November 1 2013

Wistaria brings a program of early and late masterpieces by Franz Schubert to two venues in the Pioneer Valley: The Pushkin Gallery, Greenfield (Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.) and the Unitarian Society of Northampton (Saturday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.).  In addition the society makes its first seasonal appearance at Centre Church in Brattleboro on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m.

“Schubertiad” was the name given by the composer and his friends to their lively gatherings in 19th-century Vienna salons where wine, laughter, and dancing combined with performances of Schubert’s latest masterpieces.

Wistaria’s Ninth Annual Schubertiad features several little known early works—including Schubert’s vocal tribute to his teacher Antonio Salieri and the Fantasy in G minor, one of his first pieces for piano, four hands—as well as several late works that show the composer at his height, including the great Piano Trio in B-flat major and the Impromptu in B-flat major.

Performers include pianists Monica Jakuc Leverett and Deborah Gilwood, tenors Peter W. Shea and James Mead, soprano Diana Brewer, baritone David Perkins, violinist Sarah Briggs, and ’cellist Rebecca Hartka.

In addition, the Arts Block and Wistaria have collaborated in building a series of high quality baffles that make the Pushkin an exceptionally fine venue acoustically, as well as visually, for chamber music.

For the Pushkin program on Friday, Nov. 8, tickets are $20 at the door. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. A cash bar in opens at 7:00 p.m. Reservations are recommended through www.theartsblock.com or by calling David Perkins at 413-634-5716 or emailing contact@wisgtariachgambermusic.com.

The Brattleboro concert on Sunday, Nov. 10, begins at 4 p.m. and tickets are $15 at the door.

The Saturday, Nov. 16, concert in the Unitarian Society of Northampton’s Great Hall marks the first performance by Wistaria in Northampton. Tickets are $20 at the door. Reservations are recommended by calling David Perkins at 413-634-5716.

Now in its eighth season, Wistaria has been praised for the originality and drama of its programs as well as the consistently high quality of the performers. John Montanari of New England Public Radio described the society as “a New England pleasure.”

 

The Wistaria String Quartet– a newly formed ensemble affiliated with the Wistaria Chamber Music Society–will be giving three concerts of American music in Greenfield and Cummington on the weekend of Sept. 27-29.

The first–the quartet’s formal debut–will be at the Pushkin Gallery in Greenfield on Friday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The “American Visions” program will include Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell” (the popular theme of Ken Burns’ Civil War TV series, arranged for string quartet), Marc O’Connor’s “Appalachian Waltz” and “J.C.’s Jig,” Aaron Copland’s Two Movements for String Quartet, and Antonin Dvořák’s “American” Quartet.

The strings will be joined by other members of the Wistaria Chamber Music Society in music by early American composer Benjamin Carr and Civil War–era songwriter Stephen Foster. Tickets are $20 at the door

The concert will be repeated in Cummington on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m. in the “Hay Mow,” the hay loft in the red barn at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead after the Homestead’s fall open house (1-3 p.m.). The concert is free. Donations will be welcome. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Homestead.

A short preview concert will be given at the Old Creamery in Cummington on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 11:30 a.m.

The Wistaria String Quartet consists of four accomplished professional string players who live in western Massachusetts and who have performed often as members of the Wistaria Chamber Music Society: Sarah Briggs and Kaila Graef, violins, Delores Thayer, viola, and Rebecca Hartka, cello. (See bios attached.)

“I noticed how beautifully these musicians played together in a piano quintet in May and encouraged them to perform regularly as a string quartet,” said David Perkins, artistic director and founder of Wistaria Chamber Music Society. “They are eager to tackle this music, which is perhaps the most complex, nuanced, and thrilling of all classical music. I also realized that we’ve performed very little of the quartet literature over the years—partly because professional string quartets are rare.  These players are fiery and committed. I look forward to their explorations.”

Classical and folk music are often not very far apart” Perkins says. “One hears similarities between Dvorak’s ‘American’ quartet, which was written during his summer stay in Spillville, Ohio, and the classical bluegrass of O’Connor and Ungar. There’s nostalgia in the quiet passages and a dancing energy in the fast ones!”

The Sept. 29th concert is the first of its kind in the Bryant Homestead’s Hay Mow (pronounced “Hay MAOW”) , a long central room in the beautiful barn where hay was once stored for the milk cows. At one end is a large window that looks out over the hills. “I like to discover interesting and unusual venues for music Perkins said. “And when I was visitng the Homestead I asked to looked inside the barn. As soon as we entered, I thought, ‘This is the ideal place for this program!’” The many layers of wood and the high open ceiling create an excellent acoustic for strings and voice.

Also performing in the September concerts are Diana Brewer, soprano, Peter W. Shea, tenor, David Perkins, baritone, and pianist Edward Rosser.

       Photograph by Benjamin Rosser.

 

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2013-14 SEASON–PROGRAM ONE, SEPT. 27-29, 2013

American Visions

Ungar, O’Connor, Foster, Dvorak

Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.: Pushkin Gallery, Greenfield

Sunday, Sept. 29, 3 p.m.: Bryant Homestead, Cummington

 *

Marc O’Connor, J.C.’s Jig

Jay Ungar, Ashokan Farewell

Wistaria String Quartet

 Sarah Briggs, violin * Kaila Graef, violin

Delores Thayer, viola * Rebecca Hartka, ’cello

*

   Benjamin Carr, Rondo (Variations on Yankee Doodle)

Spoon River, arr. by Percy Grainger

 Edward Rosser, piano

 *

 Stephen Foster, Songs and Duets

 The Hour for Thee and Me

Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway!

If You’ve Only Got a Moustache

Beautiful Dreamer

Slumber My Darling

 Diana Brewer, soprano, Peter W. Shea, tenor,

Mr. Rosser, Wistaria String Quartet

*

 Aaron Copland, Two Pieces for String Quartet (1928)

 LENTO * RONDINO

Wistaria String Quartet

*

INTERMISSION

*

Antonin Dvořák, String Quartet No. 12 in F major,

“American,” Op. 96

 ALLEGRO MA NON TROPPO * LENTO

MOLTO VIVACE * FINALE: VIVACE MA NON TROPPO

Wistaria String Quartet

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  Wistaria String Quartet

BIOGRAPHIES

Violinist Sarah Briggs teaches at Amherst and Smith colleges, and performs regularly with the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School, and received a MM at the University of Texas at Austin. She was a fellow for two summers at Tanglewood, participated in the Heidelberg Opera Festival, the Bach Aria Festival, and Tafelmusik seminar, and has been coached by members of the Juilliard and Cleveland Quartets. Sarah began her career in the Charlotte Symphony, and was next tenured with the Colorado Symphony in Denver. She moved to Chicago in 1994 and performed with the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphonies, Concertanti di Chicago, and toured Japan with the Chicago String Ensemble. Before moving to Massachusetts, she lived in Ketchikan, Alaska, where her son was born, and then lived in Germany for two years. Sarah is an avid yogini and Zen meditator. She lives in Northampton, MA.

Violinist Kaila Graef has performed with a diverse range of groups, including a swing band in Baltimore, the Springfield Symphony, and the Inscape Chamber Music Project in Washington, D.C. While on faculty of the Vermont Youth Orchestra’s summer festival, she collaborated in performances with the Amabile String Quartet. Kaila holds a Bachelor of Music from Peabody Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from UMass Amherst, where she was a member of the Graduate String Quartet. Her principal teachers include Shirley Givens and Marylou Speaker Churchill. Kaila is a dedicated teacher, maintaining a large private studio in Amherst. Her students perform in outreach concerts throughout the Pioneer Valley. She lives in Amherst, MA.

Delores Thayer is the associate principal violist of the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra. She also performs with the Arcadia Players Early Music Group, the Berkshire Symphony, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. In addition to teaching at Amherst College and the Northfield Mount Hermon School, she has headed the chamber music department at Deerfield Academy and served as guest instructor of viola at Mt. Holyoke College. Delores has performed in summer music festivals in Ayamonte and Santander, Spain; Spoleto, Italy; Tanglewood; and the Yale Norfolk Music Festival. She has also performed at Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center and in numerous premiers and recordings. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Music. She lives in Northampton, MA.

Cellist Rebecca Hartka is active as a soloist, chamber musician and educator.  As comfortable in a café as a concert hall, Hartka has appeared in a wide range of venues from the American Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam to Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. She has recently performed as solo recitalist at the Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, on the North Quabbin Center for the Arts series, the Exploring the Arts series, the 88 Keys series, and the Jazz and More series. In October 2010, she released her debut CD “Folkfire.” As a dean’s scholar, Hartka earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts and Masters in Music from Boston University College of Fine Arts and her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Oberlin College and Conservatory studying with Andor Toth, Rhonda Rider and Leslie Parnas among others. She lives with her husband in Ashfield, MA.

 

 

FOR RELEASE, APRIL 19, 2010.

The joyous music of Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms is the subject of Wistaria’s forthcoming concerts at the Pushkin Gallery in Greenfield (May 10) and Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke (May 12).

“This is our fifth program devoted to this circle of composers, who were so intimately connected by love, friendship, and musical inspiration,” said Wistaria’s founder and artistic director David Perkins. “Their music always seems spun from one bright, beautiful cloth. I might almost say there are no other composers for spring!”

Highlights of the program include

¨      Robert Schumann’s Six Canonic Studies, for piano, four hands, performed by the piano duo of Gary Steigerwalt and Dana Muller;

¨      Brahms’ Liebeslieder waltzes, sung by four solo voices, as Brahms intended, and piano-four hands (Diana Brewer, soprano, Eileen Ruby, mezzo-soprano, Peter W. Shea, tenor, and David Perkins, baritone, and the Steigerwalt-Muller duo);

¨      The three Romances of Clara Schumann for violin and piano, played by Sarah Briggs and Dana Muller;

¨    And, the climax of the program: Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, with pianist Monica Jakuc Leverett and string quartet: Sarah Briggs, Kaila Graef, violins, Delores Thayer, viola, and Volcy Pelletier, ’cello.

The May 10 performance will be Wistaria’s first visit to the Pushkin Gallery in Greenfield, and will be preceded by a wine-tasting of German white wines at 6:45 p.m. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, and an additional $10 for the wine-tasting.

The following Sunday is the society’s annual spring return to Wistariahurst Museum in a  Mother’s Day concert that will include tea and a tour of the restored Belle Skinner gardens (weather permitting). Mothers who come with their children will be admitted for $10, or half price. 

Reservations are recommended. For reservations to the Pushkin concert, please call 413-634-5716. For the Wistariahurst concert, please call 413-322-5660.  For more information, visit www.wistariachambermusic.com.

These concerts conclude Wistaria’s seventh season, which began with its annual Schubertiad in November and concerts of Latin American music in February and March, including the society’s first visit to the Boston area.

*

‘CONCERTS AT 7’ SERIES ANNOUNCED FOR AUGUST IN PLAINFIELD

The “Concerts at 7” series in Plainfield, MA, and Wistaria have announced three free programs in August 2013 in the beautiful, acoustically excellent Plainfield Congregational Church. This will be the society’s first summer residency. The concerts are scheduled for three Monday evenings: August 5, 19, and 26, at 7 p.m. “We’re very pleased to offer these concerts in the Hilltowns, and, generously, the Plainfield church, area arts councils, and private donors have made it possible for these concerts to be free to the public,” said David Perkins, Wistaria’s artistic director. Details can be found at www.plainfieldConcertsat7.com and at www.wistariachambermusic.com.

For more information, please contact David Perkins at davidsperkins@gmail.com, or at 4134-634-5716.  *

 

Contact: David Perkins, 413-634-5716

ARMANDO ORZUZA AND NURIA MARTINEZ , ARTISTIC TANGO DANCERS, TO PARTICIPATE IN “CAFÉ BUENOS AIRES,” PROGRAM OF LATIN AMERICAN CHAMBER MUSIC, AT LONGY SCHOOL ON MARCH 9. / ALSO: LONGY GRAD TO SING IN VILLA-LOBOS’ MASTERPIECE WITH UMASS CELLO ENSEMBLE.

 

Longy School of Music graduate Junko Watanabe (M.A., ‘02) will be featured in Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, for soprano and cello ensemble, in a performance with the Wistaria Chamber Music Society of Western Massachusetts on Saturday, March 9, at 8 p.m., in the Longy School of Music’s Pickman Concert Hall.

The program of all Latin American music, titled “Café Buenos Aires,” marks the first performance in the Boston area of the western Massachusetts-based ensemble.

Other performers are cellist Astrid Schween, pianist Estela Olevsky, Dúo Fusión (flutist Sarah Swersey and guitarist Joe Belmont), and the 15-member UMASS Cello Ensemble. Other music is by Piazzolla, Pujol, and Ginastera.

In addition, Armando Orzuza and Nuria Martinez, internationally traveled Tango dancers who are well known in the Boston area, will dance in several numbers.

“Latin American music has this irresistible, joyous energy and melodic verve, and is hugely popular, as we all know,” said David Perkins, founder and artistic director of Wistaria. “I’ve been delighted to discover how varied the repertoire is, and that younger composers are still finding inspiration in this vein. We’re excited to be bringing to Cambridge a varied and electrically charged program.”

 

Estela Olevsky, an internationally known pianist and native of Buenos Aires and   professor of piano emeritus at UMASS-Amherst, will perform several solo pieces by Alberto Ginastera, as well as his Pampeana No. 2 with Ms. Schween.

Astrid Schween is a widely recognized soloist who was for 20 years a member of the renowned Lark Quartet for 20 years. Since turning to solo work in 2004, she has performed across the country and abroad, includewith the Boston Chamber Music Society, and in duo recitals with pianists Gary Hammond and Randall Hodgkinson.

Also participating are the flute and guitar team of Sarah Swersey and Joe Belmont (Dúo Fusión) in works by Mexican composer M.D. Pujol and Brazilian Antonio Jobim, and mezzo-soprano Eileen Ruby, who will be heard in songs by the Argentine composer Antonio Ginastera, accompanied by Ms. Olevsky.

The UMASS Cello Ensemble, consisting of 15 of Ms. Schween’s advanced students at UMASS-Amherst, will also perform a movement of Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1.

 

THE DANCERS

Armando Orzuza was born in La Boca, the Buenos Aires barrio where Tango originated, and was taught by some of its original masters. He danced in the “Tango Pasión” revue on Broadway in 1993, winning praise from the New York Times for “moving with ambling urgency but also silky smoothness.” He stayed on in the U.S., to perform in shows and films (he has worked with Madonna and Julio Iglesias, and was the featured dancer in Robert Duvall’s 2003 film, “Assassination Tango”). He has also been a force as a teacher and performer in the Tango revivals in the U.S. and Europe.

Nuria Martinez, from Spain, was trained in ballet and modern dance at the National Academy in Madrid before learning Tango and becoming Orzuza’s partner. To his suave traditional steps she brings the clean, elegant line of her classical training.

*

Wistaria was founded in 2005 as a performing ensemble at Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, which remains its home base. Now separately incorporated, Wistaria has a roster of 20 professionals, semi-professionals and skilled amateur musicians, most of them residents of Western Massachusetts, and gives six to eight concerts a year in Holyoke, Amherst, Greenfield, and Brattleboro.

 

“We are a large family of musicians who enjoy performing 19th and 20th-century chamber music in unusual formats and combinations,” Perkins said. “My feeling is, listening to chamber music should not be like sitting for an exam. And by combining the arts, we heighten people’s senses.” Earlier performances of “Café Buenos Aires” this season have been given in the Arts Block café with local Tango dancers performing in several pieces.

 

In addition to its Latin American programs, Wistaria has performed an annual series Schubertiads in period costume, visited the circle of Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, paid tribute to the French Impressionists (painters and composers) and the avant-garde Paris salon of the Princesse de Polignac; saluted “American Mavericks,” including Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and Carl Cacioppo.

John Montanari, the classical music host of WFCR (New England Public Radio), has called the society’s performances a “New England musical pleasure.”

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For release, Feb. 9, 2013 — Contact: David Perkins, 413-634-5716

WORLD-TRAVELED TANGO ARTISTS JOIN WISTARIA’S TANGO CONCERTS, FEB 22, and 24, IN GREENFIELD and BRATTLEBORO, VT.

Armando Orzuza and Nuria Martinez, two internationally recognized artists, will dance authentic Argentine Tangos, richly improvised, to music by Carlos Gardel, Astor Piazzolla and Kurt Weill in Wistaria Chamber Music Society’s  forthcoming “Cafe” concerts in Greenfield and Brattleboro, VT.

Returning to Wistaria’s series for a second year, they join a diverse assembly of classical musicians  in a rich and varied program of South American music.

In addition, Mr. Orzuza and Ms. Martinez will lead a class-demonstration on the Tango one hour before each performance for dancers of all levels and observers.

Orzuza was born in La Boca, the Buenos Aires barrio where Tango originated, and was taught by some of its original masters. He danced in the “Tango Pasión” revue on Broadway in 1993, winning praise from the New York Times for “moving with ambling urgency but also silky smoothness.” He stayed on in the U.S., to perform in shows and films (he has worked with Madonna and Julio Iglesias, and was the featured dancer in Robert Duvall’s 2003 film, “Assassination Tango”). He has also been a force as a teacher and performer in the Tango revivals in the U.S. and Europe.

Nuria Martinez, from Spain, was trained in ballet and modern dance at the National Academy in Madrid before learning Tango and becoming Orzuza’s partner. To his suave traditional steps she brings the clean, elegant line of her classical training. The combination sizzles. You can learn more about them at their website.

The concert tickets are $20 at the door. The fee for the class-demonstration is $5 with the purchase of a concert ticket, and $20 for the class only. Reservations are recommended. To make a reservation, please call 413-634-5716.  (Please indicate which performance and whether you are interested in attending or participating in the class-demonstration.)

For details of the program, bios of the performers, and directions to venues, please visit our website at www.wistariachambermusic.com.

“Café Buenos Aires” will recreate the atmosphere of a nightclub in the La Boca district of the Argentine capital, with guests seated at café tables as Tango dancers step into the spotlight.  Among the performers are Estela Olevsky, piano, Astrid Schween, ’cello, soprano Junko Watanabe, mezzo-soprano Eileen Ruby, baritone David Perkins, Dúo Fusión (Sarah Swersey, flute, and Joe Belmont, guitar), and the UMASS Cello Ensemble, directed by Ms. Schween.

 

Posted Jan. 11, 2013

Wistaria Chamber Music Society will perform a “Tango Tour” in Greenfield, MA., Brattleboro, VT., and Cambridge, MA., in February and early March.  / Also announces partnership with Plainfield Congregational Church to offer August concerts in the Berkshires.

NORTHAMPTON–The Wistaria Chamber Music Society of Western Massachusetts will take a program of Latin American music on a three-city “Tango Tour” this winter that will include the society’s first visit to the Boston area.

“Café Buenos Aires” will create the atmosphere of a nightclub in the La Boca district, with guests seated at café tables as Tango dancers step into the spotlight to live music by Piazzolla, Pujol, Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, and Hersch.

Performances in the Pioneer Valley are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m.,  at the Arts Block in Greenfield, and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3:30 p.m. at the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro’s Cotton Mill. A third performance will be given at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge on Saturday, March 9.

Among the performers are Estela Olevsky, piano, Astrid Schween, ’cello, soprano Junko Watanabe, mezzo-soprano Eileen Ruby, Dúo Fusión (Sarah Swersey, flute, and Joe Belmont, guitar), and the UMASS Cello Ensemble, directed by Ms. Schween.

“This tour is the next step in our evolution as an ensemble,” said David Perkins, Wistaria’s founder and artistic director. “We’ve given many concerts over the years in Holyoke and Amherst. Now we’re taking our unusual programs and wonderful musicians to other parts of the region, as well.”

Wistaria (formerly known as Chamber Music at Wistariahurst) performed Latin American programs to full houses in the past two seasons, Perkins said, and those performances led to the Café concept. “It’s no secret that Latin American music is hugely popular. It has this irresistible, joyous energy and melodic verve. But we tend to hear a lot of music by the same one or two composers. I’ve been delighted to discover how varied the repertoire is, and that younger composers are still finding inspiration in this vein.”

“Café Buenos Aires” will feature 10 cellists from the graduate studio of Astrid Schween, a professor of cello at UMASS-Amherst and a well known solo artist, in H. Villa-Lobos’ famous Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, with soprano Junko Watanabe, and other ensemble pieces. Ms. Schween will collaborate with Ms. Olevsky, an internationally known pianist and native of Buenos Aires, in works by Astor Piazzolla and Fred Hersch. “The music sizzles when these artists two play,” Perkins said. “And Astrid’s students bring tremendous energy and commitment to whatever she gives them to do.”

 

In addition, the flute and guitar team of Sarah Swersey and Joe Belmont (Dúo Fusión) will perform works by Mexican composer M.D. Pujol and Brazilian Antonio Jobim, and mezzo-soprano Eileen Ruby will be heard in songs by the Argentine composer Antonio Ginastera.

The Greenfield and Brattleboro performances will be preceded by an hour-long Tango class-demonstration (for mixed levels, including beginners and just observers) led by experienced instructors Veronika Kruta (in Greenfield) and Stephen Voorhees (in Brattleboro). The classes are open to anyone who buys a concert ticket for an extra $5. The best students will be invited to perform with advanced Tango dancers in several pieces during the concert.

Perkins said Wistaria is a family of musicians who enjoy performing chamber music in unusual formats and across genres. “I want to break down artificial boundaries,” he said. “Listening to chamber music should not be like sitting for an exam. I’m not sure when that happened. It wasn’t stiff in, say, Schubert’s time, when the composer would improvise at the piano while his friends danced. At our Café, I hope people will join in the dancing.”

*

In other news, Wistaria and the Plainfield Congregational Church are presenting a series of chamber music concerts in August in Plainfield, MA., in the Berkshire hills. The Concerts at 7 series is free to the public and will feature many of Wistaria’s musicians and guest artists in programs of German, French, and American music. Details will be announced in the spring. The concerts are being underwritten by the Plainfield Congregational Church, individual donors and local arts councils.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to make music in such a welcoming and supportive community,” Perkins said. “So much music has been inspired by nature. It’s doubly inspiring to hear it in a lovely church, at sunset, surrounded by the quiet Berkshire hills.”  He added that the church has exceptional acoustics and a fine Baldwin grand piano.  “Frankly, it is one of the best venues for music in the region.”

*

Wistaria began in 2005 as a performing ensemble with two or three performances a year at Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, still its home base. Now separately incorporated, Wistaria has a roster of 20 professionals, semi-professionals and skilled amateur musicians, most of them residents of Western Massachusetts, and gives six to eight concerts a year. Past performances have included a series of Schubertiads, salon-style concerts of Schubert’s music, performed in period costume; seasonal visits to the circle of Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms; tributes to the French Impressionists (painters and composers) and the avant-garde Paris salon of the Princesse de Polignac; and programs saluting “American Mavericks,” including Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and Carl Cacioppo.

Future Wistaria programs will include a Mother’s Day (May 12) concert at Wistariahurst of German Romantic music, and, next season, French music in Wistariahurst’s recently restored gardens with dancers performing Isadora Duncan choreography. “The more we do, the more we discover that we want to do,” Perkins said. “And there are at least 900 pieces by Schubert that we have not yet touched.”

John Montanari, the classical music host of WFCR (New England Public Radio), has called the society’s performances a “New England musical pleasure.”

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CAFÉ BUENOS AIRES: WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m., The Arts Block, 294 Main Street, Greenfield, Tango class-demonstration at 6:30 p.m. Concert $20 for concert. $25 for class and concert.

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, 3:30 p.m., Vermont Jazz Center, Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro, VT. (Second Floor, Main Entrance.) Tango class-demonstration at 2:30 p.m. Concert $20, $25 for class and concert.

Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. To reserve seats, and/or to sign up for a class-demonstration, call 413-634-5716. Please indicate the performance you are attending. For more information, including complete programs and directions to venues, please visit www.wistariachambermusic.com,

 

The Eighth Annual Wistariahurst

Schubertiad    The Religion of Nature

 

November 4, 2012, 3 p.m., Belle Skinner Music Room, Wistariahurst


The Wistaria Chamber Music Society returns to Wistariahurst for its eighth annual “Schubertiad,” an afternoon devoted exclusively to the heart-rending music of Franz Schubert. The concert involves several of the Pioneer Valley’s most noted chamber musicians and the Schubertians chorus, performing in period costume, and pursues a special theme: “The Religion of Nature.”

Among the highlights are the Psalm 23 for women’s chorus, and the rarely heard masterpiece, “Gesang der Geister über dem Wassern” (“Song of the Spirits over the Waters”), for male chorus and string ensemble. Both choruses will be directed by E. Wayne Abercrombie, the distinguished choral conductor and former director of choral activities at UMASS-Amherst.

In addition, Monica Jakuc Leverett, piano, and Sarah Briggs, violin, will perform the Sonatina in G-minor; and the piano duo team of Gary Steigerwalt and Dana Muller will perform “Lebensstürme.” Several of Schubert’s great songs will be sung by Eileen Ruby, mezzo-soprano, Peter W. Shea, tenor, and David Perkins, baritone, in an afternoon modeled on the gatherings of Schubert’s friends in early 19th-century Vienna.

“Schubert was of a Romantic generation that saw nature as the handwriting of God,” said David Perkins, Wistaria’s artistic director. “And his musical descriptions of natural scenes often have the atmosphere of awe–and transcendence–that was once contained in church music. There is a strong political subtext as well. The view of Nature as spontaneous and wild was a representation of freedom in the politically oppressive time after the French revolution. The great song, ‘Prometheus,’ for example, is clearly a young man’s fist shaken at Metternich’s Vienna. However, even in that case, Schubert’s music resolves in his special, uniquely beautiful tranquility.”

Tickets, at $20, can be reserved online at www.wistariahurst.com, under Events. Students are admitted free with valid ID. For more information about Wistaria (formerly Chamber Music at Wistariahurst), visit our website at http://www.wistariachambersociety.com, or contact David Perkins, at davidsperkins@gmail.com.

Wistariahurst Museum, 238 Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA. 413-322-5660

 

 
 


NEWSLETTER,  NO. 1, OCTOBER 2012

 

 Dear colleagues and friends,

An invitation–a word about our incorporation–and some good news for the summer.

HOUSE CONCERT IN NORTH AMHERST, Friday, Nov. 1, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.

Barbara and Robert Tinker and I would be delighted if you would attend our first house concert of the season. This is a chance for us to greet friends, and celebrate the start of our first season under our new name. Furthermore, we will hear some special music not included in our Schubertiad on Sunday. (For one, Monica Jakuc Leverett will be performing Schubert’s Impromptu in B-flat Major, and Gary Steigerwalt and Dana Muller will play two Schubert four-hand pieces. The full program is below.)

Please RSVP to me at davidsperkins@gmail.com, and I will send you directions.  I hope that some of our new chorus members will come!  Please bring a friend or two. My hope is that we will enlarge the circle of people who hear our beautiful music-making, and who are willing to support us with donations as Friends. For this, we need your help. (We will ask for donations, but not from our musicians!)   Also, if you know or learn of someone who would like to host a house concert, and has a good piano and space, please encourage them to get in touch with me.

*

EIGHTH ANNUAL SCHUBERTIAD, SUNDAY, Nov. 4, 2012, WISTARIAHURST

Our opening concert on Nov. 4 is our eighth afternoon concert devoted to the works of Franz Schubert.  This promises to be a special concert, not least for its return of the Schubertians chorus, conducted by E. Wayne Abercrombie, the distinguished choral conductor, in two beautiful works: Schubert’s setting of Psalm 23, for women’s chorus, and the rarely heard “Gesang der Geister über dem Wassern” for men’s chorus and strings.  Please consider sending a personal note to your friends who love chamber music and encourage them to come. Reservations are recommended at Wistariahurst’s website, or call 413-322-5660.

WISTARIA CHAMBER MUSIC ASSOCIATION, INC.

We have incorporated under the above title, have prepared bylaws, and formed a board of directors. I’m delighted that Robert Tinker, Monica Jakuc Leverett and Marvin Ward are willing to serve with me on this board. We are now seeking 501c3 status from the IRS in order to be able to accept grants and tax-deductible contributions. This will take several months–but we’re on our way.

*

Now, the really good news …

‘CONCERTS AT 7’, SUMMER SERIES IN PLAINFIELD, AUGUST 2013

I am pleased to announce that Wistaria will be partnering with the Plainfield Congregational Church to present the Concerts at 7 chamber music series this August in Plainfield, Massachusetts. This popular concert series was inaugurated in 2009, reflecting the church’s desire to extend classical music to the larger community of the Hilltowns free of charge. To help fund this summer’s programs, the Concerts at 7 Committee and I are seeking grants from local arts councils as well as private donations.
I have begun to pull together several programs that will involve our musicians and guest artists. Concerts at 7 will give us a summer outlet for our talents in a beautiful rural setting, and the 1846 church is a lovely space with superior acoustics and an excellent Baldwin concert grand piano. The Concerts at 7 Committee and I are excited to be working together to present these concerts. I am grateful to them, and to the Plainfield Congregational Church, for this extraordinary opportunity. Stay tuned for details.

*

RETOOLED WEBSITE

We are updating our website under a new address to reflect these changes, and the revision is almost complete. You can check it out at www.wistariachambersociety.com. Listen to Monica’s beautiful performance of Mrs. Beach’s “Hermit Thrush at Morning” in the “Music Room.”  We hope to add more music, and more news, in the weeks and months ahead.

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‘CAFÉ BUENOS AIRES’: TANGO IN FEBRUARY 2013

Our third musical journey across Latin America with pianist Estela Olevsky, cellist Astrid Schween, soprano Junko Watanabe, and the UMASS Cello Ensemble, is scheduled for a series of performances in February. The first of these will be at the new Arts Block space in Greenfield on Friday., Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. It will be preceded by a Tango class for anyone who wants to perfect their skills. Several dancers will then be involved in the danceable numbers on the concert program following.  For the dance class, please be in touch with the instructor Veronika Kruta, at vzkdesign@gmail.com. And here’s the concert program.

As always, I love to hear from you.

DAVID PERKINS, Artistic Director    davidsperkins@gmail.com

Schubertiad

A HOUSE CONCERT

At the home of Barbara and Robert Tinker

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

*

Rondo in D Major, D. 608

Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt, piano duo   

 

An Die Natur, D. 372

Im Frühling, D. 882

David Perkins, baritone, and Mr. Steigerwalt

Hymne der Jungfrau, D. 839  

Eileen Ruby, mezzo-soprano, and Ms. Muller, piano 

  

Ganymede, D. 544

Prometheus, D. 674    

Peter W. Shea, tenor, and Monica Jakuc Leverett, piano

   Impromptu in B-flat Major, D. 935

Ms. Jakuc Leverett, piano

 INTERMISSION

Im Abendrot, D. 799

Mr. Perkins and Mr. Steigerwalt

Lebensstürme, D. 947  

Ms. Muller and Mr. Steigerwalt

EIGHTH ANNUAL WISTARIAHURST

Schubertiad

 THE RELIGION OF NATURE

Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke

Nov. 4, 2012, 3 p.m.

*

 

 

 Psalm 23, D. 706

The Schubertians, cond. E. Wayne Abercrombie

 Gary Steigerwalt, piano 

 

 

An Die Natur, D. 372

 Diana Brewer, soprano, and Mr. Steigerwalt

Im Frühling, D. 882

 Im Abendrot, D. 799

David Perkins, baritone, and Mr. Steigerwalt, piano

Hymne der Jungfrau, D. 839

 

Eileen Ruby, mezzo-soprano, and Dana Muller, piano   

Ganymede, D 544.

Prometheus, D. 674

Peter W. Shea, tenor, and Monica Jakuc Leverett, piano

  Sonatina in A minor, D. 385 (No. 2)

ALLEGRO MODERATO ANDANTE * MENUETTO AND TRIO: ALLEGRO * ALLEGRO

 Sarah Briggs, violin, and Ms. Jakuc Leverett, piano

 

 INTERMISSION

Lebensstürme, D. 947  

 

Ms. Muller and Mr Steigerwalt  

Gesang der Geister über dem Wassern, D. 714

 

The Schubertians, string ensemble, cond. Mr. Abercromie   

 

 In August 2013, Wistaria will be partnering with the Plainfield Congregational Church to present the Concerts at 7 chamber music series in Plainfield, Massachusetts, with David Perkins as the series’ artistic director.  This popular chamber music series was inaugurated in 2009, reflecting the church’s desire to extend classical music to the larger community of the Hilltowns free of charge. To help fund this summer’s programs, the Concerts at 7 Committee and Wistaria are seeking grants from local arts councils as well as private donations.

We have begun to pull together several programs that will involve our musicians and guest artists. Concerts at 7 will give us a summer outlet for Wistaria’s talents in a beautiful rural setting, and the 1846 church is a lovely space with superior acoustics and an excellent Baldwin concert grand piano.  Stay tuned for details. …

Coming Soon …

 

Coming Soon …

 

 The 2012-13 Season

For artists and programs, click on titles.

 

OPENING CONCERT / EIGHTH ANNUAL

SCHUBERTIAD

  Lieder  *  Lebensstürme  *  Sonatina No. 2 in A-minor

   Psalm 23  *  Gesang der Geister über dem Wasser

 Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 3 p.m.

Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke

  *

 CAFĒ BUENOS AIRES

Latin American Music and Dance

Jobim, Ginastera, Pujol, Piazzolla, Villa Lobos

 Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m. 

  Arts Block Café, Greenfield  

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, 3 p.m.

Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke   

*


     A ROMANTIC CIRCLE     

The Schumanns and Johannes Brahms

 Liebeslieder  * Romanzen * Songs and Duets

Märchenerzählungen * Music for piano duo

Sunday, May 12, 2013, 3 p.m.

Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke


 

For immediate release, Feb. 1, 2012

FEBRUARY 10, 7:30 p.m., WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, HADLEY; SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, AT 3 p.m., WISTARIAHURST MUSEUM, HOLYOKE.

We’re excited to be presenting our first program of chamber music with live dance–and the combination is natural when it comes to the Tango, the urban folk dance that inspired many of Argentina’s finest popular and classical composers.

On Feb. 10 and 12, our musicians will be joined by Armando Orzuza and Nuria Martinez, two internationally known artists who will dance authentic Argentine Tangos, richly improvised, to music by Horacio Salgan and Astor Piazzolla.

Orzuza was born in La Boca, the Buenos Aires barrio where Tango originated, and was taught by some of its original masters. He danced in the “Tango Pasión” revue on Broadway in 1993, winning praise from the New York Times for “moving with ambling urgency but also silky smoothness.” He stayed on in the U.S., to perform in shows and films (he has worked with Madonna and Julio Iglesias, and was the featured dancer in Robert Duvall’s 2003 film, “Assassination Tango”). He has also been a force as a teacher and performer in the Tango revivals in the U.S. and Europe.

Nuria Martinez, from Spain, was trained in ballet and modern dance at the National Academy in Madrid before learning Tango and becoming Orzuza’s partner. To his suave traditional steps she brings the clean, elegant line of her classical training. The combination sizzles. You can learn more about them at their website.

The Orzuza-Martinez duo are only one highlight of the program, to be performed Friday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 pm, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley, and on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m., at Wistariahurst, in Holyoke. Soprano Junko Watanabe and an orchestra of 10 UMASS cellos, led by Astrid Schween, will repeat the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ most famous composition, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, which they performed with great success last year.

In addition, pianist Estela Olevsky and Astrid Schween, cellist, admired performers with a deep affinity for Latin music, will perform solo and duo works by Piazzolla. We are also eager to welcome the splendid guitar-and-flute partnership, Duo Fusión (Joe Belmont, guitar, and Sarah Swersey, flute), who will perform Mexican composer M. Pujol’s delightful “Suite Buenos Aires.”

Tickets are $20 at the door. Students are admitted free. Reservations are recommended for the Wistariahurst concert at (413)322-5660.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: DAVID PERKINS, 413-634-5716

The well of Franz Schubert’s genius is deep—amounting to 1,000 opus numbers—and picking favorites is difficult, but for many the most beloved of his chamber works is the Piano Quintet in A Major, known as the “Trout” Quintet. Written in 1819 when Schubert was on a walking tour of western Austria, and first performed in the town of Steyr by a group of fine amateurs, the score captures the air of the Austrian mountains, the rushing streams, the slippery grace of fish eluding the fisherman’s net, and the wit of friends in a tavern after a day’s hike.

 

On Friday, November 18, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley, MA, and Sunday November 20, at Wistariahurst Museum, in Holyoke, MA, members of the Chamber Music Society at Wistariahurst will perform this masterpiece in the society’s seventh annual “Schubertiad,” an all-Schubert program in the style of the lively musical gatherings of the composer and his friends in 1820s Vienna. The musicians will perform in period costume.

The program includes songs, a duet, and a rarely heard vocal quartet (“Gebet”) performed by Junko Watanabe, soprano, Eileen Ruby, mezzo-soprano, Peter W. Shea, tenor, and David Perkins, baritone.  Edward Rosser, pianist, will perform one of the delicate Moments musicaux. Gary Steigerwalt and Dana Muller, the distinguished piano duo performing for the first time in the series, will play one of Schubert’s grandest four-hand pieces, the Divertissement on French Themes. The “Trout” Quintet will be performed by Monica Jakuc Leverett, piano, Sarah Briggs, violin, Delores Thayer, viola, Wayne Smith, ’cello, and Yasu Suzuki, bass.

This is the second of five programs in the society’s 2011-12 series.  For more information, please go to www.chambermusicwistariahurst.com.

 

 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2011, 4 p.m. (House Concert, Amherst)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2011, 3 p.m. (Wistariahurst)

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011, 7:30 p.m. (Wesley United Methodist, Hadley)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2011, 3 p.m. (Wistariahurst)

Our seventh annual visit to the Vienna music rooms where Schubert and his friends performed  and enjoyed

his music in what they referred to, with  mock-pomposity, as “Schubertiads.”  This program includes

 familiar songs, a rarely heard duet and vocal quartet, a magnificent work for piano,

four hands, the Divertissement on French Themes, an, to conclude,  the Piano Quintet in A Major, “The Trout.” 

Written in 1819, during or shortly after a long walking tour in Upper Austria, the “Trout” Quintet is

one of the most beloved of all chamber works.  It expresses the composer’s delight in mountain air, rushing

streams,wily fish that evade capture, and the wit of friends gathered in a tavern at day’s end. –DP

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 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012, 7:30 p.m. (Wesley United Methodist, Hadley)

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2012, 3 p.m. (Wistariahurst)

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 SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2012, 3 p.m. (Wistariahurst)

 

 SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012, 3 p.m. (House Concert, Amherst* )

SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2012, 3 p.m. (Wistariahurst)

* For an invitation to the House Concert, contact David Perkins at davidsperkins@verizon.net.

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