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Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle at Bard Announces 60th Anniversary Concert Season

Three June Concerts Feature World-Renowned Artists:
Sharon Isbin and Gaudencio Thiago de Mello; Dolce Suono Trio;
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and Miami String Quartet

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The  Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle (HVCMC) series at Bard College presents three concerts in June by world-renowned musicians. The Saturday evening concerts, presented by The Bard Center, begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. A subscription to the three-concert series is $60 ($50 for senior citizens). Individual tickets are $28; for senior citizens, $20; for students, $5. For ticket information, call 845-339-7907 or e-mail


On Saturday, June 12, the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle presents the opening concert of its 60th season. Grammy-awarding winning guitarist Sharon Isbin performs with Brazilian organic percussionist Gaudencio Thiago de Mello. Entitled “Journey to the Amazon,” the program includes Enrique GranadosSpanish Dance #5, Antonio Lauro’s Seis por Derecho, Laurindo Almeida’s Historia do Luar, and Thiago de Mello’s A Hug for Pixinga.           


Performing on Saturday, June 19, is the Dolce Suono Trio Mimi Stillman, flute; Yumi Kendall, cello; and Charles Abramovic, piano. Described by the Philadelphia Enquirer as “a stunning ensemble,” the trio will perform Ned Rorem’s Trio for Flute, Haydn’s Violoncello and Piano Trio in D Major, Charles Abramovic’s “Laus D (A Haydn Tribute),” Carl Maria von Weber’s Trio in G Minor, and Bohuslav Martinů’s Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano.


The 2010 series concludes on Saturday, June 26, with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, “one of the best-blended, most sensitive and intelligent piano trios in the world today” (New York Times). The trio—pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo, and cellist Sharon Robinson—perform with the Miami String Quartet: Benny Kim, violin; Yu Jin, viola; Cathy Meng Robinson, violin; and Keith Robinson, cello. Praised in The New York Times as having “everything one wants in a quartet: a rich, precisely balanced sound, a broad coloristic palette, real unity of interpretive purpose and seemingly unflagging energy,” the Miami String Quartet has quickly established its place among the most widely respected quartets in America. The program features Hayden's “Trio”; the local premiere of Ellen Zwilich’s Septet, co-commissioned by the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle; the local premiere of Joan Tower’s Quartet #4, “Angels”; and Schumann's Piano Quintet.

The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle, an association of chamber music lovers that is celebrating its 60th season, was founded by Helen Huntington Hull and two friends from Staatsburg, New York. They enlisted the help of violinist Emil Hauser, then a member of the Bard College faculty and original first violinist of the Budapest Quartet, to invite musicians to perform at the Mills and Vanderbilt Mansions. In 1979, the concert series began its association with Bard College. The HVCMC remains a venue that attracts many of the world’s preeminent chamber music artists. In 2000, Robinson and Laredo assumed artistic directorship of the chamber music series.


These performances are made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Endowment at Bard College, as well as the J. M. Kaplan Fund and the David G. Whitcomb Foundation. For further information, call 845-339-7907 or e-mail


About the Artists


Concert 1: June 12, 2010


Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple Grammy Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as one of the preeminent guitarists of our time. Winner of the Madrid, Toronto, and Munich Competitions, and Guitar Player’s “Best Classical Guitarist” award, Isbin gives sold-out performances throughout the world in the greatest halls, including New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein, Paris’s Châtelet, Munich’s Herkulessaal, and Madrid’s Teatro Real. Isbin has served as artistic director/soloist of festivals she created for Carnegie Hall and New York’s 92nd Street Y, and the acclaimed national radio series Guitarjam. Recently signed to SONY Masterworks as an exclusive recording artist, her 2010 Grammy Award–winning CD Journey to the New World features Joan Baez in songs, and Mark O’Connor in the premiere of his suite for violin and guitar. Ranked as the #1 bestselling classical CD on, it is a fixture on the top Billboard charts. Her Dreams of a World earned her a 2001 Grammy, making her the first classical guitarist to receive the award in 28 years. Her recording of concerti written for her by Rouse and Tan Dun received a 2002 Grammy and Germany’s Echo Klassik Award. She received a 2005 Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Album” and a 2006 GLAAD Award nomination for “Outstanding Music Artist” for her Billboard Top 10 Classical disc with the New York Philharmonic of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and concerti by Manuel Ponce and Heitor Villa-Lobos. Baroque Favorites with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra remained on the Billboard Top 10 Classical Chart for 16 weeks, and her Journey to the Amazon, with Brazilian percussionist Thiago de Mello and saxophonist Paul Winter, received a 1999 nomination. Sharon Isbin began her studies at nine in Italy, and later studied with Andrès Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia, and Rosalyn Tureck. She received a B.A. and a masters from Yale, is the author of the Classical Guitar Answer Book, and directs guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and The Juilliard School.


Gaudencio Thiago de Mello was born and grew up in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest. Besides listening to the hymns and spirituals brought by missionaries, and hearing his sister and brother playing classic pieces on the piano and violin, Thiago’s musical awareness was informed by the whistling wind, the roar of rivers, and delicate bird songs—elements he incorporates in his percussion and composition. Thiago’s compositions preserve the natural sounds and rhythms unique to Afro-Brazilian roots and Amazonian Indian chants, sometimes blending them with an urban jazz idiom. He has experimented with a variety of styles, combining the timeless, primitive musical elements of the Amazonian jungle and the contemporary jazz language of New York City. He has created a special collection of instruments called “organic percussion,” which he uses in concerts, recordings, and master classes around the world. Thiago studied classical guitar and founded the Guitar Society at the United Nations in 1970, which he directed for 10 years. He also founded and directed the Jazz Ensemble at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, where he taught for 29 years. Thiago appears as composer, performer, and arranger on Sharon Isbin’s Grammy–nominated Journey to the Amazon with saxophonist Paul Winter, and her Love Songs & Lullabies with soprano Benita Valente (NBC chose two of his works from this CD for broadcast during the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona). His compositions are featured as well on Isbin’s Grammy Award–winning CD Dreams of a World; Paul Winter’s Grammy–nominated Earth, Voice Of A Plane; Barbosa-Lima’s Music of the Americas and Ginastera; and Daniel Wolff’s Concerto `a Brasileir. New releases with his band AMAZON include Sweet Brasil, The Right Move, The Night the Moon Cried, and Amor Sem Fim. Besides that, his new CD The Essential Thiago de Mello, produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro for his Jazz Station Records (JSR), has been released in Japan by Bomba Records.



Concert 2: June 19, 2010



The Dolce Suono Trio – Mimi Stillman, flute; Yumi Kendall, cello; and Charles Abramovic, piano –comprises three Curtis Institute of Music graduates who dazzle audiences and the press with their artistic brilliance, elegance, and dynamism. “Beautiful texturing…a stunning ensemble” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Recent performances include the Dolce Suono Chamber Music Concert Series, of which Mimi Stillman is founder and artistic director, at venues including First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, and Glencairn Museum.  The Dolce Suono Trio’s 2009–10 season engagements included the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Swarthmore College, Curtis Institute of Music, Bard College, Market Square Concerts, and a special interdisciplinary project involving student artists at Moore College of Art and Design.  The ensemble’s programming reflects a strong commitment to the music of today’s composers. The trio collaborated with Ned Rorem and George Crumb, who remarked “it's a real pleasure for a composer to hear one’s music played with both bravura and musical sensitivity.” Dolce Suono Trio’s “Spotlight on Philadelphia Composers” concert on the Dolce Suono Chamber Music Concert Series in October 2007 was webcast on, the website of the American Composers Forum Philadelphia. The Dolce Suono Trio’s commissioning program has resulted in important new contributions to the repertoire. In spring 2009, they premiered and gave subsequent performances of a commissioned work by Jeremy Gill, Ode: A Dramatic Cantata for Mezzo-soprano, Flute/Piccolo, Cello, and Piano, a work based on ancient Greek sources and intended as a companion piece for Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses, written for the same instrumentation.

Concert 3: June 26, 2010


After more than three decades of international concert success, acclaimed recordings, and a new legacy of commissioned works, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio (pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo, and cellist Sharon Robinson) continues to dazzle audiences and critics alike with their performances. Selected as Musical America’s 2002 Ensemble of the Year, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio was described as the “. . . foremost trio with the greatest longevity . . . bring[ing] to worldwide audiences their expressive and exhilarating interpretations.” Since making their debut at the White House for President Carter’s inauguration in January 1977, pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo, and cellist Sharon Robinson have set the standard for performance of the piano trio literature for more than 30 years. As one of the only chamber ensembles with all its original members, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio balances the careers of three internationally acclaimed soloists while making annual appearances at many of the world’s major concert halls, commissioning spectacular new works, and maintaining an active recording agenda. More than 30 years after their White House debut, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio kicked off the 2008–09 season at Wigmore Hall in London, with the complete Beethoven cycle. During their full season, the Trio presented the world premiere of Ellen Zwilich’s Septet in collaboration with the Miami String Quartet at New York City’s 92nd Street Y. Subsequent premieres will occur at the Kennedy Center, Detroit Chamber Music Society, and Virginia Arts Festival. The trio has worked extensively with the Miami String Quartet, as well as the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, allowing the opportunity to explore the rich literature for strings and piano. Each Trio member also maintains an active solo performance and teaching career. Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson joined the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2005, while Joseph Kalichstein continues as a long-revered teacher at The Juilliard School of Music.




The Miami String Quartet is Benny Kim, violin; Yu Jin, viola; Cathy Meng Robinson, violin; and Keith Robinson, cello. Praised in The New York Times as having “everything one wants in a quartet: a rich, precisely balanced sound, a broad coloristic palette, real unity of interpretive purpose and seemingly unflagging energy,” the Miami String Quartet has quickly established its place among the most widely respected quartets in America. Their diversity in programming, poise in performance, keen sense of ensemble, and impeccable musicality has made the Miami String Quartet one of the most sought after quartets in chamber music today. The Miami String Quartet has appeared extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Highlights of recent seasons include performances in New York at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, engagements in Boston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Paul, and its own concert series in Palm Beach, Florida. International highlights include appearances in Bern, Cologne, Istanbul, Lausanne, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Paris. The Quartet has recently toured with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and they appear annually with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

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This event was last updated on 05-25-2010