Chamber Music at the Barn’s 2013 season this summer will feature principal players for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, musicians from throughout the U.S. and instruments from violas to pianos to oboes. A harpsichord will be on stage for the last concert of the season.
Concerts are hosted in a rustic — yet air-conditioned — barn. Audiences now can enjoy an upgraded sound system and the ability to purchase wine and beer. They also can watch butterflies roam among the milk thistle and pansies as they listen to master musicians play oboes, flutes and violins.
“It will be an exciting season,” said Catherine Consiglio, the barn’s artistic director and Wichita Symphony principal violist.
The Barn is dedicating two of its concerts to community leaders and supporters of Chamber Music at the Barn: John Evans Naftzger, a retired banker, and George Vollmer, former Wichita Art Museum director, both of whom recently died.
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“Both of them were there from the beginning,” said Consiglio, who also is associate director of Wichita State University’s School of Music. “These concerts are in memory of their foresight. We want to give them a special thank-you this summer.”
The first concert, Joyful Expeditions, is dedicated to Naftzger.
“It’s packed full of fantastic chamber music,” Consiglio said. “We’ve designed it so it’s going to appeal to multiple ages.”
The concert features Peter Schickele’s Wichita premiere of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” as well as Camille Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals.” Along with the concerts at the barn, the musicians will perform two free concerts around town.
The group wants to thank the city for its support through the years and get new listeners hooked on chamber music.
“We’re always looking for new faces and ears,” Consiglio said.
The second concert features Darol Anger, a familiar face in Wichita and throughout the U.S. Anger will bring along his Republic of Strings performers and will play bluegrass, jazz, classical and pop music for the July 4 weekend. The group makes its home in Portland, Maine.
Johannes Brahms, Zoltan Kodaly and Antonin Dvorak’s music is on tap for the third concert.
“It’s straight romantic chamber music,” Consiglio said. “They’re great staples.”
The final concert of the season will be dedicated to Vollmer, and his cherished harpsichord will be a part of the festivities. Two performers will play J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords. Giuseppe Tartini’s Violin Sonata also is on the billing.
Tartini’s work is complex and rarely performed. This classic was inspired by a dream in which the devil grabbed the violin. His performance was both intricate and vibrant.
Before the season begins, the Barn will host a special concert May 16 for the winners of the Wolff-Bing Chamber Music Concert Competition. The Walenta String Quartet, students from WSU, will play a Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich string quartet.
Several of the musicians who perform at the barn, as well as musicians throughout Kansas, will help students perfect their skills on the violin, viola, bass and cello during two summer camps. Anger also will provide workshops.