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March brings up-and-coming Chamber Music talent to Sanibel

By Staff | Feb 24, 2016

The Jasper String Quartet will be performing on Sanibel Saturday, March 5, for the Sanibel Music Festival. PHOTO PROVIDED

The month of March will be a magical one for island chamber music enthusiast, as the Sanibel Music Festival will kickoff Tuesday, March 1, at the Sanibel Congregational Church, located on 2050 Periwinkle Way.

Kobrin, Schwartz and Warner Piano Trio will start a month-long series of top chamber music talent coming to Sanibel. The performances will start at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Tickets are $45 each, except Tuesday, March 22, performance of Olga Kern on piano, which will be $50.

“Paying only $45 is pretty cheap, compared to the $150 at Carneige Hall for this kind of talent,” said Sanibel Music Festival organizer Jana Stone. “We’ll be hosting world-class musicians who are young and up-and-coming.”

The series starts off with the piano trio of Alexander Kobrin, violinist Sergiu Schwartz and cellist Wendy Warner. The three are prize-winning musicians and will bring a distinguished sound to the island.

The Jasper String Quartet will perform March 5, with their Cleveland Quartet Award from 2012 in tow. They are a Professional Quartet-In-Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians.

Olga Kern, a Cliburn Gold Medalist, will perform for the Sanibel Music Festival series Tuesday, March 22. PHOTO PROVIDED

David Finckel and Wu Han will play their cello and piano duet. The married couple serve as Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2004.

Finckel is the original cellist of the renowned Emerson String Quartet.

Vadym Kholodenko will perform on piano March 12, and is a 2013 Cliburn Gold Medalist. His performances “brought the audience to their feet, cheering a rock star” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“An Evening of Cole Porter” will be held March 15, with the Opera Theater of Connecticut performing. The OTC is compromised of six professional singers performing the songs of Cole Porter.

The OTC will also present the “Mozart Masterpieces” March 19, as well.

David Finkel and Wu Han will play a cello and piano duet Tuesday, March 8, for the Sanibel Music Festival. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Sanibel Music Festival’s grand finale will be piano sensation Olga Kern, who is a Cliburn Gold Medalist.

The process of selecting these young, talented musicians is done by a 12-volunteer board.

“They are always looking for emerging talent,” Stone said. “They work with agents and they will submit a list of musicians to choose from. Finckel has been a regular favorite the last few years.”

The Sanibel Music Festival doesn’t only draw from the island, but around the area and as far as Naples, where the genre of chamber music is popular.

“The taste for chamber music is small, more selective,” Stone said. “It’s a very targeted audience. We pick March to hold the festival because that’s our biggest tourist month.”

The Sanibel Congregational Church is also the perfect setting for the performances. The church can hold up to 350 people, but the concerts regularly attract up to 200 per night.

“A church is such a perfect venue because the acoustics are so good that you can hear a pin drop,” Stone said. “Chamber music is a personal kind of art form and it’s not diminishing at all. And there’s nothing like experiencing live music.”

For ticket information and a detailed brochure, contact the Festival’s Hot Line at 239-344-7025 or visit the website www.sanibelmusicfestival.org.

Tickets may be ordered online. Single tickets are available at Bank of the Islands, 1699 Periwinkle Way, and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, 2477 Library Way on Sanibel Island.