Burlington Free Press - Online
July 12, 2012

Conductor Alondra de la Parra and the Festival Orchestra play the Music Festival of the Americas on Aug. 23. / Courtesy Photo

Soovin Kim returns for the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in August. / Courtesy Photo

It’s not that the beloved Vermont Mozart Festival has been forgotten, but there sure are plenty of classical-music events this summer to help festival fans fill the void. Get a load of these choices

Vermont Summer Music Festival

Vermont Mozart Festival founder Melvin Kaplan returns with the new Vermont Summer Music Festival, which starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe with Rachel Barton Pine leading the New York Chamber Soloists Orchestra through all five of Mozart’s violin concertos ($45). Other concerts in the series – all start at 7:30 p.m. and cost $35 unless otherwise indicated – are “Old World, New World,” with Pine and cellist Mike Block merging classical, folk and rock Monday at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Burlington; “The Three Bs” featuring the New York Chamber Soloists at the Basin Harbor Club near Vergennes on Wednesday performing music by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms; pianist Menahem Pressler joining the Ariel Quartet on July 19 at Champlain College in Burlington to play works by Dvorak, Haydn and Debussy; and an all-Mozart program at St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 21 led by William Metcalfe and The Oriana Singers and also featuring the New York Chamber Soloists Orchestra with flute player Jennifer Grim ($25). www.vermontsummermusicfestival.com.

'Summer Serenades'

Former Vermont Mozart Festival violinist Michael Dabroski founded the Burlington Ensemble, which follows Kaplan’s festival with its own series, “Summer Serenades.” Each event costs $30 and begins with outdoor picnicking at 5:30 p.m. and an indoor performance at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise indicated: July 22, “Summer Serenade” at the All Souls Interfaith Gathering in Shelburne features compositions by Mozart as well as Jean Francaix; July 23, the Royal Piano Trios performing works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe; July 24, a program at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms highlighting Franz Schubert’s “Trout” Piano Quintet; July 25, Vermont-raised singer-songwriter Myra Flynn, with support from Burlington Ensemble, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. at Shelburne Vineyard; July 26, an all-Mozart program at the College Street Congregational Church in Burlington; and July 27-28, performances highlighting works by Dvorak and Beethoven at the All Souls Interfaith Gathering. 598-9520, www.burlingtonensemble.com.

Pianist and NPR host Christopher O'Riley

8 p.m. Aug. 11, pianist Christopher O’Riley, known not only for his classical and pop-music repertoire but also as the host of public radio’s “From the Top,” plays at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe. $45. 760-4634, www.sprucepeakarts.org.

Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival

The Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, led by violinist and Champlain Valley native Soovin Kim, returns in August with concerts at 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Elley-Long Music Center in Colchester featuring work by Bach and, like “Summer Serenade,” Schubert’s “Trout” Piano Quintet; 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at FlynnSpace in Burlington, performances of compositions by Bach and Charles Ives; 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24, a performance highlighting works by Bach and Mozart at the Elley-Long Music Center; and at 3 p.m. Aug. 26, also at Elley-Long, compositions by Beethoven and Schumann as well as contemporary composer Joan Tower. $10-$30. 846-2175, www.lccmf.org.

Music Festival of the Americas

The summer classical season winds down with the return of the Music Festival of the Americas at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe. The performances (all at 8 p.m. and costing $30) feature conductor Alondra de la Parra and the Festival Orchestra on Aug. 23, playing works by Mozart and Dvorak; Aug. 24, a concert highlighting works by a trio of Mexican composers; and Aug. 25, works by Mozart and Argentine composer Luis Bacalov. 760-4634, www.sprucepeakarts.org.

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