Invitation to Bach and Ysaye


The Concept

Violinist Joshua Peckins presents a series of lecture recitals featuring solo violin music by Bach and Ysaye, with warm and personal stories about the composers and their music, performed live in intimate recital settings.

Perfect for concert series, as well as other venues such as museums, libraries and schools, Invitation to Bach and Ysaye has brought the power of live performance and the personal touch of storytelling to audiences annually since 2015.

Joshua has a gift of capturing audiences’ attention with inspiring, moving, and educational stories about the music.  Those stories can be the window into deep appreciation of a live performance.

Invitation to Bach and Ysaye puts listeners face-to-face with live, solo violin performance.  In Joshua’s own words:

“There is something intimate and powerful in talking with an audience and playing solo works in a recital venue, where the audience and performer are usually relatively close to one another.  Through stories and proximity, both player and listener start to see each other as real people – something that is easily lost in our day of digital recordings, celebrities, and gigantic concert halls.  Add to that the sound of the solo violin, which is so stunning and captivating when heard close-up and live!”

Vienna House Concert

Above, a picture from a lecture recital Joshua performed in Vienna, Austria, in the private courtyard of photographer Erich Leonhard.

Joshua Peckins, Violinist

Joshua has performed throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, from Carnegie Hall to Bejing’s Performance Arts Center. Locally, he has performed with top orchestras including the Boston Philharmonic and A Far Cry, as well as played numerous solo recitals and concertos with orchestra (Brahms, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Sarasate, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, John Williams, etc.) He has performed for the federal president of Austria and made concert tours in Japan, Italy, France, South America, etc.  He is now excited to share his current project, “Invitation to Bach and Ysaye” with local and new audiences.  (Click here for a full concert bio.)

The Music

This season pairs Bach’s A minor Sonata and Ysaye’s Second Solo Sonata – two of the most virtuosic and expressive works ever written for the violin.  Their composition spanning over 200 years, these masterworks showcase the violin’s hugely diverse musical and technical potential, ranging from elegant and refined movements from the Baroque Period to sweeping arcs of sound and storytelling from the post-Romantic.  George Enescu, the legendary Romanian violinist and colleague of Ysaye, described Bach’s solo violin music as “the Himalayas of violinists.”  This is solo violin music at its best.

Here is an excerpt from Joshua’s performance of the Bach a minor Sonata, recorded live:

Attend a 2017/2018 Season Performance!

September 21, 2017, 7:00 PM – Somerville Public Library, East Branch (free admission thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Friends of the Library)

October 13, 2017, 7:00 PM – Winsor School, Boston

October 16, 2017, 7:00 PM – Somerville Public Library, West Branch (free admission thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Friends of the Library)

January 4, 2018, 7:30 PM – Laurelmead, RI

February 6, 2018, 6:30 PM – Boston Public Library, Faneuil Branch, Brighton (free admission thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Friends of the Library)

May 11, 2018, 7:00 PM – New School of Music, Cambridge (cash tickets at the door)

Past Performances

2017-2018 marks the third season of Invitation to Bach and Ysaye!

Performances have been sponsored by: The Boston Public Library, Somerville Public Library, the Winsor School, the Winchester Community Music School, the New School of Music, and the Laurelmead Concert Series in RI.

You can read about some of the first performances here, and the cultural impact of recent performances here.

Above, photos from performances in Somerville and Boxford.

The Details / Booking

Invitation to Bach and Ysaye is a 45-minute to 1-hour program, requiring minimal set-up and only a solo, non-amplified violin.  Small recital halls and other gathering spaces are ideal venues.  In-house, private concerts can be considered upon request.

Joshua is currently booking performances of Invitation to Bach and Ysaye.

If you are interested in more information, including booking a performance, please email Joshua directly.

You can also listen to recording samples of Joshua’s performance and read a full concert bio.