Clare Monfredo

Clare Monfredo ’09, one of the principal cellists of the Academy Symphony Orchestra, gave Andover a particularly precious farewell on Sunday, May 10 in the Timken Room. The senior recital featured three masterful sonatas for the cello and piano. The recital opened with Beethoven’s Sonata in A Major. A simple theme served as the foundation for the first movement, reoccurring several times. In the third movement, a series of impressively fast, precise runs toward the end provided a welcome contrast to the adagio beginning. Next, Monfredo performed Prokofiev’s Sonata in C Major, a piece with startling variety that often surprised audience members. Monfredo captured the attention of listeners with the deep, tenor-like beginning that brought out the true voice of the cello. The piece was lively and sometimes even joking when the piano and cello exchanged phrases of pizzicato. The final piece, Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in G Minor, was Monfredo’s favorite piece. The soloist’s passion shone through in the singing high notes, double stops and the grand ending of the first movement. The second movement was the most virtuosic, with a stormy beginning, a wild piano part, ricochets and speedy string crossings. Finally, the flowing last movement showed off Monfredo’s warm, sustained tone and ended with a brilliant coda. Amber Fieldgrove ’11 said, “I really liked all of the things she chose. I thought [every piece] was very unique, and I really loved how she and the piano were so in sync.” Hannah Turk ’09 was amazed by Monfredo’s musical technique. She said, “It’s just really impressive to see my friends play like this.” James Orent, conductor of the Academy Symphony Orchestra, said, “She’s a wonderful cellist. She’s a great spirit. She’s a great colleague to all the students.” “It was an incredible collaboration between Clare and the pianist,” he said. “The two of them played absolutely beautifully together.” Orent added, “[She is a] very smart player [and] has a really lovely, warm sound.” Monfredo’s fellow musicians value the talent she brings to the music program, especially as a leader of the cello section. Bobby Chen ’10, also a cellist, said, “[Monfredo] brings her leadership qualities to everything. I think it’s inspired a lot of people here that have been with her.” When asked what she will miss most about the music program when she leaves to attend Yale University in the fall, Monfredo said, “The people. A lot of my really close friends are in the music program, and a lot of the faculty members have just been…people you would go to.” Orent said, “[Clare is] extra special as a human being. Just having her presence here, contributing, always smiling, always doing her best, no matter what the circumstances are – I think that’s what we’ll miss the most about her.”