Sanibel Music Festival in March; final 3 concerts postponed

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NOTE: The final three concerts on March 21, 24 and 28 have been postponed.

The Sanibel Music Festival seven-concert series opens this year with renowned chamber groups, award-winning piano recital and vocal ensemble of the highest caliber.
“The highlight performance March 28 is the multiple award-winning Emerson String Quartet, honored with nine Grammys,” said Jana Stone, Sanibel Music Festival president. “Chamber music enthusiasts will not want to miss the Boston Chamber Society featuring internationally popular harpist Ann Hobson Pilot on March 10 or the Gould Trio, featuring award-winning Robert Plane on clarinet March 21.”
Sanibel Music Festival concerts are held at 7:30 p.m. on select Tuesdays and Saturdays in March at the Congregational U.C.C., 2050 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island. The venue is intimate, with excellent acoustics, accessibility, and well-lit, on-site parking. General admission tickets are $50. Visit or contact the hotline at 239-344-7025 for discount opportunities and more information. Tickets are also on sale at The Bank of the Islands, 1699 Periwinkle Way, by check and cash only.
A five-member music committee led by board member Sue Pick reviews every composition considered for presentation. “Our goal is to carefully craft a balanced, yet diverse program, designed to delight attendees,” explained Pick. “The musicians love the acoustics of our intimate venue on Sanibel Island and work closely with us to optimize each concert; it results in a quality experience for everyone.”
“I was delighted to schedule two amazing chamber groups that showcase young professionals,” said board member Nina Orrell. “The Rolston Quartet, named among CBC Radio’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” on March 7th and the New York-based chamber music collective Manhattan Chamber Players on March 3. Get your tickets early,” she added, “because it looks like they might sell out.”
“The tenth national Chopin Piano Competition Winner on March 14 will be a high spot,” said David Conrad, music committee and board member, a classical pianist in his own right. “This year’s winner will be named March 1 and will play on Sanibel just two weeks later.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber will be celebrated by the professional singers of Opera Theater of Connecticut on March 24, directed by opera and musical theatre cognoscente Alan Mann. The powerful music of Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Evita and Phantom of the Opera among others will be on the program, punctuated by the knowledgeable and witty commentary of artistic director Alan Mann.
“Everyone on this highly dedicated music committee has been a talented classical musician in their own right except me,” said music committee and board member Michael Newhouse. “But I am a lifelong professional classical music fan,” he smiled. “I can tell you with authority to treat yourself to the seven-concert series – it’s curated to be an exceptional experience.”
“Since the organization was incorporated as a non-profit in 1987, our mission has been to present classical music of the highest standard at affordable prices,” explained Stone. “And we strive to promote the careers of young artists through performance opportunities.”

Manhattan Chamber Players
Tuesday, March 3
MCP is a chamber music collective of New York based musicians who share playing great chamber music repertoire. Strings magazine wrote that they were “like an auditory version of a vertical wine tasting.” Manhattan Chamber Players will perform the Haydn Piano Trio in GM, Hob. 25, the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, K 581, and the Brahms Piano Quintet in Fm, Op. 34.

Rolston String Quartet

Rolston String Quartet
Saturday, March 7
This Canadian quartet was the 2018 recipient and first international winner of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America. Named among CBC radio’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30.” The Rolston String Quartet will perform the Haydn String Quartet in G min, Op. 74, #3, Mendelssohn: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13 and Schubert: String Quartet in D minor, D. 810.

Boston Chamber Music Society
with Ann Hobson Pilot, Harp

Tuesday, March 10
Versatile musicians who come together in different instrumental combinations. Boston Globe calls them “vivid, compelling and first-rate.” Ann Hobson Pilot, former principal harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 29 years, performs world-wide. The Boston Chamber Music Society will perform Haydn: String Trio in G major, Op. 53, No. 1, Mozart: Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478, Jongen: Deux Pieces en Trio for Flute, Cello and Harp, Op. 80, Saint-Saens: Fantasie for Violin and Harp, and Schumann: Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47.

2020 Chopin National Piano Competition Winner
Saturday, March 14
Competition designed to offer performance opportunities and financial support to young American pianists. Winner will be announced after March 1, 2020 and is eligible to compete in the International Chopin Competition held every five years in Warsaw, Poland.

Gould Trio with Robert Plane,
– Saturday, March 21
Compared to the great Beaux Arts Trio, the Washington Post praises them for their “musical fire” and “dedication to the genre.” Robert Plane won “Best Concerto Recording” award from Classic CD Magazine. The Gould Trio will perform Brahms: Clarinet Trio, Huw Watkins: Four Fables and Dvorak: Piano Trio in F minor.

Singing Andrew Lloyd Webber, Superstar of Song and Stage,
by Opera Theater of Connecticut

Tuesday, March 24
Webber, one of the most successful composers of our times, is best known for his musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera. Celebrate his career with OTC’s professional singers performing selections from his acclaimed shows. Artistic director Alan Mann will add his unique commentary from the stage.

Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet
Saturday, March 28
Inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010, The Emerson stands alone in the history of string quartets. Over the last four decades they have made more than 30 acclaimed recordings, won nine Grammys and the Avery Fisher Prize. The Emerson String Quartet will perform the Haydn D Major, Op. 71 #2, the Mozart D Major, K. 575 “King of Prussia” and the Beethoven Op. 59 “Razumovsky” #2.


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