Beginning June 2, Music on the Hill presents its 11th annual chamber music festival. Seven concerts offer a variety of ensembles and music, featuring musicians returning to their native Rhode Island as well as those based in the Ocean State. Six evening concerts will take place in Westerly, Cranston and Warwick.
An afternoon lawn concert will take place Sunday, June 10 on the grounds of Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum in Warwick. In addition, Music on the Hill will offer its annual outreach performance for Warwick elementary schools. Tickets are on sale at www.musiconthehillri.org, at BrownPaperTickets.com or by mail. Ticket prices are just $20 before May 20 or $25 at the door (cash or check). As always, students with I.D. are admitted free of charge.
Music on the Hill’s adventurous programs combine highlights of the chamber music repertoire with less familiar gems. Mendelssohn, Mozart and Bach are heard with Jongen, Bliss and Schulhoff. Only Music on the Hill performs in five different venues in three towns around the Ocean State, in intimate venues where the audience sits up close to the action. Musicians play in a variety of ensembles in multiple concerts. Highlights:
· June 2’s opening concert features Mendelssohn’s complete works for cello and piano, with Miami String Quartet’s Keith Robinson and pianist Donna Lee, in Westerly
· June 5 in Cranston, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and Mozart’s Divertimento in D Major, with a large all-star ensemble of strings, horns and woodwinds
· June 7 in Warwick, a concert of Ocean State composers Nico Muhly, Thomas Bucci, Carl Schimmel, Daniel Carr and Sebastian Currier, featuring percussionist Peter Ferry, soprano Diana McVey, strings and piano
· June 10 in Warwick, a Tanglewood-style afternoon lawn concert at Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum, with Narragansett Brass Quintet
About Music on the Hill’s ensemble: Rhode Island-raised professionals: oboist Anne Marie Gabriele of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, percussionist Peter Ferry; the Metropolitan Opera’s Mary Phillips; soprano Diana McVey; violinists Gregory Cardi, Cami Sylvia and Kristen Pellegrino; cellist Elisa Kohanski; tubist Tom Gregory; and bassist John M. Pellegrino. Other festival favorites are the Miller-Porfiris Duo, pianists Bonnie Anderson and Jason Hardink, bassoonist Steve Vacchi, clarinetist Daniel Gilbert; hornists Michelle Reed Baker and Leslie Norton; violist Liana Zaretsky; violinist Amy Sims and cellist Trevor Handy. Ocean State artists: Narragansett Brass Quintet (Joseph Foley, Gino Villareal, Alexei Doohovskoy, Robert Marlatt and Tom Gregory), and harpsichordist Michael Bahmann (Musicians of the Old Post Road). Debuting this year is flutist Anthony Trionfo. Appearing with support from the Aaron Roitman Fund for Chamber Music are cellist Keith Robinson and pianist Donna Lee. (Complete bios follow.)
In his Julliard days and professionally since then, Artistic Director John M. Pellegrino meets many gifted musicians from the Ocean State who lament the fact that they haven't performed in Rhode Island since high school. He says: “Seven fantastic concerts will take place in our beloved Ocean State this June for our 2018 music festival, as well as our annual concert for elementary school children and some surprise pop-up appearances for unsuspecting passers-by. We continue to offer free admission for students, so please bring your children and grandchildren to the festival!”
2018’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Alice Pellegrino (1930-2018), music educator, board member and visionary supporter of Music on the Hill. Music on the Hill’s festival is made possible through generous support from The Carter Family Charitable Trust, The Aaron Roitman Fund for Chamber Music, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Taco/The White Family Foundation, and Warwick Department of Tourism, Culture and Development.