There’s still time to catch the ArtsLIVE! annual Chamber Music Festival. The shows continue tonight and Friday at Trinity Episcopal Church.
For 32 years, ArtsLIVE! has brought world renowned musicians to Fredericksburg for the event, and highlighted the accomplishments of local students.
Boston’s Muir String Quartet are joined by many musicians for this year’s Chamber Music Festival, which started Tuesday. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. on each night and feature compositions by Shostakovich, Hindemith, Piazzolla, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Bach and Rossinni.
Mike Reynolds, artistic director of the festival and founding cellist of the Muir Quartet of Boston, has put together a program that he hopes will entertain fans of classical composition and those looking for something new from the chamber music scene. He’s been in the director role for 15 years now, but has been playing the festival since its inception in the late 1980s.
He strives, “to create balance in the program in a way that is engaging for the audience,” he said. “We have a really nice combination of the classics and unusual compositions. I hope audiences will like it and seek out newer compositions.”
The three nights of music include performances by Victoria Chiang, whom Reynolds described as a “rising viola star.”
Also included in the lineup is Alexander Fiterstein on clarinet, who owns compositions Reynolds called out as the newest and best in the chamber music world.
He also called out violist Rebecca Gitter as an impressive talent joining the lineup of established musicians who have mastered their craft, including Michele Levin (piano), Sara Stalnaker (cello), Jessica Warren (oboe), Carol Wincec (flute), Peter Zarofsky (violin), William Scharnberg (horn), Kathleen Reynolds (bassoon), Bayla Keyes (violin), Paul Glenn (double bass) and Reynolds himself (cello).
For this event, he’s also bringing back selections not heard locally for years.
He said the selection by Piazzolla is high-energy and immerses the audience.
“It feels like you’re dancing in Argentina,” he said.
And Shostakovich’s “Quintet in G minor,” as well as Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence,” have not been played locally in recent memory.
Each show is preceded by performances of winners of the ArtsLIVE! Young Adult Competition, who reprise their winning performance pieces from the winter finals.
Local students Noelle Fiegl, Corinne Sedelmayer, Abigail Henrickson, and Abigail Leidy are the winners introducing each night’s program.
As a nonprofit organization, the concert benefits ArtsLIVE! outreach programs to students like the competition winners, senior citizens and the next generation of performers within the Fredericksburg community.
Reynolds said he encourages youth to come out not only to celebrate their peers, but to experience something new.
“We always hope for people who’ve never been to chamber music will come, and that they like it so much they will keep coming,” he said.