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6 Artists Not To Miss This Summer

Summer is a time ripe for traveling, exploring, and enjoying. As a musician, you have many opportunities to garner inspiration from the plethora of music festivals happening across the country – and Europe.  If you are staying within the U.S. this summer, you may want to attend the performance of one of these six amazing musicians.

Here’s our list of the top 6 “not to be missed” summer performances for 2018: 

1. Sirena Huang

Sirena Huang is violin’s fastest rising star – with more awards to her name than can be counted. She made her professional debut at the age of nine. Now at 24, she is a formidable force. Sirena will take the stage July 27 for an unforgettable night with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, conducted by Guillermo Figueroa, in Durango, Colorado.

If you happen to be on the East Coast, you can catch Sirena at Symphony Space in New York City on August 4, where she will be performing chamber music with the New York Young Concert Artists. Need another NYC date with Sirena? She’ll also be playing on August 6.

Thursday, July 27, 2018 - 7:00 PM
Music in the Mountains Festival, Durango, CO
Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Haydn, Op. 56a
Barber: Violin Concerto, Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, “Scottish”

Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 7:30 PM
Symphony Space, New York, NY
Debussy: L’îsle Joyeuse
Prokofiev: Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34
Kreisler: Liebeslied
Kreisler: Paradise
Sarasate: Navarra “Spanish Dance” OP. 33
Mendelssohn: Octet for Strings in E-flat major, Op. 20

Monday, August 6, 2018 – 7:30 PM
Merkin Concert Hall, New York, NY
Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat Suite
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.2 in E minor, Op. 67
Tchaikovsky: Sextet “Souvenir de Florence,” Op. 70

2. Pinchas Zuckerman

Israeli-born violinist Pinchas Zuckerman is basically a living legend. His musical genius, prodigious technique, and unwavering artistic standards are a marvel to audiences and critics alike. As quoted on his agent’s site, “the name Pinchas Zukerman is equally respected as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Devoted to the next generation of musicians, he has inspired younger artists with his magnetism and passion.” 

Zuckerman is performing in Europe all summer, but makes his way back to the U.S. for two concerts with his trio. If you are in the area, why miss a chance to see a legend? 

August 5, 2018 - 5:00 PM
Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Rockport, MA
Ludwig van Beethoven: Allegretto in B-flat Major, Wo0 39
Anton Arensky: Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 32
Felix Mendelssohn: Trio in D Minor, Op. 49 

August 12, 2018 - 5:00 PM
Highland Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, Highland Cashiers, NC
The program will be the same as performed at the Rockport Festival (above). 

3. Joshua Bell

The violin superstar Joshua Bell seems to be everywhere this summer.  If you’ve got upwards of $1,000 to spend on a ticket, you can hear his private concert on July 15 that supports the Newport Music Festival in Southern California. If not, don’t fret – there are lots more opportunities this summer to catch the virtuoso. Amongst the most tantalizing is the world premiere of the beautiful music he recorded for the Academy Award-winning 1998 film, The Red Violin. You’ll have an immersive experience watching the movie on the screen while, for the first time, Bell performs composer John Corigliano’s lush, Oscar-winning score in its entirety with orchestra.  

The Red Violin follows a mysterious antique violin as it travels through four centuries, impacting all who come in contact with it – from its creation by a legendary violinmaker in 1681 Cremona, Italy – to a present-day auction house, where it draws the eye of an expert appraiser. The Festival Napa Valley Orchestra performs with Bell under the baton of esteemed conductor Michael Stern. Composer Corigliano will be in attendance, as well as the film’s director, Canadian filmmaker François Girard. Not in Northern California to see this unique event?  Fear not – Bell will reprise the experience at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Bell will also perform a slew of concerts on the East Coast, which you can check out here. 

July 26, 2018 - 6:00 PM
Festival Napa Valley, CA
Joshua Bell performs The Red Violin with Napa Festival Orchestra 

July 31 & August 1 – 7:30 PM
Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center, NYC
John Adams: Tromba Lontana
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 

August 5, 2018 – 2:30 PM
Tanglewood Music Festival, Lenox, MA
Conductor Dima Slobodeniouk makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut.
Borodin - Polovtsian Dances
Wieniawski - Violin Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev - Symphony No. 5 

August 21, 2018 – 8:00 PM
Ravinia Festival, Chicago, IL
Joshua Bell performs The Red Violin with the Chicago Philharmonic 

4. Lawrence Power

British-born Lawrence Power is one of the foremost, in-demand violists today. “His artistry and penetrating musicianship gains him constant plaudits around the world, reflected in turn in eloquent reviews: ‘No musician today better equipped to play than the minstrel-like Power’ (Financial Times), ‘Power seduces you permanently’ (Trouw), ‘Power is something more: a profound musical personality, his every phrase new and noteworthy’ (Sunday Times).” 

His only American concerts this summer are at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. And, he’s also giving a masterclass at the Festival on July 17.  Need a date with Lawrence?  Here’s when he’s playing: 

Aspen Music Festival, Colorado
Thursday, July 19 – 6:00 PM
Salonen: Pentatonic Étude
Bartok: Viola Concerto
With the Aspen Chamber Symphony, Alexander Shelley, conductor 

Saturday, 21st July 2018
Mozart: String Quintet in E Flat K614

5. Itzhak Perlman

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys celebrity status rarely afforded a classical musician. His website bio states he is “beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry but also to the irrepressible joy of making music, which he communicates.” 

Perlman received a Kennedy Center Honor for his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of our nation. He has performed for presidents, royalty, and now you can hear him in his only U.S. appearance this summer with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. The partnership of Perlman with Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel for Mendelssohn’s time-honored concerto will make for musical magic. Add in Beethoven’s beloved “Pastoral” Symphony, and your experience will be unforgettable! 

August 21, 2018 - 8:00 PM
LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral"

6. Yo-Yo Ma

The world’s greatest living cellist comes down to three syllables: Yo-Yo Ma! The child prodigy turned music superstar has won 18 Grammys and recorded more than 75 albums. Ma started the Silk Road Project, to educate and study the culture and art that thrived on the Silk Road. The organization's vision, according to its website, is to "connect the world's neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe." In 2010, Ma was named a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and is currently serving as a UN Messenger of Peace.

This brings us to Ma’s current endeavor: Evolutions – Ma’s new recording of the Bach Cello Suites. Ma believes that at this moment, when our world is challenged by the pace of change and the strain it can create, audiences old and new will find shared meaning in Bach’s suites music. “Bach’s music touches us, it reconnects us to our common humanity,” Says Ma. The New Yorker described his performance of the suites as "The loveliest experience of my listening year … it was as if music had stilled the world.”

Here's the exciting part: Yo-Yo Ma’s journey performing Bach’s complete cello suites is a two-year project in which he will bring these works to a limited number of locations on six continents. Guess what? One of those is happening this summer at the Blossom Music Festival!  Don’t walk, run to get your tickets if you are in Ohio!

Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach
Blossom Music Festival, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
August 12, 2018 – 7:00 PM
BACH - Complete Cello Suites  
    Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV1007
    Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV1008
    Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV1009
    Suite No. 4 in E-flat major, BWV1010
    Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV1011
    Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV1012

Above image of Yo-Yo-Ma courtesy of World Economic Forum via Wikicommons.

Violins on the wall