Concerts fill the air around Music Fest

Patrick Yost Community

Spring is here and so is the music. Two more concerts were held last week as part of the ongoing 16th Annual Chamber Music Festival through the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. The festival runs through June 10.

On Saturday, May 19, the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art hosted a performance by the Christiania Quartet, which features Chris Rex, David Coucheron, Julie Coucheron and new member Julianne Lee.

“The beautiful Steffen Thomas Museum of Art sets the stage for a perfect afternoon concert,” said the MMCC.

The Christiania Quartet’s program included renditions of works by Mozart, Korngold, Beriot, Halvorsen, and Schumann.

On Sunday, May 20, Rachel Barton Pine performed in the MMCC auditorium. The Washington Post praised Barton’s talent in a recent review article. “An exciting, boundary-defying [violinist] – Pine displays a power and confidence that puts her in the top echelon,” said the Post. Barton performed a variety of Music by Eastern European and American composers during her elegant concert Sunday afternoon.

Every year, the MMCC presents the Chamber Music Festival to showcase nationally-known musical artists to the local community in some of the most beloved venues.

The next concerts will be The Hot Club of San Francisco featuring Isabelle Fontaine on Friday June 1, at 8 p.m. at Empire Mills Marsden Hall. According to the MMCC, “This ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians celebrates the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pioneering Quintette du Hot Club de France with style and panache.

The HCSF borrows the instrumentation of violin, bass, and guitars from the original Hot Club while breathing new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group’s superb lead guitarist, Paul Mehling. Featuring the amazing violin of twice GRAMMY® Award-winning Evan Price, the velvet vocals of Isabelle Fontaine and a swinging rhythm section, the group never fails to surprise and delight.”

On Saturday, June 2, The Hot Club San Francisco will give another performance for young audiences in the MMCC auditorium at 11 a.m. This concert will be free. According to the MMCC, “This concert for young audiences will explore the original ‘world music’, played by modern day nomadic peoples of Europe, as well as by many aficionados around the world.

The infection syncopation and nuttiness of 1930’s Swing Era music, mixed up with the mysterious and magical sounds of fingers flying on acoustic stringed instruments will conjure visions of caravans and Parisian cafes in the fertile minds of its young listeners. Free ice cream social to follow provided by The Caboose.”

On Sunday, June 10, the Chamber Music Festival will close with what surely will be a riveting performance by Piano Duo: Julie Coucheron and Elizabeth Pridgen. The concert will be held at Town 220 Restaurant at 6 p.m.

According to the MMCC, “Julie Coucheron and Elizabeth Pridgen will close out our season with a thrilling piano duo concert featuring well-known favorites such as the Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Ticket price will include 3-course dinner provided by Town 220.” Dinner will open at 4:30 p.m.

To find out about ticket prices and other information, visit:

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