America’s longest running summer chamber music festival, Music Mountain, continues its 90th season on Sunday, August 18 (3pm), with another special appearance by the St. Petersburg String Quartet along with its "sister" quartet, the St. Petersburg Piano Quartet, to perform music by Glazunov, Beethoven and Schumann. The weekend kicks off on Saturday, August 17 (5pm) when the Barbara Fasano Trio featuring Eric Comstock, digs into the American Songbook, from Harold Arlen to Joni Mitchell, and makes the songs come alive. Concerts at Music Mountain are scheduled through September 22.
The St. Petersburg String Quartet was a Music Mountain favorite for decades, until they disbanded in 2014 and re-emerged as the St. Petersburg Piano Quartet. Music Mountain is pleased to bring the string quartet back together on August 18 for a performance of Glazunov's String Quartet #1 in D Major, Op. 1 (1882) and Beethoven's Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (1826), and to welcome the St. Petersburg Piano Quartet for Schumann's Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 47 (1842).
The St. Petersburg Piano Quartet was founded in spring of 2014, when Alla Aranovskaya and Boris Vayner, first violinist and violist of the esteemed St. Petersburg String Quartet, teamed up with pianist Tao Lin and cellist Thomas Mesa. The new quartet made its début in New York City with a pair of extremely successful concerts on the popular Barge Music series. Since then, they have performed at venues nationwide.
As members of the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Aranovskaya and Vayner won 1st Prize at the All-Soviet Union String Quartet Competition, the Silver Medal and a Special Prize at the Tokyo International Chamber Music Competition, and many other awards. The String Quartet received a GRAMMY nomination and “Best Record” honors in Gramophone Magazine, held a five-year residency at the Oberlin Conservatory, and performed around the world. Chinese-American pianist Tao Lin has been described by critics as possessing “joyful virtuosity and stylish musicianship” (Gramophone Magazine). He performs regularly around the world as a soloist with orchestras (Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, others); a recitalist and a devoted chamber musician. He is currently an artist faculty member at the Bowdoin International Music Festival and is a visiting professor at Shanghai Normal University School of Music, as well as co-artistic director of Beaux Arts Chamber Music Series in Naples. Cuban-American cellist Thomas Mesa won the $50,000 First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition. He will perform this summer as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Mesa has toured with Itzhak Perlman and performed at Carnegie Hall, among other leading concerts halls around the U.S., and as soloist with the GRAMMY-nominated The Crossing Choir.
On Saturday evening, August 17, Music Mountain welcomes, for the first time, award-winning pop/jazz vocalist Barbara Fasano for an eclectic evening of songs from the Great American Songbook – from Harold Arlen and Harry Warren to Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell.
Performing in the tradition of Carmen McRae, Sylvia Syms and Julie Wilson – the greats of storytelling in song – Fasano is a “a gorgeous, soulful singer who has an actor’s intensity in whatever she sings” (The New York Post). She explores the complexities of love and human experience, singing “wise, literate songs about life in all its confusing wonder” (author James Gavin). Fasano has headlined at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and concert halls and jazz festivals internationally, and she is a winner of multiple MAC (The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs), Bistro and NY Nightlife Awards. She’ll be joined by pianist/singer Eric Comstock, who displays “expert musicianship and joie de vivre in equal measure,” according to The New Yorker. These married musical partners are the winners of the 2018 MAC Award for Major Duo Artists of the Year (the fourth time they've been honored with that award) and are resident artists at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York. Together, they will dig into material from Fasano's last two CDs, “Busy Being Free” and “Written In The Stars,” both of which won MAC Awards for Record of the Year. Rounding out the trio is veteran jazz, Broadway and cabaret bassist Boots Maleson.
The evening promises to be a soulful, swinging late-summer soirée, delivering songs and stories that are equally memorable.
* * *
Music Mountain is located in Falls Village, Connecticut on Music Mountain Road, where a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available. Music Mountain is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts, the Peter N. Krysa Designated Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and two funds of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, Inc.: the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund and the Lucia Tuttle Fritz Fund.
Chamber music concerts continue with the Cassatt String Quartet with cellist Paul Katz and pianist Pei Shan (August 25); the Shanghai Quartet (August 31 & September 1); the Daedalus Quartet (Sept 8); and the Dover Quartet (Sept 15).
The Saturday Evening Twilight Series concludes this season with the Galvanized Jazz Band on Saturday, August 24 .
Specially Priced Concerts include: Labor Day Benefit Concert & Reception on Sunday, September 1. All tickets $75. Special Concert to Celebrate the Completion of the 90th Anniversary Season on Sunday, September 22. All tickets: $60.
Regularly scheduled Chamber Music Concerts are $39. Twilight Series Concerts are $34. Children ages 5-18 are admitted FREE to ALL CONCERTS when accompanied by a ticket holder.
Saturday evening Twilight Concerts are at 5 pm. Sunday afternoon Chamber Music concerts are at 3 pm. Discounts apply through participating organizations. For a complete summer schedule, special ticket prices and promotions, visit musicmountain.org or call (860) 824-7126.