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PIANISTS URSULA OPPENS AND JEROME LOWENTHAL HEADLINE FIRST CONCERT OF THE HUDSON VALLEY CHAMBER MUSIC CIRCLE 2003 SEASON AT BARD COLLEGE Percussionists Andrew Blanco and Brian Vogel make first series appearance
Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Pianists Ursula Oppens and Jerome Lowenthal open the 2003 season of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle at Bard College on Saturday, June 7, in a program that includes Debussy 's En blanc et noir, Ned Rorem 's Six Variations for Two Pianos, Ravel 's La valse, and Schubert's Divertissement a l'hongroise. Percussionists Andrew Blanco and Brian Vogel join them for a performance of Bartók's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion. The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall.
Renowned as an interpreter of the established repertoire and a champion of contemporary music, Ursula Oppens began piano study with her mother, Edith Oppens. Time magazine described her as "the Madonna of contemporary music." This season, Oppens premiered of Luciano Berio's Piano Sonata, which was written for her. Oppen's appearances have included "The Carnegie Hall Millennium Piano Book," in which she and students from around the nation premiered 10 short pieces at Carnegie Hall 's Weill Recital Hall; she has also performed at the Music Academy of the West, and with Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Havana Orchestra under the direction of Bernard Rubinstein in Cuba, where she performed the Copland Piano Concerto.
Jerome Lowenthal was born in Philadelphia and made his debut at the age of 13 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He studied with Edward Steuermann and the legendary William Kalpell, and with Alfred Cortot at the Ecole Normale de Musique on a grant from the Fulbright Foundation. He has appeared with virtually every major orchestra in the United States including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra. Lowenthal's repertoire includes 59 performed concerti. He presented the world premiere of Rorem's Piano Concerto in Six Movements with the Pittsburgh Symphony, recording it with the Louisville Orchestra. He is a faculty member of The Juilliard School.
The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle series continues on Saturday, June 14, when the Miami String Quartet will perform Haydn's Quartet in D, Ginastera's String Quartet, and Beethoven's Quartet in F. The 2003 series concludes on Saturday, June 21, with a performance by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and violinist Jennifer Koh. They will perform works by Moszkowski, Mozart, Ravel, and Schumann.
The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle, celebrating its 53rd season this year, 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 performing artists for concerts at the Mills and Vanderbilt Mansions. In 1979, the concert series began its association with Bard College. The HVCMC remains an association of chamber music lovers and a venue that attracts many of the world's preeminent chamber music artists.
These performances are made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. A subscription to the three-concert series is $60; individual tickets are $25; senior citizens, $15; and students, $5. For further information, call 518-537-6665.
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