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Annual CMYS competition coming

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On Sunday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m., Chamber Music in Yellow Springs welcomes the finalists in the 31st annual Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles.

Judged by distinguished professional musicians, the two chamber groups will vie for the top prize at the First Presbyterian Church in what is always an exciting concert. This year’s finalists are a piano trio and a string quartet, the two most classic chamber music ensemble configurations. The Olympus Piano Trio and the Rolston String Quartet will each perform a 40- to 50-minute program of their choice.

Stephen Shipps, professor of violin at University of Michigan; Mari Sato, of the Cavani Quartet/Cleveland Institute of Music; and Eric Charnofsky, pianist and composer from Case Western Reserve University, will be the CMYS judges this year, awarding first and second prize at the conclusion of the concert.

Rolston String Quartet

Rolston String Quartet

The Rolston String Quartet is graduate-quartet-in-residence at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, in Houston, and features Jeff Dyrda and Luri Lee on violin, Jonathan Lo on cello and Hezekiah Leung on viola. Comprised of recent graduates from the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory and the Glenn Gould School, the Rolston String Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 at the Banff Centre of the Arts’ Chamber Music Residency. The quartet takes its name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, the founder and longtime director of the music and sound programs at the Banff Centre. The ensemble has performed all over Canada and the United States and has worked with such contemporary composers as John Luther Adams and Brian Current. At the Yellow Springs Competition, the Rolston has chosen to play Bartok’s String Quartet No. 3, followed by Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59, No. 2.

Olympus Trio

Olympus Trio

For its program, the Olympus Trio — made up of Regi Papa on violin, Ben Capps on cello and Konstantine Valianatos on piano — has selected Maurice Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor; Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67; and Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66. The Olympus Trio formed at Juilliard in 2010 and is based in New York City. The trio’s members share a passion for chamber music as well as a Hellenic heritage, and they perform a repertoire of classical masterpieces and champion the music of native Greek and Diaspora composers.

In addition to teaching at Juilliard, SUNY Stony Brook and Hunter College, the trio is dedicated to reaching out to nontraditional and underprivileged members of the community through educational outreach programs. In 2013, Olympus was invited to the Greek island of Kefalonia to perform and participate in outreach for the island’s children under the auspices of the Vergottis Cultural Center. The trio’s future plans include an outreach program in fall of 2016 at St. Basil’s Academy, a program for disadvantaged children in upstate New York.

Concert tickets are $25 for adults and $7 for students; information on purchasing advance tickets is available at cmys.org. Beginning at 6:45 p.m., Wright State University Emeritus Professor of Music Charles Larkowski will give the pre-concert lecture in the church. Those wishing to attend a post-concert dinner with the artists and judges in a local home should contact CMYS at 374-8800 at least four days in advance to reserve a place.

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