This program will feature Sonatas by J.S. Bach & Giordani, and 19th century works by Giuliani and Carulli.
Bloomingdale’s Free Faculty Concerts Series takes place most Fridays at 7pm in our David Greer Concert Hall. These events are free and open to the public.
José Maldonado, Guitar
Weiwei Zhai, Piano
Trio Sonata No. 5, BWV 529 by JS Bach (1685 – 1750)
Sonata in C Major by Tommaso Giordani (1730 – 1806)
Two Rondos, Op. 68 by Mauro Giuliani (1781 – 1829)
No. 1 in A Major
No. 2 in B Minor
Grand Duo in E Minor, Op. 86 by Ferdinando Carulli (1770 – 1841)
Dr. José Gabriel Maldonado Suárez began studying guitar at a very young age at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, from which he later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in classical guitar performance. After graduation, Dr. Maldonado moved to New York to earn a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University. He concentrated his graduate studies on early music performance and music by Puerto Rican composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. His doctoral research focused on Puerto Rican Danza, tracing the origins of the genre, its sociopolitical impact, and its role in the struggle for Puerto Rican decolonization.
As a performer and arranger, his solo guitar and chamber music repertoire spans works of guitar literature from the Renaissance to contemporary music, as well as genres and rhythms from Latin America and the Caribbean. As an arts administrator, Dr. Maldonado curates classical music presentations and creates events that celebrate Latine and Caribbean music manifestations. Dr. Maldonado has performed and presented lectures and master classes at John Jay College, Marshall University, Columbia University, The Long Island Guitar Festival, Post University, Stony Brook University, Middlebury College, Bloomingdale School of Music, and the New York Conservatory of Music Puerto Rico, among others.
Currently, Dr. Maldonado is completing an MA in Arts Administration at Baruch College and was selected to join the inaugural cohort of the Association of Arts Administration Educators mentoring program. Dr. Maldonado is a member of the Art and Music Department faculty at John Jay College, where he teaches courses in music appreciation, music history, and guitar performance. Furthermore, Dr. Maldonado is the Director of Guitar Studies at Bloomingdale School of Music (BSM) and has been the Artistic Director of the BSM Guitar Festival since 2012.
Pianist Weiwei Zhai has performed throughout Asia, North America, and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. Critics have praised her “enthusiasm and grace” and described her performance as “absolutely gorgeous throughout as to sonority and especially style” (New York Concert Review). Weiwei has played concerts at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Harvard Club of New York City, Steinway Hall, Trinity Church Wall Street, Yamaha Artist Service, and the Beijing National Library Performing Arts Center. As the first-prize winner of the Concerto Competition at Manhattan School of Music (MSM), she performed the Scriabin Piano Concerto with conductor Philippe Entremont. In addition, she has played with celebrated conductor Christian Vásquez in Italy. Ms. Zhai won top prizes in the Kazakhstan International Piano Competition, and the Five Towns Young Musicians Competition in New York.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Zhai has collaborated with members of the Grammy-nominated quintet, Imani Winds. Her piano trio has been invited to play for the International Advisory Board at MSM. She has appeared at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the PianoTexas International Festival and Academy, and the InterHarmony International Music Festival.
Born in Chengdu, China, Weiwei began to take piano lessons at an early age. She won top prizes in major national competitions and graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she studied with Manchun Chen. She moved to New York to study at Manhattan School of Music, where she received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, studying with Dr. Solomon Mikowsky and Dr. Inesa Sinkevych. Ms. Zhai is a member of the piano faculty at Bloomingdale School of Music, and a staff pianist at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.