(June 18, 2012) - The inaugural North Georgia Chamber Music
Festival kicked off Friday night with special guest Sarah
Zaslaw of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), opening up the
festival that is bringing world-class musicians to North
Georgia College & State University this month.
The Vega String Quartet performed Friday night in the
Gloria Shott Performance Hall at North Georgia College
& State University.
"What a boon for local music lovers, to get to hear
some of our state's finest musicians playing
superlative music. And how wonderful for out-of-towners
like me to have an excuse to spend a weekend here,"
Zaslaw, host of GPB's daytime classical music program
Midday Music, said. "All credit to Cecylia Arzewski
for getting this started. … It was her vision to develop
this event, the North Georgia Chamber Music Festival, a
chance for people to come experience the powerful intimacy
of chamber music together."
Arzewski, violinist and former concertmaster of the Atlanta
Symphony Orchestra, is the festival's artistic
director. She left the symphony in 2008 to concentrate on
teaching, performing and recording projects and now lives
in Dahlonega. She was honored with the Hambidge
Distinguished Artist Award for 2009.
The festival's opening night featured The Vega String
Quartet, the quartet in residence at Emory University since
2006, performing pieces by Haydn, Beethoven and
Mendelssohn. Considered on the cutting edge of chamber
music ensembles, the group has been praised by the L.A.
Times and the New York Times and has performed in venues
such as the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
On Sunday afternoon, three musicians from the Atlanta
Symphony -- Kenn Wagner, Olga Shpitko and Yang-Yoon Kim --
were joined by Charae Krueger, principal cellist with the
Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Ballet orchestras, for the first
of three performances in the festival. Krueger also plays
frequently with the Atlanta Symphony. On Sunday, the four
performed works by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.
The four will perform this weekend in the remaining two
concerts of the festival, and will be joined by renowned
pianist William Ransom for the final concert of the
festival on Sunday, June 24.
Ransom has collaborated with musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma,
Richard Stoltzman, William Preucil, Robert McDuffie, and
Stephen Isserlis. As a master teacher, he has also
performed and given master classes at numerous schools of
music and universities around the world. He is the Mary
Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory University, where he is
director of piano studies.
Friday night's performance will include works by
Beethoven, Handel and Debussy, while Sunday's finale
will includes Stravinsky's Suite italienne and
Brahms' Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, featuring
Ransom on piano.
For more information about the festival, including
directions and accommodations, visit the website at www.northgeorgia.edu/chambermusic.
Tickets also may be purchased online via the website.
Tickets are $30 for each of the remaining two concerts, or
a discounted ticket package is available for both.