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Music

Learning To Be Brave

Four musicians are tuning up in practice room 138, readying to play Mozart’s 19th string quartet — sometimes called “Dissonance” for its slow, lean, edgy opening.
They and 11 other young players are in The Hotchkiss School’s Portals chamber music program. It’s three weeks of playing, coaching, performing and listening.

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A Queen’s Entrance, A Quartet’s Finale at Norfolk

The Music Scene

A pair of concerts with virtuoso performers and a fond farewell highlight this weekend’s opening of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Norfolk, CT.
The farewell is to the Tokyo String Quartet, ending its remarkable 44-year run with a special benefit concert to restore Norfolk’s Shed, its performance space. After its two longest-serving members — violist Kazuhide Isomura, a founding member in 1969, and second violinist Kikuei Ikeda, who joined in 1974 — announced their retirement, the group decided to disband.

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Portals Returns for its 10th Season

The Music Scene

Portals, the program that introduces gifted adolescent string players to the intricacies of chamber music, returns for its 10th year at The Hotchkiss School, headed, as from the start, by pianist/string player and teacher Melvin Chen.
Although there are many summer programs for young string players, Chen said this week, most specialize in solo playing. Chamber music requires unique skills such as working together, listening to other instruments and figuring ways to interpret the music with other players.

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The Unintentional Performer

Music Scene

When singer-songwriter Shane Loverro took the stage at the Amenia Music Hall concert earlier this month, I was immediately impressed by his folk sound. His voice and acoustic guitar — along with Matt Rinaldi on drums and Ryan Boshart on upright bass — filled the hall with melodies that drew me in and told a story.

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Music From The Mountain . . . . . . Music Mountain, That Is, And Other Places Too

Music Scene

Music Mountain opened its 84th summer chamber music festival with an adventurous program that set the tone for a season devoted to lesser-known works.
The cello, with its warm overtones, an instrument ideally suited to the acoustics of Gordon Hall, took center stage in the hands of soloist Matt Haimovitz. He plays an instrument built in 1710 by the Venetian master Matteo Gofriller, and plays it with astonishing purity and richness. Without exaggeration, it was the most beautiful cello playing I have ever heard.

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Music From The Mountain . . . . . . Music Mountain, That Is, And Other Places Too

Music Scene

It was delightful, the way conductor Peter Askim opened the Institute at Music Mountain’s premier performance at Music Mountain, Saturday. It was as forward looking and riveting as the music itself, “Last Round,” a deconstructed tango, Askim said, by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov.

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Aston Magna, and Others, Revived the Glories of Baroque Music

The Music Scene

Daniel Stepner, artistic director of Aston Magna, the Berkshire-based early music festival, has a lot to say about period performance. After all, both he and his group were there at the birth of the early-music movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
“The early music movement was a child of the
’60s,” he says, “an effort to get back to an original, human scale of performance spaces and sounds. The music of Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart had become a little supersized, both in terms of the venues and the instruments, which had been ‘souped up’ to be heard.”

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At Music Mountain

The Institute at Music Mountain is giving its inaugural concert this Friday. Eighteen gifted young string players (who competed for positions in this program via TouTube videos) will play works by Boccherini, Luna Pearl Wolff, Toro Takemitsu, Osvaldo Golijov and Peter Askim, the program director and conductor. The orchestra will be joined by cellist Matt Haimovitz, who broke the mold of professional classical soloists and toured a few years ago, playing Bach in bars and clubs around the country. The concert in Music Mountain’s Gordon Hall, June 15 at 5 p.m., is free, and all are welcome.

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Hearing More of Grieg And of His Creative Contemporaries

The Music Scene

The Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg exemplifies what we might call the Over/Under Syndrome: a few of his pieces are overplayed, but the body of his work is underplayed. As a result, the concert-going audience probably has a skewed idea of his career.

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Spring for Good Music and a Good Cause

More Music Scene

The third annual Spring for Sound concert will turn the village of Millerton into a stage for 30 or so bands and deejays on Saturday, June 15.
Music will fill the air from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. at three sites, giving attendees performances throughout the day. And it’s all for a good cause. All the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the North East Community Center.
NECC board members Mimi Harney and Kristen Panzer are the creators of Spring for Sound, and they’re thrilled at this year’s lineup.“We’re really happy to be featuring all of these talented musicians,” Harney said.

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