Wednesday, August 19, 2015

John Kamfonas and Eric Edberg in Final 2015 Concert

Our final Greencastle Summer Music Festival concert of the year is tonight at 7:30 PM in the sanctuary of Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.

Pianist John Kamfonas "our" American in Paris (he's doing graduate study there), is performing solo piano music by Scarlatti, Beethoven(the famous "Tempest" sonata) and Katchaturian. After intermission, I'll join him in two mystical and meditative works, Spiegel im Spiegel by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, and the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Alan Hovhaness. The Hovhaness in particular is quite exciting for me--rarely performed, and not recorded (until this week), it's an extraordinarily beautiful piece.

There's sure to be some improvisation by one or both of us, too.

Hope to see you there! 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"The Breeze Bends The Grass" This Week

This Wednesday at 7:30 PM,, the Greencastle Summer Music Festival presents songs and readings from The Breeze Bends the Grass, a musical theatre event focusing on important woman artists from the turn of the 20th century: painter Marie Goth; metal artist Janet Payne Bowles; landscaper Selma Steele; and ceramicists, The Overbeck Sisters. 

No tickets are required for the performance in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church. The Festival is funded by donations at performances, an endowment at the Putnam County Community Foundation, and gifts from individual and business sponsors, including the Inn at DePauw.

Funded by the Indiana Arts Commission's Individual Artist Grant, and sponsored by Women's Way, The Breeze Bends the Grass was written by award-winning writers Arbutus Cunningham, T.K. Lee and Krista Detor, the cast includes both writers along with stellar performers Amanda Biggs, Lara Lynn Weaver, & Kate Braun.

The performances are powerful, the subject matter intriguing – both historically and emotionally. The piece aims to bring to light the lives and struggles of women artists amidst the Arts & Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th century - and in the end, your glimpse into a time long-past may very well alter your view of the time in which you live: Maybe you take note of the light in the last moments of dusk.. maybe you name the hue of a rooftop.. maybe, unexpectedly, you see it – the way the breeze bends the grass.

"The performances in The Breeze Bends the Grass are hauntingly powerful, and the women they portray will speak to the soul of every person who has ever been determined to live who they really are." - WNC Magazine

The Festival concludes next week with a concert by classical and improvising pianist John Kamfonas and cellist Eric Edberg, festival founder and artistic director. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Singer/Songwriter, Storyteller, and Actor Tim Grimm and Friends This Week

The Greencastle Summer Music Festival moves into the folk genre this week as the popular singer-songwriter, storyteller and actor Tim Grimm appears at 7:30 PM Wednesday in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church. 

No tickets are required for the event--the festival's performances are supported by free-will donations, individual contributors, an endowment at the Putnam County Community Foundation, and the Inn at DePauw.

Grimm says, "I'll be joined by Jan Lucas-Grimm, my wife on harmony vocals and harmonica, Connor Grimm, my son, on bass, Diederik van Wassenaer on fiddle, and Eric Lambert on guitar. In the first set, we'll focus on songs from my latest release, "The Turning Point." After intermission, the 2nd set will feature songs of the rural Midwest." 

Festival founder and director Eric Edberg says he's particularly excited about this week's event. "One of our main goals is to use live music bring the community together in an informal and interactive environment, with 'friends making music for friends.' In recent years we've expanded our offerings to include folk, jazz, blues and even rock music. This is part of those efforts--and having Tim perform with members of his family as well as music friends is what we're all about. I'm sure the regular concertgoers and our guest performers will make a lot of new friends this Wednesday."

Tim Grimm has toured and recorded with his friend, the legendary (and 2-time Grammy winner) Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, appeared with Harrison Ford in the film Clear and Present Danger, and has shared the stage with writer and poet-farmer Wendell Berry. His recording, The Back Fields was named Best Americana Album in the 2006 Just Plain Folks Music Awards in Los Angeles (the largest and most diverse music awards in the world). Named 2000’s “BEST DISCOVERY in Roots/Americana Music” by The Chicago Sun-Times,  and “2004 MALE ARTIST of The Year” by the Freeform American Roots DJs, his songs and performances have established him as a unique voice in Americana music.  Each of his past 4 recordings have reached the top of the Folk, American-roots or Euro-Americana charts. Grimm walks the fine line between folk and country, while maintaining a strong footing in tradition.  We hear the rural rumblings that have shaped his life, but we are also invited into a bigger picture, as evident in so much of his work. Critics searching for comparisons most often cite Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie and (Nebraska era) Bruce Springsteen.  Tim is an award-winning songwriter, and actor on stage and screen .  After several years working in Los Angeles (where he co-starred for 2 seasons on the NBC drama Reasonable Doubts and appeared in several films), Tim returned home to Indiana. 

He grew up in the woods and small town settings of southern Indiana, son of schoolteachers and grandson of farmers, and his return home was a conscious choice to live a life of significance rather than one of “success’. He now lives with his wife and sons on an 80 acre farm close to where he grew up. Tim’s songs are full of the rural rumblings that have shaped his life—rich with descriptive details
, and sung with warmth and intimacy—recognizing the inextinguishable national romance with the idea of the family farm and the vanishing landscape of rural America. His recordings include Heart Land (2000), Amber Waves (with Jason Wilber 2001), Coyote’s Dream (2003),  NAMES (2004),  The Back Fields (2005), Holding Up The World (2008) and Farm Songs (2010). His recordings appear on Vault Records, WInd River Records and Corazong Records. In 2007, Grimm put together a concept cd with several of the Midwest’s finest songwriter’s—including Corazong artist-- Krista Detor, Carrie Newcomer, Tom Roznowski, and Michael White. The recording, Wilderness Plots, was drawn from the short stories of noted author, Scott Russell Sanders, and explored the settling of the American Wilderness in the Ohio River Valley Region between The Revolutionary War and The Civil War. A PBS arts documentary of the show and it's background was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Tim has performed in theatres and coffeehouses around the United States and parts of Europe, as well as significant Festivals, including the Kerrville Folk Festival, Wildflower Festival, Fox Valley, The Gamble Rogers Folk Festival, the Pawtucket Arts Festival, the Indiana Festival at Conner Prairie and  he hosts the Americana Music Series in Indiana. He continues to act in film, most recently in The Express, with Dennis Quaid.

The festival will continue next week with the four-woman music theater event "The Breeze Bends the Grass" on Wednesday August 12. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

English Music and Poetry Wednesday at Gobin with Three Generations of the Guest Family

 This week's 7:30 PM Greencastle Summer Music Festival concert is a celebration of English poetry and music, as well as the joys of family, as clarinetist Gareth Guest returns to town to perform with his daughter, the violinist and violist Allison Edberg Nyquist, his granddaughter, actress Kullan Sinclair Edberg of New York's Battalion Theater, and pianist Claude Cymerman. 

No tickets are required for the performance at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, which like all festival concerts is supported by the Inn at DePauw, an endowment at the Putnam County Community Foundation, individual donations, and free-will offerings. 

"Our festival motto is 'bringing the community together with friends making music for friends,'" says Eric Edberg, the DePauw music professor who has been organizing the festival since 2005. "This week it's 'family making music for friends.' Not only do we have three generations of Gareth's family, but also Claude Cymerman is such a close friend that he's truly part of the family. Kullan and her brother have called him 'Uncle Claude' their entire lives.'"

The program features poetry by Gerard Manly Hopkins and music by Ralph Vaughn Williams, Rebecca Clarke, Paul Read, and Gerald Finzi.
Allison Edberg Nyquist

Clarinetist and nuclear physicist Gareth Guest worked his way through Vanderbilt University playing in jazz groups and big bands in the Nashville Area, going on to earn a doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of Wisconsin. While working for the federal government in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, he was principal clarinet of the Oak Ridge Symphony; after moving to California, first working for General Dynamics and then as a partner in Applied Microwave Plasma Concepts, Guest continued daily practice as well as regular classical and jazz performances. "It's the best therapy," says Guest. "Life wouldn't be the same without making music." Festival director Edberg says of Guest, "His performances have been among the most talked-about we've had. He plays with incredible technical assurance, soulful musicality, and does some of the most intelligent and interesting phrasing I've ever heard. Every detail has been worked out. Now an octogenarian, he continues performing professionally and recently published a textbook on microwave plasma physics.

Allison Edberg Nyquist (Gareth's daughter) is concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, a member of Ensemble Voltaire, The Vivaldi Project, and Baroque Band (Chicago). She is also the new adjunct professor of baroque violin at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music. She performs frequently with Chatham Baroque, the Washington Bach Consort, and at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival.

Kullan Edberg
Kullan Edberg (Gareth's granddaughter) is a founding member of Battalion Theatre, an NYC-based, actor-driven ensemble. Reviews have called her "a fantastic actress, breathing life" into her character, and "something to behold." The youngest person ever to win the Putnam County Playhouse's annual "Hammie" award, she was the 2009 Greencastle High School valedictorian, and graduated in 2013 from New York Univeristy's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied at the Stella Adler Studios. 

Pianist Claude Cymerman has had an international career since winning the Grand Prize in the Long-Thibaud Competition as a young man. Named "outstanding pianist" by French President Georges Pompidou, he has played with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. He retired as the Siegesmund Professor of Music at DePauw University in 2014. 

The Festival will continue on Wednesday August 5 with a special performance by singer/songwriter, storyteller, and actor Tim Grimm. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Otero and Edberg Offer "An Evening in Buenos Aires" Wednesday

Soulful Grammy-winning pianist and composer Fernando Otero, hailed by the New York Times for his "brilliant playing" that fuses tango, jazz and classical music, returns to the Greencastle Summer Music Festival at 7:30 p.m. this Wednesday, performing in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.

Otero will be joined by the festival's founder, the critically-acclaimed cellist Eric Edberg. The program, titled "An Evening in Buenos Aires" will include selections from the duo's upcoming album "Nocturnes," music by Otero for cello and piano. 

No tickets are required for the concert; free will offerings are accepted and the festival is supported by donations from individuals, an endowment at the Putnam County Community Foundation and the Inn at DePauw.

Otero, who has a major international career, first gained prominence in 2000 with his debut and eponymous album, a collection of pieces recorded in Buenos Aires in the early '90s, before moving his residence to New York. Afterward he released "Chamber Music", "Siderata", "Plan", "Revision", "Expansion" and in 2008 his acclaimed debut album on Nonesuch Records: "Pagina de Buenos Aires" . After the release of "Material" in 2009 by Warner Music, with his new album titled "Vital" (Harmonia Mundi), he won the Latin Grammy for Best Classical album in 2010.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Barbara Paré and Tony Weinstein Perform Viennese Songs This Wednesday

Soprano Barbara Paré and pianist Tony Weinstein perform "The Viennese Melting Pot," songs by Brahms, Strauss, and Mahler, in this week's Greencastle Summer Music Festival concert at 7:30 PM Wednesday July 15 at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.

No tickets are required; concerts are funded through free-will offerings and donations, an endowment at the Putnam County Community Foundation, and support from local businesses, including the Inn at DePauw.

This week's concert has been funded by the Greencastle Fireside Knitters in memory of Gail Hurst, an award-winning knitter, who was a regular at the festival concerts until she passed away in August 2014.

The festival will continue next week on Wednesday July 22 with Grammy-winning Argentinian pianist Fernado Otero and cellist Eric Edberg, the festival's founder, playing Otero's own compositions, a fusion of tango, jazz, and classical elements.

Barbara Paré has extensive solo and operatic experience, having performed with a variety of nationally-known opera companies, including the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Cincinnati Opera Summer Festival, the Ensemble Company of Cincinnati Opera, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and Opera Iowa. Her operatic experience has included roles in staged productions of Cendrillion, Carmen, The Barber of Seville, and The Bartered Bride, and a concert performance of the Die Zauberflöte with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed as a soloist with the Cincinnati Ballet, and presented numerous recitals at colleges and universities, including the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Northern Kentucky University, and Western State College. She has recorded Bernard Gilmore’s Five Folksongs for Soprano and Band on the Klavier Label, with the Cincinnati Wind Symphony, under the direction of Eugene Migliaro Corporon. She is active as an adjudicator and clinician for the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and the Indiana Music Teachers Association (IMTA). In addition, she has also been a participant in the Grandin Festival for vocal chamber music, and is a faculty advisor for the DePauw chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from Westminster Choir College and Master of Music degree in voice performance from Florida State University. Her major teachers have included Patricia Berlin, Barbara Doscher, Yvonne Ciannella, and Lindsey Christiansen. Professor Paré is also certified in Levels I, II, and III in Somatic Voicework, The LoVetri Method at Shenandoah University, as well as participated in W. Stephen Smith’s Seminar at Northwestern University, “The Naked Voice”, during the summer of 2012. She is also an active teacher in the DePauw Preparatory Program Before joining the faculty at DePauw University, Professor Paré taught at Northern Kentucky University, Florida State University, Western State College, and Simpson College.

Tony Weinstein holds B.M. and B.A. degrees from Oberlin College and M.M., P.D., and Doctor of Music degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He is entering his sixth year at DePauw, where he teaches secondary piano, Advanced Keyboard Skills, Piano Literature, and Piano Pedagogy, serves on the accompanying staff, and directed the student Accompanying Center. For the past five summers he has been on the faculty of IU's Summer Piano Academy and, for over ten years, has been a year-round instructor of piano and theory for IU’s Young Pianists Program. He had also taught at Vincennes University and had been an Associate Instructor of Piano and Music Theory at the Jacobs School. In addition to his activities as a solo recitalist, he is an avid collaborative pianist and chamber music partner.

A fourth-generation musician who grew up in what is now Ukraine, Tony pursued a number of other interests when young, coming to "pre-professional" piano study significantly later than his heritage—the juggernaut that is the Russian musical tradition—would deem acceptable. As a child, he sang in an award-winning choir with which he won prestigious competitions in Cantonigrós (Catalonia, Spain) and Varna (Bulgaria) and performed in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and all over the former USSR. Following his family's immigration to Cincinnati, he found his way, almost by accident, to the School for Creative and Performing Arts and gradually grew more serious about the piano under the guidance of Derison Duarte. He went on to study piano performance (with Haewon Song and Sedmara Rutstein), as well as music history and pure mathematics at Oberlin, where he graduated with Honors and completed a research project in commutative algebra. Once having met Professor Luba Edlina-Dubinsky, at a summer chamber music program, he could not imagine continuing his studies anywhere but Indiana University. Thus far, he has continued to evade a narrowly focused career, teaching piano and an array of other music subjects to students of widely varying ages and backgrounds. He is in demand as accompanist and vocal coach, with special emphasis on Russian lyric diction, and he performs in piano duo with his wife Karina Avanesian as well as piano-cello duo with Israeli cellist Yotam Baruch. He is currently involved, along with his sister, mezzo-soprano Yana Weinstein, in a project of performances, translations, and IPA transcriptions of the songs of Nicolai Medtner. His recent concert appearances include the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana State Univ., Univ. of Louisville, the Taft Museum in Cincinnati, and Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Beethoven and the Archduke" Wednesday at 7:30 PM

Photo: Jiawei Fang
Virtuoso pianist Eugenio Urrutia and Indianapolis Symphony violinist Patrick Dalton-Holmes join cellist Eric Edberg as the Greencastle Summer Music Festival continues Wednesday night at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church with “Beethoven and the Archduke,” an evening of chamber music by perhaps the greatest composer of all time. No tickets are required; the festival is supported by free-will offerings, donations, an endowment at the Putnam County Community Foundation, and local businesses, including the Inn at DePauw.

The concert’s title comes from the concert’s concluding work, a four-movement piece for piano, violin and cello. “It’s known as the ‘Archduke Trio,’” explains Edberg, the festival’s director and a DePauw music professor, “because it was written for Beethoven’s friend and patron Archduke Rudolf, who was also his student. It’s one of the greatest pieces of small-ensemble music ever composed. And it was perhaps the last piece Beethoven ever performed in public. He had been a great pianist, but his deafness was making it increasingly difficult for him to actually hear what he was doing.”

The festival’s motto is “friends making music for friends,” and Edberg says this concert shows the historical roots of the concept. “In the early 1800s, most music was performed not for an anonymous paying audience; ticketed public concerts were just beginning. All the music we are performing this week, including two sonatas for violin and piano, came into being because of the friendship between Beethoven and other musicians, and was first performed by him and his friends for people in their social circle. We’ll tell the story of each piece Wednesday night.”

Edberg says he’s also excited about performing with Urrutia and Dalton-Holmes. “They are both outstanding musicians and great guys. I’ve been making music with each of them for years, but never the three of us together before. This is a very special concert for me.”

Patrick Dalton-Holmes is a native of Syracuse, New York. He began his study of the violin at age three. Dalton-Holmes earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a student of Paul Kantor. Before joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in March 2006, he played with the New World Symphony Orchestra (Florida) and as a substitute musician with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Away from music, Patrick enjoys golf, rooting for the Boston Red Sox and “if I feel like using my brain, anything including math, science and philosophy."

Award-winning pianist Eugenio Urrutia made his concert debut with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepcion at age eleven and the following year won the Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition and Concurso Jovenes Talentos. He has performed with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Chile, the New Millennium Orchestra of Indianapolis, The Akron Youth Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony (GA), Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepcion, Orquesta Clasica de Santiago(USACH), the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber, Orchestra Die NordwestDeutsche Philarmonie, Germany, and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Indianapolis, collaborating with conductors Wilfried Junge, Luis Urrutia, Patricio Cobos, Kypros Marcou, Toshiyuki Kamioka, Luis Gorelik, Mathew Kraemer and Stanley DeRusha.

As a recitalist and chamber musician, Urrutia has performed an extensive repertoire in South America, the United States, Germany and Russia collaborating with violinists Alexander Kerr and Laurie Carney, cellists William Grubb, and Andres Diaz, violists Roberto Diaz and Csaba Erdelyi, bandoneonist Pietro Antonio Soave, and clarinetist Frank Glover.