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Season Opener Is September 17-Newtown Friends Of Music Announce Complete Line-Up For 2006-07 Season



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Season Opener Is September 17—

Newtown Friends Of Music Announce

Complete Line-Up For 2006-07 Season

For the coming season of “exquisite music – superbly performed,” as promised by its motto, Newtown Friends of Music has invited six groups of first class musicians to present concerts at Edmond Town Hall. NFoM will also sponsor two of the groups when they give two School Outreach Programs at the middle school and at the high school.

All concerts take place on Sunday afternoons and already, two thirds of the tickets have been sold. Season tickets, that is tickets for all six concerts, are sold at a steep discount from tickets sold for just one concert and are still available.

Members of the Program Committee of Newtown Friends of Music attend competitions, concerts, recitals, etc in this country and abroad and audition all artists before they invite them to perform on the Newtown stage. All musicians are graduates of prominent music schools who have already performed extensively and garnered recognition and praise.

Some of the selected artists are quite young; others have been performing for many years and, indeed, have appeared before Newtown audiences in the past. All are extremely talented, well trained with highly developed musicality and all have charming stage presence. The choice of music that will be performed rests mostly with the musicians themselves and they often perform music that they have just recently recorded on CDs.

Generally speaking, the classics will be on most programs, reaching back to the 18th Century and covering the classic and romantic periods, with some 20th Century music included. Also, some of the musicians have commissioned music for their particular set of instruments, which also will be premiered in the concert series.

An exciting young piano trio, the Amelia Piano Trio, will open the season on September 17. The musicians — violinist Anthea Kreston, cellist Jason Duckles, and pianist Rieko Aizawa — were recently been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today.” Also, they have been in a 16 day-long residence in nearby Middletown. All three are professors at The Hartt School of Music in Hartford.

On October 22, The Parker String Quartet will make its debut appearance for NFoM.

The quartet took home the coveted first prize in the 2005 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and NFoM awarded them, right on the spot, a performance prize. The four young musicians — Daniel Chong and Karen Kim, violins, Jessica Bodner, viola, and Kee-Hyun Kim, cello — were gifted students at Boston’s New England Conservatory, where they were designated as its Honors Ensemble in 2002 and 2003. Allan Kozinn, music critic for The New York Times, found their performance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall “something extraordinary.”

The musicians will stay overnight in Newtown, as guests of NFoM, and will work with Newtown Middle School students on Monday, October 23. In cooperation with the music department, school outreach programs are given by NFoM at no cost to the school system or the Newtown taxpayer.

NFoM feels an obligation to familiarize Newtown students with the excellence and dedication shown by professional musicians in reaching their goals of excellence. This will be the fifth year this program is in place.

The dazzling pianist Soyeon Lee will perform a recital in Newtown on November 5. Last year’s piano recital by the Russian pianist Katia Skanavi had to be rescheduled because of a memorable snowstorm that made it impossible for anyone to reach Newtown. This year the Friends hope that the weather will be more cooperative.

Ms Lee is the winner of the 2004 Concert Artists Guild International Competition and she has been heard live on WQXR, as well as in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Alice Tully Hall.

Newtown Friends of Music will not have any concerts in December, allowing for other groups to offer their own Christmas concerts. But spring 2007 will see three more concerts.

On February 11, cellist Soo Bae, accompanied on the piano by Ying-Chien Lin, will perform much-loved cello music.

The famed cellist Mstislav “Slava” Rostropovich said: “People everywhere need beauty in their lives – beautiful sounds and beautiful music. The cello makes the most beautiful sound of all. We must give this beauty to the world.”

Newtown Friends of Music tries to include a variety of performances and a diverse selection of musical numbers in every season. Many a concertgoer finds something extraordinary in the tone of a cello and there are never any empty seats when a cellist is on the program.

On March 11, the Walden Chamber Players, from Arlington, Mass., will bring five of their best musicians to perform a Mozart flute quartet, some flute and viola duets, as well as a Schumann and a Mozart piano quartet.

Piano quartets are extremely popular with audiences and the additional flute is a special nod to woodwind lovers. Viola performer Christof Huebner is the leader of this ensemble. Performing with him will be flutist Marianne Gedigian, violinist Irina Muresanu, cellist Ashima Scripp, and pianist Jonathan Bass.

The musicians will stay overnight in Newtown, again as guests of NFoM, and will work with Newtown High School music students on Monday, March 12.

The season finale will see a return of the fabulous St Petersburg String Quartet, one of the premier string ensembles performing on this and all other continents. Alla Aranovskaya and Alla Krolevich play violins; Boris Vayner, viola; and Leonid Shukayev, cello.

NFoM is pleased to announce that they have been able to re-engage these four outstanding musicians, whose plaudits and credits could fill the entire page, for another concert at Edmond Town Hall.

The town hall, at 45 Main Street (Route 25) in Newtown, now has a beautifully working elevator for those patrons who find climbing the stairs difficult; it serves all floors. All seats in the auditorium are good ones and the acoustics are superb.

Children are invited to all concerts free of charge when accompanied by a ticket holding adult. An informal reception follows each concert to meet the artists.

Parking is free and plentiful in the parking lots behind Edmond Town Hall.

For more information, to obtain a free brochure, or to learn more about the concerts presented by Newtown Friends of Music, call 426-6470 or visit NewtownFriendsOfMusic.org.

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