Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where's he been?

I’ve been having health issues in recent months; thus the few-and-far-between postings and absence of reviews over the summer. I’m especially sorry to have missed the Richmond Chamber Players’ Interlude concerts this month, which I’m told were experiences to savor.

I hope to be up and running – or at least reasonably mobile – in time for the new season.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Symphony taps new concertmaster

Diana Cohen, concertmaster of the Kalamazoo (MI) Symphony and one of several violinists sharing the concertmaster’s post in the Iris Orchestra of Memphis, will join the Richmond Symphony as its new concertmaster when its 2011-12 season commences in September.

Cohen also has served as concertmaster of the Charleston (SC) Symphony, American Repertory Orchestra and Red (an orchestra), and as principal second violin of the New York String Orchestra. She has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and International Sejong Soloists.

She is a member of the piano trio Trio Terzetto, and has played at a number of chamber-music festivals, including the Marlboro, Aspen and Taos festivals.

The violinist is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her father, Franklin Cohen, is principal clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra. Her late mother, Lynette Diers Cohen, was a noted bassoonist, and her brother, Alexander, is a timpanist.

Cohen’s stand-mate also will be a new face in Richmond. The symphony appointed violinist Jeanine Wynton, a Yale University alumna most recently playing in the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago, as its assistant concertmaster earlier in the summer.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chamber Players' Interlude 2011

The Richmond Chamber Players’ Interlude 2011, this year’s edition of the popular and long-running late-summer chamber-music series, opens on Aug. 7 with a program of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.

On the following three Sundays in August, the soundscape shifts mostly onto less familiar terrain, with works by Bela Bartók, Louis Spohr, Jean Françaix, Leo Smit, Erwin Schulhoff, William Grant Still, Gareth Farr and the Richmond-based Allan Blank. (Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, to be played on Aug. 21, is the sole 19th-century warhorse on the program schedule.)

The Chamber Players, directed by pianist John Walter, are composed of present and former members of the Richmond Symphony: violinists Catherine Cary and Susy Yim, violist Stephen Schmidt, cellist Neal Cary, flutist Mary Boodell, oboist Gustav Highstein, clarinetist David Niethamer, bassoonist Jonathan Friedman, French horn player Rachel Velvikis and a harpist to be announced.

Performances will begin at 3 p.m. at Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 W. Huguenot Road.

Series tickets are $64 for adults and $56 for seniors and students. Single tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors and students. Admission is free for those 18 and younger.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call (804) 272-7514, ext. 312.

Interlude 2011 dates and programs:

* Aug. 7 – Haydn: String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 76, No. 6; Mozart: Oboe Quartet in F major, K. 370; Mozart: Adagio and Fugue, K. 546, for string quartet; Beethoven: Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3.

* Aug. 14 – Leo Smit: Trio for flute, viola and harp; Allan Blank: Trio for clarinet, cello and piano; Bartók: String Quartet No. 1.

* Aug. 21 – Schubert: String Trio in B flat major, D. 471; Spohr: Quintet in C minor, Op. 52, for piano and winds; Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (“Trout”).

* Aug. 28 – Still: “Miniatures” for flute, oboe and piano; Farr: “Kembang Suling, three musical snapshots of Asia;” Schulhoff: “Five Pieces for String Quartet;” Françaix: “L’Heure du Berger.”