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Musical Masters Make Way Here

By Staff | Feb 24, 2012

Proclaimed as "completely engrossing, powerful and elegant" by the Washington Post, the all-female Cavani String Quartet will launch the 26th Annual Sanibel Music Festival on March 3 at Sanibel Congregational Church

World masters in the making of music are preparing a tuneful touch down on Sanibel for the staging of the Sanibel Music Festival, an annual, if not auditory, celebration of sound inspired 26 years ago by the late Marilyn Lauriente.

Lauriente, who first visited Sanibel in 1981, was a renowned clarinetist, in fact, the first woman to hold a principal position for that instrument with the Grant Park Orchestra before doing the same with Lyric Opera of Chicago. A year after her arrival to Sanibel, Lauriente made even more musically-notable news in her restorative renditions of Mozart’s classic clarinet concerto.

She was an internationally respected musician, but locally, Lauriente didn’t feel that classical music was getting its due respect. She saw a need for Sanibel to do more in terms of serving listeners and through her efforts, Island stages were soon graced by internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles. Though Lauriente died in 1986, an all-volunteer Board of festival organizers have worked to keep her vision in focus, and in-tune. To that end, Co-Organizer Jan Stone assures this season of performances will be as outstanding as that from past years.

The festival opens March 3 with the Cavani String Quartet, an all-female ensemble musically merited as winner of the Naumberg Chamber Music Award. The quartet has been described by the Washington Post as “completely engrossing, powerful and elegant.” The quartet has additionally been chosen to do the Festival’s 2012 Educational Outreach Program at the Sanibel Elementary School,sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Community Bank.

On March 6, the festival will feature performances by The Weilerstein Trio, comprised by Violinist Donald Weilerstein, Pianist (and wife) Vivian Hornick-Weilerstein, and their Cellist (daughter)Alisa who has been described as one of the busiest soloists in the world. For this performance, however, Cellist Dan McDonough of the Jupiter String Quartet has been engaged to replace Alisa who had a scheduling conflict. Donald and Vivian Weilerstein are professors at the New England Conservatory as well as Juilliard; the Boston Globe reports that “passion is the hallmark of the Weilersteins’ playing.”

The Weilersteins are among several returning performers for the concert series; Stone says other returning favorites include the Jerusalem String Quartet, Di Wu, the American Chamber Players, and Opera Theater of Connecticut.

All concerts will be performed at 8:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the month of March at Sanibel Congregational Church (2050 Periwinkle Way).

Tickets may be purchased for the seven concert series at $230 by contacting the Sanibel Music Festival, P.O. Box 1623, Sanibel Fl, 33957-1623, or by phoning (239)344-7025. Single tickets may be purchased by mail, phone and are also available at Bank of the Islands (1699 Periwinkle Way) and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank (2477 Library Way). Additional ticket and performance details are available online at www.sanibelmusicfestival.org.

Organizers wish to credit the following sponsors for their support of this year’s festival: Lee County and Southwest Florida Community Foundation; Piano Distributors, Inc. and Yamaha Corporation of America; Mary Paige & Steven Abbott; and Congress Jewelers.