Alexander String Quartet
Sunday, October 2 at 3:00 pm
Saranac Methodist Church
“Stunning Ensemble: This is a group whose synthesis of strongly characterized individual voices is resilient enough to take inspiring risks, and sophisticated enough to see them through with imaginative sensitivity.” — THE TIMES (London)
“This is a group deep in its element, firm in its stride.” — LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Dream-come-true performances. — THE BOSTON GLOBE
“Right up there with the best on today’s international scene.” — SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
The Alexander String Quartet performs at the historic Saranac Methodist Church on Route 3 in Saranac, New York on Sunday, October 2 at 3:00 pm. Their program features Mozart’s String Quartet No. 22 in B-flat major, K589 (1790); Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13 (1889); and Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 (1893). They play on a matched set of instruments made in San Francisco by Francis Kuttner, known as the Ellen M. Egger Quartet. Admission at the door is $15 general; $12 seniors; $5 students; free for children under 12. Current public health guidelines will be followed. For further information please telephone 518-293-7613 or email email@example.com.
The Alexander String Quartet has performed in the major music capitals of five continents, securing its standing among the world’s premier ensembles, and a major artistic presence in its home base of San Francisco, serving since 1989 as Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances and Directors of The Morrison Chamber Music Center Instructional Program at San Francisco State University. Widely admired for its interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart, and Shostakovich, the quartet’s recordings have won international critical acclaim. They have established themselves as important advocates of new music commissioning dozens of new works from composers including Jake Heggie, Cindy Cox, Augusta Read Thomas, Robert Greenberg, Cesar Cano, Tarik O’Regan, Paul Siskind, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wayne Peterson.
The Alexander String Quartet’s annual calendar includes engagements at major halls throughout North America and Europe. They have appeared at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, and the Metropolitan Museum; Jordan Hall; the Library of Congress; and chamber music societies and universities across the North American continent including Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Lewis and Clark, Pomona, UCLA, the Krannert Center, Purdue and many more. Recent overseas tours include the U.K., the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Greece, the Republic of Georgia, Argentina, Panamá, and the Philippines. Their visit to Poland’s Beethoven Easter Festival is beautifully captured in the 2017 award-winning documentary, Con Moto: The Alexander String Quartet.
Dara Anissi, oud & guitar
Traditional and Contemporary Middle Eastern Music
with Nikolai Ruskin and Martin Shamoonpour, percussion, woodwinds and vocals
Saturday, November 19 at 7:00 pm
Sunday, November 20 at 3:00 pm
Saranac Fire Hall
Dara Anissi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1973 and moved to the United States in 1975, as his family escaped the oppressive regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini. He began playing the guitar at age five, adding a variety of instruments as he grew up, including the oud, banjo, and mandolin; and mastering a range of music styles, including jazz, blues, and Celtic, in addition to his native Middle Eastern. Dara Anissi attended the Ithaca College School of Music, where he studied classical guitar and received a bachelor’s degree in composition. He writes original pieces for both oud and guitar with influences from Middle Eastern, jazz, blues, classical, and Celtic music.
Nikolai Ruskin is a composer and multi-instrumentalist specializing in Middle Eastern music. Originally a visual artist and illustrator from the San Francisco Bay area, he became fascinated with Middle Eastern music and took up intense study of Arabic, Turkish, and Persian traditional music, as well as classical Indian rhythms. He is now a recognized educator on middle eastern instruments including the oud, nai, mizmar, riq, darbuka and daf. In 2002, Nikolai co-founded the Cornell Middle Eastern Music Ensemble and was its musical director for many years. Since 2018 he has taught Middle Eastern music at Cornell University.
Martin Shamoonpour is an autodidactic multi-instrumentalist, composer, actor, and visual artist from Tehran. As a teenager averse to schoolteachers, he began teaching himself daf, tombak, flute, and Iranian folk woodwind instruments, eventually performing in galleries and theaters throughout Iran. He has composed and performed music for close to thirty theater productions in The City Theater of Tehran and has written, directed, and performed his own one-man-show, Qatinu the Hero, at many of Iran’s most prominent artistic theaters. In 2015 he left Iran and now resides in the United States. Martin Shamoonpour holds a degree in Graphic Design from Tehran’s University of Science and Culture and creates mixed-media artworks that reflect his experience as a musician with ties to his old home, and his new.
Paul Meyers’ World on a String – September 5, 2022: Brazilian-inspired jazz trio warmed up a chilly day at Weatherwatch Farm. Three friends, each a virtuoso renowned in his own right – Paul Meyers on nylon string guitar, Leo Traversa on electric bass, and Vanderlei Pereira on drums and percussion – created a cozy atmosphere inside the tent with expressive music grounded in intricate Brazilian rhythms. About 100 friends turned out for a totally satisfying show.
The Will Patton Ensemble – August 21, 2022: Over 100 gathered for an afternoon of lively and poignant music by the Will Patton Ensemble, a seasoned band of six amigos, crème de la crème of Vermont virtuosos playing classic Gypsy jazz hits Café Manouche, Le Marais, and Chez Tchavolo; Brazilian choro favorites Parana, Nao Me Toques, Caro Raul, and Choro for Rachel; Jazz standards like Sweet Lorraine; Québécois trad tunes Ste. Béatrice and Ste. Anne; and the nostalgic bittersweet Upper Valley Waltz. And much more!
Meadowmount School of Music Concert – August 9, 2022: Eight wonderfully talented and accomplished students performed a beautiful and challenging program that included Beethoven’s String Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 9; Ysaÿe’s Sonata for Solo Violin, No. 5 in G Major, Op. 27 Pastorale; and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80. These young virtuosos are so dedicated and full of promise – we wish them well!
Alon Goldstein, piano with the Fine Arts Quartet – July 24, 2022: The celebrated Israeli-American pianist Alon Goldstein joined with the venerable Fine Arts Quartet and the rising double-bass phenom Lizzie Burns in an exciting concert collaboration featuring two piano concerti of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (arr. Ignaz Lachner): Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major, K459 and Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K503. And to shake things up midway through – a palette cleanser – the Fine Arts Quartet performed String Quartet No. 2 “Company” of Philip Glass. Definitely a WOW event!
Calmus – April 24, 2022: The award-winning, world-traveling vocal quintet from Leipzig, Germany performed “Faith and Madness” at the Church of the Assumption in Redford. There were many glowing moments in the program that included sacred works by Palestrina, Schütz, C.P. Bach, J.S. Bach and Altnikol (J.S. Bach’s son-in-law) and secular madrigals by Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Janéquin, and Flecha. There was not a dry eye in the house when Calmus offered Lysenko’s “Prayer for Ukraine” as an encore.
Infusion Baroque – March 13, 2022: The prize-winning Montreal all-gal early music ensemble gave a pre-concert talk and performed their signature program “Virtuosa” featuring the music of women musicians of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), Anna Bon (1738-1769), Wilhelmine von Bayreuth (1709-1758), Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen (1745-1818), Élizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729).
Le Vent du Nord – February 6, 2022: The crème de la crème of Québécois bands gave a smoking performance to a full house of 185 enthusiasts at the Assumption of Mary School in Redford. It was one of the premiere performances launching Le Vent du Nord’s 20th anniversary tour – entitled “20 Printemps” or “20 Springs” – of all new material (traditional and originals). The band rocked the house!
November 21, 2021: Patricia McCarty, viola and Bill Zito, guitar and lute – The duo’s rich program featured music from the Renaissance to the 21st century, including works by Dowland, Telemann, Giuliani, Nin, Villa-Lobos, Granados, de Falla, Gunter Braun, and Roberto Sierra. The concert was held in the historic Plattsburgh Memorial Chapel on the former military base, and was produced by Hill and Hollow Music for the benefit of the chapel.
November 14, 2021: Horszowski Trio – Jesse Mills, violin; Ole Akahoshi, cello; and Rieko Aizawa, piano performed Dvorak’s “Dumky” Trio, No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90; Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio; and Schumann’s Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63 for a full house of 140. This concert had to be cancelled and rescheduled twice because of the covid pandemic. It was well worth waiting for – they are an extraordinary ensemble.
October 3, 2021: Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt, four-hands piano – The duo were with us for a week’s residency that included community outreach events and preparation for the premiere of a new work written for them by Pulitzer composer Lewis Spratlan. Spratlan gave a pre-concert talk about both of his works being performed by the duo that day – Fantasia and Dreamworlds – for which Muller and Steigerwalt demo’d key passages. Other works performed were Debussy’s Prélude de l’après-midi d’un faune; Mendelssohn’s La Valse.
September 6, 2021: Cantrip – Scottish Traditional Music – Dan Houghton on border pipes, flutes, whistles, and vocals; Alasdair White on fiddle; and Eric McDonald on guitar and vocals. Their music cast a spell over a large crowd and time stood still while the trio wove together stories and tunes on a rainy afternoon under the canopy. When the sun finally broke through, folks burst into spontaneous combustible dancing!
August 7-8, 2021: Tim Collins Jazz Quintet – An ad hoc ensemble of old friends from grad school and early professional days in New York City who nowadays all have high-octane international careers: Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; John Ellis, tenor sax; Tim Collins, vibes; Marcos Varela, bass; Jon Wikan, drums. They played two outdoor shows – Curbside at Harborside in Plattsburgh and Weatherwatch Farm in Saranac – of mostly original compositions of Christine Jensen and Tim Collins. Some unusual colors and sonorities there – over-the-top beautiful!
July 17-18, 2021: Mazel Tov Cocktail Party, clarinet-wizard David Krakauer’s newest band, gave premiere performances at Curbside at Harborside in Plattsburgh and Weatherwatch Farm in Saranac. Members of the international all-star ensemble include Kathleen Tagg, keys and cello; Sarah MK, vocals and rap; Yoshie Fruchter, guitar and oud; Jerome Harris, bass and vocals; and Martin Shamoonpour, daf and jaw harp. Klezmer-infused traditional square dance, polka, hornpipe, calypso, and hora got everyone up dancing in the parking lot and on the lawn!
June 19, 2021: Kathryn Sloat, harp, performed her signature “Moon and Stars” program of 20th- and 21st- century works under a tent on the lawn of Weatherwatch Farm. It was a glorious evening paired with glorious music! Works performed included those of Tournier, Salzedo, Debussy, Britten, Aspinall, Lizotte, Salazar, Schmidt, and Mancini.
November 28-29, 2020: Gretchen Koehler and Daniel Kelly performed a virtual house concert celebrating the release of their new album “LIVE from Hill and Hollow.” There were three streams during Thanksgiving weekend. The house concert and CD feature traditional fiddle tunes as well as originals by both Gretchen and Daniel.
October 16, 17, and 18, 2020: Alon Goldstein performed three solo piano recitals at Weatherwatch Farm. Attendance was limited to only 12 masked guests at each performance, owing to safety concerns during the pandemic. It was truly amazing to have such an intimate musical encounter with this powerful artist who has performed in major concert halls around the globe. Programs included J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Florence Price, Bernstein, Chopin, and Scarlatti .
September 6, 2020: Patricia (Patti) McCarty, viola and William (Bill) Zito, guitar performed a beautiful outdoor concert at Weatherwatch Farm on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. We pitched a canopy on the east lawn and audience (masked) mostly brought their own chairs and were scattered around to maintain safe distancing. Sonatas of Locatelli and Paganini were offered, with short works by Beethoven, Ravel, Ibert, Albeniz, and a premiere of a work composed for the duo by John Hawkins.
August 28 and August 30, 2020: Television Broadcast of Breath & Hammer on Mountain Lake PBS. The extraordinary program of David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg was beautifully filmed and edited by Mountain Lake PBS in the Saranac Methodist Church. The 70-minute program is a passionate, eclectic musical journey pushing beyond the boundaries of the traditional clarinet and piano duo, with Debussy’s “Première Rhapsodie,” John Zorn’s “Parzial,” Kinan Azmeh’s “November 22,” Johnny Green’s American Songbook classic “Body and Soul,” as well as traditional klezmer tunes and original compositions by Krakauer and Tagg. See close-up their unorthodox playing unplugged and totally acoustic: CLICK HERE
July 18, 2020 – Koehler & Kelly: Hall of Fame champion fiddler Gretchen Koehler with jazz pianist Daniel Kelly performed a drive-in concert in downtown Plattsburgh, part of the “Curbside at Harborside” series. The duo blends the raw energy of traditional fiddle and dance music with the nuanced lyricism and irresistible rhythms of jazz piano to create their unique soundscape. Audience liberally honked their appreciation after each number.
June 7, 2020 – David Krakauer, clarinet and Kathleen Tagg, piano performed their extraordinary signature program “Breath & Hammer” to a live audience of 13 at the Saranac Methodist Church. This performance was filmed by Mountain Lake PBS and subsequently streamed online.Â It is still available for viewing here: Breath & Hammer
January 10, 2020 – Alexis Chartrand and Nicolas Babineau with dancer Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa gave an exciting performance on fiddles, guitar, and foot-percussion of French-Canadian traditional music to a sell-out audience at the Saranac Fire Hall. This was a celebration to launch their new CD “un beau p’tit son” (“a beautiful little sound”) which had been developed and recorded during two residencies at Hill and Hollow Music during 2019. A great big fun event!
November 3, 2019 – Chamber Music for Strings with Arturo Delmoni, violin; Patricia McCarty, viola; Julia Lichten and David Geber, cellos.Â Four superb artists at the peak of their powers came together to play Arensky’s monumental 1894 String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 3 for single violin, viola, and two cellos. Also on the program was the North American premiere of Seven into Eight (2008) by British composer John Hawkins, Beethoven’s String Trio in G major, Op. 9, No. 1 (1797), and Jean Francaix’s String Trio in C major (1933).
September 29, 2019 – Vera Quartet – Currently Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, the rising young ensemble has won numerous chamber music competitions, including Astral Artists. They performed Haydn’s String Quartet op.76 no.1 in G major, Ravel’s String Quartet in F major, plus individual movements from string quartets by Schubert, Schnittke, Beethoven, and Auerbach (which hung together amazingly well as a cohesive quartet!)
August 10, 2019 – 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration featuring Inora Brass and Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble – Great music, great food, great people all came together at Weatherwatch Farm to launch our 25th season.Â Over 200 attended the FUNdraiser. Party of the Summer!
July 25, 2018 – Meadowmount School of Music Off-Campus Concert – We were privileged once again to be host for an off-campus concert by advanced students of the renowned Meadowmount School of Music. Eleven musicians performed Trio No.1 in g minor, Élégiaque of Rachmaninov, Caprice, Op. 52, no.6 of Ysaye, Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62 and Scherzo in d minor, Op.6 of Tchaikovsy, and String Quintet in C Major, D. 956 of Schubert. So inspiring to see and hear these talented, dedicated young people.
April 28, 2019 – Ensemble Caprice – This amazing ensemble lived up to its reputation as one of the pre-eminent baroque music ensembles performing today. The Montreal-based Ensemble Caprice is Matthias Maute and Sophie Larivière on recorders, Susie Napper on cello; and Ziya Tabassian on percussion. They performed a fascinating and beautiful program “i Love baroque!” that was brim-full of drama, pathos, and virtuosity. Featured music of the 17th and 18th centuries included works by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Schmelzer, Falconieri, and Vivaldi.
March 9-10, 2019 – Ray Vega Latin Jazz Sextet – The atmosphere sizzled with two spicy shows on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon by Ray Vega’s first-rate ensemble featuring some of Vermont’s finest jazz musicians: Brian McCarthy on alto saxophone, Mike Hartigan on piano, Giovanni Rovetto on bass, Caleb Bronz on drums, Scott Dean on congas and percussion, and Vega himself on trumpet, flugelhorn, and percussion. The program was combination of standards and originals by Vega and members of the band. One standout moment, particularly poignant, was their remembrance of Rick Davies, a beloved friend, colleague, and member of the greater jazz community who passed two years ago, followed by a performance of one of Rick’s tunes. And yes, indeed, there was dancing in the aisles!
February 2-3, 2019 – Nicolas Babineau and Alexis Chartrand – Two marvelous shows by French-Canadian traditional music duo, comprising two fiddles, guitar, and foot-percussion, performing an extravagant array of reels and traditional fiddle music they collected from Francophone communities in the far reaches of eastern Québec and Canada’s Maritime provinces, including Chicoutimi, Gaspésie, Cape-Breton, and Newfoundland, as well as some of their own original music. The duo was joined by the remarkable Québecois step-dancer Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa. All three artists put a distinctive contemporary spin on their traditional roots music and dance – really exciting stuff!
November 18, 2018 – Arturo Delmoni, violin with Li-Pi Hsieh, piano – The program included Pugnani’s Sonata in E Major, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, â€œSpring,â€ Grieg’s less frequently played Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major, Robert Russell Bennett’s Hexapoda: Five Studies in Jitteroptera, and a set of favorite short works: Hungarian Dance in f minor (Brahms-Kreisler), Song Without Words, â€œSweet Remembrance” (Mendelssohn-Heifetz), Legend of the Canyon (Cadman), Claire de Lune (Debussy), Mazurka, â€œDudiarzâ€ (Wieniawski), and Valse-Scherzo, Op. 34 (Tchaikovsky).Â Prighiera of Heifetz was offered as an encore.Â We can only agree with Glenn Dicterow, long-time concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, who said, “Delmoni’s playing always goes right to the heart, and his charisma is irresistible.”
October 28, 2018 – New York Polyphony – The program “Faith and Reason” featured two very different and significant works: the 16th-century Mass for Four Voices by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), sung in Latin; and the contemporary secular mass, Missa Charles Darwin, composed by Gregory Brown (b. 1974) on texts from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, and sung in English; plus a few other contemporary works that were composed especially for the ensemble.
New York Polyphony’s concert was all that we hoped for, and more! Presenting them in Redford’s Church of the Assumption was spot-on. The darling old stone church with its cathedral-like resonance allowed the voices to ring out and float in the air. The vocal blend was miraculous, while each of the singularly beautiful four voices remained distinctive and strong. It is clear why New York Polyphony enjoys a reputation as one of the finest vocal chamber ensembles in the world.
August 19, 2018 – Emerald Trio – The New York City-based musicians were with us for an intense week of work and fun. They broke in a new pianist, James Sheppard, who was also commissioned to compose a new work for the trio. The work was written on-site and rehearsed in close collaboration with the players (an ideal situation), and subsequently given its premiere at the concert August 19, where the audience greeted it warmly. Indeed, the entire program was fascinating and engaging, with a beautiful suite by Mel (née Mélanie) Bonis (1858-1937), a little known contemporary of Ravel, and works by T.O. Sterrett (b. 1953), Howard Cass (b. 1989), and Alessandro Annunziata (b. 1968), demonstrating their commitment to uncovering lost gems from the past, as well as contemporary chamber music and building the repertoire for their ensemble’s instrumentation of flute, violin/viola, and piano.
July 26, 2018 – Meadowmount School of Music Off-Campus Concert – We were privileged to be host for an off-campus concert by advanced students of the renowned Meadowmount School of Music. The program began with Weilu Zhang playing two movements of the Sonata for Solo Violin in A minor, BWV 1003 by J.S. Bach. Then followed the exquisite Ravel Trio in A Minor with Liam Kaplan, piano; Nanao Yamada, violin; and Jeremy Tai, cello. After intermission Jeremy Tai performed a movement Kodalyâ€™s wild and virtuosic Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8.Â The glorious culmination was Schumannâ€™s Quartet for Piano and Strings, Op. 47, with Matthew Harikian, piano; Weilu Zhang; violin; Aaron Rosengaus, viola; and Luiz Venturelli, cello.Â Founded in 1944 by the legendary Russian violinist and pedagogue Ivan Galamian, the school soon became â€“ and continues to be today â€“ a pre-eminent summer program for young musicians training for a professional career in music.Â Alumni of Meadowmount have won every major competition worldwide, and are among the very best of international soloists and chamber musicians, concertmasters and principal players of the worldâ€™s leading orchestras, and the distinguished artist-teachers in every major university and conservatory.
June 23, 2018 – Jonathan Aceto, MIDI violin, with the McLean Mix – His solo electric violin program offered SAMPLER: Everything Goes When the Whistle Blows, a riveting work by Salvatore Martirano about the 1985 terrorist hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and Desert Voices by Priscilla McLean with a slideshow of photos of the Sonoran Desert, where many of the sounds on the background tape were recorded.Â Following the performance was a screening of Rainforest Images II, an evocative music-video by Barton and Priscilla McLean based on their adventures in Malaysia and Borneo. Additionally, in a side room, the McLeans created an audience-interactive installation that drew from world music, sounds of nature, and intriguing experimental techniques, and invited folks to experience and participate in the creation of music and sound.Â Great fun!
May 6, 2018 – Lise de la Salle, piano -Â The extraordinary French pianist Lise de la Salle offered â€œBach Unlimited,â€ her current signature solo recital program, conceived as a profound and shining tribute to the timeless genius of J.S. Bach. The concert began with Bachâ€™s Italian Concerto and moved through three centuries of composersÂ inspired by Bach: Liszt (Fantasy & Fugue on the Theme B-A-C-H),Â Bach/Busoni (Chaconne), and pithyÂ shorter works ofÂ Roussel, Poulenc, Kempf andÂ Enhco.Â Lise’s outstanding performance demonstrated not only her powerful virtuosity, but also her extreme delicacy and touching devotion to this music.Â Â It is clear why Lise is one of the most celebrated artists of her generation – she recently turned 30!
April 6-8, 2018 -Â Tim Collins USA Jazz GroupÂ -Â Vibes virtuoso Tim Collins teamed up again with Robinson Morse on double bass and Gabe Jarrett on drums, inviting guitarist/vocalist Davy Mooney as featured guest artist.Â Â The quartet converged in Saranac for a run of three shows at the Fire Hall, which was transformed into a funky little jazz club such as might be found in Alphabet City in the East Village.Â Â The guys did a mellow mix of standards and originals by Tim Collins and Davy Mooney, with periodic bursts of energy and fireworks â€“ overall a perfect balance of cool and hot.Â Goldilocks would say â€œjust right.â€Â All shows were well attended; standing room only at both Saturday and Sunday shows.
Sunday, March 4, 2018 – Rhythm Future Quartet – Keeping the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in todayâ€™s musical universe, the virtuoso acoustic jazz foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary. Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max Oâ€™Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre.
Saturday, February 24, 2018 – Lavrova-Primakov Piano Duo – Two extraordinary Russian pianists Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov formed as a duo in 2010 after graduating from Juilliard.Â They come to Saranac with some regularity to work and perform, and we always look forward to their lively visits. The Duo tried out an exciting new program to a full house at Weatherwatch Farm: Danse macabre, Op. 40 of Saint-SaÃ«ns, Night on Bald Mountain of Modest Musorgsky, Andante and Allegro Brillant, Op. 92 of Felix Mendelsson, and Blue Danube Fantasy of Greg Anderson.Â It was a dazzling performance and the audience roared with delight!
Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19, 2017 – Journey West – Seven virtuoso multi-instrumental artists of diverse nationalities and ethnic backgrounds performed world music on violins, saxophone, clarinet, flute, mandolin, guitar, oud, bass, accordion, and all manner of percussion. The fascinating musical travelogue chronicles the migration of melody and changing instrumentation from the Middle East, through Eastern and Western Europe, and finally arriving in the United States.Â Two excellent concerts were for the benefit of Plattsburgh Cares, an organization that provides humanitarian aid for asylum seekers and refugees traveling through our community on their way to Canada.Â
Sunday, October 8, 2017 – Soovin Kim and Gloria Chien, violin-piano duo – One of the most dynamic couples on the classical scene today did not fail to thrill and astound.Â Featured works were Robert Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in A minor, op. 105 ; Charles Ives’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 2 ; and Richard Strauss’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat Major, op. 18.Â The audience could not go home without hearing some favorites by one of the greatest all-time masters of the violin, Fritz Kreisler.Â No surprise, best attendance ever!
Friday, September 15, 2017 – Olympus Piano Trio – violinist Regi Papa, cellist Ben Capps, and pianist Konstantine Valianatos had a retreat to prepare a rather hefty program for upcoming concerts and competitions – trios of Brahms (No. 1 inÂ B Major, op. 8), Ravel (A Minor), and Greek-Canadian contemporary composer Christos Hatzis (Odd World) – which they tried out in the living room at Weatherwatch Farm.Â Â We had a great turnout because folks remembered how superb the trio was last year – and again several audience members pronounced it the best concert they have ever heard!Â There is indeed something extra-special about experiencing live music in such close proximity to the artists.
Sunday, July 9, 2017 – Passepartout Duo – Nicoletta Favari, piano, and Christopher Salvito, vibraphone, were in residence to rehearse a new commission by Molly Joyce and to record videos of it and other works in their contemporary repertoire, which were subsequently posted on YouTube.Â At the conclusion of their residency they gave a live audio-visual performance with additional percussion, some electronics, and lights, besides piano and vibraphone.Â Works included the premiere of Molly Joyce’s Less is More, works by George Aperghis and Andy Akiho, and an animated film short by Mayke Nas with music composed by Salvito.Â Â Our audience found the challenging program quite a stretch, but Favari and Salvito won them over with their competence, precision, passion, enthusiasm, humor, and charisma.
Sunday, April 9, 2017 – the Davydov-Fanning Duo – Cellist Dieuwke Davydov and pianist Diana Fanning, both Affiliate Artists at Middlebury College, performed their 40th Anniversary Concert before taking it on tour in Europe.Â The meaty and moving program featured Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, op. 5, Hindemith FantasiestÃ¼ck,Â Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 in E Minor, op. 38 and Camille Saint-SaÃ«ns Allegro Appassionato, op. 43; plus Chopin “Berceuse” and two Debussy Ã©tudes for solo piano.Â
Sunday, January 22, 2017 – Lilac 94 -Â The contemporary harp duo performed a program devoted entirely to the music of Carlos Salzedo, very likely the greatest harpist of the 20th century and possibly the greatest-ever composer for the harp.Â Before performingÂ Salzedo’s ground-breakingÂ (and challenging) work Pentacle, they gave an illuminating lecture-demonstration of the extended techniques he developedÂ and applied copiouslyÂ therein.Â Other lighter worksÂ Lilac 94 performed wereÂ “Chanson dans la nuit” and “Tango” and “Rumba” from Salzedo’s Suite of Eight Dances.Â Â An audience of 90+Â responded enthusiastically to theÂ Q & A and, of course, the music!
Sunday, November 20, 2016 â€“Â The Delmoni-McCarty-Thomas String Trio performedÂ mature Mozart (Divertimento in E-flat Major, K563), early Beethoven (Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3), and youthfulÂ Ernst von Dohnanyi (Serenade in C Major, Op. 10). The players’ warm friendshipÂ plus their deep respect andÂ love for the music animated and illuminated the exquisite program of monumental masterpieces.
Sunday, October 16, 2016 â€“ Gloria Chien, piano â€“Â A superb solo recital featured Debussyâ€™s Suite Bergamasque, several of Mendelssohnâ€™s Songs Without Words, a Chopin Nocturne and Barcarolle, Lisztâ€™s Venezia e Napoli, and a Scriabin Nocturne for left hand.Â AboutÂ 120 attended the feast of favorites from Romantic and Impressionist periods.
Sunday, September 11, 2016 â€“ Diderot String Quartet â€“ Performing on period instruments, Johanna Novom and Adriane Post, violins; Kyle Miller, viola; and Paul Dwyer, cello offered Mozartâ€™s String Quartet in G Major, K387, â€œSpringâ€ and BurgmÃ¼llerâ€™s String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, op. 4.Â Elegance, passion, sensitivity, exuberance, daring and precision all came together.Â Annual free concert was attended by 100+
Sunday, August 21, 2016 â€“ Olympus Piano Trio â€“ violinist Regi Papa, cellist Ben Capps, and pianist Konstantine ValianatosÂ performed trios of Rachmaninoff (No. 1 in G Minor â€œÃ‰lÃ©giaque), Brahms (No. 2 in C major, op. 87), and Tchaikovsky (A Minor, op. 50). A rich, substantial program richly delivered.Â The Tchaikovsky moved one to tears,Â Several audience members pronounced it the best concert they have ever heard!
Saturday, June 25, 2016 – BalkanvilleÂ – Balkan music by Montreal ensemble featuring Richard Simas, clarinet; Sean McCutcheon, accordion and winds; Cathy Inouye, tuba; Becky Lazarovic, tapan, and special guest Max Fass, accordion. House concert at Weatherwatch Farm with an informal concert on the deck followed by dancing on the lawn. Al fresco drinks and dinner, too, on a perfect summer evening overlooking the Adirondacks.
April 3, 2016 – Rebel Ensemble for Baroque Music – JÃ¶rg-Michael Schwarz and Karen Marie Marmer, violins; John Moran, cello; Donsok Shin, harpsichord performed Barocco: Musical Treasures of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Our audience flipped over the energy and style these artists brought to the music, not to mention sheer virtuosity. We won the lottery on this one!
February 12-14, 2016 – Tim Collins USA Jazz Quartet – The North Countryâ€™sÂ home-grown luminary Tim Collins on vibesÂ traveled from hisÂ now-home in Germany for three exciting shows at the Saranac Fire Hall “Jazz Club.”Â Special guest star was New York City jazz piano phenom Ayako Shirasaki andÂ rhythmÂ by Vermont jazz notables John Rivers on bass and Gabe Jarrett on drums.Â This was the real deal. Wish we could hear great jazz like this around here more often!
November 22, 2015 – Concert of Piano Quartets – Superb violist and Adirondack residentÂ Patricia McCartyÂ was joined by three renowned colleagues: Jung Lin, piano; Arturo Delmoni, violin; and Ronald Thomas, cello. Their thrilling and deeplyÂ satisfyingÂ programÂ included Mozartâ€™s Piano Quartet in E flat, K. 493; Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45; and Brahmsâ€™s Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26. The audience responded to a uniqueÂ musical happening with multiple standing ovations!
October 25, 2015 – Johannes String Quartet – TheÂ acclaimed ensemble opened with Homunculus, an excitingÂ 15-minute work written expressly for them by the world-renownedÂ Finnish composer-conductorÂ Esa Pekka Salonen.Â Also featured was Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 inÂ D Minor, K. 421 and Brahms’s String Quartet No. 3Â in B-flat Major, op. 67.Â Playing at the highest level and the house was packed – a love-fest, for sure!
August 23, 2015 – Emerald Trio – New York City-based Karen Bogardus, flutes; Orlando Wells, violin and viola; and Matt Castle, piano and composer performed a concert ofÂ new works written especially for them byÂ hot-on-the-scene NYC composersÂ Carolyn Steinberg, Matt Castle, Joseph Pehrson, Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Milica Paranosic, and Davide Zannoni.Â Â Our annual free concert. Fascinating, challenging,Â and well received – kudos to intrepid artists and audience alike!
July 19, 2015 – Gretchen Koehler and Daniel Kelly Duo -Â by New York State Hall of Fame fiddler Gretchen Kelly partnered by NYC-based jazz pianist Daniel Kelly offered a beautiful and diverse selection of tunes, both traditional and original,Â in a uniqueÂ and fascinating performanceÂ of manyÂ stylesÂ of fiddling and improvisation.Â 13-year-old Syl step-danced into the hearts of all!
June 28, 2015 – Red Hedgehog Trio – Boston musicians Marina Krickler, horn; Marjorie Gere, violin; and Daniel Sedgwick, piano performed works for solo keyboard (Bach) and violin-piano duo (Brahms), as well as for horn-violin-piano trio (Harbison).Â They premiered their new commission “10 x 10” -Â a huge hit!
May 3, 2015 – Ricochet Duo – Jane Boxall on marimba and Rose Chancler on piano performed “DANCES,” a delightful array of short dance-inspired works, including ragtime, tango, and more.
March 22, 2015 – Duo FAE – Violinist Charlene Kluegel and pianist Katherine Petersen performed a traditional recital featuring threeÂ sonatas by Beethoven, Faure, and Ives. Nourishment for the soul.
February 8, 2015 – The Guidonian Hand – Four virtuoso trombones juxtaposed art music of the past (Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Debussy) with contemporary works of living composers (Galen Brown, Jeremy Howard Beck, Conrad Winslow). Totally wonderful!
November 16, 2014 – Patricia McCarty and Cary Lewis – Two superb artists at the top of their game offered a deeply satisfying and memorable viola-piano duo recital featuring works Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and the contemporary American composer David Avshalomov.
October 12, 2014 – Russian Duo – Balalaika artist Oleg Kruglyakov and pianist Terry Boyarsky guided a rapt audience on a fascinating journey across the span of Russian culture with folk music, lyrical romances, rhythmic dances, classical music favorites, gypsy melodies, and popular songs.
August 24, 2014 -Â The AllantÂ Trio astounded a full houseÂ at the Methodist Church withÂ elegant,Â energetic virtuosity.Â This wasÂ our now-annual free concert and about 140 attended.Â TheyÂ gaveÂ a perfectly paced performance of Hadyn’s Trio No. 39 in G Major (Gypsy), Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy’s Give Me Phoenix Wings to Fly, and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49.
July 11Â and 13, 2014 – The Rocky Hill Ramblers gave two delightful shows at the Saranac Fire Hall. The three-member band of fiddle, guitar, bass, with sophisticated vocal harmonies performed 60s and 70s folk, rock, jazz, and blues, along with some ancient traditional tunes plus originals. Sweet memories and smiles!
June 22, 2014 – The Lavrova-Primakov Piano Duo performedÂ music for one piano, two-, four-, and six-hands on our nine-foot Steinway at the Methodist Church. Approximately half of the program featured works by South African composer Braam van Eeden, including two solo sonatas and the premiere of Allegory, dedicated to Hill and Hollow Music.Â Van Eeden was present to receive a standing ovationÂ after each (three SOs!). Also performed wereÂ Twelve Pieces, op.66, of Anton ArenskyÂ and Six Morceaux, op. 11, of Sergei Rachmaninoff.Â As an encore, van Eeden joined Lavrova and Primakov at the keyboard to play Rachmaninoff’s charmingÂ Valse for six hands!
May 24-25, 2014 -Â The Bonfiglio TrioÂ gave two performances ofÂ Harmonica America – Classical toÂ BluesÂ featuring theÂ towering harmonicaÂ virtuoso Robe
Patti McCarty and Friends – Sunday, November 3 at 3:00 pm at the Saranac Methodist Church on Route 3 – Arturo Delmoni, violin; Patricia McCarty, viola; and Julia Lichten and David Geber, cellos – Instead of two violins, this is a string quartet with two cellos!