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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Concert preview: "Floating Souls" at Frederik Meijer Gardens

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Courtesy Photo / Michelle Hassel
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Haijin Choi and Emily Grabinski

In 2020 Haijin Choi, a violinist with the Grand Rapids Symphony, realized a dream by creating a summer music series held at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Her vision was to offer a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful chamber music, and no tickets (a day pass or membership to the Gardens is all that's needed). She was helped by several advisor-sponsors, including Jim and Marie Preston.

The 2022 Jim & Marie Preston Sunday Strings series continues Sunday, Aug 7 at 2 pm with a program for violin and piano called "Floating Souls," featuring Haijin Choi and pianist Emily Grabinski. It will be held in the Huizenga Grand Room.

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Choi and Grabinski talk about the works on the program and how they relate to the idea of "floating souls." They will play William Bolcom's "Graceful Ghost Rag", and a haunting violin sonata by Sergei Prokofiev. Grabinski describes the narrative she hears in William Grant Still's Three Visions for solo piano. The duo also added a work by Ukranian composer Myroslav Skoryk in solidarity with the people of war-torn Ukraine.

At 2 pm on Aug 28, Choi will close the series with a group of symphonic string players joined by clarinetist Campbell MacDonald of the Fort Wayne Symphony. They'll play the Clarinet Quintet by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and music of Haydn.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.
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