Maine Mountain Chamber Music to host concert on Sept. 20

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FARMINGTON – On Saturday, September 20, Maine Mountain Chamber Music will perform a very special concert, featuring works by Schubert, Kraines, Harbison, and Sarasate. Yuri Funahashi and Laurie Kennedy, the directors of MMCM, have invited two outstanding musicians to join them in this concert: Juliette Kang, violin, and Thomas Kraines, cello. The concert will take place in Nordica Auditorium at UMF, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Juliette Kang, violin, and Thomas Kraines, cello, will perform at the Nordica Auditorium at UMF, starting at 7:30 p.m

The works to be performed on Sept 20 have been chosen around the theme of “inspiration” – what inspires composers to write music, or specifically how composers have been inspired to write their music by earlier composers. MMCM has invited Thomas Kraines to return for this concert. Our audiences are familiar with Kraines as a fine cellist, but this time they will discover that he is also a very imaginative composer. The concert begins with a work by Kraines, called Squire Fantasy. The springboard for this work is Danse Rustique by William Squire, a piece that all cello students love to play. From his perspective as former student, teacher and virtuoso performer, Kraines has swirled the Danse Rustique through his consciousness and created an exciting work for cello and piano, which he will perform with Yuri Funahashi.

Violinist Juliette Kang will join her husband, Thomas Kraines and MMCM co-Directors, violist Laurie Kennedy and Yuri Funahashi, for a performance of “November 19, 1828,” a work for string trio and piano written in 1988 by the eminent American composer, John Harbison. November 19, 1828 was the day that Franz Schubert died, and this work is a fantasy on Schubert’s journey to the next world. The string players will set the stage for the Harbison work with a performance of a short string trio by Schubert.

After the intermission Kang and Kraines will perform a set of four contrasting duos which Kraines has composed for violin and cello. The imaginative writing for both instruments leads to easy speculation that the inspiration for these pieces is this dynamic musical partnership!

The final treat on this program is a performance by Kang and Funahashi of the Carmen Fantasy by Pablo de Sarasate, the famed 19th century Spanish violin virtuoso. Sarasate wrote this fantasy, inspired by familiar music from the opera Carmen by Bizet, to showcase his formidable violinistic skills. MMCM is excited to offer Farmington audiences an opportunity to hear this music performed by a true 21st century virtuoso, violinist Juliette Kang.

 Ms. Kang is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Kang’s solo engagements have included appearances with the orchestras of San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, and other major cities. She holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. 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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