Caramoor Festival 2007 to Feature Podles and Uchida, Rossini and Donizetti, Latin Music

Classic Arts News   Caramoor Festival 2007 to Feature Podles and Uchida, Rossini and Donizetti, Latin Music
Highlights of the 2007 Caramoor Festival include contralto Ewa Podles as Azucena in two concert performances of Verdi's Il trovatore, a Beethoven recital by pianist Mitsuko Uchida, and an exploration of Latin music.

The festival, held each summer at the Caramoor estate, a Mediterranean-style villa and garden compound in Westchester County, New York, runs this year from June 23 through August 5.

For the opening night gala concert, Peter Oundjian — celebrating his 10th anniversary as the festival's artistic advisor and principal conductor — leads H_lne Grimaud and the Orchestra of St. Luke's in Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2, the overture to Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and Kodšly's Dances of Galšnta.

This summer Caramoor launches a two-year Latin American music initiative called "Sonidos Latinos," which explores indigenous musical traditions and contemporary trends. Integral to the festival will be Cuban-born Paquito D'Rivera, Caramoor's 2007 composer-in-residence, and Marco Granados, a Venezuelan flute player and composer who will be the initiative's musical advisor.

Eight Latin American-themed concerts over the next two seasons include a focus on the music of Venezuela and the world premiere of D'Rivera's Concerto for Double Bass, Clarinet/Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, which is titled Conversations with Cachao. The work was inspired by the Cuban musician known as "Cachao," an 88-year-old bassist who played everything from symphonies and ballets to silent movies, circuses, and nightclubs.

Another concert will see D'Rivera and Granados team with Alon Yavnai, Gonzalo Teppa, and the Daedalus Quartet for an evening of chamber music by Argentine composers Alberto Ginastera, Osvaldo Golijov and Fernando Otero.

The 10th season of bel canto at Caramoor under the leadership of Will Crutchfield will feature Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, with soprano Julianna Di Giacomo, mezzo Laura Vlasak Nolen, tenor Barry Banks and bass-baritone Daniel Mobbs.

A semi-staged performance of Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix stars soprano Sarah Coburn in the title role, with mezzo-soprano Laura Vlasak Nolen as Pierotto, Banks in the role of Carlo, baritone Marco Nistico as Antonio, bass-baritone Ricardo Herrera as Marchese, and bass Eric Jordan as Il Prefetto.

Ewa Podles will sing Azucena in two concert performances of Verdi's Il trovatore, alongside Di Giacomo as Leonora, Mobbs as Ferrando, tenor Francisco Casanova as Manrico and baritone Daniel Sutin as the Conte di Luna.

The chamber music lineup at Caramoor this summer includes the Fomosa Quartet playing Debussy and Brahms as well as the world premiere of Shih-hui Chen's Mei Hua; the Pacifica Quartet playing Dutilleux, Bart‹k and Beethoven; the Jupiter String Quartet playing a new work by John Musto along with music by Beethoven and Mendelssohn; the Parker Quartet playing Lera Auerbach's Findings and Ligeti; and the Mendelssohn Quartet with pianist Jonathan Biss playing Brahms's Quintet in F minor (Op. 34) along with Haydn and Bolcom.

The roster of piano recitals includes Uchida's performance of Beethoven sonatas, Christopher Taylor playing Bach, and Gabriela Montero perfoming classical works along with some of her trademark improvisations.

The Orchestra of St. Luke's, Caramoor's orchestra-in-residence since 1979, will conclude the summer programs with an all-Mozart concert led by Roberto Abbado and featuring violinist Gil Shaham and violist Paul Neubauer.

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