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Chamber Music Festival On Star

    September 6 - 8,  2019

Listen

On Star Island, chamber music is an intimate experience, with the opening concert played in a 200 year old, acoustically perfect, candle-lit stone chapel; the Saturday evening salon-style concert played in the lobby of our 19th Century wooden hotel, where such concerts and salons were commonplace when these hotels were in their heyday, and our final, Sunday morning concert in the more intimate Pink Parlor.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

In such settings, where you are only a few feet away from the musicians, you can see, hear, and appreciate each performer not only for the virtuoso that he or she is, but also witness how great musicians become a seamless ensemble—truly a conversation among players, their instruments, and you, the audience.  

 

All of this happens on a late summer weekend in the stark beauty of our magical Star Island.  Star offers us a welcome respite from our busy, daily world. Beside the concerts, there will be time to explore this this island that so many of us call our spirit's home, sit in a rocking chair on the hotel porch admiring the view of the front lawn sloping down to the harbor, read a book, chat with friends both old and new, or find the space you need to be intentionally solitary.

 
 
 

Listen

On Star Island, chamber music is an intimate experience, with the opening concert played in a 200 year old, acoustically perfect, candle-lit stone chapel; the Saturday evening salon-style concert played in the lobby of our 19th Century wooden hotel, where such concerts and salons were commonplace when these hotels were in their heyday, and our final, Sunday morning concert in the more intimate Pink Parlor.

In such settings, where you are only a few feet away from the musicians, you can see, hear, and appreciate each performer not only for the virtuoso that he or she is, but also witness how great musicians become a seamless ensemble—truly a conversation among players, their instruments, and you, the audience. 

All of this happens on a late summer weekend in the stark beauty of our magical Star Island.  Star offers us a welcome respite from our busy, daily world. Beside the concerts, there will be time to explore this island that so many of us call our spirit's home, sit in a rocking chair on the hotel porch admiring the view of the front lawn sloping down to the harbor, read a book, chat with friends both old and new, or find the space you need to be intentionally solitary.

Our Musicians

Susan Curran Culpo, viola, is the Assistant Principal Violist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. She is also a member of the Proteus String Quartet. Susan is a member of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. She has played many concerts with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestras.  proteusstringquartet.com

Lois Finkel, 2nd violin, teaches violin and Chamber Music at Brown University and heads the Chamber Music Department at the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School. She has been a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra in Jackson, Wyoming since 1986. She was a founding member of the Charleston String Quartet. Lois has regularly performed with groups such as Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Cantata Singers, and the Providence Singers. Besides music, Lois enjoys gardening, hiking, and reading. 

Dr. Robert Hayden, clarinet, is a founding member of Musica Dolce. During his professional music career, he performed with the U.S. Air Force Band, the Georgetown, Annapolis, and Baltimore Symphonies and spent six years touring the United States and Canada while leading his own five piece musical ensemble. He holds music degrees from Ithaca College and Catholic University, as well as a DMD degree from the University of Connecticut and a post-doctoral orthodontic certificate from Emory University. He maintains an active orthodontic practice in Westerly, RI and Block Island.

Steve Laven, cellist. This year, we feel fortunate to have cellist Steve Laven  with us while Ted Mook fulfills obligations elsewhere.  A native of South Bend, Indiana, Steve is the principal cellist with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, playing also with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Handel & Haydn Society, and the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestras, among others. He is also an adjunct instructor of cello and chamber music at Rhode Island College, performing there with the Proteus String Quartet. Previously, he has held titled positions in the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera and Omaha Symphony Orchestras. He has earned cello performance degrees from the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music. He also composes and arranges, and won, in 2017, the Massachusetts ASTA Masters CompositionCompetition for his solo cello piece, "Ann’s Allemande."  His piece “Snake River Stomp” won the 2008 Texas Orchestra Director’s Association composition competition, and his cello quartet version of “A Barnraising” was performed on NPR’s “From the Top.”  He, his wife, and two sons live outside Boston. We are delighted to have him with us. www.stevelaven.com

 

Pianist, composer, and arranger Paul Rosenbloom, as well as our Music Director, is the Artistic Director of one of Rhode Island's pre-eminent chamber music ensembles, Musica Dolce. An accomplished pianist and composer, Paul is a brilliant musical alchemist, turning piano works into chamber music transcriptions, some of which you will hear again at Star--as well this year, as his own compositions. He began piano studies at the age of ten with Joseph U. Boudreau. He graduated magna cum laude in music composition from Harvard in 1974, and received his Masters and Doctorate in composition from Cornell in 1979. Paul has taught theory, piano and composition at Cornell and the New England Conservatory, and computer science at the University of Rhode Island. He was principal pianist of the Filarmonica de Caracas (Venezuela), as well as head of the piano department at the Caracas Conservatory. Paul was principal pianist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic for almost three decades, conducted the Young Peoples Symphony, the URI and Ariosti chamber orchestras, and is the composer-in-residence of Musica Dolce since its inception. Dr. Rosenbloom has now retired from EVAS, a Westerly firm specializing in adaptive computer technology for the blind and visually handicapped.  musicadolce.org 

Violinist John Sumerlin has performed in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe as soloist through Artistry Associates Management. As first violinist of the Harrington String Quartet, he was a finalist in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and with the Harrington played over 60 concerts a year in the US and Mexico. He has been a first violinist in the Dallas, Cincinnati, American, and Honolulu Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and Concertmaster of the Amarillo Sydony Orchestra, with which he was the featured soloist in over forty concerts with conductor Thomas Conlin. John was Artist in Residence at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and the West Texas A & M University (Canyon), and on the faculty at S.U.N.Y Purchase. Since 1989 Sumerlin has taught violin, viola, and chamber music at Rhode Island College, as well as conducting the Rhode Island College Chamber Orchestra. He also serves as Concertmaster of the RIC Symphony Orchestra. In 2010 he and colleagues Samuel Breene, Susan Culpo and Steven Laven co-founded the Proteus String Quartet, which is now in its sixth season. www.johnsumerlin.com.

 proteusstringquartet.com

Program

 

This will give you a general idea of what our musicians are thinking for this September, 2019.  The final choices, should they vary,  will appear here later in the summer.

 

Friday in the Chapel

Mozart: String Quartet in C "Dissonance"
Grieg: Three Lyric Pieces, transcribed for clarinet and strings
Rosenbloom: String Quartet in A


Saturday in the Lobby

C.P.E. Bach: Sonata in D Minor, transcribed for piano quintet
Bruch: Pieces for viola, clarinet and piano
Brahms: Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60


Sunday in the Pink Parlor

Grieg: Two Lyric Pieces, transcribed for cello and piano
Brahms: Three Pieces, transcribed for clarinet, piano and string trio
Mozart: Piano Quartet

In addition  Steve Laven's "Barnstorming,"  and a Gershwin "dessert," will find their ways into the program.


 

Photo Gallery

A conversation with our musicians in the Pink Parlor

Sunset and Moonrise

The chapel where candles were once hung in the bell tower to guide sailors home.