SummerFest 2000

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 28, 2000. All rights reserved.

Small Scale SummerFest

E-mail: ElaineStrauss@princetoninfo.com

Since its inception in 1986, Rutgers SummerFest has

assumed various shapes and sizes. Buoyed by the enthusiasm and enterprise

of its founder, pianist Ilana Vered, the festival quickly caught on.

In addition to its core of concert performances, events spilled over

into dance, theater, film, and visual arts. By 1990, the festival

chalked up 60,000 ticket buyers from 512 zip codes in 20 states.

Endangered by a budget cut of almost half from the New Jersey State

Arts Council for fiscal 1991, SummerFest, nonetheless pulled itself

together and came up that year with a two-month festival of 84 events.

Since that time, with the growing fame of the Mason Gross School of

the Arts (MGSA), the arts arm of Rutgers University, SummerFest has

turned more towards MGSA musicians to fuel the festival.

This year’s SummerFest is relatively lean and consists of 17 concerts

at Nicholas Music Center on the Douglass College campus. Programs

designed for families are scheduled on Wednesdays; chamber music and

recitals take place Thursdays and Fridays; and orchestral programs

with featured soloists occur on Saturdays. Richard Auldon Clark, assistant

professor at MGSA conducts the Rutgers Festival Orchestra. Three events

celebrating the art of handmade paper take place at the Mason Gross

School of the Arts Galleries on Livingston Avenue. There are some

who delight in the small scale of this year’s SummerFest. "It

was really a burden to feel that you had to go out every night. It

was so incessant," is the way one concertgoer sees it.

The River City Brass Band opens the festival on Saturday, July 1,

at 8 p.m. The 29-member Pittsburgh ensemble is a professional concert

band with its own syndicated show on public radio. It has been called

"The Boston Pops in Brass."

Highlights of the 2000 season include the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson

Trio on Thursday, July 6; a piano recital by Christopher O’Riley on

Friday July 21; and a jazz trio featuring Stanley Cowell, a new MGSA

faculty member, on July 13. A performance by the Steinhardt-Artymiw-Eskin

piano trio, on Friday, July 28, features the newly-formed trio with

violinist Arnold Steinhardt, first violinist of the Guarneri String

Quarte who is also a professor at MGSA. All performances take place

at 8 p.m.

The four family-friendly Wednesday events have been organized by MGSA

faculty and involve the participation of MGSA students. The Alumni

Reunion, new this year, on Wednesday, July 12, was the idea of Marilyn

Somville, MGSA dean since 1990, who retires in July. The dozen participants

were MGSA students during her tenure. They include the Amabile String

Quartet; Qiang Chu, now a cellist with the New York Philharmonic;

tenor John Uhlenhopp, resident of Switzerland; violinist Valissa Willwerth

of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra; sopranos Judith Burbank, Rachel

Joselson, and Diana Livingston; and duo-pianists Rachel Heard and

Lynn Raly.

MGSA welcomes new dean, George B. Stauffer, beginning August 1. Besides

bringing his own distinct assets as a Bach scholar and organist, Stauffer

comes into some valuable resources in music at Rutgers. They include,

among other assets, a topnotch string quartet in residence, the Amabile

Quartet, and a summer festival that has proved its staying power.

If he’s enterprising he will see to it that both Amabile and SummerFest

keep the Mason Gross School of the Arts prominent on the musical map.

— Elaine Strauss

Top Of Page
SummerFest 2000

River City Brass Band, Rutgers SummerFest 2000,

Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Opening night concert for the summer music festival that runs, Wednesdays

through Saturdays, through July 29. $10. Saturday, July 1, 8 p.m.

Family Night, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Salsa Band, $10. Wednesday, July 5, 8 p.m.

Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Rutgers SummerFest

2000 , Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick,

732-932-7511. Piano trio, $20. Thursday, July 6, 8 p.m.

Elena Baksht, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Piano recital, $20. Friday, July 7, 8 p.m.

Rutgers Festival Orchestra, Rutgers SummerFest 2000,

Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Max Levinson, piano, is featured, with Richard Auldon Clark, conductor,

in an all-American program of works by Barber, Copland, Gershwin,

and Bernstein, $20. Saturday, July 8, 8 p.m.

Alumni Night, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Reunion concert features the Amabile Quartet with CKTK, $10. Wednesday,

July 12, 8 p.m.

Stanley Cowell Trio, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Jazz trio, $20. Thursday, July 13, 8 p.m.

Miami String Quartet, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

String quartet, $20. Friday, July 14, 8 p.m.

Rutgers Festival Orchestra, Rutgers SummerFest 2000,

Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Allison Eldredge, cello, is featured, with Richard Auldon Clark, conductor,

in a program of works by Delius and Lalo, and Brahms. $20. Saturday,

July 15, 8 p.m.

Family Night, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Percussion ensemble, $10. Wednesday, July 19, 8 p.m.

Elements Quartet, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

String quartet, $20. Thursday, July 20, 8 p.m.

Christopher O’Riley, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Piano recital, $20. Friday, July 21, 8 p.m.

Rutgers Festival Orchestra, Rutgers SummerFest 2000,

Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Soprano Faith Esham, with Richard Auldon Clark, conductor, in a program

of works by Debussy, Berlioz, and Ibert. $20. Saturday, July 22,

8 p.m.

Family Night, Rutgers SummerFest 2000, Nicholas

Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Big band jazz, $10. Wednesday, July 26, 8 p.m.

Colorado String Quartet, Rutgers SummerFest 2000,

Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Performing with Elements Quartet as a string octet, $20. Thursday,

July 27, 8 p.m.

Steinhardt-Artymiw-Eskin Trio, Rutgers SummerFest 2000,

Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Piano trio, $20. Friday, July 28, 8 p.m.

Rutgers Festival Orchestra, Rutgers SummerFest 2000,

Nicholas Music Center, Douglass College Campus, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511.

Richard Stoltzman, clarinet, is featured soloist in a concert of works

by Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Rachmaninoff. $20. Saturday, July

29, 8 p.m.


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