Maine Mountain Chamber Music returns to Nordica

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FARMINGTON – Maine Mountain Chamber Music is very pleased to present works by two living American composers at their upcoming concert in Nordica auditorium on the UMF campus on Saturday October 1st at 7:30pm. Admission is $15. Further information and tickets may be found at at

Divertimento for Violin and Viola is a light hearted work, written by Adolphus Hailstork (1941- ), one of America’s most prolific Black composers. He wrote Divertimento in 2004 as a wedding gift for some friends, a violinist and violist.

“Pale Yellow” is a movement from Piano Trio 2 (2003) in which American composer, Jennifer Higdon (1962- ), explores the question, “Can music reflect colors and can colors be reflected in music?” Lily Funahashi, pianist and co-Director, is performing this work for the first time, and is finding it “breathtakingly beautiful”.

In addition to these two works they will also present works by Dmitri Shostakovich and Antonin Dvorak.

Shostakovich’s great works were deep, often sardonic, expressions of the dark times through which he lived. But, when needed, he was perfectly capable of crafting exciting movie music or entertaining diversions, such as the popular Five Pieces for Two Violins (this time, violin and viola), accompanied by piano. Laurie Kennedy, violist, and co-Director, says “These pieces are a hoot for all concerned!”

Dvorak needs no introduction to Maine Mountain Chamber Music audiences. His Piano Quartet No. 1 is full of the ebullience, passion and excitement that everybody loves.

Maine Mountain Chamber Music co-directors, Yuri Funahashi and Laurie Kennedy are very excited to be joined by violinist, Muneko Otani, and cellist, Elizabeth Anderson.

Muneko Otani

As the first violinist of the Cassatt String Quartet Muneko Otani has appeared in the US, Canada and Mexico as well as in Europe and Asia. Major venues have included Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Bastille Opera House. The quartet has over 40 recordings, and were named three times to Alex Ross’ 10 best classical recordings of the year in The New Yorker magazine.

Her numerous awards with the Cassatt Quartet include the Wardwell Chamber Music Fellowship at Yale (where they served as teaching assistants to the Tokyo Quartet), two top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, two CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a recording grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and commissioning grants from Meet the Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts.

As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with Paul Katz, Colin Carr, Ursula Oppens, Eliot Fisk, Walter Trampler, Martin Lovett, Marc Johnson, Kazuhide Isomura, Masuko Ushioda and Lawrence Lesser.

Ms Otani has held fellowships at the Banff Festival, the Tanglewood Summer Festival and at Yale University as assistant to the Tokyo Quartet.

She has served on the juries of the Postacchini International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy, the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the Barlow Prize for composition, and the Chamber Music America Residency Program.

She received the Bachelor of Music degree in both performance and education from the Toho Academy of Music in Japan, where she studied with Toshiya Eto. She then continued her training at the New England Conservatory, where her principal teachers were Masuko Ushioda and Louis Krasner.

Ms Otani teaches violin and chamber music at Columbia University and Williams College, and has taught at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg as assistant to Lewis Kaplan.

Elizabeth Anderson

Cellist Elizabeth Anderson has performed in major concert venues of the world in China, Japan, Australia, Italy, Germany, Finland, Mexico and the US.

As a founding member of the Naumburg Award winning Meliora Quartet, Ms. Anderson made numerous appearances on the world’s most prestigious chamber music series and recorded the Mendelssohn Octet for Telarc with the Cleveland Quartet. She has also performed and recorded extensively with the Cassatt String Quartet, VC3 Cello Trio, and as cellist in the New York City Opera Orchestra at Lincoln Center.
Anderson’s diverse career has included exploration of Hindustani Raga on cello and voice, and she currently teaches Raga in the Arts, Letters and Numbers Online Program.

Her recordings for RCA Red Seal, Telarc and Nonesuch have been highly acclaimed including her release of Luigi Silva’s transcriptions, and her most recent recording, LatifaNoor, is available on Apple Music.

Anderson has served on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music, Florida State University, Middlebury College, the Longy School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Anderson is grateful to have studied with Jacqueline DuPre, Steven Doane, Paul Katz, Yo-Yo Ma, Wallace Rushkin and Leonard Rose and holds Bachelor of Music degrees from the Juilliard School and California State University at Sacramento and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music.

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