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Second Annual University of Virginia Chamber Music Festival to Kick Off Feb. 1

The 2013 Chamber Music Festival, which offers listeners the opportunity to hear top chamber music performers from the University of Virginia faculty, begins Feb. 1.

Hosted by the McIntire Department of Music of the College of Arts & Sciences, the festival features performances by the Rivanna String Quartet and the Albemarle Ensemble, and faculty recitals for clarinet and bassoon, and for trumpet and violin. Several guests will also perform.

“We want to provide quality music in an intimate setting,” said Kelly Sulik, a flutist and member of the music performance faculty, who is organizing the festival. “With chamber music, people can have more of a one-on-one experience with the instrumentalists. You can hear the instruments up close and identify single voices in the musical structure, which is one of the great things about chamber music.”

The performances will be held in Old Cabell Hall, and tickets are $20 ($10 for students at the door, and free for children under 18 or U.Va. students who reserve tickets in advance). Festival passes are also available. Tickets are available through the Arts Box Office

The festival kicks off with a concert by the Rivanna String Quartet on Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. The group (Daniel Sender and David Sariti on violin, Ayn Balija on viola and Adam Carter on cello) will present a series of works written for string quartet that span centuries. The group will perform Mozart’s “Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K. 421,” one of his six string quartets dedicated to fellow composer Joseph Haydn. The group will also present selections from “John’s Book of Alleged Dances,” a series of 10 dances written by John Adams in 1994. Of his work, Adams noted, “These dances were ‘alleged’ because the steps for them had yet to be invented (although by now a number of choreographers, including Paul Taylor, have created pieces around them).”

To conclude the program, pianist Mimi Tung will join the quartet for Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57.”

The festival’s second concert highlights U.Va. faculty members Rob Patterson on clarinet and Elizabeth Roberts on bassoon, who will collaborate with pianist John Mayhood in recital on Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. The group will perform Mikhail Glinka’s “Trio Pathétique,” a four-movement work that highlights the soaring lyricism and technical demands of the Russian composer’s music. Roberts will perform Maurice Allard’s “Variations on a Theme of Paganini” for solo bassoon, a showpiece whose melodies will be immediately recognizable to fans of Niccolò Paganini’s set of virtuosic violin caprices. The recital also features works by Jean Françaix, Francis Poulenc and Hector Villa-Lobos. Patterson will perform Mario Davidovsky’s “Synchronisms No. 12” for clarinet and electronics, and the trio will perform Mendelssohn’s timeless Concertpieces Nos. 1 and 2 to bookend their performance.

Patterson and Roberts will be joined by their colleagues Aaron Hill, Susan Fritts and Kelly Sulick in a performance by the Albemarle Ensemble, U.Va.’s resident faculty woodwind quintet. The Albemarle Ensemble will present a potpourri of musical works on Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. Together with pianist Mayhood, they will perform Mozart’s “Quintet in E Flat Major for Piano and Winds, K. 452.” The piece, which Mozart considered to be one of his strongest works, was composed less than one year after the “String Quartet No. 15 in D Minor,” also featured on the series.

In an effort to explore the rich and varied textures of the woodwind family, the Albemarle Ensemble will present several smaller chamber works by Frederic Duvernoy, Georges Auric and Alberto Ginast era. The group will conclude their recital with Carl Nielsen’s “Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn and Bassoon, Op. 43.”

The festival’s final concert is scheduled for Feb. 10 at 1:30 p.m. U.Va. faculty members Daniel Sender, violin, and Paul Neebe, trumpet, will collaborate with some of the region’s most talented musicians.

Sender will be joined by Kenneth Slowik, artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, on harpsichord. Together, they will perform Biagio Marini’s “Sonata Terza ‘La Variata’ and J.S. Bach’s “Sonata No. 1 in B Minor for Violin and Harpsichord.” Sender will also collaborate with pianist Shelby Sender on Edward Elgar’s “Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 82.”

Neebe will join forces with two Virginia Tech faculty members, Jason Crafton, assistant professor of trumpet, and Tracy Cowden, associate professor of piano and vocal coach, to present works for two trumpets and piano, including music by Herbert L. Clarke, Léo Delibes, and Joseph Turrin. Also included on the program are former U.Va. faculty member Carl Roskott’s “Concerto for Trumpet,” and David Macbride’s “Echo Cannon” for two trumpets. Neebe, Crafton and Cowden will also present “Double Entendre,” a newly composed work by Virginia Tech composer Jason Holliday that was written for the trio.

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