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Sanibel Music Festival celebrates 23rd season

By Staff | Feb 19, 2009

On Tuesday, March 3, The Sanibel Music Festival, an island tradition, will begin its 23rd consecutive season of bringing outstanding repertoire and artists to the Island at the Sanibel Congregational Church. This year’s festival will feature three new offerings: Trio Solisti, Di Wu, and the Biava Quartet. Tuesday, March 3

Opening the season will be Trio Solisti. Comprised of three brilliant instrumentalists, violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Jon Klibonoff, the trio has drawn high praise from The New York Times and the Washington Post. They have made critically acclaimed debuts at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap and the prestigious Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy. They are the founding ensemble of Telluride MusicFest and have often been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “St. Paul Sunday.” In 2003, they were the subject of a documentary video, “Trio Solisti Explores Beethoven,” directed by Academy Award nominee Josh Aronson. Sponsored by the LAT Foundation.


Schubert: Nocturne, Brahms: C minor Trio, Brahms: Hungarian Dances Nos 1 and 5, Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango

Saturday, March 7

The Biava Quartet, winner of the 2003 Naumburg Chamber Music Award, is recognized as one of today’s top young American quartets. In 2007, they were appointed as the Lisa Arnhold Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School. They previously were the graduate quartet in residence at the Yale University School of Music, where they served as teaching assistants to the Tokyo Quartet. Violinists Austin Hartman and Hyunsu Ko, violist Mary Persin and cellist Jason Calloway have performed in major music halls throughout the world, including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress and London’s Wigmore Hall. In 2006, they received a grant from Chamber Music America. Biava’s festival appearances include Aspen, Mostly Mozart and with Itzhak Perlman.

Mozart: Quartet in B flat major KV 458 “Hunt”, Turina: La Oracion del Torero, Barber: Adagio for Strings, Grieg: Quartet no 1 in g minor op 27

Tuesday, March 10

Representing the Festival’s mission of promoting careers of young emerging artists, Di Wu will make her Sanibel debut. Singled out in the 2008 Musical America feature, Young Artists: More Thrills of Discovery, as one of the “up-and-coming talents” in the classical music world, pianist Di Wu’s reputation as an artist to be watched continues to grow. In May 2009, as the winner of the 2008 Juilliard William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award, she will appear in recital at the Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center.

Haden: Sonata in C major, Hob. 16/48, Schumann: Davidsbudlertanze op. 6, Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit, Liszt: Valse De L’Opera Faust, s. 407,

Saturday, March 14

Cellist David Finckel and his pianist wife, Wu Han have served as the Artistic Directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004. They are also the founders and Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival in Silicon Valley that has garnered international acclaim since its inception in 2003. Wu Han has mesmerized SMF audiences in solo recitals, in duo performances with her husband, and as soloist with the Pacifica String Quartet. David Finckel is the cellist of the renowned Emerson String Quartet. Sponsored by Roz and Jim Marks.

Corigliano: Fantacy on a Bach Air for Solo Cello, Janacek: Poladka for Cello and Piano (Fairy Tale), Edwin Finckel: Brief Encounter, Schumann: Phantasiestucke for Clarinet or Cello and Piano, Glazunov: Chant Du Menestrel op 71, Grieg: Sonata for cello and piano in A minor op 36

Tuesday, March 17

Now in its 35th year, the Prazak String Quartet is firmly established as one of chamber music’s pre-eminent string ensembles. Formed at the Prague Conservatory when the original quartet members, including violist Josef Kluson and Josef Prazak were students, they soon began to win top prizes, such as the Evian and the Prague International Competition. Since then, the quartet has been joined by violinists Vaclav Remes and Vlastimil Holek and cellist Michal Kanka. Their instruments include a circa 1730 first violin and a 1710 cello. The quartet, who has gained attention for its place in the unique Czech quartet tradition and its musical virtuosity, is a regular guest in major international capitals and festivals, as well as at U.S. venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Sponsored by Lee Seidler & Gene Harrison and Janet & Joseph Davie.

Richter: Divertimento for String Quartet op 5 no 1, Janacek: Quartet no 1 “Kreutzer”, Dvorak: String Quartet no 12 in F major “American”

Saturday, March 21

Opera Theater of Connecticut is returning to SMF after triumphal appearances in 2007 and 2008. A select group of six of the company’s vocal artists will present an exciting new program of opera highlights. Artistic Director Alan Mann adds his witty and informative commentary before each selection. Several of the company’s gifted young singers who have performed at the Festival through the years have gone on to the Met, the New York City Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. This year’s voices: Soprano Rachel Watkins; Soprano Sarah Heltzel; Tenor Victor Khodadad; Baritone Mark Womack; Bass Nicholas Masters and Tenor David Ossenfort. Kate Ford, co-founder of the company, serves as General Director. Concert is sponsored by the Estate of Christine Johnson.


Opera’s Divine Moments – Scenes from Your Favorite Operas

Rigoletto, Verdi – Act IV excerpts including the Quartet and the “Storm Scene”; The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart – Act I, Scene ii (in English); Carmen, Bizet – Act IV, finale; Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti – Act II, Scene ii excerpts including the “Wedding Scene” and the Sextet; Die Fledermaus, Strauss – Act II and the “Party Scene”(in English)

Tuesday, March 24

The Pacifica String Quartet is the resident quartet at both the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. They have swept top prizes in several leading international competitions from the Cleveland Quartet Award to the Naumburg. They were only the second chamber music ensemble to be selected for the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Violinists Simin Ganatra and Sibbi Bernhardsson, violist Masumi Per Rostad and cellist Brandon Vamos are known for their virtuosity and exuberant performance style. They tour the world’s major concert halls and are often heard on Chicago’s WFMT, Boston’s WGBH and NPR’s Performance Today.

Sponsored by Sue & Tom Pick.

Mendelssohn: Quartet in E minor op 44 no 2, Legeti: Quartet no 1, Mendelssohn Capriccio in E minor op 81 no 3 Beethoven: Quartet in f minor op 95 “Serioso”

Tickets may be purchased for the seven concert series at $200, a savings of $30, by contacting the Sanibel Music Festival, P.O. Box 1623, Sanibel Fl, 33957-1623 or by calling 239-336-7999. Single tickets may be purchased by mail or phone and are available at Bailey’s store, MacIntosh Bookshop or Sanibel Island Bookshop.

The Sanibel Music Festival, celebrating its 23rd season, presents world renowned artists during the month of March at the Congregational church on Sanibel Island. Incorporated in 1987 as a non-for-profit organization, its mission is to present classical music of the highest standard at affordable prices and to promote the careers of young artists through performance opportunities.