Maine Mountain Chamber Music concert Sept. 26

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FARMINGTON – On Saturday, Sept. 26, Maine Mountain Chamber Music will perform a very special concert, featuring works by Purcell, Mozart, Brahms, and Thomas Kraines. The concert will take place in Nordica Auditorium at UMF, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Violinist Cyrus Beroukhim

The concert of will include two popular guest artists, and the world premiere of an exciting new work. Co-directors pianist Yuri Funahashi and violist Laurie Kennedy will be joined by violinist Cyrus Beroukhim and cellist Tom Kraines for a concert of chamber music from four centuries. Beroukhim first appeared at MMCM in Messaien’s Quartet for the End of Time, and returned for a Latin American program last spring. Kraines, who has performed at MMCM many times as a cellist, and thrilled the audience last fall with his own compositions, has written, especially for this concert, a new work for string trio.

Violist Laurie Kennedy

The program begins in the 17th century with Three Fantasias for string trio, written in 1680 by the great English composer, Henry Purcell. Although Purcell was organist at Westminster Abbey and “composer to the King’s violins”, he wrote these imaginative pieces for his own enjoyment.

Pianist Yuri Funahashi

A giant leap to the 21st century brings the audience to the world premiere of “Departures” for string trio (2009) by Tom Kraines. This is a slow, one-movement work which is intended to become part of a larger work in the future. It is structured so that each instrument, in turn, takes on a solo role, as the other two join together in a supportive accompaniment. The MMCM audience has become well acquainted with the fine artistry of Kraines, the cellist, and now has the rare opportunity to hear that artistry transforming into imaginative new music.

Mozart wrote the first of his two Quartets for piano and strings in 1785. He was the first well-known composer to use the piano in a solo role in chamber music, rather than as an accompanying instrument, and he most likely wrote these works to perform himself (like Tom Kraines). Following Mozart’s lead, many great composers of the 19th century, such as Schumann, Brahms and Dvorak, wrote piano quartets, and the form has remained popular with composers to this day. Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G Minor, K. 478 is still one of the most popular.

Cellist Tom Kraines

Representing the romantic period on this program is the great Piano Trio in C Major, Op. 87 by Brahms. A mature work, written in 1882, this trio includes a wonderful theme and variations movement, based on a plaintive, Hungarian-style folk song, which Brahms accurately predicted would be very popular with audiences.

Violinist Cyrus Beroukhim made his debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the age of fifteen. He received his doctorate at The Juilliard School, and has since performed at many prestigious music festivals and is a member of numerous chamber music ensembles. Beroukhim has earned broad recognition as a leading performer of his generation. Thomas Kraines, a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, is gaining recognition worldwide as a cellist, composer, and teacher. Formerly a member of the Peabody Trio, he currently performs as a duo with his wife, violinist Juliette Kang, as well as with the free improvisation ensembles Dithyramb and Spring Theory, and the chamber group Mistral. Yuri Funahashi is a member of the Festival Chamber Music Society of New York City and the Pane-Funahashi Duo, and is a frequent guest performer at chamber music festivals around the world. Laurie Kennedy, Principal Violist of the Portland Symphony since 1981, appears frequently as a soloist with that orchestra and chamber artist throughout the Northeast.

The concert is being sponsored by the Arts Institute of Western Maine and Franklin Savings Bank. Admission at the door will be $9 for adults; $7 for seniors, with children under 16 being admitted for free. There are no advance ticket sales. For more information you may call 645-2157.

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