The Eastern Music Festival continues, offering daily opportunities to enjoy live music. During the first full week, CVNC's critic took in two impressive events: the annual piano gala and a stellar reading of Sibelius' Violin Concerto by Joshua Bell. The piano gala involved strings, and distinguished ones at that: Half of Duke's Ciompi Quartet and two artists from the Charlotte Symphony formed a quartet to accompany EMF faculty pianists Gideon Rubin, James Giles and Yoshikazu Nagai in Mozart's 11th, 12th and 13th concerti, often played as a set. Two days later, on July 1, Bell and Principal Conductor Gerard Schwarz performed Sibelius' Concerto along with music by Aaron Jay Kernis and Richard Strauss in a concert involving the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra. Kernis' Musica celestis proved to be a soft-spoken but winning score with strong spiritual overtones. A suite from Der Rosenkavalier demonstrated Schwarz's abilities as an orchestrator, and Bell proved radiant in the concluding work, melting lots of Finnish ice with his passion and fire.
Coming up in Week 3 of the EMF are two masterclasses (offering great learning opportunities for music lovers as well as musicians), a recital offered by young pianists, two faculty chamber music programs and a recital by visiting tenor Anthony Dean Griffey of the Metropolitan Opera. Two student-orchestra concerts feature two 20th-century works and a free outdoor pops concert, plus a headline program with cellist Xavier Phillips and the Eastern Philharmonic under the baton of Stefan Sanderling. That sure-to-please program begins with Wagner's Meistersinger prelude and includes Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. No excuses. Get to Greensboro.
Recommended Reviews from CVNC
EMF's Steinway Mozart Gala on the Road at Elon University by William Thomas Walker
Terry Mizesko's "Last Voyage..." Highlights Summerfest Concert by John W. Lambert