Summit Music and Arts announces 2017-18 lineup | SummitDaily.com

Summit Music and Arts announces 2017-18 lineup

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Summit Music and Arts' artistic director is struggling to single out any one of the upcoming seven concerts in the nonprofit's 2017-18 lineup because, he said, they're all going to be so good.

The new season begins Sunday with four musicians from the Front Range Chamber Players coming together to play Ludwig van Beethoven's "String Quartet Op. 18, No. 1" before a fifth person joins them for the second half of the concert, when they'll play Edward Elgar's "Piano Quintet Op. 84."

"They're absolute top-class musicians, and it should be a very exciting program," said Len Rhodes, SMA's artistic director and artist in residence, adding that he believes the entire 2017-18 lineup offers a diverse mix of in-state talent that's sold out shows across the nation and world.

"We are very fortunate to have the quality of professional performing artists right here in our beautiful state," Rhodes said. "These artists happen to be living here but have credentials that span worldwide, performing in Europe, Asia and the U.S."

Since its inception, SMA has worked to provide a platform for Colorado's musicians while, at the same time, striving to create exceptional concert experiences and educational opportunities in multiple venues across Summit County.

Sunday's season premiere will feature Erik Peterson and Felix Petit on violins, Phillip Stevens on viola and Heidi Mausbach playing cello. After the quartet plays Beethoven, Hsing-ay Hsu will join them on the piano to form Elgar's quintet.

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Interestingly, Elgar's work is more well-known nowadays that he is, and few high school or college graduation ceremonies don't come without Elgar's mark — "Pomp and Circumstance" — which was actually first played in 1905 when the composer received an honorary doctorate from Yale University.

"So that's how the tradition began," Rhodes said, giving a little bit of a history lesson and adding that while much of Elgar's work was extremely well known at the time, it's not played nearly as frequently as it once was and Sunday's concert presents a unique opportunity to become more familiar with a man who was, in his day, a juggernaut of classical music and the recording industry.

Additionally, Sunday's concert will be SMA's first-ever at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, a new $9 million facility that opened this summer.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

For the educational element of its programming, SMA also offers free admission to students 18 and under, sponsors a competition for young composers and offers space for pre-concert art exhibits to local visual artists.

The SMA concert series continues through April 7, and people can purchase a season pass that's good for all seven concerts for $300.

Other performances will include Peruvian guitarist Alfredo Muro, The Hennessy Six Jazz Sextet and more, and for Rhodes the diversity and experiences of of the live-music performances is as important as anything.

"I think, overall, if people can take the opportunity to actually attend a live performance of any music — rock and roll, jazz or anything at all — to hear something live is such a unique opportunity, and to have world-class players right here on our door step is amazing," Rhodes said.

For more about the concert series, go to SummitMusicAndArts.org.

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