Fall is nearly here, and it’s time once again for the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival. This year marks the 16th season of the nonprofit organization’s concert series, which includes both public and private performances by nationally renowned musicians.
“We’re going to concentrate on string instruments,” said Barbara Vandeventer, publicity chairman for the festival.
In addition to artistic directors Rieko Aizawa — a pianist — and violinist Jesse Mills, the festival will feature another violin, a viola, a cello and a soprano as vocalist. This will be the second year that a vocalist has been part of the festival. The addition was so popular last year that another vocal musician was invited this year, Vandeventer said.
Aizawa and Mills have been a part of the event for years, returning to Summit County twice a year for the concerts, as well as workshops with local high school and middle school students.
Aizawa has performed both nationally and internationally, at venues including Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. A musician from a young age, Aizawa has participated as a chamber musician, as well as a solo artist, releasing two albums. She has studied under instructors at the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute.
Mills graduated from the Julliard School and is currently on the faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College in New York. He has twice been nominated for a Grammy and performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. He performs various genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composing his own music.
Aaron Boyd has been playing the violin since age 7 and has performed concerts in America, Europe and Asia. He has participated in numerous festivals and collaborations with fellow musicians, as well as winning a multitude of prizes for his work, including the Ecoles D’art Americaines de Fontainebleau and the Klein Violin Competition.
Violist Masumi Per Rostad won a Grammy Award for “Best Chamber Music Performance” of 2009 as a member of the Pacifica Stringn Quartet. He began his study of the art of music at age 3 with the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City. He eventually graduated from The Juilliard School and is currently on the visiting faculty of the University of Chicago.
Raman Ramakrishnan is the third member, with Aizawa and Mills, of the Horszowski Trio. The cellist has played through the U.S. and internationally. He traveled to New Delhi and Agra in India and Cairo, Egypt, with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a master’s degree in music from The Juilliard School.
Ilana Davidson is an American soprano who is well-known for her work with pieces by composers Handel and Bach. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Carnegie Mellon University, Davidson also actively sings music by newer conposers. She has made appearances with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, National Philharmonic and the Opera Company of Philadelphia, to name a few. In 2006, she won four Grammy Awards for her recording of William Bolcom’s “Songs of Innocence and of Experience,” conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
Tickets are available for the two public concert performances, as well as the private soiree performances.
The soirees are held at private residences in Summit County, which change year to year. Fewer than 40 people generally attend these sessions, which allow a more personal setting as well as contact with the musicians.
“It’s a champagne reception, intimate setting, beautiful home, gracious hosts and fabulous hors d’ouevres,” Vandeveter said, of the soirees. “It’s a party, it’s very informal and the musicians are there as well, so we mingle.”
Both concerts will take place at the Lord of the Mountains church in Dillon. Tickets are $20 at the door for adults, $10 for seniors and free for students.
“We encourage all students to come to the concerts. There’s no cost,” Vandeveter said.
In addition to the four performances, artistic directors Aizawa and Mills will put on a musical workshop for the Summit High School music students. The session is intended to introduce the students to music as a career and answer any questions. The Alpenglow Chamber Music organization is a proponent of young musicians and every year awards a scholarship to a local graduating student who is going on to study music.
The 16th season of the festival is looking to be just as successful as those past, Vandeveter said, with performances of great classical music, including pieces by Brahms, Beethovan, Gershwin, Haydn and Dvorak, among others.
“The summer season of music has passed, and now we can offer this excellent festival in the fall,” she said. “We pride ourselves on it being absolutely the highest caliber of musicianship. These are all professionals.”