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Performing Arts

Chamber Music in Yellow Springs 32nd Annual Competition

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Every year the Chamber Music in Yellow Springs competition gets more and more exciting. The prominence of this year’s judges promises to raise the level of the competition even higher, and with the Rolston Quartet — last year’s champions — racking up a highly visible set of achievements, this year’s competition is shaping up to be a fantastic evening. On Sunday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, audiences will hear the finalists in the 32nd Annual Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles.

The rules of the competition state that in order to enter, groups must have an average age of 30 or under. This year, two outstanding ensembles rose to the top: the preliminary panel of local musicians, music professionals, and other experts selected the Vera Quartet and the Trio St. Bernard for the final competition. The string quartet and piano trio are two of the most “classic” combinations for chamber music, and they never fail to delight. Listening to both together will give audiences the chance to discuss and debate amongst themselves which group was the favorite as they wait in suspense for the judges’ decision.

Formed in the summer of 2015 at the Taos School of Music, the Trio St. Bernard includes pianist Selun Hong, currently a graduate student at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University; and violinist Brandon Garbot and cellist Zachary Mowitz, both graduate students at the Curtis Institute of Music. 

The Vera Quartet is currently graduate-quartet-in-residence at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University, where Pedro Rodriguez, violin, Patricia Quintero, violin, Ines Picado, viola, and Justin Goldsmith, cello, founded the ensemble in 2015. The ensembles will perform programs of their own choosing. For details, see the CMYS website.

Final judges this year include Afa Dworkin, president and artistic director of the Sphinx Foundation; James Tocco, an internationally acclaimed pianist who is professor and eminent scholar of chamber music at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; and Jeffery Zeigler, the internationally-acclaimed cellist who formerly played with the Kronos Quartet.

Concert tickets are $25 for adults and $7 for students. Beginning at 6:45 p.m., there will be a pre-concert lecture in the church by Dennis Loranger, who will discuss the music to be heard. Those wishing to attend a post-concert dinner with the artists in a local home should contact CMYS at 937-374-8800 at least four days in advance to reserve a place. 

The 32nd Annual Competition concert will complete the 2016–17 season. Chamber Music in Yellow Springs is supported by wonderful donors, as well as an Ohio Arts Council Sustainability Grant and the Yellow Springs Community Foundation.

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Chamber Music in Yellow Springs 32nd Annual Competition

by Angela Brintlinger