Newtown Friends Of Music 37th Season To Also Welcome New Guests, Returning Favorites

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han — Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year — rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. Their duo performances have garnered superlatives from the press, public, and presenters alike.

Newtown Friends of Music (NFM) is happy to announce that the two will make the trek from Lincoln Center to Newtown on Sunday, September 28, for the first concert of NFM’s 2014-15 season.

Performances will again begin at 3 pm and will be in the theater of Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street.

The program for Finckel and Han — who first performed for NFM at ETH in 1985 — will include works of Richard Strauss, Messiaen, Albeniz, Glazunov and Chopin.

The second program of the season, on October 26, will feature the Johannes String Quartet, winners of the Paganini Violin Competition, the first American string quartet to win this coveted prize in 24 years. Following the footsteps of the famed Guarneri String Quartet, who were in turn influenced by the inimitable Budapest Quartet decades before, the Johannes has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, on Performance Today and other well-known classical music stations.

The concert on November 23rd will showcase the talents of violinist Alexi Kenney, winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. He will be accompanied on the town hall’s Knabe concert grand by pianist Yannick Rafalimanana, and will perform violin sonatas by such diverse composers as Janacek, Schubert, Britten, and Messiaen.

Following longstanding tradition, there will not be any concerts during December and January. On February 22, however, Fauré Piano Quartett will arrive from their native Berlin, Germany, to perform piano quartets by Mahler, Fauré, and Brahms.

This fine group of musicians has won acclaim in every venue in which they have performed, be it in Europe, South or North America, or in the Far East.

“Chamber music is the only true form of music and the most authentic expression of a personality,” insisted Gabriel Fauré. Having taken its eponym’s guiding principle to heart, the Fauré Quartet is now widely regarded as one of the leading chamber groups in the world.

Another guest ensemble from abroad will grace Edmond Town Hall on March 15, when the Henschel Quartet, enthusiastically praised by Allan Kozinn of The New York Times and called “a highlight of my concertgoing year” by Paul Cuts (The Strad), takes the stage.

The Henschel — deemed by Mark Swed (The Lost Angeles Times) “…no question, one of the best groups in the world” — has appeared recently at Tanglewood, performed for the Vatican, appeared in Brussels as “Cultural Ambassadors” and brought music to Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. Their program promises to include works of Theofanidis, Schubert, Janacek and Beethoven.

On April 12, the 37th Season of “exquisite music — superbly performed” will conclude with a performance by The Dorian Wind Quintet, “one of chamber music’s most sparkling and eloquent ensembles” (TIME Magazine).

Since its formation at Tanglewood in 1961, Dorian Wind Quintet has performed repertoire ranging from the Baroque to Pulitzer Prize-winning commissions in the world's most renowned concert halls. The quintet has literally been around the world, concertizing in 49 of the 50 United States and Canada, touring Europe 18 times, and playing throughout the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia.

The Dorian, who made history as the first wind quintet to appear at Carnegie Hall, was a guest of NFM in November 1989.

This time, they will be accompanied by pianist Spencer Myer. The finalé’s program will include a pair of works commissioned by the quintet, including the winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Music, along with works of Bach and Poulenc.

Season subscriptions for all six concerts are currently available for $75, or $65 for those ages 65 and above.

Single tickets for one concert are $25, with children in grades K-12 admitted free with a ticket-holding adult.

For further information including ordering details or an order form, visit www.newtownfriendsofmusic.org. NFM’s website also includes details on this season’s guest artists, their planned programs, NFM’s school outreach programs. Remaining tickets are sold on the afternoon of each concert at the Edmond Town Hall box office, which opens one hour prior to performance.

A season brochure may be requested by calling 203-426-6470.

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