinski Festival, and premiered by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Written in memory of Russian violinist Oleg Kagan, who had a special affinity to Mozart, Pärt memorialized his friend with a transcription of one of Mozart’s most poignant sonata movements, the Adagio from his Sonata in F major, K. 280/189e.

Glass Head On

Score Map

Source: Original manuscript

Program Notes

Though Philip Glass wrote chamber music for unconventional ensembles, and several string quartets, Head On remains his sole piano trio, written in 1967 for the occasion of a party hosted by his friend and founding member of the American Symphony Orchestra, Dorothy Pixley Rothschild. Glass premiered the piece on the piano, with Rothschild on violin.