Musicorda Summer Festival to Open July 2 with St. Petersburg String Quartet

MusicordaAcclaimed violinist Michelle LaCourse, a Northampton resident, is among the accomplished musicians to perform during this summer's Musicorda season. Currently a teacher at Boston University and UMass/Amherst, LaCourse has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe.

Eighteen resident concert artists and six guest artists, performing three centuries of chamber music for piano, strings, clarinet, trombone, double bass, and voice, including three concerts by the internationally renowned St. Petersburg String Quartet, will highlight the thirteenth season of the Musicorda Chamber Music Festival at MHC.

Running from July 2 through August 6, the festival features six Friday-evening concerts by Musicorda's artists-in-residence and guest artists. The Young Artists Series, held on Sunday evenings from July 4 through August 1, showcases the talents of the young musicians participating in the festival's Summer String Program. In addition, free student recitals will be held on Wednesday evenings between July 7 and August 4.

Opening the series on July 2, the St. Petersburg String Quartet and festival resident artists will perform selections by Dvorak, Poulenc, and Beethoven. Quartet members Alla Aranovskaya and Ilya Teplyakov, violins; Constantin Katz, viola; and Leonid Shukaev, cello, are acclaimed interpreters of Russian music and have won gold medals in competitions throughout Europe and Asia. Musicorda Artistic Director Leopold Teraspulsky and Jacqueline Melnick, administrative director of the festival, first brought the quartet to Musicorda in 1989, marking the first appearance of the Russian ensemble outside the Soviet Union.

"In our final concert season of the twentieth century, we are staging a spectacular string celebration," said Teraspulsky. "We are fortunate and delighted to bring together the St. Petersburg String Quartet and eighteen artists-in-residence to perform the best in chamber music with their colleagues, and to teach in our Summer String Program."

Through this program, Musicorda provides a summer of intense study and performance for some ninety young, gifted musicians from around the world. In addition to sharing the concert stage with the festival's artists-in-residence, small student ensembles perform at local libraries, museums, senior citizen centers, hospitals, and other community venues. Students also work as teaching assistants in the festival's Children's String Workshop, which provides free cello and violin classes for Holyoke children.

Following the opening concert, concerts on July 9, 16, 23, 30, and August 6 will feature music ranging from Copland and Mendelssohn to Brahms, Beethoven, and Rossini. See the CSJ calendar for complete concert listings. All concerts will be held at Chapin Auditorium at 8 p.m. Tickets to the festival concerts range in price from $10 to $20. Concerts in the Young Artists Series are $5. For tickets, call 538-3040 or stop by the Musicorda office in Pratt Hall. Tickets are also available at the Odyssey Bookshop and at the door on the evening of the concert. Tickets can be ordered via email at (Be sure to include credit card information and a telephone number). For group rates and information, call 538-2590 or 538-3040.

Photograph courtesy of Musicorda