VC LIVE | Valley of the Moon Music Festival Celebrates the "Friendships" of Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn & Louise Farrenc

Tonight's program, with violinist Rachell Ellen Wong, cellist Tanya Tomkins and pianist Eric Zivian highlights works by 19th-century female composers, Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn & Louise Farrenc


The Valley of the Moon Music Festival, hosted annually each July in Sonoma, California, is highly unique in its focus on historically informed performances of Classical, Romantic and Post-Romantic chamber music which are faithful by approach, manner, and style to the era in which they were originally conceived.

The three-week event, founded by Tanya Tomkins and Eric Zivian, brings an international roster of experts in period performance together with highly talented emerging artists to showcase familiar repertoire in a brilliant new light.

"I’ve often been labeled as a Baroque violinist," this evening's featured violinist, Rachell Ellen Wong this week told The Violin Channel. "But, I think of myself simply as a violinist who plays many different centuries of music, and who just tries to play whatever period of music I am performing, from Biber to Schumann to Florence Price, with a historical, educated understanding of the musical language that the composer has used."



SATURDAY JULY 24, 2021 | 10:00 PM (ET)




"Tonight's program, entitled "Friendship", honors three incredible women who, due to the sexism and subversion of their time, were prevented from achieving the full musical success they each deserved, so our hope his evening is to bring their original voices to the fore," cellist Tanya Tomkins has said.

Rachell Ellen Wong (Violin), Tanya Tomkins (Cello) & Eric Zivian (Piano)
  • Louise Farrenc | Impromptu pour Piano 
  • Fanny Mendelssohn | Adagio in E Major for violin and piano
  • Clara Schumann | Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17


For this evening's performance, pianist Eric Zivian will perform on an historical 1841 Viennese Rausch fortepiano, presenting himself with many more colors and timbres likely heard, during the composers' time, before the ascension of the modern piano.

Both tonight's violinist and cellist will be performing on modern instruments but with wound gut strings on the bottom two strings and unwound gut strings on the top.

"The sound of gut strings are more raw and woody, and for me, much closer to the human voice," Rachell Ellen Wong recently told us. "The gut string setup and alternative bowing techniques allow Tanya and I be able to generate different and unusual, yet authentically 19th century characteristic string phrasing and tonal qualities — and we'll even try and use the actual fingerings, from back in the day, specified when the piece was composed."