By Lila Meeks
From the first note in September to the last one in April, the upcoming season for USCB Chamber Music will be filled with exceptional talents, firsts for the series, and special performances in addition to its 5 central concerts. St Mark’s Episcopal Church will once again join with the Series to offer a FREE performance by the Series director, host and resident pianist Andrew Armstrong at 5 pm on Friday, September 29. A consummate conversationalist as well as dynamic performer, Mr. Armstrong will chat about composers and the history of certain pieces as he plays many of his and audience favorites. If you have someone you wish to introduce to classical music, you will not find a friendlier venue.
The sensational violinist who captivated Beaufort audiences on several occasions in pre-pandemic times will return and open the 44th season officially on Sunday, November 12. Tessa Lark brings her massive talent and her finely-tuned Strad to introduce new works, play favorites from the classical repertoire, and throw in a few bluegrass numbers from her native Kentucky.She will be joined by cellist Alice Yoo and Andrew Armstrong for the evening’s performance.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will take the talent to the USCB Hilton Head Campus on Friday, November 10 at 5
pm, and for the first time, USCB Chamber musicians will play south of the Broad. With an ample offering of Bourbon, Bach, and Bluegrass and a quick preview of Sunday’s concert, Mr. Armstrong, violinist Tessa Lark, and cellist Alice Yoo will chat, sip, and play for OLLI members, their guests, and the general public.
International prize winners based in England will cross the pond in early December to make their Beaufort debut Sunday, December 10. Having just won first prize at the 71st ARD International String Quartet competition, the extraordinarily talented Barbican String Quartet and
Mr. Armstrong will conclude the concert with the brilliant and difficult Dvořák piano quintet in A Major.
The New Year will open with a celebration of 100 years for George Gershwin’s amazing and AMERICAN “Rhapsody in Blue.” Cellist Jan Vogler and violinist Keven Zhu will join Mr. Armstrong as the afternoon continues with Bach, Paganini, and Mancini; the concert will conclude with the heart-throbbing passion of Tchaikovsky.
A full stage of international talents will be on hand for the March 3 concert with clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, hornist R.J. Kelley, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, violist Gabriela Diaz, cellist Raphael Bell, and pianist Andrew Armstrong. They will perform a program of Hindemith, Price, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, and Saint- Saëns. The second half of the program will be the formidable and absolutely amazing Dohnányi C major, Op.37 sextet.
To conclude the season, the USCB Art Department will join with Chamber Music to offer a regional high school student art show and then the world premiere of a piece inspired by the student art and composed by American saxophonist Alison Shearer. She will be joined on stage by trumpeter Jeroen Berwaerts, violinists Abigél Králik and Karl Stobbe, violist Joan DerHovsepian, cellist Ani Aznavoorian, double-bassist Maggie Cox, and Andrew Armstrong. This lively concert will also include works by Rachmaninoff and Saint-Saens.
While Beaufort has the talents assembled for the concluding concert, Chamber Music will
offer its first-ever Youth Concert on Saturday, April 6 at 3. Young people between the ages of 5 and 16 will enjoy one uninterrupted, unforgettable hour of conversation and music with professionals from around the country and Europe.
Beaufort offers world-class beaches and golf…it also offers world-class musicians playing the music of the masters and the latest compositions. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this fabulous season; go on-line at www.uscbchamermusic.com for complete information and to purchase tickets or call Staci Breton at 843-208-8246 dwh. The season’s concerts are Sundays at 5 at the USCB Center for the Arts at the historic Carteret Street campus.