Summit Music Festival - Student Gala Event - Hartsdale, NY

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Donald Isler
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Summit Music Festival - Student Gala Event - Hartsdale, NY

Post by Donald Isler » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:03 pm

Happy Recollections, Op. 64, No 1 Popper

Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 51 Goltemann

Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum Debussy

Scherzo, Op. 12 van Goens

Concerto in D Minor Vieuxtemps

Nocturne in D-Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2 Chopin
Etude, Op. 10, No. 12 in C Minor "Revolutionary" Chopin

Faust Fantasy Wieniawski

One of the major summer music festivals in the area just outside New York City for the past 23 years has been the Summit Music Festival (, which, for three weeks, starting in July and going into August, is in residence at Manhattanville College in Purchase. Founded, and still directed by pianist Efrem Briskin and cellist David Krieger, both prominent teachers, it offers instruction and master classes for young musicians, many of them incipient professionals, as well as concerts by well-known artists. (Some years ago I heard a recital on the series by the noted American pianist, Agustin Anievas.)

This afternoon there was a program by young musicians between the ages of 10 and 19 who have studied, or will study this summer at the Festival. It took place at the Frank and Camille West Piano Store in Hartsdale, New York. This is the company that provides the pianos used by the Festival. All the pianists performed on a fine Knabe instrument. And, it should be noted, all the string players were accompanied by an excellent pianist, Tomoko Uchino.

A lot of very good playing was heard. Some of the highlights of the program were:

Fourteen year old cellist Eric Wang, who played the sizzling van Goens Scherzo brilliantly, and also showed the lyricism of the lovely trio section.

Fifteen year old violinist Eric Chan, who brought out all the melodrama and the bombast of the movement he played of a Vieuxtemps Concerto, particularly impressing one with his command of intonation and double stops.

Fourteen year old pianist Michael Davidman, who does everything with great confidence. His performance of the Revolutionary Etude was especially exciting because of his power, and daring.

Nineteen year old violinist Hannah Ji, a finished artist, who gave a virtuosic and dramatic reading of the Faust Fantasy of Wieniawski, which included a wonderfully expressive performance of the beautiful F Major section, and perfect harmonics (not to mention accurately playing tons of other fast notes!) in the concluding A Major section.

People living in the Westchester area should be reminded that they don't have to go to the city to hear fine musicians in concert. They should come and hear some of the performances at the Summit Music Festival.

Donald Isler
Donald Isler

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