It was a rainy evening but a perfect one to head inside to listen to some chamber music. We were delighted to launch our “Tune In!” series with a pre-concert talk by guest artist Jesse Holstein. The event created a wonderful connection ahead of the performance which was a festive and optimistic launch of our second season!
Many thanks to Melanie Saunders for these images.
Fresh from our retreat at Avaloch Farm Music Institute, EmmaLee and I made a pop-up appearance at A Market on Bellevue Avenue to play some violin duos ahead of our performance at Emmanuel. Amidst the fresh greens and pumpkins, we shared duos by Bach, Bartok, Leclair and a few fun fiddling treats.
Many thanks to the staff at A Market and the cheerful customers who chatted with us on our visit! Keep your eyes peeled for stealthy Newport String Project pop-up appearances! Got an idea for a fun surprising place for a pop-up concert? Get in touch!
(Thanks to our friend from Common Fence Music Tom Perrotti for this shot! Check out the wonderful work of Common Fence Music here.)
Ahead of our second season concert opener, EmmaLee, Jesse, Heath and I had the blissful opportunity to “retreat” to New Hampshire to the beautiful setting of Avaloch Farm Music Institute. Surrounded by the fall foliage in extravagant form, we found ourselves in the perfect place to explore the Haydn and the Beethoven together. With the busyness of day-to-day Newport String Project life temporarily on hold, we were ready to dig in to the process. Rehearsals featured nitty gritty decision making (“how about a down bow there?” “can we take a little time there?”), tried and trusted rehearsal techniques (rehearsing with backs to each other) and the occasional dramatic reading of Heath’s notes from his Beethoven Quartet Seminar at Rice.
Rehearsal breaks often featured trips to the bottomless cookie jar (thanks Diane!), sunset canoeing and bonding with four-legged friends.
Heath and Emmy resolving rehearsal differences
Jesse meets Jessie
Posing with our muse Snoozer
Of course, few things will energize an appetite more than rehearsing string quartets. Happily, there was no need for alarm as Avaloch’s culinary maestro-in-residence Will took wonderful care of us all. Mealtimes were a highlight, not only for the food, but as a chance to connect with our colleagues from the other visiting chamber groups – the Diderot Quartet and the Meadowlark Piano Trio. In that shared experience of focused rehearsal, an easy and natural sense of camaraderie evolved. On the final night of our stay, each of the groups performed for an intimate audience of guests at Avaloch. From movements of Haydn and Mozart exquisitely performed on period instruments by the Diderot Quartet to a memorized performance of Ravel Piano Trio by the Meadowlark to the epic journey of op. 130, it was quite an evening and inspiration to treasure!
A heartfelt thanks to Fred, Deb, Will, Diane and all the staff at Avaloch for their work in bringing this special place to life…
Jesse Holstein, violin and viola
Jesse Holstein, violinist and violist, is a founding member of the Providence String Quartet, and has been a resident musician at Community MusicWorks since 2001. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, he completed his graduate studies with James Buswell at the New England Conservatory. He is an active recitalist, orchestral, and chamber musician, and serves as concertmaster of the New Bedford Symphony. In 2003, Jesse was invited to join the faculty of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. He has performed as a guest artist at the Montana Chamber Music Festival and Bay Chamber Concerts. In 2009, he performed the Brahms Double Concerto (with PSQ cellist Sara Stalnaker) with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Community Orchestra.
Heath Marlow, cello
The Newport String Project is delighted to present the opening concert of its second season! We welcome back violist Jesse Holstein and cellist Heath Marlow as guest artists for a program of string quartets from youthful Haydn (op 1 no 1 “La Chasse”) and trailblazer-to-the-end Beethoven (op 130).
The concert will take place at Emmanuel Church on Saturday October 4th. Performance starts at 7.30pm – however, early birds will be richly rewarded!
At 6.30pm, we will have our very first Tune In! event – guest artist Jesse Holstein present a talk taking us on a auditory adventure through these quartets, highlighting the not-to-be-missed sonic landmarks and sharing a few anecdotes about the lives and times of the composers. Light refreshments will be served. This will be the first of our new Tune In! series, aimed at inviting our audiences to engage more deeply with the Newport String Project concerts. Details of each Tune In! event will be announced alongside the upcoming concert information.
All are welcome. Admission is by donation – all donations directly support our performing and educational programming. Community support is vital to sustaining the project. Donations are fully tax deductible.
Bring all your friends and help us celebrate the launch of our second season! We look forward to seeing you there!
The Newport String Project Season Opener
Beethoven and Haydn
October 4th 2014
6.30pm Tune In! Pre-concert conversation with guest artist Jesse Holstein.
Light refreshments will be served.
42 Dearborn St,
Newport RI 02840
All welcome. Admission by donation – please make a donation at the door, by mail or online!
Join us for a fabulously festive and vibrant program of chamber music at Trinity Church on May 24th at 3.30pm. The concert will be a celebration of the Newport String Project’s inaugural year and will look ahead to what’s in store for the project next year.
We are delighted to announce that this concert will bring together past and current fellows from Community MusicWorks (Providence) – young professional musicians who are at the leading edge of a field that explores the intersection between artistry, teaching and community.
Bacewicz Quartetto for Four Violins (1949)
Ealain McMullin, EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks, Shawn le Sure (CMW Fellow ’15), Rhiannon Banerdt (CMW Fellow ’15), violins
Beethoven String Quartet op 59 no 1 in F Major
EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks, Ealain McMullin, violins
Annalisa Boerner (CMW Fellow ’14), viola
Lauren Latessa (CMW Fellow ’14) cello
*Reception to follow*
Admission is free – Donations will be accepted at the door.
If you have attended our concerts this year, we look forward to seeing you again and hope you’ll bring some new friends with you! If this will be your first Newport String Project concert, that is great news too!
Joined by superb guest harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa, EmmaLee and Ealaín will be performing sonatas by Corelli and Bach as well as a few contemporary pieces. It promises to be a delectable evening of chamber music and dessert in front of a roaring fire at Mabel’s Studio.
Guest Artist Paul Cienniwa
Tickets are $15 for Norman Bird Sanctuary members and $20 for non-members. All proceeds will go to support the mission of the Newport String Project and the Norman Bird Sanctuay.
It is sure to fill up early so register early and spread the word! Click here to register for tickets.
We are very much looking forward to this weekend’s concert at Channing Memorial Church and delighted to be joined by Providence-based pianist composer, Aaron Jackson.
Composer and pianist Aaron Jackson offers programs that combine his original compositions and improvisations with selections from the classical repertoire, with an emphasis on music from the 20th century. His 2012-2013 season featured works by Beethoven, Brahms and Bacewicz; Liszt, Janacek and Dvorak; Babbitt, Lieberson, and Shifrin; Scriabin, Copland and Rautavaara; all in programs that also featured his own music, including the premiere of his Piano Sonata. Recent collaborations include Chroma for jazz trumpeter Ben Holmes; a Trio for violin, cello, and piano, with musicians Chase Spruill and Adrienne Taylor from Providence’s Community Music Works; and a set of 24 preludes for piano created in conjunction with a corresponding series of paintings by his wife, artist Prachie Narain Jackson, called The Book of Wandering.
Aaron grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where he discovered the music of local composer Milton Babbitt. At age 15 he performed several Babbitt pieces at a solo recital of contemporary piano music, which was subsequently repeated at the Juilliard School in New York. Babbitt became a friend and mentor, encouraging Aaron to supplement his studies at Juilliard by working with pianist Robert Taub, who was then artist-in-residence at the Institute of Advanced Study; and to attend Princeton University, where he studied philosophy and music. He went on to study music theory and composition at Columbia University, where he met and became a student of pianist Marilyn Nonken.
More information is available at his website, AaronJacksonMusic.com
We are delighted to be joined for this Saturday’s concert at Channing Memorial Church by cellist Megan Koch. Below is a lightning round interview with Megan and you can also read her complete bio over on our guest artist page.