Andrew Rammon and Naomi Niskala, Cello and Piano
Cellist Andrew Rammon and Pianist Naomi Niskala return to WVIA to perform during the next live Simply Grand Concert to be held on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 at 3 p.m. in the Sordoni High Definition Theater at the WVIA Public Media Studios in Pittston, PA. Seating is free, but limited. To make reservations call 570-655-2808 or reserve seats online.
This remarkable duo last performed at WVIA in April, 2010. This time their program pairs two masterpieces: Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 4 in C, Op. 102, No.1 and the Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op.38 by Johannes Brahms. Also on the program a set of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words transcribed for cello and piano.
Andrew Rammon is cellist of the Grammy-nominated Eaken Piano Trio and the newly established Lycoming Piano Trio. Performances by the Eaken Trio have been broadcast on over 100 radio stations nationwide and Mr. Rammon has performed as a soloist and in chamber ensembles across the United States, Europe, Russia, China, and Japan. Mr. Rammon also serves as principal cellist of both the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and the Shippensburg Festival Orchestra. He has performed concertos by Shostakovich, Strauss, Beethoven, and Haydn with the WSO. With the Shippensburg Festival Orchestra he has played Brahms Double, Beethoven Triple, and Tchaikovsky Pezzo Capricioso. In October 2016, Mr. Rammon performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the WSO.
Mr. Rammon teaches cello and chamber music at Susquehanna University and Lycoming College. Former teaching engagements were held at Bucknell University, Mansfield University, and as a sabbatical replacement at Penn State University. During the summers Mr. Rammon teaches at the Pepperdine Summer Music Program in Heidelberg, helps lead Susquehanna University’s GO AUSTRIA trip, and is a co-director of the Williamsport Chamber Music Festival. He is also the founder of Cellobration, a bi-annual cello festival consisting of current and former students, as well as local cellists from the Williamsport area.
Mr. Rammon holds a B.A. from Pepperdine University and a M.M. from The Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Rammon's teachers include Ronald Leonard, Stephen Geber, and Daniel Robert Graf. Past performances with the acclaimed Fitzwilliam String Quartet include the 2016 Bucknell University residency, the Schubert Quintet in February, 2015, and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Souvenir de Florence’ in 2014.
Born to Japanese/Finnish-American parents, Naomi Niskala began studying piano at the age of three. She was raised in Rochester, New York and later Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Niskala holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Stony Brook University and the New England Conservatory of Music. She received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Piano Performance with Gilbert Kalish, and an Artist Diploma with Claude Frank. Other teachers include the late pianists Patricia Zander and Maria Luisa Faini.
Dr. Niskala has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, North America, Russia, Israel, Thailand, and Japan, and her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, Deutschlandradio, RTV Germany, and NPR’s Performance Today. Dr. Niskala performs regularly with Spectrum Concerts Berlin, one of Germany’s leading chamber organizations, and is a member of the Trio Kisosen. Recent performance highlights include the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Series at Davies Symphony Hall, soloist with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic of Russia, and solo and chamber performances with Spectrum Concerts Berlin in the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal of Berlin, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, in Thailand, and in Kosovo. Her release of the only complete recordings of American composer Robert Helps’s solo piano works on two discs with Albany Records in 2007 was met with high acclaim, and the first volume was declared one of the ten “2007 Best of the Year” discs by ClassicsToday.
She has also recorded piano chamber works of Robert Helps and Ursula Mamlok with Spectrum Concerts Berlin for two discs on Naxos, as well as the world premiere of Mamlok’s 2015 quintet “Breezes” for Bridge Records. Performances this season include a return to the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal with Spectrum Concerts Berlin, as well as recitals in Japan, South Korea, Kosovo, Minnesota, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania, and a recording of Brahms chamber music for Naxos Records.