The Francis-Lee Duo presents a programme of violin and piano repertoire by two composers born 127 years apart, but both left incredible musical legacies. One is the great Ludwig van Beethoven who celebrates his 250th birthday this year. The other is Erich Wolfgang Korngold who became one of the most important and influential composers in Hollywood history. His 'Much Ado About Nothing' suite for violin and piano celebrates its 100th year of the publication in 2020.
Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24: ‘Spring’ Sonata (1800–01) by Ludwig van Beethoven
Much Ado About Nothing, Suite from the incidental music arranged for violin & piano (1920) by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Sonata for violin & piano No. 8 in G major, Op. 30/3 (1801-1802) by Ludwig van Beethoven
Formed in 2016, Francis-Lee Duo consists of University of Auckland School of Music graduates, violinist Dr Charlotte Francis and pianist Gemma Lee. Having enjoyed previously working with each other at the University as administrative staff, the two decided to collaborate musically with long-term professional intentions. The Francis-Lee Duo has performed in various venues across Auckland and Northland, including the Auckland Central Library, The Danish House, Whittaker's Musical Museum, Hokianga Music Society, among many others.
Charlotte Francis grew up in Brisbane and began learning violin at the age of five, performing chamber music with her three sisters throughout Australia from a young age. Charlotte's love of classics and ancient history led to a scholarship and a teaching fellowship at the University of Otago where she gained her PhD in classics and also taught violin for the Marama Strings Project. Charlotte splits her time managing a busy teaching violin studio and works at the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra as the Deputy Librarian. Charlotte plays on a violin made in 1740 by Giacomo Zanoli.
Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Gemma Lee holds a Master of Music with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland. As a collaborative pianist, Gemma has performed in internationally renowned venues including the Goldener Saal of the Vienna Musikverein, St. Martin-in-the-fields in London, and the Sydney Opera House. She has worked in various capacities with major arts organisations including Opera North (UK), Chamber Music New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the Lewis Eady Charitable Trust. Gemma enjoys working with young musicians and has accompanied choral and musical theatre students at Takapuna Grammar School since 2011.
(Photo: Rolf Siggaard, 2020)