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Peter Serkin Headlines Friday Concert

July 27, 2015

Brunswick, Maine - Renowned concert pianist Peter Serkin will take the stage at the Bowdoin International Music Festival for the first time on Friday, July 31. He will be joined in a program of piano four-hands by Julia Hsu, a former Festival Fellow. They will present Johannes Brahms’ Five Chorale Preludes from Op. 122 and five of his Hungarian Dances, along with Franz Schubert’s Allegro in A Minor, D. 947, Op. 144 (Lebensstürme). Serkin, the son of pianist Rudolph Serkin, has been nominated for three Grammy awards (winning one at the age of 19) and performs with major orchestras and chamber ensembles world-wide. American composer Ned Rorem has written of Serkin, “His uniqueness lies … in a friendly rather than over-awed approach to the classics, … [he] nonetheless plays with the care and brio that is in the family blood.”

Violinist Mikhail Kopelman, the former first violinist of the Borodin Quartet, will lead a faculty ensemble after intermission in Johannes Brahms’ String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 18. He will be joined by Seo Hee Min, violin, Dimitri Murrath and Caroline Coade, viola, and the husband-and-wife team of Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott on cello.

 Rarely-heard Schubert Quartet in August 3 Concert

The legendary Miró Quartet will present Franz Schubert’s rarely-performed String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D. 887, along with Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 in the Bowdoin Festival’s August 3 Monday Showcase concert. Pianist Yong Hi Moon will join the quartet for the Schumann Quintet.

The Schubert Quartet, his last string quartet, is rarely performed because of its difficulty, scale, and emotional intensity. In contrast, Schumann's piano quintet is noted for its energetic character and, as one of the great chamber works, is more widely heard and known.

The Miró Quartet was a recipient of a Cleveland Quartet Award, and was the first ensemble ever to be awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant. The Quartet is making its Festival debut, returning for the first time since its two violinists were students at the Festival in 1991.

Monday Showcase concerts are held at 7:30 PM at Studzinski Recital Hall on the Bowdoin College campus. Tickets are $40.

 Wednesday Upbeat!

Pianist Emma Tahmiziàn makes her final 2015 Bowdoin Festival appearance on Wednesday August 5, 2015, performing Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C, Op. 17. Tahmiziàn won First Prize in the Schumann International Competition at nineteen and has won many prizes, including in the Van Cliburn, Leeds, Tchaikovsky and Montreal competitions.

The program opens with virtuoso violist Dimitri Murrath performing Arnold Bax’ Sonata for Viola and Piano     with the Festival’s director of collaborative piano, Pei-Shan Lee.

Also on the program is And Legions Will Rise (2001), a trio for clarinet, violin, and marimba, by the season’s final guest composer, Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts. Performers are Chung Yoo, clarinet; Janet Sung, violin; and Luke Rinderknecht, marimba.

Wednesday Upbeat! concerts are held at 7:30 PM in Bowdoin’s Studzinski Recital Hall. Tickets are $40.

 Jennifer Koh and Robert Moody in Festival Finale

The Bowdoin International Music Festival’s season finale is a sure crowd-pleaser, with something to for everyone to enjoy. The program opens with a recent work by composer Kevin Puts, Seven Seascapes (2013), performed by Janet Sung, violin; Phillip Ying, viola; David Requiro, cello; Kurt Muroki, double bass; Tao Lin, piano; Krysia Tripp, flute; and Josh Thompson, horn.

Festival alumna Jennifer Koh then takes the stage with the Bowdoin Festival Orchestra, led by Robert Moody, music director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Koh, a widely heralded virtuoso violinist, will present a program of works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Three Pieces (Souvenir d’un lieu cher); Serenade Melancolique, Op. 26; and Valse Scherzo, Op. 34.

The evening’s program, and the 2015 Festival season, will conclude Aaron Copland’s beloved Appalachian Spring. A group of Festival faculty and Kaplan Fellows will present the original version for 13 instruments. Performers include

Frank Huang, Janet Sung, Sergiu Schwartz, Yibin Li, violins; Caroline Coade, Dimitri Murrath, Phillip Ying, violas; Rosemary Elliott, David Ying, cello; Yewon Jeong, piano; Beomjae Kim, flute; Chung Yoo, clarinet; Dillon Meacham, bassoon; and Robert Moody, conductor.

 Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music

The Gamper Festival presents the works of 20th century and contemporary American composers, including the Festival’s composers-in-residence, guest composers, and top student participants. This year’s Gamper Festival continues on August 1 & 2. The themes for the concerts, which explore and stage the music composers living and working now, are: Saturday, From Distant Shores and Sunday, American Stories.

Gamper Festival Concerts are held at 7:30 PM in Studzinski Recital Hall. Suggested donation $10.00.

 Artists of Tomorrow

Artists of Tomorrow student concerts feature the Festival’s top students performing solo repertoire and chamber music. Repertoire is announced the day of the concert. This week’s concerts take place Friday July 31 at 1:30 PM; Sunday August 1 at 1:30; Tuesday August 4 at 1:30 PM and 6:30 PM; Wednesday August 5 at 1:00 PM; Thursday August 6 at 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM; and Friday, August 7 at 12:30 PM.

Artists of Tomorrow student concerts are held in Bowdoin’s Studzinski Recital Hall. Suggested donation $10.

 Bowdoin Festival Extra

The annual family concert hosted by Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick on Saturday, August 1 at 10:30 AM, will be the last concert of the Bowdoin Festival Extra series. Always a popular event, the program, performed by Festival faculty and students, is geared for audiences of all ages.

Monday morning, August 3 at 10:00 AM, the Miró Quartet will convene a public masterclass, guiding current students in the art of practicing and performing as members of a string quartet, at Studzinski Recital Hall.

Jennifer Koh, a renowned violinist and former student of the Festival, will present the final Bowdoin festival Extra event of the season, a masterclass in violin, on Thursday, August 6 at 4:00 PM in Bowdoin’s Gibson Hall.

All Bowdoin Festival Extra events are free and open to the public.

 For a complete schedule of Festival concerts, ticket information and purchasing, and to sign up for emailed program updates, visit bowdoinfestival.org. Tickets may also be ordered at the box office, 207­725­3895.

 The mission of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, which was founded in 1964, is to prepare gifted young musicians from around the world for a life in music through study with world-class artists, and to present classical music in concerts performed to the highest artistic standards. The Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music, founded in 1965, has commissioned and presented the work of emerging and established composers, including Luciano Berio, George Crumb, Sebastian Currier, William Bolcom, George Rochberg and many others. Over its 51­year history, the Bowdoin Festival has established itself as a vital force throughout the music world. Visit the Festival on the web at bowdoinfestival.org

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