Monday, January 5, 2009

Let the Music Begin: Great Festival to take Place in March on Sanibel

A neighbor and dear friend complained about the dreariness that often sets in during March on the North East Coast. Yes, I agreed, March can be an endless month with gray skies and still no promise of Spring.

Why don't you go to Sanibel for a week or two I suggested, and shorten the month with some sunshine and balmy weather?

At first she resisted, saying that she might get bored, devoted as she is to classical music and relying on live performances to brighten her spirits in the gloom of winter.

When I sent her the link to the Sanibel Music Festival, she lit up. "Oh, I can have sunshine and warm weather AND great music, too!" I helped her make her plans, including those to attend the Music Festival:
Tuesday, March 3, Trio Solisti
Comprised of three brilliant instrumentalists, violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Jon Klibonoff, the trio has drawn high praise from The New York Times and the Washington Post. They have made critically acclaimed debuts at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap and the prestigious Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy. They are the founding ensemble of Telluride MusicFest and have often been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “St. Paul Sunday.” In 2003, they were the subject of a documentary video, “Trio Solisti Explores Beethoven,” directed by Academy Award nominee Josh Aronson.

Schubert: Nocturne, Brahms: C minor Trio, Brahms: Hungarian Dances Nos 1 and 5, Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango

Saturday, March 7 - Biava Quartet

The Biava Quartet, winner of the 2003 Naumburg Chamber Music Award, is recognized as one of today’s top young American quartets. In 2007, they were appointed as the Lisa Arnhold Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School. They previously were the graduate quartet in residence at the Yale University School of Music, where they served as teaching assistants to the Tokyo Quartet. Violinists Austin Hartman and Hyunsu Ko, violist Mary Persin and cellist Jason Calloway have performed in major music halls throughout the world, including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress and London’s Wigmore Hall. In 2006, they received a grant from Chamber Music America. Biava’s festival appearances include Aspen, Mostly Mozart and with Itzhak Perlman.

Mozart: Quartet in B flat major KV 458 "Hunt", Turina: La Oracion del Torero, Barber: Adagio for Strings, Grieg: Quartet no 1 in g minor op 27

Tuesday, March 10 - Natalie Zhu, Piano
This exciting young Chinese pianist enrolled at the Curtis Institute at age 15. There, she received the prestigious Rachmaninoff award and later went on to join the faculty as staff pianist. Her many awards include the 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. She won the Astral Artistic Services 1998 National Auditions, the grand prize in both the 1988 and 1989 Young Keyboard Artists Competition and was the top prize winner in the first China International Piano Competition. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded a recent recital as a display of “emotional and pianistic pyrotechnics.”

Beethoven: Sonata no 2 op 10 in F major no 6, Schumann: Kreislerina op 16, Chopin: Ballade no 2 in F major op 38, Ravel: Pavane for a dead Princess, Chiayu: Among Gardens, Bach/Busoin: Chaconne in d minor

Click here for more information on Natalie Zhu

Saturday, March 14 - David Finckel & Wu Han

Cellist David Finckel and his pianist wife, Wu Han have served as the Artistic Directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004. They are also the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival in Silicon Valley that has garnered international acclaim since its inception in 2003. Wu Han has mesmerized SMF audiences in solo recitals, in duo performances with her husband, and as soloist with the Pacifica String Quartet. David Finckel is the cellist of the renowned Emerson String Quartet.

Corigliano: Fantacy on a Bach Air for Solo Cello, Janacek: Poladka for Cello and Piano (Fairy Tale), Edwin Finckel: Brief Encounter, Schumann: Phantasiestucke for Clarinet or Cello and Piano, Glazunov: Chant Du Menestrel op 71, Grieg: Sonata for cello and piano in A minor op 36

Click here for more information on David Finckel and Wu Han

Tuesday, March 17 - Prazak String Quartet

Now in its 35th year, the quartet is firmly established as one of chamber music’s pre-eminent string ensembles. Formed at the Prague Conservatory when the original quartet members, including violist Josef Kluson and Josef Prazak were students, they soon began to win top prizes, such as the Evian and the Prague International Competition. Since then, the quartet has been joined by violinists Vaclav Remes and Vlastimil Holek and cellist Michal Kanka. Their instruments include a circa 1730 first violin and a 1710 cello. The quartet is a regular guest in major international capitals and festivals, as well as at U.S. venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Richter: Divertimento for String Quartet op 5 no 1, Janacek: Quartet no 1 "Kreutzer", Dvorak: String Quartet no 12 in F major "American"

Click here for more information on the Prazak String Quartet

Saturday, March 21 - Opera Theater of Connecticut

Returning to SMF after triumphal appearances in 2007 and 2008, a select group of six of the company’s vocal artists will present an exciting new program of opera highlights. Artistic Director Alan Mann adds his witty and informative commentary before each selection. Several of the company’s gifted young singers who have performed at the Festival through the years have gone on to the Met, the New York City Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

PROGRAM: Opera's Devine Moments - Scenes from Your Favorite Operas
Rigoletto, Verdi - Act IV excerpts including the Quartet and the "Storm Scene"; The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart - Act I, Scene ii (in English); Carmen, Bizet - Act IV, finale; Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti - Act II, Scene ii excerpts including the "Wedding Scene" and the Sextet; Die Fledermaus, Strauss - Act II and the "Party Scene"(in English)

This year's voices: Rachel Watkins, Sarah Heltzel, Victor Khodadad, Mark Womack, Nicholas Masters and David Ossenfort.

Click here for a review of the Opera Theater of Connecticut

Tuesday, March 24 - Pacifica String Quartet

The “brilliant Pacifica” (The New York Times) is the resident quartet at both the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. They have swept top prizes in several leading international competitions from the Cleveland Quartet Award to the Naumburg. They were only the second chamber music ensemble to be selected for the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Violinists Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson, violist Masumi Per Rostad and cellist Brandon Vamos are known for their virtuosity and exuberant performance style. They tour the world’s major concert halls and are often heard on Chicago’s WFMT, Boston’s WGBH and NPR’s Performance Today.


Mendelssohn: Quartet in E minor op 44 no 2, Legeti: Quartet no 1, Mendelssohn Capriccio in E minor op 81 no 3 Beethoven: Quartet in f minor op 95 "Serioso"
Click here for more information on the Pacifica String Quartet

For information and brochure please call (239) 336-7999

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