Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck

Alicia Eppinga

The Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck reaches the end of its 31st season this week with concerts on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm in the Woman's Club of Saugatuck. Returning as a key player is Alicia Eppinga, the principal cellist of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. She begins the program with the Cello Sonata Op 19 by Sergei Rachmaninov, a work which, while beautiful, brings up a sensitive issue for cellists seeking accompanists - the piano part is notoriously difficult. Luckily for her, she says, pianist Drew Le suggested they play it. The rest of the program features famous works of Edvard Grieg - the Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 and the Holberg Suite - arranged for eleven strings by Adam Liebert, another Grand Rapids Symphony member and a performer at the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck. 


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Violist Barbara Corbató, assistant principal violist of the Grand Rapids Symphony and a member of the Perugino Quartet, talks with Cara Lieurance about the two masterworks featured at the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck this week: Robert Schumann's Quintet Op 44 and the Quintet in F-sharp minor, Op 67 by Amy Beach.  Corbató says that she's looking forward to playing Beach's Quintet, which was a landmark work by an American woman composer.

The concerts are at 7:30 pm Thursday and Friday evenings, at the Saugatuck Woman's Club. 


Merling Trio

Western Michigan University's Merling Trio and bassist Tom Knific will appear at the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck this week to perform a program of favorites by Brahms and Mozart, and new additions to their Great American Songbook project. Starting two years ago, the trio began commissioning arrangements for piano, violin, cello (and sometimes bass) of songs by composers like George Gershwin and Harold Arlen, and up to Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson. Gene Knific, the son of Tom and Renata Knific and a versatile young composer, wrote the new arrangements for the group.

The Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck concerts are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm at the Saugatuck Woman's Club.


Joy Rhine

Suggestions from players, dream lists compiled the year before, and plenty of research go into designing programs for the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, says Drew Le, co-artistic director and pianist on the upcoming "Brahms & Co." program this Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm at the Saugatuck Woman's Club. He'll be joined by his wife and co-artistic director Jennifer Walvoord and cellist Alicia Eppinga to play the program's centerpiece, the Trio in B major Op 8 by Johannes Brahms. There are two obscure but worthy pieces by Brahms' contemporaries, Carl Reinecke and Heinrich von Herzogenberg, which round out the program. 


Trey Jones

Works for groups of four, five, and six players promise an escalating evening of music on Thursday and Friday at the Saugatuck Woman's Club. Cara Lieurance talked with the one musician who will be a part of all three groups: oboist Sarah Southard of Hope College, who is looking forward to appearing on the 31st season of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck


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