Warren Wilson College News

Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival’s 45th season continues till July 29

The Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, one of the longest running chamber music festivals in the United States, presents its 45th season to the listeners of Western North Carolina.

The five-week festival includes performances at Warren Wilson College’s Kittredge Theater July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 and at the Waynesville Performing Arts Center on June 29, July 6, 13, 20 and 27.

The first concert features the Enso String Quartet, pianist Inessa Zaretsky, and Bill Hoyt on horn. After opening with a Haydn string quartet we will hear the rarely performed Quintet for Horn and String Quartet by famous American songwriter, Alec Wilder. The quartet will then join Inessa and perform the famous Piano Quintet by Schumann.

Flutist George Pope, oboist Cynthia Watson, clarinetist David Bell, and bassoonist Lynn Hileman return to the festival and along with Hoyt open the second program with a lovely baroque quintet by Rameau. The Enso Quartet then joins Inessa for the unique Quintet in G Major for piano (for left hand alone) and string quartet by Franz Schmidt. This piece was written for the famous Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in WWI. The program ends with the Enso Quartet performing the third of the famous “Razumovsky Quartets” by Beethoven.

The third week is a celebration of American music. It features the wind players, pianist Zaretsky, and guest soprano Felicia Moore. The concert opens with Nine Anniversaries by Leonard Bernstein arranged by flutist Pope for woodwind quintet. Inessa then joins the quintet for the Concerto for Piano and Wind Quintet by Wallingford Riegger. Sandburg’s Corner, a set of songs for piano, flute and soprano was written by pianist Zaretsky and features poetry by Carl Sandburg, a resident of Western North Carolina. Love Songs Without Words is a witty arrangement of songs by Cole Porter. The final piece on the program is a world premier of an arrangement by Hoyt of one of the most beautiful pieces of the 20th century, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 by Samuel Barber for woodwind quintet, piano, and soprano.

We welcome back the Jasper Quartet for the fourth program along with bassist Philip Alejo as they join some of the wind players for the titanic Octet by Schubert. This massive, classic piece of chamber music will be preceded the delightful Caprice sur des airs Danois et Russes by Saint-Saens.

The final program opens with an early Beethoven quartet, the Opus 18 No. 3. Next, pianist Paul Nitsch returns to perform on the hauntingly beautiful Twilight Music by John Harbison for violin, horn, and piano.  The Jasper Quartet then ends the season with the lovely, romantic String Quartet in G Major by Dvořák.

All concerts begin at 7:30. Ticket prices are $21.40 for individual tickets and $80.25 for a series ticket. For more information about the programs and musicians, click here, call 828-771-3050 or email chamber@warren-wilson.edu.

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