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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Kingston Chamber Music Festival opens Wednesday

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Musicians to perform classical pieces from around the world

KINGSTON, R.I. – July 18, 2012 – Musical compositions from artists such as Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky and Mozart will fill the halls of the University of Rhode Island’s Fine Arts Center for two weeks beginning July 18 at the 24th Kingston Chamber Music Festival.

The series of concerts will feature music from across the globe and various historical periods performed by musicians hailing from as far away as Turkey and as near as Kingston.

Among the highlights will be the performance by Jennifer Koh, a violinist from New York who won the 1995 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Koh, who made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11, will play Ernest Bloch’s Violin Sonata No. 1 on Wednesday, July 18, with award-winning pianist Natalie Zhu.

“Koh won the Tchaikovsky Competition, which is worldwide. David Kim, our original founder, was in that competition and didn’t win it,” said Martin Sadd, president of the Chamber Music Festival and a mechanical engineering professor at URI. “She’s won multiple other awards, soloed across the world and played with many orchestras, so that kind of puts her in a special class.”

Also performing will be Roberto Diaz, president of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, which Sadd said is among the most prestigious musical schools in the country.

While many of the performers are well known in the music world, Sadd said the festival also strives to introduce lesser-known talents to the audience.
“We have a good pipeline with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and you have to be a special talent just to get into that, so it’s all outstanding musicians who come here,” Sadd said. “A few that we mix in, though, are younger people on their way up. About 60-70 percent of the performers are well-established players, but we have some up-and-comers, too.”

Though there is an increased seating capacity this year, the sixth and final concert on July 29 – “German Masters” featuring the works of Bach, Brahms and Beethoven – is already sold out. Sadd said he hopes to be at or near capacity for all the performances.

All concerts will begin at 8 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center and cost $20, unless otherwise noted. Discounts are available for those purchasing multiple-concert packages. To buy tickets, or for a complete list of musical performers, log on to www.kingstonchambermusic.org.

The concert schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, July 18: American Treasures, featuring the music of John Corigliano, Ernest Bloch, Richard Danielpour and Antonin Dvorak.
Thursday, July 19, 9 a.m. to noon: Open rehearsal (free), Elgar Piano Quintet.

Friday, July 20: Bridging the Channel, featuring the music of Phillippe Gaubert, Claude Debussy, Sir Arnold Bax and Edward Elgar.
Sunday, July 22: East European Feast, featuring the music of Zodan Kodaly, Bela Bartok and Dvorak.

Wednesday, July 25: Austrian Delights, featuring the music of Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Arnold Schoenberg.
Friday, July 27: Russian Titans, featuring the music of Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, Mikhail Glinka and Alexander Glazunov.
Saturday, July 28, 9 a.m. to noon: Open rehearsal (free), Brahms Piano Quintet.

Sunday, July 29: German Masters, featuring the music of Johan Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven.