Sep 062013




Thursday, September 5, 2013

Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival artistic director Ara Gregorian walks a thin line in his consideration of the festival’s events.

On one hand, attempting to grow the festival to make it bigger and better each year seems a natural progression. On the other, scheduling too many performances risks the integrity of the festival as a whole.

Now in its 14th year, the festival will offer a new component — called Four Seasons Features —which, this year, will entail one performance focusing on the violin.

“The idea behind the features is that we’re going to take some kind of genre or medium or, in this case, it’s the violin, and really focus on that,” Gregorian said. “Our regular concerts all focus on chamber music, and so that’s kind of an equality amongst all of the instruments.”

The concert on Nov. 2 will feature Ástor Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

“Pairing these two things together, I’m really excited to present that and I think it will also be something that the audience really loves: the diversity between Vivaldi concertos, which everybody knows and loves, and Piazzolla is an Argentinian composer that bases a lot of his music on the Tango,” Gregorian said. “It’s a completely different take on the seasons, but I think the baroque style of Vivaldi and this Argentinian Tango style of Piazzolla going together, showing off the seasons in different ways I think will be a really neat thing to present to the audience.”

Ida Kavafian, Hagai Shaham, Hye-Jin Kim and Gregorian will each play two of the violin concertos in the performance.

The festival will open, however, with performances Thursday and Sept. 13 with its Season Opening Extravaganza featuring performances of Joaquin Turina’s Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 67, Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 60”and Antonín Dvorák’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in E Flat Major, Op. 87. Robert McDonald, piano, Hsin-Yun Huang, viola, and Colin Carr, cello, will join Gregorian playing the violin.

“It’s the first residency with two exciting concerts on those days with guest artists from Taiwan, England and the United States coming in,” Gregorian said. “We really expect the program to be a great way to start off the season.”

Quartet Classics will be the second residency program on Nov. 21-22 featuring Axel Strauss, violin; Maria Lambros, viola; Michael Kannen, cello and Gregorian, violin. Drama & Intrigue opens Jan. 16, 2014, featuring Adam Neiman, piano; Marcy Rosen, cello and Gregorian, violin.

Thomas Sauer, piano; Soovin Kim, violin; Elina Vähälä, violin; Gregorian, viola and Zvi Plesser, cello will perform in the season finale on April 10-11, 2014.

Interspersed throughout the residency performances in Greenville will be performances in New Bern and the Triangle area, as well as Next Generation concerts.

“The idea is to try to keep adding to the festival and growing the festival as it makes sense to do,” Gregorian said. “One thing that we’ve always tried to be cognizant of to do in addition to that is retaining the quality of what we present.

“The idea is that we continue developing and continue being able to offer as many things as possible to the community while retaining the standard of excellence that has become what we present through the years.”

Contact Natalie Sayewich at or 329-9596.

via The Daily Reflector.


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