Taconic Music to continue summer with fresh takes on old favorites

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MANCHESTER — Taconic Music will continue a busy summer schedule of performances and educational programs with three events in the coming week, each featuring musicians coming together to reawaken classic works of the chamber music repertoire.

On Saturday, July 6, faculty, students, and guests of Taconic's Chamber Music Intensive will perform works by Mozart, Brahms, Bart k and Dvor k at the Dionondehowa Wildlife Sanctuary and School in Shushan, N.Y.

The concert will continue a tradition established by the late luthier Geoffrey Ovington and his partner Bonnie Hoag in collaboration with Taconic co-founders Joana Genova and Ariel Rudiakov, and will present an hour-long program to benefit both Taconic and Dionondehowa.

Ovington, who passed away in 2017, "was the maker of my viola and that of countless violins, cellos and violas," Rudiakov said. "We always went to Dionondehowa, where he lived [Ovington and Hoag] approached us at one point and said 'Would you consider doing an afternoon recital to benefit both organizations?' We certainly agreed."

"This year, it's going to be a mix of faculty and students, and we will do select movements of things that we either have performed already or are about to perform It's an invitation for everybody to get to know each other, and we're very grateful to Bonnie for having the wherewithal to continue this tradition."

The following day on Sunday, July 7, Taconic will present its third Festival Concert, with headlining performers including Italian pianist Davide Cabassi, a former top prize winner of the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and Basil Vendryes, principal violist of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Along with musicians returning to the Northshire, including violinist Heather Braun-Bakken and cellist Richard Belcher, Genova and Rudiakov will team up with these performers to play beloved chamber works by Debussy, Mozart, and Brahms.

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The program includes the latter composer's Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34, which Genova and Rudiakov called Brahms' "supreme masterpiece" in a press release.

In addition to these two traditional performances, Taconic will also host a public masterclass for students in its Chamber Music Intensive on Tuesday, July 9. Nicholas DiEuginio, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a faculty member at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, will workshop selections from upcoming concert programs with the students.

Though the selections to be played are time-honored, audience members can expect a rare chance to witness the dynamic process of making the music come to life, according to Rudiakov.

"The audiences who come to listen will find that it's a very intimate environment, so that you're really engaging in a discussion with the masterclass giver ... and picking apart the music or putting forth options or ideas is not really something that you can get from a [regular] performance," Rudiakov said.

"You see a final result, a version or interpretation of a given piece on concert day. Its spontaneity is part of the reason we play live, and no two will ever be the same. But having somebody provide what you might say is the gateway towards different options and different things they can do, and what the students themselves are tasked to choose -- because at the end of the day they're the ones on stage -- is kind of a fascinating thing."

The masterclass will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, at the French residence at 292 Taconic Road in Manchester Village, with a $10 admission fee at the door. The benefit concert in Shushan will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, with a $15 admission fee to benefit the Dionondehowa Wildlife Sanctuary and School and Taconic Music. The Festival Concert will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 7 at Burr and Burton Academy's Riley Center for the Arts, with tickets $20 in advance and $25 at the door for adults, and $10 for students and kids. More information on each event and the rest of Taconic's summer season can be found at www.taconicmusic.org.


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