Park City Beethoven Festival celebrates spring with concerts
The Park City Beethoven Festival founder Leslie Harlow and her string of guest artists are in the rehearsal process for the upcoming Spring Chamber Music Festival that will feature performances in Provo, Park City, Salt Lake City and New York City.
Harlow paused to talk with The Park Record about the concerts, which kick off on at the NuSkin Innovation Center Pavilion in Provo on Saturday, April 16.
The concert will start at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $10 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens. Daynes Music will provide the Steinway grand piano for the performance, which includes Schubert’s "Trout" Quintet for Piano and Strings, Liszt’s "Un Sospiro," Beethoven’s "Mozart Variations" for clarinet and piano, and other works by Chopin, Arvo Part and Monteverdi.
"The ‘Trout’ Quintet is a big favorite," Harlow said. "Pianist Massimiliano Frani, from the American Piano Quartet, will join us on this piece."
Another pianist, Juilliard Concerto Competition Winner Hsiang John Tu, who teaches at the Gifted Music School and UVU, will perform the Liszt and Beethoven pieces with Harlow’s husband, Russell, a clarinetist.
Russell Harlow will also play Chopin’s "Nocturne" with Frani, Leslie Harlow said.
"In addition, we’re doing a beautiful piece by Arvo Pärt that will feature violin and classical guitar," she said. "Classical guitarist John Yerby will perform this with violinist Donna Fairbanks, who is head of the string department at UVU."
The festival will move up to Park City on Sunday, April 17, for a concert at the Park City Community Church at 7:30 p.m.
This concert will feature Quartet for Clarinet and Strings by Mozart and "Arpeggione" Sonata for Viola and Guitar by Schubert, as well as Beethoven’s "Mozart Variations," Liszt’s "Un Spspiro" and compositions by Arvo Pärt.
"Russ is playing the Mozart Quartet with Donna, and we’re doing everything else from the Saturday concert, except for the ‘Trout,’" Harlow said.
Tickets for the Sunday concert are $20 for general admission and $15 for students and senior citizens.
The third Utah performance, titled "KineMusic," will be on Tuesday, April 19, at the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City, at 7 p.m.
This program is a collaboration between the Salt Lake Film Society, the Utah Classical Guitar Society and the Park City Beethoven Festival, according to Harlow.
The concert will feature live music performed to silent movies including "Easy Street" with Charlie Chaplin and three original short films by Harlow.
"We’ll play some Beethoven string quartets and piano sonatas to accompany the Chaplin film, and then I’m doing a piece called ‘Timeless’ that I wrote a few years ago, that will accompany an original short, film," Harlow said. "I will play along to a prerecorded track that I did on my quinton, a five-stringed instrument."
The evening will also feature a world premier of another short film featuring the composition "Who Is Eve," by Croatian Composer Miroslav Loncar.
"John Yerby did the transcription and arrangements," Harlow said. "That’s a really neat piece and the film is about seven minutes long."
Tuesday’s performance will also feature the "Arpeggione."
"For that, I created another film," Harlow said. "I’m not a really great painter, but I do some digital painting and art work, so I did make some primitive figures and processed them and mixed them in this film."
Harlow created the films in this program all within the past two months.
"I’ve been more busy than I usually am," she said with a laugh.
Tickets for the "KineMusic" performance are available by visiting saltlakefilmsociety.org/what-s-happening/item/367-kinemusic-live-with-chaplin .
For Harlow, the really big deal is the April 30 concert that will be held in New York City, as part of the Bargemusic Series.
"This is a free concert, so it’s not listed on the website, but people can get directions to the concert," Harlow said. "They do free concerts every Saturday, and I was happy to get a free venue in New York with a grand piano and a built-in audience."
This is the fourth time the Beethoven Festival has performed during the Bargemusic Series, according to Harlow.
"It’s really fun," she said. "It takes place in a really neat area in Brooklyn. The concerts are held in the Fulton Ferry Park and the Brooklyn Bridge is right there and the barge, which is an antique coffee barge, is moored right next to it.
"There are a bunch of fancy shops in the area as well," Harlow said. "And the view inside the barge looks out onto the East River."
During this concert, the Harlows will perform with world-renowned pianist John Novacek and violinist Simon Gollo, the founder and director of the Nuevo Mundo Festival and Academy in Aruba.
The two will perform Ravel’s rhapsodic work "Tzigane," which means Gypsy, and then a Menotti trio with Russell Harlow, Leslie Harlow said.
"Then John will perform Ginatera’s ‘Three Argentinean Dances,’" she said. "We’ll also perform the Monteverdi duo with clarinet, viola and piano."
The performance will also include the Beethoven "Mozart Variations" and a sonata by Ottmar Gerster.
"I discovered this in my pile of music," Harlow said. "I was going through this stack and found this really cool sonata."
The Bargemusic Program will be performed the night after the Utah Symphony performs at Carnegie Hall.
"It’s nice and convenient because there are people we know from Utah who will be there for both the Utah Symphony and Beethoven Festival concerts," Harlow said.
The Park City Beethoven Festival will present its Spring Concert Series on April 16-17, 19 and 30. For more information, visit http://www.pcmusicfestival.com .
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Park City High School sophomore Emily Bronstein founded the Seraphine Project that helps at-risk teens in Zimbabwe and Zambia.