Chamber Music on the Hill season celebrates 20th anniversary

October 20, 2009

The 2009-2010 season of Chamber Music on the Hill, in residence at McDaniel College, recently got underway with performances by pianist David Kreider and violinist Nicholas Currie in “September Sonata.” Three performances remain, including one next month.

All performances are open to the public. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and veterans. Children and students with valid IDs are admitted free. For more information, call 410-857-2599.

Chamber Music on the Hill has been providing professional-level concert series since its opening season in 1990. It is supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Carroll County Arts Council, and Carroll Community College, as well as through corporate grants and individual donations.

This season’s remaining performances are:

- Chamber music winners of the Liszt-Garrison Festival and International Piano Competition will perform at 3 p.m. Nov. 8 in Decker Center Forum. Chamber Music on the Hill offers a prestigious venue and substantial recognition in its award of $1,500 to the first-prize winners of the Chamber Music Division who will be performing in this concert. The competition recently was held at the College of Notre Dame under the auspices of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the American Liszt Society, a nonprofit organization that strives to bring performance opportunities to exceptional young musicians.

- “Romance in Winter: 200 Years of Robert Schumann” at 3 p.m. Feb. 14 at Scott Center for the Arts at Carroll Community College (inclement weather date: 3 p.m. Feb. 21). The Westminster Trio (McDaniel’s David Kreider, Melissa Zaraya, and Esther Mellon) with Donald Horneff on piano, Renate Falkner on viola, Steven Thomas on cello, Lynn Griffith on French horn, and Evan Walker, tenor.

This commemoration of Robert Schumann will include his Piano Quartet in E Flat, Op. 47; Andante and Variations for Two Pianos, Two Cellos, and French Horn, Op. 46; Adagio and Allegro for Piano and French Horn, Op. 70; and excerpts from Dichter Liebe, Op. 48.

The Westminster Trio performs throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Violinist Melissa Zaraya, long-time member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, has performed chamber music extensively in South America, Spain, and the Far East. Cellist Esther Mellon joined the Buffalo Philharmonic before coming to the Baltimore Symphony. She has performed at the Spoleto and Eastern Music Festivals and was recipient of a grant from the Kennedy Center Committee for Cultural Diversity in the Arts. The trio’s third member is David Kreider, who teaches piano at McDaniel and studied in Vienna and has presented debut recitals in London, Vienna and Carnegie Recital Hall.

Pianist Donald Horneff is a member of the McDaniel College music faculty teaching piano lab, harpsichord and electronic music and serves as piano technician. He has performed throughout the mid-Atlantic region and is organist at Westminster United Methodist Church.

Renate Falkner has performed extensively as a chamber and orchestral musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. She is a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Boston Baroque, and the Handel & Haydn Society. On faculty at the Connecticut School of Music, she also teaches and performs internationally during the summer at music festivals, most recently in Brazil.

Steven Thomas, internationally known soloist, chamber musician and teacher, has won numerous national competitions in the U.S. and his native England. He has performed throughout Europe and North and South America and returns to Chamber Music on the Hill after a brilliant performance last season.

Lynn Griffith has performed with the Singapore Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Irving (Texas) Symphony, and the American Wind Symphony's Winds on the Moon Quintet. She has been a featured recitalist at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.

Tenor Evan Walker's performances include Vaughan Williams' Hodie, solo recitals, and performances for the Friday Morning Music Club in Washington, D.C. His studies include the Vienna-based 2006 National Endowment for the Humanities “Mozart's Worlds” Institute. He is chairman of the Music Department and full-time singing teacher with Baltimore County Public Schools at the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson.

- “Strings in the Spring” at 7 p.m. April 11 in Little Baker Chapel on campus. Performing for this concert are the Azimuth String Quartet with Nicholas Currie and James Tung on violin, Alice Tung on viola, and Adam Gonzalez on cello. The Azimuth Quartet recently joined Carroll Community College as quartet in residence. The ensemble's vibrant style and musical precision emerge no matter the genre.

Included in this concert will be Beethoven's String Quartet, Op. 59; Mozart's String Quartet, K. 465 ("Dissonant"); and Puccini's Chrysanthemum.

James Tung is the concertmaster for both the Frederick and the Westminster Symphony Orchestras and is on the music faculty of Carroll Community College and Frederick Community College.

Alice Tung performs with the Maryland and Frederick Symphony Orchestras and is principal violist of the Westminster Symphony. She is a member of the music faculty at McDaniel College.

Adam Gonzalez is principal cellist of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony. He has taught at Georgetown University and Montgomery College and was director of instrumental music at the Waldorf School in Baltimore.