Shepherd University’s 2015–2016 Music Salon Series, sponsored by Jefferson Security Bank, closes the season with a concert by the Two Rivers Trio on Thursday, March 10, at 8 pm in the Frank Center’s W. H. Shipley Recital Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.
Identical twin violinists Matthew and Michael Polonchak, and their father, Richard Polonchak, bassoonist and adjunct music professor, have performed together since 1995 in concerts and recitals throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. They are in the process of recording their first CD.
The Salon Series program will include the Polonchaks’ own transcription of the Bach “Double Violin Concerto,” a Mozart serenade, and a Haydn London Trio. They will also perform Viennese waltzes, Joplin rags, and music by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Taylor Swift.
The father-son theme is also carried through in the instruments the twins play. French violinmaker Justin Derazey made Matthew’s violin in Paris in 1879. Richard said they then searched for a violin for Michael that sounded good with the Derazey.
“We had many violins sent during the next year so we could find one that matched,” Richard said. “A year later, one of their conductors in Maryland knew of an instrument in New York he thought would match. When it came, it did match the Derazey in sound and in other ways, too. When the papers finally came, we learned it was made around 1850 by Justin’s father, Honore Derazey, in Paris.”
Michael Polonchak lives in Baltimore and is the principal violist of the Loudoun Symphony and section viola in the Fairfax Symphony, both in Virginia. He teaches in the Chamber Music Seminar at Goucher College. Matthew currently lives in Philadelphia and works as a freelance musician. The brothers formed Two Rivers Chamber Music in 2014. Richard Polonchak is the former principal bassoonist of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and White House Orchestra, and has taught bassoon at Shepherd since 2005.
For more information about the Shepherd Salon Series or other Music Department events, call 304-876-5555 or visit www.shepherd.edu/music.