A very special piano recital/fundraiser took place at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston on May 8, 2019. Abraham Stokman, pianist extraordinaire, known and loved in Chicago gave his all in an all Mozart concert hoping to raise funds for a charity near and dear to his heart. Stokman’s daughter. Alexandra Stokman Brackett is a US Marine who served in combat and was left with PTSD and other issues that negatively impacted her life. It was Alexandra’s involvement in Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA). that helped her immeasurably. Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA). was founded in 2010 and it is a national non-profit organization.
Rose Corscadden, Communications Director for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA). came to the concert from Rogers, AR and along with Alexandra Brackett, she shared the ideal the Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA). holds: Engage, Assist, Empower and their motto “Helping others is a way of life”
The program for the evening included the following which Stokman played solo
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Sonata No. 6 in D Major, K 284 (1774)
Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K 310 *1778)
Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K 475 (1784)
And the sublime Piano Trio inB-flat major, K 502 (1786) that featured
Sang Mee Lee, violin and Paula Kosower, cello along with Abraham Stokman, piano.
Stokman’s fans came from near and as far away as Washington State, North Carolina and NYC.
Charles E. Gerber, New York Splash Magazine journalist was deeply moved by the concert and offered the following observations.
“The scope of the piano sonatas selected traversed Mozart’s development from the voluminously talented 19 year old still residing in Salzburg with #6, K. 284 in D Major where you could almost hear Wolfgang stretching his musical muscles, to the more often played Sonata #8 K. 310 in A minor written in 1778 , at 21.
Then after intermission came the clearly mature genius now moved to Vienna with the C minor sonata K. 457 of 1784. Here we enter the last seven years of his short life where one musical miracle after another seemed to manifest in effortless manner from him. That it was effortless was a myth, for no one worked more assiduously than he as he was endeavoring to replace the patronage of the Archbishop of Salzburg, with no one less than the Emperor himself. And two years later, he composed a work of sheer perfection: the Trio in B flat major, K. 502 for Violin, Cello, and Piano. Such a work from this period of his increasing maturity in his chamber, and indeed all his works, is likely what prompted the most successful and warrantedly celebrated musician in Europe of the time, Franz Joseph Haydn to utter these words to Wolfgang’s father, Leopold, in front of Wolfie and his soon to be bride, Constanze upon listening to three of the six string quartets Mozart had just composed and dedicated to the master who was twenty -five years his senior:
“I swear to you before God as an honest man, that your son is the greatest composer I know, personally or by reputation. He has taste, and what is more the most profound knowledge of composition.”
No words uttered on the face of the earth at that time, and perhaps any other, could possibly be more true.”
A reception followed the concert. The lobby of Nichols Concert Hall was filled with paintings by Mr. Stokman. Art is a talent that he has developed recently and it gives him great pleasure. These art works were on display and available for bid at a silent auction. At the reception questions were answered and good friends were united.
All photos: B. Keer
More information about Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) here Sheep Dog